Sponsored annually by the Ontario Library Association, the Red Maple Award reading program is geared to readers in Grade 7 and 8. Ten novels are nominated each year and ten non-fiction are selected every second year.
The Branch by Mireille Messier; Pierre Pratt (Illustrator)When an ice storm snaps a small girl's favorite branch from the tree in her yard, she's crestfallen. The girl's mom says it's just a branch. But not to her! ?That was the branch I sat on, jumped from, played under. It was my castle, my spy base, my ship . . .' Luckily, her neighbor Mr. Frank understands. He says the branch has ?potential.' ?What's potential? she asks. ?It means it's worth keeping.' And so, with imagination and spirit, and Mr. Frank's guidance and tools, the girl transforms the broken branch into something whole and new, giving it another purpose, and her another place to treasure. In this endearing picture book, author Mireille Messier explores a young child's experience with loss and renewal. Though the little girl is heartbroken that her special perch in the tree is gone, the kindness and vision of her neighbor, combined with her own creativity and determination, help her recognize that it can have a new life in a different form. The charming intergenerational relationship adds depth and richness to the story, as it becomes clear they both offer something valuable to each other. The story is vividly and warmly illustrated by renowned, award-winning artist, Pierre Pratt. This book would work well for character education lessons on perseverance, teamwork and initiative. It also provides an excellent example of caring for the environment by reusing salvaged materials, making it a terrific pick for Maker Spaces and STEAM lessons.
The Darkest Dark by Chris Hadfield & Kate FillionChris loves rockets and planets and pretending he's a brave astronaut, exploring the universe. Only one problem--at night, Chris doesn't feel so brave. He's afraid of the dark.
But when he watches the groundbreaking moon landing on TV, he realizes that space is the darkest dark there is--and the dark is beautiful and exciting, especially when you have big dreams to keep you company.
Even Superheroes Have Bad Days by Shelly Becker; Eda Kaban (Illustrator)"Full of action and vibrancy. . . .A good way to soothe bad days away." --School Library Journal When Superheroes don't get their way, when they're sad, when they're mad, when they've had a bad day . . . . . . they COULD super-tantrum, they COULD but they DON'T, because REAL Superheroes just WOULDN'T--they WON'T! All kids have trouble getting a grip on their emotions, sometimes--even young superheroes! But what do they do when they're having a bad day? Colorful action-packed illustrations and a dynamite rhyming text reveal the many ways superheroes (and ordinary children, too) can resist the super-temptation to cause a scene when they're sad, mad, frustrated, lonely, or afraid. From burning off steam on a bike or a hike, to helping others, this energetic picture book has plenty of fun ideas to help kids cope when they're feeling overwhelmed.
French Toast by Kari-Lynn Winters; François Thisdale (Illustrator)Phoebe--half Jamaican, half French-Canadian--hates her school nickname of "French Toast." So she is mortified when, out on a walk with her Jamaican grandmother, she hears a classmate shout it out at her. To make things worse, Nan-Ma, who is blind, wants an explanation of the name. How can Phoebe describe the color of her skin to someone who has never seen it? "Like tea, after you've added the milk," she says. And her father? "Like warm banana bread." And Nan-Ma herself? She is like maple syrup poured over...well...In French Toast, Kari-Lynn Winters uses descriptions of favorite foods from both of Phoebe's cultures to celebrate the varied skin tones of her family. Fran#65533;ois Thisdale's imaginative illustrations fill the landscape with whimsy and mouthwatering delight as Phoebe realizes her own resilience and takes ownership of her nickname proudly.
Great by Lauri Holomis; Kevin Sylvester (Illustrator); Glen Gretzky; Wayne Gretzky (Foreword by)A story of teamwork with a positive message, featuring Wayne Gretzky and Coach Wally (Wayne's dad, Walter Gretzky)Taylor is so excited when he makes the hockey team -- and not just any team, but HIS team. The boy they are already calling The Great One. Taylor wants to be great too, but he's still got a lot to learn. Lucky for him, Coach Wally is in his corner, guiding him through the ups and downs of being part of a hockey team, and being the best player he can be. As Coach Wally says, if you have a good time, work hard and do your best, "that is all that matters."
Little Boy Who Lived down the Drain by Carolyn Huizinga Mills; Brooke Kerrigan (Illustrator)Sally loved taking baths. It wasn't because the water was full of bubbles -- or because she had the bathroom all to herself -- and it was not because she always came out squeaky clean -- Sally loved taking baths because it was the only time she could talk to the Little Boy Who Lived Down the Drain. Sally found out about him when her mother sang to Sally's baby brother about Baa Baa Black Sheep and his three bags of wool -- one of which went to the Little Boy Who Lived Down the Drain. And thus a friendship was born. Every bath that Sally took after that was devoted to discovering more about her new friend. But this charming picture book is about more than the Little Boy, it's about family and siblings, and friends -- and about growing up.
