Saturday, February 5, 2011

OLA Best Bets - The top ten books of 2010 in several kidlit/yalit categories!

Yesterday, at the OLA Superconference, the top ten lists of kids and YA books were announced. My pal Marsha Skrypuch got the info to me in digital form so I could post it for you here. Both the YA and children's lists are printed in their entirety below.

I'm pleased to say that Marsha's wonderful book, Stolen Child, made the top ten fiction list! Way to go Marsha!

Other friends, I"m delighted to see on the list as well: Valerie Sherrard, for Tumbleweed Skies. Frieda Wishinsky for The Queen's Purse. Art Slade, Marthe Jocelyn, Ken Oppel, Elin Kelsey, Tanya Lloyd  Kyi, Lois Peterson....Wowza!

I'm pleased as punch to be in such fine company - twice! Magic up Your Sleeve was given the nod in the nonfiction category, and A Porcupine in a Pine Tree in the picture book category. Yes, I'm busting my buttons.



BEST BETS
PICTURE BOOKS




Bailey, Linda. Stanley's Little Sister.

Illustrated by Bill Slavin. Kids Can Press

Stanley's world is turned upside down with the arrival of "Fluffy" the

cat. Chaos and hilarity ensue with Stanley catching all the blame. But

just when Stanley is about to give up, he realizes that having a little

sister isn't so bad after all.



Becker, Helaine. A Porcupine in a Pine Tree: a Canadian 12 Days of

Christmas.

Illustrated by Werner Zimmerman. North Winds Press *

A porcupine, caribou, beavers, moose, squirrels, Mounties, Stanley Cups

and more rollick through the familiar carol. With tongue-in-cheek humour

and bright illustrations, this distinctively Canadian version is a delight.



Edwards, Wallace. The Cat's Pajamas.

Kids Can Press.

Wallace Edwards makes understanding idioms fun and entertaining. His

extraordinary illustrations are visual clues to 26 idioms. Readers are

challenged to decipher each one. Edwards seems to be telling us "Use

Your Noodle"! and It's a "Piece of Cake'!". Check out the hidden cat on

each page. Readers of all ages will find this book "more fun than a

barrel of monkeys"!



Horrocks, Anita. Silas' Seven Grandparents.

Illustrated by Helen Flook. Orca Book Publishers

Modern family dynamics have left Silas with more than the usual quota of

doting caregivers when his parents go away on a business trip. As one

after another invites him to stay, Silas is in a quandary. How can he

choose to stay with only one when all seven want him? Clever Silas finds

a solution that pleases everyone. Colourful, lively illustrations make

this book a special treat for readers, too.



Leonetti, Mike. The Mighty Tim Horton;

Illustrated by Greg Banning. North Winds Press*

Hockey fans and history buffs alike will enjoy this endearing story of a

boy and his encounter with a hockey legend, the mighty Tim Horton. The

thrill and excitement of the 1962 NHL playoffs is captured nicely as we

join Tim Horton and the Toronto Maple Leafs on their successful quest to

win the Stanley Cup.



Luxbacher, Irene. Mattoo, Let's Play!

Kids Can Press

Ruby LOVES to play with her pet cat, Mattoo. But why is Mattoo being

such a sour puss? A delightful, beautifully illustrated story about

considering the feelings of others and playing nicely.



Munsch, Robert. Put Me in a Book!

Ilustrated by Michael Martchenko. North Winds Press*

An author sitting on a park bench tells Mrs. O'Dell's class that he

can't complete his picture book until he finds a kid to be in it. Hailey

enthusiastically volunteers and is shocked when she is suddenly folded

into the book. Once she discovers that she can't escape, the other kids

try to help with hilarious results. Kids will buy into the absurdity of

Hailey's problem and will love the concluding twist.



Tsiang, Sarah. A Flock of Shoes.

Illustrated by Qin Leng. Annick.

Abby's sandals are pink and brown with lime green trim. They are perfect

for running and jumping and making tracks in the sand. But when summer

is over Mum says they are worn out and it's time for them to go. Abby

disagrees but the sandals take matters into their own hands, flying away

to the south like birds. Soon unhappy Abby learns to love her blue and

white boots with purple trim. Until, one sunny spring day.... Young

readers will delight in this nonsensical story about Abby and her

faithful footwear.



Ward, David. One Hockey Night.

Illustrated by Brian Deines, Scholastic.

