2020 Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz Children’s Book Award

The Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz Children’s Book Awards were established in 1976 and are award each year to recognize artistic excellence in writing and illustration across English-language Canadian children’s literature. We would like to congratulate Kelley Armstrong whose novel A Royal Guide to Monster Slaying won this year’s award in the young adult/middle grade category.

The Royal Guide to Monster SlayingA Royal Guide to Monster Slaying
By Kelley Armstrong
288 Pages | Ages 10-14 | Paperback
ISBN 9780735265370 | Puffin Canada
“Who wouldn’t want to read a story about a princess with a sword, in a land full of monsters? On her quest, Rowan shows us that her true strength in not in her sword, but in her kindness and respect for all creatures great and small.” – the student jury

A Royal Guide to Monster Slaying is part of our Camp Penguin summer reading program! The sequel, The Gryphon’s Lair, came out earlier this summer.

Today’s the Day the Teddy Bears Have Their Picnic

Happy Teddy Bears’ Picnic Day! We want to know how you and your bears (or dolls or stuffed animals) celebrate! Need some inspiration? Here are some pictures of our best friends:

Shardim entertains his boy Evan and his other friends with tea and snacks!

Ruby and Albert are always happy to read to each other and their girl, Sharon.

Walter and his girl Jess are always classy when it comes to tea time.

Rainbow Bear and Bear have the best of both worlds: reading and eating with their girl, Nicole!

Candy likes to play with model trains as long as her girl Andrea is nearby.

And here are some ideas to host your own Teddy Bears’ Picnic!

SNACKS: The most important part of an event is food! Here are some bear-y delicious treats to consider serving . . .

  • Gummy bears
  • Bear Paws
  • Bear-shaped cookies
  • Anything with honey!

Sylvia’s teddy bear pancakes are also a must-have!

ACTIVITIES: 

  • Read Teddy Bear of the Year by Vikki VanSickle, illustrated by Sydney Hanson
  • Download/print out the Teddy Bear of the Year activity kit, including an un-bear-ably cute headband and a coloring page!

Teddy Bear of the Year
By Vikki VanSickle
Illustrated by Sydney Hanson
40 Pages | Ages 3-7 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780735263925 | Tundra Books
Ollie is a regular bear with a regular job. He listens to his girl’s stories about her days, he snuggles her to sleep and he is there waiting when she gets home from school. Just your typical teddy bear stuff. So when he is whisked away to the annual teddy bears’ picnic, he feels insignificant compared to the other bears who do daring and daunting things: sleepovers, hospital stays–even a night in the lost and found! Ollie feels even more small and unimportant but he soon learns that it’s not just the big things that matter, it’s the little things too.

Purpley is a bear-with-no-fur but he loves to read as much as his girl, Sam.

Join Us at Camp Penguin 2020!

Camp Penguin 2020 bannerWe’re back with an all-new summer reading list and activity program for kids ages 6-9 and 9-12. This year we’re thrilled to offer a week of author presentations held on Zoom at 2:00 pm ET/11:00 am PST. Attendance is free, but everyone must register through Eventbrite:

Monday, July 13, 2020: Magical Objects & Mythical Beasts with Zetta Elliott (Dragons in a Bag)
Magic happens everywhere, and everyone has a story to tell. Learn how to develop an inclusive magical story that takes place right in your own community! Bring a favourite object, toy, or stuffie to write about!
Register here: https://camp-penguin-zetta-elliott.eventbrite.ca

Tuesday, July 14, 2020: Problems at the Pickle Factory with Tanya Lloyd Kyi (Mya’s Strategy to Save the World)
In Mya’s Strategy to Save the World, Mya’s always writing letters. In this slightly silly writing workshop, we’ll work together on our own protest letter about the problems at Mr. Pickwick’s Pickle Factory. Bring a paper and pen, a sense of humour, and a steady supply of imagination.
Register here: https://camp-penguin-tanya-lloyd-kyi.eventbrite.ca

Wednesday, July 15, 2020: The Science of Monsters & Magic with Kelley Armstrong (A Royal Guide to Monster Slaying)
Kelley Armstrong will explore the link between magic and science and give a brief history of the unexplained, and then a deeper dive into the “magic” of science-based monsters. Plus we’ll create our own science-based monsters!
Register here: https://camp-penguin-kelley-armstrong.eventbrite.ca

Thursday, July 16, 2020: Story Ninjas Rule with Sigmund Brouwer (Innocent Heroes)
Sigmund Brouwer talks about how to use the power of story to have fun messing with all the people in your lives. Make sure you have a four-digit secret password ready and get ready to create an amazingly fun story!
Register here: https://camp-penguin-sigmund-brouwer.eventbrite.ca

Friday, July 17, 2020: Drawing Creatures with Hatem Aly (The Unicorn Rescue Society: The Creature of the Pines)
The Unicorn Rescue Society series introduces us to creatures from mythology. Join illustrator Hatem Aly for a drawing demonstration and make your own mythological creatures together!
Register here: https://camp-penguin-hatem-aly.eventbrite.ca

Don’t forget to check out the rest of the books on our Camp Penguin list!

