NVCL Reads: Canada 150

Canada150Want to celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday, expand your experience of Canadian literature, have fun, and maybe win a prize?  Then NVCL Reads: Canada 150 is for you!

NVCL Reads is a reading bingo game that allows readers of all ages on the North Shore to celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday by reading Canadian authors and having fun.

How to Play

  • We have three bingo cards to choose from: children’s, teen, and adult.  Download the card of your choice, or pick up a bingo card from any information desk at the library.
  • Find and read books by Canadian authors to cross off bingo squares. You need a line of 5 to get a bingo.
  • Share the love!  Post about your reads on social media channels like Facebook and Twitter. Be sure to tag us @northvancitylib and use the hashtag #NVCLreads
  • When you have a bingo, let us know!  Come into the library and hand the bingo card in at any desk to get a draw slip, or submit the bingo card electronically. Please visit www.nvcl.ca to find out how.
  • For each line of five you complete, you’ll be entered into a draw for prizes.  The contest closes on September 5, 2017.  Winners must be able to pick their prizes up from the North Vancouver City Library; we are not able to mail your prize to you.

For full contest details, visit our website.

We’ll be blogging suggested reads for each square all summer long.  If you have questions about the program, please email plesku@cnv.org

Happy Canadian reading!

 

-Patricia

NVCL Reads: Poetry

Its time to polish up on our Canadian Poetry — not just because poetry can be moving and rich and vibrant and naughty, and all kinds of other things — but also because this lot of poetry is distinctly Canadian, and one more step to completing our #NVCLreads Canada 150 bingo contest.

Just for the record, I’m not by nature a poetry reader. However, this particular post gave me a much needed opportunity to dip my hands into an overflowing pool of talent and perspective that I have for too long ignored, spanning idiosyncrasies of voice and style.  Take these for what they are, a small smattering of what’s available, and mostly, a sure-fire way to expose yourself to poetry from the insides to the margins of Canada’s evolving literary landscape.

GriffinGriffin Poetry Prize: The Griffin Poetry Prize anthology: a selection of the shortlist

Up first is the 2016 anthology put out by the organizers of The Griffin Poetry Prize. The Prize is one of the richest poetry awards in the world. For this edition, Editor Adam Sol selected from a host of international and Canadian poets, the latter of which include poems from Per Brask and Patrick Friesen’s Frayed Opus for Strings & Wind Instruments (Brick Books), translated from the Danish written by Ulrikka S. Gernes, Infinite Citizen of the Shaking Tent by Liz Howard (McClelland & Stewart), and Tell: poems for a girlhood by Soraya Peerbaye (Pedlar Press).

wrongcatThe Wrong Cat: Poems by Lorna Crozier

One of Swift Current, Saskatchewan’s greatest gifts to Canada surely has to come in the form of poet Lorna Crozier, and particularly in this 17th work titled the The Wrong Cat: Poems.  Her style has evolved beyond just lyrical and effortless turns of phrase. Here she transcends the mediocre with an irreverence of style that never waivers from a clear sense of character and a simple story told – ah, but always with a twist, humor where it is right, and scrumptious bites of reality. Take ‘Book of Small Mistakes’ as an example, and there is one about A ‘Moose’ that is sure to require a revisit, for all the right reasons. Animals of all kinds help her reflect on everything from the subdued to the sublime.

somebirdsSome Birds Walk for the Hell of it by C.R. Avery

If irreverence is a style, C.R. Avery is its ambassador. He’s a local guy; fueled by his Commercial Drive roots, this avant- garde entertainer/slam poet gets to the heart of a variety of downtrodden, eccentrics, ‘temporaries’ and Bohemians that are the world around him in his home of East Vancouver.  While his live performance always adds that extra bit of spice to his ‘beat’ inspired meanderings, he is of us, and all of us in many ways. As one reviewer notes, however, be prepared, “Avery’s poetry is alternatively profane, brilliantly vulgar, outrageously funny, and brash in its lonesome courage”. But, he is innovative in his style, continuing to evolve as a poet, and well worth a read.

