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Cover zur kostenlosen eBook-Leseprobe von »Eight Times Up«

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Eight Times Up

Orca Book Publishers


Ever since his mom left, Riley has been a mess. He feels nervous all the time. His heart pounds, his neck is tight, and he can't seem to turn off his brain. His dad signs him up for aikido, hoping it will help.

In the dojo, Riley meets boys who are much rougher than he is and a girl who is tougher than all the rest of them put together. For Wafaa, aikido is not her first choice. She was disqualified from competing in judo for wearing a hijab. From the first time she steps on the mat, it's clear she is far more skilled than anyone expected.

Through the teachings of their sensei, Riley and his classmates come to understand that aikido is not about winning or losing or about being perfect. Sensei shows them how to tap into their inner strength and find their place in the universe.

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John Corr has a third-degree black belt in Yoshinkan Aikido as well as a PhD in English from McMaster University. He lives in Hamilton, Ontario, with his wife and three sons.

 
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Cover zur kostenlosen eBook-Leseprobe von »Breaking Big«

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Breaking Big

Orca Book Publishers | Orca Limelights


Robin’s got everything it takes to be a principal dancer: the body, the feet, the strength and the passion. But his devil-may-care attitude plays havoc with discipline at the Premier Dance School. One more prank may be one too many. That’s why everyone is shocked when he’s the only student dancer picked to understudy with the company, even though the choice makes sense—Robin is cast as Puck, the annoying trickster fairy in A Midsummer’s Night Dream. Shock turns to horror when the principal dancer is injured and Robin has to perform instead. The other dancers don’t think he can pull it off, and even Robin wonders if it’s too much too soon.

Will his big break kill his career before it even starts?

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"Nicely captures the competition and camaraderie of a group of people whose bodies are honed, molded, bloodied, and broken in pursuit of a common dream. It is refreshing to see this story told from a male dancer's perspective, and Robin's narrative style, arrogant and vulnerable by turn, aptly reflects the angst and self-doubt of a teenager who realizes that obtaining his heart's desire means that he now has something to lose. As his good fortune turns his classmates into critics and breeds its own particular brand of loneliness, the novel's dramatic stakes remain clear and absorbing. While Robin is the novel's protagonist, ballet itself is undeniably the story's main character. Contextual usage of ballet terminology and vivid description of movement bring the physicality and fluidity of dance to life, making this novel both a love letter and useful introduction to the art form. Dance veterans and newbies will relate to this readable account of the trials and tribulations of being in the spotlight."

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"Draper has written a delightful story about a world that most teenagers, especially males, never see. Draper has the teenage attitude and behavior down perfectly and that makes Robin’s life realistic. A fun novel to read, and teens will surely enjoy a peek into the world of dance, possibly even opening an avenue to their dreams of dance as a career. Highly Recommended."

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"A solid addition to the Orca Limelights Series...To those interested in a fine arts-based education, this novel provides an unsentimental view of the rigorous scheduling and interpersonal dynamics."

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Penny Draper is the award-winning author of numerous books for kids and teens. Raised in Toronto, Ontario, she now lives in Victoria, British Columbia. For more information, visit www.pennydraper.ca.

 
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Cover zur kostenlosen eBook-Leseprobe von »Beneath Raven Moon«

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Beneath Raven Moon

Crow Cottage Publishing


There are as many Creation stories as there are First Nations on Turtle Island. The story of a Great Flood is known to indigenous people in every corner of the world. But what about the Moon? Who made her? What was her intended purpose?

Beneath Raven Moon is an enchanting tale of the creation of Grandmother Moon and of the first time she wove her spell on a young, unsuspecting couple.

The story unfolds in the territory of the Kwakwaka’wakw people – now also known as British Columbia’s Inside Passage – where Raven and Eagle join together in good-natured conspiracy to foster a heart-warming romance.

Follow the magical vision of Métis author David Bouchard and Kwakwaka’wakw artist Andy Everson to learn why Raven found it necessary to bless us with the heavenly sphere that guides we two-leggeds and illuminates our night sky.

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Canada’s award-winning author David Bouchard is Métis. The author of over fifty bestselling books, his If You’re Not From the Prairie is on Maclean’s list of the top 20 children’s books in the history of Canada. David was a teacher and a principle for many years before turning to writing.

“I grew up in a white, Catholic society knowing nothing of my Métis roots. Recently a force has drawn me (pushed is perhaps more telling) to explore my own Native bloodlines. This journey, the ideas, the contacts and the passion are all inspired by my grandmother, my teacher, my Nokum!”

