HAPPY BOOK BIRTHDAY to WITHIN THESE LINES by Stephanie Morrill

Book Launch Day is here, along with our best wishes to Stephanie Morrill for the release of WITHIN THESE LINES, a Junior Library Guild GOLD STANDARD book, published by Harper Collins/Blink YA Books.

The dimensional characters in this timeless tale portray a time in US history when fear and hatred overshadow logic.

Taichi and Evalina thought that keeping their interracial relationship under wraps was difficult enough — but, when 1942 headlines of the San Francisco News announce “First Japanese Ready to Leave Coast,” and Taichi and his family are soon forced into containment at Manzanar Relocation Center, both families are exposed to something truly sinister — the degrading treatment of Japanese American citizens contained against their will.

Fueled by Taichi’s courage, determined Evalina faces down her own fears, risks her own family’s reputation, and becomes a voice who dares to educate the ignorant and expose the hypocrisy of those who are complicit in denying American citizens due process.

“Morrill produces a historical novel that blends devastating true events with lifelike fictional characters as it brings history to life.”
~ Booklist

“… the author’s extensive research helps to create a rich and engaging atmosphere that will transport readers.”
~ School Library Journal

“A well-plotted mystery with plenty of twists, turns, and red herrings.”
~ Publishers Weekly

“Precise in its history, intimate in detail, … sensitively written novel brings to life a shameful era of American injustice.”
~ Janet Taylor Lisle, ALA notable author and Newbery Honor author

“Within These Lines is a moving story of love, hope, and family set against the dark history of Japanese internment in America. This book had me captivated!”
~ Maureen McQuerry, YALSA award-winning author

Stephanie Morrill is the author of 1920’s mystery, The Lost Girl of Astor Street, and the author of several contemporary young adult series. Since 2010, Stephanie has been encouraging the next generation of writers at her website, GoTeenWriters.com. She lives in the Kansas City area, where she loves plotting big and small adventures to enjoy with her husband and three children.

Happy Book Birthday to CHICKEN GIRL by Heather Smith

Happiest of book birthdays to CHICKEN GIRL by Heather Smith!

Everybody has a story that will break your heart; this poignant coming-of-age YA book by Heather Smith, the author of the acclaimed The Agony of Bun O’Keefe, is out now from Penguin Teen/Penguin Random House Canada.

Poppy used to be an optimist. But after a photo of her dressed as Rosie the Riveter is mocked online, she’s having trouble seeing the good in the world. As a result, Poppy trades her beloved vintage clothes for a feathered chicken costume and accepts a job as an anonymous sign waver outside a restaurant. There, Poppy meets six-year-old girl Miracle, who helps Poppy see beyond her own pain, opening her eyes to the people around her: Cam, her twin brother, who is adjusting to life as an openly gay teen; Buck, a charming photographer with a cute British accent and a not-so-cute mean-streak; and Lewis a teen caring for an ailing parent, while struggling to reach the final stages of his gender transition. As the summer unfolds, Poppy stops glorifying the past and starts focusing on the present. But just as she comes to terms with the fact that there is good and bad in everyone, she is tested by a deep betrayal.

Heather Smith is originally from Newfoundland, and now lives in Waterloo, Ontario, with her husband and three children. Her east coast roots inspire much of her writing. Her previous YA novel, The Agony of Bun O’Keefe, received a starred review from Kirkus and Quill & Quire and was named a best book of 2017 by Kirkus, Bank Street College of Education, The Globe & Mail, and Quill & Quire (honorable mention), as well as selected as an Outstanding International Book by USBBY (United States Board on Books for Young People).

Happy Book Birthday to HELL AND DAMNATION by Marq de Villiers

Happiest of Book Birthdays to Hell and Damnation: A Sinner’s Guide to Eternal Torment by Marq de Villiers!

Hell and Damnation: A Sinner’s Guide to Eternal Torment is bestselling author Marq de Villiers’ sixteenth book.  Urbane, funny and deeply researched, it takes readers on a journey into the strange richness of hell, deep into time, and across many faiths. This unique take on the afterlife is out now from the University of Regina Press.

