The Festival of Trees has happened and the 2017 winners of the Forest of Reading have been announced. For those of you who don’t know, “The Forest of Reading® is Canada’s largest recreational reading program!” The nominees are all notable books by Canadian authors and illustrators.
Now, lets check out this year’s winners!
The Blue Spruce Award
Pictures books for JK to Grade 2
The Night Gardener by Terry Fan and Eric Fan
One day, William discovers that the tree outside his window has been sculpted into a wise owl. In the following days, more topiaries appear, and each one is more beautiful than the last. Soon, William’s gray little town is full of color and life. And though the mysterious night gardener disappears as suddenly as he appeared, William—and his town—are changed forever.
With breathtaking illustrations and spare, sweet text, this masterpiece about enjoying the beauty of nature is sure to become an instant classic.
The Silver Birch Express Award
Fiction and Non-Fiction aimed at Grades 3 to 4.
The Biggest Poutine in the World by Andrée Poulin
Thomas would do anything to make his mother come back.
On his fifth birthday, Thomas’s mother left, and he hasn’t seen her since. The last thing he remembers is her making a delicious dish of poutine for his birthday. Into the concoction of French fries, gravy and melted cheese curds, she stuck five green candles for him to blow out.
On the day of this twelfth birthday, Thomas comes up with the idea of setting a Guinness world record for the biggest poutine in the world. Maybe then, his mother will come back and his emotionally distant father will pay attention to him.
As he puts together all the pieces of his “Phenomenal Poutine Project,” Thomas not only learns why his mother disappeared, but he also comes to realize that Elie, the one person whose help he rejected, turns out to be his most devoted friend.
Available in Wellandport.
Silver Birch Award
Fiction aimed at Grades 3 to 6
OCDaniel by Wesley King
From the author of Incredible Space Raiders from Space! comes a brand-new coming-of-age story about a boy whose life revolves around hiding his obsessive compulsive disorder—until he gets a mysterious note that changes everything.
Daniel is the back-up punter for the Erie Hills Elephants. Which really means he’s the water boy. He spends football practice perfectly arranging water cups—and hoping no one notices. Actually, he spends most of his time hoping no one notices his strange habits—he calls them Zaps: avoiding writing the number four, for example, or flipping a light switch on and off dozens of times over. He hopes no one notices that he’s crazy, especially his best friend Max, and Raya, the prettiest girl in school. His life gets weirder when another girl at school, who is unkindly nicknamed Psycho Sara, notices him for the first time. She doesn’t just notice him: she seems to peer through him.
Then Daniel gets a note: “I need your help,” it says, signed, Fellow Star child—whatever that means. And suddenly Daniel, a total no one at school, is swept up in a mystery that might change everything for him
Silver Birch Non-Fiction Award
Non-Fiction aimed at Grades 5 to 6
Haunted Canada 6 by Joel A. Sutherland
The sixth book in the bestselling series of hauntingly true Canadian stories —back, and scarier than ever!
Her skin was peeling off her skull. Holes covered her nose and cheeks, revealing bone and teeth. Her flesh was rotten and grey. But worst of all were the thing’s eyes. Staring down at him with venom were two deep pools of darkness.
“You heard me when I cried, pleaded and screamed for help,” she hissed, “but you and your kind ignored my pleas. Because of you and your superstitious ways, I died a horrible death in that swamp. Now I have come back to avenge my own death!”
These terrifying true stories from across Canada will keep you up at night. A supernatural sea hag haunts an eerie marsh, a used book conjures up a ghostly figure, phantom hands terrorize children in a school playground . . . Prepare to be haunted!
Not Currently Available at West Lincoln Public Library
Red Maple Fiction Award
Fiction aimed at Grades 7 to 8
Shooter by Caroline Pignat
A lockdown catches five grade 12 students by surprise and throws them together in the only unlocked room on that empty third floor wing: the boys’ washroom. They sit in silence, judging each other by what they see, by the stories they’ve heard over the years. Stuck here with them–could anything be worse?
There’s Alice: an introverted writer, trapped in the role of big sister to her older autistic brother, Noah.
Isabelle: the popular, high-achieving, student council president, whose greatest performance is her everyday life.
Hogan: an ex-football player with a troubled past and a hopeless future.
Xander: that socially awkward guy hiding behind the camera, whose candid pictures of school life, especially those of Isabelle, have brought him more trouble than answers.
Told in five unique voices through prose, poetry, text messages, journals, and homework assignments, each student reveals pieces of their true story as they wait for the drill to end. But this modern-day Breakfast Club takes a twist when Isabelle gets a text that changes everything: NOT A DRILL!! Shooter in the school!
Suddenly, the bathroom doesn’t seem so safe anymore. Especially when they learn that one of them knows more about the shooter than they realized…
Available in Caistorville.
Red Maple Non-Fiction Award
Non-fiction aimed at Grades 7 to 8
Child Soldier by Jessica Dee Humphrey
Michel is like many other five-year-olds: he has a loving family and spends his days going to school and playing soccer. But in 1993, the Democratic Republic of Congo, where Michel and his family live, is a country in tumult. One afternoon Michel and his friends are kidnapped by rebel militants and forced to become child soldiers.
Available in Wellandport.
White Pine Award
Fiction aimed at Grades 9 to 12
Fifteen Lanes by S.J. Laidlaw
Noor has lived all of her fourteen years in the fifteen lanes of Mumbai’s red light district. Born into a brothel, she is destined for the same fate as her mother: a desperate life trapped in the city’s sex trade. She must act soon to have any chance of escaping this grim future.
Across the sprawling city, fifteen-year-old Grace enjoys a life of privilege. Her father, the CEO of one of India’s largest international banks, has brought his family to Mumbai where they live in unparalleled luxury. But Grace’s seemingly perfect life is shattered when she becomes a victim of a cruel online attack.
When their paths intersect, Noor and Grace will be changed forever. Can two girls living in vastly different worlds find a common path?
Available in Caistorville.
More info about the OLA Forest of Reading Program can be found on the Forest of Reading Website.