Milo and Georgie by Bree Galbraith; Josée Bisaillon (Illustrator)When Milo's family moves to a new city, he vows to officially retire from having fun. So he stays inside for days while his little sister, Georgie, yearns to explore the new neighborhood. Finally, Milo ties Georgie to the end of a ball of yarn so she can go out, on one condition: she has to come home when he tugs the string twice. But one day, Georgie isn't at the end of the string. Which means Milo might just have to step outside and discover everything he's been missing. Charming, detailed artwork illustrates their vibrant new city in this heartwarming story about supporting each other, building community, adapting to change, and embracing new things.
The Owl and the Lemming by Roselynn AkulukjukAs Owl swoops down and blocks the entrance to a lemming den, he is sure that he has a tasty meal in the little animal he has cornered. But this lemming is not about to be eaten! This smart little rodent will need to appeal to the boastful owl's sense of pride to get away. This fun and cheeky tale is accompanied by full-colour still photographs of custom-built characters on a hand-built set.
Shark Lady by Jess Keating; Marta Alvarez Miguens (Illustrator)THE 2018 WINNER!
Named a Best Children's Book of 2017 by Parents Magazine! This is the story of a woman who dared to dive, defy, discover, and inspire. This is the story of Shark Lady. Eugenie Clark fell in love with sharks from the first moment she saw them at the aquarium. She couldn't imagine anything more exciting than studying these graceful creatures. But Eugenie quickly discovered that many people believed sharks to be ugly and scary--and they didn't think women should be scientists. Determined to prove them wrong, Eugenie devoted her life to learning about sharks. After earning several college degrees and making countless discoveries, Eugenie wrote herself into the history of science, earning the nickname "Shark Lady." Through her accomplishments, she taught the world that sharks were to be admired rather than feared and that womencan do anything they set their minds to. An inspiring story by critically acclaimed zoologist Jess Keating about finding the strength to discover truths that others aren't daring enough to see. Includes a timeline of Eugenie's life and many fin-tastic shark facts!
A Squiggly Story by Andrew Larsen; Mike Lowery (Illustrator)A young boy wants to write a story, just like his big sister. But there's a problem, he tells her. Though he knows his letters, he doesn't know many words. ?Every story starts with a single word and every word starts with a single letter,? his sister explains patiently. ?Why don't you start there, with a letter? So the boy tries. He writes a letter. An easy letter. The letter I. And from that one skinny letter, the story grows, and the little boy discovers that all of us, including him, have what we need to write our own perfect story. This picture book from award-winning author Andrew Larsen playfully and imaginatively explores a young child's process of learning to express himself. It promotes the idea that stories are available for everyone to tell, whatever way we can, and will inspire pre-readers to try writing stories of their own. The lively, fun illustrations by Mike Lowery incorporate story panels with dialogue bubbles, adding visual texture. Also helpful, the boy's story is shown both as he actually writes it --- with just a few letters, some punctuation marks and typographical symbols --- and as he imagines it. Celebrating self-expression, self-discovery and imagination, this book would enhance an early language arts lesson on writing, particularly on the parts of a story. It beautifully highlights the exciting worlds that are opened up when children begin to read and write. In a sweet touch, the boy and his sister model a close and supportive sibling relationship.
Shark Lady by Jess Keating; Marta Álvarez Miguéns (Illustrator)One of New York Times' Twelve Books for Feminist Boys and Girls! This is the story of a woman who dared to dive, defy, discover, and inspire. This is the story of Shark Lady. One of the best science picture books for children, Shark Ladyis a must for both teachers and parents alike! An Amazon Best Book of the Month Named a Best Children's Book of 2017 by Parentsmagazine Eugenie Clark fell in love with sharks from the first moment she saw them at the aquarium. She couldn't imagine anything more exciting than studying these graceful creatures. But Eugenie quickly discovered that many people believed sharks to be ugly and scary--and they didn't think women should be scientists. Determined to prove them wrong, Eugenie devoted her life to learning about sharks. After earning several college degrees and making countless discoveries, Eugenie wrote herself into the history of science, earning the nickname "Shark Lady." Through her accomplishments, she taught the world that sharks were to be admired rather than feared and that women can do anything they set their minds to. An inspiring story by critically acclaimed zoologist Jess Keating about finding the strength to discover truths that others aren't daring enough to see. Includes a timeline of Eugenie's life and many fin-tastic shark facts! The perfect choice for parents looking for: Books about sharks Inspiring nonfiction narrative books Role model books for girls and boys Kids STEM books