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Hate Mail

Monique Polak (author)

Publisher: Orca Book Publishers ISBN: 9781459807778

Jordie’s cousin Todd has moved back to Montreal and is attending Jordie’s high school. Todd has autism and requires an aide. Todd has not been welcomed in the school. He’s known as a freak, and even other parents seem to resent Todd’s special needs. Jordie does everything he can to distance himself from his cousin, fearful of what his friends might think. When he learns that Todd’s whole family is buckling under the pressure of a hateful letter, Jordie starts to question his own behavior. But Todd’s resources are unique, and he soon finds a way to prove his worth to his peers and to the community at large. Inspired by real-life events, Hate Mail examines the transformative power of speaking out against prejudice.

Power Play: A Graphic Guide Adventure

Liam O'donnell (author), Mike Deas (illustrator)

Publisher: Orca Book Publishers ISBN: 9781554690701

Devin and Nadia team up with Bounce, Pema and Marcus as they all travel to Northern Ontario to watch their parents present to the Summit of World Leaders. A swarm of politicians, lobbyists, corporate bosses and protestors have all converged on the summit to get their messages heard. A tragic accident just hours before their parents' presentation plunges the kids into their biggest mystery yet and sets them on the trail of a murderer bent on stopping their parents' controversial message from being heard. It's a fight against the planet's power players as the kids dive into the world of politics, uncovering how government works, the history of democracy, the influence of lobbyists and corporations on politicians and the potential of civil society to change it all.

Vanish

Karen Spafford Fitz (author)

Publisher: Orca Book Publishers ISBN: 9781459803503

Fourteen-year-old Simone is having trouble making friends at her new school when her leadership studies class is paired with kindergarten students to mentor throughout the school year. To her surprise, Simone enjoys the Kinderbuddy Project, and she develops a special friendship with her Kinderbuddy, Lily. But as the bond between Simone and her Kinderbuddy grows, she realizes that a crisis is looming in Lily's family. Simone calls upon Aaron, the reluctant heartthrob of the class, for help, and they become key witnesses to events neither of them could have predicted.

Fouling Out

Gregory Walters (author)

Publisher: Orca Book Publishers ISBN: 9781551437163

Craig and Tom have been friends since second grade, but that was five years ago and Craig is getting sick of Tom's out-of-bounds behavior. When Craig begins to realize that he may have more potential in school than he ever thought, he starts to distance himself from Tom, who is both the class clown and the school bully. But severing ties with an old friend is never easy, and a foolhardy incident in a local park pulls Craig back into Tom's orbit. Faced with the realities of Tom's home life, Craig must determine the limits of this volatile friendship.

Making Change: Tips From an Underage Overachiever

Bilaal Rajan (author)

Publisher: Orca Book Publishers ISBN: 9781554690022

Fundraising wunderkind Bilaal Rajan shares his tips for effective fundraising, using examples from his own amazing life to show how it can be done and how you can have fun doing it. The second part of the book is a section entitled Eight Principles to Maximize Your Full Potential, which includes exercises to help you identify and attain your dreams.

The Gnome's Eye

Anna Kerz (author)

Publisher: Orca Book Publishers ISBN: 9781554691968

In the spring of 1954, when her father announces that the family has a chance to immigrate to Canada, Theresa's life changes forever. She and her family are wartime refugees from Yugoslavia; so it shouldn't be hard to leave Austria. But the weathered barracks of Lager Lichtenstein are the only home she knows, and they are filled with family and friends she doesn't want to leave behind. As she says her good-byes, Theresa's friend Martin gives her two gifts: a package of postcards and a stone he calls the Gnome's Eye, which he says will "protect her from all things evil, living or dead." Theresa is convinced the stone has no power, but she still keeps it close as they travel on the crowded immigrant ship and when they settle into a rooming house on Kensington Avenue in Toronto. At first Theresa is afraid of everything: the other tenants in the rooming house, the rat that lives in the kitchen, learning a new language. But as time goes by, Theresa's need for the Gnome's Eye fades, until she is finally able to give it to someone who needs it more than she does.

