Tundra Ghost Story Contest Winner

We are so happy to share the winning ghost story from our writing contest. But first, here’s what some of our judges had to say about it:

The writing was strong (descriptive and evocative), the tone was genuinely eerie, it “built” very nicely, and it had a crackerjack beginning and ending. I like that it’s the piano itself that seems to be the villain.

Dark Music was a very well-structured narrative packed a lot of chills into a concise story. I really got a sense of how alone Louise felt and the idea that the one thing that brought her comfort (the piano) was ultimately dangerous was satisfyingly creepy. Also that title was perfect!

And without further ado, here is the winning story:

Dark Music - page 1

Dark Music - page 2

Dark Music - page 3

Congratulations to Emilia! She will also receive a letter from author Linda Bailey, a copy of Mary Who Wrote Frankenstein and $50 worth of Penguin Random House Canada Young Readers books.

There were three other stories that we felt came very close — so we want to give a shout out to these aspiring writers and send them a copy of Mary Who Wrote Frankenstein by Linda Bailey, illustrated by Júlia Sardà:

  • How Do You Know My Name? by Claire, age 11
  • Ghost of Screams by Angus and Grace, both age 9
  • The Shadow by Kaitlin, age 11
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The 12 Days of Halloween

These spooky tunes are best sung out loud! Give it a try. Then visit our #12DaysOfHalloween page every day to see if it’s a trick day (no book giveaway) or treat day (book giveaway):

On the first day of Halloween my true love gave to me, a Mary Shelley biography!
Oct 20
On the second day of Halloween my true love gave to me, one silly story
Oct 21
On the third day of Halloween my true love gave to me, one family curse
Oct 22

On the fourth day of Halloween my true love gave to me, one YA horror
Oct 23

On the fifth day of Halloween my true love gave to me, one evil tree
Oct 24

On the sixth day of Halloween my true love gave to me, one spooky painting
Oct 25

On the seventh day of Halloween my true love gave to me, one historical fable
Oct 26

On the eighth day of Halloween my true love gave to me, one guide to ghost care
Oct 27

On the ninth day of Halloween my true love gave to me, Victorian monster hunters
Oct 28

On the tenth day of Halloween my true love gave to me, four demon slayers
Oct 29

On the eleventh day of Halloween my true love gave to me one magical painter
Oct 30

On the twelfth day of Halloween my true love gave to me, one epic quest
Oct 31

We hope you enjoyed singing along. Now go enter our contest on the days there are giveaways!

Tundra Ghost Story Contest for Kids

“Writers dream stories, awake and asleep.” – Linda Bailey, Mary Who Wrote Frankenstein

On a stormy night in Lake Geneva in 1816, poet Lord Byron challenged his friends to write a ghost story. One of those people was eighteen-year-old Mary Shelley, and the story she wrote was Frankenstein. To celebrate the 200th anniversary of Frankenstein and the publication of Mary Who Wrote Frankenstein, Tundra Books is holding a ghost story writing contest for kids age 8−12.

Mary Who Wrote Frankenstein 01HOW TO ENTER
Contest is open to kids age 8−12. Stories must be between 800−2,000 words in length and contain at least one ghost. They will be judged on originality and readability by an expert panel, including Mary Who Wrote Frankenstein author Linda Bailey as well as an editor and a marketing professional from Tundra Books.

PRIZE
The winning story will be posted here, on the Talking with Tundra blog on November 19th, 2018. The winner will also receive a letter from author Linda Bailey, a copy of Mary Who Wrote Frankenstein and $50 worth of Penguin Random House Canada Young Readers books.

TO ENTER AND FOR FULL DETAILS
Please visit penguinrandomhouse.ca/tundra-ghost-story-contest. Stories must be sent in by October 31st, 2018 to be considered.

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY
Enter between August 28, 2018 and October 31, 2018. Open to residents of the U.S. and Canada (excluding Quebec) who have reached the age of majority in their province or territory of residence at time of entry. Void where prohibited or restricted by law. See Official Rules at https://penguinrandomhouse.ca/tundra-ghost-story-contest for full details.Mary Who Wrote Frankenstein 02
DOWNLOADABLE RESOURCES

Please feel free to print these out and spread the world! We can’t wait to read the submissions!

Meet Our Rock Star: Petra

If you follow us on social media, you’ve probably seen our new rock star, Petra. If not, let us introduce you to her:

Petra is a little rock who believes she is a mighty mountain . . . until a dog fetches her for its owner, and she is tossed into a bird’s nest. A mountain? No, Petra is now an egg! An egg of the world in a world of possibility. Until she’s flung into a pond, and becomes an amazing island . . . and, eventually, a little girl’s pet rock. What will she be tomorrow? Who knows? But she’s a rock, and this is how she rolls!

The humorous adventures of an irresistible little rock who finds herself in constantly changing circumstances, Petra is a picture book that celebrates the power of perspective and believing in yourself.

And she is, without a doubt, the cutest pet rock you’ll ever see.

But that’s where you come in! We want to see what kind of pet rock you can create – will you make an elephant? A penguin? Or something else?

We want to see what kind of gems you come up with, so join us in decorating a rock and share a photo of your creation on Twitter and/or Instagram using the hashtags #PetraRocks #contest. We will select our favourite 10 pictures and these winners will be sent a Petra-shaped magnet. If you need inspiration, make sure to check out our Petra activity kit. Photos must be posted with the hashtags #PetraRocks and #contest between April 5-20th to be considered.

We think you’ll have some rock-solid ideas for your Petra and we can’t wait to see them.

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Enter between April 5, 2018 and April 20, 2018. Open to residents of the US and Canada (excluding Quebec) who have reached the age of majority in their province or territory of residence at time of entry. Void where prohibited or restricted by law. See Official Rules here for full details.

Petra
Written by Marianna Coppo
Hardcover | 48 Pages | Ages 3-7
ISBN: 9780735262676
eBook: 9780735262683

“[S]imple, smooth, and stylish…Change may be the only constant in Petra’s peripatetic existence, but her bubbly optimism is as solid as Gibraltar.” – Starred Review, Publishers Weekly

Guest Post: Women’s History Month

Speak a Word for FreedomJanet Willen and Marjorie Gann: March is Women’s History Month in the U.S., a time to honor women who had the courage to speak up when people in power wanted to keep them quiet. We’re celebrating by showcasing Speak a Word for Freedom: Women against Slavery, which tells the stories of fourteen of these women, abolitionists past and present.

Nineteenth-century Englishwoman Elizabeth Heyrick felt she had no choice but to omit her name from her pamphlet Immediate, not Gradual Abolition, urging a quick end to slavery. In 1824 neither men nor women wanted to hear what a woman had to say on the topic. That didn’t stop her.

When U.S. President Abraham Lincoln met Harriet Beecher Stowe in 1862, his first words were, “So you’re the little woman who wrote the book that made this great war!” The book was Uncle Tom’s Cabin. It opened people’s eyes to slavery’s horrors, turned the North against the South and paved the way for the American Civil War.

Nina Smith, one of today’s heroes, heads an organization that works to free young children enslaved in rug factories in Afghanistan, India and Nepal. Some of the kids are forced to sleep near looms and work seventeen-hour days. When Smith started her work, she thought everyone would agree that slavery was wrong, but she found resistance in surprising places.


These women’s stories and more are highlighted in Speak a Word for Freedom. The book is a critical success:

“An inspiring collection of those who have fought and continue to fight against the evil of slavery and an effectively solemn reminder that slavery remains a global plague.” Kirkus Reviews

“A powerful indictment of human rights abuses and tribute to the women who have fought them.” Starred review, Publishers Weekly

We also wrote the award-winning book Five Thousand Years of Slavery.

GIVEAWAY: Enter for your chance to win a copy of Speak a Word for Freedom by filling in the entry form below. US and Canada only, March 21-31, 2016. Winner to be announced on April 1, 2016. Giveaway is now closed! Congratulations to Sheelagh for winning a copy of the book.

Tuesdays with Tundra 53

Tuesdays with Tundra is a monthly post on our new releases. The following books are available today in stores and online!

If I Had a GryphonIf I Had a Gryphon
Written by Vikki VanSickle
Illustrated by Cale Atkinson
Hardcover | 32 Pages | Ages 3-7
ISBN: 9781770498099
“VanSickle’s rhymes are unflaggingly exuberant as the girl puts up with noisy harpies, biting chupacabras, and mischievous fairies, and Atkinson fills the pages with visual comedy. In one of the funniest scenes, a dopey-looking kraken grins innocently as its tentacles snag an ocean liner and a rather perturbed whale.” – Publishers Weekly

Noni Speaks UpNoni Speaks Up
Written Heather Hartt-Sussman
Illustrated by Geneviève Côté
Hardcover | 24 Pages | Ages 3-7
ISBN: 9781770498396
“Young readers will definitely enjoy this beautiful picture book! Noni Speaks Up would be particularly useful for parents and teachers as a read-aloud…. The story will provide the basis for lively discussion with parents, caregivers or teachers on topics such as bullying, peer pressure, friendship, responsibility and caring for others. Highly Recommended.” – CM Magazine

MoversMovers
Written by Meaghan McIsaac
Hardcover | 275 Pages | Ages 12+
ISBN: 9781770498181
“McIsaac is definitely onto something with this Terminator-like young adult series, and I hope that young readers will have access to Movers in classrooms and libraries alike. This is a strong start to what I hope will be a powerhouse trilogy.” – CM Magazine

Pub Date Giveaway: In the comments below, please tell us which new February 2016 release of Tundra’s you would love to read and one lucky reader will receive their requested book! One request per person and please review our rules. This giveaway ends at midnight on Monday, February 15, 2016!

UPDATE: Congratulations to Brenda who won a copy of If I Had a Gryphon!

