It’s been a decade since Rachel Cohen and David Levithan first introduced us to one of our fave couples, Dash and Lily, and now they’re getting an adaptation! Make sure you tune into Dash & Lily on Netflix starting November 10 and catch up on the books if you haven’t already!
Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares By Rachel Cohn and David Levithan 288 Pages | Ages 12+ | Paperback ISBN 9780375859557 | Knopf BFYR 16-year-old Lily has left a red notebook full of challenges on her favorite bookstore shelf, waiting for just the right guy to come along and accept its dares. Dash, in a bad mood during the holidays, happens to be the first guy to pick up the notebook and rise to its challenges. What follows is a whirlwind romance as Dash and Lily trade dares, dreams, and desires in the notebook they pass back and forth at locations all across New York City. But can their in-person selves possibly connect as well as their notebook versions, or will their scavenger hunt end in a comic mismatch of disastrous proportions?
The Twelve Days of Dash & Lily By Rachel Cohn and David Levithan 240 Pages | Ages 12+ | Paperback ISBN 9780399553837 | Knopf BFYR Dash and Lily have had a tough year since readers watched the couple fall in love in Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares. Lily’s beloved grandfather suffered a heart attack, and his difficult road to recovery has taken a major toll on her typically sunny disposition. Lily’s spark has dimmed so much that Langston, her brother, has put aside his grudge against Dash to team up and remind Lily what there is to love about life. With only twelve days left until Christmas – Lily’s favorite time of the year – Dash, Langston, and their friends take Manhattan by storm to help Lily recapture the holiday spirit of New York City in December, a time and place unlike anywhere else in the world. Told in alternating chapters, The Twelve Days of Dash & Lily is bound to be a Christmas favorite for seasons to come.
Mind the Gap, Dash & Lily By Rachel Cohn and David Levithan 256 Pages | Ages 12+ | Paperback ISBN 9780593301531 | Knopf BFYR Dash and Lily were feeling closer than ever…it’s just too bad they’re now an ocean apart. After Dash gets accepted to Oxford University and Lily stays in New York to take care of her dog-walking business, the devoted couple are struggling to make a long distance relationship work. And when Dash breaks the news that he won’t be coming home for Christmas, Lily makes a decision: If Dash can’t come to her, she’ll join him in London. It’s a perfect romantic gesture…that spins out of Lily’s control. Soon Dash and Lily are feeling more of a gap between them, even though they’re in the same city. Will London bring them together again – or will it be their undoing?
Tuesdays with Tundra is an ongoing series featuring our new releases. The following books are now available in stores and online!
The Enigma Game By Elizabeth Wein 448 Pages | Ages 12+ | Paperback ISBN 9780735265288 | Penguin Teen A German soldier risks his life to drop off the sought-after Enigma Machine to British Intelligence, hiding it in a pub in a small town in northeast Scotland, and unwittingly bringing together four very different people who decide to keep it to themselves. Louisa Adair, a young teen girl hired to look after the pub owner’s elderly, German-born aunt, Jane Warner, finds it but doesn’t report it. Flight-Lieutenant Jamie Beaufort-Stuart intercepts a signal but can’t figure it out. Ellen McEwen, volunteer at the local airfield, acts as the go-between and messenger, after Louisa involves Jane in translating. The planes under Jamie’s command seem charmed, as Jamie knows where exactly to go, while other squadrons suffer, and the four are loathe to give up the machine, even after Elisabeth Lind from British Intelligence arrives, even after the Germans start bombing the tiny town.
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On November 11, we will celebrate Remembrance Day (Veterans Day in the USA). Here are some books that will help children and young adults reflect on war and the sacrifices made by men and women on the front lines and the home front.
Proud as a Peacock, Brave as a Lion By Jane Barclay Illustrated by Renné Benoit 24 Pages | Ages 4-6 | Ebook ISBN 9781770491274 | Tundra Books Much has been written about war and remembrance, but very little of it has been for young children. As questions come from a young grandchild, his grandpa talks about how, as a very young man, he was as proud as a peacock in uniform, busy as a beaver on his Atlantic crossing, and brave as a lion charging into battle. Soon, the old man’s room is filled with an imaginary menagerie as the child thinks about different aspects of wartime. But as he pins medals on his grandpa’s blazer and receives his own red poppy in return, the mood becomes more somber.
