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?

The 2016 BC Book Prizes Finalists

The West Coast Book Prize Society is thrilled to announce the finalists for the 2016 BC Book Prizes. Congratulations to our finalists: Linda Bailey, Susin Nielsen, Sara O’Leary, and Julie Morstad! Winners will be announced on Saturday, April 30, 2016.

Sheila A. Egoff Children’s Literature Prize

Seven Dead PiratesSeven Dead Pirates
Written by Linda Bailey
Hardcover | 304 Pages | Ages 8-12
ISBN: 978-1-77049-815-0
Lewis is initially delighted with his new bedroom, a secluded tower in a remote part of a decaying seaside mansion. Then he discovers that it’s already occupied—by the ghosts of seven dead pirates. Worse, the ghosts expect him to help them re-take their ship. The only problem is that this motley crew hasn’t left the house in almost two hundred years and is terrified of going outside. As Lewis warily sets out to assist his new roommates, he begins to open himself to the possibilities of friendship, passion, and joie de vivre and finds the courage to speak up. Linda Bailey has won awards across North America, including the California Young Readers’ Medal, the Georgia Storybook Award, the Ontario Blue Spruce and Silver Birch Awards, and the Oregon SMART Award.

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
Stewart Inkster is academically brilliant but “ungifted” socially. 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. 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 are all made of molecules. Susin Nielsen has received two Canadian Screenwriter Awards and a Gemini Award. She is the author of award-winning novels Word NerdDear George Clooney, Please Marry My Mom; and The Reluctant Journal of Henry K. Larsen.

Christie Harris Illustrated Children’s Literature Prize

This Is SadieThis Is Sadie
Written by Sara O’Leary
Illustrated by Julie Morstad
Hardcover | 32 Pages | Ages 3-7
ISBN: 978-1-77049-532-6
Sadie is a little girl with a big imagination. She has been a girl who lived under the sea and a boy raised by wolves. She has had adventures in wonderland and visited the world of fairytales. She whispers to the dresses in her closet and talks to birds in the treetops. She has wings that take her anywhere she wants to go, but that always bring her home again. She likes to make things—boats out of boxes and castles out of cushions. But more than anything Sadie likes stories, because you can make them from nothing at all. Sara O’Leary is the author of the award-winning series of Henry books: When You Were Small, Where You Came From, and When I Was Small. Julie Morstad‘s book How To was a 2013 Governor General’s Award finalist.

CLA’s 2016 Young Adult Book Award Shortlist

The Canadian Library Association is pleased to announce the shortlist for the 2016 Young Adult Book Award. The award is generously sponsored by Library Services Centre and recognizes an author of an outstanding English-language Canadian work of fiction (novel, collection of short stories or graphic novel), published in 2015 that appeals to young adults. Tundra would like to congratulate Susin Nielsen!

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.

Congratulations to the other shortlisted authors:
Delusion Road by Don Aker
The Masked Truth by Kelley Armstrong
An Inheritance of Ashes by Leah Bobet
Scorpion Rules by Erin Bow
Mad Miss Mimic by Sarah Henstra
The Truth Commission by Susan Juby
The Outside Circle by Patti LaBoucane-Benson
Calvin by Martine Leavitt
Boo by Neil Smith

Thank you to the jury members for their dedication and hard work! The winner of the award, and the Honour Books, will be announced prior to the National Canadian Library Association Conference. The award will be presented at the conference in Ottawa, ON in June at the annual awards reception.

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!

Finalists for the 2015 Governor General’s Literary Awards

Each year, the Canada Council for the Arts honours the best books in Canadian literature with the Governor General’s Literary Awards. This year, we have four finalists in Children’s Literature, two in text and two in illustrations. Huge congratulations to our authors and illustrators!

Children’s Literature – Text

Audrey-cowAudrey (cow)
Written by Dan Bar-el
Illustrated by Tatjana Mai-Wyss
Hardcover | 240 Pages | Ages 7-10
ISBN: 978-1-77049-602-6
eBook: 978-1-77049-604-0
Animal Farm meets The Great Escape…. The result is purely delightful, as are Tatjana Mai-Wyss’s appropriately vintage-looking spot illustrations. The short first-person passages help move the story along, ending with a comedy-of-errors that culminates in Audrey happily living out her days at an animal sanctuary. Bar-el manages to gently and thoughtfully introduce kids to the concept of the abattoir while also underscoring that a farm’s very purpose is producing food. At its heart, Audrey (cow) encourages kids to think even as it entertains – the mark of wonderful children’s literature.” – Starred Review, Quill & Quire

We Are All Made of MoleculesWe Are All Made of Molecules
Written by Susin Nielsen
Hardcover | 256 Pages | Ages 12 and up
ISBN: 978-1-77049-779-5
eBook: 978-1-77049-781-8
“Drama, humour, poignancy, and suspense are rarely found in such perfect proportions as in Governor General’s Literary Award–winner Susin Nielsen’s new novel about a teen odd couple forced together in a blended family situation…We Are All Made of Molecules is chockablock with timely and weighty issues, yet it feels feather-light thanks in large part to some truly funny writing. Teens will be so busy turning pages they won’t even realize they’re thinking. This is stellar, top-notch stuff.” – Starred Review, Quill & Quire

Congratulations to the other finalists in this category: Darren Groth for Are You Seeing Me?, Caroline Pignat for The Gospel Truth, and Emil Sher for Young Man with Camera.

Children’s Literature – Illustrated Books

The Good Little BookThe Good Little Book
Written by Kyo Maclear
Illustrated by Marion Arbona
Hardcover | 40 Pages | Ages 5-9
ISBN: 978-1-77049-451-0
“Maclear steers clear of ‘reading is good for you’ and focuses instead on a boy’s affection for a dearly loved object and sorrow at its loss. But with the affection is something more subtle, a celebration of the comfort of rereading, of having a favourite book that’s the only book for you. And Arbona’s art works well at aiding and abetting that play of imagination and feeling. Cockeyed perspectives, vivid colours and comic, surreal scenes show how dynamic, how animated, the love for a favourite story can be. Funny and thoughtful.” – The Toronto Star

Bug in a VacuumBug in a Vacuum
Written by Mélanie Watt
Hardcover | 96 Pages | Ages 5-9
ISBN: 978-1-77049-645-3
“In a story heady and intellectually ambitious enough for a jaded adult, yet suited to a child’s down-to-earth appetites, a wide-eyed fly gets vacuumed up. Trapped, it goes through the five stages of grief … each first depicted by Watt as a funny retro product like bug spray…. There’s a journey, yes, into the light, but it’s a happy ending that may just prompt sheer joy at the simple fact of being alive.” – The New York Times

Congratulations to the other finalists in this category: Andy Jones and Darka Erdelji for Jack, the King of Ashes, JonArno Lawson and Sydney Smith for Sidewalk Flowers, and John Martz for A Cat Named Tim and Other Stories.

Go online to discover the year’s best books and their authors, illustrators and translators, on the new interactive GG website. Follow the conversation on Twitter through @CanadaCouncil and by using the hashtag #GGbooks. Like the GGs on Facebook for all the latest updates.

The winners of the 2015 Governor General Literary Awards will be announced on Wednesday, October 28 at 6:30 am.