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Lark and the Dessert Disaster

Orca Book Publishers | Orca Echoes


Lark and Connor are judges for the annual baking contest at the community center. When they arrive, they discover that someone has destroyed a contestant's entry. And not just any contestant’s entry—Sophie's! Sophie is Lark's best friend (she just doesn't know it yet). The twin sleuths can't simply roll with it. To save the contest they'll have to take a whisk risk and start investigating the other contestants. With the timer ticking, Lark and Connor have to find the culprit before someone actually takes the cake.

Lark and the Dessert Disaster is the fourth title in the Lark Ba Detective series, following Lark Holds the Key, Lark and the Diamond Caper and Lark Takes a Bow.

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Award-winning author Natasha Deen loves stories: exciting ones, scary ones and, especially, funny ones! As a kid of two countries (Guyana and Canada), she feels especially lucky because she gets a double dose of stories. When she’s not working on her books or visiting schools, she spends a lot of time trying to convince her dogs and cats that she’s the boss of the house. For more information, visit natashadeen.com and follow her on Twitter @natasha_deen and Instagram @natasha_deen.

 
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Shadows on the Train

Orca Book Publishers | Dinah Galloway


It's all aboard! for mystery when Dinah Galloway takes the cross-country train from Vancouver to Toronto, to appear on a TV talent show. But will she make it-or be permanently derailed? Along with her sister Madge, and her fellow junior musicians, tree fanatic Pantelli Audia and history buff Talbot St. John, Dinah is shadowed by someone who wants to get hold of an $80,000 treasure left by her late dad. But what is the treasure? The redheaded, singing sleuth realizes that the secret dwells somewhere in her dad's murky past, and involves a funny, if less than respectable, ex-con named Ardle McBean, and a mysterious man with a bowl cut. The mystery accelerates when Dinah's sweet, elderly piano teacher, also on the train, disappears and the danger to Dinah increases. She struggles to keep on the tracks of the mystery before the shadows, past and present, overwhelm her.

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A 2018 CCBC-TD Book Week author, Melanie Jackson has written several books for young readers in the Orca Currents series, including Tick Tock Terror, Medusa's Scream and Death Drop. Every spring Melanie teaches a mystery unit at a Vancouver secondary school. When not devising diabolical mysteries, she works for corporate clients as a contract writer/editor. Melanie lives in Vancouver.

 
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Tin Soldier

Orca Book Publishers | The Seven Sequels


Jim Webb’s pursuit of the truth about his grandfather’s role in the Vietnam War puts him squarely in the sights of someone high up in the US military—someone who wants certain events from that war left in the past. Webb goes on the run in the American Deep South with Lee, a Vietnam vet, trying to smoke out the man they call the Bogeyman by using Webb as bait. The Bogeyman may be powerful and smart, but Webb and Lee, with the help of a few of Lee’s old army buddies (and one motorcycle-riding girl), are ready to take him down.

Tin Soldier is the sequel to both Barracuda, part of The Seven Prequels and Devil's Pass, part of Seven (The Series).

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"A fast-paced story with lots of twists, Tin Soldier will have readers hooked and cheering on its teenaged main character Webb from page one...Faked deaths, secret identities, political corruption, and unexpected bonds unravel and develop as Webb and Lee learn more about each other...A great read that is hard to put down, full of characters readers can’t help but root for, and packed with historical facts without allowing the story to become a dry history lesson. Highly Recommended."

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"Rich in historical detail, the narrative is a crash course on a volatile time in American history. Webb, who battles his own internal demons even as he's fighting external enemies, is a complicated and authentic hero."

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"A good choice for older reluctant readers or students interested in recent history...This thrill-a-minute series will hook reluctant readers as well as fans of James Bond and Jason Bourne."

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"Brouwer certainly knows how to weave an intriguing mystery, and protagonist Jim Webb’s blend of hard-earned cynicism and innate compassion stand him in good stead as he unravels the secrets of his grandfather’s past...[Webb] learns that self-respect and forgiveness are key to letting go of anger. Racism, tolerance, compassion, self-respect, and the power of song resonate through the novel. In the end, as he performs his adaptation in a small club, we cheer for Webb as much as does his audience."

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Sigmund Brouwer is the author of over 20 novels for adults and dozens of books for children. He visits over 150 schools per year to deliver his Rock and Roll Literacy presentation, reaching about 60,000 students per year. Sigmund lives in Red Deer, Alberta. For more information, visit www.sigmundbrouwer.com.