Tuesdays with Tundra 52

Tuesdays with Tundra is a monthly post on our new releases. The following books are available today in stores and online!

Miss MoonMiss Moon: Wise Words from a Dog Governess
by Janet Hill
Hardcover | 48 Pages | Ages 4-8
ISBN: 9781101917930
eBook: 9781101917954
“Twenty succinct bits of advice for living are accompanied by whimsical oil paintings of an English governess and her canine charges. A wide variety of dog breeds are accurately portrayed in a post-impressionist style—except for the anthropomorphic details that cannot help but charm viewers…. And what a talent Hill has for that mea culpa doggy look! The fair, red-haired governess—impeccable in her long, white-collared dress—always appears kind, unflappable, and dignified … every picture is indeed worth a thousand words. Enchanting for dog lovers.” – Kirkus Review

Over-Scheduled AndrewOver-Scheduled Andrew
by Ashley Spires
Hardcover | 32 Pages | Ages 4-8
ISBN: 9781770494848
eBook: 9781770494855
“Spires makes it her own, bringing a playful touch to her writing and artwork. In fact, insofar as this is a message book, the real takeaway is less ‘know your limits’ than ‘nothing ventured, nothing gained.’ By book’s end, Andrew has returned to his love of acting and cleared his schedule, but he’s also become a cinephile—something he might never have discovered without a stint in French film club.” – Publishers Weekly

Heart of a ChampionHeart of a Champion
Written by Ellen Schwartz
Hardcover | 272 Pages | Ages 9-12
ISBN: 9781770498808
eBook: 9781770498822
Ten-year-old Kenny (Kenji in Japanese) worships his older brother, Mickey (Mitsuo), a baseball hero whose outstanding performance on the Asahi baseball team has given him fame and popularity. Despite Kenny’s suspected heart condition, he is determined to practice secretly with Mickey so he, too, can one day try out for the Asahi. But world events soon overtake life in this quiet community. When Japan attacks Pearl Harbor in 1941, everything for Kenny and his family spirals out of control: schools are closed, businesses are confiscated, fathers are arrested and sent to work camps in the BC interior and mothers and children are relocated to internment camps.

The Skeleton TreeThe Skeleton Tree
Written by Iain Lawrence
Hardcover | 288 Pages | Ages 8-12
ISBN: 9781101918357
eBook: 9781101918364
“Fans of Hatchet and Lord of the Flies will be drawn to this harrowing survival story from Lawrence (The Winter Pony), which offers psychological suspense and action in equal measure.” – Publishers Weekly
“The immense forest; its wolves, ravens, bears; the night’s shimmering aurora and myriad stars—all of these are majestic but not friendly. Against this vividly realized backdrop, the boys’ connection is tested. However fragile, fractious, flawed, it’s their lifeline. Unsettling and compelling, a gripping, evocative read.” – Kirkus Reviews

To the RescueTo the Rescue! Garrett Morgan Underground
Written by Monica Kulling
Illustrated by David Parkins
Hardcover | 32 Pages | Ages 5-8
ISBN: 9781770495203
eBook: 9781770495210
“This addition to the invention-focused Great Ideas series focuses on Garrett Morgan, a son of freed slaves who pursued a life beyond tilling Kentucky fields…. Parkins’s handsomely detailed illustrations offer occasional moments of subtle humor, as when Morgan tries out his hair-straightening cream on a neighbor’s pet Airedale—with success! Kulling conveys the impact of racial prejudice on Morgan while celebrating his achievements: when workers digging a tunnel under Lake Erie became trapped after an explosion, the safety hood enabled their rescue. Available simultaneously: Clean Sweep! Frank Zamboni’s Ice Machine.” – Publishers Weekly

Clean SweepClean Sweep! Frank Zamboni’s Ice Machine
Written by Monica Kulling
Illustrated by Renné Benoit
Hardcover | 32 Pages | Ages 5-8
ISBN: 9781770497955
eBook: 9781770497979
When Frank Zamboni, along with his brother and cousin, opened their own skating rink in 1940 in Paramount, California, it could take an hour and a half for a crew to resurface the ice. They had to level the surface by shaving down the pits and grooves with a tractor, remove the shavings, wash the ice and find a way to give the rink its shining finish. Skaters became exasperated with the wait, so Frank was determined to do something about it. Could he turn a ninety-minute job for five men into a ten-minute task for only one? Working in the shed behind his ice rink, Frank drew designs and built models of machines he hoped would do the job. For nine years, he worked on his invention, each model an improvement on the one before. Finally, in 1949, Frank tested the Model A, which ‘cleaned the ice in one sweep around the rink.’ The rest is history.

Pub Date Giveaway: In the comments below, please tell us which new January 2016 release of Tundra’s you would love to read and one lucky reader will receive their requested book! One request per person and please review our rules. This giveaway ends at midnight on Monday, January 18, 2016!

UPDATE: Congratulations to Rebecca who will be getting a copy of Clean Sweep!