The 2016 OLA Forest of Reading® Nominees


Today, the Ontario Library Association revealed the nominated titles for the 2016 Forest of Reading® program. Tundra would like to congratulate our nominated authors and illustrators!

SILVER BIRCH® EXPRESS:

Hope SpringsHope Springs
Written by Eric Walters
Illustrated by Eugenie Fernandes
Hardcover | 32 Pages
ISBN: 978-1-77049-530-2
A drought has settled in the area around the orphanage where Boniface lives. There are long line-ups at the tiny spring where all the local people get their water, and suddenly the orphans are pushed to the back of the line, unwelcome. Boniface’s houseparent, Henry, tells him that the people were mean out of fear–they feared there would not be enough water for their families. When the building of the orphanage’s well is completed, Boniface has an idea to help the villagers. A lovely story of kindness and heart, this story shows that, through compassion and understanding, true generosity can spring from unexpected places.

SILVER BIRCH® FICTION:

The SwallowThe Swallow: A Ghost Story
Written by Charis Cotter
Hardcover | 320 Pages
ISBN: 978-1-77049-591-3
eBook: 978-1-77049-593-7
In 1960s Toronto, two girls retreat to their attics to escape the loneliness and isolation of their lives. Polly lives in a house bursting at the seams with people, while Rose is often left alone by her busy parents. Polly is a down-to-earth dreamer with a wild imagination and an obsession with ghosts; Rose is a quiet, ethereal waif with a sharp tongue. Despite their differences, both girls spend their days feeling invisible and seek solace in books and the cozy confines of their respective attics. But soon they discover they aren’t alone–they’re actually neighbors, sharing a wall. They develop an unlikely friendship, and Polly is ecstatic to learn that Rose can actually see and talk to ghosts. Maybe she will finally see one too! But is there more to Rose than it seems? Why does no one ever talk to her? And why does she look so… ghostly? When the girls find a tombstone with Rose’s name on it in the cemetery and encounter an angry spirit in her house who seems intent on hurting Polly, they have to unravel the mystery of Rose and her strange family… before it’s too late.

RED MAPLE™:

We Are All Made of MoleculesWe Are All Made of Molecules
Written by Susin Nielsen
Hardcover | 256 Pages
ISBN: 978-1-77049-779-5
eBook: 978-1-77049-781-8
Thirteen-year-old Stewart Inkster is academically brilliant but “ungifted” socially. Fourteen-year-old Ashley Anderson is the undisputed “It” girl of grade nine, but her marks stink. Their worlds are about to collide when Stewart and his dad move in with Ashley and her mom. “The Brady Bunch” it isn’t. Stewart is trying to be 89.9% happy about it, but Ashley is 110% horrified. She already has to hide the truth behind her parents’ divorce; “Spewart” could further threaten her position at the top of the social ladder. They are complete opposites. And yet, no matter their differences, they share one thing in common: they–like the rest of us–are all made of molecules.

The Festival of Trees™ in Toronto will be taking place on May 17-19, 2016 at the Harbourfront Centre. We will be there to cheer on our authors and illustrators!

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Finalists for the 2015 Canadian Children’s Book Centre Awards

The Canadian Children’s Book Centre (CCBC) has announced the finalists for its major children’s book awards – the TD Canadian Children’s Literature Award, Prix TD de littérature canadienne pour l’enfance et la jeunesse, Marilyn Baillie Picture Book Award, Norma Fleck Award for Canadian Children’s Non-Fiction, Geoffrey Bilson Award for Historical Fiction for Young People, John Spray Mystery Award, the Monica Hughes Award for Science Fiction and Fantasy, and the Amy Mathers Teen Book Award.