Owen and Holly have moved to Saskatchewan from Nova Scotia and miss

playing hockey on a lake. However their father has a big surprise for

them on Christmas Eve. Gorgeous artwork and a charming story celebrate

one of Canada's favourite pastimes.



Wishinsky, Frieda. The Queen's Secret.

Illustrated by Loufane. North Winds Press*

There's a secret that both the Queen and Kay share -- and it's up to the

reader to find out! Delightfully teasing (the answer is at the end)

this is also a rhyming book with bright, colourful illustrations.

.

*Note that North Winds Press is part of Scholastic Canada.



FICTION



Brewster, Hugh Prisoner Of Dieppe: World War II, Alistair Morrison,

Occupied France, 1942 (I am Canada). Scholastic

Alistair Morrison is talked into joining the war effort by his best

friend, the slightly older "Mackie". After basic training they are sent

overseas and end up being captured after the disastrous battle of

Dieppe. This new series is promoted as being for ages 9-12 but the

honest way in which Brewster treats the lives of the soldiers during

WWII makes it suitable for older readers as well. Exciting and well

written, this is a story that will engage boys in particular.



Charles, Rie. No More Dragons. Napoleon Publishing.

Alex keeps a diary in the form of letters to a friend. As we read each

entry something disturbing is revealed. Thirteen year old Alex is not

only lonely and insecure, he is also being abused. Nevertheless, his

letters are filled with humour and hope, especially when he talks about

trying out for the school play. We see his world slowly crumbling

until he reaches a point where he knows he must stand up to his father.

A believable and touching story.



Mack, Winnie. After All, You're Callie Boone. Scholastic.

12 year old Callie has been dumped by her best friend and has just belly

flopped off the diving board at the pool. On top of that her Uncle has

moved in with his ferrets and her grandma is cranky. Things change when

a boy named Hoot moves to her neighbourhood. A great first novel about

friendship.



MacLean, Jill. The Present Tense of Prinny Murphy.

Fitzhenry & Whiteside

This shining novel reintroduces Grade 5 to 8 readers to characters from

The Nine Lives of Travis Keating. Her mother's alcoholism, bullying

classmates, and struggles with reading are making Prinny's life in her

small Newfoundland town a misery until a sympathetic teacher gives her a

book which helps her find the strength and resilience to grow past her

troubles.



Milway, Katie Smith. The Good Garden: How One Family Went from Hunger to

Having Enough.

Illustrated by Sylvie Daigneault. Kids Can Press

Impoverished soil and greedy "coyotes" have driven Maria's Honduran

family to desperation. A new teacher defies tradition and introduces

practices which enable Maria's family to rehabilitate their land and

become successful, independent farmers. A thoughtful introduction to the

issue of global food shortages. For Grades 4 to 8 but Daigneault's

charming illustrations will attract younger readers, too.



Nielsen, Susin. Dear George Clooney, Please Marry My Mom. Tundra.

According to Violet, divorce sucks. Her mother dates losers and

always seems depressed, while her father is never around since he has

remarried and moved. When she and her sister are invited to visit her

TV-director dad in Los Angeles, Violet hatches a plan involving George

Clooney to save her Mom and make her father crazy with jealousy. A

hilarious look at the ups and downs of family life.



Peterson, Lois. The Ballad of Knuckles McGraw

Orca Book Publishers

When Kevin Mason is abandoned by his mother, he decides to escape by

becoming Knuckles McGraw, a tough and brave cowboy. But with the

support of his new foster family, and the reunion with his grandparents,

Kevin re-finds not only himself, but the courage to face his future with

new optimism. A touching story.



Sherrard, Valerie. Tumbleweed Skies.

Fitzhenry & Whiteside

Ellie is sent to live with her embittered and unwelcoming grandmother

for the summer. While a sympathetic uncle and a wounded magpie help her

cope, it is Ellie's maturity and inner strength which guide her growing

understanding. This historical novel captures Ellie's thoughts and

emotions with compassion and insight. The hopeful ending avoids a

sentimental solution.



Skrypuch, Marsha Stolen Child

Scholastic

After World War II, twelve year old Nadia is adjusting to life in Canada

after years in a Displaced Persons camp in Europe. But her memories and

her dreams are confused and contradictory. Gradually she comes to

realize that as a young child she was stolen from her Ukrainian parents

and raised to be a good Nazi German. This aspect of the war is not

covered in children's books and this gives an added interest to an

"adjusting to a new life in Canada "story.



Stevenson, Robin. Liars and Fools.

Orca Book Publishers.

