248 pages / paper
Available in the US
World Rights Available
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Lydia Buckingham is an ice queen. She wasn’t always that way, but after her parents uprooted the family to move to an isolated and rundown farmhouse in the middle of nowhere, she has been forced to adapt this personality in order to survive in rural Saskatchewan. Despite her interest in the local history at Batoche, Lydia finds herself unable to relate to her peers at school or to her surroundings. To top it all off her parents are constantly fighting and abandoning Lydia and her younger sister Victoria for days on end. Soon the sisters have had enough, and they decide to set out alone into the brutal Saskatchewan winter.
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YOUNG ADULT FICTION
64 pages / paper
Living in a small working class town has never suited Addy, so after a summer working as a janitor at the local hospital, she is more than ready to move to the city. When the night before her move finally arrives, Addy’s bags are packed, she has visited all her favourite spots one last time, and she has even attempted to make amends with her single mother. Her rough-around-the-edges boyfriend Craig, however, wants to make their final night in town one to remember, so they head out to the cemetery with friends for one last party. At the cemetery, Addy notices a boy named Jonas hovering in the bushes. The rest of her friends think he is eavesdropping, but Addy knows the younger teen is visiting his recently deceased mother’s grave. When a game of chicken escalates and Jonas is struck by the truck Addy and her friends are driving, guilt causes Addy to feel responsible for healing the boy’s injuries and his grief, and she vows to help him escape his violent home. As their lives become further intertwined, Addy realizes her connection to Jonas is more than platonic, and she must decide whether she wants to leave for the city with Craig or follow her heart down another path.
Size of a Fist is a dark, gritty novella about growing up in difficult circumstances where abuse and hopelessness are ever-present. The suggestion of violence hovers beneath the surface of every relationship in this harsh tale of self-preservation and personal discovery. Addy must navigate her entry into the cruel world of adulthood alone, discovering along the way the sacrifice involved in truly following her heart and taking responsibility for her actions. This gripping thriller exposes the hearts of its teenage dreamers as they attempt to outrun the law and their respective pasts.
208 pages / paper / Ages: 13+
The title Stepping into Traffic is a play on words (and a metaphor) reflecting the protagonist’s actions. When we meet Sebastian (Seb) he is already taking risks and putting himself in harm’s way as he and a couple of his friends carry out a failed break and enter and are arrested. As we get to know Seb we discover his life has been a series of bad foster experiences that have left him numb to the memories of his dead parents, and poor in his judgement of how to fit in. Much of his foster care has been damaging to his self-esteem and moral codes. He is not strong and his fears begin to mount.
Awaiting his court appearance, Seb is placed in his eighth foster home in seven years in the company of Mrs. Ford, a foster home caregiver, whom Seb finds familiar and comforting. Memories of his early home life flood him and he begins to find a sense of well-being and trust. However, Seb’s troubles soon reappear in the form of wealthy, manipulative drug dealer Donny Malner. Lured by Donny’s social power and blind to Danny’s ruthlessness, Seb seeks his approval. Soon he is entwined in Danny’s drug-dealing world where violence and lies direct most actions. Though Mrs. Ford continues to stand by him, he knows he is betraying her trust. Soon Seb is caught up in a wave of violent circumstance that neither Mrs. Ford nor his unusual mentor the school janitor, Mr. Frogly, can help him out of.
In a final showdown with Donny and gangland members, Seb must decide what he will do. His dilemma is as great as the fear he faces: engage in the revenge he seeks and lose the closest thing he has had to a home, or stand up to his mistakes, reveal his lies, and accept the consequences. Though he is not ready, Sebastian steps out into the traffic.
young adult novel
208 pages / paper
In the 1870s, a teenage criminal from New York makes history when he becomes the first person arrested by Canada’s newly created national police force — the original RCMP. Following this encounter, he unwillingly accompanies the North West Mounted Police on their 1874 expedition into Canada’s untamed and lawless west. At first the street-smart youth privately mocks his Mountie companions, but after sharing their hardships he comes to identify with them. The March West, as it became known, was quite well documented. The Mounties first commissioner, George A. French, gathered 275 policemen (the youngest of whom was a 16 year old), 339 horses, 142 oxen, 114 Red River carts, 73 wagons, and two cannons each weighing a ton. From Fort Dufferin, near Winnipeg, they headed 800 miles west toward the Rocky Mountains, to restore order in the northwest. They endured terrible hardships: lack of water and firewood, and insect plagues. Most of the horses died, and the equipment soon proved to be inadequate. Their fate changes when the force meets up with Jerry Potts, an extraordinary guide, who leads them to the hub of the illegal whiskey trade at Fort Whoop-up.
This rollicking and humorous historical adventure story sheds light on a colourful chapter of Canadian history, one most Canadian writers have largely ignored. In McDivitt’s capable hands it comes to life again.
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Two football playing sons of an Anglican minister — one reserved, one wild — must confront who they are in the wake of bullying, racism and worse.
Blake Russell took care of and protected his younger brother Blair. But once they reached high school and began playing football, the ground rules changed. Blake, a senior and team quarterback, moved in different circles with friends who partied, drank, bullied the younger players, and abused the girls they could attract. As the differences between Blake and Blair became more apparent, the discovery of a body in a field north of town sets loose devastating actions that would sever their brotherly bond and divide the Russell family forever.
YOUNG ADULT NOVEL
240 pages / paper
Grades 9 and up
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
168 pages / paper
The Source of Light profiles two seventeen-year-olds, Badger and Mike, as they put on their detective mind sets and physical disguises to seek answers to serious questions such as Mike’s mother’s infidelity and Mike’s father’s involvement in industrial espionage. Obsessed with sleuthing and science, these grade-twelve geeks begin a transformation that will change the lives of everyone they know. Setting the mystery against the background of a synchrotron, a football field-sized facility that uses light millions of times brighter than the sun to peer inside matter, the teen detectives soon begin to connect the world’s most powerful microscope to nefarious black market schemes and the powerful men who spawn them. The result of their investigative surveillance uncovers the complicated truth of a parent’s infidelity, the secret plans of a synchrotron physicist with a split personality, evidence of a foreign agent, and the discovery of a powerful secret code named the Genesis Project that has become the target for international corporate theft.
