Books for Girls

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Crazy Horse's Girlfriend
Authors:
Erika T. Wurth
Margaritte is a sharp-tongued, drug-dealing, sixteen-year-old Native American floundering in a Colorado town crippled by poverty, unemployment, and drug abuse. She hates the burnout, futureless kids surrounding her and dreams that she and her unreliable new boyfriend can move far beyond the bright lights of Denver that float on the horizon before the daily suffocation of teen pregnancy eats her alive.
$23.50

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Fire Fight
Format: Paperback
After her ikusin (grandmother) dies, Kai Hunter, a part-Navajo, part-Stoney Nakoda 16-year-old, runs away to Banff, Alberta, to avoid being placed in a foster home. Kai lies her way into a new identity, a job, and a safe place to live. She makes new friends and volunteers with a rapid attack crew for the forestry service. She even meets a great guy named Rory, who's into motorcycles, just like her - and who seems to be into her, too. But Kai is scared of being found out, and she isn't sure that she can trust all of her new friends...or that she likes the person she's pretending to be. Meanwhile, she's got to pay rent, figure out whether Rory is boyfriend material, and assist the rap-attack crew as they face a string of suspicious forest fires. In the thrilling conclusion to this romantic adventure, Kai's choices become matters of life and death.

R.L. 3.5
$11.95

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Hannah and the Salish Sea
Authors:
Carol Anne Shaw
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; First Nations; Métis; Salish;

In the second volume of the Hannah trilogy, summer has arrived, and fourteen-year-old Hannah Anderson is excited about spending it with Max (who has been giving her stomach butterflies lately). But things are happening in Cowichan Bay that Hannah can't explain. When a mysterious accident leads her to a nest of starving eaglets, she meets Izzy Tate, a young Metis girl staying in the village for the summer. Why is Izzy so angry all the time, and is it just a coincidence that she is the spitting image of Yisella, the Cowichan girl Hannah met the summer she was twelve? Hannah has even more questions. Why is Jack, her raven friend of First Nation legend, bringing her unusual "gifts" in the middle of the night? Is it all connected to a ring of poachers who have apparently moved into the valley? The eaglets are in danger and so are the Roosevelt elk. And what's with the Orca 1, the supposedly abandoned tuna boat anchored out in the bay? After Hannah and Max make a grisly discovery in the woods, they know they must take action. When Izzy agrees to join them on a midnight kayak trip, the three discover the unspeakable poaching secret on the Orca 1, and they are soon in a fight for their lives and the lives of the endangered animals being hunted for their parts.

Reviews
“Carol Anne Shaw provides young teen protagonists with contexts for their own parent and family issues, first attractions, peer pressures, jealousies, trust, and reactivity while learning to be themselves, not what others want them to be. . . . Within the framework of a gloriously natural setting, a First Nations history, and contemporary environmental issues, Hannah and the Salish Sea is sure to draw new readership from those who don’t want to relive too much angst in their books.” —CanLit for Little Canadians

“A delightful evocation of West Coast island life, complete with poachers, grow-ops, First Nations legends and two adventurous and confused fourteen-year-olds.” — John Wilson

Hannah & the Salish Sea pits three spirited teenagers against a gang of unsavory poachers and pot-growers. A quintessential west coast adventure story that’s part page-turner, part budding romance, and part homage to the traditional stories of the Cowichan First Peoples.” —Nikki Tate

Series Information
This is the second book in the Hannah Series, a juvenile fiction novel series.

Additional Information
200 pages | 5.50" x 7.63

Authentic Canadian Content
$11.95

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Hannah and the Spindle Whorl
Authors:
Carol Anne Shaw
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; First Nations; Salish;

When twelve-year-old Hannah uncovers an ancient Salish spindle whorl hidden in a cave near her home in Cowichan Bay, she is transported back to a village called Tl'ulpalus, in a time before Europeans had settled in the area. Through the agency of a trickster raven, Hannah befriends Yisella, a young Salish girl, and is welcomed into village life. Here she discovers that the spindle whorl is the prize possession of Yisella's mother, Skeepla, a famous spinner and weaver. When Skeepla falls victim to smallpox, Hannah finally begins to open up about the death of her own mother.

Hannah and Yisella are then accidentally left behind when the villagers journey to the mainland, and they witness the arrival of Governor James Douglas and numerous settlers on the Hecate. As the settlers pillage the village for souvenirs, Hannah and Yisella rescue the spindle whorl and, pursued by the ship's crew, escape into the dark forest. From the refuge in the cave, Hannah returns to her own time with a greater understanding of herself and the history of the First Nations.

Series Information
This is the first book in the Hannah Series, a juvenile fiction novel series.

