Hamilton Public Library Junior Teen Top Novel 2020 Winner

The Hamilton Public Library Summer Reading Club has voted for their favourite novel from a set of four options. We would like to congratulate Eric Walters and Kathy Kacer whose novel, Broken Strings, is the Junior Teen Top Novel Winner.

Broken Strings
By Eric Walters and Kathy Kacer
288 Pages | Ages 10-14 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780735266247 | Puffing Canada
It’s 2002. In the aftermath of the twin towers — and the death of her beloved grandmother — Shirli Berman is intent on moving forward. The best singer in her junior high, she auditions for the lead role in Fiddler on the Roof, but is crushed to learn that she’s been given the part of the old Jewish mother in the musical rather than the coveted part of the sister. But there is an upside: her “husband” is none other than Ben Morgan, the cutest and most popular boy in the school. Deciding to throw herself into the role, she rummages in her grandfather’s attic for some props. There, she discovers an old violin in the corner — strange, since her Zayde has never seemed to like music, never even going to any of her recitals. Showing it to her grandfather unleashes an anger in him she has never seen before, and while she is frightened of what it might mean, Shirli keeps trying to connect with her Zayde and discover the awful reason behind his anger. A long-kept family secret spills out, and Shirli learns the true power of music, both terrible and wonderful.

Putting the YA in FRIYAY: Read the Book, Watch the Adaptation

We live in a golden age where all sorts of books are being adapted into movies or TV shows and we’re living for it. We’ve rounded up some of the more recent adaptations (including one that’s coming soon!) – how many have you watched?

The movie:

The book:

Little Women
By Louisa May Alcott
816 Pages | All Ages | Hardcover
ISBN 9780147514011 | Puffin
Grown-up Meg, tomboyish Jo, timid Beth, and precocious Amy. The four March sisters couldn’t be more different. But with their father away at war, and their mother working to support the family, they have to rely on one another. Whether they’re putting on a play, forming a secret society, or celebrating Christmas, there’s one thing they can’t help wondering: Will Father return home safely?

Jo & Laurie
By Margaret Stohl and Melissa De La Cruz
384 Pages | 12+ | Hardcover
ISBN 9781984812018 | Putnam BFYR
1869, Concord, Massachusetts: After the publication of her first novel, Jo March goes to New York with her dear friend Laurie for a week of inspiration–museums, operas, and even a once-in-a-lifetime reading by Charles Dickens himself! But Laurie has romance on his mind, and despite her growing feelings, Jo’s desire to remain independent leads her to turn down his heartfelt marriage proposal and sends the poor boy off to college heartbroken. When Laurie returns to Concord with a sophisticated new girlfriend, will Jo finally communicate her true heart’s desire or lose the love of her life forever?

The movie:

The book:

Looking for Alaska
By John Green
272 Pages | 14+ | Paperback
ISBN 9780593109069 | Dutton BFYR
Miles Halter is fascinated by famous last words—and tired of his safe life at home. He leaves for boarding school to seek what the dying poet François Rabelais called the “Great Perhaps.” Much awaits Miles at Culver Creek, including Alaska Young, who will pull Miles into her labyrinth and catapult him into the Great Perhaps. A modern classic, this stunning debut marked #1 bestselling author John Green’s arrival as a groundbreaking new voice in contemporary fiction.

The movie:

The book:

All the Bright Places
By Jennifer Niven
416 Pages | 14+ | Paperback
ISBN 9780593118924 | Knopf BFYR
When Finch and Violet meet on the ledge of the bell tower at school, it’s unclear who saves whom. And when they pair up on a project to discover the “natural wonders” of their state, both Finch and Violet make more important discoveries: It’s only with Violet that Finch can be himself–a weird, funny, live-out-loud guy who’s not such a freak after all. And it’s only with Finch that Violet can forget to count away the days and start living them. But as Violet’s world grows, Finch’s begins to shrink.

