Scholastic Canada | Dewey Diva Picks

Spring 2021 Picks

Lala's Words: A Story of Planting Kindness

Lala's Words: A Story of Planting Kindness Canadian

By Gracey Zhang | ISBN 9781338648232
Ages 4-8 | HC | Picture Book | April 2021

Oh, there goes Lala! She carries a pot of water around the corner, down the block, and over the fence, to a patch of dirt and concrete where tiny weeds sprout. "Hello, hello, friends!" she whispers. Lala waters the plants every day, but it is her kind words that make them sway and nod. Lala's wild nature and quiet compassion enchant in this evergreen story about the power of kind words and the magic of being loved for who you are.

My Very Favorite Book in the Whole Wide World

My Very Favorite Book in the Whole Wide World

By Malcolm Mitchell | Illustrated by Michael Robertson | ISBN 9781338225327
Ages 4-8 | HC | Picture Book | January 2021

From Super Bowl champion and literacy crusader Malcolm Mitchell comes an exciting new story that shows even reluctant readers that there is a book out there for everyone! Meet Henley, an all-around good kid, who hates to read. When he's supposed to be reading, he would rather do anything else. But one day, he gets the scariest homework assignment in the world: find your favorite book to share with the class tomorrow. What's a kid to do? How can Henley find a story that speaks to everything inside of him?

Another Book About Bears

Another Book About Bears

By Laura Bunting | Illustrated by Philip Bunting | ISBN 9781443175999
Ages 4-8 | HC | Picture Book | February 2021

Oh please, NOT another book about bears! Bears are TIRED. SICK and TIRED. Just when they are in the middle of something really good — like sleeping, snoozing or napping — there comes a storybook that makes them stop what they are doing — that is, sleeping — and get up and be part of a story. Every story. Well, the bears have had enough. They are going on STRIKE! But what animal could take their place?

Room on Our Rock

Room on Our Rock

By Kate & Jol Temple | Illustrated by Terri Rose Baynton | ISBN 9781443182133
Ages 4-8 | HC | Picture Book | February 2021

When read from front to back, the group of seals firmly believe there is no room on their rock for the parent and child seal who are seeking a place to rest. Readers are then encouraged to read the story again, from back to front, revealing a welcoming message where the seals make room for others and share their rock. This clever picture book explores the idea that there are two sides to every story, with one story that can be read in two different ways. A gentle lesson to facilitate discussion around sharing and larger themes of societal compassion and inclusion.

Finding Home

Finding Home

By Estelí Meza | ISBN 9781338648218
Ages 4-8 | HC | Picture Book | January 2021

A powerful social-emotional picture book about friendship and courage in the face of hardship. When Conejo's house blows away in a storm, his friends and neighbors take turns helping him look for it. Though they do not find his house, they each send him on his way with good cheer and small gifts. Conejo is grateful for their support, but still finds himself sitting with sadness for some time. When the rain clears, Conejo finds the courage to rebuild. He fills his new home with the memories, love, and support he collected from his friends along the way.

Ground Zero

Ground Zero

By Alan Gratz | ISBN 9781338245752
Ages 9-12 | HC | Middle-Grade | February 2021

In time for the twentieth anniversary of 9/11, master storyteller Alan Gratz (Refugee) delivers a pulse-pounding and unforgettable take on history and hope, revenge and fear — and the stunning links between the past and present. Two kids. One devastating day. Nothing will ever be the same.

Unplugged

Unplugged Canadian

By Gordon Korman | ISBN 9781443187411
Ages 9-12 | HC | Middle-Grade | February 2021

Told in Gordon Korman’s now classic multi-voice style, Unplugged combines mystery, comedy, friendship . . . and don’t forget about the crocodiles! Jett Baranov is Silicon Valley’s number one spoiled brat. The son of a billionaire tech genius, he has everything money can buy, which means he’s in the habit of getting into a lot of trouble. When one of his stunts brings in the US Air Force, Jett’s father sends him off to Oasis Mind and Body Wellness center where he’ll be unplugged and disconnected from the outside world. But things aren’t as they seem at Oasis. . .