Sergeant Billy: The True Story of the Goat Who Went to War By Mireille Messier Illustrated by Kass Reich 40 Pages | Ages 4-8 | Hardcover ISBN 9780735264427 | Tundra Books During World War I, a goat named Billy was adopted by a platoon of soldiers and made his way across the ocean to be part of the war effort. Billy trained with the soldiers, got snuck into the frontlines in a box of oranges, ate some secret documents and was arrested for treason, head-butted soldiers into a trench and saved them from a shell, and came back home a decorated war hero. This charming true story follows Sergeant Billy from his small prairie town to the trenches of World War I and back, through harrowing moments, sad moments, moments of camaraderie and moments of celebration.
Innocent Heroes: Stories of Animals in the First World War By Sigmund Brouwer 208 Pages | Ages 9-12 | Paperback ISBN 9780735267978 | Tundra Books Never before have the stories of animal war heroes been collected in such a special way. This book consists of eight connected fictional stories about a Canadian platoon in WW1. The Storming Normans have help from some very memorable animals: we meet a dog who warns soldiers in the trench of a gas attack, a donkey whose stubbornness saves the day, a cat who saves soldiers from rat bites, and many more. Each story is followed by nonfiction sections that tell the true story of these animals from around the world and of the Canadian soldiers who took Vimy Ridge. Through the friendship that grows between three of these soldiers in particular, we get a close-up look at life in the trenches, the taking of Vimy Ridge, the bonds between soldiers and their animals and what it meant to be Canadian in World War I.
War Is Over By David Almond Illustrated by David Litchfield 128 Pages | Ages 9-12 | Hardcover ISBN 9781536209860 | Candlewick It’s 1918, and war is everywhere. John’s father is fighting in the trenches far away in France, while his mother works in a menacing munitions factory just along the road. His teacher says that John is fighting, too, that he is at war with enemy children in Germany. One day, in the wild woods outside town, John has an impossible moment: a dreamlike meeting with a German boy named Jan. John catches a glimpse of a better world, in which children like Jan and himself can one day scatter the seeds of peace. David Almond brings his ineffable sensibility to a poignant tale of the effects of war on children, interwoven with David Litchfield’s gorgeous black-and-white illustrations.
A Soldier’s Sketchbook: The Illustrated First World War Diary of R. H. Rabjohn By John Wilson 112 Pages | Ages 10+ | Hardcover ISBN 9781770498549 | Tundra Books Award-winning author John Wilson brings his skills as a historian and researcher to bear, carefully curating the diary to provide context and tell the story of Private Rabjohn’s war. He has selected each of the diary entries and the accompanying images, and has provided the background that modern-day readers need to understand what a young soldier went through a century ago. The result is a wonderfully detailed and dramatic account of the war as seen through an artist’s eyes.
Broken Strings By Eric Walters and Kathy Kacer 288 Pages | Ages 10-14 | Paperback ISBN 9780735266261 | Puffin Canada It’s 2002. In the aftermath of the twin towers, 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.
Secret Soldiers: How the U.S. Twenty-Third Special Troops Fooled the Nazis By Paul B. Janeczko 304 Pages | Ages 10-14 | Hardcover ISBN 9780763681531 | Candlewick In his third book about deception during war, Paul B. Janeczko focuses his lens on World War II and the operations carried out by the Twenty-Third Headquarters Special Troops, aka the Ghost Army. This remarkable unit included actors, camouflage experts, sound engineers, painters, and set designers who used their skills to secretly and systematically replace fighting units — fooling the Nazi army into believing what their eyes and ears told them, even though the sights and sounds of tanks, war machines and troops were entirely fabricated. Follow the Twenty-Third into Europe as they play a dangerous game of enticing the German army into making battlefield mistakes by using sonic deceptions, inflatable tanks, pyrotechnics and camouflage in more than twenty operations. From the Normandy invasion to the crossing of the Rhine River, the men of the Ghost Army — several of whom went on to become famous artists and designers after the war — played an improbable role in the Allied victory.
