International Talk Like A Pirate Day

If you’re anything like me, pirates have a special place in your heart—from that time that you dressed up as one for Halloween, or the first time you saw Jack Sparrow appear on screen. Unlike me, however, you might’ve already known that September 19th is International Talk Like A Pirate Day, which means we’re all basically given a free pass to communicate (i.e. annoy) friends and family for a day.

The good news is that with International Talk Like A Pirate Day, we’re all given a free pass to channel our inner pirates (because you know you want to). In honour of such an important occasion, here are a few books to get you ready and in the spirit…arrrre you ready!? (Couldn’t resist slipping that in there…)

It’s always a good idea to get the young ones into books early, and what better way to do that than by focusing on pirates? The Unintentional Adventures of the Bland Sisters: The Jolly Regina is a great place to start, and so is the recently released Pirates Magnified (complete with its own magnifying glass!) Kids will also love both The Incredible Pirate Activity Book and Peter Powers and the Swashbuckling Sky Pirates—and of course, there’s no way I could include mention of Jack Sparrow himself, but happily there’s a Dead Men Tell No Tales graphic novel out there.

Older audiences need not fear either—whether you’re after learning about the real lives and stories of actual pirates in Treasure Neverland: Real and Imaginary Pirates or The Pirate Queen: In Search of Grace O'Malley and Other Legendary Women of the Sea, or looking for a genuine fright in The Ghost Pirates, there’s something for everyone!

Now go out and have a swashbuckling adventure!



Starred PW Review: The Life Crimes and Hard Times of Ricky Atkinson

Richard Atkinson, with Joe Fiorito. Exile (IPG, dist.), $24.95 (384p) ISBN 978-1-55096-674-9

Richard Atkinson, with Joe Fiorito. Exile (IPG, dist.), $24.95 (384p) ISBN 978-1-55096-674-9

"Atkinson’s memoir is as riveting as true crime gets. He’s a veteran of gangland Toronto and as gifted as a story-teller as he was a street hustler. Working with journalist Fiorito, he recounts all the bloody brawls and fast scores of Hogtown’s gritty streets in the 1960s,’70s, and ’80s. Atkinson’s book describes an outlaw’s life and is also a rich depiction of Toronto’s history; readers learn, for example, that the now-hip Kensington Market neighborhood was once a multiethnic enclave where livestock was butchered on the sidewalks. It is also a reckoning of the city’s racist sins. Atkinson has mixed black, white, and First Nations heritage; his family had to cope with the prevalent prejudice of the day, and Ricky was particularly abused by police: “Black rage was not just an American thing... We took up their chant in Toronto—the cops were pigs. They were racist oppressors and imperialists.” Through four decades, Atkinson mixes it up with Black Power radicals, forms the Dirty Tricks Gang, commits a string of larcenies, dodges bullets, and takes multiple trips to prison before leaving the criminal life in his later years. Though he takes responsibility for his own actions, Atkinson makes the convincing connection between societal prejudice and crime in minority communities. It’s a revelatory and fascinating story told from a rare perspective." - Publishers Weekly, July 2017



Starred Reviews for Insignificant Events in the Life of a Cactus

9781454923459 || Price: $14.95

9781454923459 || Price: $14.95

"A move to dusty, distant Arizona forces 13-year-old Aven to leave her familiar life and friends behind. Don't yawn: Bowling takes this overworked trope and spins it into gold with a skein of terrific twists....a tale that is not about having differences, but accepting them in oneself and others." -Booklist (Starred Review)

"The tale of Stagecoach Pass is just as compelling as the story of Aven, and the setting, like the many colorful characters who people this novel, is so vivid and quirky that it's practically cinematic...Charming and memorable. An excellent choice for middle grade collections and classrooms." -School Library Journal (Starred Review)

"...excellent educational potential...its portrayal of characters with rarely depicted disabilities is informative, funny, and supportive." -Kirkus Reviews

Check out the Publishers Weekly Spotlight for author Dusti Bowling here. 



N.K. Jemisin wins a 2nd Hugo Award for Best Novel!

On August 11th, N.K. Jemisin’s THE OBELISK GATE won the Hugo Award for Best Novel!



THE FIFTH SEASON’s Hugo win last year made Jemisin the first black writer in history to win the prestigious Hugo Award for Best Novel. This year, she repeated the feat with sequel THE OBELISK GATE — making her only the third writer in history to take the Best Novel accolade two years in a row.  She joins genre luminaries Orson Scott Card and Lois McMaster Bujold.  