 
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Cover zur kostenlosen eBook-Leseprobe von »44 Hours or Strike!«

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44 Hours or Strike!

Second Story Press


The Toronto Dressmakers’ Strike of 1931 brings young sisters Sophie and Rose together in their fight for better working conditions, decent wages, and for their union. It’s a tough battle as distrust and resentment of immigrants is growing, with many people blaming their poverty and difficulties on these workers. Sophie and Rose are faced with unexpected — and sometimes violent — barriers, and they quickly find that a strike is more than just a march.

Barely into the strike, Rose is imprisoned after a fight in a picket line, leaving fourteen-year-old Sophie to take care of their ailing mother at night and spend her days protesting in the freezing wind. Rose’s isolation in prison weakens her resolve for change. Will they be able to continue the fight for what they once so strongly believed in?

In the midst of anti-Semitism and the Great Depression, Sophie, Rose, and their union come together to try to make a lasting change.

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The garment workers’ struggle for better wages and employment conditions is vividly portrayed in a story of two Jewish sisters living and working in Toronto during the Depression.

Sophie and Rose toil long, brutal hours in a garment factory in order to support themselves and their ill, widowed mother. When union organizers from the United States encourage a dressmaker’s strike, at first the girls think that marching with the others will be bold and courageous. But when Rose is arrested and imprisoned for disorderly conduct, 14-year-old Sophie is left to care for their mother while continuing to support the strike. Intense, dramatic descriptions bring out the hardships of sweatshop life in the early 1930s, making plain the motivations for the efforts of the International Ladies’ Garment Workers Union. A realistic clash of cultures is seen in the undertones of anti-Semitism that correspond to Jewish distrust of gentiles. In addition, vague references to sexual abuse in a prison environment underscore Rose’s dramatic turnaround from a strong, feisty character to one of timid sadness. The well-developed characterization folds in some historical figures, such as Emma Goldman and Bernard Shane of the ILGWU. Yiddish phrases sprinkled throughout the text provide a distinct, Jewish-immigrant environment for this persuasive narrative with its candid message about the realities of a labor action.

A realistic look at a hard-fought fight. (author’s notes, further reading, websites)

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Anne Dublin is a former teacher-librarian and award-winning author living in Toronto. She has written two biographies for Second Story Press: June Callwood: A Life of Action and Bobbie Rosenfeld: The Olympian Who Could Do Everything, as well as Dynamic Women Dancers, part of the Women’s Hall of Fame Series. She has also written the children’s historical fiction novel The Orphan Rescue.

 
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Cover zur kostenlosen eBook-Leseprobe von »Bright Shining Moment«

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Bright Shining Moment

Second Story Press


Aline hides under the hay when her father takes her to school in their horse-drawn sled. She’s embarrassed that her mother raises chickens in their yard, and doesn’t want her school friends to find out that their family has taken in boarders for the extra money.

When she learns that her sworn enemy, Jeanine, can buy chewing gum, Aline is furious at the unfairness. She knows that Jeanine’s family is even poorer than her own. When Aline’s mother can’t spare any money for a charity drive at school, Aline decides to steal a coin from her purse. She quickly feels terrible. But how can she confess?

Aline comes to realize that life is more complicated than she thought. A ten-cent coin can cost you more in unhappiness than you ever imagined, a sworn enemy can become a friend, and the hard times make the bright and shining moments glow even brighter.

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Deb Loughead is the author of more than 40 books for children and young adults, ranging from poetry and plays to picture books and novels. She lives with her husband Dan in Toronto. Her three adult sons have long flown the coop.

 
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Cover zur kostenlosen eBook-Leseprobe von »Mirror Image«

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Mirror Image

Orca Book Publishers | Orca Currents


Sable wears only black and has always felt that doom is near. Lacey wears pink and seeks beauty everywhere. A sadistic art teacher pairs Sable and Lacey together for their final project. The girls have to get to know one another and select a suitable poem for the back of each other's decorative mirror. Sable is less than thrilled at having to spend time with Lacey, who she believes to be nothing more than a brainless doll. As the project progresses, and Sable gets past her resentment, she learns some surprising truths about who Lacey really is. All of Sable's images begin to change, including the one she holds of herself.

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"A story with the potential to empower anyone who has doubts about their identity and their place in the world. Highly recommended."

