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Sun Dogs 2023 Nominees

This is a selection of our current Sun Dogs 2023 Nominees titles. To find other titles or authors, or just to browse, please use the search box.

The Undercover Book List

- Colleen Nelson

Children's hardcover $21.95 - Add to Cart
Reader Reward Price: $19.76

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. With the insight of a veteran middle-school teacher, Colleen Nelson, author of the award-winning Harvey Comes Home and Sadia, weaves together two stories of identity, expectation, and the courage to challenge both. As their paths move ever closer, Jane and Tyson both discover their own self-reliance and their ability to overcome obstacles that seemed insurmountable.

The School Between Winter and Fairyland

- Heather Fawcett

Children's hardcover $21.99 - Add to Cart
Reader Reward Price: $19.79

A fresh and exciting twist on magical boarding schools, the well-loved Chosen One trope, and the nature of true heroism--from the author of The Language of Ghosts and Ember and the Ice Dragons. Perfect for fans of middle grade fantasies including the Serafina series by Robert Beatty and Neil Gaiman's Coraline

Twelve-year-old Autumn Malog is a servant at the enchanting Inglenook School, where young magicians study to become the king's future monster-hunters. Along with her Gran and three too many older brothers, she works as a beastkeeper, tending to Inglenook's menagerie of terrifying monsters.

But when she isn't mucking out the wyvern stalls or coaxing the resident boggart to behave, Autumn searches for clues about her twin brother's mysterious disappearance. Everyone else thinks he was devoured by the feared Hollow Dragon, but Autumn is convinced she's heard--and glimpsed--him calling to her from within the castle walls. But who will believe a lowly servant?

So when Cai Morrigan, the "Chosen One" prophesied to one day destroy the Hollow Dragon, comes to her for help, Autumn agrees on one condition: Together, they'll search for her brother and uncover the dark truth at the heart of enchanting Inglenook School once and for all.

The Great Bear

- David A Robertson

Children's hardcover $21.99 - Add to Cart
Reader Reward Price: $19.79

In this second book in the Narnia-inspired Indigenous middle-grade fantasy series, Eli and Morgan journey once more to Misewa, travelling back in time.

Back at home after their first adventure in the Barren Grounds, Eli and Morgan each struggle with personal issues: Eli is being bullied at school, and tries to hide it from Morgan, while Morgan has to make an important decision about her birth mother. They turn to the place where they know they can learn the most, and make the journey to Misewa to visit their animal friends. This time they travel back in time and meet a young fisher that might just be their lost friend. But they discover that the village is once again in peril, and they must dig deep within themselves to find the strength to protect their beloved friends. Can they carry this strength back home to face their own challenges?

The Dollhouse

- Charis Cotter

Children's hardcover $21.99 - Add to Cart
Reader Reward Price: $19.79

A creepy, mysterious dollhouse takes center stage in this atmospheric middle-grade mystery for fans of Doll Bones and Small Spaces.

Alice's world is falling apart. Her parents are getting a divorce, and they've cancelled their yearly cottage trip -- the one thing that gets Alice through the school year. Instead, Alice and her mom are heading to some small town where Alice's mom will be a live-in nurse to a rich elderly lady.

The house is huge, imposing and spooky, and everything inside is meticulously kept and perfect -- not a fun place to spend the summer. Things start to get weird when Alice finds a dollhouse in the attic that's an exact replica of the house she's living in. Then she wakes up to find a girl asleep next to her in her bed -- a girl who looks a lot like one of the dolls from the dollhouse . . .

When the dollhouse starts to change when Alice isn't looking, she knows she has to solve the mystery. Who are the girls in the dollhouse? What happened to them? And what is their connection to the mean and mysterious woman who owns the house?

Taking the Ice

- Lorna Schultz Nicholson

Children's paperback $9.99 - Add to Cart
Reader Reward Price: $8.99

Can Aiden learn to stand his ground on his new home ice?Meet Aiden Mallory. He's trying to find his bearings while coping with the loss of his father -- an NHL player who died in a car accident -- and moving back to his dad's hometown of Prairie Field, where he is STILL a big deal.

Aiden loves hockey, but his feelings about moving and his dad's death cause him to struggle at tryouts. Then the minor hockey association announces a brand-new U13 tournament: the Luke Mallory Memorial. As Aiden tries to find his place on his new team, and among his new teammates, he will do anything he can to live up to his dad's legacy. But what happens when Aiden's determination to play well puts everything else at risk?

From Lorna Schultz Nicholson comes a powerful portrayal of a boy's experiences with anxiety as it relates to sports and friendship and grief.

Peter Lee's Notes from the Field

- Angela Ahn , Julie Kwon

Children's paperback $11.99 - Add to Cart
Reader Reward Price: $10.79

Eleven-year-old Peter Lee has one goal in life: to become a paleontologist. But in one summer, that all falls apart. Told in short, accessible journal entries and combining the humor of Timmy Failure with the poignant family dynamics of Lynda Mullaly Hunt, Peter Lee will win readers' hearts.

Eleven year-old Peter Lee has one goal in life: to become a paleontologist. Okay, maybe two: to get his genius kid-sister, L.B., to leave him alone. But his summer falls apart when his real-life dinosaur expedition turns out to be a bust, and he watches his dreams go up in a cloud of asthma-inducing dust.
     Even worse, his grandmother, Hammy, is sick, and no one will talk to Peter or L.B. about it. Perhaps his days as a scientist aren't quite behind him yet. Armed with notebooks and pens, Peter puts his observation and experimental skills to the test to see what he can do for Hammy. If only he can get his sister to be quiet for once -- he needs time to sketch out a plan.
    