THE FIFTH SEASON is currently in development for a TV series at TN.  Screenwriter Leigh Dana Jackson worked as a supervising producer a on 24: Legacy and as a producer on Sleepy Hollow. Other series credits include Helix, The Tomorrow People and 666 Park Avenue. Read more at Deadline!

The third and final book of the award-winning trilogy, THE STONE SKY, is out now!

The Fifth Season (Book #1)



This is the way the world ends...for the last time.
A season of endings has begun. 

It starts with the great red rift across the heart of the world's sole continent, spewing ash that blots out the sun. 

It starts with death, with a murdered son and a missing daughter. 

It starts with betrayal, and long dormant wounds rising up to fester. 

This is the Stillness, a land long familiar with catastrophe, where the power of the earth is wielded as a weapon. And where there is no mercy. 

The Obelisk Gate (Book #2)

9780316229265; OSD: 8/16/2016

9780316229265; OSD: 8/16/2016

The acclaimed sequel to the bestselling The Fifth Season, winner of the 2016 Hugo Award for Best Novel, and a New York Times Notable Book of 2015.


The season of endings grows darker, as civilization fades into the long cold night.

Essun -- once Damaya, once Syenite, now avenger -- has found shelter, but not her daughter. Instead there is Alabaster Tenring, destroyer of the world, with a request. But if Essun does what he asks, it would seal the fate of the Stillness forever.

Far away, her daughter Nassun is growing in power - and her choices will break the world.

The Stone Sky (Book #3)

9780316229241; OSD: 8/15/2017

9780316229241; OSD: 8/15/2017

The shattering conclusion to the post-apocalyptic and highly acclaimed bestselling trilogy that began with The Fifth Season, winner of the Hugo Award for Best Novel in 2016, and The Obelisk Gate, winner of the Hugo Award for Best Novel in 2017.

The Moon will soon return. Whether this heralds the destruction of humankind or something worse will depend on two women.

Essun has inherited the power of Alabaster Tenring. With it, she hopes to find her daughter Nassun and forge a world in which every orogene child can grow up safe.

For Nassun, her mother's mastery of the Obelisk Gate comes too late. She has seen the evil of the world, and accepted what her mother will not admit: that sometimes what is corrupt cannot be cleansed, only destroyed.




Cover Reveal: The Adventures of Esther the Wonder Pig

Hachette Book Group has finally revealed the cover of THE ADVENTURES OF ESTHER THE WONDER PIG by Steve Jenkins, Derek Walter, Caprice Crane and illustrated by Cori Doerrfeld!

THE ADVENTURES OF ESTHER THE WONDER PIG by Steve Jenkins, Derek Walter, Caprice Crane and illus. by Cori Doerrfeld On Sale March 6, 2018 | Ages 4-8 HC: 9780316554763 | $17.99


by Steve Jenkins, Derek Walter, Caprice Crane and illus. by Cori Doerrfeld

On Sale March 6, 2018 | Ages 4-8

HC: 9780316554763 | $17.99

The true story of social media sensation Esther the Wonder Pig and her two dads that inspired the New York Times bestselling memoir for adults is now being told in a picture book with adorable illustrations and a message of love.

When Steve and Derek adopted a mini pig named Esther, they had no idea that she would turn out to be not-so-mini after all. When her new family saw just how big and wonderful Esther really was, they fell in love--and their lives changed forever. Esther would soon grow too large for her bed, and their small apartment. She got into everything, including her neighbor's tasty garden. So the whole family moved from a small apartment to a big farm, where Esther and her animal friends could fit happily (and get into a little less mischief). Eventually, that farm would become the Happily Esther After animal sanctuary, home to rescued animals of all kinds.





Globe & Mail Most Anticipated Books of Fall 2017

The Globe & Mail has released their list of the most anticipated books of fall 2017. Books editor Mark Medley previews the titles – from debut authors to former prizewinners to perennial bestsellers – that should keep you busy reading for the rest of the year! Read more here:

The Original Face By Guillaume Morrisette

9781550654783 || $19.95. Paperback

9781550654783 || $19.95. Paperback

A novel about the gig economy.

Twenty-nine-year-old Daniel is an under-employed internet artist who's struggling as much with money and inspiration as he is in his relationship with Grace. Against a backdrop of a digital economy that rewards online platforms instead of content creators, with climate-change anxiety hanging in the air, the resolutely contemporary Morissette immerses readers into a year of modern love, as Daniel and Grace navigate their aspirations, insecurities and ambitions amidst a culture obsessed with selfies and identity.

