Tag Archives: Canadian

I Need YOUR Help!

Dear readers,

I thought I’d try crowd-sourcing this one, as I’m striking out with my searches.

I need your help deciding on a novel to read to my Grade 7/8 library class. Not just any novel though – there are so many great ones to choose from. This one has to meet a host of criteria.

They would like me to stay with Deborah Ellis‘ books, with which the grade 8s have been obsessed since grade 6 and the Grade 7s got a taste of last year with The Breadwinner.

Why do they love her so much? Because she writes about ‘real’ people with interesting lives – characters with whom they can identify, but who make them appreciate their own lives; their freedoms. Ellis’ novels have perfectly appropriate shock value to keep them fascinated, meanwhile enlightening them; leading them to feel they understand parts of the world that they had not previously given any thought to.

But as wonderful as her books are, and were fabulous for discussions on democracy, Deborah Ellis’ novels do not meet the criteria this time.

This class’ Social Studies teacher is focusing on a theme of cultural compromise: the compromises, (if you can call it that), that First Nations made when Europeans first arrived in Canada, and those made by those Europeans and other immigrants upon coming to Canada to assimilate into the first developing and now entrenched culture. Applicable also would be the Metis and French Canadians who found themselves minorities in western Canada.

So…I’m looking for a fast-moving, adrenaline-rich novel that illustrates that theme of cultural compromise, with (a) strong, believable and preferably teenage protagonist(s), set in pre- or post-confederation Canada, with a few age-appropriate, realistic shockers and cliff-hangers (I know when to stop a reading) among the adventures.

I won’t tell you what I’ve been looking at or why I may or may not have rejected them. I want your suggestions.

Enlighten me, please! You can post suggestions in the comments below or to @Missus_K on Twitter, or you can email me at MissusK76(at)Yahoo(dot)com, if that’s the method you prefer. I’ll compile them all, with credit, in a later post here.

Thanking you in advance,

Cindy

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Filed under Authors & Illustrators, Books, Education, Library Class, Library Programs, Reading, Rethinking My Library

Amy’s Marathon of Books

Amy Mathers

Ontario’s Amy Mathers was born with Glycogen Storage Disease Type IIIa (GSD), a form of muscular dystrophy. With a focus on paying forward the gifts of two organ transplants, she is a strong advocate for organ and tissue transplant awareness.

She is also a passionate reader and uses teen novels in bibliotherapy, using books “to help people identify their feelings and cope with their lives”.

Inspired by Terry Fox and Rick Hansen’s Canadian journeys, her newest project, ‘Amy’s Marathon of Books”, promises to raise money for a new Canadian teen fiction prize. Amy calculated that Terry Fox walked an average of one kilometres every six minutes and that she can read ten pages in the same amount of time. Thus every ten  pages will represent one kilometre as she reads books from each province and territory,  beginning with Newfoundland.

Amy expects to finish one book a day in 2014 and will post reviews of each book on her blog. Her goal is “To raise money for the Canadian Children’s Book Centre (CCBC) in order to endow a Canadian teen book award to be presented at the yearly Canadian Children’s Literature Awards gala”.

Visit Amy’s Marathon of Books to learn more, suggest a book, donate, participate or follow Amy and her book reviews through a variety of social media.

See also:
Hope for Families Counselling Centre
The Phoenix Zine

Wikimedia Commons

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Illustrator: Karen Reczuch ~ Award Finalist

Finalist for the 2012 TD Canadian Children’s Literature Award ($25,000)
Sponsored by TD Bank Group

Loon
Written by Susan Vande Griek (Halifax, NS)
Illustrated by Karen Reczuch (Acton, ON)
Groundwood Books
for ages 4-7

“A beautiful combination of words and images… The poetic text perfectly captures the rhythm of a loon’s life cycle… Readers will respond on so many different levels – to Vande Griek’s lovely use of language and Reczuch’s beautiful images… A magical combination of poetry and illustrations that is both lyrical and scientifically informative.” (link)

Detail from Loon

Karen Reczuch

A childhood spent with a pencil always in hand has blossomed into a full and varied life for Ontario artist Karen Reczuch. Apart from her here-featured work as a children’s book illustrator, Reczuch has enjoyed extensive travel as part of post-secondary studies in advertising, work in educational publishing and employment since 2008 as artifact illustrator for an archeological expedition in Turkey.

      

(Click on the above thumbnails for their Goodreads page with reviews, and here for the full gallery of children’s books illustrated by Reczuch.)

Reczuch’s website cover image. Click to go there.

“Whether spending an afternoon sketching in a nearby woods or absorbed at my desk drawing an ancient artifact, I enjoy examining and recording the intricate world around me. Time spent drawing and painting is an opportunity to truly “see” and often an exercise in personal discovery and connection, not unlike meditation. My hope is that my work allows others to make similar discoveries and to share the delight of visually exploring our shared environment.”   Karen Reczuch

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