Myles and the Monster outside ; by Philippa Dowding

September 26, 2015

Miles and the Monster outsideMyles and the Monster outside by Philippa Dowding
Published by Dundurn Press
c2015; pp.154
Series: Weird Stories gone Wrong

Author Philippa Dowding succinctly sets the tone, on page 7, with one sentence, “you should know, before you even start this book, that it’s a little scary” in Myles and the Monster outside, the second book of her new series “Weird Stories gone Wrong”.

Within the short span of 154 pages, a reader is taken on a roller coaster collision of fear, imagination and the unknown.

“Myles and the Monster outside” begins with mundane and monotony as invisible companions that accompany Myles as he and his family embark upon the adventure of leaving all that is familiar behind and beginning anew.

Mist-like fingers, glowing red eyes, a windshield that cracks are all elements that keep a reader gripping the binding of this book with white-knuckled apprehension and at the same time pushing deeply into the back of a chair!

Once again, Dowding has created a story that challenges a reader to seek ‘courage’ in the face of the unknown……no matter what form the unknown takes.

This is truly a tale that borders upon being an urban legend stirred with a splash of truth!

Highly recommended for Grade 3,4,5 !!!!!

Five Stars!!

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“Loyalist to a fault” by Evan Munday

September 19, 2015

Loyalist to a faultPublished by ECW press

[ARC generously supplied by Jenna Illies]
301p. c2015

The colourful ghoulish cover is just a teaser to what a reader can expect when they dive into the latest installment in Evan Munday’s nominated series Dead Kid Detective Agency!

If a reader is the least bit of a detective and observant, the title Loyalist to a Fault, is a clever play on an well known saying ‘loyal to a fault’ which provides a clue to the new, intriguing story involving the intrepid October Schwartz and a group of distinctly ‘spirited’ teen shades!

A story of unique friendships intertwined with decidedly weirdly poignant situations of midnight rendezvous in the local library, grave-digging in February, a pirate, a burning ship, intrigue and an interjection of horror-filled scenes …… captured my attention with such a force, that you can not help but become an unintentional invisible member of the Dead Kid Agency!

The helpful list of characters and appendix of passing references at the end of this third book in the series, allows the reader to delve deeper into the “important cultural history” that is alluded to throughout the narrative.

Mr. Munday adroitly crafts a tale that is a genuine unique blend of perspectives, voice, intrigue-filled social situations, aspects of the macabre laced with snippets of historical facts. Along with these components, and an opening paragraph that states how “many mysteries open with a heinous crime in progress” and in almost the next breath, reveals that….October, commits such an act, will totally ‘kidnap’ readers from the start!!!

Highly Recommended!!
for Grades 6,7,8!!!   Five Stars!

Genres: Mystery; Supernatural; Adventure; Humour


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:


Ice Dogs by Terry Lynn Johnson

March 27, 2014
A gripping, suspensful adventure set in the rugged landscape of Alaska

A gripping, suspensful adventure set in the rugged landscape of Alaska

 

 

 

Ice dogs by Terry Lynn Johnson

Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Boston/New York

279p. c2012

Cover by: Cliff Nielson & Sheila Smallwood Genre: Adventure; Realistic Fiction

Grade level: intermediate ( Grade 8; Grade 9)

 

 

Grit and determination have 14 year old dog musher, Victoria, practicing and running dog-sled races in order to qualify in the famed White  Wolf Classic. However, a sudden impulsive action of defiance, sees Victoria harnessing her dog team and travelling cross country to choose a top lead sled dog.

Trained by her father in the art of wilderness survival, she packs her sled for the day trip and mushed her team forward. It is during this trek she comes upon a lone and injured snowmobiler and is thrust into the uncomfortable role of rescuer. The injured person turns out to be a boy close to her in age and rapid changes in weather conditions force her to seek shelter and tend to the stranger’s injuries.

Vicky realizes that this is one circumstance her beloved father hadn’t prepared her for. A chain of unexpected events unfolds and now teens and dogs find themselves fighting for survival in a race against time in the unpredictable Alaskan environment.

A gripping, suspenseful debut novel by Canadian author, Terry Lynn Johnson, is filled with rich detail and suspense.

