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Children’s Book Reviews: The Cranky Ballerina

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The Cranky Ballerina, by Montreal author and illustrator Elise Gravel, shines the spotlight on a gutsy, reluctant dancer who finally finds her true calling.  Every Saturday morning, Ada struggles into a leotard that is “waaay too tight,” wrestles with a fluffy pink tutu that is “waaay too itchy,” and attends a dance class that she… Read more »

I Am Not My Disability: Outstanding Books For and About Young People with Disabilities

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Every two years, the International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY) chooses outstanding books for and about young people with disabilities. This biennial selection draws attention to books published around the world that address special needs and situations and which encourage inclusion at every level. Outstanding titles, including the one below, become part of… Read more »

Children’s Book Reviews: The Secrets We Keep

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At an end of year school party, Clementine Sanford’s autistic classmate, Kit, dies under mysterious circumstances. When Clem returns to school in the fall, everything has changed. Clem’s best friend, Ellie, is in over her head with a college-aged boyfriend, Clem’s boy-crush, Jake, is hanging around with the “wrong” crowd, rumours continue to circulate about… Read more »

Children’s Book Reviews: Hurry Up, Henry

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Award-winning author of The Stamp Collector, Jennifer Lanthier, teams up with Montreal-based illustrator Isabelle Malenfant (Morris Micklewhite and the Tangerine Dress) in Hurry Up, Henry, a story that celebrates one boy’s love of living in the moment. Henry doesn’t like to hurry. He doesn’t want to be late, either, but he just doesn’t have the… Read more »

Children’s Book Reviews: I Am Josephine (And I Am a Living Thing)

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In Jan Thornhill’s latest non-fiction picture book, I Am Josephine (And I Am a Living Thing), a young girl learns about how she fits into the natural world around her. Josephine starts by identifying herself as a human being, providing examples of other human beings, such as her baby brother. Then she asks readers to… Read more »

Children’s Book Reviews: Heart of a Champion

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In Ellen Schwartz’s latest book, Heart of a Champion, the complicated, racially-charged questions of 1940s Canada are seen through the eyes of nine year-old Kenji “Kenny” Sakamoto. Inspired by his older brother Mickey’s success in Vancouver’s Asahi baseball club, Kenny dreams of playing baseball too, despite having a heart murmur. His goal of getting on… Read more »

Children’s Book Reviews: Hungry Bird

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The cantankerous, feathered star of Jeremy Tankard’s Grumpy Bird (2007), and Boo Hoo Bird (2010), returns for a hilarious, third outing in Hungry Bird.  While on a hike through the woods, Bird’s tummy starts to rumble, and he feels a bit peckish.  Much to his chagrin, he realizes he forgot to bring snacks.  Bird’s ever-patient… Read more »

Children’s Book Reviews: Rez Runaway

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In Melanie Florence’s latest hi-lo novel, Rez Runaway, seventeen-year-old Joe Littlechief doesn’t quite fit in on the rez. Joe doesn’t act like the other boys, and he has a secret crush on Benjy, his best friend since childhood. After doing a little research, Joe begins to suspect that he is “two-spirited” – an Aboriginal name… Read more »

I Am Not My Disability: Outstanding Books For and About Young People with Disabilities

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Every two years, the International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY) chooses outstanding books for and about young people with disabilities. This biennial selection draws attention to books published around the world that address special needs and situations and which encourage inclusion at every level. Outstanding titles, including the one below, become part of… Read more »

Children’s Book Reviews: Hand in Hand

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In the middle grade novel Hand in Hand, author Jean Little and illustrator Norman Lanting recount Helen Keller’s early years from the point of view of Martha Washington, a childhood companion mentioned in Ms. Keller’s autobiography. Martha and her mother live and work at Ivy Green, a plantation owned by Captain Keller. Martha is frequently… Read more »