Two Times a Traitor by Karen Bass

March 2, 2017

traitor-times-two

Two Times a Traitor is the newest endeavor by multi-nominated and celebrated Canadian author, Karen Bass.

Published by Pajama Press and set to be released in May 2017, Two Times a Traitor is a surprising departure from what YA readers have come to expect from this dynamic author.

Laz Berenger  a strong-willed 12 year-old reluctantly finds himself visiting the historic Halifax Citadal with his family. The ever present friction between he and his father explodes while touring the Citadal, and Laz in defiance, takes off on his own. His explorations take him to a section of the Citadel where an unforeseen accident occurs. Laz  suddenly finds himself faced with a knife to his throat and his bravado rapidly dissipates when he realizes that he is no longer in 2017, but has been transported to the historic period of 1745. He finds his loyalty and perseverance tested repeatedly as he tries to earn back his St. Christopher’s Medal and perhaps the key back in time?

Readers will be swept up and away in this riveting richly detailed, middle-grade historical/time travel nail biting adventure, and into the pages of an exciting part of Canadian history!

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!! [for Junior and Intermediate readers!]

five-stars
FIVE STARS!!

#Checkout more Karen Bass at:  http://www.karenbass.ca/ and the Two times a traitor book trailer :

ARC: generously supplied by Pajama Press in exchange for an honest review.

 

 

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Bent not Broken by Lotna Schultz Nicholson

February 28, 2017

one-2-one

Bent not Broken by celebrated and multi-nominated author, Lorna Schulz Nicholson is the third book in the acclaimed “One-2-One“series published by Clockwise Press and released this March, 2017. This is a series that focuses on teens in the ‘Best Buddies Program’ at Sir Winston Churchill Secondary School. ‘Here they help each other find and accept things about themselves.’ [back cover of Born with…].

In Bent not Broken, Justin and Madeline are ‘Best Buddies’ and have to deal with their own inner demons. For Madeline, her entire world needs to have the ‘reset button’ re-activated after a traumatic accident. This alone almost seems insurmountable, but having the feeling of her ‘twinness’ also severed, often results in frustration with herself that spills over and unintentionally results in uncontrollable reactions.  At these times  Justin’s quiet influence seems to be the only voice that steadies Maddie. As for Justin,  his personal life is also filled with tragedy and grief. However, both of these best buddies find common ground in an unexpected place that allows each of them to become “like a willow tree who bends in the face of adversity, but is not broken.” Told in alternating perspective, this tale of the human struggle with disappointment, grief, guilt, depression and self-worth. 

At the core it proves to the reader, that no matter what each of us has to endure, sharing the burden often lends each of us to tap and cultivate a hidden strength found within us all.

Schulz Nicholson has written this with such sensitivity and poignancy, that you cannot help but be totally engaged from beginning to end!

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED READ !!!!  

FIVE STARS

Checkout more- Lorna Schulz Nicholson at : http://lornaschultznicholson.com/

 


The Fabulous Friend Machine by Nick Bland

February 28, 2017

fabulous-friendFrom the publisher, Scholastic : “When Popcorn, the friendliest chicken at Fiddlesticks Farm, finds a forgotten smartphone in the barn, she sets about making some brand new friends. Soon she is so busy sending messages to them that she begins to forget her old friends. “

The Fabulous Friend Machine [2017] by author Nick Bland is a cautionary tale about the hazards of the use of technology, specifically social media. In simple direct language and brilliant illustrations, the reader follows how Popcorn’s outgoing nature becomes affected by the discovery of a smartphone. Popcorn quickly becomes addicted to her device, all the while ignoring  her friends on Fiddlesticks Farm.

From an adult standpoint, this tale reveals how one must set an example/role model for little ones in the use/abuse of technology.

Nick Bland’s Read the rest of this entry »


Mouse Vacation by Philip Roy

October 26, 2016

mouse-vacation-cover_final-286x300Mouse Vacation by Philip Roy and illustrated by Andrea Torrey Balsara is the fourth book in the Happy the Pocket Mouse Series.