The nominated books exemplify some of the best work by Canadian authors and illustrators. The following Tundra titles have been chosen:

MARILYN BAILLIE PICTURE BOOK AWARD

Hope SpringsHope Springs
Written by Eric Walters
Illustrated by Eugenie Fernandes
Hardcover | 32 Pages | Ages 6-9
ISBN: 978-1-77049-530-2
Hope Springs is based on the real life struggles of a young boy living in drought-stricken rural Kenya… Walters deftly engages readers from the first line of the first page and Fernandes’s vibrant illustrations happily carry us along as the story unfolds. The result is a multi-layered tale that not only enlightens readers about the need for access to fresh water, but also conveys a meaningful message about compassion, kindness and sharing… Perhaps most importantly, the book offers inspiration to young readers about the power of one person, even a young child, to make a difference.”

Nancy KnowsNancy Knows
Written by Cybèle Young
Hardcover | 40 Pages | Ages 3-7
ISBN: 978-1-77049-482-4
“A simple storyline, sparse text and ingenious illustrations come together beautifully in this delightful picture book… Readers follow Nancy, a charming little elephant, as she struggles to remember something very important. As readers ponder what that might be, they encounter on each page a new assortment of tiny treasures to explore, cleverly constructed paper sculptures that bring Nancy’s thoughts to life… This is a book to be read and enjoyed over and over again.”

JOHN SPRAY MYSTERY AWARD

The Voice Inside My HeadThe Voice inside My Head
Written by S.J. Laidlaw
Hardcover | 256 Pages | Ages 14+
ISBN: 978-1-77049-565-4
eBook: 978-1-77049-566-1
“A gripping portrayal of jealousy, mystery and the strength of family bonds… Losing a sibling is horrible. Not knowing how she died, or why, makes it even worse. Luke hears his sister Pat’s voice, urging him to catch her killer. Along the way, Luke finds out his sister was a bit of a mystery herself… The exotic setting of Utila, a small island off the coast of Honduras, drives this excellent, well-paced story… A gripping adventure story and a sensitive exploration of the power of family ties – The Voice inside My Head will satisfy readers who seek both thrills and insights.”

AMY MATHERS TEEN BOOK AWARD

What We HideWhat We Hide
Written by Marthe Jocelyn
Hardcover | 288 Pages | Ages 14+
ISBN: 978-1-77049-642-2
eBook: 978-1-77049-644-6
“Using a variety of narrative styles, Jocelyn gives us the opportunity to think deeply about the profound role of secrets in our lives – who has them, who keeps them, who does not, and why… Set in the 1970s and told from eight points of view, teenage boarding students’ secrets are revealed to create a layered and nuanced tale of prejudice, assumptions and lies… Letters, scripts and straight narration keep the pace of this character-driven novel moving forward in this thought-provoking meditation on the nature of truth and perspective.”

Thank you to the judges for their considerations and again, congratulations to our authors, illustrators, and our hardworking publishing team! The winners will be announced at the TD Canadian Children’s Literature Awards Gala in Toronto on November 18, 2015.

2015 Christopher Award Winner

First presented in 1949, the Christopher Awards were established by founder Father James Keller to salute media that “affirm the highest values of the human spirit.” Their goal is to encourage men, women, and children to pursue excellence in creative arenas that have the potential to influence a mass audience positively. Award winners encourage audiences to see the better side of human nature and motivate artists and the general public to use their best instincts on behalf of others.

Congratulations to Eric Walters and Eugenie Fernandes, Hope Springs has been selected as a winner of the Christopher Award in the Books for Young People Ages 8 and up at the 66th annual Christopher Awards ceremony!

Hope SpringsHope Springs
Written by Eric Walters
Illustrated by Eugenie Fernandes
Hardcover | 32 Pages | Ages 6-9
ISBN: 978-1-77049-530-2
“Based on actual events, this story is one of strength and kindness in the face of fear … the art is expressively large. A series of spreads gives readers a view of Boniface’s world, adding rich colors and patterns of folk art. With the addition of the author’s ‘Story Behind the Story,’ the facts of the origin of Hope Springs allow a retelling of the story through a personal narrative with the aid of photography, a map, and additional explanation.” – School Library Journal

2015 Storytelling World Resource Awards

The 2015 Storytelling World Resource Awards have been released and below are Tundra’s honor books, selected from several hundred nominated stories, books, and recordings. These awards are also featured in the 2015 April/May issue of Storytelling Magazine/Storytelling World. Congratulations to our talented authors and illustrators!

