Kindness Week: Reading List

April 3 to April 8, 2016 is the third annual Kindness Week. We rounded up this handy list of picture books, and middle grade and young adult novels for those who want to celebrate this week and year-round.

Noni Speaks UpNoni Speaks Up
Written Heather Hartt-Sussman
Illustrated by Geneviève Côté
Hardcover | 24 Pages | Ages 3-7
ISBN: 9781770498396
Noni always tries to do the right thing. But she doesn’t know how to help her classmate Hector, who is constantly bullied for his name, his size and his giant glasses. Noni stands by silently, afraid that the kids will turn on her if she speaks up. Yet “doing nothing” doesn’t feel very good. Will Noni be brave enough to take matters into her own hands?

Bird ChildBird Child
Written by Nan Forler
Illustrated by François Thisdale
Hardcover | 32 Pages | Ages 5-8
ISBN: 978-0-88776-894-1
Eliza’s mother has given her “wings to fly” and the ability to see all the possibilities that lie before her. So, when bullies pick on the new student, Lainey, gradually robbing her of her smile and ability to paint beautiful pictures, Eliza wants to help, and she does, by finding a way to show Lainey all that she can be.

When I Get OlderWhen I Get Older
The Story behind “Wavin’ Flag”
Written by K’NAAN and Sol Guy
Illustrated by Rudy Gutierrez
Hardcover | 32 Pages | Ages 6-9
ISBN: 978-1-77049-302-5
Like so many other immigrants, K’naan had to make a place for himself in a world of alien customs, clothes, and language. His road was a hard one: he lost many friends to violence. But K’naan’s love of music, and his enormous talent, became a way for him to connect with his past, with his classmates, and eventually, to millions of people around the world.

Best Friends through EternityBest Friends through Eternity
Written by Sylvia McNicoll
Hardcover | 192 Pages | Ages 12+
ISBN: 978-1-77049-710-8
eBook: 978-1-77049-712-2
Fourteen-year-old Paige, who, taking a shortcut alongside the tracks to avoid the school bullies, is tragically hit by a train and transported to a surreal world where she encounters Kim, who died seven years before. Convinced she is only dreaming, Paige must discover a way to return to her former life. Poignant, gripping, and full of unexpected twists and turns, Best Friends through Eternity will resonate with readers who have struggled with cultural identity, a sense of belonging, and the real meaning of home.

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.

The Serpent KingThe Serpent King
Written by Jeff Zentner
Hardcover | 384 Pages | Ages 14+
ISBN: 978-1-77049-883-9
eBook: 978-1-77049-885-3
Dillard Early, Jr., Travis Bohannon and Lydia Blankenship are three friends from different walks of life who have one thing in common: none of them seem to fit the mold in rural Tennessee’s Forrestville High. As the three friends begin their senior year, it becomes clear that they won’t all be getting to start a promising new life after graduation. How they deal with their diverging paths could cause the end of their friendship. Until a shattering act of random violence forces Dill to wrestle with his dark legacy and find a way into the light of a future worth living.

Fifteen LanesFifteen Lanes
Written by S.J. Laidlaw
Hardcover | 304 Pages | Ages 14+
ISBN: 978-1-10191-780-0
eBook: 978-1-10191-782-4
Noor has lived all of her fourteen years in the fifteen lanes of Mumbai’s red light district. Across the sprawling city, fifteen-year-old Grace enjoys a life of privilege. Her father, the CEO of one of India’s largest international banks, has brought his family to Mumbai where they live in unparalleled luxury. But Grace’s seemingly perfect life is shattered when she becomes a victim of a cruel online attack. When their paths intersect, Noor and Grace will be changed forever. Can two girls living in vastly different worlds find a common path?

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 (click on the covers for more information). You can also check out our previous list too!

9781770493018-450My Name Is Blessing
Written by Eric Walters
Illustrated by Eugenie Fernandes
Hardcover | 32 Pages |Ages 6-9
ISBN: 978-1-77049-301-8
“This expressive picture book, based on a real family, lovingly tells a hard story with a twist. It’s difficult to broach poverty, disability and custody issues in so few pages without sounding maudlin, but Walters manages by speaking simply…. With dignity and quiet acceptance, this story illustrates that blessings, like family, can take unexpected forms.” – Starred Review, Kirkus Reviews

9781770495302-450Hope Springs
Written by Eric Walters
Illustrated by Eugenie Fernandes
Hardcover | 32 Pages | Ages 6-9
ISBN: 978-1-77049-530-2
“Based on actual events, this story is one of strength and kindness in the face of fear. …the art is expressively large. A series of spreads gives readers a view of Boniface’s world, adding rich colors and patterns of folk art. With the addition of the author’s ‘Story Behind the Story,’ the facts of the origin of Hope Springs allow a retelling of the story through a personal narrative with the aid of photography, a map, and additional explanation.” – School Library Journal

today is the dayToday Is the Day
Written by Eric Walters
Illustrated by Eugenie Fernandes
Hardcover | 32 Pages | Ages 6-9
Available for Pre-order: October 2015
ISBN: 978-1-77049-648-4
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.