In the wake of her mother's tragic disappearance, Fiona's rational

minded science teacher father falls for a new age spirit medium.

Smelling a rat, Fiona and her overachieving friend Anna decide to expose

"psychic phenomena" for their next science project.



HONOURABLE MENTIONS:

Fergus, Maureen -- Ortega -- Kids Can

Kerz, Anna -- Gnome's Eye -- Orca

Peacock, Shane -- Secret Fiend -- Tundra

Sylvester, Kevin -- Neil Flambé and the Marco Polo Murders -- H.B. Fenn



NON-FICTION



Becker, Helaine. Magic Up Your Sleeve: Amazing Illusions, Tricks, and

Science Facts You'll Never Believe;

Illustrated by Claudia Dávila. Owlkids Books Inc.

Magic and science unite with wondrous results in this clever and

informative book about magic tricks. The easy to follow step by step

instructions, and eye catching illustrations are sure to astound and

amaze the curious minds of budding magicians!



Ellis, Deborah. We Want You to Know: Kids Talk About Bullying. Coteau Books.

Deborah Ellis' latest book is meaningful not only to kids who have been

bullied, but also to educators and parents. The interviews are poignant

and thoughtful and the kids have their own ideas, advice and solutions

to share. A section called "What Do You Think" has great topics for

further discussion. The "Resources" section provides helpful websites

and addresses.



Kelsey, Elin.

Not Your Typical Book About the Environment.

Illustrated by Clayton Hanmer. Owlkids

Catchy titles and fun illustrations offering empowering advice without

preaching or sentimentalizing make this book a winner. The book is

packed with interesting information and readers are encouraged to

connect with the environment proactively. The author's sincerity,

thoughtfulness and ability to connect with kids shines through in this

highly- readable book.



Kyi, Tanya Lloyd.

50 Burning Question: a Sizzling History of Fire. Illustrated by Ross

Kinnaird. Annick Press

Entertaining headings ("Who was the first hairy potter?") and

brightly-coloured pages with wacky illustrations introduce the reader to

the subject of fire. Well-researched (there's a bibliography) with a

wealth of interesting detail, this book is fun and informative.

Chapters include both scientific and social aspects of fire in a

question and answer format.



McAllister, Ian & Read, Nicholas. Sea Wolves- Living Wild in the Great

Bear Rainforest. Orca Book Publishers.

Beautifully illustrated with almost 100 photos by McAllister, this

stunning book covers the lives and habits of these creatures who are

genetically different from other wolves. Details on how they differ

(they fish!) and how they are similar to other wolves is contrasted with

how similarly they live to the First Nations who share the same space.



McAllister, Ian & Read, Nicholas. Salmon Bears: Giants of the Great

Bear Rainforest.. Orca Book Publishers.

This is another amazing book by this author and photographer. We hope

they continue with this series. Incredible photos and informative text

make this a must for any collection. Both titles by this author and

photographer deserve to be on the Best Bets list



Patterson, Heather. Canada From Above: A Photo Journey.

Scholastic Canada

This photographic book features breathtaking images of 30 Canadian

natural and man-made landmarks, all shot from above. Each picture

covers a two page spread with interesting information about the location

included. Subject matter ranges from the Alberta Pond Hockey

championships, to a beluga migration in Nunavut, to salmon farms on the

East coast, to an old-growth forest in B.C.



Read, Tracy C. Exploring the World of Eagles

Firefly Books

Get up close and personal with some of nature's most fascinating

creatures. Beautiful colour photographs coupled with interesting facts

and trivia make this and the other books in the Exploring the World

of... series a must see!



Webb, Jonathan. Canada's Wars: An illustrated History. Scholastic Canada

A thorough and up to date, richly illustrated book covering Canada's

official and unofficial involvement in conflicts around the globe.

Starting with the Boer War and covering a surprising range of lesser

known material, this book closes with Canada's role in Afghanistan.

Includes maps and an index.



HONOURABLE MENTIONS:

Coulter, Laurie -- Kings and Carpenters: One Hundred Bible Land Jobs You

Might Have Praised or Panned - Annick

Goldner, John-- Hockey Talk -- Fitzhenry & Whiteside

Lightfoot, Gordon -- Canadian Railroad Trilogy -- Groundwood (for the

illustrations by Ian Wallace).

Weaver, Janice -- Hudson. Tundra







OLA'S CANADIAN MATERIALS COMMITTEE



We are a long standing committee with a strong voice in promoting

Canadian literature for children and young adults. Our goal is to

highlight excellence in literature for children and young adults for the

OLA membership and others with an interest.