Happy dreams of taking a holiday like his neighbour Mrs. Farrell. When he approaches his human friend John, about his ideas, John and Happy’s ensuing conversation will take the reader on a journey that covers many areas on the globe.

The soft watercolour closeup illustrations of Happy throughout this tale of the Pocket Mouse, expertly captures and mirrors the expressions that often young children convey when having similar conversations with an adult.  The lists that Happy and John compile reveal the difference each character has about taking a vacation. Happy’s  trips are all to farway places, whereas John’s rational for his choices are made from a more humble origin.

Eventually, a compromise is reached by both, which has Happy and John taking a journey via an overnight bus trip to the seashore.

At 32 pages, the expressive illustrations highly compliment the text and allow the reader to become fully engaged with Happy and John’s tale.

Although the story is simple in the telling, I found that Happy’s big ideas of ‘taking a vacation’ is an original way of introducing  world cultures, places and maps and engage young children! A great curriculum connection for primary children!

 

Highly Recommended! FIVE STARS!

 

[Book supplied by Ronsdale Press in exchange for an honest review]


Slide by Norah McClintock

September 26, 2016

slideIn the “Seven Prequels” set, Slide by award winning author Norah McClintock, is one of the titles in the latest “Seven” series phenomena published by Orca Book Publishers.

Readers familiar with the characters in these books, are re-introduced to them as  boys who are a bit younger…namely in 13 years old range. The characteristically dare-devil grandfather and grandson relationship that is often core in these narratives, is replaced in  McClintock’s tale by grandson Rennie ‘hanging’ with his adventure rule-bending grandmother as he gets to travel with her to a ski resort in the back country, despite his stepfather’s adamant instructions to the contrary.

McClintock creative writing style weaves together action, adventure, mystery and murder with humour as Rennie experiences the first ever pangs of ‘love’ in the midst of trying to satisfy  and solve some very unusual circumstances.

The story accelerates with a dizzy pace that has the reader hanging on to every sentence until it ‘slams’ to a stop!

This is a story that can be enjoyed by junior and intermediate students!
Highly Recommended!
FIVE STARS!!

 

[ARC supplied by Orca Book Publishers in exchange for an honest review]

 

 


Minrs by Kevin Sylvester

August 8, 2016

minrsMinrs by Kevin Sylvester

published:

What a captivating story! For myself the setting of this narrative reminded me of the Big Nickel in Sudbury [Ontario, Canada]where one takes a long elevator ride way underground!
Once upon a time, mining an asteroid for resources would have been the stuff of science fiction lore….but this is no longer the case.
In “Minrs“, the combination of science, technology with the concept of mining in outer space, has created a realistic suspenseful, action-adventure tale, filled with as many twists, turns and bumps as experienced on a roller-coaster ride!
Action accelerates, as a communication blackout with Earth occurs and a chain of bizarre events unfolds simultaneously, catapulting those living on the asteroid into a race for survival!

Five Stars!
Highly recommended for all middle grade fans!

 


Blood Oath by Don Cummer

October 9, 2015
published by Scholastic Canada

published by Scholastic Canada

Blood Oath by Don Cummer

published by Scholastic Canada

c.2015; 231 pages

[a companion to Brothers at War and A Hanging Offence]

Blood Oath. Two, short powerful words that can define a multitude of things. An oath can mean to be a pledge, a bond, a vow …. an affirmation…they are all words that play a pivotal part in the telling of this story.

Author Don Cummer has chosen to chronicle a little known part of Canadian history by creating a narrative that is fast pace and riveting. Jake and Eli began their friendship by relying on each other in their daily lives. Neither could guess how much that bond would be repeatedly tested in the months that led up to and included one of Canada’s most celebrated wars, The War of 1812.

Cummer skillfully crafts a descriptive layered story that is enriched through the use of alternating perspectives. This allows a better understanding into the protagonists, as they often are witness to the same event. The view points taken by Jake and Eli are a reflection of family values and attitudes during a time period when friendships and loyalties are as flexible as the direction of the winds of change.

This is a tale full of adrenaline, heart pumping adventure that is sure to test the reader’s loyalities until the last page!

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!!

[Grade 4,5,6,7]

5 STARS

Student testimonial: