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Wild Ride: A Graphic Guide Adventure

Liam O'Donnell (author), Michael Deas (illustrator)

Publisher: Orca Book Publishers ISBN: 9781551437569

The first installment in the new Graphic Guide Adventure Series. Devin, Nadia and Marcus are on their way to visit their environmentalist parents who are working to stop a logging company from clear-cutting a remote valley. When their plane crashes and the pilot is killed, the kids are left to survive in the wild with Wiley, a government bureaucrat, who is the only other passenger on the plane. Learning to build a shelter and make a fire in the woods, they discover that Wiley is working with the logging company and will do anything to stop the secret getting out. On the run and in mortal danger, the three must outrun Wiley, escape a raging forest fire and outwit a hungry grizzly bear to make it to safety.

Timberwolf Chase

Sigmund Brouwer (author), Dean Griffiths (illustrator)

Publisher: Orca Book Publishers ISBN: 9781551435480

Johnny Maverick and his friends play for the Timberwolves peewee hockey team in the small town of Howling. Tom Morgan has just moved from Toronto and is a talented player. Tom is also very competitive and seems determined to pick on Stu Duncan, who is slightly overweight. Johnny suggests a race between Tom and Stu. Tom eagerly accepts; Stu is reluctant but Johnny convinces him to trust his best friend's advice. On race day Tom is surprised by both the race and its outcome and learns that teamwork pays off. The Howling Timberwolves series of Orca Echoes early chapter books offer lots of sports action and humour that will appeal to young boys.

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.

On Our Street

Dr. Jillian Roberts, Jaime Casap (author) Jane Heinrichs (illustrator)

Publisher: Orca Book Publishers ISBN: 9781459816183

The World Around Us series introduces children to complex cultural, social and environmental issues that they may encounter outside their homes, in a way that is accessible. Sidebars offer further reading for older children or care providers who have bigger questions. For younger children just starting to make these observations, the simple question-and-answer format of the main text will provide a foundation of knowledge on the subject matter. A gentle introduction to the issue of poverty, On Our Street explores the realities of people living with inadequate resources. Using age-appropriate language, this book addresses mental illness, homelessness and refugee status as they are connected to this issue. Insightful quotes from individuals and organizations such as UNICEF are included throughout to add further perspective on the issue. An invaluable section on how kids can help empowers readers to take what they have learned and use it to make a difference. Child psychologist Dr. Jillian Roberts created this series to guide parents/caregivers through conversations about difficult issues in a reassuring and hopeful manner and help children understand their expanding awareness of the world around them.

A Fair Deal

Kari Jones (author)

Publisher: Orca Book Publishers ISBN: 9781459810440

Fair trade is not about spending more money or buying more stuff. It's about helping producers in developing countries get a fair price for their goods. In A Fair Deal: Shopping for Social Justice, Kari Jones provides a history of trade, explaining what makes trade systems unfair and what we can do about it. By examining ways in which our global trade systems value some people over others, the book illustrates areas in which fair trade practices can help families all around the world and suggests ways to get involved in making the world a more equitable place.

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.

Stepping Stones: A Refugee Family's Journey

Margriet Ruurs (author), Nizar Ali Badr (illustrator)

Publisher: Orca Book Publishers ISBN: 9781459814912

This unique picture book was inspired by the stone artwork of Syrian artist Nizar Ali Badr, discovered by chance by Canadian children's writer Margriet Ruurs. The author was immediately impressed by the strong narrative quality of Mr. Badr's work, and, using many of Mr. Badr's already-created pieces, she set out to create a story about the Syrian refugee crisis. Stepping Stones tells the story of Rama and her family, who are forced to flee their once-peaceful village to escape the ravages of the civil war raging ever closer to their home. With only what they can carry on their backs, Rama and her mother, father, grandfather and brother, Sami, set out to walk to freedom in Europe. Nizar Ali Badr's stunning stone images illustrate the story. Orca Book Publishers is pleased to offer this book as a dual-language (English and Arabic) edition.

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.

Why Do Families Change? Our First Talk About Separation and Divorce

Dr. Jillian Roberts (author), Cindy Revell (illustrator)

Publisher: Orca Book Publishers ISBN: 9781459809529

Separation and divorce are difficult on the entire family. Often young children blame themselves or are unsure of their place in the family if these events occur. Child psychologist Dr. Jillian Roberts designed the Just Enough series to empower parents/caregivers to start conversations with young ones about difficult or challenging subject matter. Why Do Families Change? is part of the Just Enough series. Other topics in the series include birth, death and diversity. For more information, visit www.justenoughseries.com.