pemmicanThe Pemmican Eaters: Poems by Marilyn Dumont

John A. MacDonald referred to the Metis people as “pemmican eaters”. Such is the moniker that titles this collection of work by Marilyn Dumont, dedicated to illuminating characters and stories of the time of Louis Riel, and the rise of the Metis in Canada, bringing them seemingly into the present to face a reckoning. She confronts MacDonald directly, as well as all those who sought to denigrate the Metis by claiming herself and her identity as ‘halfbreed’ proudly.  She declares herself loudly and movingly — never ceding dignity and integrity in the process. I’m particularly informed by “What We Don’t Need”, as I am equally moved by “Our Gabriel”, a celebration of sorts of her ancestor, Gabriel Dumont, and his courageous place in our history.

injunInjun by Jordan Abel

Awarded 2017’s Griffin Poetry Prize, Jordan Abel confronts the legacies of our Colonial past with ‘Injun’ a single poem, wrought out of inaccurate depictions of Indigenous people throughout dozens of pulp western novels. He took these novels and painstakingly searched for occurrences of the word ‘Injun’, isolating the sentences they were contained in, and fashioning a single poem out of the results. What is created, along with annotations for a little bit of context is a confrontation with the language of the occupier, with the violence that has been wrought on the First People of the land, and an opportunity to heal from complicit attempts to erase and discount culture through language, as difficult as it may be to face that. It is that difficulty that makes the poem all that much more worthwhile to read.

milkandhoneyMilk and Honey by Rupi Kaur
The most tender chapters of our lives are written through experiences with abuse, loss, violence and love. Milk and Honey is a pilgrimage through these deepest of emotions but resolved with a softness that comes through the light that is always there, wanting to find its way through.  Divided into four sections that include “the hurting”, “the loving”, “the breaking”, and “the healing,” Kaur uses prose to address themes of loss and femininity.  Milk and Honey is one of the few books of Canadian poetry that has spent 52 weeks on the New York times best sellers list and has been translated into over 25 languages around the world.

To This Day: For the Bullied and Beautiful by Shane Koyczan
There wasn’t any Canadian who didn’t feel the pride of a nation bearing witness to poet Shane Koyczan’s stirring poem “We Are More” at the opening ceremonies of 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver. Here he takes another of his poems ‘To This Day’ and refashions it into a rallying cry against bullying. Based on his own experiences being bullied, the poem is heartfelt and emotional, but strong and inspirational.  Koyczan helps us rise to the resilience that lies beneath, confronting the bully within and around us all. So inspirational was the poem that he produced a YouTube video for a 2013 Ted Conference that has garnered millions of views, and continues to encourage others to this day.

-Chris

An Interview with Local Author Lawrence Verigin

seedofcontrolTell us about your book, Seed of Control

Seed of Control is the award winning sequel to Dark Seed. In Seed of Control, ex-journalist, Nick Barnes and his group figure out that the plot they discovered in Dark Seed is only a part of a much bigger plan, devised by some of the most powerful men in the world. These men and their corporations see themselves as the stewards of humanity and know what’s best for the world. However, they are self-serving and operate on power and greed.

Nick, with the help of scientists and an ex-member of the controlling society do everything they can to prove the plot to…(don’t want to give away the story)…while being mercilessly pursued by the security team of the power elite.

The story takes the reader from San Francisco, to Seattle and then onto Vancouver and Deep Cove. From there they have to escape to Paris and end up in Burford, England.

The third book in the trilogy, Beyond Control, will be published in the fall of 2018.

Lawrence VeriginWhy do you write?

I began writing a book as something I wanted to complete off my bucket list. Now I write because I love to create stories from nothing. There is so much satisfaction to be derived from writing and writing and writing, and ending up with a 100,000 word story that didn’t exist before I created it. Then, I really enjoy editing and polishing the manuscript to the best of my ability, at that moment. Also, it’s interesting to see how my writing is progressing with each new book.