This novel is dedicated to the pure fun of dazzling light science, the adventure of private investigation, and the surprise when you suddenly discover your true purpose in life while trying to learn someone else’s.
272 pages / paper
He has no talent, they said; then how was it that he could unleash and wield such a powerful magic, and that he would be the one chosen by the Beggar King to claim the undermagic.
Beware this door! Beware your soul! May this door never be opened, or the beggar shall be king. As Jordan Elliott stood before the brass door, he knew the risks. Beware the beggar who would be king! He knew of the “undermagic”, that ancient and dark source of power that had been locked away because prophets of old deemed it too unpredictable and destructive. But he opened the door anyway, because he was the one who could. What he unleashed would take down the peaceful world in which he lived; it would imprison his family and slowly poison the girl he loved. The price was great, but what Jordan received in return, almost unlimited power, was so seductive that he could not refuse this gift from the king who ruled the darkness beyond the door.
"The Beggar King is richly imagined. The “undercats,” especially Sarmillion himself, the bridges that refuse passage more than they allow it, the lure of the brass plate that opens for young Jordan and apparently for no one else… Michelle Barker has woven these elements, and many others, together into a story that will not let you go until the end. If you love original fantasy and a great adventure story, you will enjoy The Beggar King." — Maggie de Vries
young adult novel
272 pages / trade paper
In this young adult fantasy novel, teenage Varia lives in a settlement of transplanted humans who have escaped a polluted Earth to live on a distant planet.
With half of their group missing and their crops failing, the settlers accept the help of Specto, the star child, a powerful entity who offers them survival — at a price. Varia is horrified by the strange transformation affecting the star child's followers, but she has no idea what to do until she discovers a dragon's egg.
With a fully-grown dragon, Varia will be able to find the lost settlers and drive away the star child — but only if she can keep the dragon under control. Her quest is complicated when she too begins to change into something new. She must make difficult choices to save the settlers, the dragon, and herself.
Draco’s Child explores what it means to grow up in a hostile world where the only constant is change, and what you become depends on what you believe. The novel explores themes of making decisions and recovering from bad choices, living in harmony with nature, growing up, and responsibility to family and community.
“Draco’s Child is a gripping coming-of-age tale, set amongst disturbing life-forms on a mysterious planet. At the same time, the richly layered metaphors will inform your life on this planet.” — Anne Patton, co-author of Fiddle Dancer
YOUNG ADULT NOVEL
224 pages/trade paper
Meet Favour Wyatt and her friends, Leith, Maryruth, Brady and Rick, grade twelve students at Mooney Secondary in Vancouver. Bonded by the dream of having their own theatre company, the group’s friendship is challenged by two events: Leith believes he has been given a message, “Darkness and light must join and be one, or every good promise will be broken”; and, Favour and Leith begin a serious relationship. Favour now wrestles with how to love someone and retain her sense of self, and as the friends rehearse for their final high school performance, each adopts different attitudes toward Leith’s message and toward each other, with profound consequences for all. His Sweet Favour explores the real-life drama of first love, peer pressure, failure and self-determination, and is a passionate exploration of friendship’s double-edged sword: friends can hold you captive or set you free.
“His Sweet Favour is so alive, you’ll swear that Favour, the budding actress narrator and heroine of this book, was an actual honey-haired girl who came of age and learned about love during her final year of high school in the 1980s. You won’t be able to stop thinking about her (or the rest of the cast of characters in this highly readable, virtuoso performance of a sad and “sweet” story), and you’ll see — you’ll wish the book would never end.” — Russell Thornton, author of House Built of Rain
YOUNG ADULT NOVEL
There is no distorting the unwavering pull of guys to rock ‘n’ roll bands, and when Dak Sifter builds his band, the Featherless Bipeds, he has every intention of enjoying every wild, raunchy, ear-splitting moment of the ride. But as readers know from Dak’s experiences in Cheeseburger Subversive, life is wrought with perils, and now his band with its lure for girls, the quirky demands of band members, and the mercurial shifting values of youth culture — well, he still loves Zoe Perry doesn't he? And he still wants to do well at university, and still believes in some code of ethics — well, doesn't he?
A clairvoyant teen orphan is relocated to India where kidnappings, enemy spies, and terrorist plots of a world at war all challenge her extraordinary powers.
It's 1914. Sixteen year old Sophie Pritchard, orphaned two years earlier by a famous sea disaster, is about to begin a new life in the unfamiliar world of British India. For Sophie, still devastated by her parent's death, India proves a dangerously unsettling environment. Are her terrifying experiences in Kali's temple and the Park Street cemetery hallucinations, or has she somehow been drawn back through the centuries as a witness to dark places in Calcutta's past?
Sophie it seems has become an unwilling traveler in a timeless zone where past, present and future co-exist. Kidnapping, enemy spies, and terrorist plots all play their part against the background of a world at war and growing unrest in the Indian subcontinent. Soon Sophie's powers of precognition will be called upon to help thwart a conspiracy that could incite a bloodbath in Calcutta, and deliver India into enemy hands.
"Sophie, in Shadow deftly weaves intrigue, spies, and mystics with more than a dash of the occult into a story that will captivate any reader." — Linda DeMeulemeester
288 pages / trade paper
Cheating Fate is the charged story of four teens, all best friends, who have grown up together in a small town in the BC interior. Loyal, compassionate, and trusting they accept their friendship bonds with a resoluteness that only another teen could understand. But when they survive a serious snowmobile accident and discover they share remarkable and frightening memories of their near-death experience, they fear that their fates are sealed and that they will die at some unknown time — together. The action is paced through four distinct voices Sukhwinder, a laidback Indo-Canadian teenager who loves his friends but gets lured into illegal activity with his urban cousins; Kyle, a restless teen wanting to conquer the motocross world with extreme riding; Jeremy, a sensitive teenager craving attention from a busy single father and absentee mother; and Cassidy, the only girl in the group of friends who fears for the boys and their flawed sense of invincibility.
