The 2019 OLA Forest of Reading® Winners and Honour Books

The 2019 Forest of Reading awards were announced last week and we are so thrilled that eight of our titles were honoured at the Festival of Trees. Congratulations to our authors and illustrators!

Blue Spruce Award
#2 Honour Book
The Magician's SecretThe Magician’s Secret
Written by Zachary Hyman
Illustrated by Joe Bluhm
Hardcover
Published by Tundra Books
“The conversational tone draws the reader through the story. The remarkable art work by Joe Bluhm showcases the relationship between Charlie and his grandpa and transports the reader into each adventure, providing glimpses of how the imagination can make a dream a reality . . . this book is best shared as a read-aloud. Any adult will be equally thrilled by the story, its rich language and the wonderful illustrations.” – CM Magazine

Silver Birch Fiction Award
Winner
Chase - paperbackChase
Written by Linwood Barclay
Published by Puffin Canada
Paperback
“The action in Chase begins on the first page and doesn’t let up in this new thriller from Linwood Barclay  . . . readers will enjoy the twists and turns of the action and will relate to all three main characters.” – CM Magazine

#1 Honour Book
Elephant SecretElephant Secret
Written by Eric Walters
Published by Puffin Canada
Hardcover
“Walters interweaves his beautiful family story with a thorough description of elephant behavior—their intellect, compassion, and loyalty—and factual scientific possibilities of cloning an extinct species…A must-read for anyone with an interest in elephants and their welfare.” – Booklist

Red Maple Non-Fiction Award
#2 Honour Book
Innovation NationInnovation Nation: How Canadian Innovators Made the World Smarter, Smaller, Kinder, Safer, Healthier, Wealthier, Happier
Written by David Johnston and Tom Jenkins
Illustrated by Josh Holinaty
Hardcover
Published by Tundra Books
“[R]eminds us just how ingenious Canadians are, despite our golly-gosh-shucks tendency to downplay our accomplishments… Bright illustrations by Josh Holinaty swirl around each page of text to evoke the brilliance of fun and curiosity.” – Quill & Quire

Red Maple Fiction Award
#2 Honour Book
Fourth DimensionFourth Dimension
Written by Eric Walters
Hardcover
Published by Penguin Teen Canada
“I recommend Fourth Dimension to fans of The Rule of 3 series as well as those readers who enjoy action/adventure, realistic, or post-apocalyptic stories. Emma and her mother are strong female characters who are great role models for teenage girls. . . . Recommended.” – CM Magazine

White Pine Award
Winner
The Agony of Bun O'KeefeThe Agony of Bun O’Keefe
Written by Heather T. Smith
Hardcover
Published by Penguin Teen Canada
“Although Bun is 14, she possesses the endearing naiveté and honesty of a child, but her first-person narration isn’t sappy or immature. . . . Bun O’Keefe will settle comfortably at home in readers’ hearts.” – Starred Review, Kirkus Reviews

The Forest of Reading is Canada’s largest recreational reading program. This initiative of the Ontario Library Association (OLA) offers seven reading programs to encourage a love of reading in people of all ages. The Forest helps celebrate Canadian books, publishers, authors and illustrators. More than 270,000 readers participate annually from their School and/or Public Library. All Canadians are invited to participate via their local public library, school library, or individually.

Putting the YA in FRIYAY: 5 Things You Need to Know About Lesley Livingston

Have you binge-read Lesley Livingston‘s The Valiant series yet? The trilogy ended with The Triumphant earlier this year, and this fierce group of female gladiators is definitely something you need to experience for yourself. To convince you that you need more Lesley Livingston in your life, we asked her for five random facts about her and the results were pretty great:

  1. I can wiggle my ears.
  2. I was a competitive luger. For a weekend. Came in 7/10s of a second away from a bronze medal and broke my glasses.
  3. My best vocal impressions are Chewbacca from Star Wars, and a tribble from Star Trek.
  4. I can pronounce the name of the Welsh town Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch.
  5. The TV character I relate to most in life is probably Colonel Potter from M*A*S*H*.

Add The Triumphant on Goodreads here!

