Dianne Linden

Dianne Linden’s two previous young adult novels have won critical praise. Peacekeepers (2003) was a finalist for Alberta’s R. Ross Annett Award for Children’s literature in 2004, and the Ontario Library Association’s Red Maple Young Reader’s Choice Award in 2005. Shimmerdogs (2008) was a silver medallist for the Governor General’s Award for Children’s Literature in that same year and a finalist for the R. Ross Annett Award in 2009. Dianne Linden lives in Edmonton.

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240 pages / paper

Grades 9 and up

Available in the US
World Rights Available


Buy an eBook version of this book at KoboAmazon Kindle Store, or your favourite eBook store

ISBN: 978-1-927068-38-0
List Price: $15.95

Dianne Linden

When Dan walks almost mythically out of a forest fire area and collapses at the feet of fourteen-year-old Matti Iverly, he reverses the journey countless adolescent males make every year into the wildfire we call mental illness.

Matti’s life is not easy. She has Tourette’s, a bio-neurological condition characterized among other things by involuntary spasms or tics. In her case these tics are primarily vocal. Early in the book she confides, “At school they called me Tourette’s Girl, like I came out of a phone booth wearing a costume and made funny noises for people’s entertainment. But I was a serious person, waiting for a serious purpose.”

When a young man with amnesia wanders out of the heart of wildfire country and collapses at her feet, Matti believes she’s found that purpose — in fact she promises to save his life. But the world Dan comes from is far darker than Matti’s, and the price of keeping her promise greater than she could have imagined.

“Linden brings many combustibles to this story that blazes with creativity: magic realism . . . mountain country mythology . . . survival stories . . . even some kindling from Dante. But what burns brightest is the voice of Matti, a teenager with Tourette’s syndrome — true, and funny, and heart-breaking — as she describes what happens when a young man with amnesia wanders into her life.” — Glen Huser, 2003 Governor General gold medallist for Stitches

“The dramatic sleight-of-hand twists and turns in this richly peopled novel will have readers pondering the enigma of identity — how to define it, and even, perhaps, when to renounce it. Dianne Linden’s shimmering, edgy writing never takes normal for granted.” — Holley Rubinsky, author of South of Elfrida, 2013

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juvenile NOVEL

144 pages / trade paper

Available in the US
World Rights Available

Buy an eBook version of this book at Kobo, Amazon Kindle Storeor your favourite eBook store


ISBN: 978-1-897235-37-9
List Price: $10.95

Dianne Linden

Shimmerdogs is the story of young Lester B. Hopkins — Mike to almost everyone except his mother, Master Corporal Alice Mackelwain. He is just a boy trying to make sense of his life, which is becoming more complicated by the world of his absent soldiering mother. Mike is very worried about his mother’s safety while she is in Bosnia. He, like his sister, gets caught up in his mother’s tragic stories of children living in Bosnia, whose daily lives include nightmares of the violence and terror of the war. Mike wonders how to make sense of it all, how to step outside the fears he harbours and the unanswered questions he has.

Stumbling upon a book he finds in the library that describes the ancient belief that dogs guard the doorways to death, he begins to shape an understanding of his troubles. Wasn’t he brought back to life by a shimmering white dog with “jewellery eyes” who saved him from drowning? The connections become more apparent when Mike’s dog, Merit, disappears, and he reasons she is on some kind of peacekeeping mission, like his mother. Then he meets Jozef Lapinski, an elderly neighbour who has his own miraculous dog story from World War II. The pieces of his puzzling life are taking shape and he knows something but he cannot name it. .

Ages 9-12

  • Finalist for the 2008 Governor General's Award for Children's Literature

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