263 pages/trade paper
Wild Talent tells the strange tale of Jeannie Guthrie, a sixteen-year-old Scottish farm worker, who possesses a frightening talent. Believing that she has unintentionally killed her ne’er-do-well cousin, and fearing that she will be sentenced as a witch, she flees to London. There, she is befriended by the free-spirited and adventurous Alexandra David, and introduced to Madame Helena Blavatsky’s famous salon, where she begins to understand the source of her mysterious powers. We follow Jeannie and Alexandra as they venture from the late Victorian world of spiritualists and theosophists to the fin de siècle Paris of artists, anarchists and esoteric cults; and finally to the perilous country of the Beyond. It is against these eerie late 19th century backdrops that Kernaghan weaves an engrossing tale of myth and magic.
240 pages / trade paper
Set against the backdrop of the inescapable horror of the fourteenth-century plague and medieval heroism and chivalry, The First Vial details the morbid reality of a time when the Black Death forced people to take the law into their own hands to survive the wave of chaos that was ushered in.
Katherine, Lady of Crenfeld Castle, pits her wits against the enemies trying to take over her castle. After surviving two attempts on her life by a land-hungry priest, she is forced to leave her castle just as the plague engulfs her village. The villainous priest seizes her lands, convicts the innocent, and burns them at the stake. As the plague rages on, the tension intensifies. Balanced with intrigue and action, The First Vial builds to a feverish pitch as death saturates the country and Katherine must battle not only for her lands and castle but for her life.
Heinrichs’s categorical research into medieval town life, castles, and the Black Death, make the this novel a noteworthy companion to Connie Willis’ Hugo-winning Doomsday Book and clearly mark Heinrichs as a new talent in this genre.
young adult NOVEL
208 pages/trade paper
Available in the US
World Rights Available
Kevin Marc Fournier
April 1997: the city of Grand Forks is destroyed, thousands are evacuated, and Owen and Andrew are starting to enjoy themselves as they follow the flood to Winnipeg.
In this odd, exciting, and cheerfully irresponsible adventure, Owen and Andrew are opportunists with rapid-fire wit, no pasts and, in Owen’s case, no legs. On the lam during the Manitoba Red River flood of 1997, these rogues quickly grasp the tactics necessary to exploit the chaos, and manipulate sympathy into personal gain. Scamming money as bogus Salvation Army reps, pawning a benevolently donated “sport coupe” of a wheelchair for profit, and eating like kings through volunteer food rations, are all in a day’s work. Sandbag Shuffle serves as an insider’s look at the architecture of natural disaster, disability, vagrant youth, and loyalty.
This almost-picaresque adventure is genuinely hilarious in tone and its observations of people and their foibles are right on the money.
— Resource Links (Vol 13, 1, Oct 2007)
215 pages / Mass Market
Set in Canada's East Coast, this novel from the award-winning and prolific Lesley Choyce grapples with current environmental issues as experienced by two teenagers.
“As with all his young adult books, Big Burn features a strong plot, some conflicts, and a resolution that isn't glib. And there's that unmistakable gusto for the great outdoors; lots of wind, sun, rocks, ocean and scenery.”
– Halifax Chronicle Herald.
This is an easy-read novel that is central to discussions of environmental issues and the challenges they create.
Beaton, Virginia. “Teens fight incinerator in Choyce's latest novel.” Halifax Chronicle-Herald/Mail-Star, June 9, 1995. B2.
Garvie, Maureen. Quill & Quire (May 1995).
Jenkinson, Dave. Canadian Children's Literature (July 1996): 44.
MacDonald, Cathy. “Suitable reading for young teens.” Halifax Daily News . September 10, 1995. 56.
McClay, Jill. Resource Links (April 1996): 176.
240 pages/trade paper
Following her dazzling debut young adult novel Firedrake, Ann Ewan once again creates a unique fantasy world with an indelible set of characters, but this time the achievement is marked by a darker quest. In Brondings’ Honour, there is intense conflict as the hero, Dayraven, clashes against the powerful forces of Alcuin. Dayraven is the healer for her isolated and warlike clan, and although the role does not belong to a woman, it is she who is magically chosen to make the dangerous journey far from home, and she who must avenge the death of a clan leader and take his place. While self doubt and personal weakness challenge her will to go on, Dayraven learns that evil can be defeated if you are honest and courageous.
Ewan’s love of Old English and Irish Gaelic is clearly present in the dialogue, as is her fascination with the traditional black arts, wizardry, spells, charms, and enchantment.
325 pages / Mass Market
Teacher Resource Guide
Dance of the Snow Dragon is an engrossing tale of spiritual develpment and magical wonder set in the Buddhist enclaves of the Himalayas. This unique coming-of-age novel allows for in-depth comparisons between Far Eastern mysticism and North American adventure.
“Kernaghan unwinds this tale with powerful force and tight control.”
– Quill & Quire.
“This is one of the best fantasies for young people that I have read for some time.”
– Vancouver Sun.
Barbour, Douglas. “Snow Dragon breathes the magic of life's journey.” Edmonton Journal . November 26, 1995.
B.C. Bookworld (Autumn 1996): 42.
Beaty, Mary. Quill & Quire (June 1995).
Boulanger, Annie. “Meeting a new challenge.” Burnaby Now . June 28, 1995. 11.
Boulanger, Annie. “Writers honour Kernaghan's contributions.” Royal City Record/Now . June 28, 1995. 14.
Deakin, Andrea. “Surprises and delights in fact and fiction.” Vancouver Sun . August 26, 1995.
Harris, Mark. “Fantasy's world divided.” Vancouver Sun . November 18, 1995.
Jenkinson, Dave. Canadian Children's Literature (July 1996): 56-7.
Keller, Better. “Philosophical aspects add spice to familiar genres.” Coast Independent . October 21, 1996. 2.
Litva, Tanya. “Dial m for mother.” B.C. Bookworld (Summer 1995): 10.
Lyons, Terri L. “A spiritual quest.” Canadian Children's Literature (Spring 1996): 61-2.
Rothstein, Ellen. “The portrait: Eileen Kernaghan.” Bookmark (March 1995): 137-8.
de Vos, Gail. Resource Links (February 1996): 128.
Walsh, Jim. British Columbia Library Association Reporter (November 1995): 15-6.