A fresh and imaginative critical examination of work and life in the 21st century by the author of the "cultishly popular" New Tab.

Blood Fable By Oisín Currin

9781771662949 || $20.00 Paperback

9781771662949 || $20.00 Paperback

Blood Fable--the new work of fiction from Oisín Curran--is a Jules Verne-esque fantastical tale filled with Back-to-the-Land ideology and American Zen Buddhism.

In 1980, New Pond, a utopian Buddhist community on the coast of Maine is on the verge of collapse. New Pond's charismatic leader demands complete adherence to his authority, and slowly, his followers come to the realization that they've been exploited for too long. The eleven-year-old son of one of those adherents is dimly aware of the concerns of the adult world. Yet his imagination provides a refuge both from the difficulties of his parents' lives--including his mother's newly discovered cancer--and from the boredom and casual brutality of school.

To distract his parents and himself from their collective troubles, the boy claims to remember his own life before birth--an epic tale about the search for a lost city made up of the boy's own experiences refracted through the lens of the adventure stories he loves. As the world around them falls apart, the boy and his parents find that his strange story often seems to predict the events taking place in the world around them.

Malagash By Joey Comeau

9781770414075 || $15.95. Paperback

9781770414075 || $15.95. Paperback

A precisely crafted, darkly humorous portrait of a family in mourning.

Sunday’s father is dying of cancer. They’ve come home to Malagash, on the north shore of Nova Scotia, so he can die where he grew up. Her mother and her brother are both devastated. But devastated isn’t good enough. Devastated doesn’t fix anything. Sunday has a plan. 

She’s started recording everything her father says. His boring stories. His stupid jokes. Everything. She’s recording every single “I love you” right alongside every “Could we turn the heat up in here?” It’s all important. 

Because Sunday is writing a computer virus. A computer virus that will live secretly on the hard drives of millions of people all over the world. A computer virus that will think her father’s thoughts and say her father’s words. She has thousands of lines of code to write. Cryptography to understand. Exploits to test. She doesn’t have time to be sad. Her father is going to live forever.

The Prisoner and the Chaplain By Michelle Berry

9781928088431 || $20.00 Paperback

9781928088431 || $20.00 Paperback

What if prison was the only world that existed for you now and everything else was a story? What if you weren't sure if you were guilty but wanted forgiveness in any form? 

The Prisoner and the Chaplain is about two men; one man awaiting execution, the other man listening to his story. As the hours drain away, the chaplain must decide if the prisoner's story is an off-the-cuff confession or a last bid for salvation. As the chaplain listens he realizes a life has many stories, and he has his own story to tell?a last-ditch plea for forgiveness told to someone who will never be able to repeat it. Each man is guilty in his own way, and their stories have led them to the same room, a room that only one of them will leave alive. If you had only twelve hours left to live, what would you have to say?



My Friend Dahmer will be a major motion picture from director Marc Meyers

For those of you have haven’t heard, the graphic novel MY FRIEND DAHMER, published by Abrams Books, has been made into a major motion picture! The movie trailer was released at San Diego Comic-Con last week. Trailer below!


You only think you know this story. In 1991, Jeffrey Dahmer—the most notorious serial killer since Jack the Ripper—seared himself into the American consciousness. To the public, Dahmer was a monster who committed unthinkable atrocities. To Derf Backderf, "Jeff" was a much more complex figure: a high school friend with whom he had shared classrooms, hallways, and car rides. In My Friend Dahmer, a haunting and original graphic novel, writer-artist Backderf creates a surprisingly sympathetic portrait of a disturbed young man struggling against the morbid urges emanating from the deep recesses of his psyche—a shy kid, a teenage alcoholic, and a goofball who never quite fit in with his classmates. With profound insight, what emerges is a Jeffrey Dahmer that few ever really knew, and one readers will never forget.

Praise for My Friend Dahmer:

"The tone is sympathetic and enraged (‘Where were the damn adults?’), while not excusing or making the story unduly fascinating. Backderf’s writing is impeccably honest in not exculpating his own misdeeds . . . and quietly horrifying. A small, dark classic." —Publishers Weekly (starred review)?

