Bent not Broken by Lotna Schultz Nicholson

February 28, 2017


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!



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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!


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

Highly recommended!

Girl on the other side by Deborah Kerbel

April 13, 2010

Shoes….are sometimes taken as a symbol of what kind of a person we are….and in Deborah Kerbel ‘s   Girl on the other side, shoes do in deed become a personification of the two girls  in this novel.

Tabby Freeman and Lora Froggett…..two girls from opposite worlds… one is  a rich, popular, self-assured ‘queen-bee’ and the other a social outcast, who has been shunned and rejected by her peers since grade one. 

As the story progresses and perspective shifts from one girl to another, we are witness to a subtle transformation of both characters….for in their own world…each conceals a secret filled with loneliness and personal pain.  A succession of events and circumstances have the worlds of these two girls  colliding in a way that neither could have ever imagined!

 Kerbel’s sensitive portrayal of issues such as  bullying, humiliation and peer pressure makes this novel a very engrossing and thought-provoking read  appealing to many teens.

I found this book to be a fast-paced,  engaging read and the  accurate use of  teen vocabulary adds credibility to the story.    

Highly Recommended!!               

Reading Ability:  Grade 7,8,9  

Genre: Realistic fiction

Theme: Bullying; Teen Social issues; Peer Pressure; Family life; Friendship

Book Trailer on You Tube: