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Rachel Berman wants everything to be perfect. An overprotective single mother of two, she is acutely aware of the statistical dangers lurking around every corner—which makes her snap decision to aid a stranded motorist wholly uncharacteristic. Len Bean is stuck on the shoulder with Olivia, his relentlessly curious, learning disabled ten-year-old daughter. To the chagrin of Rachel's children, who are about to be linked to the most-mocked girl in school, Rachel and Len begin dating. And when Len receives terrible news, little Olivia needs a hero more than ever.
But the world refuses to be predictable. When personal crisis profoundly alters Rachel's relationship with a wild, very special little girl, this perfectionist mother finds herself drawn into a mystery from her past and toward a new appreciation for her own children's imperfect lives.
Snow Willow Award Nominee 2009
CLA Young Adult Canadian Book Award shortlist, 2009
Canadian Children's Book Centre Our Choice, 2009
Will Reid is a gawky kid who wears fake turtlenecks, is obsessed by his ant farm project, and is lousy at gym. In other words, he's the perfect target for Shane, the Grade 9 bully. Katie has been Will's friend in elementary school, but defending him in the high school environment comes at an unforeseen cost - she dreads the rumours that link them in a boyfriend/girlfriend way she's never considered. Devan has been part of Shane's bullyboy team until now, when he comes to realize that it's not so smart to mindlessly back up each nasty attack of Shane's. Together the three young teens are struggling to find their way out of one of the classic dilemmas of life: how not to be a bystander to bullying, how to stand up for your friends, and how to deal with consuming rage.
Young readers will find lots to think about as they turn the pages of this crisp and compelling story by newcomer Caroline Pignat. Each character takes a turn at telling the story -- through the spare blank verse of Will, wrapped up in the world of his single-parent father and his own eccentric preoccupations; through the clear-eyed accounts of Katie, wrestling with her own private demons; and in the sensitive narrative of the slowly awakening Devan, who comes to notice Katie as a spunky, attractive individual whom he'd like to know better but fears thinks he's a goof.
Note that Kids Help Phone's has included Egghead on their site as a book to help kids in their Get Information section under Bullying for Ages 13 and Up.
Climbing to the top of the social ladder is hard--falling from it is even harder. Regina Afton used to be a member of the Fearsome Fivesome, an all-girl clique both feared and revered by the students at Hallowell High... until vicious rumors about her and her best friend's boyfriend start going around. Now Regina's been "frozen out" and her ex-best friends are out for revenge. If Regina was guilty, it would be one thing, but the rumors are far from the terrifying truth and the bullying is getting more intense by the day. She takes solace in the company of Michael Hayden, a misfit with a tragic past who she herself used to bully. Friendship doesn't come easily for these onetime enemies, and as Regina works hard to make amends for her past, she realizes Michael could be more than just a friend... if threats from the Fearsome Foursome don't break them both first.Tensions grow and the abuse worsens as the final days of senior year march toward an explosive conclusion in this dark new tale from the author of Cracked Up To Be.
ForeWord Magazine's Book of the Year Awards Bronze Medal Winner (YA Fiction category), 2007
Snow Willow Award nominee, 2008
CCBC's Best Books for Kids & Teens, 2008
Two bestselling authors join forces to write a powerful novel about racism.
A student arrested on suspicions of terrorism. A high school torn apart by racism. Two boys from two different sets of circumstances forced to choose sides.
These are the issues at the heart of Bifocal, a groundbreaking new novel for young-adults.
The story is told from two different points of view. Haroon is a serious student devoted to his family. His grandparents emigrated from Afghanistan. Jay is a football star devoted to his team. He is white.
One day their high school is put on lockdown, and the police arrest a Muslim student on suspicion of terrorist affiliations. He might be guilty. Or is he singled out because of his race?
The entire student body fragments along racial lines and both Haroon and Jay find that their differences initially put them at odds. The Muslim students become targets and a smoke-bomb is set off near their lockers while Jay and his teammates believe they've been set-up to look like racists.
Bifocal is, by no stretch, an easy book. Award-winning authors Deborah Ellis and Eric Walters deliver a serious, hard-hitting book about racism that does not talk down to young people.