Stories for Pre-Adolescent Listeners – Honor:

Going Up - Elisha Otis Trip to the TopGoing Up!
Elisha Otis’s Trip to the Top

Written by Monica Kulling
Illustrated by David Parkins
32 Pages | Ages 5-8 years
HC ISBN: 978-1-77049-240-0
TR ISBN: 978-1-77049-516-6
“Kulling gives lesser-known inventor Elisha Otis a lift in this latest entry into the Great Idea series…. [T]his picture-book biography gives a lively account of Otis’ world-changing invention. Caricatured expressions set against detailed backdrops add playfulness to the informative text.” — Booklist

Stories for Adolescent Listeners – Honor:

Hope SpringsHope Springs
Written by Eric Walters
Illustrated by Eugenie Fernandes
Hardcover | 32 Pages | Ages 6-9
ISBN: 978-1-77049-530-2
“Based on actual events, this story is one of strength and kindness in the face of fear … the art is expressively large. A series of spreads gives readers a view of Boniface’s world, adding rich colors and patterns of folk art. With the addition of the author’s ‘Story Behind the Story,’ the facts of the origin of Hope Springs allow a retelling of the story through a personal narrative with the aid of photography, a map, and additional explanation.” – School Library Journal

Black History Month

February is Black History Month, and we encourage you to visit your local bookstore or library to learn more. In the meantime, we’ve compiled our reading recommendations for you (click on the covers for more information). You can also check out our previous list too!

9781770493018-450My Name Is Blessing
Written by Eric Walters
Illustrated by Eugenie Fernandes
Hardcover | 32 Pages |Ages 6-9
ISBN: 978-1-77049-301-8
“This expressive picture book, based on a real family, lovingly tells a hard story with a twist. It’s difficult to broach poverty, disability and custody issues in so few pages without sounding maudlin, but Walters manages by speaking simply…. With dignity and quiet acceptance, this story illustrates that blessings, like family, can take unexpected forms.” – Starred Review, Kirkus Reviews

9781770495302-450Hope Springs
Written by Eric Walters
Illustrated by Eugenie Fernandes
Hardcover | 32 Pages | Ages 6-9
ISBN: 978-1-77049-530-2
“Based on actual events, this story is one of strength and kindness in the face of fear. …the art is expressively large. A series of spreads gives readers a view of Boniface’s world, adding rich colors and patterns of folk art. With the addition of the author’s ‘Story Behind the Story,’ the facts of the origin of Hope Springs allow a retelling of the story through a personal narrative with the aid of photography, a map, and additional explanation.” – School Library Journal

today is the dayToday Is the Day
Written by Eric Walters
Illustrated by Eugenie Fernandes
Hardcover | 32 Pages | Ages 6-9
Available for Pre-order: October 2015
ISBN: 978-1-77049-648-4
Based on real children in an orphanage in Kenya, this lovely story shows how something as simple as a birthday, something most of us take for granted, can mean so much in another part of the world.

All Aboard!All Aboard!
Elijah McCoy’s Steam Engine

Written by Monica Kulling
Illustrated by Bill Slavin
32 Pages | Ages 5-8
HC ISBN: 978-0-88776-945-0
PB ISBN: 978-1-77049-514-2
“An engaging biography of the African-American inventor…. The narrative includes fictionalized dialogue and clear explanations about how the machinery works and concludes with an inspiring message …” — School Library Journal

When I Get OlderWhen I Get Older
The Story behind “Wavin’ Flag”

