IODE Violet Downey Book Award
Children of the Fox
Written by Kevin Sands
Published by Penguin Random House
A magic-infused fantasy that brings together a ragtag group of kids to pull off a crime so difficult, countless adults have already tried and failed. Lured by the promise of more money than they've ever dreamed of, five young criminals are hired to steal a heavily guarded treasure from the most powerful sorcerer in the city. There's Callan the con artist, Meriel the expert at acrobatics (and knives!), Gareth the researcher, Lachlan who can obtain anything, and Foxtail, whose mysterious eyeless mask doesn't hinder her ability to climb walls like a spider. Though their shadowy backgrounds mean that they've never trusted anyone but themselves, the five must learn to rely on each other in order to get the job done.
But as Callan has been warned most of his life, it's best to stay away from magic. It can turn on you at any moment, and make you think you're the one running the con game, when in reality you're the one being fooled. Faced with these unsurmountable odds, can the new friends pull off this legendary heist, or has their luck finally run out?
Written by Philippa Dowding
Published by Cormorant Books
Firefly lived in the park across from her mother’s home. It was safer there. But after the bad night happens, and her baseball-bat-wielding mother is taken away, social services send Firefly to live with her Aunt Gayle. She hardly knows Gayle, but discovers that she owns a costume shop.
Yes, Firefly might be suffering from PTSD, but she can get used to taking baths, sleeping on a bed again, and wearing as many costumes as she can to school.
But where is “home”? What is “family”? Who is Firefly, for that matter … and which costume is the real one?
Meranda and the Legend of the Lake
Written by Meagan Mahoney
Published by Owlkids Books
Eleven-year-old Meranda thought her life was complicated enough with physical challenges (she uses crutches to walk) and her helicopter parents. But when her great-uncle Mark dies, Meranda and her family visit Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, where her parents grew up and where she hasn’t been since the age of three.
Soon, secrets begin to unfold: Why does the newspaper headline say her great-uncle Mark’s death was suspicious? Why do strangers keep calling Meranda “miracle baby”? Why does her usually calm mother seem so panicky and scared? And what on earth does all this have to do with mermaids? Meranda and her new friend, Claire, decide to investigate on their own. But as Meranda begins to separate fact from fiction, she finds herself in very real danger …
With an intriguing mystery afoot, and a strong-willed, resilient heroine at the helm, this mythical maritime novel celebrates coming of age and growing into yourself.
The Undercover Book List
Written by Colleen Nelson
Published by Pajama Press
He’s known as the class troublemaker. She’s known as the bookworm. But, when every note they send is anonymous, identity is suddenly what they make it.
Between her father’s posting overseas and her best friend Sienna’s move to the other side of the country, seventh grade is looking lonely for Jane MacDonald. But, Sienna has left her with one last trick: a hidden message in a library book—the perfect plot to start a secret club and find Jane a new book-loving friend.
Tyson Flamand has problems of his own. Since the fourth grade, he’s had a reputation as a bad kid, and there’s no point fighting it when teachers always think the worst. So, when he finds an anonymous note in the library looking for a nerdy new friend, he knows he’s the last person in the world it could be meant for. But, something makes him answer it anyway and Tyson finds himself pulled into a secret book club where being hidden may be the first step to being truly seen.
Written by Susin Nielsen
Published by Penguin Random House
We all have moments that define us. For the comically clueless Wilbur, his moment happened on the first day of middle school, when someone shared his private letter with the entire student body. It revealed some of Wilbur's innermost embarrassing thoughts that no one else should ever know.
Now it's the start of ninth grade and Wilbur hasn't been able to escape that major humiliation. His good friend Alex stuck by him, but Alex doesn't have as much time since he started dating Fabrizio. Luckily, Wil can confide in his best friend: his elderly neighbor Sal. Also, Wil's in the school band, where he plays the triangle. They're doing an exchange program with students from Paris, and Wilbur's billet, Charlie, a tall, chic young woman who plays the ukulele and burps with abandon, captures his heart. Charlie likes him, but only as a friend. So Alex, Fabrizio and Sal host a Queer Eye-style intervention to get Wil in shape and to build his confidence so he can impress Charlie when their band visits Paris, and just maybe replace humiliation with true romance in the City of Love.