Putting the YA in FRIYAY: Tess of the Road

Tess of the Road_YA
You fell in love with Seraphina, now meet Tess!

Tess of the RoadTess of the Road
By Rachel Hartman

In the medieval kingdom of Goredd, women are expected to be ladies, men are their protectors, and dragons get to be whomever they want. Tess, stubbornly, is a troublemaker. You can’t make a scene at your sister’s wedding and not suffer the consequences. As her family plans to send her to a nunnery, Tess sets out on a journey, pretending to be a boy. Where Tess is headed is a mystery, even to her. So when she runs into an old friend, it’s a stroke of luck. This friend is a quigutl–a subspecies of dragon–who gives her both a purpose and protection on the road. But Tess is guarding a troubling secret. Her tumultuous past is a heavy burden to carry, and the memories she’s tried to forget threaten to expose her to the world in more ways than one.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Hartman_RachelAs a child, RACHEL HARTMAN played cello, lip-synched Mozart operas with her sisters, and fostered the deep love of music that inspired much of Seraphina. Rachel earned a degree in comparative literature but eschewed graduate school in favor of bookselling and drawing comics. Born in Kentucky, she has lived in Philadelphia, Chicago, St. Louis, England, and Japan. She now lives with her family in Vancouver, Canada.

Q&A with Rachel Hartman

What books inspired Tess of the Road?
Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell made me realize I had a particular story to tell. I think I also subconsciously drew from Don Quixote, Tess of the D’Urbervilles, and Jane Austen as well.

What are you favourite fantasy novels?
The Curse of Chalion by Lois McMaster Bujold
Going Postal by Terry Pratchett
Finn Family Moomintroll by Tove Jansson

What books do you think Tess would read?
Anything fast-paced that made her laugh.

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CBC Books’ Best Canadian YA and Children’s Literature of 2018

CBC Books shared their top 25 Canadian YA and children’s books that came out this year. We’re happy to share that 4 of our titles made the list. Congratulations to our authors and illustrators!

BloomBloom:
A Story of Fashion Designer Elsa Schiaparelli

By Kyo Maclear
Illustrated by Julie Morstad
Hardcover | 40 Pages | Ages 5-9
ISBN 9781101918562 | Tundra Books
Here is the life of iconic fashion designer Elsa Schiaparelli, who as a little girl in Rome, was told by her own mamma that she was brutta. Ugly. So she decided to seek out beauty around her, and found it everywhere. What is beauty? Elsa wondered. She looked everywhere for beauty until something inside of Elsa blossomed, and she became an artist with an incredible imagination. Defining beauty on her own creative terms, Schiaparelli worked hard to develop her designs, and eventually bloomed into an extraordinary talent who dreamed up the most wonderful dresses, hats, shoes and jewelry. Why not a shoe for a hat? Why not a dress with drawers? And she invented a color: shocking pink! Her adventurous mind was the key to her happiness and success–and is still seen today in her legacy of wild imagination. Daring and different, Elsa Schiaparelli used art to make fashion, and it was quite marvelous.

Mary Who Wrote FrankensteinMary Who Wrote Frankenstein
By Linda Bailey
Illustrated by Júlia Sardà
Hardcover | 56 Pages | Ages 5-8
ISBN 9781770495593 | Tundra Books
How does a story begin? Sometimes it begins with a dream, and a dreamer. Mary is one such dreamer, a little girl who learns to read by tracing the letters on the tombstone of her famous feminist mother, Mary Wollstonecraft, and whose only escape from her strict father and overbearing stepmother is through the stories she reads and imagines. Unhappy at home, she seeks independence, and at the age of sixteen runs away with poet Percy Bysshe Shelley, another dreamer. Two years later, they travel to Switzerland where they meet a famous poet, Lord Byron. On a stormy summer evening, with five young people gathered around a fire, Byron suggests a contest to see who can create the best ghost story. Mary has a waking dream about a monster come to life. A year and a half later, Mary Shelley’s terrifying tale, Frankenstein: or, the Modern Prometheus, is published — a novel that goes on to become the most enduring monster story ever and one of the most popular legends of all time.

No Fixed AddressNo Fixed Address
By Susin Nielsen
Hardcover | 288 Pages | Ages 10+
ISBN 9780735262751 | Tundra Books
Felix Knuttson, twelve, is an endearing kid with an incredible brain for trivia. His mom Astrid is loving but unreliable; she can’t hold onto a job, or a home. When they lose their apartment in Vancouver, they move into a camper van, just for August, till Astrid finds a job. September comes, they’re still in the van; Felix must keep “home” a secret and give a fake address in order to enroll in school. Luckily, he finds true friends. As the weeks pass and life becomes grim, he struggles not to let anyone know how precarious his situation is. When he gets to compete on a national quiz show, Felix is determined to win — the cash prize will bring them a home. Their luck is about to change! But what happens is not at all what Felix expected.

