May 28, 2020

Winnipeg
13° C, Overcast

Full Forecast

Help us deliver reliable news during this pandemic.

We are working tirelessly to bring you trusted information about COVID-19. Support our efforts by subscribing today.

No Thanks Subscribe

Already a subscriber?

Advertisement

Advertise With Us

Promising Winnipeg YA author delivers

Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 18/4/2015 (1867 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

Jodi Carmichael is a local writer of young-adult fiction whose first book, Spaghetti is NOT a Finger Food and Other Life Lessons, written from the viewpoint of a young boy with Asperger syndrome, gained considerable success when it was released in 2013. Her latest novel, Forever Julia (Great Plains, 262 pages, $15, softcover), is set in Winnipeg, with an attractive and spunky main character.

Julia Collins is still reeling from the death of her father from cancer several months earlier. When her grandmother also takes ill, she feels angry and depressed; only her best friend Annika can still make her laugh. But when Julia begins a relationship with a handsome senior, Jeremy, she neglects Annika, especially after Annika warns her that Jeremy may not be everything he seems. Jeremy is passionate about his feelings for Julia, but is also dangerously obsessive.

Carmichael's writing is vivid and her depiction of Julia's feelings and actions feels authentic and contemporary. This is a young writer to watch.

-- -- --

The seven teachings of the Anishinabe -- love, wisdom, humility, courage, respect, honesty and truth -- form the basis for a series of first picture books by local Métis writer Katherena Vermette.

Aimed at preschoolers or beginning readers, these little softcover books (Highwater Press, 24 pages, $10 each) are deceptively simple. The First Day: A Story of Courage, for example, follows a little boy, Makwa, on his first day of school. Makwa is scared and his mother doesn't ignore his feelings. She helps him see that coming to a new school is like coming to the city for the first time, telling him that facing challenges is a sign of being brave.

Other books in this series are The Just Right Gift, Singing Sisters, Kode's Quest(ion), Amik Loves School, Masaabe's Stories, and What is Truth, Betsy?, each illustrating one of the seven teachings. Illustrations by University of Manitoba graduate Irene Kuziw are in soft pencil crayons, showing indigenous children in homey, familiar settings. Vermette's books will fill a void in many homes and classrooms.

-- -- --

For a new twist on friendship look for Me, Too! by Toronto author Annika Dunklee (Kids Can Press, 32 pages, $19, hardcover). Annie and Lillemor have a lot in common: they are both seven, they both like pink and purple, and they can both speak two languages, even if Annie's is made up. Their friendship is threatened when a new girl, Lillianne, arrives from France. Annie is jealous until she realizes perhaps Lillianne has a lot in common with both Lillemor and herself.

Charlottetown artist Lori Joy Smith has added plenty of large, joy-filled illustrations done in pencil and coloured by Photoshop that make this a fun picture book for early readers.

-- -- --

Vancouver author Sarah Ellis is well-known for her books for young adults and intermediate readers. In A+ for Big Ben (Pajama Press, $10, board book) she has written a delightful story for youngest readers (ages 2-5).

Ben longs to get a real report card -- like his sister Robin in Grade 5, who gets As and Bs, or his brother Joe in Grade 3, who gets comments. When Robin and Joe realize how Ben feels left out, they make a special report card for him, marking him highly for his own talents: tying his shoes, feeding the cat, whistling, and making them laugh. He feels content when his dad calls him "a big goof."

B.C. artist Kim La Fave has added large, colourful illustrations that help make this a book that will be a favourite with any child who wants to be "like the big guys."

 

Helen Norrie's column on children's books appears on the third Saturday of the month.

Advertisement

Advertise With Us

Your support has enabled us to provide free access to stories about COVID-19 because we believe everyone deserves trusted and critical information during the pandemic.

Our readership has contributed additional funding to give Free Press online subscriptions to those that can’t afford one in these extraordinary times — giving new readers the opportunity to see beyond the headlines and connect with other stories about their community.

To those who have made donations, thank you.

To those able to give and share our journalism with others, please Pay it Forward.

The Free Press has shared COVID-19 stories free of charge because we believe everyone deserves access to trusted and critical information during the pandemic.

While we stand by this decision, it has undoubtedly affected our bottom line.

After nearly 150 years of reporting on our city, we don’t want to stop any time soon. With your support, we’ll be able to forge ahead with our journalistic mission.

If you believe in an independent, transparent, and democratic press, please consider subscribing today.

We understand that some readers cannot afford a subscription during these difficult times and invite them to apply for a free digital subscription through our Pay it Forward program.

The Free Press would like to thank our readers for their patience while comments were not available on our site. We're continuing to work with our commenting software provider on issues with the platform. In the meantime, if you're not able to see comments after logging in to our site, please try refreshing the page.

You can comment on most stories on The Winnipeg Free Press website. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or digital subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

Have Your Say

Comments are open to The Winnipeg Free Press print or digital subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to The Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

By submitting your comment, you agree to abide by our Community Standards and Moderation Policy. These guidelines were revised effective February 27, 2019. Have a question about our comment forum? Check our frequently asked questions.

Advertisement

Advertise With Us