May 25, 2022

2022 Forest Kid and Teen Committees Summer Reading Lists

In early May, selected young readers who'd applied to participate on the sixth annual Forest Kid Committee (for ages 9-13) and the fourth Forest Teen Committee (for ages 14+) came together online to talk books.  From their discussions, which were interspersed with visits from award-winning Canadian authors including Angela Ahn, Basil Sylvester, Teresa Toten, Heather T. Smith and June Hur, these young people produced three extraordinary lists of recommended titles to keep everyone reading Canadian over the summer.  These are their recommendations for their peers in the Silver Birch, Red Maple and White Pine reading programs of the Forest of Reading®.


Happy summertime reading!
•••


Silver Birch Readers 
(Ages 8-12, Grades 3-6)

 
Beatrice and Croc Harry
Written by Lawrence Hill
HarperCollins
Ages 9-12

Children of the Fox (Thieves of Shadow, Book 1)
Written by Kevin Sands
Penguin Random House
Ages 8-12
 
 
 
 
 
 
The Crosswood (Faerie Woods, Book 1)
Written by Gabrielle Prendergast
Orca Book Publishers
Ages 9-12
 
 
 
 
 
 
Escape to Witch City 
Written by E. Latimer
Tundra Books
Ages 10+
 
 
 
 
 
 
The Gryphon's Lair (A Royal Guide to Monster Slaying, Book 2)
Written by Kelley Armstrong
Puffin Canada
Ages 10-14  
 
 
 
 
 
 
Living with Viola 
Written and illustrated by Rosena Fung
Annick Press
Ages 9-12
 

Lone Runner 
Written by Dirk McLean
James Lorimer
Ages 10-13
 
 
 
 
 
 
Nikki Tesla and the Ferret-Proof Death Ray 
Written by Jess Keating
Illustrated by Lissy Marlin
Scholastic
Ages 8-12  

 
Oh My Gods! 
Written by Stephanie Cooke and Insha Fitzpatrick
Illustrated by Juliana Moon
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Ages 8-12 


Operation Do-Over 
Written by Gordon Korman
Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins 
Ages 9-12
 

Pink, Blue and You! Questions for Kids about Gender Stereotypes
Written and illustrated by Elise Gravel
Anne Schwartz Books
Ages 4-8

Stealing Home
 
Written by J Torres
Illustrated by David Namisato
Kids Can Press
Ages 9-12 

 
 
 
 
The Street Belongs to Us 
Written by Karleen Pendleton Jiménez
Illustrated by Gabriela Godoy
Arsenal Pulp Press
Ages 8-12


Sunny Days Inside and Other Stories
Written by Caroline Adderson
Groundwood Books
Ages 8-12 


Valley of the Rats 
Written by Mahtab Narsimhan
DCB 
Ages 9-12








 
Red Maple Readers
(Ages 12-14, Grades 7-8)

The Delusionist
Written by Don Calame
Candlewick Press 
Ages 13-16
 

Eight Days
Written by Teresa Toten
Scholastic Canada 
Ages 10-14
 

Heart of Flames (Crown of Feathers #2)
Written by Nicki Pau Preto
Simon & Shuster
Ages 12-18
 

Hunting by Stars (A Marrow Thieves Novel)
Written by Cherie Dimaline
Penguin Random House Canada 
Ages 12-18
 

Iron Widow
Written by Xiran Jay Zhao
Penguin Random House Canada
Ages 14+
 

Lessons in Fusion
Written by Primrose Madayag Knazan
Great Plains Publications 
Ages 13-17
 

Mountain Runaways
Written by Pam Withers
Dundurn
Ages 12-15
 

On the Line
Written by Paul Coccia and Eric Walters
Orca Books Publishers
Ages 9-13
 

The Red Palace
Written by June Hur
Feiwel & Friends 
Ages 13-18
 

Rescue at Lake Wild
Written by Terry Lynn Johnson
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Ages 8-12
 

The Undercover Book List
Written by Colleen Nelson
Pajama Press 
Ages 9-12
 

Zara Hossain is Here
Written by Sabina Khan
Scholastic Canada
Ages 14+
 






White Pine Readers
(Ages 14-18, Grades 9-12)



Aetherbound
Written by E. K. Johnston
Penguin Random House
Ages 14-17
 

Blood Donor
Written by Karen Bass
Orca Book Publishers
Ages 12-17


A Dark and Hollow Star
Written by Ashley Shuttleworth
Simon & Schuster
Ages 14-18


