Books for Black History Month

February is Black History Month, and we encourage you to visit your local bookstore or library to learn more. In the meantime, we’ve compiled our reading recommendations for you.

All Aboard!All Aboard! Elijah McCoy’s Steam Engine
By Monica Kulling
Illustrated by Bill Slavin
ISBN 9781770495142 | Paperback
Ages 5-8 | Tundra Books
There were few opportunities for the son of slaves, but Elijah McCoy’s dreams led him to study mechanical engineering in Scotland. He learned everything there was to know about engines – how to design them and how to build them. But when he returned to the United States to look for work at the Michigan Central Railroad, the only job Elijah could get was shoveling coal into a train’s firebox. Undaunted, he went on to invent a means of oiling the engine while the train was running, changing the face of travel around the world. 

To The Rescue! Garrett Morgan Underground
By Monica Kulling
Illustrated by David Parkins
ISBN 9781101918821 | Paperback
Ages 5-8 | Tundra Books
The son of freed slaves, Garrett Morgan was determined to have a better life than laboring in the Kentucky fields with his parents and ten siblings. He began by sweeping floors in a clothing factory in Cleveland, Ohio, where he decided to invent a stronger belt for sewing machines. When he was promoted to sewing-machine repairman, Garrett was on his way. In 1911, 146 workers died in the shocking Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire in New York City, so Garrett decided to invent a safety hood for firefighters. Little did he know that most people wouldn’t be interested in buying his safety hood when they discovered its inventor was black. But an explosion that trapped workers in a tunnel under Lake Erie soon changed all that. Garrett’s hoods were rushed to the scene and used to rescue as many men as possible. Developed further, Garrett’s invention came to save thousands of soldiers from chlorine gas in the trenches of World War I.

9781770493018-450My Name Is Blessing
By Eric Walters
Illustrated by Eugenie Fernandes
ISBN 9781770493018 | Hardcover
Ages 6-9 | Tundra Books
Based on the life of a real boy, this warm-hearted, beautifully illustrated book tells the story of Baraka, a young Kenyan boy with a physical disability. Baraka and eight cousins live with their grandmother. She gives them boundless love, but there is never enough money or food, and life is hard –love doesn’t feed hungry stomachs or clothe growing bodies, or school keen minds. Baraka is too young, and, with his disability, needs too much, and she is too old. A difficult choice must be made, and grandmother and grandchild set off on a journey to see if there is a place at the orphanage for Baraka. The story begins by looking at Baraka’s physical disability as a misfortune, but ends by looking beyond the disability, to his great heart and spirit, and the blessings he brings.

9781770495302-450Hope Springs
By Eric Walters
Illustrated by Eugenie Fernandes
ISBN 9781770495302 | Hardcover
Ages 6-9 | Tundra Books
A drought has settled in the area around the orphanage where Boniface lives. There are long line-ups at the tiny spring where all the local people get their water, and suddenly the orphans are pushed to the back of the line, unwelcome. Boniface’s houseparent, Henry, tells him that the people were mean out of fear–they feared there would not be enough water for their families. When the building of the orphanage’s well is completed, Boniface has an idea to help the villagers. A lovely story of kindness and heart, this story shows that, through compassion and understanding, true generosity can spring from unexpected places.

today is the dayToday is the Day
By Eric Walters
Illustrated by Eugenie Fernandes
ISBN 9781770496484 | Hardcover
Ages 6-9 | Tundra Books
Mutanu is excited. As she goes about her chores, she thinks about the day to come and what surprises it might bring. For today is no ordinary day at the orphanage she lives in. Every year, the orphanage honors its newest arrivals by creating a birthday day especially for them. From that moment forward, the orphans have a day that they know is theirs–a day to celebrate, a day to enjoy, a day to remember. And today is the day! Based on real children in an orphanage in Kenya, this lovely story shows how something as simple as a birthday, something most of us take for granted, can mean so much in another part of the world.

From the Heart of Africa: A Book of Wisdom
Compiled by Eric Walters
ISBN 9781770497191 | Hardcover
Ages 6-9 | Tundra Books
Aphorisms are universal. They give guidance, context and instruction for life’s issues, and they help us understand each other and the world around us. We use them every day, yet never think about where they came from or why they exist. In this beautifully illustrated collection, Eric Walters brings us classic sayings from the places where this shared wisdom began. Ashanti, Sukuma, Akan and Kikuyu: all of these cultures use the portable and easily shared knowledge contained in aphorisms, and from these cultures and more this communal knowledge spread.

Legends Icons and RebelsLegends, Icons & Rebels: Music That Changed the World
By Robbie Robertson, Jim Guerinot, Sebastian Robertson and Jared Levine
ISBN 9781101918685 | Hardcover
Ages 9-12 | Tundra Books
Music industry veterans Robbie Robertson, Jim Guerinot, Jared Levine, and Sebastian Robertson invite young readers to share with them in celebrating twenty-seven musical legends. Short profiles chronicle personal stories and achievements of extraordinarily talented artists whose innovations changed the landscape of music for generations to come. Carefully compiled like any great playlist, the line-up features originators, rebels, and risk-takers across diverse genres.

9780887769146-450Five Thousand Years of Slavery
By Marjorie Gann and Janet Willen
ISBN 9781770491519 | Ebook
Ages 10+ | Tundra Books
Five Thousand Years of Slavery provides the suspense and emotional engagement of a great novel. It is an excellent resource with its comprehensive historical narrative, firsthand accounts, maps, archival photos, paintings and posters, an index, and suggestions for further reading. Much more than a reference work, it is a brilliant exploration of the worst – and the best – in human society.

Speak a Word for Freedom
By Marjorie Gann and Janet Willen
ISBN 9781770496514 | Hardcover
Ages 12+ | Tundra Books
From the early days of the antislavery movement, when political action by women was frowned upon, British and American women were tireless and uncompromising campaigners. Without their efforts, emancipation would have taken much longer. And the commitment of today’s women, who fight against human trafficking and child slavery, descends directly from that of the early female activists. Speak a Word for Freedom: Women against Slavery tells the story of fourteen of these women.

 

 

#Tundra50 Tote Bag Auction

Tundra Books is turning 50! To celebrate we asked some of our illustrators to decorate the back of our limited edition #Tundra50 tote bags. Now you can own a one-of-kind work of art from your favourite picture book artist!

All proceeds from the auction will be donated to IBBY, a non-profit organization representing a network of people committed to bringing books and children together all over the world. For more information about IBBY please visit www.ibby.org.

This auction will run from Friday, June 23 to Friday, July 28th 2017. Minimum bid is $10 and all bids must be made in $5 increments.

Visit www.Tundra50.com to view the entire collection and to make your bids!

Shortlist for the 2016 Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz Children’s Book Awards

We are very excited to announce that two of our titles have been nominated for the Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz Children’s Book Awards! Congratulations to Susin Nielsen, Eric Walters, and Eugenie Fernandes!

Children’s Picture Book Award Category

today is the dayToday Is the Day
Written by Eric Walters
Illustrated by Eugenie Fernandes
Hardcover | 32 Pages | Ages 6-9
ISBN: 978-1-77049-648-4
Mutanu is excited. As she goes about her chores, she thinks about the day to come and what surprises it might bring. For today is no ordinary day at the orphanage she lives in. Every year, the orphanage honors its newest arrivals by creating a birthday day especially for them. From that moment forward, the orphans have a day that they know is theirs–a day to celebrate, a day to enjoy, a day to remember. And today is the day!
Based on real children in an orphanage in Kenya, this lovely story shows how something as simple as a birthday, something most of us take for granted, can mean so much in another part of the world.

Young Adult / Middle Reader Award Category

We Are All Made of MoleculesWe Are All Made of Molecules
Written by Susin Nielsen
Hardcover | 256 Pages | Ages 12+
ISBN: 978-1-77049-779-5
eBook: 978-1-77049-781-8
Thirteen-year-old Stewart Inkster is academically brilliant but “ungifted” socially. Fourteen-year-old Ashley Anderson is the undisputed “It” girl of grade nine, but her marks stink. Their worlds are about to collide when Stewart and his dad move in with Ashley and her mom. “The Brady Bunch” it isn’t. Stewart is trying to be 89.9% happy about it, but Ashley is 110% horrified. She already has to hide the truth behind her parents’ divorce; “Spewart” could further threaten her position at the top of the social ladder. They are complete opposites. And yet, no matter their differences, they share one thing in common: they – like the rest of us – are all made of molecules.

This year marks the 40th anniversary of the Schwartz Children’s Book Awards – the only Canadian literary award where student juries work together to choose the winning books.

This year’s winners will be chosen by student juries from Toronto’s Scarborough Village Alternative Public School. The announcement will take place during a school assembly on Wednesday, June 22.

The 2016 OLA Forest of Reading® Nominees


Today, the Ontario Library Association revealed the nominated titles for the 2016 Forest of Reading® program. Tundra would like to congratulate our nominated authors and illustrators!

SILVER BIRCH® EXPRESS:

Hope SpringsHope Springs
Written by Eric Walters
Illustrated by Eugenie Fernandes
Hardcover | 32 Pages
ISBN: 978-1-77049-530-2
A drought has settled in the area around the orphanage where Boniface lives. There are long line-ups at the tiny spring where all the local people get their water, and suddenly the orphans are pushed to the back of the line, unwelcome. Boniface’s houseparent, Henry, tells him that the people were mean out of fear–they feared there would not be enough water for their families. When the building of the orphanage’s well is completed, Boniface has an idea to help the villagers. A lovely story of kindness and heart, this story shows that, through compassion and understanding, true generosity can spring from unexpected places.

