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Getting the Brush Off

Mere Joyce (author)

Publisher: Orca Book Publishers ISBN: 9781459813595

Two years ago, sixteen-year-old Sydney Hart was kicked out of the prestigious Burke Academy when her mother could no longer afford the tuition. She lost a promising future in the arts, as well as her best friend, who didn't want to be seen with an art-academy reject. But now, without Burke's rigid structure, Sydney has found her true passion in performance painting and is busking on Halifax's boardwalk to earn enough money to go to art camp. After the police shut her down, Sydney learns her old school is hosting a "brush-off" speed-painting contest with a cash prize. Entering would mean facing her painful past, not to mention her former friend, who's also competing.

Plunge

Eric Howling (author)

Publisher: Orca Book Publishers ISBN: 9781459814202

Cade's dad thinks triathlons are for wimps. He doesn't think it's a real sport and wishes Cade would play football instead, like his older brother, Trent. So Cade trains in secret and qualifies to compete in the provincial championship in Sylvan Lake. The night before the event, Cade's coach suddenly can't go, and Cade is forced to ask his dad for a ride there. He only agrees because Trent has a football game nearby. The road trip takes a nasty turn when his dad swerves to avoid a deer and their car hurtles into an ice-cold river. It's up to Cade to use his skills to save his entire family.

Firewall

Sean Rodman (author)

Publisher: Orca Book Publishers ISBN: 9781459814547

Josh is a gamer. After his parents' divorce and his move from Chicago to a small town where he doesn't know anybody, he copes by staying up way too late playing Killswitch online. Then he discovers a "mod" version of the game that is an exact reproduction of his new town. Strange things start to happen in the game, and they are somehow connected with events in the real world.

Up North

Jeff Ross (author)

Publisher: Orca Book Publishers ISBN: 9781459814578

Rob Maclean and his mom have moved to a small community in northern Ontario in order to be closer to Rob's imprisoned brother, Adam. One night after a rowdy party, Rob and some friends end up in a van speeding through a First Nations reserve. The driver of the van has a deep hatred for Indigenous people, and he lobs rotten fruit at a group of young men gathered in front of a community center. The young men chase them down, and Rob's friend Alan is injured and ends up in a coma. Now the police are pressuring Rob to identify their prime suspect. This is the second story featuring Rob and Adam Maclean after Coming Clean.

Heavy Freight

Sigmund Brouwer (author)

Publisher: Orca Book Publishers ISBN: 9781459814769

Fifteen-year-old Maxwell Stone has been surviving and thriving in the tough part of West Vancouver by being smart and fast. But when a drug deal goes wrong, Max suddenly finds himself on the run from both the bad guys and the cops. Desperate to escape, Max impulsively decides to hop on a moving freight train. His first attempt to climb aboard fails, but at the last second a hand reaches down and pulls him in. Joseph has been riding the rails for years, and his tales inspire Max to take a journey to the last place he ever expected to go.

Bedtime 123

Eric Walters (author), Josee Bisallion (illustrator)

Publisher: Orca Book Publishers ISBN: 9781459810747

Lull your little one to sleep while counting the animals also nestling in for the night. Count the stars coming out, fox cubs snuggling, puppies piling and chicks cuddling as baby rocks gently to sleep in this gorgeously illustrated board book from bestselling author Eric Walters and award-winning illustrator Josée Bisaillon.

First Times

Charles Ghigna (author), Lori Joy Smith (illustrator)

Publisher: Orca Book Publishers ISBN: 9781459811997

From the first slip down a slide to the first time picking out a book to read, this rollicking narrative takes readers on a journey of discovery into the memorable firsts in a child's world. A story that will be enjoyed by the whole family, from the youngest, eager to experience their own adventures, to the oldest, so proud to watch them grow.

Miriam's Secret

Debby Waldman (author)

Publisher: Orca Book Publishers ISBN: 9781459814264

In 1930 nine-year-old Miriam travels by train from Brooklyn to her grandparents' farm in upstate New York. Her grandparents are kind, generous people, but they aren't exactly ideal playmates for a lonely girl. When Miriam is not doing homework in the kitchen with Bubby or helping prepare meals for the migrant workers that Zayde hires to help out on the farm, she plays with the barn kittens born just before she arrived. Those kittens are her only friends, until the day Miriam discovers a young girl hiding in the barn. Cissy and her brother, Joe, who's one of Zayde's farm hands, are on the run from an abusive uncle back in Mississippi. Miriam and Cissy hit it off immediately. But their friendship is tested when Miriam is forced to choose between keeping a promise and doing the right thing.