Written by K’naan and Sol Guy
Illustrated by Rudy Gutierrez
Hardcover | 32 Pages | Ages 6-9
ISBN: 978-1-77049-302-5
“Internationally known musician K’naan, whose song ‘Wavin’ Flag’ was the official anthem of the 2010 FIFA World Cup, recounts his struggle as a young immigrant from Somalia to fit in and how he was bullied for looking and dressing differently from his classmates.” – Publishers Weekly

Oscar PetersonOscar Peterson
The Man and His Jazz

Written by Jack Batten
Hardcover | 192 Pages | Ages 10+
ISBN: 978-1-77049-269-1
eBook: 978-1-77049-362-9
“If you are looking for a solid biography for middle schoolers of the man who was arguably the top jazz pianist for over twenty years and among the best for the rest of his life, then look no further than this book. Though it is only briefly referenced, the author met Peterson back in 1965, and his clear respect for the man, as well as Peterson’s formidable jazz skills, shows throughout this book…. Still inexorably leading you through Peterson’s life, Batten makes the reader unfamiliar with songs run to the web to listen for the first time….” – VOYA Magazine

Legends Icons and RebelsLegends, Icons & Rebels
Music That Changed the World

Written by Robbie Robertson, Jim Guerinot, Sebastian Robertson and Jared Levine
Hardcover with 2 CDs | 128 Pages | Ages 9-12
ISBN: 978-1-77049-571-5
“Wow, just wow! This book is big in every way…. The book’s art is hard to resist … it’s a treat that the words grab as much as the pictures.” — Starred Review, Booklist

9780887769146-450Five Thousand Years of Slavery
Written by Marjorie Gann and Janet Willen
Hardcover | 176 Pages | Ages 10+
ISBN: 978-0-88776-914-6
eBook: 978-1-77049-151-9
“This well-researched global survey introduces readers to slavery practices, customs, suffering, uprisings, and revolts as well as antislavery efforts from ancient Greece and Rome to today’s world…. The authors promote global awareness and issue a call to action…. Informative documentary photos and factually rich sidebars enhance the text. A timeline lists pivotal moments from the rise of Sumerian cities to the 2001 Cocoa Protocol denouncing child labor on African cocoa plantations. This groundbreaking title brings the disturbing subject into historical and contemporary focus.” – Starred Review, School Library Journal

9781770496514-450Speak a Word for Freedom
Women against Slavery
Written by Janet Willen and Marjorie Gann
Hardcover | 216 Pages | Ages 12+
Available for Pre-order: September 2015
ISBN: 978-1-77049-651-4
eBook: 978-1-77049-653-8
A fascinating non-fiction account of the lives of fourteen female abolitionists, some of whom were slaves themselves, from the early days of the antislavery movement to the present.

An Intern and a Super Conference

Hello everyone!

It’s Sam the intern and for once, I’m not trying to get you to sign up for my Reading Club (but you should probably check it out anyway!). I’m here to share my experience at the OLA Super Conference.

In my six months working in publishing, I’ve only been to one other conference; all I did was sit quietly behind a table for a few hours while people milled around, glancing at our table but rarely stopping to chat. So I didn’t know what to expect when I stepped into the Metro Toronto Convention Centre last Thursday.

It was a lot more fun than sitting behind a table, let me tell you.

IMAG1268

For one thing, there were so many people! Librarians and library assistants and library sciences students and other people who, I guess, work at libraries in some way.

Hundreds of companies were represented in the hall, and there were tons of author signings. We had five of our own authors signing over two days but, since we shared the booth with the rest of Penguin Random House, there was always a line for someone!

ola collage

We had Frank Viva (Outstanding in the Rain), Charis Cotter (The Swallow: A Ghost Story), Eric Walters (Hope Springs), Susin Nielsen (We Are All Made of Molecules), and Sylvia McNicoll (Best Friends Through Eternity).

I loved the way our booth looked, the brightly coloured picture books made it look super cheerful. And we had DWARFS and disgusting critters decorated all around.