Camp Penguin 2020 Titles

Camp Penguin 2020 Titles 9-12

Downloadables:

For a list of participating bookstores in Canada and for more information, please visit our official Camp Penguin page.

Putting the YA in FRIYAY: Series You Should Binge

If you’re looking for the perfect distraction this summer, may we suggest catching up on some of our favourite series? Most of them are complete (or almost complete) so you’ll be able to binge the whole adventure in one shot. We’ve just posted details for the first book, but click the link to find out the rest of the books in each series!

An Ember in the Ashes

START WITH:
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. Those who do not vow their blood and bodies to the Emperor risk the execution of their loved ones and the destruction of all they hold dear.
It is in this brutal world, inspired by ancient Rome, that Laia lives with her grandparents and older brother. The family ekes out an existence in the Empire’s impoverished backstreets. They do not challenge the Empire. They’ve seen what happens to those who do.
But 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—and secretly, its most unwilling. Elias wants only to be free of the tyranny he’s being trained to enforce. He and Laia will soon realize that their destinies are intertwined—and that their choices will change the fate of the Empire itself.

Chaos Walking

START WITH:
The Knife of Never Letting Go

By Patrick Ness
512 Pages | Ages 14+ | Paperback
ISBN 9780763676186 | Candlewick Press
Todd Hewitt is the only boy in a town of men. Ever since the settlers were infected with the Noise germ, Todd can hear everything the men think, and they hear everything he thinks. Todd is just a month away from becoming a man, but in the midst of the cacophony, he knows that the town is hiding something from him — something so awful Todd is forced to flee with only his dog, whose simple, loyal voice he hears too. With hostile men from the town in pursuit, the two stumble upon a strange and eerily silent creature: a girl. Who is she? Why wasn’t she killed by the germ like all the females on New World? Propelled by Todd’s gritty narration, readers are in for a white-knuckle journey in which a boy on the cusp of manhood must unlearn everything he knows in order to figure out who he truly is.

Dark Missions of Edgar Brim

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The Dark Missions of Edgar Brim

By Shane Peacock
368 Pages | Ages 12+ | Paperback
ISBN 9780735263116 | Penguin Teen
Edgar Brim is a sensitive orphan who, exposed to horror stories from his father as a young child, is afraid of almost everything and suffers from nightly terrors. His stern new guardian, Mr. Thorne, sends the boy to a gloomy school in Scotland where his dark demons only seem to worsen and he is bullied and ridiculed for his fears. But years later, when sixteen-year-old Edgar finds a journal belonging to his novelist father, he becomes determined to confront his nightmares and the bullies who taunt him. After the horrific death of a schoolmate, Edgar becomes involved with an eccentric society at the urging of a mysterious professor who believes that monsters from famous works of literature are real and whose mandate is to find and destroy these creatures. With the aid of a rag-tag crew of friends, the fear-addled teen sets about on his dark mission, one that begins in the cemetery on the bleak Scottish moors and ends in a spine-chilling climax on the stage of the Royal Lyceum Theatre in London with Henry Irving, the infamous and magnetic actor, and his manager, Bram Stoker, the author of the most frightening and sensational novel of the day, Dracula. Can Edgar Brim truly face his terror and conquer his fears?

Earth and Sky

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Earth & Sky

By Megan Crewe
416 Pages | Ages 12+ | Paperback
ISBN 9780143190943 | Penguin Teen
Seventeen-year-old Skylar has always been haunted by fleeting yet powerful feelings that something around her has gone wrong. Those impressions have never seemed to reflect anything real and have only earned her stares and whispers behind her back. But after she meets a mysterious boy named Win, she learns an unsettling truth: we are not alone on Earth. In fact, visitors from beyond the stars are manipulating our planet and the essential fabric of our world; life as we know it is starting to unravel. And Skylar–and her heightened awareness–just may be the key to our salvation.