Hana Khan Carries On
Written by Uzma Jalaluddin 
HarperCollins Canada
Ages 15+
 

 

 


Hunting by Stars (A Marrow Thieves Novel)
Written by Cherie Dimaline
Penguin Random House Canada 
Ages 12-18
 

If I Tell You the Truth
Written by Jasmin Kaur
HarperCollins 
Ages 14-17
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Iron Widow
Written by Xiran Jay Zhao
Penguin Random House Canada
Ages 14+
 

The Junction
Written by Norm Konyu 
Penguin Random House
Ages 15+
 

The Last Time I Saw Her
Written by Alexandra Harrington
Nimbus Publishing
Ages 12-16
 

The Project
Written by Courtney Summers
Wednesday Books
Ages 12+
 

The Red Palace
Written by June Hur
Feiwel & Friends 
Ages 13-18
 

The Signs and Wonders of Tuna Rashad
Written by Natasha Deen
Running Press Kids 
Ages 13+
 

The Upside of Falling
Written by Alex Light
HarperCollins Canada
Ages 14-17
 

The Wild Ones
Written by Nafiza Azad
Simon & Schuster
Ages 14+
 

Wrong Side of the Court 
Written by N. H. Khan
Penguin Random House Canada
Ages 12-17


 

 

 

The book lists are posted on the Ontario Library Association's Forest of Reading website:

And there are lovely posters too (Forest Kid Committee: https://forestofreading.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/01-Kid-Committee-Poster-2022-FINAL.pdf; Teen Committee: https://forestofreading.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/03-Teen-Committee-Poster-2022-FINAL.pdf) to help keep everyone reading Canadian this summer.




May 24, 2022

My Book of Butterflies: Guest review

The following review was written by 
teacher-librarian Elizabeth Cook.
 
Written and illustrated by Geraldo Valério
Groundwood Books
978-1-77306-335-5
48 pp.
Ages 3-6
2021

I was instantly drawn to My Book of Butterflies when I saw its cover. The bright yellow and oversized butterfly wing will capture the attention of everyone when they see My Book of Butterflies by Geraldo Valério. The lively cover made me feel like this was going to be such a happy book that I couldn’t wait to open the cover to discover what the book was all about. The inside cover is equally spectacular with drawings of all of the caterpillars of the book and the back cover has all of them drawn in their chrysalis stages too. I explored these images for a surprisingly long time as I was drawn in by their illustrations and their names (Itys Leafwing and Common Jezebel are my personal favourites).

From My Book of Butterflies by Geraldo Valério
The book begins with Geraldo Valério recounting his childhood experiences watching the caterpillars and butterflies in his home in Brazil. His fascination with these beautiful creatures never ceased and he wanted to share the beauty of the butterflies with all of his readers. The book depicts, with detailed drawings, the metamorphosis from egg to butterfly and the parts of the butterfly, as well including a map of the world where butterflies can be found and a glossary to help inform the reader.  To help organize the various butterflies depicted, Geraldo Valério uses different coloured backgrounds to identify the part of the world where the butterflies can be found. It is a bright and fun way to engage readers with the book.
From My Book of Butterflies by Geraldo Valério
The pages which focus on each butterfly are gorgeous. Simply stunning. The double-spreads are filled with oversized artwork of the butterflies with impressive details demonstrating the delicacy of the wings. Each page turn had me gasping at how pretty each butterfly was. Surrounding the enormous butterfly is a highly modern and almost geometric representation of what the environment looks like for that particular butterfly (I was very fond of the geometric tall grasses and yellow flowers of the Queen Alexandra’s Birdwing in Papua New Guinea). 
From My Book of Butterflies by Geraldo Valério

While the artwork of the book is clearly the star, the information on each page is also fun to read. Each butterfly is identified by its Latin name and there is a short paragraph with important facts. Most paragraphs focus on one unique fact about the butterfly and would be a great starting point for further research. I enjoyed learning how the European Peacock butterfly hibernates over winter and can hiss to scare away predators such as small rodents.

As a teacher-librarian, I can already tell that this book will be hard to keep on my shelves. However, the students will have to try to be quick to check out this book, as I know a lot of teachers will want to use this book for their science curriculum, particularly the Grade 2 Growth and Changes in Animals unit in Ontario.  Moreover, I know that the art teachers will be checking out the book for students to create some beautiful masterpieces using the illustrations in My Book of Butterflies for inspiration. I will definitely need to get more than one copy for my library...and perhaps one for my home collection!

~Elizabeth Cook is a teacher-librarian in the Halton District School Board. She is an avid reader and fan of Canadian literature.