 
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Sleeper

Orca Book Publishers | The Seven Sequels


DJ jets across the Atlantic to England to follow a series of obscure clues and symbols he hopes will reveal the truth about his grandfather. In London, he stays with Doris, the elderly woman he climbed Mount Kilimanjaro with. Laid up with a broken ankle, Doris has her grandchild, Charlie, offer assistance. Charlie—short for Charlotte—is a beautiful model who is romantically (and secretly) linked to a member of the British Royal Family. Spies, guns, double agents, the Cambridge Five and a vintage E-Type Jag are a few of the things DJ and Charlie encounter on an adventure that makes climbing Kilimanjaro look like a walk in the park.

Sleeper is the sequel to both Jungle Land, part of The Seven Prequels and Between Heaven and Earth, part of Seven (The Series).

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"Sleeper will be the answer to all 'Which book should I read next?' questions this upcoming school year. It has something for everyone—strong male character, strong female character, mystery, spies, action, travel, fast cars, good role models, history and, yes, even a touch of a love story. Everyone should read Sleeper and when you read one, you'll be sure to read them all!"

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"What a great way to take readers from David McLean directing the actions of his grandsons, as he did in the Seven Series, to the boys looking to new adventures, pursuing their own suspicions and curiosity about their grandfather, and embarking on adventures that will put their intrepid natures to the test in more daring situations. Sleeper introduces the theme of espionage and hidden identities in an intriguing manner...[It] is a propitious beginning for my reading of The Seven Sequels. Make it one of yours too."

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"This thrill-a-minute series will hook reluctant readers as well as fans of James Bond and Jason Bourne."

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"Part Holmes-ian mystery and part James Bond adventure, DJ's quest requires both intellect and an unflappable resolve...[A] solid nod to the British spy and mystery legacy. A fast-paced, enjoyable entrée to this mystery/adventure series."

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"Flashy, quick and fun...A perfect Robert Ludlum-esque redux for the middle-grade set."

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"The setting is vibrant, and the thrills are a mile-a-minute. Fans of James Bond, Jason Bourne, and other action/espionage heroes will find much to love in Walters’ latest book for young readers. Highly Recommended."

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Eric Walters began writing as a way to get his fifth-grade students interested in reading and writing. A Member of the Order of Canada, he has now published more than 100 novels and picture books. He is a tireless presenter, speaking to over 100,000 students per year in schools across the country. He lives in Guelph, Ontario.

 
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Caching In

Orca Book Publishers | Orca Currents


Eric and Chris are avid geocachers who stumble into a very strange search for a series of geocaches. At first they are merely curious, but as the stakes rise and the challenges become more trying, the boys get truly hooked. Convinced they are indeed on the trail of treasure, they become consumed with the search, and though their quest tests their strength, intelligence, courage and even their friendship, they don't give up.

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"The novel very convincingly captures an adolescent perspective and the nuances of friendship at this age...The topic of geocaching is an excellent plot device for a contemporary quest or search for clues and will likely lead more than a few readers to investigate geocaching in their own neighborhoods. Readers will also appreciate the twist in the plot at the end as the boys come face to face with a rival before their adventure reaches a satisfying conclusion."

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"Budding Dan Brown fans will enjoy the ride of this fast-paced, plot-driven narrative."

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"Dangerous tasks, tests trying their stamina, and more and more difficult clues keep readers guessing and the boys questioning what makes this cache unique and exactly what will be the end result. Despite all these obstacles the boys see the cache search to its surprising conclusion. This title is suggested for young men, especially reluctant readers."

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"This adrenalin-induced strive will be well recognized by most teen readers—especially boys...The end result only solidifies the feeling of reward the readers will share with Eric and Chris, who have together succeeded where either alone would likely have failed."

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Kristin Butcher is the author of several books for young readers, including The Trouble with Liberty and The Hemingway Tradition in the Orca Soundings collection. Kristin lives in Campbell River, British Columbia.