*Teacher Resource Guide Available
160 pages/ trade paper
Award-winning author R.P. MacIntyre provokes his YA following with another round of masterful story telling. Rife with themes of bewilderment, menace, and transformation, Macintyre’s fiction and fables invade in the big questions of youth, revealing in the answers, snapshots of life at the crossroads of adulthood - what we give up and what we gain, and what we must become. Whether confronting the death of strangers, tempting fate in defying the supernatural, or aching with dangerous vulnerability in the shadows of violence, the players in Feeding At Nine share their astonishment and confusion at life’s ambushes, and offer a fresh take on the charm and brutality of growing up.
520 pages / Mass Market
In the land of Perin, the mystical Firedrake is the source of power and longevity for the evil ruling Arkanan wizards. But signs portend their doom: The maggots disappeared, and Varian shot a scornful look at Hinton as she replied. “The same thing, Kron, always the same. The Firedrake destroyed by our three enemies, a blind woman, a madman, and a wizard.” Although Shan cannot see well and is barely an adult, she teams up with her unlikely companions — a madman (a handsome but rather depressed warrior) and a wizard (a well-intentioned but ineffective magician) — to destroy the Firedrake and free the Perinan people.
Echoing the best of the new sword and sorcery tradition, Firedrake takes its place beside the work of Robert Jordan and Elizabeth Haydon. Firedrake is in breadth, scope and style one of the most ambitious and successful young adult fantasy novels yet written.
160 pages / Mass Market
Set in the beautiful environs of the Canadian East Coast, this novel draws the reader into the struggles of two troubled teens whose encounter helps them to confront and overcome their problems.
An excellent starting point for giving students the opportunity to reflect on family values and their effect on the life pressures of teens.
Barclay, Pat. “Live and learn.” Books in Canada (November 1992): 38.
Campbell, Marie. “Foregrounding Narrative Voice.” Canadian Children's Literature No. 75 (1994): 75-6.
Heiman, Carolyn. “Juvenile readers should love these books.” Victoria Times-Colonist . December 13, 1992. M4.
Henderson, Jay. “New books make for great stocking stuffers.” Cochrane This Week . December 8, 1992. 14.
Jenkinson, Dave. Canadian Book Review Annual (1993): 330.
MacCallum, Elizabeth. “Grandfather knows best.” Globe and Mail . June 12, 1993.
Mackey, Margaret. Canadian Materials (October 1992): 272.
Mahoney, Anne Louise. “Starred Review.” Quill & Quire . (July 1992).
Powers, Maureen. “Novel reveals pitfalls of peer pressure.” Saskatoon Star-Phoenix . July 25, 1992. D11.
“YA winners.” Atlantic Books Today (Fall 1992).
*Teacher Resource Guide
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young adult short fiction
208 pages / Mass Market
Lohans has had a number of successful publications for young adults, and all of her titles have been selected for the prestigious Our Choice list by the Canadian Children's Book Centre.
“The good writing found in Lohans' three YA novels is equally present in this collection of ten short stories...”
– Quill & Quire.
Barclay, Pat. “Roads to maturity.” Books in Canada (October 1993): 57-8.
Baxter, Judy. Canadian Materials (October 1993): 190.
Canadian Content (Fall 1994): 1.
Caton, Jacolyn. “Children's book reviews.” Regina Sun . October 24, 1993.
Clemence, Verne. “Coastal crime, animal tales.” Western People . July 1, 1993: 2.
Green, Kelly L. Canadian Book Review Annual (March 1994): 6160.
Jenkinson, Dave. Quill & Quire (March 1993).
“Life never simple in adolescent world.” NeWest Review (December 1993/January 1994): 30.
MacCallum, Elizabeth. “The way to a summer of kids' content.” Globe and Mail . June 26, 1993.
Manning, Linda. “Three books make great summer holiday reading.” Cobourg Daily Star . August 7, 1993. 5.
Newson, Lynda. “Alison Lohans.” Children's Book News (November 12, 1994).
Simmie, Lois. “Lohans paints striking pictures of adolescence.” Saskatoon Star-Phoenix . September 25, 1993. D4.
336 pages / Mass Market
Student Response Guide
Offside is a novel for young adults that deftly blends Canada's love affair with hockey and the gritty realities of teen addiction.
Based on real events that took place in Calgary, Offside is the fictional story of a fifteen-year-old boy who inadvertently creates a dependency amongst his teammates on a cold remedy which they think is a performance enhancer. Beveridge sets the often difficult realities of family and peer groups against a narrative (at times comic, at others serious) that balances exciting hockey action with the experiences of depression and drug use. Cinematic in scope, Offside is sure to appeal to all teen readers.
Student Response Guide Available
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356 pages / Mass Market
Seamlessly shifting between the tensions of competitive hockey and corporate malpractice in the oil and gas industry in Alberta, Beveridge’s newest novel is a contemporary gem.
Over the years, Sean has grown to resent his father’s perfectionism and interference in his hockey. He faces enough pressure dealing with the goaltending competition to make the Mustangs. However, he’s determined to give it his best shot and do it his way, even if that doesn’t satisfy his father. After all, his father isn’t perfect. He’s being charged with negligence following a fatal accident on one of his well sites. Is his father guilty? When Sean discovers that the dead man is actually the father of his prospective girlfriend, Laura, he decides to investigate the credence of his father’s story. Sean’s dilemma grows when he discovers that he alone may hold critical evidence in the case of his father’s negligence. Alone, he must face the challanges of understanding his moral code and measuring his own potential.
149 pages / trade paper
Kathy Stinson's young adult novel,one year commencing, is set in downtown Toronto, where the main character, Al, faces a terrible choice. Every summer she leaves her home in Alberta to spend a month with her father in the East, but this year she must spend a whole year with him, and after that she must decide where her permanent home will be. This is not her father's choice, or her mother's; a court order, made years before, puts the whole responsibility on her. Based on a real-life situation, and dedicated to the young woman involved, one year commencing is a passionate, often funny story, which never makes Al's dilemma seem simpler than it is. It is both a novel and a document for our times.
*Student Response Guide
Young adult short fiction
112 pages / trade paper
Paradise Café and Other Stories was chosen as winner of the 1989 Vicky Metcalf Short Story Award, and winner of the Boston Globe Horn Book Honor Choice Award in 1991. It was also nominated for the Governor General's Award.