Pigboy

Vicki Grant (author)

Publisher: Orca Book Publishers ISBN: 9781551436661

Dan is not sure he'll survive the boring field trip to a remote heritage farm. How could a place with no running water, telephone or electricity be anything but dull? The farmer knows nothing about farming and is angry about having to conduct the tour. And what's with his tattoo? The teacher requests a private word with the farmer and then mysteriously disappears. After a messy attack of allergies, Dan is excused to find a tissue. He sneaks back to the school bus and discovers the driver and teacher have been bound and gagged. The farmer is really an escaped convict with nasty plans. Will Dan be able to find help in time?

Tank & Fizz: The Case of the Slime Stampede

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

Publisher: Orca Book Publishers ISBN: 9781459808119

When Gravelmuck Elementarys cleaning slimes escape and destroy the schoolyard with their acidic ooze, all claws and tails point to Mr. Snag, the schools caretaker, as the culprit. Determined to clear Mr. Snags name, Tank and Fizz dive into the case, only to discover that the goop under Rockfall Mountain runs deep. The detective duo must outwit their eight-legged principal and survive an ancient war between high-tech janitors and spell-slinging wizards. Can Tank and Fizz find the real monsters behind the slime stampede in time to clear Mr. Snags name?

On the Trail of the Bushman

Anita Daher (author)

Publisher: Orca Book Publishers ISBN: 9781554690145

Junior Canadian Ranger Tommy Toner has a terrible secret. During the annual JCR summer camp in Whitehorse, Yukon Territory, he plays a prank which has unexpected and destructive results. Ashamed and afraid of what people will think, he keeps quiet, even though the guilt eats away at him. Tommy and his old friends Colly and Jaz team up to take part in a JCR competition at camp. They decide to search on horseback for the legendary Bushman, a Sasquatch-like creature who has been sighted near Whitehorse. But is the Bushman real or is he simply a terrifying creature of myth and legend? What Tommy and his friends discover puts all their lives in danger, and only the truth can save them.

Poser

Alison Hughes (author)

Publisher: Orca Book Publishers ISBN: 9781459801486

Twelve-year-old Luke "Spin" Spinelli is sick of fake running, fake laughing and fake pointing. Sure, he once made the cover of Baby Show magazine, but now his secret modeling career is making him miserable. He dreams of using nonwhitening toothpaste. He can't wait to stop styling his hair. And he really wants to stop worrying that the school bully will discover he was once the face of Dribbleez Diapers. After all, Spin's just a normal boy looking for a hockey game and some pizza with extra cheese.

Maxed Out

Daphne Greer (author)

Publisher: Orca Book Publishers ISBN: 9781554699834

More than anything, twelve-year-old Max wants to play hockey like he used to. But since the death of his dad, his mom does more crying than mothering, and Max has to take his special-needs brother, Duncan, with him everywhere he goes. The team needs Max to win the upcoming game against the Red Eagles, but one practice with Duncan makes it evident that it's not safe to leave him unattended on the sidelines. With only a week to figure out how he can play in the big game, Max is feeling the pressure. Will he find a way to be a good teammate, a good brother and a good son, or is it too much for one kid?

Justine McKeen, Eat Your Beets

Sigmund Brouwer (author), Dave Whamond (illustrator)

Publisher: Orca Book Publishers ISBN: 9781554699346

In the fourth book in the Justine McKeen series, Justine comes up with a plan to recycle food from her school cafeteria in order to help her local animal shelter.

Queen of the Toilet Bowl

Frieda Wishinsky (author)

Publisher: Orca Book Publishers ISBN: 1551433648

When Renata is chosen to play the lead role in the school musical, students who used to ignore her start saying hello and congratulating her in the hall. She is happy until it becomes evident that Karin, a wealthy girl who expected to get the lead role, will go to great lengths to ruin Renata's reputation.

By A Thread

Ned Dickens (author), Graham Ross (illustrator)

Publisher: Orca Book Publishers ISBN: 1551433257

A rhythmic rollicking ride in Beo's bedroom. The toy box has erupted and the toys are perched high, dangling low, hanging by a thread. Bard, the old bear, has been lucky enough to land in the underwear drawer and from there is able to assist his friends, if only they will follow his daring directions. By a Thread is about heroism in small places, all the different kinds of courage a child can draw upon. The text rhymes, and its rhythm takes the tongue on a rollicking ride. Even the most determined reader will not be able to read the story silently.

