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Northern Lights 2023 Nominees

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

Tremendous Things

- Susin Nielsen

Young adult hardcover $21.99 - Add to Cart
Reader Reward Price: $19.79

From Governor General's Literary Award--winning author Susin Nielsen comes a funny and heartfelt story about learning how to rise above your most embarrassing moment with humor, best friends and a killer triangle solo.

We all have moments that define us. For the comically clueless Wilbur, his moment happened on the first day of middle school, when someone shared his private letter with the entire student body. It revealed some of Wilbur's innermost embarrassing thoughts that no one else should ever know.

Now it's the start of ninth grade and Wilbur hasn't been able to escape that major humiliation. His good friend Alex stuck by him, but Alex doesn't have as much time since he started dating Fabrizio. Luckily, Wil can confide in his best
friend: his elderly neighbor Sal. Also, Wil's in the school band, where he plays the triangle. They're doing an exchange program with students from Paris, and Wilbur's billet, Charlie, a tall, chic young woman who plays the ukulele and burps with abandon, captures his heart. Charlie likes him, but only as a friend. So Alex, Fabrizio and Sal host a Queer Eye-style intervention to get Wil in shape and to build his confidence so he can impress Charlie when their band visits Paris, and just maybe replace humiliation with true romance in the City of Love.

Second Chances

- Harriet Zaidman

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

Thirteen-year-old Dale Melnyk finds himself stuck in an iron lung, desperately fighting for breath -- and wishing he could die. It is the worst outbreak of polio in the history of Winnipeg, and Dale is one of the many young victims being treated in the early 1950s. Second Chances follows Dale's slow and often agonizing struggle to regain his life, first of all to breathe on his own and then to regain the use of his limbs. Will he ever be able to play hockey again, he wonders? Dale comes to realize that he is doing better than a number of the other patients including Charlene, a young M�tis girl confined to a wheelchair but always trying to help their fellow patients. When Dale discovers his younger brother Brent is also in the polio ward because their father rejected the school program vaccine, a confrontation with his father becomes inevitable. Brent is not getting better and will be dealing with paralysis indefinitely.When Dale finally emerges from his recovery he must reassess what is most important in life -- a life that has been changed forever.

Living With Viola

- Rosena Fung

Children's paperback $19.95 - Add to Cart
Reader Reward Price: $17.96

"Unforgettable . . . will shake middle grade readers to the core."--School Library Journal, starred review "Beautifully illustrated, relatable, and genuine." --Molly Brooks, creator of Sanity & Tallulah "Everyone needs to buy this book now.  Seriously. Buy it, read it, share it."--Colleen Nelson, author and teacher Honest and funny, this award-winning graphic novel from a debut creator is a refreshingly real exploration of mental health, cultural differences, and the trials of middle school. Livy is already having trouble fitting in as the new girl at school--and then there's Viola. Viola is Livy's anxiety brought to life, a shadowy twin that only Livy can see or hear. Livy tries to push back against Viola's relentless judgement, but nothing seems to work until she strikes up new friendships at school. Livy hopes that Viola's days are numbered. But when tensions arise both at home and at school, Viola rears her head stronger than ever. Only when Livy learns how to ask for help and face her anxiety does she finally figure out living with Viola. Rosena Fung draws on her own early experiences with anxiety and the pressures of growing up as the child of Chinese immigrant parents to craft a charming, deeply personal story that combines the poignancy of Raina Telgemeier's Guts with the wacky humor of Lumberjanes. Exuberant, colorful art brings Livy's rich imaginative world--filled with everything from sentient dumplings to flying unicorns--to life on the page.

Lessons In Fusion

- Primrose Madayag Knazan

Young adult softcover $14.95 - Add to Cart
Reader Reward Price: $13.46

Sixteen-year-old Sarah (it's pronounced SAH-rah, thank you) has a successful blog creating fusion recipes. When Sarah is invited to compete on Cyber Chef, a virtual cooking competition that soars in popularity at the height of the pandemic, her twists on her Baba's recipes are not enough to pique the palate of the show's producers. She is pushed to present dishes that represent her Filipinx culture, but these flavours are foreign to her since her parents raised her emphatically Jewish. To survive Cyber Chef and find her cultural identity, Sarah must discover why her mother turned her back on all things Filipinx, and learn the true meaning of fusion.

Guardians of Porthaven

- Shane Arbuthnott

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

On his fifteenth birthday, Malcolm Gravenhurst is preparing to take on the mantle of Guardian, like many Gravenhursts before him. The Guardians are tasked with defending the city of Porthaven, and his family is the only one to possess the superpowers necessary to battle the frequent alien invasions of robotic klek. But power has brought the Gravenhursts more than just responsibility--it has also brought them fame and wealth. When Malcolm meets some teens living and working in secret, he learns that underneath their heroic facade, the Gravenhurst family is hiding some very dark secrets. With the threat of annihilation on the horizon, soon Malcolm must choose between family loyalty and doing the right thing. Praise for Dominion and Terra Nova "Arbuthnott's debut novel is the first part of an original, fascinating tale that offers an unusual, magical spin on how far human beings will go to gain dominion over the world...Feisty young Molly will keep [readers] grounded in this page-turning mystical adventure."--Kirkus Reviews "What a fabulous read! There are elements of Airborn and The Golden Compass there...and there was also a huge welter of originality, a charming band of characters--including some truly horribly baddies--and, well, all the ingredients to make it an extraordinarily imaginative first novel. What a poignant plea for our environment, not to mention a stirring indictment of slavery in all its myriad forms. A truly moving book. I hope there are many more to come."--Tim Wynne-Jones, award-winning author of The Emperor of Any Place "Arbuthnott creates an intriguing steampunk world with a smooth combination of technology and magic...A fast-paced read with a strong female lead, this will leave steampunk and adventure fans looking forward to a hinted-at sequel."--School Library Journal ? "In this sequel, Arbuthnott elevates his story...allowing this imaginative steampunk fantasy to slowly build...This spectacular sequel takes steampunk into new territory."Kirkus Reviews, starred review "Sometimes a book comes along that rocks you back on your heels, smacks the self-pity, the selfishness, and ignorance out of you, and makes you ashamed of your own timidity. And sometimes that book happens to be a kids' book. Read Dominion, and then read Terra Nova. Read them for you. Read them for your kids. Read them to your kids. Let your kids read them and ask you questions. I don't care how you do it; I'm just asking you to do it."--Sci-Fi & Scary blog

