Children & young adult

1332 Harking: growing up in Jasper

Harking by George Mercer North Saanich: George Mercer, 2021; printed by Friesens, Altona, Manitoba $19.99  /  9780987975485 Reviewed by Valerie Green * George Mercer’s book Harking is described as a book for young adults. I am sure, however, it will appeal to people of all ages who enjoy and respect the wilderness. Set in Jasper…
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1288 Burrs and bullet trains

Design Like Nature: Biomimicry for a Healthy Planet by Megan Clendenan and Kim Ryall Woolcock Victoria: Orca Books, 2021 $19.95 / 9781459824645 Reviewed by Jocie Brooks * I opened this book while sitting at the kitchen table beside the head of a giant sunflower cut from my garden, full of seeds ready for harvest. The…
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1274 Human child, Humpback calf

Show Us Where You Live, Humpback by Beryl Young (text) and Sakika Kikuchi (illustrations) Vancouver: Greystone Books, 2021 $22.95 / 9781771645737 Reviewed by Elizabeth Bassett * Beside the bay, a mother and child stand hand-in-hand, the child pointing excitedly toward a kindred duo swimming in the water. “Show us where you live, Humpback,” the child…
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1243 A place to call home

Finding Home: The Journey of Immigrants and Refugees by Jen Sookfong Lee, illustrated by Drew Shannon Victoria: Orca Books, 2021 $24.95 / 9781459818996 Reviewed by Valerie Green * I strongly believe that Jen Sookfong Lee’s book Finding Home: The Journey of Immigrants and Refugees should be introduced into schools as required reading for all young…
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1235 The Mothers of Xsan series

Four books reviewed by Kenneth Campbell: The Sockeye Mother by Hetxw’ms Gyetxw (Brett D. Huson), illustrated by Natasha Donovan Winnipeg: Portage and Main Press, 2018 $23.00 / 9781553797395 * The Grizzly Mother by Hetxw’ms Gyetxw (Brett D. Huson), illustrated by Natasha Donovan Winnipeg: Portage and Main Press, 2019 $23.00 / 9781553797760 * The Eagle Mother…
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1221 Dandurand in tandem

Two books reviewed by Harper Campbell: SH:LAM (The Doctor) by Joseph Dandurand Toronto: Mawenzi House, 2020 $19.95 / 9781988449715 * The Sasquatch, the Fire and the Cedar Baskets by Joseph Dandurand, illustrated by Simon Daniel James Gibsons: Nightwood Editions, 2020 $14.95 / 9780889713765 * Joseph A. Dandurand is a man of many roles. A member…
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1191 A walk into the past

Painted Fences by Sara Cassidy, illustrated by Sydney Barnes Victoria: Heritage House, 2021 $19.95 / 9781772033519 Reviewed by Valerie Green * Sara Cassidy’s children’s book Painted Fences is an excellent way of offering a delightful story within a story for young children ages 8 to 12. At the same time it teaches them about the…
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1183 Why I love Lucy Maud

ESSAY: Why I love Lucy Maud by Carol Volkart * When I first met Lucy Maud Montgomery in her journals a few months ago, she was a sparkling flirt of 14 tumbling off sleds in winter snowbanks, losing her hat and laughing, laughing, laughing. When I said goodbye to her recently, she was an anguished…
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1107 Page’s plays and fairy tales

Metamorphosis: Selected Children’s Literature by P.K. Page, edited by Margaret Steffler Erin, Ontario: Porcupine’s Quill, 2020 $22.95 / 9780889844322 Reviewed by Phyllis Reeve * To be clear: P.K. Page (1916-2010) did write a number of delightful books for children, but this volume is not one of them. Not that this book is not delightful; it is,…
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1101 Through Vancouver by scooter

Beep Beep Bubbie by Bonnie Sherr Klein (text) and Élisabeth Eudes-Pascal (illustrations) Vancouver: Tradewind Books, 2020 $19.95 / 9781926890234 Reviewed by Elizabeth Bassett Editor’s note: The West Coast Book Prize Society announced on April 8, 2021, that Beep Beep Bubbie by Bonnie Sherr Klein (text) and Élisabeth Eudes-Pascal (Tradewind Books) has been shortlisted for the Christie…
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1070 Standing up for Bennie

The Jigsaw Puzzle King Toronto: Dundurn, 2020 $12.95 / 9781459746060 by Gina McMurchy-Barber Reviewed by Valerie Green * The Jigsaw Puzzle King by Gina McMurchy-Barber is a beautiful little book with a compelling message of hope for young adult readers. Eleven year-old Warren thinks he has two major problems in his life. The first is…
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1068 The hazards of home school

Deadman’s Castle by Iain Lawrence Toronto: Penguin Random House (Margaret Ferguson Books), 2021 $17.99 /  9780823446551 Reviewed by Phyllis Reeve * “My memories were like the tombstones in the cemetery, chipped and broken, so jumbled around that they didn’t make sense. Maybe I was trying to connect things that couldn’t be connected.” By the time…
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1063 Garage magic and memory

Saturday at the Garage by Nancy Hundal (text) and Angela Pan (illustrations) Vancouver: Midtown Press, 2020 $21.95 / 9781988242323 Reviewed by Caileigh Broatch * The Saturday morning sun rises to greet a father and daughter on the way to the garage. While there’s no school to attend, there are chores that must be done: floors…
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1053 An Adderson quartet

Paul & Pierre: Dragon! by Caroline Adderson, with illustrations by Alice Carter Toronto: Owlkids Books, 2021 $18.95 / 9781771473286 * Pierre & Paul: Avalanche! by Caroline Adderson, illustrations by Alice Carter Toronto: Owlkids Books, 2020 $18.95 / 9781771473279 * It Happened on Sweet Street by Caroline Adderson, illustrations by Stéphane Jorisch Toronto: Penguin Random House…
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1050 Return of the crocodiles

Crocs in a Box: Three Little Books by Robert Heidbreder, illustrated by Rae Maté Vancouver: Tradewind Books, 2020 $24.95 / 9781926890067 Consisting of Crocodiles Say (2006), Crocodiles Play (2008), and Crocs at Work (2015) Reviewed by Irene N. Watts * Well-loved books sometimes languish on the backlist, or go out of print. Happily Tradewind Books…
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1048 Covid in the classroom

Don’t Stand So Close to Me by Eric Walters Victoria: Orca Books, 2020 $10.95 / 9781459827875 Reviewed by Valerie Green * Eric Walters book Don’t Stand So Close to Me is very pertinent in today’s world and will help children better understand the new realty of a world-wide COVID-19 pandemic. The children in this story…
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1029 Redemption in Beijing

My Summer of Love and Misfortune by Lindsay Wong Toronto: Simon and Schuster, 2020 $17.99 / 9781534480704 Reviewed by Jessica Poon * My Summer of Love and Misfortune is an aptly titled comic YA novel with a propensity for food-centric similes, “super” as the omnipresent intensifier of choice, no shortage of hyphens, and featuring Iris…
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1026 A bevy of Beethovens

The Fifth Beethoven by Melanie Jackson Vancouver: Crwth Press, 2020 $10.95 / 9781989724057 Reviewed by Ginny Ratsoy * Scottish-born Vancouverite Melanie Jackson is a veteran writer of mysteries for young people, and it shows: she hits the right notes with this mystery for tweens and early teens. Not only does the mystery thread keep you…
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