A Mighty Girl’s 2018 Books of the Year

Strong. Fearless. Magnificent. These are the traits of our empowering and inspirational books for kids. We’d like to give a heartfelt congratulations to our authors and illustrators for their amazing work!

A Mighty Girl’s 6 – 8 (Elementary):

BloomBloom: A Story of Fashion Designer Elsa Schiaparelli
By Kyo Maclear
Illustrated by Julie Morstad
Hardcover | 40 Pages | Tundra Books
ISBN 9781101918562
Growing up in Rome, Elsa Schiaparelli knew she was “brutta” — ugly — so she searched around her for beauty, even “planting” seeds in her ears and nose so she would be vibrant and colorful like the flower market! In the 1920s and ’30s, as a single mother in Paris, she drew inspiration from her surrealist artist friends and her own vivid imagination and started creating amazing, unique designs — from a hat shaped like shoes to a dress covered in lobsters — all in bold colors, including the signature shocking pink she invented herself. With style and sophistication, this book celebrates a truly innovative designer who dared to go her own way.

Dr JoDr. Jo: How Sara Josephine Baker Saved the Lives of America’s Children
By Monica Kulling
Illustrated by Julianna Swaney
Hardcover | 32 Pages | Tundra Books
ISBN 9781101917893
After Sara Josephine Baker lost her brother and father to typhoid fever, she knew she wanted to be a doctor. But when she graduated in 1898, few people wanted to see a woman doctor, so Dr. Jo took a job in public health working in Hell’s Kitchen, one of New York’s poorest neighborhoods. She realized that, by improving the health of children, she could improve the health of a whole community. Dr. Jo assigned visiting nurses to new mothers, designed safe infant clothing, set up milk stations, and created training and licensing for midwives — and her work saved over 90,000 children. This picture book biography of a groundbreaking woman in medicine highlights how simple innovations can have an enormous impact.

Goodnight AnneGoodnight, Anne
Inspired by Anne of Green Gables
By Kallie George
Illustrated by Geneviève Godbout
Hardcover | 40 Pages | Tundra Books
ISBN 9781770499263
It’s bedtime for Anne — but she can’t sleep until she says goodnight to everything she loves. She thinks of her wonderful new family, Matthew and Marilla; of her bosom friend Diana and her encouraging teacher, Miss Stacy; and special places like the Snow Queen tree and the Lake of Shining Waters. She even spares a thought for her annoying classmate, Gilbert, and Mrs. Lynde, the nosy neighbor. This charming bedtime story is a lovely introduction to the beloved character Anne, perfect for fans both old and new.

Mary Who Wrote FrankensteinMary Who Wrote Frankenstein
By Linda Bailey
Illustrated by Júlia Sardà
Hardcover | 56 Pages | Tundra Books
ISBN 9781770495593
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.

PetraPetra
By Marianna Coppo
Hardcover | 48 Pages | Tundra Books
ISBN 9780735262676
Petra the rock is full of confidence: “Nothing can move me. Not the wind. Not time,” she declares. Except when a dog runs up to her, it becomes clear that Petra is really quite little — small enough for the dog to pick up in its mouth, and then for the dog’s owner to fling her into a bird’s nest! Petra isn’t dismayed, though — attitude is everything, and she soon finds an upside to her new situation. After all, “I’m a rock, and this is how I roll.” Kids will giggle as Petra finds herself in constantly changing surroundings (and comes up with optimistic viewpoints on all of them), but along the way they’ll learn an important message about perspective and believing in yourself.

A Mighty Girl’s 9 – 12 (Pre-Teen):

Elephant SecretElephant Secret
By Eric Walters
Hardcover | 352 Pages | Puffin Canada
ISBN 9780735262812
Sam has grown up among elephants at a North American elephant sanctuary, so she’s used to understanding how elephants think — and hearing about the sanctuary’s financial woes. Then an anonymous sponsor donates a huge amount of money, in exchange for artificially inseminating Daisy Mae, one of Sam’s favorite elephants. When Daisy Mae dies while giving birth, Sam raises her calf — and realizes that baby Woolly has actually been cloned from woolly mammoth DNA. But with the billionaire behind the project willing to do anything to protect his investment, can Sam protect both Woolly and the other elephants? Kids will be fascinated by Sam’s work with the elephants and will eagerly flip pages to find out what happens to Woolly and her other elephant friends.

SweepSweep: The Story of a Girl and Her Monster
By Jonathan Auxier
Hardcover | 368 Pages | Puffin Canada
ISBN 9780735264359
11-year-old Nan Sparrow is a ‘climbing boy,’ an orphan owned by a chimney sweep to do the dirty, dangerous work of cleaning flues in Victorian London. But, Nan isn’t a boy and she’s quite possibly the best chimney climber who ever lived, beating the odds again and again … until the day she’s trapped in a chimney fire. When she wakes up safe in an attic, she discovers that she was saved by a mysterious creature — a golem — made from ash and coal. Together, the two outcasts will need to evade Nan’s abusive boss and figure out how to create a better life in a world that’s quick to label differences as monstrous. Told by master storyteller Jonathan Auxier, this powerful and heartwarming tale explores the search for home and family, in whatever form they take.