The OLA's annual Best Bets evolved from a list put out by the Canadian

Material's Committee of the Children's Services Guild. This Canadian

Materials Committee is now under the wing of the OPLA Children and Youth

Committee.



The OLA's Canadian Materials Committee selects books on the basis of

their literary/artistic merit as well as their appeal for children and

young adults. Text and illustrations are of equal importance in picture

books and information books.





The Committee thanks S & B Books, www.sbbooks.com, for their ongoing

support with providing a place to meet and copies of books to review.



Meetings are held a minimum of four times a year at S & B Books (3086

Universal Dr., Mississauga). Members discuss and evaluate recent

publications by Canadian authors and illustrators. The books evaluated

are suitable for children and young adults from birth to nineteen years

old. From these discussions, the Committee produces "Best Bets" lists,

annual annotated lists of recommended titles. These lists are released

each year at the OLA Super Conference.



OLA's Canadian Materials Committee Members:



Carrie Dawber, Richmond Hill Public Library



Dinah Gough, Retiree from Oshawa Public Library



Patrick Gracey, Toronto Public Library



Sandy Laird, Mississauga Public Library



Sheilah O'Connor, Toronto Public Library



Cecily Reid, Richmond Hill Public Library



Jane Salmon, Barrie Public Library



Jennifer Stephen, Vaughan Public Libraries



For further information, please contact



Jane Salmon at the Barrie Public Library



jsalmon@barrie.ca



Ontario Library Association



50 Wellington St. East, Suite 201,



Toronto, ON M5E 1C8



Tel 416-941-9581 or 866-873-9867



FAX 416-941-9581 or 800-387-1181



www.accessola.com



info@accessola.com










2010



Fiction Reading for Young Adults



The OLA's Canadian Materials Committee prepares this annual list.



Books are selected on the basis of their literary merit as well as their appeal for young adults. Illustrations are also considered in the case of graphic novels.







Armstrong, Kelley. Reckoning.

Doubleday Canada

In book three of the Darkest Powers series, Chloe Saunders and her friends have finally found a safe haven with Andrew, a renegade supernatural, as opposed to the Edison Group as they are. However, things are not necessarily all as they seem with Andrew, and Chloe, Tori, Simon, and Derek may be in the greatest danger they've faced yet.



Brooks, Martha. Queen of Hearts.

Groundwood

When 15 year old Marie-Claire is diagnosed with tuberculosis, she and her two siblings are sent away to a sanatorium where they are kept away from each other and forced to room with strangers. Marie-Claire's roommate is a rich and relentlessly cheerful girl named Signy and the story is as much about their friendship as it is about their struggles to beat this terrible disease in the days before a vaccine was developed.



Cummings, Gillian. Somewhere in Blue.

Lobster Press.

Sandy's father is dead. She is desolated and barely functioning. Her mother, always somehow outside the charmed circle of Sandy's close relationship with her father, appears not to be grieving. Best friend Lennie is trying to provide comfort but has her own problems with a mother who keeps casting her net for a man but catching only creeps and losers. There is a boy who would like to help if he can just find a way to break through the ice wall of Sandy's grief. A beautifully written story about the healing power of love and friendship.



Ellis, Deborah. No Safe Place.

Groundwood

Three teenagers smuggle themselves into England, each of them with a reason to leave their native land. Abdul is from war-torn Baghdad.

Rosalia had been sold into sexual slavery by an uncle and escaped just in time and Cheslav had been a young Russian soldier. Distrusting everyone, they are forced to rely on each other in order to survive.

Ellis fashions another look at young people with lives very different than our own but with similar hopes and dreams.



Harvey, Alyxandra. Hearts at Stake.

Walker & Company

Solange Drake is a natural born vampire, about to go through the change that will turn her from basically human, to thoroughly vampire. Since Solange is the only born vampire who is female, and there is a prophecy about her becoming the ruler of the vampires, her change is creating huge tension in the vampire world. With the Queen trying to kill her, and power hungry males trying to capture her heart, there is a lot going on in Solange's world. Luckily, Solange's human friend Lucy, her seven brothers, and a vampire hunter named Kieran, are all on Solange's side, and all fighting for her survival.



Jocelyn, Marthe. Folly.

Tundra

Mary, a poor farm girl in 19th century England is sent from her home by a mean spirited stepmother and pressed into the life of a domestic servant. Independent by nature, Mary soon finds a better offer in another household but burns her bridges with her family by doing so.



