Finalists for the 2012 Governor General’s Literary Awards


Each year, the Governor General’s Literary Awards (the GGs) honour the best in Canadian literature. Tundra Books would like to showcase our two finalists!

For Children’s Text, congratulations to Susin Nielsen!

The Reluctant Journal of Henry K. Larsen
Written by Susin Nielsen
Format: Hardcover
Ages 11-14
256 pages
ISBN: 978-1-77049-372-8
eBook: 978-1-77049-373-5
Thirteen-year-old Henry’s life changes forever when his older brother leaves one morning with their father’s hunting rifle. At his therapist’s suggestion, Henry confides in a journal all his thoughts and his love of the wrestling show Saturday Night Smash-Up.

For Children’s Illustration, congratulations to David Parkins!

In the Bag!
Margaret Knight Wraps It Up

Written by Monica Kulling
Illustrated by David Parkins
Format: Hardcover
Ages 5-8
32 pages
ISBN: 978-1-77049-239-4
Margaret (Mattie) is different from most American girls living in 1850. She loves to build and invent! Best known for inventing the paper bag, Mattie would go on to have 90 inventions to her name and over 20 patents. From Tundra’s Great Idea Series of inventor biographies.

The winners will be announced on Tuesday, November 13, 2012. Fingers crossed!

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2011 Finalists for the Book of the Year Award

ForeWord ReviewsBook of the Year Awards were established to bring increased attention to librarians and booksellers of the literary and graphic achievements of independent publishers and their authors.

Here is a list of the 2011 Tundra Finalists in their respective categories:

Young Adult Nonfiction Category:
“Scribbling Women” True Tales from Astonishing Lives
by Marthe Jocelyn
Hardcover | 208 pages
ISBN: 978-0-88776-952-8
eBook: 978-1-77049-230-1
“…a wonderful example of a book that will break down any negative stereotypes about biographies. [Jocelyn]… creates lively, sometimes humorous pieces that blend straight biographic detail and anecdotal accounts about some lesser known women writers in history…. Not only does Jocelyn share extraordinary stories about these women, but her piece also celebrates writers of all kinds, inspiring young adults, particularly girls, to value their own voices and experiences by writing through whatever means they choose….” – ForeWord Reviews

Young Adult Fiction Category:
First Descent
by Pam Withers
Hardcover | 272 pages
ISBN: 978-1-77049-257-8
eBook: 978-1-77049-274-5
“…From the first page, when Rex hears a crack of river ice, sees an eight-year-old in peril, and enacts a dramatic rescue in which he must out-paddle an advancing mountain of ice, Withers flings the reader from one perilous adventure to another….” – Booklist

Young Adult Nonfiction Category:
Five Thousand Years of Slavery
by Marjorie Gann and Janet Willen
Hardcover | 176 pages
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…. This groundbreaking title brings the disturbing subject into historical and contemporary focus.” – Starred Review, School Library Journal

Juvenile Nonfiction Category:
In the Bag! Margaret Knight Wraps It Up
by Monica Kulling and illustrated by David Parkins in the
Hardcover | 32 pages
ISBN: 978-1-77049-239-4
“Third in the Great Idea series, this concise introduction to trailblazing American inventor … reveals a woman committed to living life on her own terms, unafraid to fight for her successes. In clean, straightforward prose, Kulling explains how Knight’s interest in and knack for machines was present even at a young age…. Paired with Parkins’s detailed and handsome pen-and-ink illustrations, the book focuses on Knight’s invention of a paper bag–manufacturing machine and her legal fight to protect her creation after her idea was stolen.” – Publishers Weekly

Juvenile Fiction Category:
Stones for My Father
by Trilby Kent
Hardcover | 176 pages
ISBN: 978-1-77049-252-3
eBook: 978-1-77049-260-8
“This meticulously researched novel about a white Afrikaner girl caught up in the Boer War at the turn of the 19th century brings to light a hitherto overlooked aspect of South African history.” – School Library Journal

Young Adult Fiction Category:
The Dragon Turn: The Boy Sherlock Holmes, His Fifth Case
by Shane Peacock
Hardcover | 240 pages
ISBN: 978-1-77049-231-8
eBook: 978-1-77049-273-8
“…Shane Peacock has done his research well. His character makes a very believable younger version of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes. Shane has also accurately portrayed London of the 1860’s. True to the style of the original master, this novel is filled with excellent deductions by the young Holmes, numerous twists and turns and an exciting climax that kept me reading at the edge of my seat.” – Jewish Book World

Winners in each category will be announced at the American Library Association annual conference and on the award website in June of 2012.