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

Klutzhood

Chris McMahen (author)

Publisher: Orca Book Publishers ISBN: 9781551437125

Arlo thinks his mother is crazy for taking a job in a small town, far away from his old home and his good friends. And to make matters worse, the students at his new school are crazyhockey crazy. Arlo has never laced up a pair of skates in his life, and he's not about to start. To avoid making a complete fool of himself in front of his classmates, Arlo joins a group of misfits called the Dumpster Dudes, who set him a series of wild initiation tests that unleash mayhem on the school. Broken windows in the classrooms, angry ants in the hallways, bicycles in the library and monsters in the air ductscan East Bend Elementary survive Arlo? And will Arlo survive East Bend?

Leaving Fletchville

René Schmidt (author)

Publisher: Orca Book Publishers ISBN: 9781551439471

Brandon is the biggest and toughest kid in his small-town school. He is feared as a bully, but he only pretends to be "dumb as a bag of hammers," so he can learn as much as possible about the people around him. When Leon, his sister Winnie, and their lively little brother Sam, arrive in Kingsville, they are the only black people in town. Everyone is curious about themwhere they came from, what their parents dobut when Brandon discovers the truth about their situation, he decides to do what he can to protect them from harm.

My Name Is Mitch

Shelagh Lynne Supeene (author)

Publisher: Orca Book Publishers ISBN: 9781551438146

Mitch MacLeod may be the smallest kid in grade six, but he has a great sense of humor and a strong backbone. He can read, sometimes, but never at school when he has to. "You don't know what humiliation is until you have a grade one reading buddy who reads better than you do," he says. But things start to change for Mitch when he creates an opportunity to stand up to Philip, his arch-enemy, when his reading begins to improve, and when his dad, "The Creep," moves back to town.

Out of the Box

Michelle Mulder (author)

Publisher: Orca Book Publishers ISBN: 9781554693290

Life is smoothest for thirteen-year-old Ellie when she keeps her opinions to herself, gets good grades and speaks carefully when her parents ask her to settle their arguments. She feels guilty that she welcomes the chance to spend the summer in another city with her mother's older sister, Jeanette. Ellie makes a new friend and learns to play an Argentine instrument called the bandoneón, which she finds in her aunts basement. When she goes searching for the bandoneón's original owner, she discovers a story of political intrigue and family secrets that help her start to figure out where her parents end and she begins.

Pedal It! How Bicycles are Changing the World

Michelle Mulder (author)

Publisher: Orca Book Publishers ISBN: 9781459802209

Pedal It! celebrates the humble bicycle from the very first boneshakers to the sleek racing bikes of today, from handlebars to spokes to gear sprocketsand shows you why and how bikes can make the world a better place. Not only can bikes be used to power computers and generators, they can also reduce pollution, promote wellness and get a package across a crowded cityfast! Informative but not didactic, Pedal It! encourages young readers to be part of the joy of cycling.

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.

Better Than Weird

Anna Kerz (author)

Publisher: Orca Book Publishers ISBN: 9781554693634

In this stand-alone sequel to The Mealworm Diaries, Aaron is anxiously waiting for his father to return for the first time since Aaron's mother's death eight years earlier. Aaron works hard with a counselor at school, but he still has problems getting along with and understanding other kids, and he's worried that his dad will think he's weird. As well as having to confront Tufan, the class bully, Aaron must find ways to cope with the fact that his dad now has a pregnant wife and his beloved Gran needs surgery. In the end, his greatest strength is not his intelligence or his sense of humor, but the openness and warmth of his heart.

Catboy

Eric Walters (author)

Publisher: Orca Book Publishers ISBN: 9781554699544

Taylor and his mother have moved from a small northern town to the heart of Toronto. The differences are dramatic as Taylor becomes part of a classroom of kids as diverse as the city itself. While taking a shortcut across a junkyard with his new best friend, Simon, Taylor becomes aware of a colony of wild cats that make the junkyard their home. Assisted by his classmates, teacher and the security guard, Mr. Singh, Taylor takes a special interest in caring for the cats. Suddenly there is an announcement-the junkyard is being redeveloped to become condominiums. Can Taylor and his friends save the cats of the colony from certain death?

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?