SweepSweep:
The Story of a Girl and Her Monster

By Jonathan Auxier
Hardcover | 368 Pages | Ages 8-12
ISBN 9780735264359 | Puffin Canada
For nearly a century, Victorian London relied on “climbing boys” – orphans owned by chimney sweeps – to clean flues and protect homes from fire. The work was hard, thankless and brutally dangerous. Eleven-year-old Nan Sparrow is quite possibly the best climber who ever lived–and a girl. With her wits and will, she’s managed to beat the deadly odds time and time again. But when Nan gets stuck in a deadly chimney fire, she fears her time has come. Instead, she wakes to find herself in an abandoned attic. And she is not alone. Huddled in the corner is a mysterious creature – a golem – made from ash and coal. This is the creature that saved her from the fire. Sweep is the story of a girl and her monster. Together, these two outcasts carve out a life together–saving one another in the process.

Putting the YA in FRIYAY: The Game of Hope

The Game of Hope_YA

Who run the world? Girls! Today we’re highlighting the often untold stories of women in history. The Game of Hope is the debut YA novel by international bestselling author Sandra Gulland. Join the conversation online by following @PenguinTeenCa and using the hashtag #HerStoryTeen.

Q&A with Sandra Gulland

What inspired you to write a YA novel?
Before I became a novelist, I was a book editor, and for over a decade I edited young adult novels for reluctant readers. But even so, it took at least two months to consider. It takes me years to write a novel, and I have to feel passionate about it and fall in love with it. So, I reread books about Hortense and covered our dining room table with plot points on index cards. I needed to see if there was a story there, a story about Hortense’s teen years, an enchanting story.And there was. And it was one I very much wanted to write.

What books did you consult while working on The Game of Hope?
I posted the complete list to my website and it comes to about 150 books and magazine articles, so I’ll spare you the details and generalize. I read Hortense’s two-volume memoir, The Memoirs of Queen Hortense, two decades ago, and it was time to reread them, as well as biographies about her. I read books on etiquette, period dance, and costume, of course: the details of daily life are what interest me the most. The book on sex that Caroline Bonaparte was so enthusiastic about, and which horrified Hortense, was also an amusing discovery. I read quite a lot on Madame Campan, including her letters to Hortense, as well as a little epistolary novel she wrote about two fictional girls in her wonderful school. A historian and I even shared the expense of hiring a researcher in Paris to find a set of letters in the National Archives written by one of Campan’s students. (Yes, you could call me obsessive.)

You’ve written a lot about various historical periods in France. What do you love about French history?
There is something about French history — at least the periods I’ve studied — that is so idealistic (even when it’s brutal), and at the same time almost theatrical. There is often a hint of humour, and I adore that.

What surprised you the most about the lives of teenage girls in post-revolutionary France?
There were many things I already knew, yet I was still surprised that teenage girls were expected to marry. They were so young! Also, it was rare for girls to be educated at all, much less well-educated. Campan’s school was amazingly creative and intellectually challenging. I would have loved to have gone to that school.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Gulland_SandraSANDRA GULLAND is the author of the international-bestselling Josephine B series, chronicling the life of Napoleon’s second wife. Now, Sandra turns her keen eye for history and her love of story to Hortense, the teenage stepdaughter of Napoleon, in her first YA novel The Game of Hope.

Quill & Quire’s Books of the Year 2018

Quill & Quire has shared their Books of the Year 2018: Kids’ Books of the Year. We’re so happy to see Bloom, Megabat, No Fixed Address, Sweep, and Very Rich included. In addition, thank you to the Vancouver Kidsbooks for choosing Anne Arrives and Goodnight, Anne in the Kidlit Aficionados section! Congratulations to our authors and illustrators!

BloomBloom:
A Story of Fashion Designer Elsa Schiaparelli

By Kyo Maclear
Illustrated by Julie Morstad
Hardcover | 40 Pages | Ages 5-9
ISBN 9781101918562 | Tundra Books
“‘I plant flower seeds in my ears, mouth and nose,’ says Elsa Schiaparelli in this charming picture book. ‘I sit and wait. Wait to bloom.’ Pink flower petals, frocks, and a feverish imagination are at the heart of Kyo Maclear and Julie Morstad’s kidlit biography of the radical Italian fashion designer known as Schiap. Portraying artistic life in early 20th-century Europe, Bloom celebrates resilience and self expression with the elegant prose and delicate illustrations readers expect from a Maclear and Morstad collaboration.” – Quill & Quire

