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Bookseller Recommendations.

Bookmark! usually highlights books for a variety of grade levels around a particular theme. In this issue, however, we asked booksellers from across Canada to recommend books they thought were exceptional choices for holiday gift giving. Thanks go to Nicole Abi-Najem, Lisa Doucet, Kelly Dyer, Kirsten Larmon and Sabrina Simmonds for taking the time to recommend the following fabulous titles.

NICOLE ABI-NAJEM of Mabel's Fables, Toronto, Ontario

Trudy's Healing Stone

written by Trudy Spiller

illustrated by Jessika von Innerebner

Medicine Wheel Education, 2019

Everyone gets sad, angry, frustrated and disappointed. Difficult emotions are a natural part of life. In this book, author Trudy Spiller shares a special teaching about a practice that anyone can use to help them process their feelings with the help of Mother Earth.

The Mystery of Black Hollow Lane

(The Black Hollow Lane, Book 1)

written by Julia Nobel

Sourcebooks Jabberwocky, 2019

With a dad who disappeared years ago, and a mother who's too busy to parent, Emmy is shipped off to Wellsworth, a prestigious boarding school in England. At Wellsworth, Emmy discovers a secret society--the Order of Black Hollow Lane. Is the Society connected with her father's disappearance? What other dark secrets is Wellsworth hiding?

Crown of Feathers

(Crown of Feathers, Book 1)

written by Nicki Pau Preto

Simon Pulse, 2019

It's been 16 years since the fall of the legendary Phoenix Riders in a war between royal sisters that left the Empire splintered and dangerous. Two war-orphaned sisters, Val and Veronyka, dream of hatching their own phoenixes until one sister betrays the other.

LISA DOUCET of Woozles, Halifax, Nova Scotia

Small in the City

written and illustrated by Sydney Smith

Groundwood Books, 2019

On a snowy day in a big city, a little boy hops off a streetcar and walks through downtown, between office buildings, through parks and down busy streets. Along the way, he provides helpful tips about which alleys make good shortcuts, which trees to climb and where to find a friendly face. All the while, the boy searches for what he has lost...


written by Kyo Maclear

illustrated by Byron Eggenschwiler

Groundwood Books, 2019

Charlie is trying to find her perfect song for a music class assignment. But she's having difficulty concentrating--she can't stop noticing Emile, or wondering about Luka. Then, her music teacher plays a recording of opera diva Maria Callas. Charlie is entranced and learns about Maria's musical life. Can Charlie follow the opera diva's example when it comes to her own life?

Love from A to Z

written by S.K. Ali

Salaam Reads, 2019

Outspoken Zayneb travels to her aunt's house in Doha, Qatar. Quiet, introspective Adam is hiding a diagnosis of multiple sclerosis from his grieving father and little sister. Alone, Adam and Zayneb are playing roles for others, keeping their real thoughts locked away in journals. Until their paths cross and a love story unfolds.

KELLY DYER of Audreys Books, Edmonton, Alberta

Bad Dog

written and illustrated by Mike Boldt

Doubleday Books for Young Readers, 2019

"Look what I got for my birthday! A pet dog!" says a little girl holding a... cat? Rocky doesn't listen or obey like all the other dogs. And Rocky hates her leash and doesn't seem to like other dogs. And rather than play fetch, Rocky prefers to. lick between her toes? Cat lovers and dog lovers alike will howl with laughter at this little girl's willful insistence that her cat is a dog.

Sweep: The Story of a Girl and Her Monster

written by Jonathan Auxier

Puffin Canada, 2018

Nan Sparrow, 11, is possibly the best "climbing boy" ever--and she's a girl. Chimney sweeping is brutally dangerous work, and when Nan gets stuck in a chimney fire, she fears it's the end. Instead, she awakes unharmed to find a mysterious creature -- a golem--made from ash and coal. The girl and her monster carve out a new life, saving one another in the process.

Kings, Queens and In-Betweens

written by Tanya Boteju

Simon Pulse, 2019

Wounded by a crush's rejection and her mother's unexpected departure, nerdy and awkward Nima discovers the drag scene at her town's summer festival. Macho kings, magical queens, new love interests, and surprising allies propel Nima closer to a self she never knew--one that can confidently express and accept love. But she'll have to accept lost love to get there.

KIRSTEN LARMON of Munro Books, Victoria, British Columbia

The Scarecrow

written by Beth Ferry

illustrated by Terry Fan and Eric Fan

HarperCollins Publishers, 2019

All the animals know not to mess with old Scarecrow. But when a small, scared crow falls from midair, Scarecrow does the strangest thing ... Presented is a tender and affectionate tale that reminds us of the comforting power of friendship and the joy of helping others.

The Ghost Collector

written by Allison Mills

Annick Press, 2019

Ghosts are everywhere in Shelly's life. In the tradition of their Cree ancestors, Shelly and her grandmother help these lost souls transition to the next world by catching them in their hair. But when Shelly's mom dies, her relationship to ghosts--and death--changes.

Break in Case of Emergency

written by Brian Francis

HarperCollins Publishers, 2019

Life has been a struggle for Toby Goodman. Her mother died by suicide and her father left before Toby was born. Convinced that she is destined to follow her mother's path, Toby creates a plan to escape her pain. But when her father reappears, Toby must face her family's story.

SABRINA SIMMONDS of McNally Robinson, Winnipeg, Manitoba


written and illustrated by Julie Flett

Greystone Kids, 2019

When a young girl moves from the country to a small town, she feels lonely and out of place. But soon she meets an elderly woman next door, who shares her love of art and nature. Can the girl navigate the changing seasons and failing health of her new friend?

The Spinner of Dreams

written by K.A. Reynolds

HarperCollins Publishers, 2019

Annalise Meriwether--though kind, smart, and curious--is terribly lonely. She does her best to ignore the cruel townsfolk of her desolate town--but the black mark on her hand won't be ignored. There's only one way for Annalise to rid herself of her curse: to enter the Labyrinth of Fate and Dreams and defeat the Fate Spinner.

Laura Dean Keeps

Breaking Up with Me

written by Mariko Tamaki

illustrated by Rosemary Valero-O'Connell

Groundwood Books, 2019

Freddy wants Laura Dean to stop breaking up with her. Laura Dean is popular, funny and SO CUTE. but she is also thoughtless and mean. Freddy's heart is breaking and she's losing her best friend and her last shred of self-respect. Fortunately, new friends and the insight of an advice columnist help Freddy through being a teenager in love.
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Publication:Canadian Children's Book News
Geographic Code:1CANA
Date:Dec 22, 2019
Previous Article:Rise in Canadian Children's LGBTQ2+ Literature Offers More Reflection and Understanding. (FEATURE: LGBTQ2 + LITERATURE).

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