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The Grave Thief

by Dee Hahn
edition: Hardcover
  • age: 9 to 12
  • Grade: 4 to 7
tagged: fantasy & magic, special needs, self-esteem & self-reliance

A twelve-year-old grave thief gets caught up in a royal heist in this compelling middle-grade fantasy in the vein of Kelley Armstrong's A Royal Guide to Monster Slaying.

Twelve-year-old Spade is a grave thief. With his father and brother, he digs up the recently deceased to steal jewels, the main form of trade in Wyndhail.

Digging graves works for Sp …

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Step

by Deborah Ellis
edition: Hardcover
  • age: 9 to 12
  • Grade: 4 to 7
tagged: short stories, self-esteem & self-reliance, adolescence

In this powerful collection of short stories, children around the world turn eleven and take a step into their futures. Each one is changed in ways both big and small.

Annoyed at having to walk his sister’s dog on his birthday, Connor heads into an undeveloped subdivision, where he comes across chilling evidence of a stranger’s unhappiness. A gi …

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Depth of Field

by Natasha Deen
edition: Paperback
  • age: 12 to 18
  • Grade: 8 to 12
tagged: emotions & feelings, self-esteem & self-reliance, crime

When Josh Biswas found out his girlfriend, Lian, was cheating on him, it didn’t only break his heart, it threatened his GPA.

Lian calls him boring and turns in their joint photography project in as her own, leaving Josh to come up with something alone or risk a failing grade. Determined to prove her wrong, Josh decides to head to the foothills of …

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Face the Music

by Lesley Choyce
edition: Paperback
  • age: 12 to 18
  • Grade: 8 to 12
tagged: self-esteem & self-reliance, peer pressure, runaways, crime

Tyler and Mason dream of escaping to the big city and getting started on their lives.

One night, Mason convinces Tyler to help him steal a car and they are soon having the adventure of a lifetime. Until they run out of gas. Stranded on the side of the highway, Mason blames Tyler, Tyler blames Mason and their argument turns physical. Their fight is b …

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Girl of the Southern Sea

by Michelle Kadarusman
edition: Paperback
also available: Hardcover eBook
  • age: 9 to 12
  • Grade: 4 to 7
tagged: girls & women, siblings, self-esteem & self-reliance, homelessness & poverty, asian, asia, drugs, alcohol, substance abuse

The Governor General’s Literary Award-nominated novel about a girl from the slums of Jakarta who dreams of an education and a future as a writer

From the time she was a little girl, Nia has dreamed up adventures about the Javanese mythical princess, Dewi Kadita. Now fourteen, Nia would love nothing more than to continue her education and become a …

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Winter Road

by Kristin Butcher
edition: Paperback
also available: Paperback eBook
  • age: 9 to 12
  • Grade: 4 to 7
tagged: cars & trucks, self-esteem & self-reliance, thrillers & suspense

Sixteen-year-old Kat and her mom haven't seen much of each other since Kat's father died last year.

Her mom has taken over the family trucking business and has been away a lot. She promised that Kat could join her on her next run, a journey across the frozen Manitoba lake known as the "winter road." But at the last minute she changes her mind. Kat, …

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