The show:

The book:

The Golden Compass
By Philip Pullman
432 Pages | 10+ | Paperback
ISBN 9780593178553 | Knopf BFYR
A war is brewing in Lyra’s world–a battle between those who would keep people in ignorance and those who are willing to fight for true freedom. Lyra is thrust into the middle of the conflict when her uncle Asriel comes to Oxford, fomenting rebellion, and when her best friend, Roger, suddenly disappears. Lyra learns that Roger was kidnapped by a shadowy organization that steals children and, it is rumored, experiments on them. To find him, she will travel to the cold, far North, where armored bears and witch clans rule . . . and where her uncle Asriel is attempting to build a bridge to a parallel world.

The movie:

The book:

Chemical Hearts
By Krystal Sutherland
368 Pages | 14+ | Paperback
ISBN 9780593109670 | Putnam BFYR
Henry Page has never been in love. He fancies himself a hopeless romantic, but the love that he’s been expecting just hasn’t been in the cards for him–at least not yet. Instead, he’s been happy to focus on finally becoming editor of his school newspaper. Then Grace Town walks into his first period class on the third Tuesday of senior year and he knows everything’s about to change. When Grace and Henry are both chosen to edit the school paper, he quickly finds himself falling for her. It’s obvious there’s something broken about Grace, and Henry wants nothing more than to help her put the pieces back together again. But as Henry learns, what you want may not have anything to do with what you get.

The movie:

The book:

The Kissing Booth
By Beth Reekles
448 Pages | 14+ | Paperback
ISBN 9780385378680 | Ember
Meet Rochelle “Elle” Evans: pretty, popular—and never been kissed. Meet Noah Flynn: badass, volatile—and a total player. When Elle decides to run a kissing booth at her school’s Spring Carnival, she locks lips with Noah and her life is turned upside down. Her head says to keep away, but her heart wants to draw closer. This romance seems far from a fairy tale. Is Elle headed for heartbreak or will she get her happily ever after?

The Kissing Booth #2: Going the Distance
By Beth Reekles
336 Pages | 14+ | Paperback
ISBN 9780593172575 | Ember
Elle Evans seems to have finally tamed hotter-than-hot bad boy Noah Flynn, but now they’re facing a new challenge. Noah’s 3,000 miles away at Harvard, which means they’re officially a long-distance couple – and it’s tough. When Elle sees a post which suggests Noah’s getting friendly with someone else, she’s devastated. On top of that, it’s hard to ignore new boy Levi. He’s gentle, sweet, cute – and definitely interested in Elle. With her heart on the line, what’s a girl to do?

The movie:

The book:

Stargirl
By Jerry Spinelli
208 Pages | 12+ | Paperback
ISBN 9780593179048 | Ember
Stargirl. From the day she arrives at quiet Mica High in a burst of color and sound, the hallways hum with the murmur of “Stargirl, Stargirl.” She captures Leo Borlock’ s heart with just one smile. She sparks a school-spirit revolution with just one cheer. The students of Mica High are enchanted. At first. Then they turn on her. Stargirl is suddenly shunned for everything that makes her different, and Leo, panicked and desperate with love, urges her to become the very thing that can destroy her: normal.

The show:

The book:

The Last Kids on Earth
By Max Brallier
Illustrated by Douglas Holgate
240 Pages | 8-12 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780670016617 | Viking BFYR
Ever since the monster apocalypse hit town, Jack Sullivan has been living in his tree house, which he’s armed to the teeth with catapults and a moat. But Jack alone is no match for the hordes of Zombies and Winged Wretches and Vine Thingies, and especially not for the eerily intelligent monster known only as Blarg. So Jack builds a team: his dorky best friend, Quint; the reformed middle school bully, Dirk; Jack’s loyal pet monster, Rover; and Jack’s crush, June.

The movie:

The book:

Timmy Failure: Mistakes Were Made
By Stephan Pastis
320 Pages | 8-12 | Paperback
ISBN 9780763669270 | Candlewick
Take Timmy Failure—the clueless, comically self-confident CEO of the best detective agency in town, perhaps even the nation. Add his impressively lazy business partner, a very large polar bear named Total, and what you have is Total Failure, Inc. From the offbeat creator of Pearls Before Swine comes an endearingly bumbling hero in a hilarious caper accompanied by a whodunit twist. With perfectly paced visual humor, Stephan Pastis gets readers snorting with laughter, then slyly carries the joke a beat further—or sweetens it with an unexpected poignant moment—making this a comics-inspired story that truly stands apart from the pack.

