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.

 

 


Eco Warrior by Philip Roy

May 8, 2015

Published by Ronsdale Press, Vancouver , BC: c2015 [ARC generously supplied by Ronsdale] In the seventh book of the awesome series Submarine Outlaw,  Alfred and his first mates are no longer EcoWarrior [book 7] by Philip Roy‘outlaws’ on the seas. Alfred now turns his homemade vessel toward Australia and pursues his dream of helping the environment become reality.  Unfortunately for Alfred, his ‘relaxed’ arrival in Perth is marred by a series of events that find him the centre of unwanted attention by authorities. When he is forced to make a quick escape via the help of a self-styled environmental activist-hippy named Merwin Hughes, the road to becoming an environmentalist is accelerated. Allowing Merwin aboard his submarine leaves Alfred uneasy. However, once the decision is reached, both individuals acknowledge this change in procedure – one with enthusiasm – the other with great reluctance. As the pair now travel toward the Southern Ocean, a stunning appearance and consequent interaction with a blue whale and her calf  leads Alfred to reflect on what he has encountered and witnessed during his many ocean travels. Caught up in the  pandemonium and violence of illegal whaling activities, Alfred soon comes to realize that every action counts. This seventh book in Philip Roy’s series adroitly explains environmental activism in a manner that it is comprehensible to readers at any level! Although Alfred’s past voyages are all filled with adventure, new perspectives and understanding, there is a subtle shift in this novel. Readers of Eco Warrior will be swept up in the innocence and trust exhibited by the blue whale and her calf.  They will also experience similar feelings of horror, anguish and desperation as did Alfred and Merwin, as the scenes of conflict unfold between the Sea Shepherd and the whaling ship. The uncertain plight of the oceans is stark – but Roy leaves the candle of hope lit within Alfred and the reader! Highly Recommended !! Grade 6,7,8,9

Student reaction to Eco Warrior:

Kevin “ I wanted to go right out and follow in Alfred’s footsteps and make a difference for the better!!”

Below is a bulletin board inspired by Eco Warrior!

World Oceans Day every day!

 

Series: Submarine Outlaw : Book 7 Subjects: Environmental Activism; Whales; Endangered species; Ocean life; Adventure; Environmental Protection; Ocean life; World Oceans day; Greenpeace; Sea Shepherd Genres: Action-Adventure; Whales; Submarines; Oceans United Nations World Oceans Day Video:


Brothers at war by Don Cummer

November 2, 2013
An quick paced adventure story of two boys becoming unlikely friends!

An quick paced adventure story of two boys becoming unlikely friends!

Brothers at War by Don Cummer

published: Scholastic Canada: Oct. 2013
203 p.
Brothers at war is a quick paced adventure story where the setting is in the past — Canada’s past. Looking at the title and cover the reader is given the impression that this novel is perhaps about two brothers at odds with a war. It is this colourful cover that leads a reader into the pages of a little known part of Canadian history. Tensions in the newly settled areas of Upper Canada, like Newark, are on the rise with the arrival of loyalists and patriots alike.
Only upon reading the first few chapters, is the reader made aware that this story is about two boys and an unlikely friendship that results from a dare by the elite townies and the ensuing, almost tragic consequences. These two young boys, one from a British Loyalist family and the other from a rebel American immigrant family.
Eli McCabe and Jake Gibson become blood brothers and provide support for each other as they get into one scrap or adventure after another. Even when tensions begin to mount within the community against Eli and his family, their friendship remains steadfast. Until one fateful day, when Jake steps up to save is friend that he is no longer considered a blood brother by Eli. The strain and stress between Jake and Eli become mirror images for what is happening in the community….and both boys discover that [as the publisher states]… choosing friends can also mean making enemies and that there are many kinds of loyality.

The author has cleverly intertwined a fast paced adventure within a histoircal venue that never leaves the reader bored!

A great read for Middle grade students!
Highly recommended!

Youtube Book Trailer for Brothers at War:

 


Ghost of heroes past by Charles Reid

March 30, 2011

Vancouver, BC: Ronsdale Press, 2010.
168 pp., pbk., $10.95.
ISBN 978-1-55380-102-3.

Grades 5-9 / Ages 10-14.

 One of the reasons that I picked up this title is that I know of a number of reluctant male readers who are keen to read about anything that has to do with war.

Reid’s central character is Johnny Anders,  who exhibits much of the similiar sentiments that teens today display about Remembrance Day. This is evident on the opening page when he states to his father  that “it’s all old stuff that happened a long time ago. What’s it have to do with me?”

