Lawrence of Arabia

On this day in 1888, Lieutenant Colonel Thomas Edward Lawrence, also known as Lawrence of Arabia, was born.

Medina Hill
By Trilby Kent
Hardcover | 176 Pages | Ages 10-14
ISBN: 978-0-88776-888-0
In the grimy London of 1935, eleven-year-old Dominic Walker has lost his voice. His mother is sick and his father’s unemployed. Rescue comes in the form of his Uncle Roo, who arrives to take him and his young sister, Marlo, to Cornwall. There, in a boarding house populated by eccentric residents, Marlo, who keeps a death grip on her copy of The New Art of Cooking, and Dominic, armed with Incredible Adventures for Boys: Colonel Lawrence and the Revolt in the Desert, find a way of life unlike any they have known. Dominic’s passion for Lawrence of Arabia is tested when he finds himself embroiled in a village uprising against a band of travelers who face expulsion. In defending the vulnerable, Dominic learns what it truly means to have a voice.

PRAISE FOR Medina Hill:

“… Kent’s highly original debut.” – Starred Review, Booklist

“…[Medina Hill] offers vivid descriptions of the setting, lively characters, and a satisfying ending.” – School Library Journal

“…the voice of the narrator and the motley cast of characters are brilliantly realized. Kent’s language is both poetic and insightful…. Definitely a writer to watch.” – Quill & Quire

If you haven’t already, take a look at what readers were saying during the Medina Hill blog tour.

Advertisements

Guest Post: Bullying Awareness Week

Please welcome today’s guest blogger, Bird Child author, Nan Forler! As a mother and teacher, she encourages her students and her own children to speak out against injustice, both in the schoolyard and in the global community.

Nan Forler: November 15th – 19th has been designated as Bullying Awareness Week, in Canada and other countries around the world.  In the next week, I will visit many schools to spread the message of Bird Child, the message of standing up for a friend in the schoolyard, of speaking out against injustice.

Since the release of Bird Child, I have become aware of more and more issues related to bullying.  Parents and children tell me their stories; friends send me links; school boards plan huge initiatives to combat bullying.

Bullying has always been with us.  We used to think it was a rite of passage – just a part of growing up.  As our society evolves, we are seeing bullying for what it is: socially deviant behaviour that can have devastating effects on the well-being of our children.

So often, we focus on the bully and the victim, or target, in a bullying situation, but we forget the other essential character in the scene: the bystander.  As a teacher, I know the power of the bystander on the playground.  As most bullying happens in a manner that is hidden from adults, we need to equip our children in how to be effective bystanders, in order to reduce the impact of bullying incidents.

In my school presentations, I talk about the two choices a bystander can make: do nothing or act.  I emphasize the point that doing nothing actually gives the bully more power.  Every time we stand and watch and do nothing, the bully becomes bigger and more powerful.

So what can we guide our kids to do?  Standing up to a bully takes a great deal of courage.  Ask your child about the kids who are left out at school, the kids who are alone during recess, who are treated unkindly.  Ask about their own feelings when witnessing bullying.  Being a bystander can bring on anxiety and fear as well as lowering self-esteem.  Your child may feel guilty or ashamed for doing nothing and worried about being the next victim.  Open up the discussion and gently guide your child in coming up with a solution.  You can even role-play, or give your child a rehearsed response to say to a classmate or friend who bullies, such as ”That’s not fair,” or “How would you feel if that was you?”  Encourage your child to discuss the situation with the teacher.  Help your child generate ways to make the classmate feel included.

Kids who learn to stand up against injustice in the schoolyard are more likely to speak out against injustice in the future, whether it be in the workplace, the community, or the global society.   Sometimes it just takes one voice, the voice of a child, to bring hope to many.

Finalists for the 2010 Canadian Children’s Book Centre Awards

The Canadian Children’s Book Centre (CCBC) and TD Bank Financial Group announced the 2010 finalists for the Canadian Children’s Book Awards today. We would like to congratulate our authors and illustrators!

TD Canadian Children’s Literature Award Finalists:

A Thousand Years of Pirates
Written and illustrated by William Gilkerson
Hardcover | 96 Pages
ISBN 978-0-88776-924-5
For ages 10 – 14
“A beautifully illustrated treasure trove of information… Chronicles the history of piracy from the time of the Vikings to the present day… This clear and compelling cross-over (history) for all ages includes not only biographical and dramatic narratives, but also the rarely-told sordid and sad details of piracy.” – Jury Comments

Watching Jimmy
Written by Nancy Hartry
Hardcover | 160 Pages
ISBN 978-0-88776-871-2
For ages 12 and up
Watching Jimmy is a masterful exploration of the impact a young girl’s voice can have when she is supported by adult allies… A suspenseful novel of loyalty, determination and compassion… Hartry creates a memorable portrayal of the secret subculture of childhood… A profound and powerful story.” – Jury Comments

Congratulations to the other finalists: Janet McNaughton (Dragon Seer), Sharon Jennings (Home Free), and Arthur Slade (The Hunchback Assignments)! All great books!

