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Cover zur kostenlosen eBook-Leseprobe von »Beyond Repair«

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Beyond Repair

Orca Book Publishers | Orca Currents


As much as life has irrevocably changed since the death of his father, much has stayed the same for Cam. He's always had a great deal of responsibility around the house, but the burden is heavier now in combination with the load of grief he's been carrying. After the man who was driving the truck that killed his father turns up at the end of the driveway, Cam feels pressure to keep his family safe as well. He starts to see the man everywhere: at his work, in stores, at his sister's school. Cam needs to know what the man wants from his family, and he starts following his father's killer in search of answers.

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"Peterson keeps readers engaged from page one of this suspenseful and touching (yet admirably unsentimental) hi-lo book."

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"[Peterson] writes accomplished suspense, especially given the limitations placed on high interest-low vocabulary titles. Readers will be hard-pressed to stop at the end of each short chapter, and the author convincingly conveys Cameron's fear and confusion...Characters, even Cameron's deceased father, are complex and multi-dimensional...Peterson's novel should find an audience with suspense fans of all reading levels. Recommended."

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"I found the book a quick but thought-provoking read, the characters believable and the story compelling. I would recommend its purchase both for the library and the classroom."

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"Compact, dialogue driven writing keeps the atmosphere tense as Cam races toward a confrontation with his father's killer...A resonant, quick read from a reliable reluctant reader series."

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"Explored some tough issues, yet did it in a fast-paced way that will appeal to reluctant readers."

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Lois Peterson wrote short stories and articles for adults for twenty years before turning to writing for kids. She was born in England and has lived in Iraq, France and the United States. She now lives in Surrey, British Columbia, where she writes, reads and teaches creative writing to adults, teens and children.

 
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Cover zur kostenlosen eBook-Leseprobe von »Meeting Miss 405«

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Meeting Miss 405

Orca Book Publishers | Orca Young Readers


Life is hard enough for Tansy with her depressed mom away indefinitely and her dad making a mess of things at home. But then Dad sends her down the hall to a wrinkly old babysitter named Miss Stella, who Tansy hates on sight. Miss Stella has a unique perspective on life, to say the least, but with the help of her best friend Parveen, Tansy gradually learns to manage all the changes in her life and make unexpected new friends in the process.

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"Peterson manages to blend aspects of forming friendships with the most unexpected people and finding hope and strength within ourselves...A delight to read and highly recommended."

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"There are several storylines and themes that are skillfully intertwined in this novel... [and] the character of quirky Miss Stella is particularly unique and appealing."

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"Top notch... This is a wise purchase for a library that will make a good read-a-loud and will entertain the adult reading the book as well as the children listening. "

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"Full of thought-provoking issues, this was a novel I fully enjoyed."

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"A beautifully told tale that tackles some heavy topics...No condescending, oversimplified pabulum here."

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"Recommended."

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"Excellent...This book would make a good class set."

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Lois Peterson wrote short stories and articles for adults for twenty years before turning to writing for kids. She was born in England and has lived in Iraq, France and the United States. She now lives in Surrey, British Columbia, where she writes, reads and teaches creative writing to adults, teens and children.

 
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Cover zur kostenlosen eBook-Leseprobe von »The Ballad of Knuckles McGraw«

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The Ballad of Knuckles McGraw

Orca Book Publishers | Orca Young Readers


After eight-year-old Kevin Mason's mother abandons him, he takes refuge in his fantasy of becoming Knuckles McGraw, a tough cowboy roaming the plains on his legendary horse, Burlington Northern. But instead of riding the range, Kevin is stuck in a foster home with a pierced and tattooed teenager named Ice and a mute girl named Breezy.

While he waits to be claimed by the father he barely remembers or the mother who left him a good-bye note in his lunchbox, Kevin (aka Knuckles McGraw) tries to communicate with Breezy, learns to get along with his bunkhouse-mate Ice, and discovers that memories can be as deceptive as family secrets.

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"Readers will certainly be drawn to the plucky, appealing grade-schooler and the terrible plight he so bravely faces."

