CTV Your Morning Kids' Book Segment on Mental Health & Wellness

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Our Marketing & Publicity Associate Director, Vikki VanSickle, was on CTV’s Your Morning today to talk about kids’ books dealing with mental health and wellness. Check out our titles from her recommended list below and don’t forget to watch her segment!

PICTURE BOOKS

What’s Up, Maloo?
By Genevieve Godbout
ISBN 9780735266643 | Hardcover
Ages 3-7 | Tundra Books
No other kangeroo can hop like Maloo! But one day Maloo’s friends find him stepping instead of hopping. What’s wrong, Maloo? His pals look for ways to help Maloo regain the spring in his step. With patience, support and a little “hop” from his friends, Maloo gets his bounce back.

Grumpy Monkey Party Time!
By Suzanne Lang
Illustrated by Max Lang
ISBN 9780593118627 | Hardcover
Ages 3-7 | Random House Books for Young Readers
Have you ever been a little anxious about going to a party? Jim Panzee feels that. Porcupine is having a big party, and according to Jim’s best friend Norman, there will be–gulp–dancing. Jim can DEFINITELY not dance. When he tells his friends, they all try to teach him cool moves–surely that’s the only reason Jim isn’t excited about this party!

Big Boys Cry
By Jonty Howley
ISBN 9781524773205 | Hardcover
Ages 3-7 | Random House Books for Young Readers
It’s Levi’s first day at a new school, and he’s scared. His father tries to comfort Levi by telling him “Big boys don’t cry.” Though the father immediately understands his misstep, he can’t find the words to comfort his son, and Levi leaves for school, still in need of reassurance.

CHAPTER BOOKS/MIDDLE GRADE

Alvin Ho: Allergic to Girls, School, and Other Scary Things
By Lenore Look
Illustrated by LeUyen Pham
ISBN 9780375849305 | Paperback
Ages 6-9 | Yearling
Alvin, an Asian American second grader, is afraid of everything—elevators, tunnels, girls, and, most of all, school. He’s so afraid of school that, while he’ s there, he never, ever, says a word. But at home he’s a very loud superhero named Firecracker Man, a brother to Calvin and Anibelly, and a gentleman-in-training, so he can be just like his dad.

The Reluctant Journal of Henry K. Larsen
By Susin Nielsen
ISBN 9781770496545 | Paperback
Ages 10+ | Tundra Books
Thirteen-year-old Henry’s happy, ordinary life comes to an abrupt halt when his older brother, Jesse, picks up their father’s hunting rifle and leaves the house one morning. What follows shatters Henry’s family, who are forced to resume their lives in a new city, where no one knows their past. When Henry’s therapist suggests he keeps a journal, at first he is resistant. But soon he confides in it at all hours of the day and night.

YOUNG ADULT

The Agony of Bun O’Keefe
By Heather Smith
ISBN 9780143198673 | Paperback
Ages 12+ | Penguin Teen Canada
It’s Newfoundland, 1986. Fourteen-year-old Bun O’Keefe has lived a solitary life in an unsafe, unsanitary house. Her mother is a compulsive hoarder, and Bun has had little contact with the outside world. Bun and her mother rarely talk, so when Bun’s mother tells Bun to leave one day, she does. Hitchhiking out of town, Bun ends up on the streets of St. John’s, Newfoundland.

The Unlikely Hero of Room 13B
By Teresa Toten
ISBN 9780385678346 | Paperback
Ages 12+ | Doubleday Canada
When Adam meets Robyn at a support group for kids coping with obsessive-compulsive disorder, he is drawn to her almost before he can take a breath. But when you’re fourteen and the everyday problems of dealing with divorced parents and step-siblings are supplemented by the challenges of OCD, it’s hard to imagine yourself falling in love. How can you have a “normal” relationship when your life is so fraught with problems? 

2019 Writers’ Trust Awards

The Vicky Metcalf Award for Literature for Young People is given annually to the author of an exceptional body of work in children’s literature and the winner is selected by a three-member judging panel. We would like to congratulate Susin Nielsen who was the recipient of this year’s award!

From the jury citation:

In one of her book titles, Susin Nielsen reminds us we are all made of molecules. Deftly, in her writing, she has managed to mould these molecules into unforgettable characters that lead us in and out of the seismic shifts of adolescence in the earthquake zone of Vancouver, where her stories are set. Nielsen celebrates the amazing resilience of young people as well as the adults around them as they face such trials as mental health issues, bullying, homelessness, and the deaths of siblings and parents. Few writing today can match her ability to make even peripheral characters memorable through a wonderful distillation of dialogue and details. A testimony to her talent is that she manages to put everything together with a humour that can only draw us in and keep us laughing even as we reach for a box of tissues. Witty, tender, fearless in the face of tackling big issues, Nielsen has staked out her territory in children’s literature — and it’s a place worth visiting often.