Paradise Café and Other Stories is a landmark in short fiction for young adults. With humour and insight Brooks approaches the problems and concerns of teenagers in a variety of settings and time periods. Without sentimentality she portrays love and romance, dreams of achievement, and the cold war between the generations, as experienced by both boys and girls.
Bardolph, Jacqueline. Canadian Literature no. 129 (Summer 1991): 169-70.
Comeau, Pauline. i>Winnipeg Free Press . December 14, 1988.
Creed, Carolyn Hoople. Prairie Fire 10.2 (Summer 1989): 92-3.
Granfield, Linda. Books in Canada (June/July 1989): 33-4.
Haupt, Allison. Vancouver Sun . November 10, 1989. E5.
Hughes, Susan. Quill & Quire (June 1989): 10.
International Youth Library (July 1990).
Johnson, Melissa. Halifax Daily News Sunday Magazine. April 23, 1989. 9.
Kennedy, Janice. Montreal Gazette. March 11, 1989.
Kirchhoff, H. J. Globe and Mail.
Lennon, Gail. Canadian Materials 17.2 (March 1989): 68.
Lipscomb, Claire. NeWest Review (June/July 1989): 53-4.
McCracken, Melinda. Border Crossings (Spring 1989): 48.
Norrie, Helen. Winnipeg Free Press. February 18, 1989.
Rae, Arlene Perly. Toronto Star . June 24, 1989. M13.
Robertson, Bill. Saskatoon StarPhoenix. May 13, 1989.
Wyman, Max. Vancouver Province . August 20, 1989. 75.
trade paper /180 pages/ 2002
Once again R.P. MacIntyre ups the speed limit with a collection of stories that are journeys into the delight and terror of emerging self-consciousness.
From a strange party in honour of a dying hamster to a young man's quest to find his missing sister, Revved resonates with the authentic experiences of today's youth and the reverberations of their extraordinary imaginations.
These are gripping stories about the mysterious distance between teenaged raconteurs and the adventures they experience. Readers of all ages will enjoy this supercharged collection.
"R.P. MacIntyre has joined Martha Brooks and Budge Wilson in making short stories for adolescents a hallmark of fine Canadian literature." — Quill & Quire
256 pages / Mass Market
If you enjoy a mixture of history and fiction, this account of the Battle of Fish Creek is for you.
“Soldier Boys is a novel which transforms the Northwest Rebellion from a history lesson into a human drama.”
– NeWest Review.
An easy-read novel that provides a successful link between historical events surrounding Riel and the growth-to-maturity of teens.
Bennett, Nelson. “Author writes history for teens.” Moose Jaw Times Herald . August 20, 1993.
Boer, Fred. “Briefly Noted.” Quill & Quire (November 1993).
Bowman, Donna. Saskatchewan Library Association (Fall 1994).
Campbell, Jeff. “A fresh look at 1885 events.” New Breed Magazine - Métis Society of Saskatchewan (November/December 1993): 20.
Canadian Content (Fall 1994).
Jenkinson, Dave. Canadian Book Review Annual (1994): 6181.
Kirk, Heather. “Respecting their audience.” Books in Canada (December 1993): 57-8.
Klein, Gerry. “History 'stories' most readable.” Saskatoon Star-Phoenix . April 16, 1994. C17.
Manning, Linda. “Riel rebellion makes gripping story.” Cobourg Daily Star . November 2, 1993. 3.
Olson, Stephanie. Saskatchewan Teacher Librarian Newsletter The Medium 33.2: 58-9.
Pugh, Terry. “Books for Young Readers.” NeWest Review (December 1993/January 1994): 28-9.
Thomson, Caroline. Canadian Materials (November 1993): 215.
Walton, Grace. Saskatchewan Reading Council Query 22.3: 39.
*Teacher Resource Guide
192 pages / trade paper
The enchantment and mystery of Renaissance Elizabethan England, the threat of the Spanish Armada, and the quest of a young woman to save her father and her country serve as forces that drive this tale of natural magic, alchemy and scrying. Startlingly original, romantic and action oriented, The Alchemist’s Daughter will pull you from whatever you are supposed to be doing into Sidonie’s fortunes, and hold you there cover to cover. Marked by high adventure, and delicious language, Kernaghan’s use of real historical figures like Dr. John Dee, Lady Mary Herbert, Sir Philip Sidney and William Shakespeare, blended with original fictional characters are a powerful mix, while her impeccable research allows you to learn something of an age that has long held a spell over contemporary readers.
The Alchemist’s Daughter is highly recommended for fantasy collections, and a must read for those who can see the future.
“An exciting story about an intelligent, spunky heroine whose task is to save England by “creating” gold at Elizabethan Glastonbury. Just the right amount of magic to balance the realistic details. This page-turner will keep young teenaged readers fascinated.”
— Welwyn Wilton Katz
trade paper / 160 pages / 1994
From the winner of the 1993 Vicky Metcalf Short Story Award and the author of the immensely popular novel Yuletide Blues, comes a stunning new collection of short fiction that will move you to both laughter and tears.
“... a collection of short stories that is, quite simply, a terrific success.”
— Books in Canada.
Barclay, Pat. “Inspired lessons.” Books in Canada (December 1994): 57-8.
Canadian Content (Fall 1994).
Caton, Jacolyn. “Children's Book Reviews.” Regina Sun . October 9, 1994.
Clemence, Verne. “Luck, he claims. . . don't believe it.” Saskatoon Star-Phoenix . August 6, 1994. C6.
Demers, Patricia. “Crashing ahead from moment to moment: teen short stories.” Canadian Children's Literature 80 (1995): 77-8.
Jenkinson, Dave. Canadian Book Review Annual (January 1995): 6151.
Mackey, Margaret. Canadian Materials (November/December 1994): 230.
Mortin, Jenni. “MacIntyre speaks for male teens.” Saskatoon Star-Phoenix . August 6, 1994. C6.
Norrie, Helen. “Powerful stories amuse and horrify.” Winnipeg Free Press . October 9, 1994.
Pearson, Kit. Quill & Quire (June 1994).