Firefly

- Philippa Dowding

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

Winner of the 2021 Governor General's Literary Award for Young People's Literature - Text
Firefly lived in the park across from her mother's home. It was safer there. But after the bad night happens, and her baseball-bat-wielding mother is taken away, social services sends Firefly to live with her Aunt Gayle. She hardly knows Gayle, but discovers that she owns a costume shop. Yes, Firefly might be suffering from PTSD, but she can get used to taking baths, sleeping on a bed again, and wearing as many costumes as she can to school. But where is "home"? What is "family"? Who is Firefly, for that matter ... and which costume is the real one?

Dear Peter, Dear Ulla

- Barbara Nickel

Children's paperback $16.95 - Add to Cart
Reader Reward Price: $15.26

Dear Peter, Dear Ulla is an imaginative and beautifully crafted historical middle-grade novel about two cousins who are fast friends even though they have never met. Ulla lives in Danzig, a city that has just been occupied by the Nazis, and Peter lives on a farm in a Mennonite community in Saskatchewan. What had been an easy and entertaining connection between Peter, a talented pianist, and Ulla, who is gifted at drawing, becomes fraught with unthinkable questions. Are they supposed to consider each other enemies now that Canada and Germany are at war? What makes a person your enemy? What makes a person your friend? Is violence ever a good solution to conflict? Bruno, a bullying neighbour boy, wants Peter and other German-speaking boys to be ready to fight Canadian schoolmates who may doubt their allegiance to Canada. Ulla is secretly aiding Erwina, a Polish friend severely burned after her home, the Polish Post Office, was attacked by the Nazis in one of the first battles of World War Two. Unfolding in alternating chapters, the drama around these urgent situations will keep young readers in thrall to the entwined lives of these two fiercely intelligent cousins who must confront issues of bullying, prejudice, and racial violence -- some of the most challenging issues of their time, and ours.

Deadman's Castle

- Iain Lawrence

Children's hardcover $23.99 - Add to Cart
Reader Reward Price: $21.59

For most of his life, Igor and his family have been on the run. Danger lurks around every corner--or so he's always been told. . . .

When Igor was five, his father witnessed a terrible crime--and ever since, his whole family has been hunted by a foreboding figure bent on revenge, known only as the Lizard Man. They've lived in so many places, with so many identities, that Igor can't even remember his real name.

But now he's twelve years old, and he longs for a normal life. He wants to go to school. Make friends. Stop worrying about how long it will be before his father hears someone prowling around their new house and uproots everything yet again. He's even starting to wonder--what if the Lizard Man only exists in his father's frightened mind?

Slowly, Igor starts bending the rules he's lived by all his life--making friends for the first time, testing the boundaries of where he's allowed to go in town. But soon, he begins noticing strange things around them--is it in his imagination? Or could the Lizard Man be real after all?

Iain Lawrence is a winner of Canada's Governor General's Children's Literature Prize and the California Young Reader Medal. In Deadman's Castle, he brings readers a mystery filled with intrigue and moments of heart-stopping danger.

A Junior Library Guild Gold Standard Selection

Both Sides Now

- Peyton Thomas

Young adult hardcover $21.99 - Add to Cart
Reader Reward Price: $19.79

A witty and warm-hearted novel about a trans teen finding his place in the world perfect for fans of Red, White and Royal Blue
 


There's only one thing standing between Finch Kelly and a full-blown case of high school senioritis: the National Speech & Debate Tournament. Taking home the gold would not only be the pinnacle of Finch's debating career, but the perfect way to launch himself into his next chapter: college in Washington, DC, and a history-making career as the first trans congressman. What could possibly go wrong?
     Well, for starters, Finch could develop a teeny tiny crush on his very attractive, very taken, and very gay debate partner, Jonah. Never mind that Finch has never considered whether he's interested in more than just girls. And that dream of college in DC? Finch hasn't exactly been accepted anywhere yet, let alone received the full-ride scholarship he'll need to make this dream a reality.
     Worst of all, though, is this year's topic for Nationals: transgender rights. If he wants to cinch the gold, and get into college, Finch might have to argue against his own humanity.
     People say there are two sides to every argument. But, as Finch is about to discover, some things--like who you are and who you love--are not up for debate.

Borders

- Thomas King , Natasha Donovan

Young adult softcover $21.99 - Add to Cart
Reader Reward Price: $19.79

A stunning graphic-novel adaptation based on the work of one of Canada's most revered and bestselling authors On a trip to visit his older sister, who has moved away from the family home on the reserve to Salt Lake City, a young boy and his mother are posed a simple question with a not-so-simple answer. Are you Canadian, the border guards ask, or American?
 "Blackfoot." And when border guards will not accept their citizenship, mother and son wind up trapped in an all-too-real limbo between nations that do not recognize who they are.
A powerful graphic-novel adaptation of one of Thomas King's most celebrated short stories, Borders explores themes of identity and belonging, and is a poignant depiction of the significance of a nation's physical borders from an Indigenous perspective. This timeless story is brought to vibrant, piercing life by the singular vision of artist Natasha Donovan.