Our Children's Librarian columnist, Julie Booker, brings us a new view from the stacks every month.
Whilst capturing some key historical moments in Newfoundland, these five novels and a picture book each evoke the speech, landscape and mores of the time in which they are set.
In The Nine Lives of Travis Keating, by Jill MacLean, sixth grader Travis is dealing with a few challenges. After the passing of his mother, he and his dad move from St. John’s to Fiddler’s Cove, population 63. Because the town is waiting for parts for the arena’s broken zamboni, Travis is without his crutch: hockey. To top it off, the local bully has threatened everyone into not talking to him. Feeling lonely for the first time in his life, he discovers an abandoned wharf in Gully Cove, a place he’s been warned to stay away from. The starving, feral cats he finds there give him a secret purpose. Things start to spiral out of control when the lies he’s told his dad about where he goes after school, as well the bully’s escalating actions, force him to rely on new and unlikely allies. This is a well-written story that engages the reader’s empathy for the main character. Perfect for grades 5 or 6.