Where a young woman’s inner resources and strength are tested time and again, in the ruggedly beautiful harsh landscape that is Alaska.

A story where all are heroes.

A tale that will engage readers until the end!

 

Highly recommended!

 

 

 

 


Blood Brothers in Louisbourg by Philip Roy

March 7, 2014

blood-brothers  Blood brothers in Louisbourg  by Philip Roy
Published by Cape Breton University Press; c2012
137 p,

  Genre: Canadian historical fiction ; First Nations history

Alternating chapters gives the reader a dual perspective to two time lines that are on an intersecting course  unknown to the central characters — Jacques and Two-feathers.
During the reign of King Louis XV, a young French educated teen, suddenly finds himself ripped from the fabric of all that is familiar. He sets sail on a ship bound to New France into the unknown, with a father he hardly knows.
Arriving at Fortress Louisbourg, young Jacques dons an ill-fitting uniform and is thrust into the harsh, unforgiving military world that his father idolizes.
At a similar moment in time, in the untamed wilderness surrounding the Fortress, a young Mi’kmaq warrior called Two-feathers is on his own quest to find the father he never met.

This is the story of two young men – “both seeking to understand their father” unknowingly linked by the bonds of their heritage.

Mr. Roy has created a moving historical tale that touches on a part of Canada’s past that is often overlooked — observations from both inhabitants – those ‘discovering’ Canada and from the First Nations.

It is an engaging story that can be used as a read aloud as it ties in with the school curriculum and can spark many debates and /or discussions within the classroom!

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Grade Level: Grade 7 -9
Interest level: Grade 6-9

Highly recommended!


Night Runner by Max Turner

November 25, 2010

Fountas and Pinnell Reading Level:   Q      Grade Level:   5-7  

Genre:  Fantasy/Adventure/Horror

  Literature Circle set ( 6 copies) available  at  Classroom Support Centre

Red Maple Nominee 2010 ,  261   pages

“Orphaned Zach lives in the hospital, a friend (Charlie) and an allergy he never questioned…until a stranger broke in and told him to run.” http://accessola.com/forest2010/redmaple/rm5/about.php

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Review by Karen:

When I first saw the cover of this book….I hesitated to pick it up…..but was immediately swept into Zack Thomson’s strange life at the Nicholl’s Ward.  This debut book by Canadian author Max Turner is definitely a new spin on an old theme that is currently sweeping Young adult fiction…vampires.

Zach’s story is told in the first person. His use of  short sentences both in narration and dialogue result in a plot line full of fast paced action, suspense, danger and adventure.  This has definite appeal for boys, but teenage girls will also enjoy the thrill of danger — who can resist the combination of an unconventional young vampire making a break for freedom from the police, being hunted by vampires and vampire hunters that are on his trail?

Highly recommended!!!

Book two: End of Days by Max Turner


Submarine Outlaw by Philip Roy

June 8, 2010

Fountas and Pinnell Reading Level:   Z      Grade Level:   5-7  

Genre:  Fantasy/Adventure

  Literature Circle set ( 6 copies) available  at  Classroom Support Centre

Red Maple Nominee 2010 , 251 pp.

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“Fourteen year old Al changes his destiny by following his dream to become an explorer. Al’s journey begins off the rugged coast of Newfoundland in his handmade submarine. As he travels through east coast waters he rescues a family of four, finds a lost treasure, eludes the coast guard and the navy, befriends a seagull and an abandoned dog, meets a “queen” of the sea, and saves a lost boy. Al’s nautical adventures make him a celebrity but his ability to evade the police makes him an outlaw.”

http://accessola.com/forest2010/redmaple/rm8/about.php

Review by Karen:

Meet Alfred — a fourteen year old boy who steadfastly refuses to follow in the family tradition of going to sea as a fisherman. However a chance glance through a hole in the local junkyard fence sparks Albert’s imagination and lights the flame of adventure and exploration.  Unexpected friendships, responsibilities and self discovery  all become a part of Alfred’s own journey “out to sea”. 

Highly recommended !!

Theme:  Self-discovery; Adventure; Friendship

Teacher / Curriculum Connections: Canadian Geography /History (Eastern Maritime History) 

Author link:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xmmb3UO6TwA&feature=related