Congratulations to our authors and illustrators!

The 2012 Willow Awards Nominations

We are very pleased to announce that two of our titles have been nominated for a 2012 Willow Award in the Shining Willow category:

Ella May and the Wishing Stone
Written by Cary Fagan
Illustrated by Geneviève Côté
Hardcover | 32 pages | Ages 4-7
ISBN: 978-1-77049-225-7
“…A great choice for children aged four and up, Ella May and the Wishing Stone is a story that invites readers to think about what it means to be a friend, how best to share treasured items and imaginative ways to solve problems.” – Storytime Standouts

In the Bag!
Margaret Knight Wraps It Up
Written by Monica Kulling
Illustrated by David Parkins
Hardcover | 32 pages | Ages 5-8
ISBN: 978-1-77049-239-4
“…a delightful picture book biography of a little known inspiring woman…. I love stories about smart and determined young women and Kulling’s lively text tells an inspiring story about this determined woman who ‘never gave up without a fight.’ David Parkins’ charming illustrations are filled with carefully drawn period details and engaging humor. Each page turn reveals at least one full-page illustration in authentic-feeling sepia tones…. Don’t miss this really excellent book that opens the door to a multitude of curricular uses.” – Bookends, a Booklist Blog

The Saskatchewan Young Readers’ Choice Award (SYRCA) has three awards – the Shining Willow Award, kindergarten to grade 3, the Diamond Willow Award, grades 4 to 6, and the Snow Willow Award, grades 7 to 9. Ten books written by Canadian authors are nominated at each level. Saskatchewan students may vote in any category in which they have read the minimum number of books required. In 2010, over 12,350 children and young adults throughout the province voted for their favourite book. Students are in the process of voting for the 2011 awards. Award winners will be announced on April 27, 2012 at our annual Gala in Moose Jaw, SK.

Kidlit Celebrates Women’s History Month


For the second year in a row, librarian/bloggers Lisa Taylor of Shelf-Employed and Margo Tanenbaum of The Fourth Musketeer are organizing Kidlit Celebrates Women’s History Month. This blog brings together children’s book authors, librarians, and book bloggers from across the “kidlitosphere” in order to highlight some of the outstanding books for young people dealing with women’s history. The site is nonprofit and contains no advertising. Each day in March features a guest post with a new essay, commentary, or review by a different author or blogger. Authors contributing this year include Monica Kulling, Donna Jo Napoli, Jeannette Winter, Marc Aronson, Andrea Pinkney, Margarita Engle, and Karen Blumenthal. Participating bloggers include Betsy Bird of Fuse #8 and Jules Danielson of Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast. Interested readers can sign up to “follow” their blog or receive it through their e-mail – don’t miss a single post during March!

Last year, Marthe Jocelyn, the author of “Scribbling Women” participated. Click here to read her post. This year, Monica Kulling will be contributing to their blog. We can’t wait to see what she wrote!

OLA Best Bets 2011

Each year the OLA Best Bets Committee selects the top 10 Canadian picture books, fiction and non fiction for children and fiction for teens. The lists were announced at OLA Superconference today. Here are the Tundra titles that made the 2011 lists:

Non Fiction:

  • In the Bag! Margaret Knight Wraps it Up by Monica Kulling, illustrated by David Parkins
  • Honourable mention goes to the Body Works series by Liza Fromer and Francine Gerstein MD, illustrated by Joe Weissmann

Young Adult:

  • Honourable mention goes to First Descent by Pam Withers
  • Honourable mention goes to “Scribbling Women” by Marthe Jocelyn is a noteworthy title (there’s isn’t a nonfiction category)

Picture Book:

  • Honourable mention goes to Noni Says No by Heather Hartt-Sussman, illustrated by Geneviève Côté

Junior Fiction:

  • Honourable mention goes to Stones for My Father by Trilby Kent

Congratulations to our authors and illustrators!

Tuesdays with Tundra 14

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

The Dragon Turn: The Boy Sherlock Holmes, His Fifth Case
By Shane Peacock
Hardcover | Ages 10-14
ISBN 978-1-77049-231-8
eBook 978-1-77049-273-8
Summer 1869, and Sherlock Holmes and his friend Irene celebrate her sixteenth birthday by attending the theater to watch a celebrated magician make a real dragon appear on stage. It is the London sensation. Sherlock and Irene meet the magician, Alistair Hemsworth – just as he is arrested for the murder of his rival, The Wizard of Nottingham.