In the end it’s gratifying to hear from readers who said they enjoyed the books and get their interpretations.

My goal is to delve into socially relevant subjects in an entertaining, fast paced form, with the hope of giving readers perspective that they may not have had before as to what’s going on.

writingDescribe your first ever piece of writing

I think I was in grade 5 and decided one rainy winter night that I was going to write a book. I wrote a page and a half and realized it was going to be too much work and put it away.

It wasn’t until I was 35 that I decided to learn how to write well enough to publish my work…or fake it to seem like I knew what I’m doing. That took 12 years.

NSWAI’ve read your book.  What should I read next?

I’m assuming you read Dark Seed too and you have to read something before Beyond Control comes out. I would suggest deviating from the best-seller lists and looking for books from local and less known authors. They don’t have the backing of the big publishers (yet), but their stories are quite often just as good and sometimes better.

Savour by Jackie BatemanWhat local authors do you love?

I’m biased to the two authors I was with at the North Shore Writers Festival panel this year – Jackie Bateman and Alexander Boldizar. Also, even though I’m not typically a science fiction reader, I’m currently reading Virtues of War, by Bennett Coles and really enjoying it.

sigmaWhat is the best book you’ve read so far this year?

All of the Sigma thrillers by James Rollins are great. However, so far this year the best books I’ve read are Stillpoint, by Colin Mallard and In Search of Sticks, by Randy Kaneen – both writers from Vancouver Island.

Where can fans find you?

My website is: www.lawrenceverigin.com and my e-mail is: lawrenceverigin@gmail.com

 

Thanks, Lawrence!

If you are a published local author who would like to be interviewed for The Top Shelf, please be in touch!  Email me at plesku@cnv.org

-Patricia

NVCL Reads: Canadian History Edition

It’s Canada’s 150th birthday this year! If you were hoping to learn a bit more about Canada’s history this year, here is a list to get you started.

Saltwater City by Paul Yee saltwatercity

Let’s ease into our study of Canadian history with pictures! Created by a former City of Vancouver archivist, Saltwater City documents the history of the Chinese community in Vancouver. Photography has the potential to humanize our past in a very immediate way, and even a quick peruse through this volume will give you a new window onto our shared history.

1867: How the Fathers Made a Deal by Christopher Moore

1867

And now for some constitutional history. But it’s really readable and interesting!! Written in 1997 after Canada had gone through two attempts at constitutional reform, this book explains why our political system works the way it does. You’ll be able to talk intelligently about things like why we (usually) don’t have fixed election dates! You’ll be the life of the BBQ!

 

A Knock on the Door: The Essential History of Residential Schools from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada and Phil Fontaine knock.jpg

An edited and abridged version of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s report on the horrors of Canada’s residential schools. It’s not an easy read – the story of cultural genocide is never easy. But by becoming more informed about our past, you’re helping to create the possibility for a healthier, more democratic future for all Canadians.

 

Ice Ghosts: The Epic Hunt for the Lost Franklin iceghostsExpedition by Paul Watson

Who isn’t fascinated by the lost (and then, over 150 years later, dramatically found) Franklin ships?!?!? Commanded by Sir John Franklin, the Erebus and Terror set off from London in 1845 to find the fabled Northwest Passage. Neither ship returned, and all 129 men aboard were lost. An extraordinary search ensued that didn’t end until 2016. Well worth the read.

 

-Cara Pryor

 

 

NVCL Reads: Historical Fiction

Historical fiction has the power to transport its readers to other times and other places. From Nova Scotia to Ireland, from the 1600s to the Second World War, Colleen shares some Canadian historical fiction that’s sure to engross you.
brideofnewfranceBride of New France, by Suzanne Desrochers