MegabatMegabat
By Anna Humphrey
Illustrated by Kass Reich
Hardcover | 192 Pages | Ages 7-10
ISBN 9780735262577 | Tundra Books
“In the first installment of what is likely to be a very popular early–middle grade series, Megabat slurps up juice boxes, watches Star Wars movies, and subsequently uses his juice box straw as a light saber. This talking fruit bat charms everyone he meets: a young boy named Daniel, a pigeon love interest, and discerning young readers.” – Quill & Quire

No Fixed AddressNo Fixed Address
By Susin Nielsen
Hardcover | 288 Pages | Ages 10+
ISBN 9780735262751 | Tundra Books
No Fixed Address is a charming wonder of a book, a breezy read that’s far more significant – and skilled – than it might appear from the surface. Nielsen demonstrates a powerful command in developing her young characters, lifting even secondary players (like high-achiever Winnie) well away from any hint of cliché. Felix balances on the thin edge between childhood and adolescence with an open-hearted sense of right and wrong, struggling not only against circumstances well beyond his control but well above what should be his responsibility.” – Starred Review, Quill & Quire

SweepSweep:
The Story of a Girl and Her Monster

By Jonathan Auxier
Hardcover | 368 Pages | Ages 8-12
ISBN 9780735264359 | Puffin Canada
“The theme of anti-Semitism is part of what lifts Sweep beyond a merely charming mash-up of Dickens and Brad Bird’s film The Iron Giant. Auxier is constantly showing readers the brute economic and cultural forces that shape Nan’s adventures with Charlie…. Sweep’s ambition and sophistication are impressive, and Auxier’s storytelling is never less than readable.” – Quill & Quire

Very RichVery Rich
By Polly Horvath
Hardcover | 304 Pages | Ages 10-14
ISBN 9780143198611 | Puffin Canada
“Horvath is having a ball with this story. It’s fast-paced and filled with witty asides, creative scenarios, and a ridiculously entertaining cast. She pulls from Dickens, but Rupert’s parents have qualities akin to Roald Dahl’s despicable adult characters, and Uncle Henry’s time machine is a whirring cardboard box reminiscent of Dorothy’s flying house and the hot-air balloon in The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. Plus, there is a gravity-defying restaurant scene similar to the laughing-gas chapter in Mary Poppins. It wouldn’t be surprising if, like Wizard of Oz and Mary Poppins, Very Rich became a kidlit favourite, complete with a magical Technicolor big-screen adaptation.” – Starred Review, Quill & Quire

Anne ArrivesAnne Arrives
By Kallie George
Illustrated by Abigail Halpin
Hardcover | 36 Pages | Ages 6-8
ISBN 9781770499300 | Tundra Books
“We love Kallie George’s Anne of Green Gables–inspired books, Anne Arrives (with illustrator Abigail Halpin) and Goodnight, Anne (with illustrator Geneviève Godbout). George’s works (both published by Tundra Books) capture the inimitable ‘Anne’ spirit and will bring a whole new audience to L.M. Montgomery’s novels.” –Kidsbooks, Vancouver

Goodnight AnneGoodnight, Anne
By Kallie George
Illustrated by Geneviève Godbout
Hardcover | 40 Pages | 3-7 Ages
ISBN 9781770499263 | Tundra Books
“We love Kallie George’s Anne of Green Gables–inspired books, Anne Arrives (with illustrator Abigail Halpin) and Goodnight, Anne (with illustrator Geneviève Godbout). George’s works (both published by Tundra Books) capture the inimitable ‘Anne’ spirit and will bring a whole new audience to L.M. Montgomery’s novels.” – Kidsbooks, Vancouver

Putting the YA in FRIYAY: Blood Will Out

Blood Will Out_YA

Blood Will OutBlood Will Out
Jo Treggiari

Silence of the Lambs for teens – a gripping YA thriller that will keep you up all night reading!

Ari Sullivan is alive–for now.

She wakes at the bottom of a cistern, confused, injured and alone. No one can hear her screams. And the person who put her there is coming back. Told in alternating perspectives of predator and prey, Blood Will Out is a gripping addition to the YA horror genre, perfect for fans of There’s Someone Inside Your House and The Merciless.

Q&A with Jo Treggiari

What was the first scary book you ever read?
I’m sure it was either Carrie or It by Stephen King.

Why did you decide to write half of the book from the predator’s perspective?
Can I be creepy and say that the fledgling serial killer started to speak to me and demanded that I tell their story?

What books did you consult while working on Blood Will Out?
I read biographies and true crime books on John Wayne Gacy, Jeffrey Dahmer, Ted Bundy and Ed Gein.

What books do you think Ari would read?
Before the action in the book takes place, I think she probably read Jane Austen and romantic YA. Afterwards, she probably read books about survival, weapon-making and criminal psychology.