Up the Creek

Up the Creek  Canadian

By Natalie Hyde | ISBN 9781443175746
Ages 9-12 | PB | Middle-Grade | January 2021

After a lifetime of bad luck, Chris Dearing is sure his family fortunes have finally turned around. With the help of some friends, he’s reclaimed his granddad’s old land in Dawson City, Yukon, and is adjusting to life with his new foster parents. While he waits for his dad to get out of jail — and get sober — Chris turns his attention to his next challenge: finding the gold that he knows is somewhere on his family’s claim. The stakes are high and the hijinks even higher in this touching, witty companion to Mine!

Like a Duck

Like a Duck  Canadian

By Deborah Kerbel | ISBN 9781443175760
Ages 8-12 | PB | Middle-Grade | March 2021

Sarah is turning twelve. For the last ten years, ever since her dad mysteriously left, Sarah and her mom have always celebrated together for an entire birthday week. But when Sarah finds out that this year her mother has to work, and that she’s signed Sarah up last minute for a week of culinary school instead, things go from bad to worse. At least the camp has agreed to let Sarah bring her duck, Webster. But then Webster goes missing, just as Sarah’s search for her absent father comes up empty as well. Will she have to say yet another painful goodbye? From the author of My Deal with the Universe, a lighthearted, tender story of a girl and her steadfast duck.

Flood City

Flood City

By Daniel José Older | ISBN 9781338111125
Ages 8-12 | HC | Middle-Grade | February 2021

Welcome to Flood City, the last inhabitable place left above the waters that cover Earth. It's also the last battleground between the Chemical Barons, who once ruled the planet and now circle overhead in spaceships, desperate to return, and the Star Guard, who have controlled the city for decades. Everything is subject to change when the paths of a born and raised Flood City citizen, Max, and a young Chemical Baron, Ato, collide. They might be able to stop a coming war. But can two enemies work together to save Earth?

The Last Shadow Warrior

The Last Shadow Warrior

By Sam Subity | ISBN 9781338636079
Ages 8-12 | HC | Middle-Grade | April 2021

Twelve-year-old Abby Beckett is proud to come from a long line of elite Viking warriors known as the Aesir. She's spent her entire life training to hunt the horrific creatures known as Grendels-the ancient foe of the Aesir-just like her mother did before she died. But there's just one, small problem: No one has seen a Grendel in centuries, and the Viking Council wants to disband the Aesir . . . forever. When she discovers a Grendel is hunting her, she tries to alert the Viking Council, but they accuse her of making up stories for attention. Desperate to protect her father and clear her mother's name, Abby goes on a dangerous quest to discover the truth.

The Ash House

The Ash House

By Angharad Walker | ISBN 9781338636314
Ages 8-12 | HC | Middle-Grade | February 2021

When Eleven-year-old Sol arrives at the Ash House, desperate for a cure for his complex pain syndrome, he finds a community of strange children long abandoned by their mysterious Headmaster. The children at the Ash House want the new boy to love their home as much as they do. They give him a name like theirs. They show him the dorms and tell him about the wonderful oasis that the Headmaster has created for them. But the new boy already has a name. Doesn't he? At least he did before he walked through those gates... Can he hold onto reality long enough to find an escape? And better yet, can he convince the others?

Buster

Buster

By Caleb Huett | ISBN 9781338541885
Ages 8-12 | HC | Middle-Grade | March 2021

Buster's in big trouble. He's been dragged to Dog Court for breaking one of the most sacred of all dog rules: Never, ever talk to a human, or let a human know how smart you really are. But he swears he had a good reason! The boy he's been taking care of, Tonio, needed his help in a big way. You see, Tonio is afraid all the time - afraid of saying or doing the wrong thing, afraid of making a fool of himself or (even worse) hurting someone else's feelings. His doctor thinks having a therapy dog will help his anxiety - and Buster wants to help. He really wants to help. Even if it means breaking the rules. . . .

The Boy Who Failed Show and Tell

The Boy Who Failed Show and Tell

By Jordan Sonnenblick | ISBN 9781338647235
Ages 8-12 | HC | Middle-Grade | February 2021

An unbelievably hilarious middle-grade true story from bestselling author Jordan Sonnenblick. In a typical school year, every kid has one or two things go wrong. But for Jordan, there’s A LOT going wrong ALL THE TIME. By keeping his cool (some of the time), banging on the drums (a lot), and keeping his sense of humor (all the time), Jordan’s going to try to make it through the year . . . and grow up to write a book about it!

