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.
Bear in the Family by Eric Walters; Olga Barinova (Illustrator)★"A profound, realistic story of a multiracial family...This brilliantly written tale is a lovely introduction to the important topics of wildfires and animal sanctuaries for young readers. Great for animal lovers and children curious about nature."--School Library Journal, starred review On returning to their home after a massive wildfire, nine-year-old Jasmin and her seven-year-old brother, Hunter, thought the biggest surprise would be whether their fire-resistant house had survived. Jasmin and Hunter did not expect to find an orphaned bear cub stuck in the neighbors' well. Rescuing the tiny cub from the well was the easy part; now they need to care for it until the people from the bear-rescue sanctuary can make it safely through the fires to pick it up. The cub turns out to be exactly what one would expect of a wild animal--a huge handful! The latest Orca Echoes early chapter book from award-winning author Eric Walters was inspired by Eric's visit to a wildlife sanctuary in Northern British Columbia. Bear in the Family tells the fictionalized story of a bear cub found by a family after the forest surrounding their home was destroyed by a wildfire.
Mellybean and the Giant Monster by Mike White"All hail Mellybean! A fun action-packed adventure from start to finish." --James Burks, author of the Bird and Squirrel series The Secret Life of Pets meets The Wizard of Oz in this debut graphic novel about a spunky pup who gets trapped in a world filled with magic, adventure, and one giant, grumpy monster. "Mike White hits a heartwarming hat trick with this cute, funny, and action-packed adventure. Mellybean will bounce off the page and into your heart." -Mo O'Hara, New York Times bestselling author of the My Big Fat Zombie Goldfish series and Agent Moose The Secret Life of Pets meets The Wizard of Oz in this debut graphic novel about a spunky pup who gets trapped in a world filled with magic, adventure, and one giant, grumpy monster. Melly loves to play games. All her feline friends want to do, though, is take a nap. So when she doesn't leave them alone, the cats trick her into burying a shoe in the backyard. But the small prank turns into a big problem when Melly falls down the hole . . . and is magically transports her to another world! Melly lands smack-dab in the middle of a scuffle between a group of knights and a huge monster. But Melly soon befriends the grumpy giant, learning he isn't as scary as he seems. He's being hunted by a greedy king. One who has also been stealing from his people and locking them up in the dungeons. So although Melly is desperate to find a way back home to Mama and Papa (her human owners), she makes it her mission to help her new friend and the kingdom. But how could someone so tiny defeat such a powerful king? It may just take a game that only Melly can win.
Peter and Ernesto: Sloths in the Night by Graham AnnableFromBox Trolls director Graham Annable comesPeter & Ernesto: Sloths in the Night, an immensely charming new addition to his brilliant graphic novel series about the endearing friendship between two sloths. Peter and Ernesto love the jungle, but they know how dangerous it can be at night. From clumsy bats to crazed owls to rumors of adragon, there are countless things that make the darkness perilous for sloths. That's why, one day, when their friend Bernard goes missing just as the sun is setting, Peter and Ernesto quickly gather their tribe to form a search party. However, while these sloths have some sense of the dangers that they'll face while looking for Bernard, there are surprises lurking in the shadows that will surpass their wildest imaginings!
Megabat by Anna Humphrey; Kass Reich (Illustrator)Daniel Misumi has just moved to a new house. It's big and old and far away from his friends and his life before. AND it's haunted . . . or is it? Megabat was just napping on a papaya one day when he was stuffed in a box and shipped halfway across the world. Now he's living in an old house far from home, feeling sorry for himself and accidentally scaring the people who live there. Daniel realizes it's not a ghost in his new house. It's a bat. And he can talk. And he's actually kind of cute. Megabat realizes that not every human wants to whack him with a broom. This one shares his smooshfruit. Add some buttermelon, juice boxes, a lightsaber and a common enemy and you've got a new friendship in the making! This charming, funny story is brought to life by Kass Reich's warm and adorable illustrations. There's never been a bat this cute -- readers will be rooting for Megabat and Daniel from page one!
Meet Viola Desmond by Elizabeth MacLeod; Mike Deas (Illustrator)"Meet Viola Desmond, community leader and early civil rights trailblazer! On the night of November 8th 1946, Nova Scotia businesswoman Viola Desmond stood up for her right to be in the "unofficial" whites-only section of a New Glasgow movie theatre . . . and was arrested for it. Supported by the Nova Scotia Association for the Advancement of Coloured People (NSCAACP) and the black-owned newspaper The Clarion, Viola took her quest for the right to freedom from discrimination to the courts. While she ultimately did not succeed, she was a beacon to other early civil-rights activists. Her sister Wanda worked hard to promote Viola's legacy, which has been finally honoured by Viola's inclusion on the new Canadian $10 bill. This new picture book biography series features simple text and full-colour, comic-flavoured illustration with speech balloons that bring the story alive. Historical photos and timeline support the narrative."-- Provided by publisher.