 
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The Wolf and Me

Orca Book Publishers | The Seven Sequels


Bunny is in trouble. He’s been kidnapped from the skating rink at City Hall in Toronto, and now he’s locked in a cold basement room, still in his parka and skates. Where is he? And why do his kidnappers keep asking questions about his dead grandpa and some weird national anthem? Bunny may not always know what’s going on, but he has an innocent’s ability to get to the heart of things and find out what it’s all about. When he manages to escape, he skates across hockey rinks and down frozen highways, always a few strides ahead of his kidnappers. He gets help along the way from an assortment of characters—some kindly, some crazy, some scary and at least one that will make your jaw drop.

The Wolf and Me is the sequel to both Weerdest Day Ever!, part of The Seven Prequels and Ink Me, part of Seven (The Series).

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"[Bunny] bumbles along, and we get so caught up in his absurd adventures, his crazy misunderstandings, that we are compelled to read on and on...If that isn't the mark of a good book, I don't know what is."

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"This thrill-a-minute series will hook reluctant readers as well as fans of James Bond and Jason Bourne."

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"Bunny's learning disabilities can make academics challenging, but his unique way of viewing the world might just be the key to his freedom...Bunny's indomitable spirit makes him a likable, one-of-a-kind narrator...Readers will respond to this improbable, deeply sympathetic hero."

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"This book [is] great fun. Bunny's adventures veer toward the edge of implausible, but his frank and lovable voice made me cheer for him...Like Richard Scrimger's previous novels, this book is playfully and smartly written. Readers who have already explored the original Seven the Series books will welcome another delightful, if improbable, adventure with Bunny...An all-around rollicking read."

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"Poor Bunny. He's such a great guy but, often through no fault of his own, he gets himself immersed in the most unusual, even dangerous, situations...Like the detention centre, there are many obstacles that impede Bunny's journey. But he always finds a way to turn them into something positive... I'm so glad Richard Scrimger gave him life. He makes life better for all who meet him, fictional characters and readers alike."

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Richard Scrimger is the award-winning author of twenty books for children and adults, and has written for television and print media. His fiction has been translated into a dozen languages. The father of four children, Richard is used to being confused, misunderstood, and laughed at. For more information, visit www.scrimger.ca or follow him on Twitter @richardscrimger.

 
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Shadow

Orca Book Publishers | Orca Currents


Fourteen-year-old Preston Craft is organizing a film festival for his school's film club. When one of the films goes missing two days before the festival begins, Preston is convinced it was stolen and is determined to get it back. The only indication of the theft is a suspicious shadow that Preston noticed right before he discovered the film was gone—but Preston is legally blind and no one quite believes him. However, not unlike the gritty private eyes in the classic black-and-white films he adores, Preston refuses to give up. Can he solve the mystery based on such a shady clue?

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"Shadow would be a great resource for those looking for an item that highlights diversity or trying to target a young reader who has an interest in cinema and film. The first person narration helps draw readers into the action and moves the story forward at a steady pace…Shadow is a great book that offers an engaging complexity within a small, accessible format."

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"The writing is straightforward with uncomplicated, short sentences, but [the] plotline is immersive. Written between a third and fourth grade reading level, this [book] will particularly appeal to middle school hi-lo readers."

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"The book is easy to follow and has a moral about letting people that we perceive as having a 'disability' make their own choices."

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Mere Joyce writes short stories as well as novels and holds a Master of Library and Information Science from the University of Western Ontario. As both a writer and a librarian, she understands the importance of reading and the impact the right story can have on young minds. She lives in Kitchener, Ontario, with her family. For more information, visit www.merejoyce.com.

 
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Bio-pirate

Orca Book Publishers | Orca Currents


Trevor, Robyn and Nick decide they have a mystery to solve when Trevor discovers a suspicious looking young man snooping around. They learn about missing research involving the use of carob beans to aid in cancer treatment-potentially valuable information. With a shady looking grad student, a bitter activist and an employee of a medical research firm to deal with, our amateur sleuths are faced with their greatest challenge yet.

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"Highly recommended."

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"This mystery involving a shady graduate student and a vengeful activist is right up the alley for the amateur sleuths…and the ending makes the reader realize that right and wrong frequently have shades of grey. Recommended."

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"This is a fast-paced novel useful in a reading-tutor class...great for a grade 9 or 10 student in such a class." [Rated Excellent.]

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Michele Martin Bossley is the author of numerous books for young people, including Jumper and Kicker in the Orca Sports series. A frequent speaker at writing conferences and schools, Michele divides her time between writing and parenting her four sons. She lives in Calgary.