Sugar and Spite

Sugar and Spite

By Gail D. Villanueva | ISBN 9781338630923
Ages 8-12 | HC | Middle-Grade | April 20216

Can a bully be defeated by a magical love potion? Jolina can't take Claudine's bullying any longer! The taunts and teasing are too much. Though Jolina knows she's still in-training to use her grandfather's arbularyo magic, she sneaks into his potions lab to get her revenge. Jolina brews a batch of gayuma, a powerful love potion. And it works. The love potion conquers Claudine's hateful nature. In fact, Claudine doesn't just stop bullying Jolina-now she wants to be Jolina's BFF, and does everything and anything Jolina asks. Magic and reality mingle in this brilliant new middle-grade novel that asks whether it's ever okay to take away someone's free will.

Do You Know Me?

Do You Know Me?

By Libby Scott | Rebecca Westcott | ISBN 9781338656152
Ages 8-12 | HC | Middle-Grade | March 2021

Everyone else in Tally's grade seems excited for their class trip... And she knows she is supposed to be too. Ever since her classmates found out she is autistic, Tally has felt more comfortable being herself. But the end-of-year trip will be an entire week — her longest overnight trip ever. How will she sleep? What about all the bugs? What will her dog, Rupert, do without her at home? Though she decides she doesn't want to miss out, bad news strikes as soon as she arrives: She isn't bunking with her friend Aleksandra. Instead, she is rooming with her former friends and two girls from a neighboring school — who both reject Tally on day one. Tally isn't sure she'll ever make new friends. And how will she survive for so long away from home? Told through a mix of prose and diary entries, this authentic and relatable novel is about finding your people, and learning what it takes to be a true friend.

The Good Fight

The Good Fight  Canadian

By Ted Staunton | Illustrated by Josh Rosen | ISBN 9781443163835
Ages 9 and up | PB | Middle-Grade Graphic Novel | April 2021

It’s Toronto in the 1930s. The city is small, often xenophobic, and the summer is stiflingly hot. Everyone flocks to the lakeshore. In one area of the beach, a neighbourhood protective association has formed to keep out “undesirables,” and members patrol wearing silver swastika pins. Meanwhile, the police chief believes the immigrant Jewish community is at the root of a communist threat, as the world witnesses an alarming rise of anti-Semitism overseas. Sid and his Pop live at the edge of the Ward, Toronto’s immigrant slum. Times are tough, and Sid faces impossible choices as he wrestles with honesty, bigotry, poverty, and expectations as a member of a “whiz mob,” slang for a gang of pickpockets. The story climaxes at the infamous Christie Pits Riot, Canada’s largest race riot and a historic event that was a symbolic victory for Jewish and immigrant citizens.

Zara Hossain Is Her

Zara Hossain Is Her Canadian

By Sabina Khan | ISBN 9781338580877
Ages 14 and up | HC | Young Adult | April 2021

Zara's family has waited years for their visa process to be finalized so that they can officially become US citizens. But it only takes one moment for that dream to come crashing down around them. Seventeen-year-old Pakistani immigrant, Zara Hossain, has been leading a fairly typical life in Corpus Christi, Texas. While dealing with the Islamophobia that she faces at school, Zara has to lay low, trying not to stir up any trouble and jeopardize their family's dependent visa status while they await their green card approval, which has been in process for almost nine years. But one day her tormentor, star football player Tyler Benson, takes things too far. When Tyler gets suspended, he seeks revenge on Zara for speaking out, setting off a chain of events that puts Zara's entire future at risk. Now she must pay the ultimate price and choose between fighting to stay in the only place she's ever called home or losing the life she loves and everyone in it.

The Life I'm In

The Life I'm In

By Sharon G. Flake | ISBN 9781338573176
Ages 14 and up | HC | Young Adult | January 2021

In Sharon Flake's latest and unflinching novel, The Life I'm In, we follow Charlese Jones, who, with her raw, blistering voice speaks the truths many girls face, offering insight to some of the causes and conditions that make a bully. Turned out of the only home she has known, Char boards a bus to nowhere where she is lured into the dangerous web of human trafficking. Much is revealed behind the complex system of men who take advantage of vulnerable teens in the underbelly of society. While Char might be frightened, she remains strong and determined to bring herself and her fellow victims out of the dark and back into the light, reminding us why compassion is a powerful cure to the ills of the world.