It seems that traces of the missing Wizard’s blood and his spectacles were found in Hemsworth’s secret studio. Hemsworth has a motive: not only is the Wizard his rival, but he also caused a scandal when he lured Hemsworth’s wife away. But is Hemsworth guilty? Sherlock has his doubts, and soon, so does the reader.

With humor and plot turns as dizzying as a narrow London lane, Shane Peacock invites his readers into a fascinating world, and a fresh adventure with one of literature’s favorite characters. The Boy Sherlock Holmes series is an international success with readers and reviewers alike.

Harness Horses, Bucking Broncos & Pit Ponies: A History of Horse Breeds
Written and Illustrated by Jeff Crosby and Shelley Ann Jackson
Hardcover | All Ages
ISBN 978-0-88776-986-3
Thousands of years ago people living on the steppes of central Asia realized that horses could transport them long distances, help them fight their wars, pull their plows, and provide them with sport and companionship. Ever since, horses and human history have been intertwined.

The author-illustrator team of Jeff Crosby and Shelley Ann Jackson celebrates all kinds of horses in this beautifully illustrated, fact-filled book. From fast horses like the Barb, which traveled to Spain from Africa in the early eighth century to become a foundation for many Spanish and European breeds, to war horses like the Mongolian that gave their owners military advantage (today there are more horses in Mongolia than there are people), to the hard-working horses ranging from the tiny American Miniature to the giant Clydesdale, Harness Horses, Bucking Broncos & Pit Ponies is a treasure-trove of information. Today there are fifty-eight million horses in the world.

This is the perfect book for those who own (or dream of owning) a horse, who ride, or who simply like to read about these magnificent animals and the special relationship they share with humans.

In the Bag! Margaret Knight Wraps It Up
By Monica Kulling
Illustrated by David Parkins
Hardcover | Ages 5-8
ISBN 978-1-77049-239-4
Tundra’s Great Idea Series is comprised of biographies of inventors for early readers. The third book in the series introduces the fascinating Margaret Knight. Known as Mattie, she was different from most American girls living in 1850. She loved to make things with wood and made the best kites and sleds in town. Her father died when she was only three, and by the time she was twelve, she was working at the local cotton mill alongside her two older brothers. One day, she saw a worker get injured by a shuttle that had come loose from the giant loom, and the accident inspired her to invent a stop-motion device. It was the first of her many inventions.

Margaret Knight devoted her life to inventing, and is best known for the clever, practical, paper bag. When she died in 1914, she had ninety inventions to her name and over twenty patents, astounding accomplishments for a woman of her day. Monica Kulling’s easy-to-read text, peppered with lots of dialogue, brings an amazing, inspiring woman to life.

The White Ballets
By Rajka Kupesic
Hardcover | All Ages
ISBN 978-0-88776-923-8
Possibly the best-loved of all ballets are “Giselle,” “La Bayadère,” and “Swan Lake.” Known as the White Ballets, they each tell stories of ethereal maidens costumed in floating white, who seem to be lovely creatures suspended somewhere between heaven and earth.

Rajka Kupesic, herself a dancer, has retold the stories and set them against her breathtaking art to create a book to cherish. Notes about the ballets are included.

Winterberries and Apple Blossoms: Reflections and Flavors of a Mennonite Year
By Nan Forler
Illustrated by Peter Etril Snyder
Hardcover | All Ages
ISBN 978-1-77049-254-7
With an evocative poem for every month of the year, young Naomi introduces us to her family and hosts a journey through the seasonal rhythms of her rural Mennonite community. And all year long there are delicious, child-friendly recipes to make and sample.

The poems and recipes are perfectly complemented by Peter Etril Snyder’s lovely paintings. Winterberries and Apple Blossoms is a beautifully produced book, perfect for gift-giving, or sharing with anyone who appreciates simple, enduring values.

Pub Date Giveaway: Tell us which new release you would love to read in the comments below and one lucky reader will receive a copy of their requested book! One request per person and please review our rules. This giveaway ends at midnight on Thursday, October 13, 2011!

UPDATE: A winner has been chosen! Congratulations to Laurie!

