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Swimming With Seals

Maggie De Vries (author) Janice Kun (illustrator)

Publisher: Orca Book Publishers ISBN: 9781459813229

Ally isn't able to live with her mother. Instead she lives far, far away, on the other side of the country, with her gram and great-aunt. But one summer Ally goes to stay with her aunt and uncle in the "big city by the ocean" and gets to spend time with her mom. While exploring the shore, watching whales from the boat dipping into the salty water, Ally finds out something important: her mother loves to swim as much as she does. This is a very personal story. Ally is based on the author’s niece, Jeanie, and Ally's mother is based on the author's sister, Sarah, who went missing from the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver in 1998. Jeanie is like a seal in the water, and Sarah was just the same, but they never got to swim together. In this story, they do. Swimming with Seals is a story that was written for the thousands of children who long to live with their birth parents and will never fully understand why they can't.

Justine McKeen, Eat Your Beets

Sigmund Brouwer (author), Dave Whamond (illustrator)

Publisher: Orca Book Publishers ISBN: 9781554699346

Meet Justine McKeen, the Queen of Green. She talks a little too much, bosses a little too much and tells the truth, just not all at once. She's trying to save the planet, one person at a time, and when she decides to get something done, it's a lot of fun. In the fourth book of the Justine McKeen series, Justine finds a stray cat and her kittens living off food in the school Dumpster. Eager to reduce waste and save animals in need, Justine comes up with a plan. Can she convince grumpy Mr. Raymond, the cafeteria manager, to put her plan into action?

Justine McKeen, Thermostat Chat

Sigmund Brouwer (author), Dave Whamond (illustrator)

Publisher: Orca Book Publishers ISBN: 9781459812024

Justine McKeen is on another mission, this time to rid homes and schools of energy vampires. Justine and her friends, with the help of Principal Proctor, are working to reduce the energy consumption of electronics that suck power from the school when they aren't being used. By cutting down on the miscellaneous electrical load of these electronics, the team is also saving money, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and fighting global warming. Too bad they didn't warn Grandpa Blatzo before they started slaying the vampires! Justine McKeen, Thermostat Chat is part of the Justine McKeen series featuring the Queen of Green.

Wild Cards

Jeff Szpirglas (author), Dave Whamond (illustrator)

Publisher: Orca Book Publishers ISBN: 9781459812123

Matt loves Monster Zap cards. No, no, Matt LOVES Monster Zap cards. He has Monster Zap toys, reads Monster Zap books and wears Monster Zap underwear. Matt and his friends like to trade the cards at school, as the schoolyard is so empty and dirty, there isn't much else for them to do at recess. But when kids start fighting over Monster Zap and the cards are banned, Matt realizes that the school has big problems, maybe even bigger problems than the fights the cards caused. With the help of their teacher, and a superhero in disguise, Matt and his classmates set out to save Monster Zap and end up doing a lot more than that.

Pocket Rocks

Sheree Fitch (author), Helen Flook (illustrator)

Publisher: Orca Book Publishers ISBN: 9781551438153

No matter how hard he tries, Ian Goobie can't do the things that the other children in his class can do. Then he finds a rock, a rock that fits perfectly into his pocket, a rock that touches all his senses and whisks him away into a whole other world. From then on, as long as he has a rock in his pocket, Ian Goobie can begin to cope with his daily challenges. That is until he stuffs so many rocks in his pockets that his pants fall down right outside in the schoolyard.