SILVER BIRCH® FICTION:

The SwallowThe Swallow: A Ghost Story
Written by Charis Cotter
Hardcover | 320 Pages
ISBN: 978-1-77049-591-3
eBook: 978-1-77049-593-7
In 1960s Toronto, two girls retreat to their attics to escape the loneliness and isolation of their lives. Polly lives in a house bursting at the seams with people, while Rose is often left alone by her busy parents. Polly is a down-to-earth dreamer with a wild imagination and an obsession with ghosts; Rose is a quiet, ethereal waif with a sharp tongue. Despite their differences, both girls spend their days feeling invisible and seek solace in books and the cozy confines of their respective attics. But soon they discover they aren’t alone–they’re actually neighbors, sharing a wall. They develop an unlikely friendship, and Polly is ecstatic to learn that Rose can actually see and talk to ghosts. Maybe she will finally see one too! But is there more to Rose than it seems? Why does no one ever talk to her? And why does she look so… ghostly? When the girls find a tombstone with Rose’s name on it in the cemetery and encounter an angry spirit in her house who seems intent on hurting Polly, they have to unravel the mystery of Rose and her strange family… before it’s too late.

RED MAPLE™:

We Are All Made of MoleculesWe Are All Made of Molecules
Written by Susin Nielsen
Hardcover | 256 Pages
ISBN: 978-1-77049-779-5
eBook: 978-1-77049-781-8
Thirteen-year-old Stewart Inkster is academically brilliant but “ungifted” socially. Fourteen-year-old Ashley Anderson is the undisputed “It” girl of grade nine, but her marks stink. Their worlds are about to collide when Stewart and his dad move in with Ashley and her mom. “The Brady Bunch” it isn’t. Stewart is trying to be 89.9% happy about it, but Ashley is 110% horrified. She already has to hide the truth behind her parents’ divorce; “Spewart” could further threaten her position at the top of the social ladder. They are complete opposites. And yet, no matter their differences, they share one thing in common: they–like the rest of us–are all made of molecules.

The Festival of Trees™ in Toronto will be taking place on May 17-19, 2016 at the Harbourfront Centre. We will be there to cheer on our authors and illustrators!

Tuesdays with Tundra 51

Tuesdays with Tundra is a monthly post on our new releases. The following books are available today in stores and online!

Heartache and Other Natural ShocksHeartache and Other Natural Shocks
Written by Glenda Leznoff
Hardcover | 384 Pages | Ages 14+
ISBN: 978-1-77049-836-5
eBook: 978-1-77049-837-2
“She said, she said, with a dose of Shakespearean intrigue … a refreshing break from contemporary teen fiction.” – Kirkus Reviews

When Santa Was a BabyWhen Santa Was a Baby
Written by Linda Bailey
Illustrated by Geneviève Godbout
Hardcover | 32 Pages | Ages 3-7
ISBN: 978-1-77049-556-2
“Bailey and Godbout give Santa Claus a backstory in this sweetly funny account, warmly illustrated with soft, nostalgic pencil and pastel artwork…a clever take on the Santa myth that develops him as a character with his own thoughts and motivations…Godbout’s cozy artwork gives the book the feel of a classic while also offering some cheeky moments – as when a young Santa stands naked in front of an open fridge, trying to cool down.” – Starred Review, Publishers Weekly

today is the dayToday Is the Day
Written by Eric Walters
Illustrated by Eugenie Fernandes
Hardcover | 32 Pages | Ages 6-9
ISBN: 978-1-77049-648-4
“A different sort of birthday celebration is at the bighearted center of this picture book…. Text and colorful art with expressive line combine to depict the orphanage as a place of care and safety for the children, who still have ties to family despite significant losses and difficulties…. Endnotes ground the story in its inspiration from a real orphanage in Kenya while also explaining to more privileged Western children how someone might not know his or her birthday. Both deeply important and purely joyful.” – Kirkus Reviews

Hockey HeroHockey Hero
Written by Zachary Hyman
Illustrated by Zachary Pullen
Hardcover | 40 Pages | Ages 6-9
ISBN: 978-1-77049-630-9
“…the story has an ingenuous wisdom. And Grandpa is just kooky enough—painting his face red and white for games and throwing octopuses onto the ice…. A fine look into hockey’s heart.” – Kirkus Reviews

What We Hide - paperbackWhat We Hide
Written by Marthe Jocelyn
Trade Paperback | 288 Pages | Ages 14+
ISBN: 978-1-77049-643-9
eBook: 978-1-77049-644-6
“Jocelyn provides authentic British flavor and an evocative representation of the tumultuous ’60s, when teens challenged social conventions. Intrigue builds as many figures, willingly or unwillingly, come face-to-face with what they are hiding and must decide whether to drop their deceptive facades.” – Publishers Weekly

Pub Date Giveaway: In the comments below, please tell us which new October 2015 release of Tundra’s you would love to read and one lucky reader will receive their requested book! One request per person and please review our rules. This giveaway ends at midnight on Monday, October 19, 2015!

UPDATE: Congratulations to Jane, who won a copy of When Santa Was a Baby.