Pugh, Terry. “Blue Camaro navigates uncertain road.” NeWest Review (December 1994/January 1995): 28.
trade paper /132 pages / 1997
The Crying Jesus will delight and provoke all MacIntyre enthusiasts — young and old alike. The stories present a group of young protagonists eagerly balanced on the fulcrum between what is all too familiar and what can only be surmised. The wit is there as always — the laconic, authentic mockery of estranged young people — but the worlds out of which these voices speak form a new, eccentric universe. MacIntyre’s imagination is at once bizarre and illuminating.
“In this, his second collection, Rod MacIntyre nabs us in every first paragraph . . . The Crying Jesus is a fine adult read for those of us who can face looking back. It’s an even finer young adult read for those who can face looking ahead.”
– Quill and Quire.
Brenna, Beverley. “Realistic fiction pushes social boundaries.” Saskatoon Star-Phoenix . December 6, 1997.
Toten, Teresa. Quill & Quire Quotables (November 11, 1997).
Darleen Golke. Canadian Materials (April 24, 1998)
280 pages / Mass Market
The Lady at Batoche is a story of three young people who are changed forever by the brutal simplicities of battle. It shares the same meticulous research and vivid recreation of history as Richards’ much-praised first novel, Soldier Boys but it also answers some of the more puzzling riddles of the Métis rebellion: why did Gabriel Dumont, the brilliant soldier and hardnosed entrepreneur, put such faith in the unworldly visions of Louis Riel? Why were the implacable enemies, Dakota and Cree warriors, both on the Métis side? And how did the Métis get outflanked by General Middleton’s forces?
Student Response Guide Available
104 pages / trade paper
Sharon Gibson Palermo
This historical fiction takes up the perspective of a ten year old girl whose father is an Italian “detainee” in Atlantic Canada during the Second World War.
“Palermo uses a familiar YA style that makes the 1940s seem contemporary...The language is vivid...the story's sense of a terrible wrongdoing comes across loud and clear.”
– Quill & Quire.
This novel would make an excellent starting point for student investigations into the principle of equality.
Beaton, Virginia. “Neglected history recounted in children's novel.” Halifax Chronicle-Herald . July 14, 1995. B2.
Fazio, Venera. “At a glance.” Eyetalian (Winter 1996): 30-1.
Garvie, Maureen. Quill & Quire (May 1995).
Jenkinson, Dave. Canadian Children's Literature (July 1996): 66.
Johnston, Ingrid. Resource Links (February 1996): 129.
MacDonald, Cathy. “Keeping the enthusiasm high.” Halifax Daily News . September 8, 1996. 50.
Matthews, Katherine. Children's Book News, Canadian Children's Book Centre 19.1 (Winter 1996): 16.
“Novels with a touch of reality.” Atlantic Books Today (Summer 1995): 13.
“StoryMakers presents 'The Lie That Had To Be' - May 7.” Writers' Federation of Nova Scotia (1995).
Student Response Guide Available
160 pages / trade paper
Buy an eBook version of this title at Kobo, Amazon Kindle Store, or your favourite eBook store
In this reworking of Hans Christian Andersen's fairy tale, the magical worlds of Saami shamanism and the Kalevala coexist with the polite Victorian society of nineteenth-century Scandanavia. At a time when traditional faith is challenged by modern science, the old pagan gods still haunt the northern forests. One of the novel's two heroines, Ritva, lives in this forest with her Saami shaman mother and robber-baron father until a cultured Danish teenager named Gerda is captured and brought to their camp. Gerda has embarked on a dangerous quest to rescue her friend Kai from the Snow Queen, an evil enchantress whose wintry palace lies far to the north. Their quest leads each of the young women to a fuller understanding of their possible roles in the world, and the need for each to find their individual futures on their own terms. Kernaghan blends fantasy and historical realism to create an enchanting, provocative story that will inspire readers of all ages.
"Kernaghan takes thebones of original fantasy and adds real period detail and strong characterization to create a vividly textured story." — SF Site Reviews
Now available in eBook format!
191 pages / trade paper
The Spiral Maze is Bow's most ambitious novel so far, combining the pace and tension of the best adventure stories, with a brilliant conceived “other world” which in fact grew from the warped imagination of the protagonist's undead, tyrranical ancestor. The way between worlds is the Spiral Maze itself: an innocent swirl of yew hedges on a hill top which can transform itself into an alleyway of terror, where the searchers become the hunted. Into the maze go Neil and his friend Fleur, following what may be the ghost of Neil's twin brother, Jasper. Their mission is to rescue Charlotte, a young woman who has been trapped at the heart of the maze for more than a century. But even if they can solve the maze, and find their way through, there is the problem of getting back.
The Spiral Maze invites students to consider the themes of identity and responsibility while it entertains in high order.
Brenna, Beverley. Saskatoon StarPhoenix . August 16, 1997.
Ross, Veronica. Kingston-Waterloo Record . February 20, 1998.
Toten, Teresa. Quill & Quire Quotables (June 1997).
Alison Mews. Canadian Materials (April 10, 1998)
208 pages/ Mass Market
In Weeds and Other Stories you will find bullies and mystical coyotes, environmental warriors, loners, clowns, and the best of friends; and, of course, some fresh takes on teen relationships.
With an ear tuned to teen dialogue, and an eye for precise emotional detail, Jacqueline Pearce cuts a wide arc within teen culture.
The pervasive thread that runs through the collection is that wilderness touches everyone, and how it touches people is the catalyst for story.
Mass Market /240 pages
From R.P. MacIntyre, the 1993 winner of the Vicky Metcalf Short Stort Award, Yuletide Blues has become a hit with young audiences. The deadpan, comedian's voice of the teenaged protagonist is fresh, disconcerting and hilarious, as Lanny relates his worst Christmas. An avid hockey player with an aversion for piano lessons, Lanny receives a couple of rude but enlightening shocks that force him to reevaluate both himself and his relationships with family and friends. A classic Christmas story.
Haans, Dave. “Between Despair and Distanced Surety: Yuletide Blues .” Canadian Children's Literature (May 1993): 76.
Boulanger, Annie. “Fill summer's last days with portable adventure.” Royal City Record/Now . August 25, 1993. 16.
Findon, Joanne. "Growing Up Complicated.” Quill & Quire (November 1991).