Harvey, Sarah N. Death Benefits

Orca Book Publishers

As far as Royce ever knew his grandfather, Arthur, had just been this miserable old grouch, but when he's offered a lucrative summer job caring for the old guy, Royce discovers that Arthur's also very rich and famous. The old man's health is slowly deteriorating and he wants to die. Arthur confides this secret to Royce in the hope of getting some help.



Oppel, Kenneth. Half Brother. Harper Collins Ben Tomlin's dad has one of the more interesting jobs on the planet.

He's trying to teach sign language to a baby chimpanzee. Having a chimp in the family certainly has its perks. Ben finds he's suddenly a chick magnet. But he also sees some of the darker side of animal research.



Prinz, Yvonne. The Vinyl Princess.

Harper Trophy

Allie is a music geek. Music is her passion. She works full-time at

Bob and Bob Records, selling vinyl. Not CDs. Not MP3s. Vinyl. The

trouble is, Bob and Bob's isn't doing too well. It seems that most people just don't understand the greatness of music on vinyl. Enter Allie's secret identity as The Vinyl Princess, blogger and Zine creator. Can Bob and Bob's be saved, even with a crime wave sweeping the neighbourhood? Will Allie be stuck playing third wheel to her

mother's romantic life? Can Allie change people's minds about music?



Slade, Arthur. The Dark Deeps.

Harper Collins

In book two of The Hunchback Assignments, Modo and Octavia are sent on a mission to discover a ship that has the power to wreak havoc on the world. When their own boat is rammed, and Modo is thrown into the sea, Octavia fears he is dead. Modo, however, finds himself somewhere completely unexpected, beneath the sea.





HONOURABLE MENTIONS





Bow, Erin. Plain Kate. Scholastic.

Buffie, Margaret. Winter Shadows. Tundra.

Livingston, Lesley. Darklight.. Harper Trophy.

McClintock, Norah. Homicide Related. Red Deer Press.

Muller, Rachel Dunstan. Squeeze. Orca Book Publishers.

Russell, Craig. Black Bottle Man. Great Plains.

Stratton, Allan. Borderline. Harper Trophy.

Van Tol, Alex. Knifepoint. Orca Book Publishers.



NOTABLE NON FICTION (We do not review non fiction but came across this book which we felt deserved a mention).



Dyer, Hadley, Illustrated by Marc Ngui. Watch This Space: Designing, Defending and Sharing Public Spaces. Kids Can Press















OLA'S CANADIAN MATERIALS COMMITTEE



We are a long standing committee with a strong voice in promoting

Canadian literature for children and young adults. Our goal is to

highlight excellence in literature for children and young adults for the

OLA membership and others with an interest.

The OLA's annual Best Bets evolved from a list put out by the Canadian

Material's



Committee of the Children's Services Guild. This Canadian Materials

Committee is now under the wing of the OPLA Children and Youth Committee.



The OLA's Canadian Materials Committee selects books on the basis of

their literary/artistic merit as well as their appeal for children and

young adults. Text and illustrations are of equal importance in picture

books and information books.





The Committee thanks S & B Books, www.sbbooks.com, for their ongoing

support with providing a place to meet and copies of books to review.



Meetings are held a minimum of four times a year at S & B Books Ltd

(3086 Universal Dr., Mississauga). Members discuss and evaluate recent

publications by Canadian authors and illustrators. The books evaluated

are suitable for children and young adults from birth to nineteen years

old. From these discussions, the Committee produces "Best Bets" lists,

annual annotated lists of recommended titles. These lists are released

each year at the OLA Super Conference.



OLA's Canadian Materials Committee Members:



Carrie Dawber, Richmond Hill Public Library



Dinah Gough, Retiree from Oshawa Public Library



Patrick Gracey, Toronto Public Library



Sandy Laird, Mississauga Public Library



Sheilah O'Connor, Toronto Public Library



Cecily Reid, Richmond Hill Public Library



Jane Salmon, Barrie Public Library



Jennifer Stephen, Vaughan Public Libraries



For further information, please contact



Jane Salmon at the Barrie Public Library



jsalmon@barrie.ca



Ontario Library Association



50 Wellington St. East, Suite 201,



Toronto, ON M5E 1C8



Tel 416-941-9581 or 866-873-9867



FAX 416-941-9581 or 800-387-1181



www.accessola.com



info@accessola.com

1 comment:

Because: Science!

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