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"Peterson's fiction is a welcomed addition to an elementary school library…She incorporates interesting characters, well-developed plots, and sensitive handling of realistic issues written at an appropriate age level. I tip my cowboy hat to Peterson and the 'Orca Young Readers' series and hope I will be reading more of her work in the future. Highly Recommended."

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"Peterson...has written another great story for young readers. While the story is simply crafted, her language is a delight and readers will be kept engaged...The book exceeds tremendously in inspiring hope."

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"The author understands how kids think, a fact that will allow the kids in your library to thoroughly enjoy this book...Recommended."

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"A humorous yet sensitive story…[Peterson] fills the story with a host of characters who are unusual yet kind and as we hear their stories we develop empathy for each of them."

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Lois Peterson wrote short stories and articles for adults for twenty years before turning to writing for kids. She was born in England and has lived in Iraq, France and the United States. She now lives in Surrey, British Columbia, where she writes, reads and teaches creative writing to adults, teens and children.

 
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Cover zur kostenlosen eBook-Leseprobe von »Disconnect«

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Disconnect

Orca Book Publishers | Orca Currents


Since moving hundreds of miles to a new school, Daria has become increasingly dependent on her cell phone. Texts, Facebook and phone calls are her only connection to her friends in Calgary, and Daria needs to know everything that is going on at home to feel connected to her old life. Her cell phone habit looks a lot like addiction to her mother and to her new friend Cleo. Daria dismisses the idea of technology addiction as foolish until her habit puts a life in danger.

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"[Orca Currents] cover up-to-the-minute topics in a fast-paced, captivating style...These are smart books that will hold the interest of reluctant middle school readers and would be a good purchase for all libraries...In Disconnect Peterson offers complex characterizations and a rich plot."

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"An effective, up-to-the-minute look at a very real problem that will resonate with the vast majority of teens in love with their communication gadgets and social media."

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"This high interest, low vocabulary book is written for a generation that is used to being 'plugged in.'...Didactic without being preachy, Peterson will connect with her audience without losing them for judging one of the central means her audience uses to communicate."

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"Young teens will identify with the dependence on technology to remain connected in this book written for reluctant readers. The high interest, timely subject will be make for lively discussion for middle school readers."

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"Interesting and enagaging. Including themes of moving to a new city, flirting with boys, and general teenage anxiety, Peterson makes this more than a single-issue story."

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Lois Peterson wrote short stories and articles for adults for twenty years before turning to writing for kids. She was born in England and has lived in Iraq, France and the United States. She now lives in Surrey, British Columbia, where she writes, reads and teaches creative writing to adults, teens and children.

 
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Cover zur kostenlosen eBook-Leseprobe von »Silver Rain«

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Silver Rain

Orca Book Publishers


Abandoned by her father during the Depression, eleven-year-old Elsie lives in the garage behind her old house with her mother, grandmother Nan and out-of-work uncle. Elsie's friend Scoop accompanies her as she searches for her father in the city, encountering unfriendly hobos, food lines and shantytowns.

After both her uncle and her mother disappear on mysterious errands, Elsie and Scoop eventually discover them competing in a dance marathon. Persuading them to abandon the contest, Elsie and Scoop lead the exhausted dancers home, where Nan has news of Elsie's father and his impending return to the family.

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"Silver Rain is They Shoot Horses, Don't They? for the tween set and it must be read…After you pick your jaw up from the floor, however, you'll find that this story feels wholly and respectfully authentic to its time period…Peterson gets the little, evocative details just right."

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"Elsie's situation is well written enough to give you heartache...The historical points are well research[ed] and the exploitive dance marathons found during the depression are highlighted, which is an interesting and lesser known situation to learn about. A solid book."

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"Young readers will be right there alongside Elsie as Peterson's spare, fast-paced prose portrays her character and experience with intimacy and warmth...In Peterson's finely wrought, affecting children's fiction, the characters are created with tender consideration for human complexity and frailty, for there is always more to people and why they do what they do."