BONUS: A classic movie just got a brand new translation!

The movie:

The book:

Kiki’s Delivery Service
By Eiko Kadono
Translated by Emily Balistrieri
208 Pages | 10+ | Hardcover
ISBN 9781984896667 | Delacorte BFYR
Half-witch Kiki never runs from a challenge. So when her thirteenth birthday arrives, she’s eager to follow a witch’s tradition: choose a new town to call home for one year. Brimming with confidence, Kiki flies to the seaside village of Koriko and expects that her powers will easily bring happiness to the townspeople. But gaining the trust of the locals is trickier than she expected. With her faithful, wise-cracking black cat, Jiji, by her side, Kiki forges new friendships and builds her inner strength, ultimately realizing that magic can be found in even the most ordinary places.

 

Tuesdays with Tundra

Tuesdays with Tundra
Tuesdays with Tundra is an ongoing series featuring our new releases. The following books are now available in stores and online!

Terry Fox and MeTerry Fox and Me
By Mary Beth Leatherdale
Illustrated by Milan Pavlovic
40 Pages | Ages 4-8 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780735267688 | Tundra Books
Celebrating the 40th anniversary of the Terry Fox Marathon of Hope, this picture book biography tells the story of a friendship defined by strength and love. Before Terry Fox become a national hero and icon, he was just a regular kid. But even then, his characteristic strength, determination and loyalty were apparent and were the foundation for his friendship with Doug. The two first met at basketball tryouts in grammar school. Terry was the smallest – and worst – basketball player on the court. But that didn’t stop him. With Doug’s help, Terry practiced and practiced until he earned a spot on the team. As they grew up, the best friends supported each other, challenged each other, helped each other become better athletes and better people. Doug was by Terry’s side every step of the way: when Terry received a diagnosis of cancer in his leg, when he was learning to walk – then run – with a prosthetic leg and while he was training for the race of his life, his Marathon of Hope. Written from Doug’s perspective, this story shows that Terry Fox’s legacy goes beyond the physical and individual accomplishments of a disabled athlete and honors the true value of friendship.

Monsters 101Monsters 101
By Cale Atkinson
32 Pages | Ages 3-7 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780735267084 | Tundra Books
Readers who loved Unicorns 101 will love this laugh-out-loud picture book that finally sets the record straight about monsters! They’re so much more than just that scary thing under your bed. Join Professors Vampire, Blob and Werewolf, and their trusty lab assistant – a zombie named Tina – as they reveal eerie and frankly ridiculous monsters facts never uttered outside a crypt! Full of eye-popping illustrations and a story with nonstop sidesplitting laughs, plus a removable Professor of Monstrology diploma at the end of the book, Monsters 101 will have children – and adults – eager to enroll, time and time again!

The Invisible BearThe Invisible Bear
By Cecile Metzger
40 Pages | Ages 4-8 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780735266872 | Tundra Books
A bear sits in his quiet, colorless home in a forgotten place. He feels invisible; no one comes to see him, and he spends his days alone. Then someone moves in next door. Madame Odette is sound and sunshine, and at first, the bear isn’t sure about this colorful new neighbor. But through an act of kindness, the bear and the Madame Odette meet, and as time goes by, they become friends. And in the end, they are both forever changed by the gifts they bring each other. The first book from author-illustrator Cécile Metzger, The Invisible Bear is a powerful and beautiful meditation on the beauty of friendship and how two people can save each other just by being themselves.

ClanClan
By Sigmund Brouwer
256 Pages | Ages 9-12 | Hardcover
ISBN 9781101918494 | Tundra Books
Part survival story, part animal-human friendship story and part redemption story, Clan follows the journey of Atlatl and the saber tooth cub he rescues from a dire wolf attack. Injured as a child, Atlatl dreams of one day earning his father’s respect as a hunter. But when Atlatl brings the young saber tooth to his Clan, it leads to a devastating moment of torn loyalties between Atlatl and his father – a moment that will change their lives forever. Then an epic disaster strikes, and suddenly Atlatl has to rely on wits, ingenuity and bravery to face his biggest foe yet and try to save what remains of his Clan.