The Strange and Deadly Portraits of Bryony GrayThe Strange and Deadly Portraits of Bryony Gray
By E. Latimer
Hardcover | 336 Pages | Tundra Books
ISBN 9781101919286
Bryony Gray’s work is deeply in demand in London’s art community … but her life is grim. Her cruel uncle keeps her locked up, painting canvas after canvas for his clients. Then her paintings start taking on a life of their own — and her customers start going missing. When Bryony starts digging into her family history, she discovers she’s accidentally unleashed a deadly family curse. If she’s going to break the curse, she’ll have to avoid angry mobs, her evil uncle, and perhaps most difficult of all: her own artwork. This middle grade novel inspired by The Picture of Dorian Gray is full of thrilling twists and terrifying turns.

A Mighty Girl’s 13+ (Teen):

Tess of the RoadTess of the Road
By Rachel Hartman
Hardcover | 544 Pages | Penguin Teen Canada
ISBN 9780385685887
Tess is the black sheep of her family, always speaking out of turn and getting into trouble. When she drunkenly punches her new brother-in-law at her twin Jeanne’s wedding, her parents decide that’s the last straw and plan to send her to a nunnery. Instead, she cuts her hair, disguises herself as a boy, and hits the road. She’s not sure where she’s going yet, just that the road will give her answers — answers about who she is, why she is the way she is, and where she belongs. This fantasy adventure set in the world of Seraphina and Shadow Scale also explores how girls are taught to blame themselves even when others are at fault — and the power of journeys to reveal truths to those who walk them.

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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.

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

NYPL’s Best Books of 2018

The New York Public Library released their 2018 Best Books for Kids list today and we’re so excited to have four titles on the list. Congratulations to our hardworking authors and illustrators!

Go Show the World: A Celebration of Indigenous Heroes
Written by Wab Kinew
Illustrated by Joe Morse
Hardcover | 40 Pages | Ages 5-9
ISBN: 9780735262928

“Lavish illustrations and uplifting verse celebrate the diversity of indigenous peoples and their contributions to North American culture.” – NYPL

Mary Who Wrote Frankenstein
Written by Linda Bailey
Illustrated by Júlia Sardà
Hardcover | 56 Pages | Ages 5-8
ISBN: 9781770495593

“Moody and gothic illustrations bring to life the birth of Mary Shelley’s masterpiece.” – NYPL

Red Sky at Night
Written and illustrated by Elly MacKay
Hardcover | 40 Pages | Ages 3-7
ISBN: 9781101917831

“The origins of traditional sayings used to forecast the weather are accompanied by dreamy paper dioramas.” – NYPL

Sweep: The Story of a Girl and Her Monster
Jonathan Auxier
Hardcover | 368 Pages | Ages 8-12
ISBN: 9780735264359

“Nan Sparrow, a chimneysweep in Victorian London, befriends a mysterious magical creature in this fairy tale of monsters and great escapes.” – NYPL

 

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!

Our 2018 Governor General’s Literary Awards Finalists

GGBOOKS
Each year, the Canada Council for the Arts honours the best books in Canadian literature with the Governor General’s Literary Awards. This year, we have two finalists in the Young People’s Literature categories, one in text and one in illustrated books. Congratulations to Wab Kinew, Joe Morse, and Jonathan Auxier!

Finalist for Young People’s Literature – Illustrated Books
Go Show the World: A Celebration of Indigenous Heroes
By Wab Kinew
Illustrated by Joe Morse
ISBN 9780735262928 | Tundra Books
Hardcover | 40 Pages

  • “A beautiful celebration of Indigenous excellence.” – Kirkus Reviews
  • “The reverberation of the central theme—you matter—and the gorgeous illustrations will resonate with readers” – School Library Connection
  • “Kinew . . . underlines the key idea that ‘we are people who matter./Yes, it’s true./ Now let’s show the world what people who matter can do.’” – Publishers Weekly
  • “This is a forever book; one that the child can grow with from the youngest age[.]” – Windspeaker

Finalist for Young People’s Literature – Text
Sweep: The Story of a Girl and Her Monster
by Jonathan Auxier
ISBN 9780735264359 | Puffin Canada
Hardcover | 368 Pages

  • “This dazzling, warmhearted novel contemplates selflessness and saving, deep love and what makes a monster.” – Starred Review, Publishers Weekly
  • “As heartbreaking as bleak midwinter — and as hopeful as early spring.” – Starred Review, Kirkus Reviews
  • Sweep’s ambition and sophistication are impressive.” – Quill & Quire
  • “. . . a tale that is both uplifting and heartbreaking.” – The New York Times

Follow the conversation on Twitter through @CanadaCouncil and by using the hashtag #GGbooks. The winners of the 2018 Governor General Literary Awards will be announced on Tuesday, October 30, 2018.