Beaton, Virginia. Books in Canada (December 1991): 39.
Bergen, Clarence. “Fresh taste of Youth.” Saskatoon Star-Phoenix . September 21, 1991. C10.
Broughton, Katheryn. Canadian Materials (November 1991): 358-9.
Boulanger, Annie. “Take a good book to bed.” Burnaby Now . August 25, 1993. 22.
Books in Canada (December 1992): 39.
Denham, Paul. "Briefly Noted.” NeWest Review (April/May 1993): 17.
Gibb, Marie. “Yuletide Blues is a must read.” Calgary Herald . February 15, 1992. G7.
Henderson, Jay. “Belly laughs beat the blues.” Cochrane This Week . April 6, 1993.
Mackey, Margaret. Canadian Materials (November 1991): 358-9.
* Teacher Resource Guide Available
128 pages / trade paper
A stunningly original work of speculative fiction,The Fungus Garden follows the plight of a man who becomes transformed into a termite. Impeccably researched, this story brings the reader effortlessly into a fascinating world of conflict and desire, ultimately becoming an investigation into what it means to be human.
Boulanger, Annie. “Burnaby teacher inspires poet Brian Brett's works.” Burnaby Now . March 18, 1989. 15.
Dorsey, Candas Jane. “Canadian, U.S. SF approaches differ.” Edmonton Journal . February 10, 1990.
Dunn, James. “Life among the termites a wonderful allegory.” Vancouver Sun . December 3, 1988.
Gasparini, Leonard. “Shades of Kafka plus a plausible plot.” Toronto Star Saturday Magazine . May 13, 1989. M3.
Hill, Douglas. “No redeeming social value.” Books in Canada (January/February 1989): 35.
Kathenor, Sansoucy. Statement - Ottawa Science Fiction Society(April 1989).
Lillard, Charles. “Art audience of one.” Victoria Times-Colonist . October 24, 1993. M5.
Lillard, Charles. “Novel of ideas a success built with imagination.” Victoria Times-Colonist . February 24, 1991. B5.
Reveyrand, M.L. BC Teacher-Librarians Association (June 1989).
Roberston, Bill. “Riches' short stories filled with symbols.” Saskatoon StarPhoenix . August 12, 1989.
Wallace, Bronwen. “Lives of termites and teens.” Kingston Whig-Standard Magazine . April 1, 1989. 23.
Wilson, Pat. Spintrian (June 1989): 21.
Wolfe, P. Choice (July 1989)
*Teacher Resource Guide
trade paper/64 pages
In this compelling story, a landfill is imagined that once was Saskatchewan.
“It is as grim and depressing as dystopian fiction usually is, and the author is strikingly good at rendering the grimness...” — NeWest Review.
Denham, Paul. “Thistledown's New Leaves.” NeWest Review (February/March 1994): 31-2.
Smith, Ann Moynes. Canadian Book Review Annual (Winter 1994): 3051-2.
328 pages / trade paper
Part mystery, part dystopian prophesy, We Are Still Here probes the implosion of the vagrant goals and economic aimlessness in one man and his resulting quest for purpose. Through a blending of mythical forces and mythological archetypes that idealize the Innu tales of cultural heroes, and shape-shifters, We Are Still Here acts as traditional account of the life events of a self-proclaimed Innu oracle, and how his gathered tribe emerge as the future of civilization by returning to a world in which humans and animals are not yet differentiated.
Highly entertaining and deceptively simple, Beuhler’s tale works for a wide reading audience.
“An exciting new voice on the scene, Chris Beuhler’s enormous imaginative scope, his vigorous prose, and the high tension he creates will have everyone reading this book.” — Sharon Butala
A provocative reconstruction of the Frog Lake Massacre of 1885 that draws on published accounts of survivors Theresa Gowanlock and William Cameron. A must read for anyone interested in the convolutions of Canadian history.
Canadian Content (Fall 1994): 14. Clemence, Verne. “Female voices heard in account of Frog Lake confrontation.” Saskatoon Star-Phoenix . April 3, 1993.
Conte, Christy. Canadian Book Review Annual (1993): 185.
Hildebrandt, Walter. “Native tales show depth of frustration.” Calgary Herald . June 26, 1993. C12.
Kennedy, Michael P. J. “Common participants offer unique view of historic events.” Saskatoon Star-Phoenix . June 19, 1993. D6.
Kulak, Lorne. “Thistledown Fiction.” NeWest Review (June/July 1993): 32-3.
Moore, John. “Scenes from a massacre.” Vancouver Sun Saturday Review . May 29, 1993.
Ritz, Earla. Dandelion 20.1: 76-7.
Schmidt, Lisa. Prairie Fire 14.2 (Summer 1993): 105-7.
147 pages/trade paper
Candid and truthful stories about women, young and old, grappling with generational wariness, creative recklessness, and illusive purpose celebrate all that is beautiful, wild and distinctive in contemporary women. The title, All In Together Girls,is inspired by a jump rope rhyme, and the stories are a meeting place for girls as surely as the chant would have been on the playground. These stories relate the relentless search for identity, and the late night drive-through culture of bored teens whose “sleepover” alibis have left them with no place else to go. Hallmarked by entrances into, and thought-provoking points of exit from, moments of addiction, betrayal, misjudgement, and first love, they are defining portraits of girls and women during the storm and stress of self-discovery.
"Sutherland's stories are clearly focused, straightforward, and eminently readable. It's obvious that she cares deeply for her characters, but does not pander to them, forcing them to earn what they know and suffer when they make a mistake." — Bill Robertson, Saskatoon StarPhoenix (Oct 2007)
536 pages / trade paper
Dispelling the languor often associated with the long historical novel David Richards’ epic novel reestablishes the role of the writer-craftsman in this genre.
Replete with historical accuracy, The Plough’s Share is as much about the complex struggles for self-worth as it is about taming the forces that shaped Canada in the last century.