Marilyn Baillie Picture Book Award Finalists:

Our Corner Grocery Store
Written by Joanne Schwartz, illustrated by Laura Beingessner
Hardcover | 32 Pages
ISBN 978-0-88776-868-2
For ages 4 – 8
“In this endearing book, the grocery store is the cornerstone of the neighbourhood, a place where people come together in the daily act of living… A vivid slice of life packed with sensory delights, neighbourly warmth, and children’s pleasures… Beingessner’s detailed illustrations overflow with charm, brilliantly capturing the sights, sounds and gentle emotions of this busy and completely satisfying day.” – Jury Comments

Timmerman Was Here
Written by Colleen Sydor, illustrated by Nicolas Debon
Hardcover | 32 Pages
ISBN 978-0-88776-890-3
For ages 4 – 8
Timmerman Was Here tells a suspenseful story using a compelling narrative voice… The heroine’s simple, eloquent first-person narrative grabs the reader from the opening lines, while the artist’s exquisite, softly lit images flow effortlessly across the pages with affecting beauty… A truly memorable book.” – Jury Comments

Congratulations also go out to Janet Perlman (The Delicious Bug), Geneviève Côté (Me and You), and Frieda Wishinsky and Kady MacDonald Denton (You’re Mean, Lily Jean)!

Norma Fleck Award for Canadian Children’s Non-Fiction Finalists:

A Thousand Years of Pirates
Written and illustrated by William Gilkerson
Hardcover | 96 Pages
ISBN 978-0-88776-924-5
For ages 10 – 14
“The combination of strong storytelling and beautiful artwork and design make this an appealing book for children of all ages… Unparalleled in the presentation of pirate history… Gilkerson successfully weaves together fascinating tales to bring life and context to these adventurers of the high seas.” – Jury Comments

Congratulations to the other finalists: Priscilla Galloway and Dawn Hunter (Adventures on the Ancient Silk Road), Charis Cotter (Born to Write: The Remarkable Lives of Six Famous Authors), Scot Ritchie (Follow That Map! A First Book of Mapping Skills), and Kathy Kacer and Sharon E. McKay (Whispers from the Ghettos).

Geoffrey Bilson for Historical Fiction for Young People Finalists:

Vanishing Girl: The Boy Sherlock Holmes, His 3rd Case
Written by Shane Peacock
Hardcover | 320 Pages
ISBN 978-0-88776-852-1
For ages 9 and up
“The sinister side of Victorian London comes to life on the pages of Vanishing Girl… Both its aristocratic society and dark underbelly are perfectly described… Beautifully written and fast-paced… Peacock delves into the young mind of one of the best-known characters in literature… The story is well-plotted, with plenty of action, adventure and plot twists.” – Jury Comments

Watching Jimmy
Written by Nancy Hartry
Hardcover | 160 Pages
ISBN 978-0-88776-871-2
For ages 12 and up
“A short, but powerful coming-of-age novel… Hartry has created memorable characters, carefully weaving family relationships tinged by fear and guilt… This is a moving – and fast-moving – story, alive with the fears and uncertainties of life in Canada soon after the Second World War… A thoughtful read.” – Jury Comments

Congratulations to the other finalists: Laura Best (Bitter, Sweet), John Wilson (Crusade), and Barbara Haworth-Attard (Haunted).

The winning books will be announced on November 9, 2010 at the TD Canadian Children’s Literature Awards gala event. We are looking forward to it!

George Eastman’s Great Idea

On this day in 1854, George Eastman was born! Introduce a little one to George Eastman’s great idea!

It’s a Snap!
George Eastman’s First Photograph

Written by Monica Kulling
Illustrated by Bill Slavin
Hardcover | 32 pages
Ages 5-8
ISBN 978-0-88776-881-1
In 1877 in Rochester, New York, George Eastman couldn’t understand why picture-taking was so difficult. Having left school at fourteen to support his mother and two sisters, George decided to find out by making photography his hobby. He packed up glass plates, a plate holder, a tent, a heavy tripod, a thick piece of black cloth, a water jug, and chemicals and set off to take his first photograph.