In 1669, two young Parisian women, Laure and Madeleine, are sent across the Atlantic to New France as filles du roi, or “daughters of the king”. This haunting first novel explores the challenges that a French girl faces coming into womanhood in a brutal time and place. From the moment she arrives, Laure is expected to marry and produce children with a brutish French soldier who can barely survive the harsh conditions of his forest cabin. But through her clandestine relationship with Deskaheh, an allied Iroquois, Laure discovers the possibilities of this New World.*

birthhouseThe Birth House, by Ami McKay

This novel is the story of Dora Rare, the first daughter to be born in five generations of Rares. As a child in an isolated village in Nova Scotia, she is drawn to Miss Babineau, an outspoken Acadian midwife with a gift for healing. Dora becomes Miss B.’s apprentice, and together they help the women of Scots Bay through infertility, difficult labours, breech births, unwanted pregnancies and even unfulfilling sex lives. Filled with details as compelling as they are surprising, The Birth House is an unforgettable tale of the struggles women have faced to have control of their own bodies and to keep the best parts of tradition alive in the world of modern medicine.  The novel was a # 1 bestseller in Canada, winner of three CBA Libris Awards, and nominated for the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award.*


wonderThe Wonder: a novel
by Emma Donoghue

A small village in 1850s rural Ireland is baffled by Anna O’Donnell’s fast, which began as a self-inflicted and earnest expression of faith. After weeks of subsisting only on what she calls “manna from heaven,” the story of the “miracle” has reached a fever pitch. Tourists flock in droves to the O’Donnell family’s modest cabin hoping to witness, and an international journalist is sent to cover the sensational story. Enter Lib, an English nurse trained by Florence Nightingale who is hired to keep watch for two weeks and determine whether or not Anna is a fraud. As Anna deteriorates, Lib finds herself responsible not just for the care of a child, but for getting to the root of why the child may actually be the victim of murder in slow motion.

A magnetic novel written with all the spare and propulsive tension that made Room a huge bestseller, The Wonder works beautifully on many levels—a simple tale of two strangers who will transform each other’s lives, a powerful psychological thriller, and a story of love pitted against evil in its many masks.*

wildrose
Wild Rose
, by Sharon Butala

Sophie was a sheltered girl from a well-off Montreal family in the 1880’s when she married hastily and went off to sparsely-populated southern Saskatchewan to begin her married life as a homesteader.  Before long she is abandoned by her husband and desperately struggling to survive with her young son.  Sharon Butala has been writing contemporary novels set on the prairies for over 30 years; this is her first historical novel.
winterseaThe Winter Sea , by Susanna Kearsley (alternate title “Sophia’s Secret)

Writer Carolyn McClelland is staying in a seaside cottage on the east coast of Scotland, where she is working on a book about the attempted Jacobite invasion of 1707.  Inexplicably drawn to Slains Castle, and not so inexplicably drawn to the charming, but somehow familiar, Stuart Keith, Carolyn is soon writing with an unusual speed and imagery which leads her to wonder whether her ‘fictional’ character of Sophia is really so fictional after all.  Carolyn soon realises that she is somehow channelling the memories of her distant relative and that her story has a life of its own.*

nightfallovershanghai
Nightfall Over Shanghai
, by Daniel Kalla

Local emergency doctor Daniel Kalla has written a terrific series about the Jewish community in Shanghai, China.  Starting in The Far Side of The Sky, after fleeing the Nazi takeover in Austria, the Adler family ends up in Japanese-occupied Shanghai to begin a new life.  Shanghai-born Sunny joins their family and through the two sequels, Rising Sun, Falling Shadow and Nightfall Over Shanghai, they endure loss and hardship through to 1945 when at last they hope to live freely once again.  There is talk of a movie and/or television series based on this trilogy and I can even see an opening for a fourth book.

-Colleen

* from the publisher’s description

NVCL Reads: Number in the Title

To help with another one of our trickier categories in the #NVCLreads Canada 150 bingo contest, here are some selections you could use for the #NVCLreadsNumber slot!

15dogsFifteen Dogs, by Andre Alexis

In this 2015 Giller Prize winner, the gods Apollo and Hermes make a bet  in a bar:  Apollo claims that if they grant human consciousness to 15 dogs each and every one of them will be even more unhappy than humans are. If even one of the dogs dies happy then Hermes wins.  So of course you have to steel yourself for the fact that all these dogs are going to die, but it’s a brilliant, moving read and completely worth it. Just make sure you have some tissues handy!