Set alternatively in England, South Africa, and Canada, the novel translates the world of nineteenth-century England. A young man’s quest to regain his name and win a seductive young woman unfolds as Richards turns loose the hardship, blood, and terror of the Boer War, where men struggle to survive. The reprieve from such madness leads to Canada — the place of peace and plenty, where exploiting the dreamers and those who would reinvent themselves is turned into big business. Caught up in the fever that drew the Barr colonists to the challenge of settling the Canadian West, Richards’ characters are shaped by misdirected enthusiasm, implacable natural forces, and the hardened realism of ravaged dreams. The result is an exhilarating adventure, both tense and riveting.
120 pages/trade paper
Shelley A. Leedahl
Treat yourself to a collection of realistic short fictions that are unpretentious in craft, yet uncompromising in impact.
“Shelley Leedahl is the quintessential writer for the '90s.”
– Saskatoon Star Phoenix.
Chung, Stan. Canadian Book Review Annual vol. 20: 3117.
Clemence, Verne. “A sense of place.” Western People . July 28, 1994. 2.
Clemence, Verne. “Gritty contemporary fiction based on real experiences.” Saskatoon Star-Phoenix . June 18, 1994. C17.
Denham, Paul. “Sex: Comedy or Tragedy?” NeWest Review (December 1994/January 1995): 26-7.
Gray, Nancy. Paragraph No. 15 (1995): 31-2.
144 pages / trade paper
In the title story of Something to Hang On To, award-winning author Beverley Brenna develops the story of Taylor Jane Simon, the protagonist from her acclaimed young adult novel Wild Orchid, portraying Taylor’s return to city life after the wild orchid summer. Taylor’s story is just one narrative from the assembly of distinctive characters who inhabit this inventive collection of teen short stories, and readers will find the other characters just as compelling.
With warmth and immediacy, Brenna explores adversity from a variety of angles. Many protagonists in this collection deal with serious life issues: loss, family violence, autism, Down Syndrome, and marginalization by a society that judges without really seeing. From a boogie-boarding Australian who finds community in surfer culture to a young Cree girl with a unique gift, the twelve stories that comprise Something to Hang On To vary in time, place, and perspective. In addition to first and third person narrations, the collection even includes an existentialist one-act play. Offering pathos as well as zany humour, these stories share important messages about courage and finding your way, along with the belief that when the going gets tough, we all need something to hang on to.
YOUNG ADULT novel
200 pages / paper
Arthur Jack Stewart
In a series of intimate monologues interspersed with dialogue and description, the lives of students at Central Middle School are exposed and explored. Four main characters emerge: Kevin, the likeable grade nine student who refuses to accept the “geek” label because, as he puts it: “Geeks don’t talk to girls” and he has many girlfriends. Stephanie, the girl with the social conscience, realizes that Central’s school life is deteriorating and she must do something “Big” to stop that from happening. Paula, whose home life has fallen into a state of disrepair, seeks acceptance from other students, especially boys, only to become a bullying target for girls. Finally Victor, a former Latvian immigrant and now first-year university student, will provide insight into Jobbi, the new Latvian immigrant who will be the catalyst for change at Central.
While other voices appear, such as those of teachers, the story’s plot emerges from these four characters. Central to it is the question: Can the students themselves change the culture of the deteriorating school? For Kevin, who becomes Jobbi’s first friend, the answer is “yes”. Against all odds he witnesses Jobbi transform from the school bully’s primary target to one of the school’s best hockey players. For Stephanie, the answer is “yes” as she, with the help of Kevin and Jobbi, plans the impossible — the school dance that everyone will want to attend. For Paula the answer is “yes” as she teaches others that the path to acceptance is through independence and self-esteem. And for Jobbi, who doesn’t speak the language and is plagued by his family’s political struggles but possessess the uncanny ability to know how love works, it was never a question at all.
192 pages / paper
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Voiceless is a coming-of-age novel with a twist: it features a teen runaway who has no speaking voice. Nicknamed Ghost, runaway teen Annabel’s interaction with her world is limited to how well she can convey her wants and feelings to others, and how intuitive the other characters are in interpreting her expressions and gestures. Danger lurks in many places and she faces harrowing situations when she leaves her foster home with a tough and messed up boy and hitchhikes to the city. Once there, the danger intensifies as she confronts a rounder who expects sex in return for shelter. How she survives without her voice adds significant tension to the story.
What has driven Ghost to the road is love. She misses her mother’s love, and felt her grandmother’s love was inadequate. In her quest, she finds Mary who rescues her and other runaways, just as she rescues abused horses. It is Mary who gives her a chance to rediscover the peace that can be found in nature and allows Ghost to discover her love of horses — but she seeks a more intimate love and mistakenly overlooks Tully who would protect her and respect her, in favour of Graydon who would do neither. It is Graydon, damaged by an abusive past, who seeks the respect and approval of an older abusive rounder and in the process endangers Ghost both physically and emotionally.
204 pages/trade paper
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We have all been there: those sublime and ordinary moments in growing up that create the evolution of change, or as Cheeseburger Subversive’s Dak Sifter would call it, a “shifting of gears”.
Scarsbrook’s novel captures the weird logic of self discovery that marks the explorations of boy becoming man, and in its noise and thrashing, explodes the maturity myth. Cheeseburger Subversive is the one compelling “must read” if you want to have some serious fun.
"A very funny and heartwarming debut." — Books in Canada
233 pages/trade paper
At the height of the Great Depression, Haven Cattrell discovers the joys and heartaches of jazz at an exclusive summer camp for girls.
It is the summer of 1933 and young Haven Cattrell, seeking work, finds himself abandoned in the small northern Ontario town of Davisville. At an exclusive summer camp for girls he befriends Wetherby Moss and his son Jude who introduce him to the joys and heartaches of jazz.
Jazz had taken a hard blow, during the first-half of the 1930s. Although there was still work to be had for some in places like New York, musicians in other parts of the country were barely existing on what venues remained. Wetherby and Jude had come from that reality and, as Haven mastered the jazz trumpet, he learns the horrifying truth about why Wetherby, his mentor, had to flee his home in Detroit and find sanctuary with his son among the unique subculture of rural Northern Ontario.
But Haven’s story is bigger than his love of jazz. It is the story of the racism that haunted black jazz musicians in the 30s, and how that racism found its way to Davisville. It is the story of how love can blind young men and save them from themselves, and it is the story of how important it is to dream when the chaos and hard times around you want to drag you down.
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