Don Aker


A former high school teacher, Don Aker has written nineteen books, among them several novels for teenagers. His young adult fiction has earned him numerous awards, among them the Canadian Library Association’s Honour Book Award for The Space Between, the Ontario Library Association’s White Pine Award for The First Stone, Atlantic Canada’s Ann Connor Brimer Award for The First Stone and Of Things Not Seen, and the Canadian Authors Association’s Lilla Stirling Award for Of Things Not Seen and One on One. The father of two daughters, Don lives with his wife on Nova Scotia’s Bay of Fundy shoreline.

More information about Don Aker can be found on his website: www.donaker.com.

 

Fiction

 

 ADDelusionRoad72CovDelusion Road (World Rights Available Ex: Canada (English): (HarperCollins Canada
Film Rights Available)
Running on Empty

A car of his own beckons, and Ethan Palmer sees a route to quick cash. But what will it cost him?
(HarperCollins Canada, 2012)

The Fifth RuleReef becomes the centre of controversy while he tries to rebuild his reputation and his relationship with Leeza, the only girl he has ever loved. (HarperCollins, 2011) OLA Best Bet, Young Adult Fiction, 2012 “Pacing is fast and suspenseful throughout. Reef and Leeza’s frustrated love story and Reef’s justifiable anger at the manipulative politician Decker are the emotional threads that propel readers through the plot. The climax involves Reef’s going to confront Decker while Leeza races to stop him, and Aker uses short chapters alternating between the characters to keep readers on the edges of their seats.
There is no need to have read The First Stone in order to enjoy The Fifth Rule – it stands alone perfectly well-, but anyone who has read the original book will definitely want to read this conclusion to Reef and Leeza’s story. This book will appeal to older readers looking for suspenseful realistic fiction. The Fifth Rule would make an excellent novel to study in the classroom, both for its composition and for its themes and issues.”
– Highly Recommended, Canadian Materials
The Space Between

With his incredible high-wire talent for balancing sensitive subjects with sardonic, teen-friendly humour, Aker delivers another brilliant must-read novel.
(HarperCollins Canada, Fall 2007) Highly Recommended, cm Magazine
Shortlist, 2008 White Pine Award,
Ontario Library Association “Relayed in first person narrative, Jace reveals himself to be a complex and richly layered character whose attempts to fill in the spaces in his notebook reward him with something more valuable than what he initially expected to find in Mexico- a sense of identity, and resolution.Immensely powerful, and ranging from comical to heartbreaking, the narration is intimate, detailed and profound, leaving readers with their own spaces to interpret and fill in from Jace’s observations. This novel is a journey, and one which will reward and keep readers thinking about it long after they’ve turned the last page.” Highly Recommended.
– Canadian Materials

One on One (HarperCollins Canada, Fall 2005)Nominee, 2008 Stellar Book Award
British Columbia Teen Readers’ Choice
Lilla Sterling Award for excellence in children’s literature, 2007
Canadian Author’s Association
Nominee, 2007 Rocky Mountain Book Award
Alberta Readers’ Choice
Nominee, 2007 Hackmatack Award
Nominee, 2007 Manitoba Young Readers’ Choice Award (MYRCA)
The First Stone (HarperCollins Canada, 2003)

2004 White Pine Award,
Ontario Library Association
2004 Ann Connor Brimer Book Award,
Nova Scotia Library Association
“Read Canada’s Best” recommended booklist,
Canadian Children’s Book Centre
Discussed, 2006 Young Canada Reads Series
CBC Radio “Don Aker has created in [The First Stone] a gripping and unflinching story that envelops readers from the first page…. This astounding and honest book will linger with readers long after they leave its final pages.”
– Book News”…a page-turning story that also has sensitivity and genuine characters to whom the reader becomes attached. Reef, in particular, is introduced as a person no one can like; he’s belligerent, unrepentant, and destructive. As the tale unfolds, however, [the reader] follows the changes [he experiences] and sees that he is worthwhile, worth the effort. Chris Crutcher–move over.”
– Leslie Koster, Toronto Public Library

Stranger at Bayyoung adult novel(Stoddart Publishing, Fitzhenry and Whiteside, 1997)

Shortlisted, CNIB Torgi Award, 1999
Shortlisted, Red Maple Award, 1998
Ontario Library Association
Shortlisted, Ann Connor Brimer Award, 1998
Nominee, The 1998 Blue Heron Award

Of Things Not Seen young adult novel(Stoddart Publishing, Fitzhenry and Whiteside, 1995)

Shortlisted, Manitoba Young Reader’s Award, 1998
Lilla Sterling Award for excellence in children’s literature, 1996,
Canadian Authors Association
Ann Connor Brimer Award, 1995,
Best book written by an Atlantic Canadian author
Recommended for classroom study at the secondary level by the Nova Scotia Department of Education and Culture
“Read Canada’s Best” recommended booklist
Canadian Children’s Book Centre “Aker’s intensity of characterization provides a multifaceted glimpse of the pressures facing a male teen…. This YA novel has one of the best starts of any I have read. I find that reading the first page and a half … aloud to students elicits a most powerful reaction. As I read, their eyes grow larger and they lean forward, an indication of their involvement. Everyone wants to read this book.”
– The Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy, February 1996

Educational Text

Language & Writing series co-authored with Dave Hodgkinson Grades 7 through 11 

 

 

(Nelson Thomson Learning, 1998 -2001) Hitting the Mark Assessment Tools for Teachers(Pembroke Publishers, 1995)

Non-Fiction

The Right Whale (Scholastic Education Canada, 2007)
V-Day Anatomy of a Surgery First Prize, Non-fiction, 1990
Atlantic Writing Competition

Short Fiction

Everything Gets Dead Toronto Star Short Story Contest 2002, Runner-up
Scars in The Landmarks Story Anthology
(ITP Nelson 2002) Third Prize, National Fiction Competition, 1991 Dandelion Magazine
The Invitation 1998 Script Development Competition (feature length screenplay), Atlantic Film Festival
Shortlisted, McClelland and Stewart’s Journey Prize Award for best short fiction published in Canada, 1990
1989 Short Fiction First Prize,
Atlantic Writing Competition
Published in Harcourt Brace’s literary anthology, Insights: Relationships and Responsibility
The Test First Prize, National Literary Competition 1990
Canadian Living Magazine

Agent: Marie Campell