What are you reading now?
Like everyone else I am reading Children Of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Treggiari_JoJO TREGGIARI was born in England and raised in Canada. She spent many years in San Francisco and New York, where she trained as a boxer, wrote for punk magazines and owned a successful gangster rap/indie rock record label. She now lives in Nova Scotia where she co-owns a carefully curated, community-active bookstore, Lexicon Books.

Putting the YA in FRIYAY: Confessions of a Teenage Leper

Confessions of a Teenage Leper_YA

Not your average sick lit, Confessions of a Teenage Leper is an insightful and sardonic tale of a cheerleader who finds her world turned upside down when a surprise diagnosis not only changes her plans, but how she sees the world. Read on to find out how author Ashley Litlte was inspired by a class project and a visit to a leper colony in British Columbia.

Q&A with Ashley Little

Little_AshleyWhere did the idea for this story come from?

While I was doing my undergraduate degree in creative writing, a prof assigned our class a historical fiction piece. We had to find something in British Columbia’s history that interested us and then research it using three different sources (microfiche, interviews, encyclopedias, maps, etc. i.e. not the Internet) and then write a short story about it. I found out about a place called D’Arcy Island; a leper colony on a tiny island off the southern tip of Vancouver Island, not far from where I was going to university, in Victoria; it ran from 1891-1924. I did my research and wrote a short story from the perspectives of four men and one woman who had lived there. The idea had always stayed with me because it was so haunting, and the people sent there lived in really poor conditions and were basically sent there to die, not get better.

So, about ten years later, I decided it was time to write a novel about D’Arcy Island; I went to the island and stayed three nights and visited the orchard they had kept and saw the foundations of the buildings that had housed them. I did about six months of research towards a historical fiction novel and then one night, Abby Furlowe started talking to me, and it turned into something completely different than I had planned. But instead of fighting it and trying to force myself back to the D’Arcy Island piece, I listened to Abby and went along with her on her journey, and I’m glad I did.

Why did you choose Hansen’s disease?
I think the disease provides a great metaphor for feeling like a freak, an outcast; a feeling a lot of young people struggle with in their teenage years.

Were you ever a cheerleader?
No. All the cheer details were from research. But I do have a great respect for cheerleaders now after finding out how athletic and demanding a sport cheer is.

Describe your book in six words.
Mean Girls meets The Elephant Man.

Putting the YA in FRIYAY: Kens

Kens_YA
Raziel Reid’s first novel When Everything Feels Like the Movies was a national sensation, selected as the first YA novel for CBC’s Canada Reads and winning the prestigious Governor General’s Literary Award for Young People’s Literature in 2014. But some critics took issue with the book’s language and representation of sexuality, National Post columnist Barbara Kay going so far as to describe it as a “values-void novel.” Now Raziel Reid is back with another savvy and at times shocking book. Kens is a sharply-drawn satire of consumer culture and the impact of social media on the lives of teens.

KensKens
By Raziel Reid

Ken Hilton rules Willows High with his carbon-copies, Ken Roberts and Ken Carson. It can be hard to tell the Kens apart. There are minor differences, but all Kens are created from the same mold, straight out of Satan’s doll factory. Soul sold separately.

Tommy Rawlins can’t help but compare himself to these shimmering images of perfection. He’s desperate to fit in, but in a school where the Kens are queens who are treated like Queens, Tommy is the uncool gay kid. A once-in-a-lifetime chance at becoming a Ken changes everything for Tommy, just as his eye is caught by the tall, dark, handsome new boy, Blaine. Has Blaine arrived in time to save him from the Kens?

Raziel Reid on Satire

Reid RazielWhat does Kens mean to you?
Kens is a satire about all the things that make me sad. All the things that make me scared. All the things we try (and fail) to protect each other from. I laughed at them. And I took away their power.

There aren’t a lot of YA satires in the world. Why did you choose to use this format?
Satire in literature is a device that serves to give us an electric shock from the page so that we don’t risk becoming apathetic or complacent. In the Trump era, satire is perhaps more essential — and at risk — than ever before. In a single tweet the President of the United States can decimate a comedian’s career. The Trump administration constantly undermines the first amendment and attacks the freedom of the press, creating a rippling wave of censorship as recently seen in the firing of Pittsburgh Post-Gazette cartoonist Rob Rogers for his satirical depictions of Trump.

Satire highlights, blows up, twists, and exaggerates social and political ideas to make you heal them. To give satire a trigger warning is counter-intuitive. The whole point of satire is to trigger you. Hopefully with a bit of laughter and fun. Nothing heals faster.

What authors inspired you during the writing of Kens?
My favorite satirists are considered adult fiction writers, although I read them in my teens. Writers like Bret Easton Ellis, George Orwell, Anthony Burgess, Chuck Palahniuk, and Evelyn Waugh. Young Adult satires are rare, but Libba Bray’s Beauty Queens inspired me as I wrote Kens for its hilarious commentary on unrealistic beauty standards and consumer culture.