Ellie and her little brother Max find themselves moving from their grandmother's comfortable home in England to Upper Canada. Their mother is dead, Father wants to start over again, and in 1835 there are many opportunities for settlers in British North America. Despite the strangeness of this vast new world, Ellie is sure things will turn out all right, as long as the family stays together. But once they are in Upper Canada, Father leaves Ellie and Max with strangers on an isolated homestead, while he goes on ahead to find land and build a cabin. Although the mother and father are kind to her, Ellie makes an enemy of their daughter Mary, who is insulted by the newcomer's distant manners, fine clothes and talk of her London home. Ellie's loneliness and discomfort, however, gradually turns into a growing fear. Where is Father? Why hasn't he come back to them? A gripping story for young readers that explored the world of early settlers.
Dickon wasn't happy in his old home or his old school. He hopes that in his new neighborhood he will meet children who never knew his old, hyper self, who will like him for who he is now. And he hopes for a dog of his own. Dickon's mother calls him Birdie. She feeds him milk from a teddy bear mug. She worries if he's out of her sight for a moment and she knows how filthy and vicious dogs can be. Dickon is delighted to discover that the Humane Society is right on the other side of the fence behind the new house, but only by disobeying his mother will he ever get close to a real dog.
Belle, an 11-year-old Metis girl, and Sarah both want the coveted job of church bell ringer. An embroidery contest is held to award the position, and Sarah cheats. Before Belle can expose her, the two are caught up in the advancing forces of General Middleton and his troops as they surround Batoche in the 1885 Riel Rebellion. The church bell disappeared that day and remains missing to this day.
Ten-year-old Rosario Ramirez and her family are political refugees from Mexico, trying to make a new life in Canada. After being teased at school, Rosario vows not to speak English again until she can speak with an accent that's one hundred percent Canadian. Since she and her parents plan to spend the whole summer working on BC fruit farms, she will be surrounded by Spanish speakers again. But when her family's closest friend Jose gets terribly sick, Rosario's plans start to unravel. Neither Jose nor Rosario's parents speak English well enough to get him the help he needs. Like it or not, Rosario must face her fears about letting her voice be heard.
Addy has worn hearing aids for as long as she can remember. Her mother tells her this makes her special, but now that Addy's in grade six, she wants to be special for what she's done. When Addy joins the school running club to keep her best friend, Lucy, company, she discovers she is a gifted runner. Lucy isn't, which is problematic. Further troubles surface when Addy gets paired on a school project with Sierra, a smart, self-assured new classmate who wears a cochlear implant. Addy is surprised to discover hearing loss is all they have in common and a shared disability is not enough of a foundation for a friendship. True friends support each other, even if they have different passions and dreams. More importantly, Addy comes to understand that she is defined by more than her hearing loss. She has the power to choose how people will see her, and she does.
Justine and her friends are all about being green and helping the planet, one fun-filled environmental project at a time.
In Justine McKeen, Pooper Scooper, the third book in the Justine McKeen series, Justine gets her friends to help her clean up the dog poop in the park across from the school board's offices in an effort to get the attention of the superintendent of schools. She hopes the efforts of her crew of cheerful pooper scoopers will help get the superintendent to see that bringing their school librarian back to work is the right thing to do.
Jack loves and misses his bus-driving grandfather. When Grandpa Nod got sick, Jack's mother said eight-year-old Jack was too young to visit his grandfather in hospital. When Grandpa Nod died, Jack's mother said Jack was too young to go to the funeral. One day after school, Jack gets on the wrong bus. To his surprise he discovers Grandpa Nod is in the driver's seat of the empty bus. Grandpa Nod takes him to all the places Jack was too young to go-the hospital, the funeral home and the cemetery. By the end of the ride, Jack has had the chance to tell his grandfather how much he misses him. And with his birthday coming soon, Jack receives a very special gift-Grandpa Nod's bus schedules. So even if he does get on the wrong bus, Jack will always be able to find his way home.
In Justine McKeen, Walk the Talk, the second book in the Justine McKeen series, Justine decides there are too many cars idling in front of her school. So she comes up with a solution that should help keep the air cleaner. But she soon discovers not many adults trust her crazy ideas.