The 100th International Women’s Day

March 8, 2011 is the 100th anniversary of International Women’s Day! Let’s celebrate by learning more about these amazing women:

“Scribbling Women”
True Tales from Astonishing Lives

Written by Marthe Jocelyn
Hardcover | 208 pages
Ages 14+
ISBN 978-0-88776-952-8
eBook 978-1-77049-230-1
In 1855, Nathaniel Hawthorne wrote to his publisher, complaining about the irritating fad of “scribbling women.” Whether they were written by professionals, by women who simply wanted to connect with others, or by those who wanted to leave a record of their lives, those “scribbles” are fascinating, informative, and instructive.

The Matchless Six
The Story of Canada’s First Women’s Olympic Team
Written by Ron Hotchkiss
Paperback | 200 Pages
Ages 11+
ISBN 978-0-88776-738-8
“…the book provides a fresh slant on the history of the Olympics and on women’s athletics in the early twentieth century.” – Booklist

Silent in an Evil Time
The Brave War of Edith Cavell
Written by Jack Batten
Paperback | 144 Pages
Ages 10+
ISBN 978-0-88776-737-1
eBook 978-1-77049-005-5
“This exceptional biography reads like an adventure novel…. The woman’s life is laid out logically and succinctly in this revealing work. The author does not glorify her; he shows her as a real person and not just as a mythologized heroine. The historical facts are well explained and Cavell is placed clearly in context. Her legacy is portrayed objectively and her impact is well documented.” – School Library Journal

Laura Secord
A story of Courage
Written by Janet Lunn
Illustrated by Maxwell Newhouse
Hardcover | 32 Pages
Ages 8+
ISBN 978-0-88776-538-4
“A round of applause for the latest Laura … which gives readers an excellent story and the broadest appreciation for the time period…. A fitting tribute to a determined woman, this book inspires readers to hope that each of us, if called upon, could be so noble.” – Quill & Quire

Heart and Soul
The Story of Florence Nightingale

Written by Gena K. Gorrell
Paperback | 152 Pages
Ages 10+
ISBN 978-0-88776-703-6
“This fascinating book is filled with little-known facts, photographs and drawings of Nightingale’s personal life, and descriptions of her era’s social mores and medical profession, all of which make her achievements more astounding.” – VOYA

Emily Carr
At the Edge of the World

Written by Jo Ellen Bogart
Illustrated by Maxwell Newhouse
Hardcover | 40 Pages
Ages 10+
ISBN 978-0-88776-640-4
“This beautiful biography … will interest a wide variety of readers … high quality full colour reproductions of the artist’s paintings appear on the right hand page, and the text and black and white illustrations detailing the artist’s life are on the verso…. The finely detailed line drawings … by folk artist Maxwell Newhouse capture the very essence of Emily’s appearance, her charming pets and her vigorous creativity. The text is thoughtful, sensitive and respectful…. Jo Ellen Bogart is able to give the reader a glimpse into the creative heart of an artist and let readers know about the person in a very accessible and readable book….” – Highly Recommended, CM Magazine

Capturing Joy
The Story of Maud Lewis

Written by Jo Ellen Bogart
Illustrated by Mark Lang
Trade Paperback | 32 Pages
Ages 8-12
ISBN 978-0-88776-568-1
“Bogart handles the story of Lewis’s difficult and impoverished life with great tact. Her declarative style says more than the mere words ever could … a lovely picture book… [that] will inspire curiosity about and admiration for this remarkable woman.” – The Telegram

She Dared
True Stories of Heroines, Scoundrels, and Renegades

Written by Ed Butts
Illustrated by Heather Collins
Trade Paperback | 128 pages
Ages 11-14
ISBN 978-0-88776-718-0
eBook 978-1-77049-008-6
She Dared introduces young readers aged 10 to 14 to these famous – and infamous – women and to what women with will and wherewithal can accomplish.” – Today’s Parent

Tell No One Who You Are
The Hidden Childhood of Regine Miller

Written by Walter Buchignani
Trade Paperback | 192 pages
Ages 9+
ISBN 978-0-88776-817-0
Tell No One Who You Are is an extraordinary and moving book…. This is a story that will make readers want to know more, and the afterword, appendices and bibliography do an admirable job of providing a context for Régine’s story. Highly Recommended” – CM Archive

In the Bag!
Margaret Knight Wraps It Up

Written by Monica Kulling
Illustrated by David Parkins
Hardcover | 32 pages
Ages 5-8
ISBN 978-1-77049-239-4
Margaret Knight devoted her life to inventing, and is best known for the clever, practical, paper bag. When she died in 1914, she had ninety inventions to her name and over twenty patents, astounding accomplishments for a woman of her day.