IODE Violet Downey Book Award
Me and Banksy
Written by Tanya Lloyd & Drew Shannon
Published by Penguin Random House
A Banksy-style protest against cameras in classrooms brings a group of middle-grade students together.
Dominica's private school is covered in cameras, and someone is hacking into them and posting embarrassing moments for the whole school to see. Like Ana picking her nose. When Dominica quickly changes her shirt from inside out in what she thinks is the privacy of a quiet corner in the library, she's shocked and embarrassed to discover a video has captured this and is currently circulating amongst her schoolmates. So mortifying, especially since over the past three years, they've had a half-dozen school talks about social media safety.
Who has access to the school security cameras and why are they doing this? Dominica and her best friends, Holden and Saanvi, are determined to find out, and in the process start an art-based student campaign against cameras in the classroom.
Pine Island Home
Written by Polly Horvath
Published by Penguin Random House
From Newbery Honor and National Book Award winning author Polly Horvath comes a story of four sisters searching for home.
Fiona, Marlin, Natasha, and Charlie McCready are left on their own when their missionary parents are washed away in a tsunami. Fortunately, their great aunt Martha volunteers to have them live with her on her farm in British Columbia. But, while they are traveling there, Martha dies unexpectedly, forcing Fiona, the eldest, to come up with a scheme to keep social services from separating the girls - a scheme that will only work if no one knows they are living on their own.
Fiona approaches their grouchy and indifferent neighbour Al and asks if he will pretend to be their live-in legal guardian should papers need to be signed or if anyone comes snooping around. He reluctantly agrees, under the condition that they bring him dinner every night. As weeks pass, Fiona takes on more and more adult responsibilities, while each of the younger girls finds their own special role in their atypical family. But, even if things seem to be falling into place, Fiona can't help but worry that it is only a matter of time
before they are caught. What she needs to do is find them a real guardian.
Sara and the Search for Normal
Written by Wesley King
Published by Simon & Schuster
In this prequel to the Edgar Award-winning OCDaniel, fan-favourite Sara quests for “normal” and finds something even better along the way.
Sara’s Rules to be Normal
1. Stop taking your pills
19. Make a friend
137. Don’t put mayonnaise on peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.
Sara wants one thing: to be normal. What she has instead are multiple diagnoses from Dr. Ring. Sara’s constant battle with False Alarm - what she calls panic attacks and other episodes cause her to isolate herself. She rarely speaks, especially not at school, and so she doesn’t have any friends. But when she starts group therapy she meets someone new. Talkative and outgoing Erin doesn’t believe in “normal,” and Sara finds herself in unfamiliar territory: at the movies, at a birthday party, and with someone to tell about her crush - in short, with a friend. But, there’s more to Erin than her cheerful exterior, and Sara begins to wonder if helping Erin will mean sacrificing their friendship.
The Barren Grounds
Written by David A. Robertson
Published by Tundra Books Penguin Radom House
Narnia meets traditional Indigenous stories of the sky and constellations in an epic middle grade fantasy series from award-winning author David Robertson.
Morgan and Eli, two Indigenous children forced away from their families and communities, are brought together in a foster home in Winnipeg, Manitoba. They each feel disconnected, from their culture and each other, and struggle to fit in at school and at their new home until they find a secret place, walled off in an unfinished attic bedroom. A portal opens to another reality, Askí, bringing them onto frozen, barren grounds, where they meet Ochek (Fisher). The only hunter supporting his starving community, Misewa, Ochek welcomes the human children, teaching them traditional ways to survive. But as the need for food becomes desperate, they embark on a dangerous mission. Accompanied by Arik, a sassy Squirrel they catch stealing from the trap-line, they try to save Misewa before the icy grip of winter freezes everything including them.
Written by Jan L. Coates
Published by Nimbus Publishing
Eleven-year-old Danny Marsters was planning to have a fun but straightforward summer: pool parties and bike rides with his buddies, the odd game of washer toss with Grampy, and of course, soccer camp. He didn’t count on developers threatening to build condos on the land the whole community had worked so hard to turn into the best soccer field in the county. And, he definitely didn’t expect to stumble across a dishevelled man living all alone, deep in the woods behind Barnaby’s Brook. But, Danny’s curiosity gets the better of him, and he slowly befriends the hermit. Just when he discovers a hidden connection between himself and the old
man, disaster strikes, and more secrets are exposed that just might help Danny save the soccer field once and for all.
Loosely based on the real-life “Hermit of Gully Lake,” this story of unexpected friendship and close-knit neighbourhood bonds will appeal to anyone who has had to stand up for the things and the people they love. With themes of environmentalism and community activism, The Hermit is a timely novel full of heart.