Thursday, February 28, 2013

New Interview with Author of Hooked: When Addiction Hits Home

Last week, Chloe Shantz-Hilkes was interviewed on CBC Radio's Here and Now program about her new book Hooked: When Addiction Hits Home. This collection of ten true stories is based on interviews Chloe conducted with people who, in their youth, lived with a parent or sibling who was struggling with addiction. Besides assuring readers with similar experiences that they are not alone, the book also provides a comprehensive Resources section for more information and help.

Click here to listen to Chloe's interview!

Also: Attention teachers, librarians, and reviewers: Preview Hooked at

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Follow Your Money: Making Financial Literary Kid-Friendly

When the York Catholic District School Board held a PD day last Friday, Eleanor LeFave, owner of Mabel’s Fables, saw it as a perfect opportunity to introduce teacher librarians to a new book by Annick Press: Follow Your Money: Who Gets It, Who Spends It, Where Does It Go? She asked authors Kevin Sylvester and Michael Hlinka, both widely recognized from their broadcasts on CBC Radio, to come and present their book, which they were only too happy to do. Here's a brief clip:

Michael spoke in general about the economy: what it actually is, how kids (and adults) perceive it, and why knowing about money matters. His clear, down-to-earth explanations reflected the accessible, kid-friendly tone of the book itself. In the meantime, Kevin demonstrated that becoming financially literate doesn’t mean that kids can’t have fun. Using games, quizzes, charts, and humorous illustrations, he got everyone talking and thinking about the different paths money takes. Both authors are available for school visits. For more information, contact Kevin at and Michael at m_hlinka [at] hotmail [dot] com.

The two co-authors also did an interview with CBC's Metro Morning: click here to hear it!

Attention teachers, librarians, and reviewers: Preview Follow Your Money at

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Bones Never Lie: Guest Post by Elizabeth MacLeod

Today, we have a guest post from Elizabeth MacLeod, author of Bones Never Lie: How Forensics Helps Solve History's Mysteries. Take it away, Detective MacLeod!

Have you seen all the news lately about the discovery of the bones of England’s King Richard III? His skeleton was found lying under a parking lot in Leicester, a small town in the middle of England. Scientists would still be wondering whose bones they really were if it weren’t for DNA analysis.

It’s amazing to think of how many long-time mysteries we might now be able to unravel, thanks to modern technology and crime-solving. For instance, in my new book Bones Never Lie, I look at how DNA testing has also answered many questions about the fate of Marie Antoinette’s son. But there are lots of other tools and techniques that detectives use to solve mysteries and crimes that have puzzled historians for centuries.

For instance, CT (computed tomography) scans let doctors take a three-dimensional look inside a patient’s body. And these scans also gave archaeologists lots of clues about what might have caused the death of Egypt’s most famous monarch, King Tut. CT scans of Tut’s mummy revealed the bone disease that made it hard for him to walk, the king’s buck teeth and cleft palate, and much more.

Autopsy, deductive reasoning, archaeological techniques, and crime scene procedures are just some of the other techniques historians and detectives use to solve history’s mysteries. Probably my favorite story in the book is the case of Russia’s Grand Duchess Anastasia. For decades, the world wondered if she had survived the 1918 slaughter that killed the rest of her family. Many people believed that a woman who became known as Anna Anderson was actually Anastasia.

In the days before modern technology, methods such as handwriting analysis, dental records, ear matching, facial comparison, and more were all used to try to establish Anna’s true identity, with no definite conclusions. Years after Anna’s death, using DNA testing, scientists revealed that—sorry, but you’re going to have to read Bones Never Lie to find out the solution to that mystery!

Are you dying to know the answer? Bones Never Lie is available for review on!

Friday, February 8, 2013

Spring 2013 Titles Ready on NetGalley!

I'm writing this while a snowstorm rages outside, and I must admit it feels a little strange to be talking about spring. However! Our Spring 2013 books will be hitting shelves soon, and are now available for review at Sign up for a free account to access e-galleys of any of our new titles.

If you're looking to entertain younger children, you'll find a new pair of adorable board books from Hazel Hutchins, Cat Comes Too and Dog Comes Too. The picture book What The Snakes Wrote tells the charming story of some snakes who form words with their bodies to enlist the help of the farmyard dog, Rufus, to save their winter hibernation hole. Rufus can't read, but he can tell that the snakes are acting strangely, so he finally manages to alert the farmer to their plight. Finally, When I Was Eight is a picture book version of our hugely popular memoir Fatty Legs, so that younger readers can experience and empathize with Margaret's trials as she learns how to read at a residential school.

We've got lots of fascinating non-fiction for middle school readers, from how modern forensics can solve mysteries from the past (Bones Never Lie), to certain plants that started wars, cured diseases, or made mass transportation possible (10 Plants That Shook the World), to why things cost what they do and what happens after you spend money (Follow Your Money) and what jobs you can have behind the scenes in show business (Showtime). Native Americans: A Visual Exploration is a dynamic pictorial guide to Native American peoples, and The Arab World Thought of It explores the many inventions and innovations of the Arab peoples.

For older readers, War Brothers is a visually stunning exploration of life as a child solider in Uganda. Originally published as a novel in 2008, this graphic novel adaptation gives new life to a subject that is both emotionally challenging and greatly important. Finally, Hooked: When Addiction Hits Home tells ten true stories from the perspective of a teen living with a parent or sibling who is struggling with addiction (to alcohol, drugs, gambling, or food).

We're very excited about our Spring 2013 titles, and we hope you enjoy them, too!