Forest of Reading 2019 award nominee.
Silver Birch Express 2019 winner.
Smiley by JoAnne GeorgeWhile working as a veterinary technician, Joanne George heard about a puppy mill not far from the clinic and embarked on a rescue mission with her coworkers. On that special day Joanne met Smiley for the first time. He had been born without eyes and with dwarfism and because of his time in the puppy mill, Smiley was suffering from serious anxiety. While the other dogs rescued that day were found loving homes, Smiley was going to need some extra special care. Nothing happens without practice and patience and Joanne and Smiley learned both those traits together. Gradually Smiley was able to walk offleash and started greeting Joanne at the back door. She gave Smiley a loving home and he taught her patience, understanding and acceptance. It became evident that Smiley would be a wonderful therapy dog. On the Kirkus Reviews Best Books of 2017 list
The Biggest Poutine in the World by Andrée Poulin; Brigitte Waisberg (Translator)Thomas would do anything to make his mother come back. On his fifth birthday, Thomas's mother left, and he hasn't seen her since. The last thing he remembers is her making a delicious dish of poutine for his birthday. Into the concoction of French fries, gravy and melted cheese curds, she stuck five green candles for him to blow out. On the day of this twelfth birthday, Thomas comes up with the idea of setting a Guinness world record for the biggest poutine in the world. Maybe then, his mother will come back and his emotionally distant father will pay attention to him. As he puts together all the pieces of his "Phenomenal Poutine Project," Thomas not only learns why his mother disappeared, but he also comes to realize that Elie, the one person whose help he rejected, turns out to be his most devoted friend. Funny and heartbreaking at the same time, The Biggest Poutine in the World, was the winner of the French language 2014 TD Canadian Children's Literature Award.
End of the Line by Sharon E. McKayOrdinary citizens risk everything to save a young Jewish girl in wartime Holland. Five-year-old Beatrix looks on in horror as the soldier forces her mother off the tram. It is 1942 in Amsterdam, and everyone knows what happens to Jews who are taken away by the Nazis. The soldier turns his attention to Beatrix, when suddenly, the ticket-taker, Lars Gorter, blurts out that she is his niece. With his brother Hans, the tram conductor, they manage to rescue the child from the same fate as her mother. The two elderly brothers realize that they are now in charge of the little girl. They are at a loss--after all, neither one has ever married, let alone has children. They know that harboring a Jew could cost them their lives, but in desperation, they turn to a neighbor, Mrs. Vos, for help. But even these kindly rescuers cannot shield Beatrix totally from the horrors of war. This suspenseful novel vividly portrays the fear, uncertainty, and terror of the Nazi occupation in Holland. It is a story that reflects both the worst and best of humankind. A worthy addition to children's books about the Holocaust, The End of the Line will leave young readers to ponder how the most dreadful conditions can lead ordinary citizens to perform the most heroic acts. People like Lars, Hans, and Mrs. Vos, who risked their own lives to save Jews in wartime Europe, were later recognized and honored as "Righteous Gentiles."
Let's Get Cracking! by Cyndi Marko (Illustrator)Kung Pow Chicken is the superhero everyone has been waiting for! This series is part of Scholastic's early chapter book line called Branches, which is aimed at newly independent readers. With easy-to-read text, high-interest content, fast-paced plots, and illustrations on every page, these books will boost reading confidence and stamina. Branches books help readers grow! In this exciting full-color series, Gordon Blue transforms into Kung Pow Chicken, an avian superhero who fights crime in the city of Fowladelphia. The first book in the series kicks off when Gordon's birdy senses lead him to a festival. Suddenly, POOF! Feathers fill the air and shivering naked chickens are everywhere. Why have all these chickens lost their feathers? Forced to wear wooly sweaters, the city itches for a hero. Kung Pow Chicken hops into his Beakmobile to save the day!
The Secret of the Village Fool by Rebecca Upjohn; Renne Benoit (Illustrator)Milek and his brother Munio live in a sleepy village in Poland, where nothing exciting seems to happen. They reluctantly do as their mother asks when she asks them to visit their neighbor Anton, knowing that the rest of the village laughs at him because of his strange habits of speaking to animals and only eating vegetables. Things change quickly when war comes to their town in the form of Nazi soldiers searching for Jewish families like that of Milek and Munio. Anton refuses to tell the soldiers where to find them, and then goes so far as to hide the family in his own home, putting his life at risk without a thought. Based on a true story.
Margaret and the Moth Tree by Kari Trogen; Brit TrogenLemony Snicket meets Charlotte's Web in this spellbinding story about a quiet, brown-haired orphan named Margaret trapped in a dreadful orphanage run by the sinister, beautiful Miss Switch. After an unsuccessful attempt to alert authorities to Miss Switch's tyranny, Margaret is forced to endure a life of complete silence. But the new state of affairs proves to be more blessing than curse. You see, Margaret can hear things other people cannot. And on one incredible day, Margaret hears tiny voices coming from a strange, thorny tree and discovers a community of playful moths. Together Margaret and the moths prepare a plan to end Miss Switch's reign of terror and provide a better life for everyone.