 
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Coda

Orca Book Publishers | The Seven Sequels


When his brother Bunny vanishes from the Toronto City Hall skating rink, Spencer, a budding filmmaker, finds himself plunged into the stuff of movie thrillers: kidnapping, terrorists, intrigue, a missing document, a world-famous pop star, disguises, romance and a rogue alligator. As he races the clock to save his brother, he must sort the real from the make-believe and unravel a murder mystery involving his grandfather. The last time Spencer got tangled up in an adventure from his grandfather’s past, he didn’t believe it was for real. Now he can’t get anyone to believe him when he says that Bunny has been kidnapped and that someone is going to die.

Coda is the sequel to both Speed, part of The Seven Prequels and Jump Cut, part of Seven (The Series).

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"Part 007 and part Mr. Bean, Spencer is the perfect combination of nerdy secret agent and bumbling, lovesick teen. Surprising twists, dangerous foes and a generous helping of mac 'n' cheese make for a suspenseful mystery with a hint of romance. This clever spy adventure features a likable hero and bursts with enough film references to satisfy all but the most hard-core movie buffs."

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"A fun read with interesting characters and a quirky plotline."

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"Oddball characters like Bun’s program supervisor Roz, and the counterrevolutionary Dusan, are carefully drawn complex individuals who enliven the plot and make it believable...This book will be of great appeal to junior high students, both boys and girls."

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"This thrill-a-minute series will hook reluctant readers as well as fans of James Bond and Jason Bourne."

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“A good choice for anyone who likes mystery and action books as well as the Seven Series.”

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Ted Staunton divides his time between writing and a busy schedule as a speaker, workshop leader, storyteller and musical performer for children and adults. Ted lives in Port Hope, Ontario. For more information, visit www.tedstauntonbooks.com.

 
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Charlie's Key

Orca Book Publishers


When Charlie Sykes wakes up in hospital in St. John's, he learns that he and his father have been in a car accident and that his father is dying. Charlie inherits little more than the brass key that his father pressed into his hand before he passed away. As far as Charlie knows, he has no family in Newfoundland. But then Uncle Nick shows up and is keen to meet his nephew—not because of who Charlie is, but rather because of what Charlie has: the key.

That key will unlock a treasure Uncle Nick began searching for more than thirty years earlier. And he would have found it all those years ago if he hadn't been arrested and sent away for murder. But Charlie isn't convinced he should give up the key. He leads Uncle Nick on a wild chase through old St. John's, across Signal Hill and out to the coast. There, high above the rugged Atlantic, Charlie finally comes face-to-face with Uncle Nick, the treasure, and a family history that will leave him with a new understanding of where he comes from and where he's going.

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"In Charlie, Rob Mills has created a nearly perfect, enigmatic character. Charlie is naïve yet worldly. He is compassionate and vulnerable, yet resilient and resourceful...The falling action is equally intriguing, and when the reader reaches the ending, he finds it to be shocking and emotional. Readers will want a sequel, needless to say, in order to discover the next chapter in Charlie's life. Mills combines contemporary topics like child abuse and a writing style that is full of local color and dialect to give us an excellent book."

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"Mills' writing seamlessly brings together the pathos of Charlie's situation with the coarseness of Frankie's and Nick's circumstances...The cliff hangers, beyond those of its setting, repeatedly lead the reader to anticipate but instead surprise, just the way a great thriller should."

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"This suspenseful mystery keeps the reader engaged...Charlie is a very likeable character, one to whom readers will easily relate. In addition to the major themes, censorship and literacy are issues which are also brought up and could instigate conversation in a classroom. Highly Recommended."

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"While foggy cliffs and colorful villages effectively evoke the exotic Newfoundland setting, it's the mystery that moves the tale forward...A fast-paced, often riveting mystery with a plausible, thrilling climax."

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"Charlie is a true teen hero. Faced with a situation that would be well beyond the abilities of the average 13-year-old, Charlie is a character that will catch the attention of most teenagers. A fast-moving and exciting plot leaves the reader wanting more at the end of each page. The descriptions of Newfoundland are haunting, creating a compelling visual backdrop for the story. The conclusion is both believable and satisfying."

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Rob Mills has been an award-winning reporter, newspaper editor and writer in Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Ontario. Charlie's Key is his first published novel. He lives in Pererborough, Ontario with his wife and two daughters.

 
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