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2014 Silver Birch Award Nominees
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2014 Silver Birch Award Nominees

By 49thShelf
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The Silver Birch Award is a provincial primary reading program which brings recently published Canadian children's picture books to Ontario children in grades 3 to 6.
Curse of the Dream Witch

Curse of the Dream Witch

edition:Paperback
also available: eBook

An exhilarating fairytale adventure from the author of the Governor General's Award nominated The Grave Robber's Apprentice.

The Dream Witch haunts the forest beyond the kingdom of Bellumen, waiting to collect on a horrible debt owed by the king and queen — the heart of their only daughter, Princess Olivia. Until she has it, none of the kingdom's children are safe.

As Olivia's thirteenth birthday approaches and the witch's deadline draws near, her desperate mother seeks help from Prince Leo of …

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Excerpt

From Curse of the Dream Witch:

On the other side of the staircase wall, she could hear the life of the castle. It seemed to come from far away, like what she'd heard when she was little and stuck her head in the courtyard rain barrel. She tried to hear and not hear at the same time — eager and afraid to know what was happening. The clomping on the stairs, the rumble of voices — what were they about? Had Leo found her missing? Was there news about her parents?Ephemia read her mind. "What's happening there is happening there. Keep your mind on the here and now, or you'll tumble down and have nothing to think about ever."Olivia concentrated hard. One step at a time. One step at a time. Before she knew it, what had seemed impossible had become real. She'd reached a dingy alcove above two squat pillars, eight feet from the dungeon floor.Olivia shivered. Before she'd been locked away, she'd played hide-and-seek in the cells with the servants' children. One day, she'd nearly tripped into an open well. Her parents were horrified. They said she'd have disappeared into the underground river that ran beneath the castle.Ephemia saw Olivia's hesitation. "There's only one way down."Olivia said a prayer, hung from the alcove, and dropped into the dungeon.

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Eldritch Manor

Eldritch Manor

edition:Paperback
also available: eBook eBook

2014 Forest of Reading, Silver Birch Award — Shortlisted, Fiction

2014 Rocky Mountain Book Award — Shortlisted

 

Are those cranky old folks at the retirement home really what they seem?

Twelve-year-old Willa Fuller is convinced that the old folks in the shabby boarding house down the street are prisoners of their sinister landlady, Miss Trang. Only when Willa is hired on as housekeeper does she discover the truth, which is far more fascinating.

Eldritch Manor is a retirement home for some very s …

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Nobody's Dog

Nobody's Dog

edition:Paperback
also available: eBook
tagged : dogs, friendship

A powerful debut novel about a boy who must face his past before finding a way to move forward.

For thirteen-year-old Jakob, the summer is looking pretty bleak. His only friend has moved away and no one else seems to have any time for him - except the girl who lives downstairs. But she's a little weird. Then again, so is Jakob. A few months ago, he was in a car accident that killed both his parents, and though he can't remember exactly what happened, he can't stop turning it over in his mind. No …

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Excerpt

From Nobody's Dog:

We walk to the next intersection, which is a main road. A car whips past. Chilko stops at the edge of the sidewalk but I grab his collar anyway. Something's got me by the collar too. It's the twitchy-spine feeling, stronger now, making me want to leave and stay at the same time. I glance at the street sign: Keith Road and Lynnmouth Avenue. A car speeds past, sprays water from its windshield, even though it hasn't rained in weeks. Drops hit my face. As it drives away, I see the glass cleaner spray up, windshield wipers thudding back and forth. The sound is loud in my ears even though the car is long gone: the steady beat in the upside-down car, seatbelt holding in my breath.

My brain switches off, turns on again, and I'm there. Everything is wet and sticky and dark. Someone moans. I can't tell if it's me or not.

Something brushes my hand, something soft. Fur. A car honks, brakes squeal. I look up and I'm in the middle of the intersection. It's a dark, warm night, stuffy air in my throat. Chilko's beside me, waiting for my next move, but I can't seem to make my legs take a step.

"You need help, kid?" The driver of a blue truck has stopped behind us. He's a couple of metres away, headlights shining in my face.

I shake my head. My voice doesn't work.

"Then could you get out of the road?"

My hand finds Chilko's fur. He moves forward and somehow I follow. We make it to the other side and the cars drive on behind us.