Putting the YA in FRIYAY: 5 Things You Need to Know About E.K. Johnston

E.K. Johnston is such a prolific writer, it’s impossible for us to choose a favourite book by her…but The Afterward has been out since February and we’re still gushing about it! Please enjoy this Q&A from E.K. Johnston as well as some random facts about her.

Describe your book in 5 words

Sword, Sorcery, and Student Loans

Which of the characters in The Afterward do you relate to the most?

Kalanthe.

Recommend a book for Kalanthe and Olsa.

We Are Okay by Nina LaCour

What advice would you give your 16-year-old self?

Don’t rebel by choosing the school musical over track and field. The musical will never make it to stage, and only, like, five of you will take it seriously.

What is the best piece of writing advice you have ever received?

Shannon Hale says that writing a first draft is like piling all the sand into the sandbox so that you can make a castle later, and I love that.

What are you reading now?

Catching up on comics! Ms. Marvel and the last Poe Dameron volume.

What books do you recommend to fans of The Afterward?

How to Love by Katie Cotugno
The Scorpion Rules by  Erin Bow

5 Things You Need to Know About E.K. Johnston:

  1. Her archaeological specialties are iron age fortifications in southern Moab and the recovery of human remains
  2. One time she made a cake in the shape of BB-8 that made her famous on Tumblr
  3. She grew up in a small town and only recently has been addressed by her own name on the first try (instead of her sister’s)
  4. She misses L&P (New Zealand), Monte Carlos (Australia), chocolate cake in a can (England), and one particular street food vendor in Busan, South Korea who made these deep fried shrimp with eggs TO DIE FOR
  5. She recently played Mass Effect all the way through and is still in recovery

Add The Afterward on Goodreads here!

Putting the YA in FRIYAY: The Beauty of the Moment Blog Tour Recap + a Q&A with Tanaz Bhathena

We just finished a successful week-long blog tour in support of Tanaz Bhathena’s The Beauty of the Moment – thank you to all the bloggers who participated!

Check out their thoughts below:

Monday, April 8

Tuesday, April 9

Wednesday, April 10

Thursday, April 11

Friday, April 12

  • Zuhra @ Venus Reads said it was a story that will linger in your mind even after you finish
  • Lisa @ Remarkablylisa recommended it to anyone who likes a little angst in their lives (in a good way)
  • Jamie @ Books and Ladders really connected to their internal and external conflicts
  • Herminia @ Aspiring Writer appreciated the way it ended
  • Delina @ Delina the Reader presented us with a playlist based on the book

Thanks for following along!

As a bonus, here’s a short Q&A with Tanaz herself:

Recommend a book for Susan and Malcolm. 

Susan: The entire Amar Chitra Katha series of graphic novels

Malcolm: The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson (It might have to be an audiobook though; he’s not keen on reading)

What advice would you give your 16 year old self?

Have more faith in your dreams.

What is the best piece of writing advice you have ever received?

Butt in seat. The story won’t tell itself.

What are you reading now?

The Poppy War by R.F. Kuang

What books do you recommend for fans of The Beauty of the Moment?

The Sun is Also A Star by Nicola Yoon, 2 States by Chetan Bhagat, and You Bring the Distant Near by Mitali Perkins

5 Random Facts About Tanaz Bhathena:

  1. I decided to become a writer because I failed as a cartoonist.
  2. While visiting a foreign country, I always try to learn some of the language.
  3. I cry every time I watch The Lion King. During one particular scene.
  4. Once I figured out the fine art of using a bobby pin, I began doing my own nail art. (I’m not very good; see fact 1.)
  5. I’ve bungee jumped, zip lined and walked the edge of the CN Tower.

You’re Invited to the Launch of Megabat and Fancy Cat!

Please join us for the launch of Megabat and Fancy Cat, the second book in the hilarious and sweet new middle grade series from Anna Humphrey, illustrated by Kass Reich.

When: Saturday April 13, 2019
Time: 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm
Where: Moonbeam Books
Address:335 Jane St, Toronto, ON M6S 3Z3

There will be a reading and a drawing demonstration as well as a Make-Your-Own-Megabat craft. Admission is free, snacks will be available.

RSVP: https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/megabat-and-fancy-cat-launch-tickets-59057860651