All Aboard!All Aboard!
Elijah McCoy’s Steam Engine

Written by Monica Kulling
Illustrated by Bill Slavin
32 Pages | Ages 5-8
HC ISBN: 978-0-88776-945-0
PB ISBN: 978-1-77049-514-2
“An engaging biography of the African-American inventor…. The narrative includes fictionalized dialogue and clear explanations about how the machinery works and concludes with an inspiring message …” — School Library Journal

When I Get OlderWhen I Get Older
The Story behind “Wavin’ Flag”

Written by K’naan and Sol Guy
Illustrated by Rudy Gutierrez
Hardcover | 32 Pages | Ages 6-9
ISBN: 978-1-77049-302-5
“Internationally known musician K’naan, whose song ‘Wavin’ Flag’ was the official anthem of the 2010 FIFA World Cup, recounts his struggle as a young immigrant from Somalia to fit in and how he was bullied for looking and dressing differently from his classmates.” – Publishers Weekly

Oscar PetersonOscar Peterson
The Man and His Jazz

Written by Jack Batten
Hardcover | 192 Pages | Ages 10+
ISBN: 978-1-77049-269-1
eBook: 978-1-77049-362-9
“If you are looking for a solid biography for middle schoolers of the man who was arguably the top jazz pianist for over twenty years and among the best for the rest of his life, then look no further than this book. Though it is only briefly referenced, the author met Peterson back in 1965, and his clear respect for the man, as well as Peterson’s formidable jazz skills, shows throughout this book…. Still inexorably leading you through Peterson’s life, Batten makes the reader unfamiliar with songs run to the web to listen for the first time….” – VOYA Magazine

Legends Icons and RebelsLegends, Icons & Rebels
Music That Changed the World

Written by Robbie Robertson, Jim Guerinot, Sebastian Robertson and Jared Levine
Hardcover with 2 CDs | 128 Pages | Ages 9-12
ISBN: 978-1-77049-571-5
“Wow, just wow! This book is big in every way…. The book’s art is hard to resist … it’s a treat that the words grab as much as the pictures.” — Starred Review, Booklist

9780887769146-450Five Thousand Years of Slavery
Written by Marjorie Gann and Janet Willen
Hardcover | 176 Pages | Ages 10+
ISBN: 978-0-88776-914-6
eBook: 978-1-77049-151-9
“This well-researched global survey introduces readers to slavery practices, customs, suffering, uprisings, and revolts as well as antislavery efforts from ancient Greece and Rome to today’s world…. The authors promote global awareness and issue a call to action…. Informative documentary photos and factually rich sidebars enhance the text. A timeline lists pivotal moments from the rise of Sumerian cities to the 2001 Cocoa Protocol denouncing child labor on African cocoa plantations. This groundbreaking title brings the disturbing subject into historical and contemporary focus.” – Starred Review, School Library Journal

9781770496514-450Speak a Word for Freedom
Women against Slavery
Written by Janet Willen and Marjorie Gann
Hardcover | 216 Pages | Ages 12+
Available for Pre-order: September 2015
ISBN: 978-1-77049-651-4
eBook: 978-1-77049-653-8
A fascinating non-fiction account of the lives of fourteen female abolitionists, some of whom were slaves themselves, from the early days of the antislavery movement to the present.

The 2015 OLA Forest of Reading® Nominees


Today, the Ontario Library Association revealed the nominated titles for the 2015 Forest of Reading® program. Tundra would like to congratulate the nominated authors and illustrators!

BLUE SPRUCE™ 2015 NOMINATED TITLES

The Highest Number in the WorldThe Highest Number in the World
Written by Roy MacGregor
Illustrated by Genevieve Després
Hardcover | 32 Pages
ISBN: 978-1-77049-575-3
eBook: 978-1-77049-576-0
“From the moment Grandma begins to share her past and her passion for hockey, the story’s context becomes broader, more complex, and more meaningful. A memorable, intergenerational picture book perfect for sharing.” — Booklist

  • The Day My Mom Came To Kindergarten by Maureen Fergus and Mike Lowery
  • Kenta and the Big Wave by Ruth Ohi
  • Loula is Leaving for Africa by Anne Villeneuve
  • The Man with the Violin by Kathy Stinson and Dusan Petricic
  • Morris Micklewhite and the Tangerine Dress by Christine Baldacchino and Isabelle Malenfant
  • The Most Magnificent Thing by Ashley Spires
  • My Blue Is Happy by Jessica Young and Catia Chien
  • Oddrey and the New Kid by Dave Whamond
  • Young Frank, Architect by Frank Viva

