Top children’s fiction books named




SaltWire Network


The Hackmatack Children’s Choice Book Award is a literary program designed to bring together readers in Grades 4 to 6 with great Canadian books and authors. Check out this year’s English fiction titles on this list. The library booklist provides readers with names of books and other material recommended by the staff of Western Counties Regional Library. All recommendations are posted at under Recommended Reading with links to our catalogue. Birdspell by Valerie Sherrard Corbin’s bipolar mother is often unemployed and their apartment has no furniture and sometimes no food. When his classmate offers Corbin the bird she can no longer keep, he’s all-in. When his mother overdoses and Corbin can no longer get her - or himself - through the darkness, he discovers his neighbours aren’t the unfriendly bunch he thought they were. Maybe this bird has a bit of magic in him. Borders by Thomas King 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 Boy Is Not a Ghost by Edeet Ravel Torn from his home in Eastern Europe, with his father imprisoned in a Siberian gulag, 12-year-old Natt finds himself stranded with other deportees in a schoolyard in Novosibirsk. When his mother is falsely arrested for stealing potatoes, Natt is truly on his own and must learn how to live the uncertain life of an exile. Practice being invisible as a ghost, change your name and identity if you have to, watch out for spies, and never draw the attention of the authorities. Even then, he will need luck on his side if he is ever going to be reunited with his family. Elvis, Me, and the Lemonade Stand Summer by Leslie Gentille It’s the summer of 1978 and most people think Elvis Presley has been dead for a year. But 11-year-old Truly knows Elvis is alive and well and living in her trailer park. It’s a busy summer. Though Truly’s mother is constantly drinking, smoking and juggling new boyfriends, Truly is determined to raise money for herself through her lemonade stand and to prove that her cool new neighbour is the 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. The Fabulous Zed Watson by Basil Sylvester The literary scavenger hunt of a lifetime, starring an endlessly endearing non-binary tween Zed Watson loves a few things: their name (which they chose themself), their big rambunctious family and monsters. When Zed discovered the mystery surrounding an unpublished novel called The Monster’s Castle, they were completely hooked. Now Zed is a member of a small, but dedicated, legion devoted to finding the long-buried text. When a breakthrough discovery leads Zed to the route they are sure will take them to the treasure, they know it’s time for a road trip. And with the help of their shy, flora-loving neighbour, Gabe, and his sister, Sam, a geologist who is driving back to college in Arizona, Zed and company are soon off on a wild adventure following cryptic clues. The Family Way by Laura Best Tulia May lives in rural Nova Scotia with her mother, who works in the laundry of the nearby Ideal Maternity Home. It’s a place where unwed mothers can discreetly give birth, a place where adoptions by rich Americans can be quickly arranged. Her friend Finny Paul has suspicions the home is holding sinister secrets - the worst being unadoptable babies are being buried in butterboxes. Tulia thinks he’s being ridiculous. When Tulia’s sister Becky ends up in the home, Tulia truly starts to consider Finny’s concerns. And when she and Finny discover what’s really going on there, she knows she has to act quickly to keep Becky’s baby safe. Based on the true story of the Ideal Maternity Home, and its tragic Butterbox Babies, The Family Way is a thoughtful and engaging exploration of family and of Nova Scotia’s history.