Archive for the ‘award winner’ Category

I love, love, loved this book! A great teenage romance, coming of age book.

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goodreads awards

Check out the winners from this year’s GoodReads Choice Awards.

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This is such a gorgeous book – the paintings are incredible. A young girl lives in a trailer in Saskatchewan. Before she moves with her family to Toronto, she takes stock of her home and everything she knows about it.

A great book to launch of projects or discussions about community and Canada.

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Do you have an intimate and emotional relationship with food? I know I do! There’s nothing quite like comfort food handmade and served up by someone you’re very close to in difficult or celebratory times. There’s nothing like bringing dear friends and family nourishing and heartwarming dishes during a crisis or after a birth. And sharing a meal with people you love? That’s one of the best things in the world and I’m not the only one who thinks so.

I want to tell you something I’ve learned. Cooking is about life. It gives us what we need to keep going, and it gives us something to share with people. People don’t think about that enough… Foster McFee

Close to Famous by Joan Bauer

Foster, a passionate cook and baker who is always practicing for her own Food Network show, and her mom are on the run from the mom’s violent ex-boyfriend and Elvis impersonator, ending up in a small town deeply affected by the new prison and the impending sale of the church to a taco franchise. Quickly Foster and her mom become involved in eccentric characters of Culpepper: Miss Charleena the aging and moody ex-Hollywood star, Angry Wayne of Angry Wayne’s Grill and Bar, Mr. Fish and his daughter Amy the owners and operators of the local hardware store, and Macon who becomes Foster’s new best friend and aspiring documentary filmmaker. And that’s just a small sample of the funny people you come to love.

Foster is trying to adjust to her new life, share her cupcakes and muffins, evade the violent ex, and hide her deep dark secret: she can’t read.


The quirky characters, small town life, and how these eccentric girl characters affect the lives of their community remind me of  of Because of Winn Dixie and The Higher Power of LuckyEverything on a Waffle by Polly Horvath has all that and the healing importance of food. The local restaurant ‘Girl on the Red Swing’ is where Primrose goes to for the warmth and wisdom of the owner Miss Bowzer and of course the food, all of which comes served on a waffle. Recipes included.


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There are four Penderwick sisters, all different but equally charming. Rosalind is twelve, the eldest, and the most responsible. Then there is Skye, and although she is considered to be the pretty sister and the only one who looks just like their mother, Skye is a tomboy and is sometimes more than a little grumpy. Jane is ten and an author who is completing her first novel. Batty is the youngest and can’t remember Mamma. She only speaks if she feels like it, a rare occasion.

While spending their summer in a lovely cottage on a grand estate, the four Penderwick sisters try desperately to stay on the good side of the estate’s owner, the scary Mrs. Tifton and her fiance Dexter. A seemingly impossible goal, especially considering all their antics. Things just seem to go sideways sometimes!

The sisters befriend Jeffery Tifton, the owner’s son, and try to help him avoid being sent to military school in his grandfather’s footsteps. Even though it might crush his mother’s hopes and dreams for him, Jeffery would much rather study music. Rosalind, the eldest Penderwick sister, develops a crush on the friendly and helpful ground keeper, a cute young man named Cagney.

Reminiscent of old family classics, The Penderwicks is good, old-fashioned fun that I enjoyed much more than I thought I would.

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Gracelings each have a particular skill and Katsa’s in the ability to kill. She was only eight when her Grace was discovered, and since then she has been in the service of the King, killing his enemies. Easily identified as a Graceling by her two different coloured eyes, Katsa, like all Gracelings, is feared and shunned. Although Katsa does have  a couple of friends who help her with the King’s errands, it is only when she is on a special mission that she meets Po, who not only becomes her friend, but helps her to see things differently and to  alter the course of her life.

I loved this Young Adult fantasy/romance book and I am very excited to begin the next book in the series, the prequel Fire.

Speaking about special skills, the Beaumont family have their fair share. Often on their thirteenth birthdays, Beaumonts discover their particular savvy, often in a very dramatic way. Some can create hurricanes and storms and others can make new land, all the more important to learn how to scumble: control one’s special ability enough for everyone’s safety, but not so much that you lose the essential part of yourself. Tricky business.  Almost-thirteen year old Mibs is eagerly awaiting to discover hers when her Poppa is in a terrible car accidents and lies in a coma in a distant hospital. Mibs’ Momma and older brother take off to be by Poppa’s bedside, leaving her with a couple other siblings and in the care of a neighbour. What will happen when Mibs turns thirteen? Will the discovery of her savvy reveal the Beaumont’s secret to all? Will her savvy help Poppa wake up? Read and find out…

Piper is a seemingly normal girl growing up with her parents on a farm, but ever since she was small, she could hover in the air not far off the ground. Her parents, horrified by her special ability and desperately worried that their conservative and judgmental community will find out, forbid her to practice her skill. But Piper finds staying on the ground impossible and it isn’t long before word gets out. Piper is sent off to a unique boarding school for other children with special abilities. At first the school seems to be wonderful, but Piper begins to notice some odd things…

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When Miss Mary Finch dies, her slave Isabel knows that her and her little sister Ruby are to be granted their freedom in Miss Finch’s will. But Robert Finch, Miss Mary’s greedy opportunist of a nephew, and only surviving relative, insists the will cannot be found and so he sells the two young girls to the Locktons. Mr. Lockton is not completely horrible, but Mrs. Lockton is a cruel and vindictive woman. Isabel longs for freedom while trying to protect her simple younger sister and keep them together. Powerful and disturbing. For more mature readers. By the author of Speak.

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