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.
Cells by Carolyn Fisher (Illustrator)Join Ellie, a skin cell who lives on the derrière of a Boston Terrier, as she tells readers all about the amazing cells that make up every living thing on Earth. Did you know that every human is the proud owner of 37 trillion cells? (Give or take a few trillion.) They're the itty-bitty building blocks that stack together to make you, you! Join a smart and silly skin cell named Ellie as she explains what a cell looks like, what a cell does, how cells divide and multiply, and much, much more in this fascinating and funny nonfiction picture book.
Genius Jolene by Sara Cassidy; Charlene Chua (Illustrator)On her annual trip in her father's 18-wheeler, eight-year-old Jolene is headed to Los Angeles on a six-day road trip to deliver some newsprint with her dad. Just like last year, they tell each other stories and listen to music. They also keep up their favorite tradition: critiquing one type of food at every stop. This time it's onion rings. But this year is also different. Unlike last year, Jolene's parents are no longer together. They split up when her father came out as gay. These are big changes for Jolene, but she is spunky and smart and has a good heart. She's ready for new adventures and to stand up for what's right--both on and off the road.
Ghost's Journey: A Refugee Story by Robin Stevenson and Rainer Oktovianus"When Indonesia becomes an unsafe place for the LGBTQ+ community, it is no longer safe for Ghost (the cat) and her two dads to live there. As told through the eyes of Ghost, journey with them on their escape as they become refugees and find freedom in Canada."-- Provided by publisher.
Forest of Reading 2021 nominee.
Silver Birch Express Award nominee 2021.
The Grizzly Mother by Brett D. Huson; Natasha Donovan (Illustrator)Book two in the award-winning Mothers of Xsan series, The Grizzly Mother uses striking illustration and lyrical language to bring the poetry of the Xsan ecosystem to life. "spellbinding"--Publishers Weekly, starred review To the Gitxsan people of Northwestern British Columbia, the grizzly is an integral part of the natural landscape. Together, they share the land and forests that the Skeena River runs through, as well as the sockeye salmon within it. Follow mother bear as she teaches her cubs what they need to survive on their own.
A Last Goodbye by Elin Kelsey; Soyeon Kim (Illustrator)How do we say goodbye to a loved one after they die? This book broaches a difficult topic in a heartfelt way by exploring the beauty in how animals mourn. From elephants to whales, parrots to bonobos, and lemurs to humans, we all have rituals to commemorate our loved ones and to lift each other up in difficult times. New from the award-winning team behind You Are Stardust, Wild Ideas, and You Are Never Alone, this book gently recognizes death as a natural part of life for humans and all animals. Written in spare, poetic language and illustrated with stunning dioramas, it draws out our similarities with other animals as it honors the universal experience of mourning. The touching and uplifting book ends on a hopeful note, showing how we live on both in memories and on the planet, our bodies nourishing new life in the Earth and the oceans.
Peter and Ernesto: Sloths in the Night by Graham AnnablePeter and Ernesto love the jungle, but they know how dangerous it can be at night. From clumsy bats to crazed owls to rumors of a dragon, 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!
The Phone Booth in Mr. Hirota's Garden by Heather Smith; Rachel Wada (Illustrator)★ "Smith spins a quietly moving narrative...Wada's large-scale woodblock style illustrations are a perfect complement to the story's restrained text...The graceful way in which this book handles a sensitive and serious subject makes it a first purchase."--School Library Journal When the tsunami destroyed Makio's village, Makio lost his father . . . and his voice. The entire village is silenced by grief, and the young child's anger at the ocean grows. Then one day his neighbor, Mr. Hirota, begins a mysterious project--building a phone booth in his garden. At first Makio is puzzled; the phone isn't connected to anything. It just sits there, unable to ring. But as more and more villagers are drawn to the phone booth, its purpose becomes clear to Makio: the disconnected phone is connecting people to their lost loved ones. Makio calls to the sea to return what it has taken from him and ultimately finds his voice and solace in a phone that carries words on the wind. The Phone Booth in Mr. Hirota's Gardenis inspired by the true story of the wind phone in Otsuchi, Japan, which was created by artist Itaru Sasaki. He built the phone booth so he could speak to his cousin who had passed, saying, "My thoughts couldn't be relayed over a regular phone line, I wanted them to be carried on the wind." The Tohoku earthquake and tsunami in 2011 destroyed the town of Otsuchi, claiming 10 percent of the population. Residents of Otsuchi and pilgrims from other affected communities have been traveling to the wind phone since the tsunami.
Planet Hockey: First Star of the Game by J. Torres; Tim Levins (Illustrator)"Canada's favourite sport gets an out-of-this world treatment in this action-packed, LOL graphic novel! Isaac may be the Greatest Of All Time in his hockey video game, but after a championship game-losing accident, he's an epic fail on actual ice. Unfortunately, the robot scouts from Planet Galaxia don’t know this and warp him away to be the new superstar of their terrible team. Fortunately, Isaac’s friend Lily tags along — she just might be the best goalie this side of the Milky Way. But interstellar hockey isn’t like hockey on Earth. Opposing players are electrified, or shaped like trees, or built like actual boulders. And even if Isaac is able to whip the octopus-like Pods into shape, Emperor Mad Maroon, the ruler of Galaxia, might not release the Earthlings. Can Isaac score a win in the Galaxia Championship Tournament . . . and get back to home ice?"-- Provided by publisher.
Forest of Reading 2021 nominee.
Silver Birch Express Award nominee 2021.
The Train by Jodie Callaghan; Georgia Lesley (Illustrator)Ashley meets her great-uncle by the old train tracks near their community in Nova Scotia. Ashley sees his sadness, and Uncle tells her of the day years ago when he and the other children from their community were told to board the train before being taken to residential school where their lives were changed forever. They weren't allowed to speak Mi'gmaq and were punished if they did. There was no one to give them love and hugs and comfort. Uncle also tells Ashley how happy she and her sister make him. They are what give him hope. Ashley promises to wait with her uncle by the train tracks, in remembrance of what was lost.
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!