SILVER BIRCH® EXPRESS 2015 NOMINATED TITLES

The FlyThe Fly
Written by Elise Gravel
Hardcover | 32 Pages
ISBN: 978-1-77049-636-1
The Fly is a unique nonfiction book about the common housefly. Full of interesting facts, the book reads more like a picture book or simple graphic novel. Everything you never wanted to know about one of mankind’s least favourite creatures is covered in this book…. This series is a must-read for children who like the world’s most unlikeable creatures.” — Highly Recommended, CM Magazine

My Name Is BlessingMy Name Is Blessing
Written by Eric Walters
Illustrated by Eugenie Fernandes
Hardcover | 32 Pages
ISBN: 978-1-77049-301-8
“This expressive picture book, based on a real family, lovingly tells a hard story with a twist. It’s difficult to broach poverty, disability and custody issues in so few pages without sounding maudlin, but Walters manages by speaking simply…. With dignity and quiet acceptance, this story illustrates that blessings, like family, can take unexpected forms.” — Starred Review, Kirkus Reviews

  • Be a Wilderness Detective by Peggy Kochanoff
  • Every Day is Malala Day by Rosemary McCarney
  • From There To Here by Laurel Croza and Matt James
  • The Great Bike Rescue by Hazel Hutchins
  • How To Save A Species by Jonathan Baillie and Marilyn Baillie
  • Kung Pow Chicken #1 Let’s Get Cracking by Cyndi Marko
  • Prove It, Josh by Jenny Watson
  • Seconds by Sylvia Taekema

RED MAPLE NON-FICTION™ 2015 NOMINATED TITLES

Legends Icons and RebelsLegends, Icons & Rebels
Music That Changed the World

Written by Robbie Robertson, Jim Guerinot, Sebastian Robertson and Jared Levine
Hardcover | 128 Pages
ISBN: 978-1-77049-571-5
eBook: 978-1-77049-573-9
“Wow, just wow! This book is big in every way…. The book’s art is hard to resist … it’s a treat that the words grab as much as the pictures.” — Starred Review, Booklist

  • Growing Up, Inside and Out by Kira Vermond and Carl Chin
  • It’s Catching: The Infectious World of Germs and Microbes by Jennifer Gardy and Josh Holinaty
  • The Last Train: A Holocaust Story by Rona Arato
  • Looks Like Daylight: Voices of Indigenous Kids by Deborah Ellis
  • Pay It Forward Kids: Small Acts, Big Change by Nancy Runstedler
  • Real Justice: Sentenced to Life at Seventeen: The story of David Milgaard by Cynthia J. Faryon
  • Starting From Scratch: What You Should Know About Food and Cooking by Sarah Elton and Jeff Kulak
  • We Are Canada by Rikia Saddy and Cameron McLellan
  • Why Do We Fight?: Conflict, War, and Peace by Niki Walker

GOLDEN OAK™ 2015 NOMINATED TITLES

When I Get OlderWhen I Get Older
The Story behind “Wavin’ Flag”

Written by K’naan and Sol Guy
Illustrated by Rudy Gutierrez
Hardcover | 32 pages
ISBN: 978-1-77049-302-5
“Somali-Canadian musician K’naan’s first children’s book tells the inspirational story of his immigration to Canada to escape the Somali War. K’naan uses accessible yet poetic language to draw in young readers, exploring his adjustment to Canada and how music kept him connected to his family. Gutierrez’s artwork powerfully conveys a new immigrant’s sense of alienation.” – Parents Canada

  • The Clear-Out by Deborah Ellis
  • Every Day is Malala Day by Rosemary McCarney
  • The Hard Fall by Brenda Chapman
  • Just Gone by William Kowalski
  • Rainbow Crow : Nagweyaabi-aandeg by David Bouchard and David Jean
  • Rick Hansen: A Life in Motion by Don Quinlan
  • Sentenced to Life at Seventeen : The Story of David Milgaard by Cynthia J. Faryon

The Festival of Trees™ in Toronto will be taking place on May 12-13, 2015 at the Harbourfront Centre. We will be there to cheer on our authors and illustrators!

The 2014 OLA Forest of Reading® Nominees


Today, the Ontario Library Association revealed the nominated titles for the 2014 Forest of Reading® program. Tundra would like to congratulate the nominated authors and illustrators!