Falling Kingdoms

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Falling Kingdoms

By Morgan Rhodes
448 Pages | Ages 12+ | Paperback
ISBN 9781595145857 | Razorbill
Princess Cleo of Mytica confronts violence for the first time in her life when a shocking murder sets her kingdom on a path to collapse. Once a privileged royal, Cleo must now summon the strength to survive in this new world and fight for her rightful place as Queen.
The King of Limeros’s son, Magnus, must plan each footstep with shrewd, sharp guile if he is to earn his powerful father’s trust, while his sister, Lucia, discovers a terrifying secret about her heritage that will change everything.
Rebellious Jonas lashes out against the forces of oppression that have kept his country cruelly impoverished—and finds himself the leader of a people’s revolution centuries in the making.
Witches, if found, are put to death, and Watchers, immortal beings who take the shape of hawks to visit the human world, have been almost entirely forgotten. A vicious power struggle quickly escalates to war, and these four young people collide against each other and the rise of elementia, the magic that can topple kingdoms and crown a ruler in the same day.

Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children

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Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children

By Ransom Riggs
384 Pages | Ages 14+ | Paperback
ISBN 9781594746031 | Quirk Books
A mysterious island.

 An abandoned orphanage.

 A strange collection of very curious photographs.
 It all waits to be discovered in Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, an unforgettable novel that mixes fiction and photography in a thrilling reading experience. As our story opens, a horrific family tragedy sets sixteen-year-old Jacob journeying to a remote island off the coast of Wales, where he discovers the crumbling ruins of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. As Jacob explores its abandoned bedrooms and hallways, it becomes clear that the children were more than just peculiar. They may have been dangerous. They may have been quarantined on a deserted island for good reason. And somehow—impossible though it seems—they may still be alive. 

A spine-tingling fantasy illustrated with haunting vintage photography, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children will delight adults, teens, and anyone who relishes an adventure in the shadows.

The Illuminae Files

START WITH:
Illuminae

By Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
608 Pages | Ages 14+ | Paperback
ISBN 9780553499148 | Knopf BFYR
Kady thought breaking up with Ezra was the worst thing she’d ever been through. That was before her planet was invaded. Now, with enemy fire raining down on them, Kady and Ezra are forced to fight their way onto one of the evacuating craft, with an enemy warship in hot pursuit.
But the warship could be the least of their problems. A deadly plague has broken out and is mutating, with terrifying results; the fleet’s AI, which should be protecting them, may actually be their biggest threat; and nobody in charge will say what’s really going on. As Kady plunges into a web of data hacking to get to the truth, it’s clear only one person can help her bring it all to light: Ezra.
Told through a fascinating dossier of hacked documents—including emails, schematics, military files, IMs, medical reports, interviews, and more—Illuminae is the first book in a heart-stopping, high-octane trilogy about lives interrupted, the price of truth, and the courage of everyday heroes.

The Inheritance Cycle

START WITH:
Eragon

By Christopher Paolini
528 Pages | Ages 12+ | Paperback
ISBN 9780375826696 | Knopf BFYR
Fifteen-year-old Eragon believes that he is merely a poor farm boy—until his destiny as a Dragon Rider is revealed. Gifted with only an ancient sword, a loyal dragon, and sage advice from an old storyteller, Eragon is soon swept into a dangerous tapestry of magic, glory, and power. Now his choices could save—or destroy—the Empire. Perfect for fans of Lord of the Rings, the New York Times bestselling Inheritance Cycle about the dragon rider Eragon has sold over 35 million copies and is an international fantasy sensation. Don’t miss the latest book from the author of EragonThe Fork, the Witch, and the Worm: Tales from Alagaësia!

The Lady Helen Novels

START WITH:
The Dark Days Club

By Alison Goodman
544 Pages | Ages 14+ | Paperback
ISBN 9780143188797 | Penguin Teen
London, April 1812. On the eve of 18-year-old Lady Helen Wrexhall’s presentation to the Queen, one of her family’s housemaids disappears–and Helen is drawn into the shadows of Regency London. There, she meets Lord Carlston, one of the few who can stop the perpetrators: a cabal of demons infiltrating every level of society. Dare she ask for his help, when his reputation is almost as black as his lingering eyes? And will her intelligence and headstrong curiosity wind up leading them into a death trap? The first book in New York Times-bestseller Alison Goodman’s critically acclaimed Regency adventure starring a stylish and intrepid demon-hunter!

The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel

START WITH:
The Alchemyst

By Michael Scott
400 Pages | Ages 12+ | Paperback
ISBN 9780385736008 | Delacorte BFYR
The truth: Nicholas Flamel’s tomb is empty.
The legend: Nicholas Flamel lives.
Nicholas Flamel is the greatest Alchemyst to ever live. The records show that he died in 1418, but what if he’s actually been making the elixir of life for centuries?
The secrets to eternal life are hidden within the book he protects—the Book of Abraham the Mage. It’s the most powerful book that has ever existed, and in the wrong hands, it will destroy the world. And that’s exactly what Dr. John Dee plans to do when he steals it.
There is one hope. If the prophecy is true, Sophie and Josh Newman have the power to save everyone. Now they just have to learn to use it.

