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Safe Harbour

by Christina Kilbourne
edition: eBook
also available: Paperback
  • age: 12 to 15
  • Grade: 7 to 10
tagged: homelessness & poverty, friendship, general (see also headings under social themes), mental illness

2021 Red Maple Award — Shortlisted

As far-fetched as her father’s plan sounds, sticking to it is easy for Harbour — until it isn’t.

Fourteen-year-old Harbour is living in a tent in a Toronto ravine with her dog, a two-month supply of canned tuna, and an unconventional reading list. She’s not homeless, she tells herself. She’s merely waiti …

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The Big Dig

by Lisa Harrington
edition: eBook
  • age: 13 to 17
  • Grade: 8 to 12
tagged: friendship

Just as fourteen-year-old Lucy is starting to figure out life after her mom's death, her dad ships her off to Cape John, her mom's hometown, for the summer. Worse, she has to live with her nutty great-aunt Josie, who doesn't cook edible food or suffer fools. Soon Lucy meets Colin, freshly moved from the West Coast, who's digging an enormous hole …

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Always Smile

Carley Allison's Secrets for Laughing, Loving and Living

by Alice Kuipers
edition: Hardcover
  • age: 14 to 18
  • Grade: 9 to 12
tagged: death & dying, friendship, sports & recreation

Not long ago, seventeen-year-old Carley Allison had it all. She was on the edge of fame as a singer and composer. She was reaching for the highest levels as a competitive skater. She had a brand-new boyfriend and a golden future waiting after graduation. Her world came crashing down when she was diagnosed with a rare kind of cancer in her trachea. …

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In the Key of Nira Ghani

by Natasha Deen
edition: Hardcover
  • age: 12 to 100
  • Grade: 7 to 17
tagged: coming of age, diversity & multicultural, friendship, multigenerational, loners & outcasts, music, parents

A Guyanese girl must find the balance between her parents' "old world" expectations and traditions while pursuing her dream of being a great trumpeter in this contemporary, coming-of-age story, written by an #OwnVoices author.

Nira Ghani has always dreamed of becoming a musician. Her Guyanese parents, however, have big plans for her to become a sci …

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Finding Grace

by Daphne Greer
edition: eBook
  • age: 11 to 15
  • Grade: 6 to 10
tagged: disabilities & special needs, orphans & foster homes, friendship

Abandoned on the steps of a Belgian convent as a baby, thirteen-year-old Grace has grown up among the nuns. But her days as a caretaker and companion for her older sister, Dotty, have come to a sad end with Dotty’s death, and now Grace is living among the girls who attend the convent’s boarding school—the very same girls who taunted and bulli …

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Very Rich

by Polly Horvath
edition: Hardcover
also available: Paperback
  • age: 10 to 14
  • Grade: 5 to 9
tagged: fantasy & magic, humorous stories, friendship

From Newbery Honor-- and National Book Award--winning author Polly Horvath comes another magical novel featuring a time machine, money, food and lots of family.

Ten-year-old Rupert Brown comes from an ordinary family. They live in a small house in the poorest section of Steelville, Ohio, and have little money or food. So when Rupert inadvertently fi …

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Tough Call

by Kelsey Blair
edition: eBook
  • age: 10 to 13
  • Grade: 4
tagged: basketball, soccer, siblings, friendship

In need of money to pay her basketball fees, fourteen-year old Malia King registers for a refereeing course at her middle school. Refereeing gives her a whole new perspective on the game, and helps to improve her own play. But things get complicated when Malia is assigned to referee her younger sister Flo's games, especially when she makes a call t …

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