Word Nerd
By Susin Nielsen
ISBN 9780887769900
Ages 9-12 | Tundra Books

In this brilliantly observed novel, author Susin Nielsen transports the reader to the world of competitive Scrabble as seen from the honest yet funny viewpoint of a boy who’s searching for acceptance and for a place to call home.

Dear George Clooney, Please Marry My Mom
By Susin Nielsen
ISBN 9781770492950
Ages 10+ | Tundra Books

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.

The Reluctant Journal of Henry K. Larsen
By Susin Nielsen
ISBN 9781770496545
Ages 10+ | Tundra Books

Thirteen-year-old Henry’s happy, ordinary life comes to an abrupt halt when his brother, Jesse, picks up a hunting rifle and leaves the house one morning.

We Are All Made of Molecules
By Susin Nielsen
ISBN 9781770497801
Ages 12+ | Tundra Books

Written in alternating voices, Susin Nielsen deftly explores family tragedy and family ties; sibling rivalry and union; and adolescent confusion and revelation.

Optimists Die First
By Susin Nielsen
ISBN 9781770497832
Ages 12+ | Tundra Books

This touching, hilarious tragi-comedy by award-winning author Susin Nielsen proves: Life is out to get you. But so is love. A quirky alternative to the “sick lit” genre for YA readers.

No Fixed Address
By Susin Nielsen
ISBN 9780735262751
Ages 10+ | Tundra Books

From beloved Governor General Literary Award–winning author Susin Nielsen comes a touching and funny middle-grade story about family, friendship and growing up when you’re one step away from homelessness.

Princess Puffybottom … and Darryl
By Susin Nielsen
Illustrated by Olivia Chin Mueller
ISBN 9781101919255
Ages 3-7 | Tundra Books

What’s a pampered cat to do now that she has to compete for attention with an ill-mannered puppy? Award-winning author Susin Nielsen delights in this laugh-a-minute twist on the classic sibling rivalry story.

Pink Shirt Day

Stand up against bullying! Today is Pink Shirt Day, a day when we wear pink to show that we are all working together as a community to prevent bullying in all forms.

Not only are we wearing pink and spreading the word, we’re also hosting a giveaway! And what better author to talk about bullying than our very own Susin Nielsen? Her upcoming book, We Are All Made of Molecules, deals with themes of bullying and the power of having someone stand up for another person.

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Two lucky winners will receive: one We Are All Made of Molecules T-shirt, one signed ARC of We Are All Made of Molecules, one signed paperback of Dear George Clooney, Please Marry My Mom, one signed paperback of The Reluctant Journal of Henry K. Larsen, and one signed paperback of Word Nerd.

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Ooo, comfy T-shirt! (Person not included in giveaway.)

Pink Shirt Day was started by two Nova Scotia students in 2007 when a younger boy was bullied for wearing pink. You can read a full account of the story here.

Fill out the entry below to enter our giveaway! One entry per person and please make sure you review our rules. This giveaway is open to residents of Canada only (sorry, US fans!) and ends on Wednesday March 4, 2015. We Are All Made of Molecules will be released on May 12, 2015, so this is your chance for an early read!

Entry form closed!

Update: Congratulations Karen and Sharon, we hope you enjoy your signed books! Thanks to everyone who participated! #PinkItForward

The 2014 Red Maple Fiction Award Winner

The Toronto Festival of Trees took place on May 14-15, 2014 at the Harbourfront Centre. We were there to cheer on our nominated authors and illustrators! The Ontario Library Association revealed the winning titles and honour books for the 2014 Forest of Reading program and Tundra would like to congratulate our winning author, Susin Nielsen!

The Reluctant Journal of Henry K LarsenThe Reluctant Journal of Henry K. Larsen
Written by Susin Nielsen
256 pages
Hardcover: 978-1-77049-372-8
Trade Paperback: 978-1-77049-654-5
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

Here’s a short clip of Susin accepting her Red Maple award on stage:

Video courtesy of Sigmund Brouwer.

PS: Word Nerd by Susin Nielsen was the winner of the 2010 Red Maple Award!

The 2013 Snow Willow Award Winner

The Saskatchewan Young Readers’ Choice’s Willow Awards promote reading by granting a Willow Award to the Canadian books voted by students to be the best of those nominated in three categories: Shining Willow, Diamond Willow, and Snow Willow. The 2013 Willow Awards winners were announced at the SaskEnergy Willow Awards Gala on May 7, 2014 in Swift Current at The Lyric Theatre.

And the winning authors and illustrators are…
Martin Springett, Isobel Springett, Jonathan Auxier, and Susin Nielsen! Congratulations to all!

The Reluctant Journal of Henry K LarsenThe Reluctant Journal of Henry K. Larsen
Written by Susin Nielsen
Hardcover | 256 pages
HC ISBN: 978-1-77049-372-8
TR ISBN: 978-1-77049-654-5
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

PS: Word Nerd by Susin Nielsen was the winner of the 2010 Snow Willow Award and Dear George Clooney, Please Marry My Mom was the winner of the 2011 Snow Willow Award!