This could alternately be used in the #NVCLreadsWinner category!

playeronePlayer One, by Douglas Coupland

In his 2010 CBC Massey Lectures acclaimed novelist and visual artist Douglas Coupland explores the modern crises of time, human identity, society, religion and macroeconomics and the afterlife in the form of a novel – a 5-hour story set in an airport cocktail lounge during a global disaster.*

 

numberofthings

A Number of Things, by Jane Urquhart

Ok, I know I’m obeying the letter of the law more than the spirit here, but technically I think this counts as it literally has “A Number” in its title, and for good measure it does have an actual number in the sub-title. (Ok, Patricia is rolling her eyes at me now, so moving on…). Anyway, I think this title was made for this contest – it was written by Urquhart in celebration of Canada’s 150, and in it she chooses 50 uniquely Canadian objects and tells their stories.

For Teens…

ruleof3The Rule of Thre3, by Eric Walters

The first of a trilogy about one suburban neighbourhood’s existence after a global blackout, which has shut down everything from cell phones to basic utilities to computer-chip dependent vehicles. As resources dwindle, crises mount, and chaos descends, sixteen-year-old Adam’s neighbourhood must band together for protection, and having a police captain for a mother and a retired government spy living next door suddenly become keys to survival.*

moonatnineMoon at Nine, by Deborah Ellis

From the award-winning author of Parvana’s Journey, this 2016 title is based on interviews with a young woman forced to flee Iran because of her sexual orientation. It follows fifteen-year-old Farrin who has grown up with secrets: ten years after the overthrow of the Shah, her aristocratic mother is still working against Iran’s conservative revolutionary government. But when Farrin befriends Sadira, the intriguing and outgoing new student at her school for gifted girls, her own new secret is even more dangerous. Because the girls discover their relationship is more than just a friendship—and in Iran, being gay is punishable by death.*

juvie3

The Juvie Three, by Gordon Korman

Gecko, Terence, and Ajay are serving time in juvenile detention centers until they get a second chance. Douglas Healy, a former juvenile delinquent himself, takes them into his halfway house, hoping to make a difference in their lives. One night there is a scuffle, and Healy is accidentally knocked unconscious. When he awakes in the hospital, he has no memory of them or of the halfway house. Afraid of being sent back to Juvie, the guys hatch a crazy scheme to continue on as if the group leader never left.*  Korman does an excellent job in this novel of balancing what could otherwise be weighty topics with his trademark humour and amusing antics.

 

 

And for the Tweens and Kids, 

sevenmagpiesThe Seven Magpies, by Monica Hughes (novel)

In somewhat of a departure for Hughes, who usually writes science fiction, this novel blends mystery, fantasy, Celtic mythology, and boarding school stories.  Set during World War II, Maureen Frazer’s father has been sent to the front, her mother is helping with the war effort, and Maureen is shipped off to the Logan Academy for Young Ladies, a remote but safe boarding school in Scotland. There she finds that the girls have a secret society, called the Seven Magpies. When Maureen herself falls under the spell of a strange standing stone, she begins to understand what’s making her schoolmates seem so strange and then she discovers what the real danger is. A magical story of what may happen when teenagers tamper with the ancient power of the Celts.*

 

myarctic123My Arctic 1, 2, 3, by Michael Kusugak (picture book)

Explore Michael Kusugak’s world of animals and adventure in the Arctic Circle! Discover counting and creatures, and learn who’s predator and who’s prey. Witness five Arctic foxes hunting six furry siksiks. Then watch seven fishermen catch eight Arctic char. Numbers explored include 1 to 10, 20, 100 and even 1,000,000 (millions of berries ripen in the fall). Each scene, rendered in Vladyana Krykorka’s breathtaking paintings, is awash in Arctic colors and includes the depicted number in English and Inuktitut.*

This could alternately be used in the #NVCLreadsFirstNations or #NVCLreadsArctic categories!