The Great War: Stories Inspired by Items from the First World War By Various Illustrated by Jim Kay 304 Pages | Ages 10+ | Paperback ISBN 9781536208863 | Candlewick A toy soldier. A butter dish. A compass. Mundane objects, perhaps, but to the remarkable authors in this collection, artifacts such as these have inspired stories that go to the heart of the human experience of World War I. Each author was invited to choose an object that had a connection to the war — a writing kit for David Almond, a helmet for Michael Morpurgo — and use it as the inspiration for an original short story. What results is an extraordinary collection, illustrated throughout by award-winning Jim Kay, and featuring photographs of the objects with accounts of their history and the authors’ reasons for selecting them. This unique anthology provides young readers with a personal window into the Great War and the people affected by it, and serves as an invaluable resource for families and teachers alike.
The War to End All Wars: The Story of World War I By Jack Batten 160 Pages | Ages 10+ | Hardcover ISBN 9780887768798 | Tundra Books In this riveting account of a tragic episode in world history, author Jack Batten takes readers through a far bloodier conflict than mankind had ever before endured. Meet the soldiers who fought the deadly battles along the Western Front. Follow the trail of flying ace Billy Bishop as he tangles in the air with the Red Baron. Learn the strategy of Britain’s Grand Fleet of warships as it heads into the biggest sea battle in history. Discover how civilians decoded virtually all the messages the Germans sent to their ships around the world.
Voices from the Second World War: Stories of War as Told to Children of Today By Candlewick Press 320 Pages | Ages 10-14 | Paperback ISBN 9781536208856 | Candlewick The Second World War was the most devastating war in history. Up to eighty million people died, and the map of the world was redrawn. More than seventy years after peace was declared, children interviewed family and community members to learn about the war from people who were there, to record their memories before they were lost forever. Now, in a unique collection, RAF pilots, evacuees, resistance fighters, Land Girls, U.S. Navy sailors, and survivors of the Holocaust and the Hiroshima bombing all tell their stories, passing on the lessons learned to a new generation. Featuring many vintage photographs, this moving volume also offers an index of contributors and a glossary.
Orphan Monster Spy By Matt Killeen 448 Pages | Ages 12+ | Paperback ISBN 9780451478757 | Viking BFYR After her mother is shot at a checkpoint, fifteen-year-old Sarah finds herself on the run from the Nazis in Third Reich-ruled Germany. While trying to escape, Sarah meets a mysterious man with an ambiguous accent, a suspiciously bare apartment, and a lockbox full of weapons. He’s part of the secret resistance against the Reich, and he needs her help. Sarah is to hide in plain sight at a boarding school for the daughters of top Nazi brass, posing as one of them. She must befriend the daughter of a key scientist to gain access to the blueprints for a bomb that could destroy the cities of Western Europe, and steal them. Sarah may look like the rest of the girls, innocent, blonde-haired, and young, but she refuses to become one of the monsters she’s surrounded by. She’s a brilliant con artist, convincing them she’s one of them even as she lives in terror of being found out. And she’s determined to get her revenge on them all.
The Blossom and the Firefly By Sherri L. Smith 320 Pages | Ages 12+ | Hardcover ISBN 9781524737900 | Putnam BFYR Japan 1945. Taro is a talented violinist and a kamikaze pilot in the days before his first and only mission. He believes he is ready to die for his country . . . until he meets Hana. Hana hasn’t been the same since the day she was buried alive in a collapsed trench during a bomb raid. She wonders if it would have been better to have died that day . . . until she meets Taro. Here, with achingly beautiful prose, Smith weaves a tale of love in the face of death, of hope in the face of tragedy, set against a backdrop of the waning days of the Pacific War.
The Emperor of Any Place By Tim Wynne-Jones 336 Pages | Ages 14+ | Paperback ISBN 9780763694425 | Candlewick Evan, overwhelmed and bereaved by his father’s sudden death, doesn’t know what to make of the hand-bound yellow book his dad had been reading when he passed away. Why was his father reading the diary of a Japanese soldier stranded on a small Pacific island during World War II? What is in this account that Evan’s estranged grandfather fears — and will he really do anything, even hurt his own grandson, to prevent it from being seen? In this riveting, time-shifting story within a story, the ghosts of war reverberate across hemispheres and generations.