“Finally, a guide to the eternal hereafter for the rest of us.  Devilishly clever! One hell of a read! – Mike Tully, co-host of The Jason Ellis Show on Sirius XM

“A sly and madcap romp through the underworld that we ourselves have created for punishing our enemies – an underworld that only half of us believe in, just some of the time.” – Eilleen Gardiner, author of Visions of Heaven and Hell Before Dante

 “What in the world were human beings thinking when we invented hell? In this delightful book, Marq de Villiers shows us that our conception of The Bad Place might not teach us much about the universe, but it illuminates a great deal about ourselves.” – Sean Carroll, author of The Big Picture: On the Origins of Life, Meaning , and the Universe Itself

Marq de Villiers is the Governor General’s Award–winning author of Water, and is a Member of the Order of Canada. Marq lives in Port Medway, NS.

Happy Book Birthday to A GIRL NAMED LOVELY by Catherine Porter

Happy Book Birthday to A Girl Named Lovely by Catherine Porter, out today from Simon & Schuster. This insightful and uplifting memoir about a young Haitian girl in post-earthquake Haiti, and the profound, life-changing effect she had on one journalist’s life, has already received rave reviews and blurbs:

A Girl Named Lovely is a graceful and moving memoir. Full of warmth and wisdom, it opens your eyes and your heart to those in need, invites you to step into their world, and, finally, inspires you to find a way to help.” — Amanda Lindhout, bestselling author of A House in the Sky

“This is a beautiful and tenderly told story, at times shocking, always illuminating.Catherine takes us into the heart of Haiti but also into her own conflicted heart, where her professionalism collides with her humanity. Ultimately, it’s a little Haitian girl who shows Catherine how she can be—at once—a compassionate person, a rigorous journalist, and a loving mother. A Girl Named Lovely is a book that will resonate with readers long after the final poignant pages.” — Carol Off, bestselling author of All We Left Behind

“Powerful and searching, Porter’s book offers an unforgettable account of how one woman’s humanitarian gestures not only changed her, but also made a difference in the lives of people living in unimaginable misery. A movingly candid memoir about finding some measure of hope in ‘the poorest country in the western hemisphere.'” — Kirkus Reviews

In January 2010, a devastating earthquake struck Haiti, killing hundreds of thousands of people and paralyzing the country. Catherine Porter, a newly minted international reporter, was on the ground in the immediate aftermath. Moments after she arrived in Haiti, Catherine found her first story. A ragtag group of volunteers told her about a “miracle child”—a two-year-old girl who had survived six days under the rubble and emerged virtually unscathed.

Over the next five years, Catherine would visit Lovely and her family seventeen times, while also reporting on the country’s struggles to harness the international rush of aid. Each trip, Catherine’s relationship with Lovely and her family became more involved and more complicated. Trying to balance her instincts as a mother and a journalist, and increasingly conscious of the costs involved, Catherine found herself struggling to align her worldview with the realities of Haiti after the earthquake. Although her dual roles as donor and journalist were constantly at odds, as one piled up expectations and the other documented failures, a third role had emerged and quietly become the most important: that of a friend.

Catherine Porter is the Canada bureau chief for The New York Times, based in Toronto. She joined the paper in February 2017 from Toronto Star, Canada’s largest-circulation newspaper, where she was a columnist and feature writer. Catherine has received two National Newspaper Awards in Canada, the Landsberg Award for her feminist columns, and a Queen’s Jubliee Medal for grassroots community work. She lives in Toronto with her husband and two kids.

Happy Book Birthday BE MY LOVE by Kit Pearson!

For as long as she can remember, Maisie has spent her summers on Kingfisher Island. She and her beloved cousin Una run wild, and Maisie feels the warm embrace of her big, extended family.

This summer Maisie needs that escape more than ever. But now everything on Kingfisher has changed: Una has returned from her mainland school a sophisticated young woman too mature for childish games, and even worse, she has an all-consuming infatuation with David Meyer, both an old friend and an older man. Soon Maisie finds herself playing second fiddle—jealous of Una and David’s closeness, and unsure of what those feelings mean.

When Maisie’s greatest attempt to maintain the special magic of her friendship with Una goes up in smoke, it seems as though all is lost. But with an enormous revelation, and a heartrending intervention, Maisie may finally discover the strength she needs to find the same peace that the island has brought her within herself.