Blood and Belonging

Vicki Delany (author)

Publisher: Orca Book Publishers ISBN: 9781459812857

RCMP Sergeant Ray Robertson is in the Turks and Caicos Islands, enjoying two weeks of leave from his job training police in Haiti with the UN. On an early-morning jog along famed Grace Bay Beach he discovers a dead man in the surf. Ray is shocked to recognize the body as that of one of his Haitian police recruits. To his wife's increasing dismay, Ray is compelled to follow the dead man's trail and finds himself plunged into the world of human trafficking and the problems of a tiny country struggling to cope with a desperate wave washing up on its shores. This timely story is the third in the Sergeant Ray Robertson series.

Weerdest Day Ever!

Richard Scrimger (author)

Publisher: Orca Book Publishers ISBN: 9781459811560

Bunny is on a camping trip with his brother and his grandpa. How much trouble can he get into? As it turns out, a lot. For one thing, there are soldiers all over the place. Canada is about to go to war with the United States, and the battle starts tomorrow. Bunny is worried. A hockey rivalry is one thing, but this is serious. And why is everybody so happy? Things get personal when an American soldier steals his brother Spencer's cell phone. Bunny decides to track down the phone himself. Maybe they can get out of there before the war starts. Thats when things get confusing. In this zany prequel to Ink Me and The Wolf and Me, the hockey-loving, indomitable Bunny goes camping with his brother and his grandpa.

A Parade of Puppies

Charles Ghigna (author), Kristi Bridgeman (illustrator)

Publisher: Orca Book Publishers ISBN: 9781459809642

In this follow-up to A Carnival of Cats, babies, toddlers and dog-lovers alike will enjoy discovering and guessing what breed of puppy is hiding on the next page. With playful rhyming text from award-winning author Charles Ghigna, and beautiful illustrations by celebrated artist Kristi Bridgeman, this hint-and-reveal board book will have everyone pondering what puppy will turn up next!

Batcat and the Seven Squirrels

Eric Walters (author), Kasia Charko (illustrator)

Publisher: Orca Book Publishers ISBN: 9781459812567

Nathan has always loved animals and longs for a pet. When a baby squirrel shows up at Nathan's door, he wonders what could have happened to its mother. It isn't long before his family discovers six more orphaned baby squirrels in need of food and shelter. With help from Batcat, a neighborhood cat who is fed by many but owned by no one, Nathan learns to care for the squirrels. But all babies must leave the nest eventually. Will Nathan finally find a pet to call his own?

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.

Another Miserable Love Song

Brooke Carter (author)

Publisher: Orca Book Publishers ISBN: 9781459813137

Kallie Echo is starting to think dreams are dangerous. Her dad had one to be a rock star and then he died. Now Kallie is practically homeless and her life is falling apart. So when a punk band asks Kallie to sing for them, she must decide if she's got the heart to front a band of rocker chicks (and one trans guy). Can she find a new purpose in punk? And will the drummer with the amazing smile break her heart?The band goes on tour, and everything hinges on Kallie. It's a lot of pressure especially when you throw in substance abuse and Kallie's deadbeat mom showing up at the worst time. Kallie must learn to trust her friends, and herself, if she's going to get over the past and make a new future. But if she dares to dream again, will she lose it all?

The Bootlegger's Goddaughter

Melodie Campbell (author)

Publisher: Orca Book Publishers ISBN: 9781459814141

As Gina gets ready for her Christmas wedding, all is quiet in Steeltown. Then she's robbed, cousin Jimmy has a heart attack, and someone in the city has hijacked a transport truck full of booze. But who? And why? Gina knows bootlegging used to be a family business, but they stopped that in the '30s. Didnt they? Gina and Nico work feverishly to keep the latest bungled family matter under wraps, but the police are closing in. And, once again, everything points to the Holy Cannoli Retirement Home. The Bootlegger's Goddaughter is the fifth book in the Gina Gallo Mystery series.

Birthdays

Nikki Tate (author)

Publisher: Orca Book Publishers ISBN: 9781459812987

Inspired by memories of fantastic family birthday parties, mother-and-daughter team Nikki Tate and Dani Tate-Stratton researched the history of birthdays in order to answer such questions as, How much does where you grow up influence the way you celebrate getting a year older? Have people always celebrated birthdays? The more they investigated, the more they realized that there's a lot more to birthdays than cake, presents, a few games and perhaps a goody bag. They discovered there are as many ways to observe birthdays as there are places in which to do it.

In the Red Canoe

Leslie A. Davidson (author), Laura Bifano (illustrator)

Publisher: Orca Book Publishers ISBN: 9781459809741

Ducks and frogs, swallows and dragonflies, beaver lodges and lily pads a multitude of wonders enchant the child narrator in this tender, beautifully illustrated picture book. A tribute to those fragile, wild places that still exist, In the Red Canoe celebrates the bond between grandparent and grandchild and invites nature lovers of all ages along for the ride.