"One of the best graphic novels I've read this year." -- USA Today's PopCandy

"One of the most thought-provoking comics released in a long time." --

"Carefully researched and sourced with ample back matter, Backderf’s tragic chronicle of what shouldn’t have been is a real butt-kicker for educators and youth counselors as well as peers of other potential Dahmers. Highly recommended for professionals as well as true crime readers." —Library Journal

"This isnt a cautionary tale. Its insight sharedinsight arriving too late to save Dahmers victims, let alone Jeff himself, but perhaps soon enough to remind both teens and their caretakers that questioning peculiar behavior might be a better tack than ignoring or exploiting it." -- School Library Journal?

"Fortunately, cartoonist Derf Backderf isn't one to avoid the troubling, even terrifying, truths that lurk in the dark recesses of that notorious serial killer's early lifeand modern American life itself." -- Foreword Reviews

"A powerful, unsettling use of the graphic medium to share a profoundly disturbing story. . . . An exemplary demonstration of the transformative possibilities of graphic narrative." —Kirkus Reviews (starred review)




Variety announces that Bryce Dallas Howard is slated to direct the film adaptation of SORTA LIKE A ROCK STAR by Matthew Quick! Read more here!


Amber Appleton lives in a bus. Ever since her mom’s boyfriend kicked them out, Amber, her mom, and her totally loyal dog, Bobby Big Boy (aka Thrice B) have been camped out in the back of Hello Yellow (the school bus her mom drives). But Amber, the self-proclaimed princess of hope and girl of unyielding optimism, refuses to sweat the bad stuff. Instead, she focuses on bettering the lives of her alcoholic mother and her quirky circle of friends: a glass-ceiling-breaking single mother raising a son diagnosed with autism; Father Chee and The Korean Divas for Christ (soul-singing ESL students); a nihilist octogenarian; a video-game-playing gang of outcasts; and a haiku-writing war vet. But then a fatal tragedy threatens Amber’s optimism—and her way of life. Can Amber continue to be the princess of hope?

With his zany cast of characters and a heartwarming, inspiring story, debut YA author Matthew Quick builds a beautifully beaten-up world of laughs, loyalty, and hard-earned hope. This world is Amber’s stage, and Amber is, well…she’s sorta like a rock star.





This unique project book shows kids how to make new LEGO characters, toys and props, then entertains with hilarious things happening to the characters built into the projects.Sarah Dees is back again with more fun and adventurous LEGO projects for kids, but this time with a fun twist. Each chapter features adventure scenes with characters and funny events; kids learn to build each element of the scene step by step, even the broken, smashed or destroyed things. For example, in the camping chapter, kids build an outdoor adventure scene gone wrong with a bear destroying a tent and eating all the food, while the family takes a joyride in a canoe that-oh no!-capsizes them into the lake! Kids build the broken canoe, the lake with splashes and the family floating downstream. Other adventure stories include dinosaur world where kids build life-like dinosaur characters and half-eaten buildings with a T-Rex chomping down on one. Kids can build a space scene with fearsome aliens and their awesome space blaster gun that shoots, of all things, pizzas! Kids will be rolling on the floor in laughter as they build the parts and act out the scenes with their own LEGOs.The book is the best form of entertainment for kids-they use critical thinking and creativity to build the projects, laugh as they put together the funny parts and then play for hours on end with their new toys. This book is a dream-come-true for parents, babysitters and caretakers seeking new ways to inspire kids to entertain themselves.

Available October 2017!!!



The Last Tree - A Hopeful Nature Story


A good general purchase to start conversations about environmental awareness and conservation.
— School Library Journal, April 2017
This touching tale contains a moving message of hope, as well as a call to action.
— Booklist, February 2017

A small boy longed to roll and play in the grass like his father had when he was a child. But the boy lived in a concrete city without any grass or trees. Instead, they “had roads, walls and lots of other ugly things.” Then one day the boy and his friend discovered a sapling hiding behind a low wall. The boy had never seen a tree before. He was so amazed, he dreamed about the tree. “I imagined it tall. Huge, even. And majestic,” he says. So when they heard that a condominium was being built right on the spot where their tree was growing, the friends knew they had to dig it up and replant it in a safe place. They had to make sure the last tree survived.

This poignant picture book with a futuristic feel offers a powerful environmental message about the critical importance of conserving the natural world. The story, written by Ingrid Chabbert, is narrated by the boy as an adult looking back on something that had enormous significance for him, highlighting the positive role that nature plays in our lives, and ultimately offering hope for the future. The muted tones of the artwork by Guridi add emotional impact to the narrative. This would make a terrific classroom read for Earth Day, or for discussions about the environment. It also celebrates how, with a bit of imagination, even small children can make a difference. A wonderful choice for character education discussions about initiative.