BE MY LOVE was published February 12, 2019 by HarperCollins Canada and has received great acclaim, including being included on the CBC Book’s list of Books to Read for Valentine’s Day, as well as the following blurbs and reviews:
“[Pearson] has a wonderful gift for depicting the inner lives of her teenage characters in a thoughtful and compassionate manner, while never shying away from the hard questions.” – Quill & Quire, starred review

“This is Kit Pearson at the top of her game, leading us heart, line and sinker into a touching story of self-discovery.” – Sarah Ellis, award-winning author of Outside In and Dodger Boy

“Compelling, moving and utterly believable. . . . This is the book I needed when I was twelve. I am so glad it is finally here for all the kids who need it now.” – Robin Stevenson, Stonewall Honor Award-winning author of Pride

Kit Pearson is one of Canada’s most beloved children’s authors. Her award-winning books include A Handful of Time, which has sold more than 250,000 copies since it was published in 1987; the Guests of War trilogy; The Daring Game; Awake and Dreaming, winner of the Governor General’s Award; The Whole Truth, winner of the CLA Book of the Year for Children Award; And Nothing but the Truth; and A Day of Signs and Wonders, finalist for the TD Canadian Children’s Literature Award. She is a recipient of the Vicky Metcalf Award for her body of work and the Lieutenant Governor’s Award for Literary Excellence. In 2018, Kit was appointed a member of the Order of Canada. She lives in Victoria, BC.

One of Barnes & Noble’s “Most Anticipated Historical YA Novels of The Year”Releases Today: BETWEEN BEFORE & AFTER

We are celebrating with Maureen McQuerry today, as her new book BETWEEN BEFORE & AFTER takes its long anticipated first steps into the world.

Ten years ago, while the US economy was in a freefall, the manuscript which Maureen had originally titled A Trail of Crumbs was circulating and getting a lot of common feedback referencing her stunning prose; writing that made scenes jump off the page; and “such strong voice.” We were sure we were on a straight path to publication.

But then … we began hearing from editors citing a variety of reasons for passing on it: the economy; uncertainty about positioning; worry that the dual narrative mixed with present and past tense would make it too different. And would fairy tale references in a YA novel really work?

After a time, we set it aside and Maureen turned her attention to other manuscripts which were published to acclaim.

But this story of a family picking up clues and finding its way – in spite of twists in their path, locked doors, and secrets lurking in the shadows – would just not rest. Ten years (almost to the day) from the day of its first submission, this beautiful story found its publishing home with Blink YA Books.

As it turned out the timing of this book’s release is just right: librarians are now asking for more historical YA, Barnes & Noble called it one of their “Most Anticipated Historical YA Novels of The Year”, and it has been 100 years since the Spanish Flu swept through New York; the aftermath of which inspired Maureen to write this book.

Our fondest congratulations to Maureen on today’s release of BETWEEN BEFORE AND AFTER. We are proud to been part of the journey to finding this stunning book its publishing home.

 

Harper Collins Blink YA

Guest Post on Teen Librarian Toolbox

High Marks on Goodreads

Maureen McQuerry’s Website

Maureen is represented by Sandra Bishop. For inquires, contact: sandra@transatlanticagency.com

Happy Book Birthday to THICKER THAN WATER by Natasha Deen!

Happy Book Birthday to THICKER THAN WATER by Natasha Deen, out January 29, 2019 from Orca Book Publishers!

“Readers will be enticed by the edgy theme and compelling story…multidimensional characters and briskly paced plot.”
School Library Journal

“Readers will definitely keep turning the pages…For reluctant readers with a taste for crime, this title should scratch the itch.”
— Kirkus

THICKER THAN WATER follows Zack Bernard, who has a thing for crime shows, especially the forensic-investigation kind. So when his friend Ella goes missing, Zack can’t help piecing together what he thinks is concrete evidence that could lead to her whereabouts. The problem is, it’s all pointing toward his dad. He knows his dad is lying about not having seen Ella because Zack saw them together at the mall the day she disappeared. What he doesn’t know is why. With the help of his friend Ayo, Zack tries to solve the mystery himself to avoid having to make the terrible choice between losing someone close to him and betraying his family.

Award-winning author Natasha Deen loves stories: exciting ones, scary ones and, especially, funny ones! As a kid of two countries (Guyana and Canada), she feels especially lucky because she gets a double dose of stories. When she’s not working on her books or visiting schools, she spends a lot of time trying to convince her dogs and cats that she’s the boss of the house.

