books

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Flood Warning (Orca 2012) — When the Fraser River begins to flood, Tom must get his family’s dairy cows to safety before it’s too late. For ages 7-8. – more about this book

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Mystery of the Missing Luck (Orca 2011) — The Japanese lucky cat statue is missing from Sarah’s grandmother’s bakery. Can Sarah find it before the bakery’s lucky is gone for good? For ages 7-8. – more about this book

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Manga Touch (Orca 2007) — Dana loves Japanese manga and anime and can hardly wait to get to Japan and away from the others on the exchange trip. She’s sure she’ll be less of an outsider in Japan, but discovers it’s just as difficult to fit in with a foreign culture as it is at school. For ages 10-14. – more about this book

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The Truth about Rats (and Dogs) (Orca 2006) — Conner loves animals and BMX bike stunts, but his parents don’t seem to notice. They wont let him get a dog, and they expect him to be good at math and piano like his older sister. Despite his parents’ no-pets rule, Conner joins his school animal club in helping the local animal shelter and smuggles home a pet rat. As Conner gets to know Oscar the rat, he discovers there’s more to rats than he expected. For ages 8-12. – more about this book

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Discovering Emily (Orca 2004) — Growing up in 19th century Victoria, eight-year-old Emily Carr is constantly getting into trouble and can’t seem to do anything right – until she discovers a love of art. This is the first of two novels based on the life of Canadian artist Emily Carr. For ages 8-11. – more about this book

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Emily’s Dream (Orca 2005) — After the death of her parents, young Emily Carr chafes under the iron rule of her older sister Dede and dreams of becoming an artist. But in the 19th century, few people believe women can become artists, and Emily’s not sure she has the courage it will take to be one. This is the second of two novels based on the life of Canadian artist Emily Carr. For ages 8-11. – more about this book

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Weeds and other stories (Thistledown 2003) — Navigating through a city where coyotes walk at night, crows sometimes give advice and storms can lead you in unexpected directions, the teens in these short stories find their own way while grappling with issues like bullying, peer pressure, teen pregnancy and drug addiction. For ages 12 and up. – more about this book

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Dog House Blues (Orca 2005) — Erika is the target of the class snob and bully, who taunts her for smelling like her three dogs. When worry over making a new friend causes Erika to neglect her dogs, disaster almost strikes. For ages 8-12. – more about this book

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The Reunion (Orca 2002) — In a small multicultural town on Vancouver Island during WW II, a Sikh girl and her Japanese friend have a fight, and before they can make up, all the Japanese-Canadians are taken away. Years later, two modern girls hope it’s not too late to repair the old friendship and their own as well. For ages 8-11. – more about this book

Order it from Orca Books or Amazon.

See also my easy reader for middle grade ESL students, How to Make Money When You’re Twelve

All the books are available from chapters.indigo.ca, amazon.com and many local bookstores (including two of my favourites, Vancouver Kids Books and the Volume One in Duncan on Vancouver Island). Dog House Blues and The Truth About Rats can also be ordered from www.spca.bc.ca/shop (proceeds from those sales are used to help animals at BC shelters and develop humane education programs).

Check out spca.bc.ca/kids for information on how Dog House Blues and The Truth About Rats are linked to the SPCA Kids Club. Teachers may be interested to know that teacher’s guides for The Reunion, Discovering Emily and Emily’s Dream are available from orcabook.com and a curriculum kit linked to Dog House Blues is currently being developed by the BC SPCA.

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