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"Accurate and eye-opening to students who may be unfamiliar with the hardships many endured during the Depression...Elsie and Scoop are both likable characters...This book would be a nice companion piece to use during a unit on the Depression."

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"The novel's younger characters are authentic, and the readers will have no trouble seeing the world through Elsie's 11-year-old eyes. Similarly, Ernest "Scoop" Styles, Elsie's charming and curiosity-driven friend, is ably crafted...Well selected periodical details give the book shape and depth."

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"The search for family and relationships in tough times rings true…An absorbing and perceptive story."

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"This story of a family suffering through economic hardship will resonate with many of today's readers…Despite the grim plot elements, this is a story of hope, and it is smoothly written…Well-researched historical fiction with a sympathetic main character."

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"Terse, grim, and funny, the plainspoken narrative from Elsie's viewpoint beautifully conveys a child's sense of the times...The surprises are never melodramatic, even as they build to an ending that reveals what despair can force the desperate to do."

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"This is a story of hope during adversity and the danger of secrets...This accessible story will be received well by younger readers interested in historical function. Recommended."

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"Themes of bleak hopelessness, destitution, and helplessness permeate this gritty, true-to-life story of the 'Dirty Thirties.' It would be a solid addition to libraries…Recommended."

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"Peterson's characters are interesting. They each have their eccentricities and funny foibles and seem very realistic...This book could lead to excellent class discussions [and]...deserves to be read and discussed as part of Canadian studies on the Depression."

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Lois Peterson wrote short stories and articles for adults for twenty years before turning to writing for kids. She was born in England and has lived in Iraq, France and the United States. She now lives in Surrey, British Columbia, where she writes, reads and teaches creative writing to adults, teens and children.

 
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Cover zur kostenlosen eBook-Leseprobe von »The Paper House«

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The Paper House

Orca Book Publishers | Orca Young Readers


Life is hard for ten-year-old Safiyah in the Kibera slum outside Nairobi. Too poor to go to school, she makes a meager living for herself and her grandmother Cucu by selling things she finds at the garbage dump. After using scavenged paper to fix up the inside of the hut, Safiyah starts a mural on the outside. As word of the paper house spreads, Safiyah begins to take pride in her creation. When Cucu collapses after a fire, Safiyah stays at the hospital to help care for her grandmother. While Safiyah is away, her friend Pendo works on the mural, which upsets Safiyah. But when Pendo attracts media attention to the paper house, Safiyah and her grandmother are given a chance of a better life.

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"Despite the dingy setting and omnipresence of poverty in Safiyah's story, this is not a sad tale; it is rather an uplifting story of a girl with pure and unselfish motives learning to trust others and being rewarded for her talent. Not that it glosses over the darker side: Safiyah's struggle is realistically portrayed, and her feelings of desperation and shame thoughtfully depicted. This is a solid and accessible offering for young readers eager to experience life in someone else's shoes."

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"Young American readers will identify with many of the protagonist's daily problems (fights with friends, frustration with relatives), while challenges she faces (searching for potable water, finding medical aid for her grandmother) will educate them about life in poverty-stricken Kibera. There is an unfortunate lack of books for young readers about this part of the world."

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"A wonderful story about the importance of community which will raise awareness about the conditions some people must endure, and how a situation, no matter how dire, can be changed if you really want change. Highly Recommended."

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"An unusual story of life in a country that many readers from 4-8th grade would rarely read about. This is a story of struggle, love, and trying to make the best of your circumstances. It is also a story of how a community tries to support each other to survive. An excellent read that will keep readers caring about the characters and wondering what Safiyah is doing with her colorful pieces of paper. You can't help but cheer for Safiyah."

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"Safiyah is a heroine who through her own actions and passions enables change in her life and in her community, despite the limitations of her situation...Peterson has created a vibrant story full of emotion and descriptive richness, bringing awareness of life in an African slum and the daily struggles for survival that occur there."

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"Readers will come away happy for Safiyah and at least a little more aware of conditions in one of the Third World’s more blighted locales."