What Matters

Alison Hughes (author), Holly Hatam (illustrator)

Publisher: Orca Book Publishers ISBN: 9781459809116

What happens when one small boy picks up one small piece of litter? He doesn't know it, but his tiny act has big consequences. From the minuscule to the universal, What Matters sensitively explores nature's connections and traces the ripple effects of one child's good deed to show how we can all make a big difference.

Down To Earth: How Kids Help Feed the World

Nikki Tate (author)

Publisher: Orca Book Publishers ISBN: 9781459804241

Kids all over the world help collect seeds, weed gardens, milk goats and herd ducks. From a balcony garden with pots of lettuce to a farm with hundreds of cows, kids can pitch in to bring the best and freshest products to their families' tables and to market. Loaded with accessible information about the many facets of farming, Down to Earth takes a close look at everything from what an egg carton tells you to why genetic diversity matterseven to kids

Under A Living Sky

Joseph Simons (author)

Publisher: Orca Book Publishers ISBN: 9781551438429

Mary is certain that her parents are giving her new shoes for Christmas, but the Depression has hit her Saskatchewan farming family hard. Mary tries to hide her disappointment when she receives a crude homemade doll instead. She ends up liking the doll much more than she expects, but the doll fuels the rivalry between Mary and her older sister, Judith. Then, when the doll disappears a few weeks later during a snowstorm, Mary and Judith's relationship changes once again.

Yossi's Goal

Ellen Schwartz (author)

Publisher: Orca Book Publishers ISBN: 9781551434940

Yossi Mendelsohn works hard to help his family survive after they flee Russia to find a better life in Montreal. He sells newspapers and carries bundles from the garment factory. Yossi longs to play "le hockey" with the French boys, but he has no skates. When his father falls ill and his sister and her fianc organize a walkout at the factory, Yossi's dream of lacing on skates seems farther away than ever.

The Ballad of Knuckles McGraw

Lois Peterson (author)

Publisher: Orca Book Publishers ISBN: 9781554692040

After eight-year-old Kevin Mason's mother abandons him, he takes refuge in his fantasy of becoming Knuckles McGraw, a tough cowboy roaming the plains on his legendary horse, Burlington Northern. But instead of riding the range, Kevin is stuck in a foster home with a pierced and tattooed teenager named Ice and a mute girl named Breezy. While he waits to be claimed by the father he barely remembers or the mother who left him a good-bye note in his lunchbox, Kevin (aka Knuckles McGraw) tries to communicate with Breezy, learns to get along with his bunkhouse-mate Ice, and discovers that memories can be as deceptive as family secrets.

The Big Snapper

Katherine Holubitsky (author)

Publisher: Orca Book Publishers ISBN: 9781551438252

Ten-year-old Eddie lives with his mom and grandparents in a small cabin on the Queen Charlotte Islands. A year earlier, Eddie's dad took the ferry to the mainland and never returned. Eddie loves going fishing with Granddad and listening to his tall tales about the big snapper. Eddie believes if they catch such a fish, it might change his family's fortune. Mom decides to turn their cabin into a bed and breakfast. Some of the guests appreciate island life, but many do not. When Granddad falls ill and must go away for treatment, Eddie worries that he too may not come back. Already hurt and confused by his father's disappearance, upset by the attitudes of the tourists, and now missing his beloved grandfather, Eddie goes fishing alone in Granddad's skiff. Soon he is struggling with more than the need to stay afloat.

The Reunion

Jacqueline Pearce (author)

Publisher: Orca Book Publishers ISBN: 9781551434018

Shannon is excited about spending a week at her friend Rina's house, but she's a little nervous too. Rina seems to be able to do everything better than she can and her home is chaotic compared to Shannon's own. When things fall apart, Rina's grandmother is there to tell them a story from her past, early in the Second World War. The story is about a rift between her and her childhood friend, Mitsu, a rift that could never be healed because Mitsu and her family were taken away from the small town of Paldi and interned with other Japanese Canadians. Rina's grandmother, Jas, never saw Mitsu again. That is, not until Shannon and Rina find a handful of forgotten beads in the bottom of a cardboard box.