The Gryphons Lair-audiobookThe Gryphon’s Lair
By Kelley Armstrong
Read by Caitlin Driscoll
Ages 10-14 | Audiobook
ISBN 9780735269156 | Puffin Canada
Rowan is now the Royal Monster Hunter, and her twin brother, Rhydd, is destined to be king. But her mother’s cousin Heward is still determined that his children be the ones to inherit the titles, and will stop at nothing to show that Rowan and Rhydd are too immature to properly lead. After the gryphon that Rowan captured in Book One gives birth but then dies, Rowan is left with a baby gryphon she knows she cannot keep. And it grows faster than anyone can imagine. . . . In order to save face after an accident involving the troublesome gryphon, Rowan, with the help of her friends Dain and Alianor, along with an entourage of monstrous companions, must make a journey to the mountains to release the gryphon back into the wild. What starts off as a simple enough task soon becomes a dangerous quest, as the group encounters numerous rare and deadly monsters along the way, including wyverns and ceffyl-dwrs. Nothing is easy when you’re a “monster magnet” like Rowan. Can she prove herself worthy of the title of Royal Monster Hunter? Find out in this exciting second book in the Royal Guide to Monster Slaying duology!

We can’t wait to see you reading these! If you share these books online, remember to use #ReadTundra in your hashtags so that we can re-post.

2020 Rocky Mountain Book Award

Since 2000, the Rocky Mountain Book Award is chosen by students and educators in Alberta from a shortlist designed to stimulate the reading intersted of students in grades 4-7. We would like to congratulate Susin Nielsen whose No Fixed Address won this year’s RMBA Gold Medal.

No Fixed Address
By Susin Nielsen
288 Pages | Ages 10+ | Hardcover
ISBN 9780735262751| Tundra Books
Felix Knuttson, twelve, is an endearing kid with an incredible brain for trivia. His mom Astrid is loving but unreliable; she can’t hold onto a job, or a home. When they lose their apartment in Vancouver, they move into a camper van, just for August, till Astrid finds a job. September comes, they’re still in the van; Felix must keep “home” a secret and give a fake address in order to enroll in school. Luckily, he finds true friends. As the weeks pass and life becomes grim, he struggles not to let anyone know how precarious his situation is. When he gets to compete on a national quiz show, Felix is determined to win — the cash prize will bring them a home. Their luck is about to change! But what happens is not at all what Felix expected.

Putting the YA in FRIYAY: Fantasy Recs If You Loved Harry Potter

If you’ve been paying attention to social media over the last few months, you might be in the market for a new fantasy series to replace a childhood fave…and we’re happy to provide you with some options! Check out our list below and let us know if we missed any truly magical series!

If you love the witches and wizards element

Akata Witch
By Nnedi Okorafor
384 Pages | 12+ | Paperback
ISBN 9780142420911 | Speak
Sunny Nwazue lives in Nigeria, but she was born in New York City. Her features are West African, but she’s albino. She’s a terrific athlete, but can’t go out into the sun to play soccer. There seems to be no place where she fits in. And then she discovers something amazing—she is a “free agent” with latent magical power. And she has a lot of catching up to do.

A Wicked Magic 
By Sasha Laurens
368 Pages | 14+ | Hardcover
ISBN 9780593117255 | Razorbill
The Black Book granted Dan and Liss power and turned them into witches. During a spell gone wrong, Liss’s boyfriend is snatched away by an evil entity and presumed dead. Dan and Liss’s friendship dies that night, too. How can they practice magic after the darkness that they conjured? But then he turns up alive and trapped by an ancient force and they’re forced to work together again.

These Witches Don’t Burn
By Isabel Sterling
336 Pages | 12+ | Paperback
ISBN 9780451480347 | Razorbill
Hannah’s a witch, an Elemental with the power to control fire, earth, water, and air. When a terrifying blood ritual interrupts the end-of-school-year bonfire and evidence of dark magic begins to appear all over Salem, Hannah’s sure it’s the work of a deadly Blood Witch. The issue is, her coven is less than convinced, forcing Hannah to team up with the last person she wants to see: her ex, Veronica. Especially once she meets a cute new dancer, Morgan, while investigating a house party.