The Enigma Game By Elizabeth Wein 448 Pages | Ages 12+ | Paperback ISBN 9780735265288 | Penguin Teen Canada A German soldier risks his life to drop off the sought-after Enigma Machine to British Intelligence, hiding it in a pub in a small town in northeast Scotland, and unwittingly bringing together four very different people who decide to keep it to themselves. Louisa Adair, a young teen girl hired to look after the pub owner’s elderly, German-born aunt, Jane Warner, finds it but doesn’t report it. Flight-Lieutenant Jamie Beaufort-Stuart intercepts a signal but can’t figure it out. Ellen McEwen, a volunteer at the local airfield, acts as the go-between and messenger after Louisa involves Jane in translating. The planes under Jamie’s command seem charmed, as Jamie knows where exactly to go, while other squadrons suffer, and the four are loathe to give up the machine, even after Elisabeth Lind from British Intelligence arrives, even after the Germans start bombing the tiny town.
The Red Ribbon By Lucy Adlington 288 Pages | Ages 12+ | Hardcover ISBN 9781536201048 | Candlewick Three weeks after being detained on her way home from school, fourteen-year-old Ella finds herself in the Upper Tailoring Studio, a sewing workshop inside a Nazi concentration camp. There, two dozen skeletal women toil over stolen sewing machines. They are the seamstresses of Birchwood, stitching couture dresses for a perilous client list: wives of the camp’s Nazi overseers and the female SS officers who make prisoners’ lives miserable. It is a workshop where stylish designs or careless stitches can mean life or death. And it is where Ella meets Rose. As thoughtful and resilient as the dressmakers themselves, Rose and Ella’s story is one of courage, desperation, and hope — hope as delicate and as strong as silk, as vibrant as a red ribbon in a sea of gray.
Happy Sunday! We have a special treat for you over on our Instagram – we’re giving away the first three books in Sabaa Tahir’s explosive An Ember in the Ashes quartet! Head over to Instagram for details on how you can enter, and scroll down for some information about each book. The fourth and final book, A Sky Beyond the Storm, comes out in December and we can’t wait!
An Ember in the Ashes By Sabaa Tahir 480 Pages | Ages 14+ | 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.
A Torch Against the Night By Sabaa Tahir 496 Pages | Ages 14+ | Paperback ISBN 9781101998885 | Razorbill After the events of the Fourth Trial, Martial soldiers hunt the two fugitives as they flee the city of Serra and undertake a perilous journey through the heart of the Empire. Laia is determined to break into Kauf – the Empire’s most secure and dangerous prison – to save her brother, who is the key to the Scholars’ survival. And Elias is determined to help Laia succeed, even if it means giving up his last chance at freedom. But dark forces, human and otherworldly, work against Laia and Elias. The pair must fight every step of the way to outsmart their enemies: the bloodthirsty Emperor Marcus, the merciless Commandant, the sadistic Warden of Kauf, and, most heartbreaking of all, Helene – Elias’s former friend and the Empire’s newest Blood Shrike. Bound to Marcus’s will, Helene faces a torturous mission of her own – one that might destroy her: find the traitor Elias Veturius and the Scholar slave who helped him escape . . . and kill them both.
A Reaper at the Gates By Sabaa Tahir 480 Pages | Ages 14+ | Paperback ISBN 9780448494517 | Razorbill Helene Aquilla, the Blood Shrike, is desperate to protect her sister’s life and the lives of everyone in the Empire. But she knows that danger lurks on all sides: Emperor Marcus, haunted by his past, grows increasingly unstable and violent, while Keris Veturia, the ruthless Commandant, capitalizes on the Emperor’s volatility to grow her own power – regardless of the carnage she leaves in her path. Far to the east, Laia of Serra knows the fate of the world lies not in the machinations of the Martial court, but in stopping the Nightbringer. But in the hunt to bring him down, Laia faces unexpected threats from those she hoped would help her, and is drawn into a battle she never thought she’d have to fight. And in the land between the living and the dead, Elias Veturius has given up his freedom to serve as Soul Catcher. But in doing so, he has vowed himself to an ancient power that demands his complete surrender – even if that means abandoning the woman he loves.