Things Are Looking Grimm, Jill

Dan Bar-el (author)

Publisher: Orca Book Publishers ISBN: 9781551438382

Princess Jill excels at jousting, fencing, skating and long-distance spitting. Her brother, King Jack, loves baking and spending time with Little Bo Peep and her sheep. So what's a princess to do when she receives a mysterious letter from the land of Grimm? Take up ballroom dancing? Not Princess Jill. All alone, with only her wits to guide her, Jill sets off to rescue the citizens of Grimm. Along the way she makes many odd new friends and discovers the value of listening to your mother.

Trouble in the Trees

Yolanda Ridge (author)

Publisher: Orca Book Publishers ISBN: 9781554693863

Eleven-year-old Bree is happiest when she's climbing the trees at Cedar Grove, her urban townhouse complex. She's the best climber around, even better than an older boy, Tyler, who drives her crazy with his competitiveness. When Ethan, a younger boy, falls from a tree and hurts his elbow, the neighborhood council bans all tree-climbing in Cedar Grove. If Bree chooses to ignore the bylaw, her family could be kicked out of their home, so she vows to change the rule instead. After giving a presentation to the Neighborhood Council, she realizes this is not a battle she can win on her own, but rallying the Cedar Grove troops is more difficult than she imagined.

Peggy's Letters

Jacqueline Halsey (author)

Publisher: Orca Book Publishers ISBN: 9781551438344

In the final months of World War II, ten-year-old Peggy shelters with her mother and baby brother in a London butcher's shop during an air raid. They survive, but their home and everything in it are lost, including Peggy's most treasured possession, a biscuit tin of letters from her father. Their lives change dramatically and Peggy makes friends with a boy named Spud who has a passion for scavenging bombsites, leading to more than one surprising discovery.

Poachers in the Pingos

Anita Daher (author)

Publisher: Orca Book Publishers ISBN: 9781554690121

When Junior Canadian Rangers, Colly and Jaz, visit Colly's uncle on Canada's Arctic coast, they are quick to discover something is amiss. Someone has been hunting gyrfalcons, the official bird of the Northwest Territories. Could it be poachers? During a pretend emergency, Colly and Jaz put two and five together and end up in a terrifying race for their lives!

Rescue Pup

Jean Little (author)

Publisher: Orca Book Publishers ISBN: 9781551434582

Shakespeare is a Seeing Eye puppy. But before the time comes for him to train with a blind person, he must spend six months with a girl who has never learned to love. He does all he can to teach her, but the job places him in some dangerous situations and by the end of the story he has earned the title Rescue Pup.

Road Block

Yolanda Ridge (author)

Publisher: Orca Book Publishers ISBN: 9781459800465

In this sequel to Trouble in the Trees, it's the end of grade six and Bree plans to spend the summer hanging around her townhouse complex in Vancouver, climbing trees with her friends. But her parents have other plans for her; she is going to Ontario to stay with her grandma who lives on a farm "in the middle of nowhere." A farm that is about to be destroyed by a superhighway unless Bree can stop it. Convinced that saving the land will end her grandma's unhappiness, Bree tries to rally cousins and neighbors, but instead of finding help, Bree uncovers some shocking things about her relatives. The more Bree gets to know about her extended family and their farm, the more complicated everything becomes. If she isn't able to save the farm, can she at least manage to save her family?

Secret Signs

Jacqueline Guest (author)

Publisher: Orca Book Publishers ISBN: 9781551436012

The Depression has ruined Henry Dafoe's life: his father has left the family farm to look for work, his mother is sick and now she's decided to send Henry to Nova Scotia to work on his uncle's fishboat. But Henry has other ideas. He runs away from home to join his father, which proves more difficult than he imagined. Alone and scared in a strange city, he befriends an old hobo named Clickety Clack, who agrees to take him to find his father. As they make their way across the country, Clickety Clack teaches Henry about the secret signs that hoboes use to communicate with each other.

Somebody's Girl

Maggie De Vries (author)

Publisher: Orca Book Publishers ISBN: 9781554693849

Martha knows she is adopted, but she's well-loved and popular, at least until her mother gets pregnant and she feels her parents' attention start to shift. Upset and confused, Martha lashes out at and loses her friends. She also makes no secret about her annoyance at being forced to do a school project about sturgeon with Chance, a difficult boy whose foster parents are family friends. To add insult to injury, Martha's birth mother announces that she is getting married and moving away. Now Martha isn't number one in anybody's life. When her mom goes into labor prematurely, Martha realizes that she needs to figure out a way to be a better friend and daughter, and a great sister.