Children & young adult

#968 Will you help The Ormsby Review?

Will you help The Ormsby Review? by Richard Mackie * A message from publisher Richard Mackie and the Board of the Ormsby Literary Society. Advisory Board: Jean Barman, Wade Davis, Robin Fisher, Cole Harris, Hugh Johnston, Patricia Roy, David Stouck, Graeme Wynn. Board of Directors: Ron Hatch, Eldon Yellowhorn, Imogene Lim, Byron Sheardown, LiLynn Wan, Trevor…
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#960 West Kootenay baby boomer buba

Tuesdays with Jack: A Grandmother’s Love and a Little Boy’s Brilliance by Pauline Daniel Vancouver: Granville Island Publishing, 2018 $18.95 / 9781926991825 Reviewed by Rose Morrison * Author Pauline Daniel, who likes to be known as the “how to follow your heart” coach, is the owner of Coaching Connections, a coaching service for women. She…
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#959 The anvil of female power

Fight Like a Girl by Sheena Kamal Toronto: Penguin Random House, 2020 $21.00 / 9780735265554 Reviewed by Natalie Lang * What do any of us really know about one another? The reality of someone’s life is likely to be filled with multiple layers of who they’ve been and what they’ve done. Someone living in our…
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#945 When horse sense is required

Coming Back by K.L. Denman Victoria: Orca Books, 2019 $9.95 / 9781459822665 Reviewed by Carol Anne Shaw * Coming Back, by K.L. Denman, is part of the Orca Books’ Rapid Reads series. These short novels and non-fiction books are high-interest, quick reads, primarily targeted at readers who struggle with literacy. Denman introduces us to Julie,…
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#927 A runecaster’s apprenticeship

Runecaster Book 1: The Stone of Sorrow by Brooke Carter Victoria: Orca Book Publishers $14.95 /  9781459824393 Reviewed by Myshara Herbert-McMyn * The Stone of Sorrow concerns magic, myth, and adventure. Each page I turned of this YA (young adult) novel meant more mystery and surprise. I wasn’t sure how much Icelandic and Norse mythology…
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#923 Return to the Book of Small

When Emily was Small by Lauren Soloy Toronto: Penguin Random House, 2020 (Tundra Books) $21.99 / 9780735266063 Reviewed by Ginny Ratsoy * Lauren Soloy is both author and illustrator of this lovely adaptation of Emily Carr’s “White Currants” from The Book of Small (1942), which Doris Shadbolt, in the introduction to The Emily Carr Omnibus,…
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#907 An all-encompassing loss

The Unbroken Hearts Club by Brooke Carter Victoria: Orca Books, 2019 $9.95 /  9781459820616 Reviewed by Zoe McKenna * In The Unbroken Hearts Club, Brooke Carter highlights the healing power of community and art in the face of grief and loss. Brooke Carter is the author of several novels for young adults, including the Runecaster…
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#877 A primer for modern teachers

You Suck, Sir: Chronicles of a High School English Teacher and the Students who Schooled Him by Paul Bae Vancouver: Arsenal Pulp Press (Robin’s Egg Books), 2020 $19.95 / 9781551528076 Reviewed by Myshara Herbert-McMyn * A comedian, podcaster, writer, and actor, Paul Bae also taught English at Vancouver’s largest public school. He co-created and co-wrote…
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#830 Sweeping rape under the rug

Girls Like Me by Kristin Butcher Victoria: Orca Books, 2019 $9.95  / 9781459820555 Reviewed by Carol Anne Shaw  Trigger warning: rape, sexual coercion, miscarriage * Kristin Butcher of Campbell River has written more than twenty books for young people, and has been shortlisted for a variety of Canadian literary awards during her career. She writes…
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#810 Pawns in the Hitler Youth

Secrets in the Shadows by Heige S. Boehm Vancouver: Ronsdale Press, 2019 $14.95 / 9781553805724 Reviewed by Valerie Green * Secrets in The Shadows is the story of two boyhood friends, Michael and Wolfgang (Wolfie), growing up in Nazi Germany in the 1930s. But it is also so much more. Author Heige S. Boehm has…
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#724 Postwar gardening therapy

The Vegetable Museum by Michelle Mulder Victoria: Orca Books, 2019 $10.95 /  9781459816794 Reviewed by George M. Johnson * Michelle Mulder cultivates rich soil (sorry I couldn’t resist that) in her middle-grade novel about 13 year-old Chloë Becher, forced to move from Montreal to Victoria with her Dad when her parents separate. Initially she finds…
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#713 Writing tips from Cowichan

10 Sure-fire Ways to NAIL Your First Draft by Carol Anne Shaw * After several years of reading, scribbling, blogging, Facebooking, and trying to look serious on LinkedIn, I’ve come to realize that this writing-a-novel thing is actually a no-brainer. Because there are only ten necessary rules for success. I’m not lying. (I’ll get to…
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#710 Four Strathcona princesses

The Princess Dolls by Ellen Schwartz, with illustrations by Mariko Ando Vancouver: Tradewind Books, 2018 $12.95 / 9781926890081 Reviewed by Michael Kluckner * Best friends Esther and Michiko and their longing for two dolls of the English princesses, Elizabeth and Margaret, provide subjects for a wartime tale of friendship, racial injustice, and displacement set in…
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#691 Frankie goes to New York

Here I Am! by Pauline Holdstock Windsor, Ontario: Biblioasis, 2019 $21.95 / 9781771963091 Reviewed by Valerie Green * Rarely does a book draw me in from page one, but such was the case with Here I Am! by Pauline Holdstock. The protagonist is a delightful six year-old boy, Frankie West, and the reader soon learns…
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