Children & young adult

#638 Adventures at Canyon Camp

The Horse of The River: A Camp Canyon Falls Adventure by Sari Cooper Madeira Park: Harbour Publishing, 2019 $12.95 / 9781550178777 Reviewed by Margot Fedoruk * “Riding is where your heart is. Go. Commune with the horses and live in the woods,” says Gillian’s mother as she encourages her daughter to enjoy a month-long trip…
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#632 Living small on a tired planet

Tiny House, Big Fix Victoria: Orca Books, 2019 $9.95 / 9781459821200 by Gail Anderson-Dargatz Reviewed by Valerie Green * This small book by novelist Gail Anderson-Dargatz is a delightfully quick read for young adults. The story is told in just 136 pages. In the book, the author describes many aspects of rural life while at…
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#616 Captive mountain grizzlies

The Grizzlies of Grouse Mountain: The True Adventures of Coola and Grinder by Shelley Hrdlitschka and Rae Schidlo, illustrated by Linda Sharp Victoria: Heritage House, 2019 $19.95 / 9781772032772 Reviewed by Theo Dombrowski * Grizzly bear! Ursus arctos ! Or is it, more correctly, Ursus arctos horribilis? The first is the species name, the second…
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#567 A Métis Red Riding Hood

The Girl and the Wolf by Katherena Vermette (text) and Julie Flett (illustrations) Penticton: Theytus Books, 2019 $19.95 / 9781926886541 Reviewed by Irene Watts * What inspired this empathetic tale? Katherena Vermette, a Métis writer from Winnipeg, says in her author’s note that this “completely made-up story” was influenced by traditional ones. The Girl and…
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#556 Gangs, pirates, smugglers

Stowaway by Pam Withers Toronto: Dundurn, 2018 $12.99 / 9781459741911 Reviewed by Irene Watts * Pam Withers has a staunch following for her many adventure novels. Fans will not be disappointed in Stowaway from Dundurn Press. Two sixteen-year-old boys of diverse backgrounds, both mourn a lack of friends, and are burdened with secrets they have…
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#362 City night magic

First published Sept. 1, 2018. The Night the Forest Came to Town by Charles Ghigna, illustrated by Annie Wilkinson Victoria: Orca Books, 2018 $19.95 / 9781459816503 Reviewed by Carol Anne Shaw * Nature reclaims and transforms a city in Charles Gigna’s The Night the Forest Came to Town, illustrated by Annie Wilkinson. Carol Anne Shaw notes…
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#357 Refugee kids meet Cougar Annie

First published Aug. 28, 2018. Up In Arms by Amanda Spottiswoode, illustrations by Molly March Victoria: Heritage House, 2017. $12.95 / 9781772032024 Reviewed by Steve Pocock * In 1939 and 1940, some 6,000 British children, known as child evacuees and British guest children, were sent to Canada to escape the threat of German invasion. The…
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#356 Bullying must be stopped

First published August 28, 2018. Fifteen Point Nine DCB Book, 2018 $14.95 978-1-77086-523-5 A debut YA novelist wants society to not turn a blind eye in the hallways. “I’ve seen more money spent on new basketball uniforms than on workshops and classes that could address the increasingly harsh reality of bullying,” says Holly Dobbie, “that…
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#217 Batter matters

First published Dec. 10, 2017. From Scratch by Gail Anderson-Dargatz Victoria: Orca Books, 2017. $9.95.  /  9781459815025 Reviewed by Carol Anne Shaw   * Gail Anderson-Dargatz’s From Scratch is a recent release from Orca Books’ Rapid Reads Program — a genre of short, high-interest novels penned by bestselling authors with the aim of helping adults…
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#173 Always cry wolf

First published Sept. 29, 2017 REVIEW: Wolf Island by Ian McAllister (photographs) and Nicholas Read (text) Victoria: Orca Book Publishers, 2017. $19.95 9781459812642  Reviewed by Carol Anne Shaw   * Wolf Island is a picture book co-created by photographer, author, and Pacific Wild founder Ian McAllister and author and former journalist Nicholas Read. It is…
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#172 Highland Clearances to BC

First published September 18, 2017 REVIEW: The Nor’ Wester by David Starr Vancouver: Ronsdale Press, 2017. $11.95 978-1-55380-493-2 Reviewed by Steve Pocock David Starr’s The Nor’Wester, for young readers, introduces us to fifteen-year-old Duncan Scott, a young highlander evicted with his sister and parents from their rural cottage during the Highland Clearances in the early nineteenth…
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#161 Loving in a fog

First published August 30, 2017 REVIEW: The Most Dangerous Thing by Leanne Lieberman Victoria: Orca Book Publishers, 2017 $14.95 9781459811843  Reviewed by Carol Anne Shaw Sixteen-year-old Sydney lives in and out of the Fog — a word she uses to describe the smothering depression and anxiety that so often takes hold of her. But she’s trying;…
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#133 Black Dog desperation

Deadpoint by Nikki Tate Victoria: Orca Book Publishers, 2017 $9.95  /  9781459813526 Reviewed by Carol Anne Shaw First published May 31, 2017 * In Deadpoint, Ayla, a reluctant rock-climber, finds herself with two experienced injured climbers on the side of Black Dog Mountain. Reviewer Carol Shaw finds much to admire in the steep learning curve…
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#120 Looking up from Down Under

Munro vs. The Coyote by Darren Groth Victoria: Orca Books, 2017 $19.95 / 9781459814097 Reviewed by Carol Anne Shaw First published April 14, 2017 * Since the sudden death of his sister, sixteen-year old Munro Maddux has been angry, depressed, and confused. Even worse, he can’t get rid of a horrible voice in his head…
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#8 Ann Blades

First Published: April 12th, 2015 B.C.’s maven of children’s literature, Judith Saltman, has designated Ann Blades’ self-illustrated Mary of Mile 18 (1971) as the “breakthrough” illustrated title by a B.C. writer for children. The published-from-Montreal story is based on Blades’ experiences as a novice teacher in northern B.C. Her second book in 1973 was similarly…
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