Through a series of events presented in a time-travel format, Johnny is taken to various points in history where a unknown ghost in the guise of a soldier acts has his guide. First confusion fills him  as to these ‘ghost’ visits, and then as the nightly treks continue to different war-torn locals, Johnny’s many unanswered questions nudge him to seek some sort of explanations by using the resources in his school library.  Here he stumbles into an odd sort of friendship with another new student like himself, only this is a girl and her name is Casey.

Their shared interest in history allows Johnny to divulge to Casey about his nocturnal soldier-ghost visits and the various journeys he has been taken on. As Johnny is given the priviledge of ‘seeing’ what roles the men and women during war played, he and Casey are inspired to continue their research in locating information on notibale heroes such as Bill Chong, Joan Bamford Fletcher and fighter-pilot Raymond Collishaw.

By the conclusion of the story we see how Johnny’s time-travel adventure have impacted and changed his preceptions of meaning of Remembrance Day and that the “old stuff  that happened long ago” really does have significance for all generations.

 Easy read…. recommended for Boys!

Interest level: Grade 6 to 8

Reading Level: Grade 5 to 7

Genre: Historical fiction; War; Remembrance Day

 

Who would like this book?  ANy boy who is interested in war; First Nations soldiers;

Furthur Information on Canadian War Heroes:

Bill Chong: 

Canadian Weblink:http://www.veterans.gc.ca/eng/sub.cfm?source=collections/hr_cdnchinese

YouTube link for Bill Chong: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n88YwntKXvY

Raymond Collishaw weblink:http://www.earlyaviators.com/ecollish.htm

Joan Fletcher Bamford: http://www.tiltcreative.com/rogues/heroesandrogues.htm

Tommy Prince (First Nations War Hero):http://firstnationsdrum.com/2002/09/thomas-prince-canadas-forgotten-aboriginal-war-hero-2/

Genre: Historical fiction; War; Remembrance Day

Author Weblink:

http://www.cbc.ca/books/booksandauthors/2010/11/ghost-of-heroes-past.html


Uglies by Scott Westerfeld

December 14, 2010

Grade Level: 5 – 7

Genre: futuristic fiction

Theme: Friendship, Morals, Adventure

Uglies was recommended by one of my students…a reader extraordinaire!  After reading it, I could definitely see what appealed to her.  In this futuristic North America, Tally turns 16 three months after her best friend Peris.  This would normally be no big deal, however at the age of 16 every “Ugly” goes through a drastic surgery to become “Pretty”.  These “Pretty”s do not interact or communicate with “Ugly”s. 

This transformation opens up lots of doors as far as classroom discussion regarding society’s opinion of pretty, and media’s role (perhaps it’s power) in guiding people’s opinions.  Another strong theme is what happens to those people who do not, or do not wish to fit into the world’s molds.

This is an easy read, and can be read with great interest without knowledge about the theme.

ISBN: 0-439-80611-9, 425 pp.


Pictures of Hollis Woods by Patricia Reilly Giff

December 3, 2010

Grade Level: 4 – 7

Genre: Realistic Fiction

Theme:  Coming of Age

This book was recommended to me by a colleague who has suggested it to students who have been in foster homes, or have led transient lives.  It is a story about a girl who has been in and out of foster homes herself, eventually running away from each of them.  Every other chapter describes in great detail a picture which Hollis Woods has drawn that provides a window into her life.

I found this book a little hard to follow to begin with and didn’t really get into it until about three quarters the way through.  It was a short enough book, with easy to follow language.  The characters are colourful and interesting, however the plot didn’t come together quickly enough for my liking!  I, also, might recommend it to students who would be able to connect with the main character.

ISBN: 0-439-57784-5

Pub: Random House 2002


Castaways in Lilliput by Henry Winterfeld

November 25, 2010

Castaways in Lilliput is a wonderful childhood read. I remember my grade 5 teacher reading this book to my class and we absolutely loved it. I then read Henry Winterfeld’s other books, Detectives in Togas and Trouble at Timpetill.

Castaways in Lilliput starts off with three kids adrift in a raft. When they finally got to shore, they only found a miniature sized village. They discovered that they were actually in the modern Lilliput, the land that Gulliver travelled to in Gulliver’s Travels. The three children actually terrified the entire Lilliput population who tried to flee from the “giants”. The kids had to learn how cope in the tiny world and be accepted by the citizens of Lilliput.

It is great adventure story for kids who love to imagine living in a world that is similar to their own – but from a totally different perspective. I have since read this book to my grade 5 classes and although it was written in 1958, they connected with it. It is a heartwarming  read – that shows how people can adapt to different circumstances.

Reading ability:  Junior

Genre: Adventure

Theme: Coping, adapting to new circumstances

Who would like this book?  Kids who like adventure and imagining themselves in a fictional world that is similar to their own.