If you miss a male protagonist in fantasy

Beasts Made of Night
By Tochi Onyebuchi
320 Pages | 12+ | Paperback
ISBN 9780448493916 | Razorbill
In the walled city of Kos, corrupt mages can magically call forth sin from a sinner in the form of sin-beasts. Taj is the most talented of the sin-eaters indentured by the mages to slay the sin-beasts. When Taj is called to eat a sin of a member of the royal family, he’s suddenly thrust into the center of a dark conspiracy to destroy Kos. Now Taj must fight to save the princess that he loves—and his own life.

If you love the found family coming together to save what they love

Seafire
By Natalie C. Parker
400 Pages | 12+ | Paperback
ISBN 9780451478825 | Razorbill
After her family is killed by the corrupt Bullets, Caledonia Styx is left to chart her own course on the dangerous and deadly seas. She captains her ship with a crew of girls and women just like her. But when her best friend barely survives an attack thanks to help from a Bullet looking to defect, Caledonia finds herself questioning whether to let him join their crew. Is this boy the key to taking down the Bullets once and for all?

If you love the combination of magic and school

Lucy Crisp and the Vanishing House
By Janet Hill
240 Pages | 12+ | Hardcover
ISBN 9781770499249 | Tundra Books
It has been a year since Lucy Crisp graduated from high school and she still hasn’t found her calling. Until she discovers an exclusive arts college called Ladywyck Lodge where she applies on a whim and is accepted. Lucy moves to Esther Wren, the charming little town where it’s based, and finds a new home in a magnificent building built by a sea captain in 1876. The house has history and personality –perhaps too much personality because strange things are happening…

If you love the dark magic

Ash Princess
By Laura Sebastian
464 Pages | 12+ | Paperback
ISBN 9781524767099 | Delacorte BFYR
Theodosia was six when her country was invaded and her mother, the Fire Queen, was murdered before her eyes. For ten years Theo has been a held captive by the Kaiserin her own palace. Then the Kaiser forces her to do the unthinkable and Theo realizes that surviving is no longer enough. But she does have a weapon: her mind is sharper than any sword. And power isn’t always won on the battlefield.

Reign of the Fallen
By Sarah Glenn Marsh
400 Pages | 12+ | Paperback
ISBN 9780448494401 | Razorbill
Odessa is one of Karthia’s master necromancers, catering to the kingdom’s ruling Dead. Whenever a noble dies, it’s Odessa’s job to retrieve their souls before they turn into bloodthirsty Shades. A increase in Shade attacks reveals a disturbing conspiracy: Someone is intentionally creating Shades and training them to attack. Odessa is forced to contemplate a terrifying question: What if her magic is the weapon that brings the kingdom to its knees?

If you want to solve some strange paranormal happenings

The Babysitter’s Coven
By Kate Williams
368 Pages | 12+ | Hardcover
ISBN 9780525707370 | Delacorte Press
Esme Pearl has a babysitters club and the rebellious Cassandra desperately wants to join. Why? The answer lies in a mysterious note Cassandra’s mother left her before she disappeared: “Find the babysitters. Love, Mom.” Esme and Cassandra soon discover what being a babysitter really means: a heroic lineage of superpowers, magic rituals, and saving the innocent from seriously terrifying evil. And all before the parents get home.

The Beautiful
By Renée Ahdieh
448 Pages | 12+ | Hardcover
ISBN 9781524738174 | Putnam BFYR
In 1872, New Orleans is a city ruled by the dead. But for Celine Rousseau, it’s a safe haven – until she becomes embroiled in the city’s glitzy underworld, known as La Cour des Lions, after catching the eye of the group’s enigmatic leader, Sébastien Saint Germain. When a body is found in Sébastien’s own lair – the second dead girl to turn up in recent weeks – Celine battles her attraction to Sébastien and suspicions about his guilt along with the shame of her own horrible secret.

If you’re looking for something with roots in myths and fairy tales

House of Salt and Sorrows
By Erin A. Craig
416 Pages | 12+ | Hardcover
ISBN 9781984831927| Delacorte BFYR
Annaleigh lives a sheltered life with her sisters. Once there were twelve, but four of the girls’ lives have been cut short. Disturbed by ghostly visions, Annaleigh becomes increasingly suspicious that her sister’s deaths were no accidents. The girls have been sneaking out every night to attend glittering balls, dancing until dawn in silk gowns and shimmering slippers. Who – or what -are they really dancing with?