I lean into a scraggly hedge that itches my neck. This is it. Was it. The accident happened here. It's just a street like the others. No one would ever know.My knees wobble under me. I thought I'd feel lighter, happier, finally able to breathe, but I just feel . . . more unsure. What happened here? J asks. Why did he crash the car? He always said keep it between the ditches, but he couldn't. Why not? From inside my head, a memory whispers, because of you.

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Record Breaker

Record Breaker

edition:Paperback
also available: eBook

It's 1963, and Jack's family is still reeling from the SIDS death of his baby sister. Adrift in his own life, Jack is convinced that setting a world record will bring his father back to his senses and his mother back to life. But world events, including President Kennedy's assassination, threaten to overshadow any record Jack tries to beat—from sausage eating to face slapping. Nothing works, and Jack is about to give up when a new friend suggests a different approach that involves listening to …

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The Hypnotists: Book 1

The Hypnotists: Book 1

edition:Hardcover
also available: eBook Audiobook (CD) Paperback

An all-new, mesmerizing adventure from the masterful Gordon Korman!

Jackson Opus has always been persuasive, but he doesn't know that he's descended from the two most powerful hypnotist bloodlines on the planet. He's excited to be accepted into a special program at the Sentia Institute - but when he realizes he's in over his head, Jackson will have to find a way to use his powers to save his friends, his parents, and his government.

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Excerpt

From The Hypnotists:

"What we do here at Sentia is... hypnotism."

"Hypnotism?" Mrs. Opus sat forward. "You mean like getting somebody to quit smoking? Or overcome a fear of flying?"

Mako shook his head. "That is a kind of therapy a psychiatrist might use, but it's not true hypnotism. What we study at Sentia is an innate ability to penetrate and influence people's minds. I myself happen to have a certain amount of ability in this area, but nothing compared to the kind of gift your son appears to be wielding."

Jax's mouth fell open. "Me? I've never hypnotized anybody! I've never even tried to!"

The director smiled knowingly. "Ah, but you have - and without even realizing it. Have you ever looked into someone's eyes and suddenly experienced the phenomenon that you are actually seeing yourself from the perspective of another?"

Jax was shocked. "How could you know that?"

"What this means is that you have begun to hypnotize this person. A mesmeric link is forming between the two of you, and you are in your subject's mind, seeing what he or she sees."

Jax was speechless. He had come here with the intention of exposing the institute as a fraud. And in less than a minute, not only had the director proved him wrong, but he had also explained the unexplainable - the bizarre visions that had almost convinced Jax he was losing his marbles. The championship basketball game - had Steadman flubbed those foul shots because Jax was standing there whispering, Miss? How many other weird experiences could be understood that way? What had he said in Dr. Gundenberg's office? Better still, you jump out the window. Or at the vaudeville show: You try the chicken routine and see how you like it! At the time, he'd thought the shrink and Ramolo had gone completely crazy. But in reality, they had followed his instructions to the

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Ultra

Ultra

edition:eBook
also available: Paperback

A young ultra-marathon runner is pushed to the breaking point and beyond in this gripping tale of physical endurance and emotional healing.

Quinn has been called a superhero and a freak of nature. At age 13, he's an amazing distance runner. He takes on the second-hardest challenge of his life when he enters his first ultramarathon: a grueling 100-mile, 24-hour-long race that will push him to the very limit of his endurance.

While Quinn struggles to go on - up a mountain and through the night, as h …

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Yesterday's Dead

Yesterday's Dead

edition:Paperback
also available: eBook
tagged :

It is the end of the First World War, and thirteen-year-old Meredith yearns to become a teacher. But she must leave school to help support her family, moving to the city to work as a maid in a wealthy doctor's home. As the deadly Spanish Flu sweeps across the city, members of the household fall ill one by one. With the doctor working night and day at the hospital, only Meredith and the doctor's children, Maggie and Jack, are left to care for them. Every day the newspapers’ lists of “Yesterda …

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Saving Lives and Changing Hearts

Saving Lives and Changing Hearts

Animal Sanctuaries and Rescue Centers
edition:Hardcover
also available: eBook

Enraptured with raptors? Love lions? Protective of pelicans? Rob Laidlaw's latest has something for everyone. Having exposed the cruel treatment of animals in zoos and the entertainment industry with his previous two books, Rob Laidlaw sets out in Animal Sanctuaries and Rescue Centres to show a more positive side of the human-animal relationship: animal sanctuaries. From a donkey sanctuary in Canada to a bear rescue centre in China, this book examines numerous efforts around the world to rescue …

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