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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The Globe 100: 2018

We received some great news from The Globe and Mail, the list of their 100 favourite titles published in 2018 include Backyard FairiesBloom, Mary Who Wrote Frankenstein, and Tess of the Road! Congratulations to our authors and illustrators!

Backyard FairiesBackyard Fairies
By Phoebe Wahl
Hardcover | 32 Pages | Ages 4-8
ISBN 9781101919149
“They’re real here. A girl searches for them in her yard and beyond – and searches and searches. Where could these magical creatures be? Young readers will be able to spot what’s just out of reach for the protagonist. What’s hidden in plain sight is rendered into a magical adventure that rewards careful attention to Phoebe Wahl’s textured illustrations.” – The Globe and Mail

BloomBloom:
A Story of Fashion Designer Elsa Schiaparelli

By Kyo Maclear
Illustrated by Julie Morstad
Hardcover | 40 Pages | Ages 5-9
ISBN 9781101918562
“It’s hard to say how much interest a child might ordinarily have in the legacy of surrealist fashion designer Elsa Schiaparelli, but the lives of iconic women continue to serve as inspiration for modern stories. She serves as the subject for this book, and Kyo Maclear and Julie Morstad do well to find the timeless aspects of her life while introducing the historical contexts of the rest.” – The Globe and Mail

Mary Who Wrote FrankensteinMary Who Wrote Frankenstein
By Linda Bailey
Illustrated by Júlia Sardà
Hardcover | 56 Pages | Ages 5-8
ISBN 9781770495593
“Mother of the macabre Mary Shelley is front and centre here. Julia Sarda’s mesmerizingly eerie illustrations are not to be missed and this book will find an easy audience among curious older children and adults who never quite outgrew their goth phase.” – The Globe and Mail

Tess of the RoadTess of the Road
By Rachel Hartman
Hardcover | 544 Pages | Ages 12+
ISBN 9780385685887
“Like the best fantasy, it overflows with pragmatic truths, but on topics you might not expect, including self-worth, consent, gender roles, transitioning to adulthood and taking pleasure from sex. It reads like wisdom of the ages targeted right at people growing up in this (insane) age.” – The Globe and Mail

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.

Evanston Public Library’s 101 Great Books for Kids (2018)

Evanston Public Library has shared their 101 Great Books for Kids list for 2018. We’re happy to share that Sakura’s Cherry Blossoms and Mary Who Wrote Frankenstein made the list. Congratulations to our authors and illustrators!

Sakura's Cherry BlossomsSakura’s Cherry Blossoms
By Robert Paul Weston
Illustrated by Misa Saburi
Hardcover | 40 Pages | Ages 3-7
ISBN 9781101918746 | Tundra Books
A warm, gorgeous exploration of a little girl’s experience immigrating to a new country and missing her home and her grandmother, who still lives far away. Sakura’s dad gets a new job in America, so she and her parents make the move from their home in Japan. When she arrives in the States, most of all she misses her grandmother and the cherry blossom trees, under which she and her grandmother used to play and picnic. She wonders how she’ll ever feel at home in this new place, with its unfamiliar language and landscape. One day, she meets her neighbor, a boy named Luke, and begins to feel a little more settled. When her grandmother becomes ill, though, her family takes a trip back to Japan. Sakura is sad when she returns to the States and once again reflects on all she misses. Luke does his best to cheer her up — and tells her about a surprise he knows she’ll love, but she’ll have to wait till spring.

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.

Booklist Editors’ Choice 2018

We received some wonderful news from Booklist, their editors’ list of the best youth titles published in 2018 include Petra and Mary Who Wrote Frankenstein. And as if that’s not enough, Mary Who Wrote Frankenstein was selected as the Top of the List in the Picture Books category – the best of the best! Congratulations to our authors and illustrators!

PetraPetra
By Marianna Coppo
Hardcover | 48 Pages | Ages 3-7
ISBN 9780735262676
“Size is clearly a matter of perspective when it comes to Petra, a smiling gray boulder, or magnificent mountain, or pebble, depending on whom you ask…. On one page, dinosaurs roam near her base; in another, a tiny-looking knight trots by on his horse. But things take a turn when a stick soars over Petra, and a giant schnauzer’s head enters the frame…. Thus begin her adventures, from slingshot to bird’s nest to pond, all punctuated by Petra’s upbeat commentary, which will surely garner some laughs…. This Italian import is truly a charmer. Coppo uses tempera, pastels, and digital collage to create memorable illustrations—you’ve never seen a cuter rock—in natural colors and set against white backdrops. The idea of relative size is seamlessly incorporated into the story, but it’s Petra’s unmitigated confidence in an unpredictable world that makes it a keeper.” – Starred Review, Booklist

Mary Who Wrote FrankensteinMary Who Wrote Frankenstein
By Linda Bailey
Illustrated by Júlia Sardà
Hardcover | 56 Pages | Ages 5-8
ISBN 9781770495593
“Though youngsters won’t yet have delved into Mary Shelley’s gothic horror classic, most will have been exposed to her piecemeal monster…. Viewed in this eerie light, a picture-book biography on Shelley herself doesn’t seem out of place, especially one so stunning as this. Bailey relates Shelley’s childhood, rebellious adolescence, and participation in the now-famous writing competition that spawned the mad Dr. Frankenstein and his monster as a fantastic story in its own right. Her writing is warm and inclusive, posing occasional questions directly to the reader and establishing Shelley as a spirited dreamer. No less astonishing are Sardà’s folk art–style illustrations, which employ deep, moody hues—burgundy, plum, black, gray, and midnight blue—to create hauntingly detailed scenes. Ghostly monsters waft through people’s imaginations; dense trees lean and reach their branches toward Shelley’s passing carriage; a dead frog sits upright when zapped with electricity. Readers will revel in this artful portrait of a celebrated young author and better appreciate the true brains behind the operation. A thorough afterword offers more details of Shelley’s life.” – Starred Review, Booklist

Publishers Weekly Best Books 2018

PW Best Books 2018
Congratulations to Linda Bailey and Júlia Sardà, Mary Who Wrote Frankenstein is a Publishers Weekly Best Picture Book of 2018!

Mary Who Wrote Frankenstein
By Linda Bailey
Illustrated by Júlia Sardà
Hardcover | 56 Pages
ISBN 9781770495593
Mary Who Wrote Frankenstein“This biographical depiction of Mary Shelley’s young life explores how writers create, synthesizing ideas from experiences and imagination. Throughout, Bailey emphasizes her strong spirit and penchant for daydreams as she traces how formative circumstances helped move Shelley to write: the early loss of her mother, a great thinker and advocate for women’s equality; meeting frequent visitors to her childhood home, including philosophers, artists, and scientists; living with a family of strangers in Scotland; running away with her stepsister, Claire, and poet Percy Bysshe Shelley, her eventual husband; and visiting Switzerland with Claire, Shelley, the poet Lord Byron, and doctor and writer John Polidori. Sarda’s distinctive angular illustrations are rife with thoughtful period detail and patterns in rich tones, evoking an appropriately maudlin mood while showcasing how Shelley’s life was a catalyst to art and creativity–and, perhaps, the birth of science fiction. Ages 5-8.” – Starred Review, Publishers Weekly

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