 

* Description from publisher

NVCL Reads: Canadian Classic

There are so many Canadian classics you could use for the #NVCLreads Canada 150 Bingo contest, how do you choose? Fortunately our Web Specialist David has shared his picks for this category with a great mix of older and modern classics:

twosolitudesTwo Solitudes, by Hugh Maclennan (1945)

Two Solitudes is a multi-generational novel set in Montreal and rural Quebec between World Wars I and II. The story focuses primarily on the fortunes of the French Tallard family. Athanase, the family patriarch, is comfortable in his culture, but his younger English wife struggles to feel accepted in the small town in which they live. Their eldest son, Marius, blames all his problems on the English while Paul, the youngest son, falls in love with an English woman, Heather, and moves back and forth uncomfortably and yet with optimism for a better future, between the two cultures. Hugh Maclennan’s classic masterpiece won the Governor General’s Literary Award for English-Language Fiction in 1945, and offers insights into the Canadian psyche that remain relevant today.

 

whohasseenthewind

Who Has Seen the Wind, by W.O. Mitchell (1947)

Brian O’Connall lives in Saskatchewan with his parents, younger brother, strict Scottish grandmother, and the family dog. Described by one reviewer as an “Anne of Green Gables of the prairies”, the book doesn’t have a traditional narrative plot. Instead it’s a series of vignettes from young Brian’s life, and we see him at age four, then six, then eight, and finally at age eleven.  The main theme running through the book is a special feeling that Brian has, one associated with large themes like God and death, and often brought on by the prairie wind: “when it washed through poplar leaves, when it set telephone wires humming and twanging down an empty prairie road, when it ruffled the feather on one of Sherry’s roosters standing forlorn in a bare yard […] always, he noted, the feeling was most exquisite upon the prairie or when the wind blew”.

 

stoneangelThe Stone Angel, by Margaret Laurence (1964)

The Stone Angel tells the story of Hagar Shipley. Set in fictional Manawaka, Manitoba, the novel contains a present-day (i.e. 1960’s) narrative in which Hagar – now 90 and full of regret over her joyless and difficult life – is fighting with her son, who wishes to put her in a nursing home. The remainder of the novel looks back into the past and tells Hagar’s story. Toronto Review of Books describes Hagar as “one of the few great and fully realized characters of Canadian literature”. Laurence’s prose is exquisite: a book to read slowly and savour.

 

fifthbusinessFifth Business, by Robertson Davies (1970)

The first novel of the Deptford Trilogy, Fifth Business is considered by some to be the witty and erudite Davies’ finest novel. Dunstan Ramsay has recently retired from a career as a schoolteacher, and is insulted by the lukewarm send-off he has been given. He writes a letter to the head in which he demonstrates that he has in fact led a full and interesting life; that letter is the novel. Why did Davies call it ‘Fifth Business’? Davies seemed to enjoy pranks and he at first claimed that he had taken the term from an obscure Norwegian literary work, and even added a quote from it at the beginning of his novel. When pressed, he later admitted that his story of the title’s origin was as fictional as the novel itself. This is a rich, delightful and moving work.

 

acomplicatedkindnessA Complicated Kindness, by Miriam Toews (2004)

To finish up, here’s a modern classic, Miriam Toews’ fine second novel, set in the fictional town of East Village, Manitoba. It’s a very small town, mainly Mennonite, with two industries: a chicken slaughterhouse and an artificial ‘heritage’ village at which Toews’ protagonist, 16-year old Nomi Nickel, churns butter for the tourists. Nomi’s mother and sister have both escaped town, unable to bear their lives in East Village, and when he’s not selling off their remaining furniture, her father spends his days sitting by the roadside watching the cars go by. The mood of the town is largely governed by ‘The Mouth’, Nomi’s pastor and uncle. This novel is a rather bleak but powerful exploration of the life of a teenager in a tight-knit and oppressive community. It won the Governor General’s Literary Award for English-Language Fiction in 2004.