Spin the Dawn
By Elizabeth Lim
432 Pages | 12+ | Paperback
ISBN 9780593126028 | Knopf BFYR
Maia Tamarin dreams of becoming the greatest tailor in the land, and poses as a boy while competing for the job of court tailor. Maia’s task is complicated when she draws the attention of the court magician, Edan, And nothing can prepare her for the final challenge: to sew three magic gowns for the emperor’s reluctant bride-to-be, from the laughter of the sun, the tears of the moon, and the blood of stars.

Wicked Fox
By Kat Cho
464 Pages | 12+ | Paperback
ISBN 9781984812360 | Putnam BFYR
Miyoung has a secret: she’s a gumiho, a nine-tailed fox who must devour the energy of men to survive. Because so few believe in the old tales anymore, the modern city of Seoul is the perfect place to hide. But after feeding one night, Miyoung finds Jihoon, a human boy, being attacked by a goblin deep in the forest. Against her better judgment, she violates the rules of survival to rescue the boy, losing her fox bead – her gumiho soul – in the process.

If you just want dragons

House of Dragons
By Jessica Cluess
448 Pages | Ages 12+ | Hardcover
ISBN 9780525648154 | Random House Books for Young Readers
When the Emperor dies, the five royal houses of Etrusia attend the Call, where one of their own will be selected to compete for the throne. It is always the oldest child, the one who has been preparing for years to compete in the Trial. But this year is different. This year these five outcasts will answer the call: A liar, a soldier, a servant, a thief, and a murderer. Who will win?

Rebelwing
By Andrea Tang
368 Pages | 12+ | Hardcover
ISBN 9781984835093 | Razorbill
One minute, Prudence is cashing in on a routine smuggling deal. The next, she’s escaping enforcers on the wings of what very much appears to be a sentient cybernetic dragon. Pru is used to life throwing her some unpleasant surprises–she goes to prep school, after all, and selling banned media across the border in a country with a ruthless corporate government obviously has its risks. But a cybernetic dragon? That’s new.

Seraphina
By Rachel Hartman
528 Pages | 14+ | Paperback
ISBN 9780385668415 | Penguin Teen Canada
A talented musician, Seraphina, joins the court in the Kingdom of Goredd just as a member of the royal family is murdered in suspiciously draconian fashion. Soon she is drawn into the investigation. While they begin to uncover a sinister plot to destroy the peace between humans and dragons, Seraphina struggles to protect the secret behind her musical gift, a secret so terrible that its discovery could mean her very life.

If you’re craving a more diverse fantasy world

An Ember in the Ashes
By Sabaa Tahir
480 Pages | Ages 12+ | Paperback
ISBN 9781595148049 | Razorbill
Under the Martial Empire, defiance is met with death. When Laia’s brother is arrested for treason, Laia is forced to make a decision. In exchange for help from rebels who promise to rescue her brother, she will risk her life to spy for them from within the Empire’s greatest military academy. There, Laia meets Elias, the school’s finest soldier who secretly wants to be free. He and Laia will soon realize that their destinies are intertwined—and that their choices will change the fate of the Empire itself.

A River of Royal Blood
By Amanda Joy
368 Pages | 12+ | Hardcover
ISBN 9780525518587 | Putnam BFYR
Eva was born with the magick of blood and marrow, something that hasn’t been seen for generations. As is tradition, Eva must now face her older sister, Isa, in a battle to the death if she hopes to ascend to the Ivory Throne. When Eva is attacked by an assassin just weeks before the battle with her sister, she discovers there is more to the attempt on her life than meets the eye–and it isn’t just her sister who wants to see her dead.

By Tanaz Bhathena
384 Pages | Ages 12+| Hardcover
ISBN 9780735267022 | Penguin Teen Canada
Gul has spent her life running. She has a star-shaped birthmark on her arm, and in the kingdom of Ambar, girls with such birthmarks have been disappearing for years. Cavas lives in the tenements, and he’s just about ready to sign his life over to the king’s army. But sparks fly when he meets Gul in the capital’s bazaar, and soon he becomes entangled in a mission of vengeance—and discovers a magic he never expected to find.