The Witch’s Child

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Julia Vanishes

By Catherine Egan
400 Pages | Ages 14+ | Paperback
ISBN 9780385684675 | Penguin Teen
Julia has the unusual ability to be . . . unseen. Not invisible, exactly. Just beyond most people’s senses.
It’s a dangerous trait in a city that has banned all forms of magic and drowns witches in public Cleansings. But it’s a useful trait for a thief and a spy. And Julia has learned—crime pays.
She’s being paid very well indeed to infiltrate the grand house of Mrs. Och and report back on the odd characters who live there and the suspicious dealings that take place behind locked doors.
But what Julia discovers shakes her to the core. She certainly never imagined that the traitor in the house would turn out to be . . . her.
Murder, thievery, witchcraft, betrayal–Catherine Egan builds a dangerous world where her fierce and flawed heroine finds that even a girl who can vanish can’t walk away from her own worst deeds.

The Young Elites

START WITH:
The Young Elites

By Marie Lu
400 Pages | Ages 12+ | Paperback
ISBN 9780147511683 | Putnam BFYR
Adelina Amouteru is a survivor of the blood fever. A decade ago, the deadly illness swept through her nation. Adelina’s black hair turned silver, her lashes went pale, and now she has only a jagged scar where her left eye once was. Her cruel father believes she is a malfetto, an abomination, ruining their family’s good name and standing in the way of their fortune. But some of the fever’s survivors are rumored to possess more than just scars—they are believed to have mysterious and powerful gifts, and though their identities remain secret, they have come to be called the Young Elites.
Teren Santoro works for the king. As Leader of the Inquisition Axis, it is his job to seek out the Young Elites, to destroy them before they destroy the nation. He believes the Young Elites to be dangerous and vengeful, but it’s Teren who may possess the darkest secret of all.
Enzo Valenciano is a member of the Dagger Society.This secret sect of Young Elites seeks out others like them before the Inquisition Axis can. But when the Daggers find Adelina, they discover someone with powers like they’ve never seen.
Adelina wants to believe Enzo is on her side, and that Teren is the true enemy. But the lives of these three will collide in unexpected ways, as each fights a very different and personal battle. But of one thing they are all certain: Adelina has abilities that shouldn’t belong in this world. A vengeful blackness in her heart. And a desire to destroy all who dare to cross her.

Vampire Academy

START WITH:
Vampire Academy 

By Richelle Mead
352 Pages | Ages 12+ | Paperback
ISBN 9781595141743 | Razorbill
St. Vladimir’s Academy isn’t just any boarding school—it’s a hidden place where vampires are educated in the ways of magic and half-human teens train to protect them. Rose Hathaway is a Dhampir, a bodyguard for her best friend Lissa, a Moroi Vampire Princess. They’ve been on the run, but now they’re being dragged back to St. Vladimir’s—the very place where they’re most in danger. . . .
Rose and Lissa become enmeshed in forbidden romance, the Academy’s ruthless social scene, and unspeakable nighttime rituals. But they must be careful lest the Strigoi—the world’s fiercest and most dangerous vampires—make Lissa one of them forever.

Putting the YA in FRIYAY: Hunted by the Sky Blog Tour Recap

This week, Hunted by the Sky, the fierce new fantasy from Tanaz Bhathena, was officially released. To celebrate, we hosted a mini Instagram tour – keep scrolling to see all the gorgeous pictures and thanks to everyone who took part!


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. Gul’s mark is what caused her parents’ murder at the hand of King Lohar’s ruthless soldiers and forced her into hiding to protect her own life. So when a group of rebel women called the Sisters of the Golden Lotus rescue her, take her in, and train her in warrior magic, Gul wants only one thing: revenge.
Cavas lives in the tenements, and he’s just about ready to sign his life over to the king’s army. His father is terminally ill, and Cavas will do anything to save him. But sparks fly when he meets a mysterious girl—Gul—in the capital’s bazaar, and as the chemistry between them undeniably grows, he becomes entangled in a mission of vengeance—and discovers a magic he never expected to find.
Dangerous circumstances have brought Gul and Cavas together at the king’s domain in Ambar Fort . . . a world with secrets deadlier than their own. Exploring identity, class struggles, and high-stakes romance, Hunted by the Sky is a gripping adventure set in a world inspired by medieval India.