A Sky Beyond the Storm By Sabaa Tahir 528 Pages | Ages 14+ | Hardcover ISBN 9780448494531 | Razorbill The long-imprisoned jinn are on the attack, wreaking bloody havoc in villages and cities alike. But for the Nightbringer, vengeance on his human foes is just the beginning. At his side, Commandant Keris Veturia declares herself Empress, and calls for the heads of any and all who defy her rule. At the top of the list? The Blood Shrike and her remaining family. Laia of Serra, now allied with the Blood Shrike, struggles to recover from the loss of the two people most important to her. Determined to stop the approaching apocalypse, she throws herself into the destruction of the Nightbringer. In the process, she awakens an ancient power that could lead her to victory – or an unimaginable doom. And deep in the Waiting Place, the Soul Catcher seeks only to forget the life – and love – he left behind. Yet doing so means ignoring the trail of murder left by the Nightbringer and his jinn. To uphold his oath and protect the human world from the supernatural, the Soul Catcher must look beyond the borders of his own land. He must take on a mission that could save – or destroy– all that he knows.
Have you heard of the Pocket Change Collective? It’s an on-going series of big ideas wrapped in cute little packages from a variety of voices across North America. They deal with huge topics like the gender binary, art, and the plastics crisis and we’re obsessed with them. And they make great stocking stuffers or small holiday gifts for the budding activist in your life! Check them out below and keep an eye out for a few new installments in 2021!
If you need more encouragement to pick these little books up, we’ve included links to panels we did with the entire Pocket Change Collective team in collaboration with the Koffler Centre of the Arts in Toronto!
Beyond the Gender Binary By Alok Vaid-Menon Illustrated by Ashley Lukashevsky 64 Pages | Ages 12+ | Paperback ISBN 9780593094655 | Penguin Workshop Alok Vaid-Menon challenges the world to see gender not in black and white, but in full color. Taking from their own experiences as a gender-nonconforming artist, they show us that gender is a malleable and creative form of expression. The only limit is your imagination.
The New Queer Conscience By Adam Eli Illustrated by Ashley Lukashevsky 64 Pages | Ages 12+ | Paperback ISBN 9780593093689 | Penguin Workshop Voices4 Founder and LGBTQIA+ activist Adam Eli offers a candid and compassionate introduction to queer responsibility. Eli calls on his Jewish faith to underline how kindness and support within the queer community can lead to a stronger global consciousness. More importantly, he reassures us that we’re not alone. In fact, we never were. Because if you mess with one queer, you mess with us all.
Imaginary Borders By Xiuhtezcatl Martinez Illustrated by Ashley Lukashevsky 64 Pages | Ages 12+ | Paperback ISBN 9780593094136 | Penguin Workshop Earth Guardians Youth Director and hip-hop artist Xiuhtezcatl Martinez shows us how his music feeds his environmental activism and vice versa. Martinez visualizes a future that allows us to direct our anger, fear, and passion toward creating change. Because, at the end of the day, we all have a part to play.
This is What I Know About Art By Kimberly Drew Illustrated by Ashley Lukashevsky 64 Pages | Ages 12+ | Paperback ISBN 9780593095188 | Penguin Workshop Arts writer and co-editor of Black Futures Kimberly Drew shows us that art and protest are inextricably linked. Drawing on her personal experience through art toward activism, Drew challenges us to create space for the change that we want to see in the world. Because there really is so much more space than we think.
Catch up with Kimberly and Xiuhtezcatl at the Koffler Centre – October 6, 2020
Concrete Kids By Amyra León Illustrated by Ashley Lukashevsky 96 Pages | Ages 12+ | Paperback ISBN 9780593095195 | Penguin Workshop Concrete Kids is an exploration of love and loss, melody and bloodshed. Musician, playwright, and educator Amyra León takes us on a poetic journey through her childhood in Harlem, as she navigates the intricacies of foster care, mourning, self-love, and resilience. In her signature free-verse style, she invites us all to dream with abandon–and to recognize the privilege it is to dream at all.
Taking on the Plastics Crisis By Hannah Testa Illustrated by Ashley Lukashevsky 64 Pages | Ages 12+ | Paperback ISBN 9780593223338 | Penguin Workshop Youth activist Hannah Testa, founder of Hannah4Change, shares how she led a grassroots political campaign to successfully pass state legislation limiting single-use plastics and how she influenced global businesses to adopt more sustainable practices. Through her personal journey, readers can learn how they, too, can follow in Hannah’s footsteps and lower their carbon footprint by simply refusing single-use plastics.