Muted

Muted

By Tami Charles | ISBN 9781338673524
Ages 14 and up | HC | Young Adult | February 2021

For seventeen-year-old Denver, music is everything. Writing, performing, and her ultimate goal: escaping her very small, very white hometown. So Denver is more than ready on the day she and her best friends Dali and Shak sing their way into the orbit of the biggest R&B star in the world, Sean "Mercury" Ellis. Merc gives them everything: parties, perks, wild nights — plus hours and hours in the recording studio. Even the painful sacrifices and the lies the girls have to tell are all worth it. Until they're not. Inspired by true events, Muted is a fearless exploration of the dark side of the music industry, the business of exploitation, how a girl's dreams can be used against her — and what it takes to fight back.

Hold Back the Tide

Hold Back the Tide

By Melinda Salisbury | ISBN 9781338681307
Ages 14 and up | HC | Young Adult | January 2021

Everyone in this quiet lakeside community knows that Alva's father killed her mother, all those years ago. There wasn't enough proof to arrest him, though, and with no other family, Alva's been forced to live with her mother's murderer, doing her best to survive until she can earn enough money to run away. One of her chores is to monitor water levels in the loch-a task her father takes very seriously. Their family has been the guardian of the loch for generations. It's a cold, lonely task, and a few times, Alva can swear she feels someone watching her. But the more Alva investigates, the more she realizes that the truth can be more monstrous than lies, and that you can never escape your past . . .

Follow Your Arrow

Follow Your Arrow

By Jessica Verdi | ISBN 9781338640465
Ages 14 and up | HC | Young Adult | March 2021

CeCe Ross is kind of a big deal. She and her girlfriend, Silvie, are social media influencers with zillions of fans and followers, known for their cute outfits and being #relationshipgoals. So when Silvie breaks up with her, CeCe is devastated. She's lost her first love, and now she can't help but wonder if she'll lose her followers as well. Things get even messier when CeCe meets Josh, a new boy in town who is very much Not Online. CeCe isn't surprised to be falling for a guy; she's always known she's bi. And Josh is sweet and smart and has excellent taste in donuts... but he has no idea that CeCe is internet-famous. And CeCe sort of wants to keep it that way. But when CeCe's secrets catch up to her, she finds herself in the middle of an online storm, where she'll have to confront the blurriness of public vs. private life, and figure out what it really means to speak her truth.

Invaincus

Invaincus

By Kwame Alexander | Illustrated by Kadir Nelson | ISBN 9781443186254
Ages Ages 6-9 | PB | French | Picture Book | January 2021

See below for English description.

C’est pour les inoubliables. Ceux qui n’ont pas peur. Ceux qui sont invaincus.

Dans ce livre à la fois touchant et puissant, l’auteur à succès Kwame Alexander et l’illustrateur Kadir Nelson, récipiendaire de la médaille Caldecott, nous livrent une lettre d’amour mettant à l’honneur l’Amérique noire.

Dédié aux invaincus, aux rêveurs et aux survivants, ce poème nous ramène à une époque pas si lointaine de la nôtre, tout en soulignant la force et la bravoure de ceux qui continuent à affronter l’adversité jusqu’à aujourd’hui.

Grâce aux illustrations frappantes ainsi qu’au style d’écriture captivant de ce livre, les lecteurs découvriront le cran, la passion et la détermination des plus grands artistes, athlètes et activistes de l’histoire des Noirs. Une oeuvre inspirante, émouvante et tout simplement incontournable! This is for the unforgettable. The unafraid. The undefeated.

In this moving and powerful book, New York Times bestselling author Kwame Alexander and Caldecott honour-winning illustrator Kadir Nelson present us with a beautiful love letter to Black America. Dedicated to the undefeated, the dreamers, and the survivors, this poem takes us back through not-so-distant history to highlight the endurance and strength of those surviving in the present.

With striking illustrations and a gripping style of writing, Invaincus reflects upon the determination and passion of the greatest artists, athletes, and activists in Black History. This touching and inspiring work is a must-have for any classroom or household. This picture book is a unique lyrical masterpiece of poetry.

Original title: The Undefeated

Art from My Very Favorite Book in the Whole Wide World by Michael Robertson © 2020. All rights reserved.