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Lois Peterson wrote short stories and articles for adults for twenty years before turning to writing for kids. She was born in England and has lived in Iraq, France and the United States. She now lives in Surrey, British Columbia, where she writes, reads and teaches creative writing to adults, teens and children.

 
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Cover zur kostenlosen eBook-Leseprobe von »Three Good Things«

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Three Good Things

Orca Book Publishers | Orca Currents


Leni has lived in so many different places in the last few years that she’s not surprised when her mom wakes her in the middle of the night and tells her to pack up her things. The reason for this move? Her mom tells her they have won the lottery, and they have to go underground. Leni is still not surprised when they end up in a filthy motel. But when Leni makes a new friend and tries to explain their lifestyle, she begins to understand just how messed-up her life has become.

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"Like many fiction titles focussing on mental health issues, Three Good Things plays a role in breaking down barriers and starting up conversations around the topic...The story is to be commended for providing a safe place for readers to explore the issue of mental health and build empathy towards others whose full story we often do not know."

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"Leni is a strong character living a very difficult life...Jake and his family finally provide a touchstone for her, and her mother’s critical illness provides her with a reason to call her grandfather. Readers will learn that there is definitely a time and place to ask for help!"

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"Peterson keeps this novella punchy and lean, catering to readers who need compelling plot-driven stories. She portrays Leni as tough and savvy but still young and vulnerable, an appealing characterization. An effective, quick, and involving story."

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"Topics such as homelessness and mental illness are presented in a way that the reader can easily relate to. This would be a good book to enhance a hi-lo collection. Recommended."

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Lois Peterson wrote short stories and articles for adults for twenty years before turning to writing for kids. She was born in England and has lived in Iraq, France and the United States. She now lives in Surrey, British Columbia, where she writes, reads and teaches creative writing to adults, teens and children.

 
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Cover zur kostenlosen eBook-Leseprobe von »The Wrong Bus«

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The Wrong Bus

Orca Book Publishers | Orca Echoes


Jack loves and misses his bus-driving grandfather. When Grandpa Nod got sick, Jack's mother said eight-year-old Jack was too young to visit his grandfather in the hospital. When Grandpa Nod died, Jack's mother said Jack was too young to go to the funeral.

One day after school, Jack gets on the wrong bus. To his surprise he discovers Grandpa Nod is in the driver's seat of the empty bus. Grandpa Nod takes him to all the places Jack was too young to go—the hospital, the funeral home and the cemetery.

By the end of the ride, Jack has had the chance to tell his grandfather how much he misses him. And with his birthday coming soon, Jack receives a very special gift—Grandpa Nod's bus schedules. So even if he does get on the wrong bus, Jack will always be able to find his way home.

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"For children who have recently lost someone in their lives, or for any child who is curious about death, this story is a good option...The Wrong Bus is a unique story that lets children confront an important subject at their own level, making it a good addition to both personal and school collections. Recommended."

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"Jack soberly takes in each scene, asks cogent questions...and absorbs his grandpa’s comforting responses...while quietly demonstrating that, given just a little distance, he—and, by extension, young children in general—is indeed capable of comprehending and coping with the loss of loved ones."

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"A gentle way of talking to children about aging, illness, death and grief."

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"Peterson deals with a sensitive issue in a light-hearted, non-threatening manner. She allows the reader to empathize with Jack as he tries to understand and come to terms with his loss. Soft, b&w illustrations are peppered throughout the text, creating an added sense of comfort. This would be a good choice for a child who is dealing with the death of a loved one."

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"Although this seems like a sad story, it is well told and could help any child get through losing a grandparent."

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"Peterson has addressed the issue of death and grief in a respectful manner...Readers who are dealing with the death of a loved one may find that this book gives them the tools to address the feelings they are experiencing. It could definitely be used by parents, teachers and counsellors to help young children understand the grieving process."

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Lois Peterson wrote short stories and articles for adults for twenty years before turning to writing for kids. She was born in England and has lived in Iraq, France and the United States. She now lives in Surrey, British Columbia, where she writes, reads and teaches creative writing to adults, teens and children.

 
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