Happy British Book Birthday to FOE by Iain Reid

FOE by Iain Reid, the acclaimed author of I’m Thinking of Ending Things, was published January 24th by Scribner UK and has already garnered glowing praise:

‘I couldn’t put it down.  It infected my dreams. A creepy and brilliant book.’      –  Zoe Whittall, author of The Best Kind of People

‘Foe reads like a house on fire, and is almost impossible not to finish in one sitting…an otherworldly hothouse of introversion and fantasy.’  – The Toronto Star

‘Not a step is misplaced over the course of a three-act structure that sustains this shrill note of unease all the way through to its jarring reveal.’ – The Irish Independent

Foe tells the story of long-married couple Junior and Henrietta, who live a quiet, solitary life on their farm, where they work at the local feed mill and raise chickens. Their lives are simple, straightforward, uncomplicated until the day a stranger arrives at their door with alarming news: Junior has been chosen to take an extraordinary journey, a journey across both time and distance, while Hen remains at home. Junior will be gone for years. But Hen won’t be left alone.

As the time for his departure draws nearer, Junior finds himself questioning everything about his life – even whether it’s really his life at all.

An eerily entrancing page-turner, Foe churns with unease and suspense from the first words to its shocking finale. Perfect for fans of Humans, Westworld and Black MirrorFoe is a book you will never forget.

Iain Reid is the author of two critically acclaimed, award-winning books of nonfiction. His internationally bestselling debut novel, I’m Thinking of Ending Things, has been published in more than twenty countries. Oscar-winner Charlie Kaufman is writing and directing a film based on the novel, which Reid will co-produce. His second novel, Foe, was an instant bestseller and feature film rights have been acquired by Anonymous Content, with Reid set to executive produce.

Happy Book Birthday to WHAT BLOWS UP by Ted Staunton

Happy book birthday to THE ALMOST EPIC SQUAD: WHAT BLOWS UP, written by Ted Staunton and illustrated by Britt Wilson, out January 1st from Scholastic Canada!

WHAT BLOWS UP, the second in the ALMOST EPIC SQUAD series, follows thirteen-year-old Gary Lundborg and his quest to master his basketball skills and his other, special skills.

Gary often knows all the right moves, but in the middle of an epic growth spurt, his execution is more disastrous than dazzling these days. Can he master his new powers and become the basketball star he wants to be? Well, first he must save the world!

It turns out there are forces both good and evil who have had their eyes on Gary and three other “special” kids since their exposure at birth to a mysterious element called reidium. Gary’s gifts are called on by secret government Department C, in charge of problems no one else takes seriously, to thwart the evil mastermind The Boss and her equally evil henchwoman Malevia Spleene in their quest to secure all the world’s reidium!

Ted Staunton is the award-winning author of over forty books for young people, including Bounced, and a roots/blues musician in whatever time is left over. A busy and popular presenter at schools across Canada, Ted also teaches writing at George Brown College in Toronto.

Happy Book Birthday to Anna Humphrey’s CLARA HUMBLE AND THE KITTEN CABOODLE!

Happy book birthday to Anna Humphrey‘s CLARA HUMBLE AND THE KITTEN CABOODLE, illustrated by Lisa Cinar, now published with Owlkids!

When Clara and her best friend, Bradley, go treasure hunting in an abandoned lot, they stumble upon something even better—a cat about to have kittens! To Clara, their mission is clear: make the best shelter ever and secretly care for the feline family until they can convince their parents to adopt the cats. But Clara and Bradley agree less than ever, and keeping the cats fed comes with a cost. Clara hatches a brilliant plan to raise kibble cash by producing the cutest internet cat video ever. But when condo developers start to bulldoze the lot, Clara and Bradley have to work together to save the kittens. Can Clara pull it off? Or will it turn into one big cat-astrophe?

Anna Humphrey is the author of several books for young readers, including the Clara Humble series and MEGABAT. When she isn’t hard at work on a new book, she can usually be found watching internet cat videos. She lives in Kitchener, Ontario, with her two kids, two cats, and one husband.

Advance Praise:

“A fun, funny, and friendly episode in the saga of the indomitable Clara Humble.”
—Kirkus Reviews