I didn’t really get a chance to wander around the rest of the hall because I was documenting everything on our instagram, though I did pick up a poster and some cute temporary tattoos for me – ahem, I mean for my nieces.

But I got to talk to our authors, which was very exciting! Eric Walters is taller than I expected, which sounds like an odd thing to say, but he can be a little intimidating at 9 am when you haven’t had your tea yet.

I also asked Susin Nielsen to sign my copy of Word Nerd; I recently started reading her books, and I’m completely addicted to them now! If you haven’t read anything by her yet, please do yourself a favour and check her out.

IMAG1282

Word Nerd is about a Scrabble player, so Susin used the letters in my name to come up with smaller words. It was pretty impressive how fast she did it (I know it’s a short name, but still!).

Before I knew it, it was time to pack all our books away so that they could be sent to our next destination: Reading for the Love of it, which happens February 9-10. I’ll be popping in to support our authors, Eric Walters, Richard Scrimger, Margriet Ruurs, and Rina Singh and I can’t wait to find out what goes on over there!

2015 OLA Super Conference

It’s that time of year again! The OLA Super Conference takes place at the end of this week!

TundraOLASC

From Thursday to Friday, you can find us at booth #716-724, talking about our new and upcoming books. We’ll also have a few author signings over the two days! With each author signing, we’ll hand out complimentary copies of the title on a first come, first serve basis. Make sure you get there early – there will only be a limited number of signed books to give away!

Frank Viva signing on Thursday, January 29, 2015 at 2:00 p.m.

9781101917688-450Outstanding in the Rain
Written by Frank Viva
Hardcover | 32 Pages | Ages 3-7
ISBN 9781101917688
eBook 9781101917701
An outstanding story of word and picture play from an award-winning author/illustrator, that will amaze and delight kids, English language enthusiasts and anyone who appreciates great design and arty children’s books.

Charis Cotter signing on Thursday, January 29, 2015 at 4:00 p.m.

9781770495913-450The Swallow: A Ghost Story
Written by Charis Cotter
Hardcover | 320 Pages | Ages 9-12
ISBN 9781770495913
eBook 9781770495937
“Spooky tension, friendship and compassion permeate this exquisitely plotted middle-grade ghost story … readers will seesaw between chills and snorts of laughter. When Cotter delivers the final twist, it is a denouement that becomes a springboard for greater revelations that lead to even greater reader satisfaction. Middle-grade storytelling at its very best—extraordinary.” – Starred Review, Kirkus Reviews
“Cotter builds suspense without artificially withholding information from the reader. And for bibliophiles, the author’s subtle hat tips to favourite books are a joy. Like all the best ghost stories, The Swallow tells us more about the living than the dead. It is a fantastic addition to Toronto literature, with all the makings of a classic.” – Starred Review, Quill & Quire

Eric Walters signing on Friday, January 30, 2015 at 9:30 a.m.

9781770495302-450Hope Springs
Written by Eric Walters
Illustrated by Eugenie Fernandes
Hardcover | 32 Pages | Ages 6-9
ISBN 9781770495302
eBook 9781770495319
“Based on actual events, this story is one of strength and kindness in the face of fear…. With the addition of the author’s ‘Story Behind the Story,’ the facts of the origin of Hope Springs allow a retelling of the story through a personal narrative with the aid of photography, a map, and additional explanation.” – School Library Journal

Sylvia McNicoll signing on Friday, January 30, 2015 at 2:00 p.m.

9781770497108-450Best Friends through Eternity
Written by Sylvia McNicoll
Hardcover | 192 Pages | Ages 12 and up
ISBN 9781770497108
eBook 9781770497122
A fast-paced novel about a Chinese teen who “dies” in a tragic accident and is reunited with her former best friend. Will she have to stay away for the rest of her days, or is there a way back?

Follow @TundraBooks@VIVAandCO, @CharisCotter@EricRWalters and @SylviaMcNicoll on Twitter! You can also follow #OLASC15 for the latest news and updates!