Since 2000, the Rocky Mountain Book Award is chosen by students and educators in Alberta from a shortlist designed to stimulate the reading interest of students in grades 4-7. We would like to congratulate Mireille Messier and Kass Reich whose adorable Sergeant Billy won this year’s Gold Medal.
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
• Was smuggled across the ocean
• Got snuck into the frontlines in a box of oranges
• Ate some secret documents and was arrested for treason
• Got trench foot
• Head-butted soldiers into a trench and saved them from a shell
• 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. This unforgettable goat and the platoon that loved him will capture your heart!
And congratulations to Eric Walters and Kathy Kacer whose Broken Strings was awarded third place!
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.
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.
The Case of the Missing Deed by Ellen Schwartz is the winner of the 2013 Rocky Mountain Book Award Gold Medal! Congratulations to Ellen, let’s break out the chocolate cinnamon sparkle cookies to celebrate!
The Case of the Missing Deed
Written by Ellen Schwartz
Hardcover | 200 Pages | Ages 9-12
“…The Case of the Missing Deed is fast-paced, and full of cryptic clues, secret codes, and red herrings…. Schwartz beautifully captures the agony, ecstasy, and exquisite self-centredness of a 13-year-old girl on a family vacation…. The Case of the Missing Deed is a great summer read for kids who love a good, meaty mystery as much as they love a delicious homemade dessert.” — Quill & Quire
The Rocky Mountain Book Award invites students and educators to participate in their readers’ choice program. The Rocky Mountain Book Award is an Alberta based program designed to connect young readers with exemplary Canadian literature.
Tundra is happy to announce that Susin Nielsen’s Dear George Clooney, Please Marry My Mom is the Gold Medal Winner of the 2012 Rocky Mountain Book Award, an Alberta Children’s Choice Book Award.
Dear George Clooney, Please Marry My Mom
By Susin Nielsen
Ages 11-14 | 240 pages
Hardcover ISBN: 978-0-88776-977-1
Paperback ISBN: 978-1-77049-295-0
Violet’s TV-director dad has traded a job in Vancouver for one in Los Angeles, their run-down house for a sleek ranch-style home complete with a pool, and, worst of all, Violet’s mother for a trophy wife, a blonde actress named Jennica. Violet’s younger sister reacts by bed-wetting, and her mother ping-pongs from one loser to another, searching for love. As for Violet, she gets angry in ways that are by turns infuriating, shocking, and hilarious.
When her mother takes up with the unfortunately named Dudley Wiener, Violet and her friend Phoebe decide that they need to take control. If Violet’s mom can’t pick a decent man herself, they will help her snag George Clooney.
- “[Susin Nielsen] … has created a narrator as sassy and candid as this memorable novel’s title….” – Starred Review, Publishers Weekly
- “…This comic novel scores.” – Kirkus Reviews
- “…very engaging read.” – Booklist
- “…funny, witty, and lively….” – Quill & Quire
Gemini Award-winner SUSIN NIELSEN has written sixteen episodes of the hit television show Degrassi Junior High and four of the books in the Degrassi series. She is the co-creator and showrunner of the critically acclaimed television series Robson Arms. She also adapted Susan Juby’s Alice, I Think into a TV series. Susin Nielsen lives in Vancouver with her husband, Goran, son, Oskar, and Sam the cat.
PS: Word Nerd by Susin Nielsen was the Gold Medal Winner of the 2010 Rocky Mountain Book Award.