 

So there’s our top 5 – what would be the one Canadian Classic that you think everyone should read?

NVCL Reads: Canadian Graphic Novels for Children

The great part of graphic novels is that all levels of readers can enjoy them. Listed below are some of these novels by Canadian authors worth a read and exploration. Did you know that graphic novels are great for reinforcing language, memory sequencing and creative writing skills? Not only that but they are fun to read. Stay calm and read on with some our recommendations for the #NVCLreadsGraphicNovel category in our Canada 150 #NVCLreads bingo contest!

toweroftreasureThe Tower of Treasure, by Scott Chantler

As an acrobat in a traveling circus, 14-year-old orphan Dessa Redd flies through the air with ease. Still, she is weighed down by troubling memories. But when her ragtag circus troupe pulls into the city of Kingsbridge, Dessa feels a tickle of hope. Maybe here in the royal city she will finally find her twin brother — or the mysterious man who snatched him away when they were just children.  Meanwhile, Topper, the circus juggler, recruits Dessa and the circus strongman, Fisk, for the job of robbing the royal treasury. Hungry and desperate, both agree, setting off a series of adventures that will take the three thieves from one end of the world to the other in search of Dessa’s long-lost brother. Scott Chantler’s fast-paced story will engage readers while his bold-lined art with richly detailed backgrounds is a tribute to classic comic books.*


luzmakesasplashLuz Makes a Splash
, by Claudia Davila

Residents of the city of Petroville are suffering through the hottest and driest summer on record. Desperate for a way to cool off, Luz and her friends head out to Spring Pond to go swimming. But when they arrive, they’re shocked to discover the pond has virtually disappeared! It turns out a multinational company has purchased the nearby land and is using the water from the spring to make their soda. Meanwhile, back in the city, the gardens in Friendship Park are withering and at risk of dying because of the lack of rain. And now the city has imposed water restrictions in order to conserve. Luz and her friends are just kids, but is there anything they can do to help save two of Luz’s favorite places?*

claireandthewaterwishClaire and the Water Wish, by Jessica Poon

Summer’s over and Claire’s a bit nervous about starting at a new school. She doesn’t care about being popular — she just wants to fit in. Claire is thankful to have her best friend, Jet. But the girls quickly grow apart when Jet wins a digital camera. Jet’s bitten by the shutterbug and seems only interested in snapping photos with the cool kids. Tired of Jet’s antics, Claire strikes up a friendship with Sky, a girl from the local Lovesick Lake community. She learns that the water in Sky’s lake is undrinkable. The community suspects someone’s been secretly dumping waste in it for years. But when the three friends stumble across the polluters’ trail, will they be able to put their differences aside in time to save Lovesick Lake? The Claire graphic novels are built on stories of strong friendships and action-packed fun. Young girls will love to share the adventures of Claire and her friends — and then try the activities at the end of each book!*

thatonespookynightThat One Spooky Night, by Dan Bare-el

This collection of graphic short stories written by Dan Bar-el contains three separate tales of strange and surprising events that all happen one Halloween night. In Broom with a View, a girl’s broom for her witch costume mistakenly gets switched with a broom belonging to a real witch. Featured in 10 000 Tentacles under the Tub are two rambunctious boys who fight sea monsters while trick-or-treating as aqua-heroes, only to discover that their biggest challenge still awaits — in the bathtub. In The Fang Gang, everything gets turned around for four wannabe vampire girls when they meet up with the real thing. Naturally, all the parents are clueless about what’s going on (though in one, the pet dog is in on things!). The stories are just spooky enough and tempered with a touch of silly humor.*

hideandshriekHide and Shriek, by Sean O’Reilly

In this installment from the Mighty Mighty Monsters series, the monsters need to make some rules before they play Hide and Seek:  No flying like a vampire bat, no sniffing like a werewolf, and absolutely no magic!*

 

 
-Linda

* Descriptions from the publishers