Afghani flight to freedom

Shahnaz Qayumi (left) writes about the aftermath of the Russian withdrawal from Afghanistan in 1989 and details life under Taliban rule for young readers in her latest novel.FULL STORY


B.C. YA authors get noticed

June 08th, 2021

The Forest of Reading Kid and Teen Committee lists for the summer of 2021 are out and debut B.C. kidlit author, Leslie Gentile (right) is on the Silver Birch list (ages 8 – 12) for Elvis, Me, and the Lemonade Stand Summer (Cormorant $13.95).

Three other B.C. authors also made the Silver Birch list: Mahtab Narsimhan for Genie Meanie (Orca $7.95), illustrated by Michelle Simpson; Angela Ahn for Peter Lee’s Notes from the Field (Tundra $21.99), illustrated by Julie Kwon; and Frances Greenslade for Red Fox Road (Puffin Canada $19.99).

The Red Maple list (ages 12 – 14) includes these B.C. authors:
Rachelle Delaney for Alice Fleck’s Recipes for Disaster (Penguin Random House); Jennifer Honeybourn for The Do-Over (Swoon Reads / Feiwel & Friends); Jen Sookfong Lee for Finding Home: The Journey of Immigrants and Refugees (Orca Book Publishers), Illustrated by Drew Shannon; Michelle Barker for My Long List of Impossible Things (Annick Press); Brooke Carter for The Stone of Sorrow (Runecaster Book One) (Orca Book Publishers); and Susin Nielsen for Tremendous Things (Penguin Random House).

The White Pine list High School High School (grades 9 – 12) includes these B.C. authors:
Tanya Boteju for Bruised (Simon & Schuster); Pam Withers for Drone Chase (Dundurn 2021); Emily St. John Mandel for The Glass Hotel (Knopf); Jasmin Kaur for When You Ask Me Where I’m Going (HarperCollins); and Robin Stevenson and Tom Ryan for When You Get The Chance (Running Press Kids).


The Ontario Library Association’s Forest of Reading program releases summer reading lists for kids and teens put together every spring by the OLA’s “Kid and Teen Committees.” OLA invites avid readers who are in Grades 3 to 6, Ages 8 – 12 (Silver Birch list), Grades 7 to 8, ages 12 – 14 (Red Maple list), and High School, Grades 9 – 12 (White Pine list) to join three separate committees and share their opinions on Canadian books for kids and teens.

Later in the year during fall, the OLA’s Forest of Reading program curates a wide selection of Canadian titles for school-aged children. More than 270,000 students across Canada participate in the program each year, and their votes determine winners for the Silver Birch, Red Maple and White Pine winners.

It’s a powerful way for kidlit authors and authors for young people to reach a large audience and increase book sales.

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