Additional Information
244 pages | 5.50" x 7.63"

Authentic Canadian Content
$12.95

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Skin Room
Authors:
Sara Tilley
Format: Paperback
The sharply realized scenes in Skin Room, Sara Tilleys remarkable debut novel, alternate between Sanikiluaq, Northwest Territories (now Nunavut), and St. Johns, Newfoundland; between 12-year-old Teresa Normans crash into Inuit culture and her later life as a 23-year-old adult in the harrowing final phase of coping with the tragedy of her year in Sanikiluaq. She is an innocent victim of severe cultural misunderstanding. Nobody to blame, widespread suffering. With panache, Teresa writes her way into the events leading up to and away from the trauma. If you love words, theyll never desert you, she says. They will always be there, waiting patiently in their ordered pages. I can re-read the same books over and over and be surprised, every time, by some detail or nuance that didnt appear before. . . . Always, it seems, the story . . . has changed and Ive remained constant, when, really, the object is an object, a thing unchanging, and it is I who continue to metamorphose. My heart. My tongue. Only the best books invite re-reading, of course, those by writers who both love words and know how to work them. The writing in Skin Room, both the voices of precocious 12-year-old Teresa and her sophisticated older self, is straightforward and yet as memorably evocative as poetry. Whether Sara Tilley is describing the mores of Inuit schoolchildren or the contemporary downtown St. Johns arts scene, she carries a reader close, every step of the way. Skin Room is one of those novels one wants to re-read because it grabs and never lets go. The novel is hilarious at times, despite the heart-rending central event and aftermath. Coming of age has not been more searingly rendered. Skin Room is the work of a formidable new talent.

Suggested Grades: 11-12
ABPBC
$22.00

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The Break
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; Métis;

When Stella, a young Métis mother, looks out her window one evening and spots someone in trouble on the Break — a barren field on an isolated strip of land outside her house — she calls the police to alert them to a possible crime.

In a series of shifting narratives, people who are connected, both directly and indirectly, with the victim — police, family, and friends — tell their personal stories leading up to that fateful night. Lou, a social worker, grapples with the departure of her live-in boyfriend. Cheryl, an artist, mourns the premature death of her sister Rain. Paulina, a single mother, struggles to trust her new partner. Phoenix, a homeless teenager, is released from a youth detention centre. Officer Scott, a Métis policeman, feels caught between two worlds as he patrols the city. Through their various perspectives a larger, more comprehensive story about lives of the residents in Winnipeg’s North End is exposed.

A powerful intergenerational family saga, The Break showcases Vermette’s abundant writing talent and positions her as an exciting new voice in Canadian literature.

Awards

  • 2017 Burt Award for First Nations, Inuit, and Metis Literature Winner
  • Margaret Laurence Award for Fiction Winner
  • McNally Robison Book of the Year Winner
  • Amazon.ca First Novel Award 

Reviews
“Vermette is a staggering talent. Reading The Break is like a revelation; stunning, heartbreaking and glorious. From her exquisitely rendered characters to her fully realized world and the ratcheting tension, I couldn’t put it down. Absolutely riveting.” — Eden Robinson, author of Monkey Beach

“In Vermette’s poetic prose, The Break offers a stark portrayal of the adversity that plagues First Nations women in this country — and the strength that helps them survive.” — Toronto Star

The Break doesn’t read like an impressive first novel; it reads like a masterstroke from someone who knows what they’re doing . . . Vermette is skilled at writing with a language that is conversational and comfortable and with a poetic ease that makes the hard things easier to swallow. The result is a book that is at times emotionally demanding, funny, suspenseful, and always engaging.”—The Winnipeg Review

“This is a debut novel by the Governor General's Literary Award-winning Métis poet Katherena Vermette. The story takes place in Winnipeg's North End. And it starts when Stella thinks she sees a violent assault taking place in a barren strip of land outside her window, known as The Break. Turns out, she is right. In fact, there is a threat of violence that hovers over all the women in the story, three generations of them, and the story is told in many voices. Katherena writes with empathy and understanding about people who are living with the pain of intergenerational trauma. The Winnipeg winter she evokes is cold and cruel. But there is such love, loyalty and support in this story. If you enjoy a gripping family saga, I would recommend The Break.” — Shelagh Rogers, CBC The Next Chapter

Educator Information
Grades 11-12 BC English First Peoples resource for the unit What Creates Family?

The Canadian Indigenous Books for School list recommends this resource for Grades 10-12 English Language Arts.

Note: This novel contains mature and challenging content, such as incidents of drug use, rape, and, violence.

Additional Information
288 pages | 5.25" x 8.00"

Authentic Canadian Content
Authentic Indigenous Text
$22.95

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The Missing
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Cree;
After a girl she knows from school goes missing and is found dead in the Red River, Feather is shocked when the police write it off as a suicide. Then, it's Feather's best friend, Mia, who vanishes — but Mia's mom and abusive stepfather paint Mia as a frequent runaway, so the authorities won't investigate her disappearance either. Everyone knows that Native girls are disappearing and being killed, but no one is connecting the dots.

When Feather's brother Kiowa is arrested under suspicion of Mia's abduction, Feather knows she has to clear his name. What Feather doesn't know is that the young serial killer who has taken Mia has become obsessed with Feather, and her investigation is leading her into terrible danger.

Using as its background the ongoing circumstance of unsolved cases of missing and murdered Aboriginal women, this fictional thriller set in Winnipeg explores one teenager's response to a system that has long denied and misrepresented the problem.
$14.95

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