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Happy Canada Day 2019!

1 Jul

It’s Canada Day!

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Here are some books I have enjoyed recently by Canadian writers.

The Girl and the Wolf,  written by Katherena Vermette and illustrated by Julie Flett is a sort of Blueberries For Sal  with a First Nations twist.

The-Girl-and-the-Wolf_theytustitlemainPublisher’s Summary: While picking berries with her mother, a little girl wanders too far into the woods leaving the safety of her mother behind. Noticing that she has wandered far enough on her own to get lost, the little girl begins to panic. Adding to her perceived fear, a large grey wolf makes a sudden appearance between some
distant trees. The wolf sniffs her and tells the little girl that he can help her find her way home, but she should eat something first. He asks the little girl if she can hunt, to which she replies “no”. The wolf replies by asking the girl to look at her surroundings and tell him what she sees. The little girl notices some edible berries on a nearby bush and states that she can eat them. It’s through these realizations that the wolf helps the little girl find her own way home. She has the knowledge and the skill to survive and navigate herself, she just needed to remember that those abilities were there.

As always with E. K. Johnston’s books, The Afterward is unlike any of her previous novels. This one tells what happens after a quest, and the story fo the quest is revealed in bits as we see how the questers are coping.

 

Love from A to Z,  by S. K. Ali is an endearing YA novel.

love-from-a-to-z-9781534442726_lgPublisher’s Summary: A marvel: something you find amazing. Even ordinary-amazing. Like potatoes—because they make French fries happen. Like the perfect fries Adam and his mom used to make together.

An oddity: whatever gives you pause. Like the fact that there are hateful people in the world. Like Zayneb’s teacher, who won’t stop reminding the class how “bad” Muslims are.

But Zayneb, the only Muslim in class, isn’t bad. She’s angry.

When she gets suspended for confronting her teacher, and he begins investigating her activist friends, Zayneb heads to her aunt’s house in Doha, Qatar, for an early start to spring break.

Fueled by the guilt of getting her friends in trouble, she resolves to try out a newer, “nicer” version of herself in a place where no one knows her.

Then her path crosses with Adam’s.

Since he got diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in November, Adam’s stopped going to classes, intent, instead, on perfecting the making of things. Intent on keeping the memory of his mom alive for his little sister.

Adam’s also intent on keeping his diagnosis a secret from his grieving father.

Alone, Adam and Zayneb are playing roles for others, keeping their real thoughts locked away in their journals.

Until a marvel and an oddity occurs…

Marvel: Adam and Zayneb meeting.

Oddity: Adam and Zayneb meeting.

 

Randy Ribay

YA author, teacher, nerd

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