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"[Will] work well for reluctant readers and also for reading aloud and class discussion activities."

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"An enjoyable glance at what's beneath stereotypical images of popularity and failure...Fast and funny."

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"A character-driven gem that is contemporary without being trendy or superficial...a sophisticated insightful novel that appeals to youthful idealism...A work of art. Highly recommended."

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K.L. Denman has written many novels for youth, including the Orca Currents titles Destination Human and Agent Angus. Many of K.L.’s titles have been listed as Best Books of the Year, and Me, Myself and Ike was a finalist for the Governor General’s Literary award. She lives in Delta, British Columbia.

 
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Cover zur kostenlosen eBook-Leseprobe von »The Twisted Climb«

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The Twisted Climb

BWL Publishing Inc. | The Twisted Climb


Falling to sleep has never been so tiring. Sleep climbers Jayden, Connor and Max meet in a strange, moonlit dream land where the only way to ‘fall’ asleep is to climb. The climbing is not so simple, though. The mountain is full of night-time animals and things that could only exist in a dream world. Jayden, a brash, assertive girl, battles her own demons while joining forces with Connor, a calm, intuitive young man, and Max, a young teenager trying to be a man in a boy’s body. Together, they climb their way up the mountain but their many adventures are interrupted by Richard Hatemore, an evil, sickly-looking boy who will stop at nothing to prevent them from reaching their goal. As the sleep climbers move closer to the top, they begin to work as a team and ultimately, face their greatest challenge together.

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J.C. Kavanagh's debut novel is a must read. Lots of action and twists and turns. A surprise makes for a great ending.

 
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Cover zur kostenlosen eBook-Leseprobe von »Darkness Descends«

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Darkness Descends

BWL Publishing Inc. | The Twisted Climb


Jayden, Connor and Max thought they had climbed their way out of ‘falling’ to sleep. Little did they know that they would be pulled back into Richard Hatemore's dreaded dream world, triggering a new wave of adventures and paranormal terrors. When Connor’s little sister Georgia becomes trapped there, a compelling energy unites the main characters once again. It is only after they accept the ‘cross over’ invitation and join forces in the moonlit dream world that the trio finally understand their rekindled purpose: saving Georgia. Can Jayden, Connor and Max survive the harrowing journey and strange activities in Richard's dream world, and rescue Georgia? Perhaps - but only if they’re willing to overcome their biggest fears and unlock the powers that bind them.

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J.C. Kavanagh's followup to her debut novel is a must read. Lots of action and twists and turns. A great read!

 
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Cover zur kostenlosen eBook-Leseprobe von »In the Clear«

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In the Clear

Orca Book Publishers


On her seventh birthday, Pauline rode across the lawns on her street followed by her best friend Henry, he on the blue wooden horse, she on the red. On the seventh lawn at the top of the street, she collapsed, becoming a sudden victim of the polio outbreak of the summer of 1954.

Five years later, when In the Clear begins, she has survived, but paid a heavy price. A brace on her left leg allows her to walk, but she confines herself to her house, humiliated at the notion of being seen. Terrified by what Pauline has already suffered, her mother watches over her, forbidding her to play hockey on the ice rink her father has created in the backyard.

In the Clear alternates, chapter by chapter, between Pauline's horror-filled year in the hospital five years earlier and her struggles to adapt in the present of 1959 and 1960. At the end of the book, her triumphs in past and present come together and she is able to move forward with new friendships, a renewed bond with her mother and, most important, a new faith in herself.

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Anne Laurel Carter is a multi-award-winning author of books for children, including Under the Prairie Sky (Orca 2004). When she's not writing, she's reading. Anne lives in Toronto, Ontario, where she works full-time as a teacher-librarian.

 
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Cover zur kostenlosen eBook-Leseprobe von »The Birthday Girl«

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The Birthday Girl

Orca Book Publishers | Orca Echoes


Nell makes two wishes on her birthday, but the next day they show little sign of coming true. Everyone in her household is busy and wants her out from underfoot and no one is willing to help her find her lost cat. In the end she finds more than a cat and she makes her own wishes come true with the help of a row of tall, bright, smiling sunflowers.

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Jean Little was born in Taiwan in 1932. Her parents were both doctors. Jean grew up in Ontario and graduated from the University of Toronto. She was born with a severe eye problem and is severely visually impaired. Jean Little's first book, Mine for Keeps, won the Little, Brown Children's Book Award in 1962 and was republished by Viking Penguin in 1995.

 
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