Undergrounders is a story about a 14-year-old boy learning to trust again after being on his own since his mom died when he was eight. Johnny is an Undergrounder, not a Streetie who lives on the street, fighting the drunks for a space on the grates to stay alive.  When he sees kids his age playing hockey at an outdoor rink,...
Crossing to Freedom is a story of courage and determination told from the eyes of a child who escapes slavery using the underground railroad. He has to leave his grandfather behind in order to survive and search for his father. This book is a great tool for teaching about the Underground Railroad or Black History Month.  My daughter's Grade 7 teacher used...
In Ghosts of the Titanic, Kevin is an eleven year old boy who doesn't feel like he's living up to his Dad's expectation of being a soccer star. His teachers think he jokes around too much, but he's trying to turn over a new leaf. His obsession with the Titanic combined with a family mystery pulls him to the edge...
Author Jacqueline Guest takes us on a wild ride on the Great Eastern during its voyage to lay the first trans-Atlantic cable between England and Newfoundland in Ghost Messages. Ailish is a thirteen year old Irish fortune teller who stows away on the ship to retrieve her family's fortune from a thief. During her adventure she not only learns about...
This stand alone sequel to Anna Kerz's The Mealworm Diaries continues the story of Aaron Waite, a different boy, who is about to meet his father eight years after his Mother's death when he was just a baby.  Better than Weird brings us along Aaron's journey. Aaron desperately wants to be 'normal' and fit in so his dad will like him...
In The Gargoyle Overhead, Garoth and Ambergine are separated and trying to find each other once again.  This sequel to The Gargoyle in my Backyard tells readers about Garoth's previous life. Set in Toronto, there are many references to landmarks that local readers enjoy identifying. Not much character development, particularly around The Collector and why he is so mean and selfish. The idea...

Baby Reads

With two new babies here or on their way this year for my family, I've reacquainted myself with some of my old favorites: Peek-a-Moo! by Maria Torres Cimarusti has wonderfully bright and big faces for babies to see and react to.  I always try to find this and give it as a first-baby gift. If You Were My Bunny by Kate...
Cat Found by Ingrid Lee tells of a young boy who finds a way to help the feral cats in his hometown by summoning his inner strength.  Billy is torn between pleasing his father who wants to 'make a man out of him' with an air rifle for his 11th birthday and following his love for a stray and pregnant cat.  By following...
 About the Book... When we were selecting this next book, I was glad we picked this one. The back of the book described a society where everyone was given plastic surgery at 16 to be turned from an Ugly to a Pretty.  When the book asked if you would betray your friend to become a Pretty and two of our...
Getting Started The obvious first step to starting a kids’ book club is to find some members.  We started with six kids which has been a very manageable number.  The main purpose for starting our book club was to keep my daughter connected with friends she knew from different places, so we had friends from our old neighbourhood, dance class,...