When Apples Grew Noses and White Horses Flew by Jan Andrews; Dusan Petričić (Illustrator)A USBBY Outstanding International Books Honor Book and a nominee for the 2012 Silver Birch Express Award in the Ontario Library Association's Forest of Reading Program and the Canadian Library Association Book of the Year for Children Award In these three imaginative stories, Jan Andrews introduces us to Quebec's traditional folktale hero, Ti-Jean. He's an endearing character who is both wise and foolish, and though he does find himself in hard situations (often of his own making), in the end, he somehow manages to do what needs to be done. In "Ti-Jean and the Princess of Tomboso" he outwits a greedy princess; in "Ti-Jean the Marble Player" he gets the best of a pint-sized scoundrel; and in "How Ti-Jean Became a Fiddler" he turns the tables on a too-clever-for-her-own-good seigneur's daughter, and finds true love in the process.
Binky the Space Cat by Ashley Spires (Illustrator)Binky is a space cat - at least in his own mind. He's really a house cat who has never left the family ?space station.' Unlike other house cats, Binky has a mission: to blast off into outer space (outside), explore unknown places (the backyard) and battle aliens (bugs). Binky must undergo rigorous training so he can repel the alien attacks that threaten his humans. As he builds his spaceship, he must be extremely careful with his blueprints - the enemy is always watching. Soon Binky is ready to voyage into outer space. His humans go out there every day and he's sure they need a certified space cat to protect them. But just as he's about to blast off with his co-pilot, Ted (stuffed mousie), Binky realizes that he's left something very important behind ... and it's not the zero-gravity kitty litter. In the first book in the Binky Adventure series, graphic-novel readers will delight in watching where this lovable and quirky cat's imagination takes him.
Dear Toni by Cyndi Sand-EvelandWhen sixth-grader Gene Tucks moves south, she dreads being the new kid at school and almost everything else about her life as a "nobody." But what she dreads most is the hundred-day journal-writing assignment her teacher has given the class. His brilliant idea is to have the journals locked in the town museum's vault for forty years so that future grade-sixers can read them. At first, Gene has trouble writing to someone who isn't even born yet. But little by little, Dear Nobody becomes Dear Somebody, who evolves into Dear Toni. And bit by bit, Toni, a good listener, becomes a best friend to whom Gene tells everything. And, there's lots to tell. Gene's family is in transition to say the least. Her dad is looking for work, they are moving -- again, her brother is the bane of her existence, and, more than anything else in the world, Gene wants something she can't have -- a dog. Toni is the first to learn that Gene is moving to a rent-free empty apartment at the back of a gas station, so her dad can manage it. And wonder of wonders, the owner's dog needs looking after. Not just any dog; a St. Bernard who happens to have three pups. Through Gene's one hundred entries the whole story unwinds and in the end, just like Toni does forty years later, we have come to know one of the freshest, funniest characters to grace the pages of a book in a very long time. Decorated with doodles by the author, Dear Toni has the look and feel of a journal, but the heart of a special 12 year old.
Dear Sylvia by Alan CumynOwen Skye can't forget about his true love Sylvia, even though she's moved away. He still has the stationary set she gave him for his birthday, and so he decides to use it to write her. Owen is a true writer in his head but getting the right words onto the page is another story. As he nervously begins to write, young readers easily identify with his struggles against spelling, his writer's insecurity, and his deep desire to tell Sylvia the truth about what's going on in his life -- and in his heart. Owen manages to write about how his little brother got his head stuck in the banister, the disastrous camping trip with his irritating cousins, and how his new baby cousin will only stop crying if he holds her. . . but writing the letters is only the first step. Will Owen have the courage to send them? Will he ever see Sylvia again? Alan Cumyn has given his well-loved series a new and original twist in this irresistible epistolary novel.
Things Are Looking Grimm, Jill by Dan Bar-elPrincess Jill excels at jousting, fencing, skating and long-distance spitting. Her brother, King Jack, loves baking and spending time with Little Bo Peep and her sheep. So what's a princess to do when she receives a mysterious letter from the land of Grimm? Take up ballroom dancing? Not Princess Jill. All alone, with only her wits to guide her, Jill sets off to rescue the citizens of Grimm. Along the way she makes many odd new friends and discovers the value of listening to your mother.
Any Pet Will Do by Nancy ShouseJeremy longs for a pet, but he doesn't know what kind of pet to get. When his parents agree that he can start a pet-sitting business in order to try out a variety of species, Jeremy has no idea what adventures are in store for him. Pet after pet is eliminated from his "To Get" list. In the end, not a single animal seems suited--until a favorite relative comes up with a surprising solution.