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Graffiti Knight

by Karen Bass
edition: eBook
also available: Paperback
  • age: 12 to 15
  • Grade: 7 to 11
tagged: europe, parents, siblings

After a childhood cut short by World War II and the harsh strictures of Nazi Germany, sixteen-year-old Wilm seeks freedom of expression in a city governed by brutal police and oppressive Soviet forces. His graffiti successfully embarrasses the police, but it also endangers the people Wilm holds dear.

After a childhood cut short by war and the harsh …


North to Benjamin

by Alan Cumyn
edition: Paperback
  • age: 10 to 14
  • Grade: 5 to 9
tagged: dogs, parents

Hatchet meets Maybe a Fox in this “gripping, suspenseful” (Kirkus Reviews, starred review) novel about Edgar, a boy who has lost the ability to speak and can only bark, and his dog Benjamin as they travel through the freezing Yukon wilderness in order to stop Edgar’s mother from making a huge mistake.

Eleven-year-old Edgar’s mom is making h …


Spin Out

by Steven Sandor
edition: Paperback
  • age: 13 to 18
  • Grade: 3.5
tagged: loners & outcasts, boys & men, parents, aboriginal & indigenous

Ben Cheng used to live the good life — he had wealthy parents, lots of friends and respect as an online gamer. But when his parents separated, he had to move to a small apartment with his mom, his dad was out of the picture, and his new schoolmates started teasing him for his family's fall from grace. All Ben has left is his virtual life, where h …


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 …


Push Back

by Karen Spafford-Fitz
edition: Paperback
  • age: 13 to 18
  • Grade: 4
tagged: law & crime, homelessness & poverty, bullying, parents

Sixteen-year-old Zaine Wyatt has a lot to be angry about. His mother walked out of his life when he was 12, and he was kicked out of his Aunt Sarah's place by his uncle. After living on the streets and getting badly beaten up, he is back at Aunt Sarah's, but Zaine is still angry, afraid, and uncertain that he has a permanent place to live. When his …


Landing, The

by John Ibbitson
edition: Paperback
also available: Paperback Hardcover
  • age: 12 to 14
  • Grade: 7 to 9
tagged: post-confederation (1867-), music, parents

Will Ben ever escape the Landing? The hardscrabble farm on the shores of Lake Muskoka can't generate a living, so Ben's Uncle Henry sells goods and gas to cottagers from the dock known as Cooks Landing. It had never been much of a living and since the Depression hit, it's even less.

Ben's thinking a lot these days, and it's making him miserable. He …

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