Praise for It’s a Snap! George Eastman’s First Photograph:

“Monica Kulling’s charming It’s a Snap! … tells Eastman’s story with panache and Bill Slavin’s entertaining pen-and-ink and watercolor illustrations push the humor up a notch. This is terrific storytelling that will work as a read aloud in any class.” – Curriculum Connections, School Library Journal

“Cameras were once huge and bulky. Then along came George Eastman, who put photography within reach of us all. Based on a true (and fascinating) story.” – Scholastic Parent & Child

“Monica Kulling and Bill Slavin offer a unique look at the interesting life and many accomplishments of George Eastman.… This book is a great way to introduce your children to the wonders of photography.” – Shutterbug Magazine

“…accessible picture book biography… The strong narrative is peppered with snappy dialogue. Bill Slavin’s pen, ink and watercolour illustrations are equally engaging. …This first book in the Great Idea Series is a picture-perfect introduction to biographies for beginning readers.” – Excellent, Resource Links

The American Library Association 2010 Annual Conference in Washington D.C.

Will you be attending the 2010 Annual Conference? The conference will be taking place on June 24-29, 2010 in the Washington Convention Center.

Tundra will be at booth #2916. Stop by to say “hello” to Alison and Pamela or ask them about our books. We will be handing out Fall 2010 catalogues, BLADs, Samplers, F&Gs, posters, postcards, and bookmarks! In addition, how about some author signings?

Marthe Jocelyn @ 10:30am on Saturday, June 26th
Which Way?
Written by Marthe Jocelyn
Illustrated by Tom Slaughter
Hardcover | 24 Pages
Ages 2-5
ISBN 978-0-88776-970-2
“Simple directional text is complemented by bold illustrations in bright colours. Some pages ask questions: ‘How do we know which way to go?’ My four-year-old loved declaring answers and making choices.” – ParentDish

Michael Mazo @ 3:00 pm on Saturday, June 26th
Brothers
Written by Michael Mazo
Illustrated by Michael Soloviov
Hardcover | 32 Pages
All Ages
ISBN 978-0-88776-922-1
“…Soloviov’s cartoon art, stylishly placed… grown-ups are bound to chuckle: Rarely has tongue been more firmly ensconced in cheek.” – Kirkus Reviews

Theo Caldwell @ 11:00 am on Sunday, June 27th
Finn the half-Great
Written by Theo Caldwell
Hardcover | 392 Pages
Ages 11+
ISBN 978-0-88776-931-3
“The humour and trickery of Caldwell’s sources shines through, lifting it out of the humdrum war stuff of conventional fantasy…” – The Toronto Star

The 2010 Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz Children’s Book Award

The winners of the 2010 Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz Children’s Book Award were announced today. As usual, we were all invited to attend the ceremony at the school. The winners were selected by two juries: students in grades 3 and 4 chose the children’s picture book winner and students in grades 7 and 8 picked the young adult/middle reader award winner.

Congratulations to our authors and illustrator!

Winner of the Children’s Picture Book Award Category
Proud as a Peacock, Brave as a Lion
Written by Jane Barclay
Illustrated by Renné Benoit

Winner of the Young Adult/Middle Reader Book Award Category
Vanishing Girl: The Boy Sherlock Holmes, His 3rd Case
Written by Shane Peacock

Renné Benoit and Jane Barclay get their pictures taken with the grade 3 and 4 students and the awards committee:

Shane Peacock with the grade 7 and 8 student jurors:

Renné, Jane, and Shane stayed to sign books for the students:

Not to break tradition, there were cupcake treats at the end of the Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz Children’s Book Award!

Thank you to the Ontario Arts Foundation, the Ontario Arts Council, the Awards Committee, the Canadian Booksellers Association, the students, librarians, teachers, and school principal!

Turning Pages 2010

We are happy to hear that there is a new literary festival for children in Kitchener-Waterloo!

Here are the scheduled times for our authors and illustrators:

11:30 am – Laura Beingessner
Illustrator of Our Corner Grocery Store and Sail Away With Me.

3:00 pm – Heather Hart-Sussman
Heather Hart-Sussman wants to tell you about Nana’s wedding. Life with Nana is perfect, that is until she meets Bob!

3:30 pm – Nan Forler
Local teacher, Nan Forler, brings the story of Bird Child alive. Bullying and the ability to rise above it are at the heart of this strikingly beautiful picture book.

Turning Pages – A Literary Festival
Date: Saturday, May 15th, 2010
When: 10:00am-9:00pm
Where: The Children’s Museum
Address: 10 King Street West, Kitchener, ON N2G 1A3
Admission: $10 each or buy any kids or teen book from Words Worth Books and receive 25% off a single admission!