Blue Spruce™ Nominee:
Mr Zingers HatMr. Zinger’s Hat
Written by Cary Fagan
Illustrated by Dušan Petričić
Hardcover | 32 pages
ISBN: 978-1-77049-253-0
“Every child needs a Mr. Zinger – and his hat! – in his or her life…. Petričić’s illustrations change from loose, soft watercolors to sharply defined cartoon drawings when the two enter the realm of their shared fiction…. This book oh-so-softly brings across a sweet multigenerational message about sharing the power of imagination.” – Booklist

Silver Birch® Express Nominees:
When I Get OlderWhen I Get Older
The Story behind “Wavin’ Flag”

Written by K’NAAN and Sol Guy
Illustrated by Rudy Gutierrez
Hardcover | 32 pages
ISBN: 978-1-77049-302-5
“Somali-Canadian musician K’naan’s first children’s book tells the inspirational story of his immigration to Canada to escape the Somali War. K’naan uses accessible yet poetic language to draw in young readers, exploring his adjustment to Canada and how music kept him connected to his family. Gutierrez’s artwork powerfully conveys a new immigrant’s sense of alienation.” – Parents Canada

Red Maple™ Fiction Nominees
The Reluctant Journal of Henry K LarsenThe Reluctant Journal of Henry K. Larsen
Written by Susin Nielsen
Hardcover | 256 pages
ISBN: 978-1-77049-372-8
eBook: 978-1-77049-373-5
“…With fully developed adult and child characters and a solid sense of middle school humor, the author has crafted an insightful and nuanced novel about bullying and suicide, and familial love and resilience.” – Starred Review, School Library Journal

The Toronto Festival of Trees™ will be taking place on May 14-15, 2014 at the Harbourfront Centre. We will be there to cheer on our authors and illustrators!

Tuesdays with Tundra 22

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

The Reluctant Journal of Henry K. Larsen
Written by Susin Nielsen
Hardcover | Ages 11-14 | 256 pages
ISBN: 978-1-77049-372-8
eBook: 978-1-77049-373-5
“…With a quirky cast of characters and a thought-provoking storyline, Susin Nielsen’s latest novel is a gem you don’t want to miss. If you have ever been bullied in your life, The Reluctant Journal of Henry K. Larsen will especially strike a chord within your heart. I was completely touched and moved to tears at times, yet smiling like crazy at other moments, a feat I’m not sure how Susin Nielsen manages, but she truly does! I laughed. I cried. Susin Nielsen’s The Reluctant Journal of Henry K. Larsen is an absolute must-read for everyone.” – Midnight Bloom Reads

Oscar Peterson
The Man and His Jazz

Written by Jack Batten
Hardcover | Ages 10+ | 192 pages
ISBN: 978-1-77049-269-1
eBook: 978-1-77049-362-9
Called the “Maharaja of the keyboard” by Duke Ellington, Oscar Peterson released over 200 recordings, won seven Grammy Awards, received the Order of Canada and is considered to have been one of the greatest jazz pianists of all time. This new biography from award-winning author Jack Batten, promises to tell Oscar Peterson’s story in a complete, compelling and sympathetic way.

Watching Jimmy
Written by Nancy Hartry
Trade Paperback | Ages 9+ | 160 pages
ISBN: 978-1-77049-360-5
“A short, but powerful coming-of-age novel… Hartry has created memorable characters, carefully weaving family relationships tinged by fear and guilt… This is a moving – and fast-moving – story, alive with the fears and uncertainties of life in Canada soon after the Second World War…. A thoughtful read.” – Jury Comments, Finalist for the Geoffrey Bilson Award for Historical Fiction for Young People

Winter Shadows
Written by Margaret Buffie
Trade Paperback | Age: 11+ | 336 pages
ISBN: 978-1-77049-358-2
“…the well-drawn characters will eventually capture readers’ attention. The details of daily life and racial politics in 1856 Manitoba, Canada, add weight to the story and the chaste romance between Beatrice and her two suitors will further draw in fans of historical fiction.” – School Library Journal

These books are available on September 25, but we’re going to include them on this roundup!

It’s Our Nature
Written by Rebeca Orozco
Illustrated by Menena Cottin
Hardcover | Ages 5-8 | 24 pages
ISBN: 978-1-77049-283-7
An elegant look at similarities between animals and humans. Believe it or not, animals have a strong resemblance to humans. Rebeca Orozco’s informative text and Menena Cottin’s brilliant images show us how animals can live together in harmony.

When I Get Older
The Story behind “Wavin’ Flag”
Written by K’naan
Illustrated by Rudy Gutierrez
Hardcover | Ages 7-10 | 32 Pages
ISBN: 978-1-77049-302-5
eBook: 978-1-77049-303-2
In his first book for children, When I Get Older, Somali-Canadian poet, rapper, singer, and songwriter K’naan tells his own story. “Wavin’ Flag” has become an international anthem. Its powerful words of hope have crossed generations and borders, and have made K’naan an international star.

Pub Date Giveaway: In the comments below, tell us which new September release of Tundra’s you would love 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, September 17, 2012!

UPDATE: Congratulations to Mary-Esther, who will be getting a copy of Susin Nielsen’s The Reluctant Journal of Henry K. Larsen.