Lost on the Prairie

- MaryLou Driedger

Children's paperback $14.95 - Add to Cart
Reader Reward Price: $13.46

Set between Kansas and Saskatchewan in 1907, this middle-grade novel follows a young boy who gets separated from his family en route to Canada and must find his way alone across the immense prairie landscape.

Following the sudden death of his eldest brother, twelve-year-old Peter is chosen by his father to travel by train from Kansas to Saskatchewan to help set up the new family homestead. But when Peter's boxcar becomes uncoupled from the rest of the train somewhere in South Dakota, he finds himself lost and alone on the vast prairie.

For a sheltered boy who has only read about adventures in books, Peter is both thrilled and terrified by the journey ahead. Along the way, he faces real dangers, from poisonous snakes to barn fires; meets people from all walks of life, including famous author Mark Twain; and grows more resourceful, courageous, and self-reliant as he makes his way across the Midwest to the Canadian border, eventually reaching his new home in Drake, Saskatchewan. The journey expands Peter's view of the world and shows him that the bonds of family and community, regardless of background, are universal and filled with love. Packed with excitement and adventure, this coming-of-age novel features a strong and likeable young protagonist and paints a realistic portrait of prairie life in the early twentieth century.

Elvis, Me, and the Lemonade Stand Summer

- Leslie Gentile

Children's paperback $13.95 - Add to Cart
Reader Reward Price: $12.56

Winner of the 2021 City of Victoria Children's Book Prize
Winner of the 2022 Jean Little First-Novel Award

It's the summer of 1978 and most people think Elvis Presley has been dead for a year. But not eleven-year-old Truly Bateman - because she knows Elvis is alive and well and living in the Eagle Shores Trailer Park. Maybe no one ever thought to look for him at on the Eagle Shores First Nation on Vancouver Island. It's a busy summer for Truly. Though her mother is less of a mother than she ought to be, and spends her time drinking and smoking and working her way through new boyfriends, Truly is determined to raise as much money for herself as she can through her lemonade stand ... and to prove that her cool new neighbour is the one and only King of Rock 'n' Roll. And when she can't find motherly support in her own home, she finds sanctuary with Andy El, the Salish woman who runs the trailer park.

Death & Sparkles

- Rob Justus

Children's paperback $18.99 - Add to Cart
Reader Reward Price: $17.09

Adventure Time meets The Good Place in this zany-yet-philosophical graphic novel buddy comedy about the unlikely friendship between Death, a grim reaper who's never had a friend, and Sparkles, The Last Unicorn, a celebrity influencer who is somehow immune to Death's touch.

Being Death is no way to live.

Sure, you're all-powerful, but collecting souls involves a ton of paperwork, and it's impossible to have friends when everything you touch instantly dies.

Being Sparkles the Last Unicorn isn't as fun as you'd imagine, either. Maybe it seems like the whole world wants to be your bestie, but really people just want you to pose with them for selfies, or use you to help them sell stuff.

Everything changes when Death and Sparkles meet and realize they might just be one another's first chance at a real friend. But before they can even enjoy the bromance, the whole world starts freaking out about this unlikely pair. Will fame or BFFdom prevail?

Laugh-out-loud hilarious, gently philosophical, and full of delightfully zany exuberance, this buddy comedy turns friendship on its head--literally--and will have readers believing in the power of cupcakes for breakfast and cosmic camaraderie.

HILARIOUS BUDDY COMEDY: Move over, Wayne and Garth! Move over, Beavis and Butthead! Readers will love this spin on the classic mismatched BFF dynamic featuring two of the most powerful beings around: the guy in charge of taking everyone's life, and the most magical creature still in existence on Earth. Never have two beings been less alike or more adorable.

PERFECT FOR RELUCTANT READERS: With bright, vibrant illustrations, big fun fonts, expressive sound effects throughout, an irreverent spirit, and a heart full of cupcakes, this graphic novel will entice even the most skeptical of young readers.

BIG THEMES: Self-awareness; empathy; bravery; commercialism; celebrity influencers; and the courage to stand up for what you believe in, even if that's the hard thing to do--all of these important themes weave throughout the book in subtle ways that will resonate with readers without feeling heavy-handed.

THE FIRST ADVENTURE OF MANY: This is the first book in a planned series about the adventures of Death and Sparkles. The next book will be out in Fall 2022!

LIKE LIVING IN CANDYLAND: Rob Justus's expressive, vivid art makes readers feel like they're living in Candyland. With tons to see on every page, and countless visual gags per spread, this book will delight graphic novel fans and bring new readers to the genre.

Perfect for:

o Reluctant readers
o Parents
o Fans of graphic novels
o Fans of unicorns
o Educators

Birdspell

- Valerie Sherrard

Children's paperback $13.95 - Add to Cart
Reader Reward Price: $12.56

Shortlisted for the 2022 Mrs. Dunster's Award for Fiction Corbin Hayes has felt alone for as long as he can remember. His mom's illness means lost jobs, constant moves, new schools and friendships that never get to grow. There's a gap in his life that's been waiting to be filled. So, when a classmate offers Corbin the talking bird she can no longer keep, he's stoked. But when things begin to spiral out of control, Corbin can no longer get his mom - or himself - through the dark period. At his lowest moment, he's forced to do the one thing he fears the most.