The Glory Wind & Rain Shadow by Valerie Sherrard

Miramichi's resident young people's author Valerie Sherrard has had many of her books shortlisted and awarded in various categories, and The Glory Wind and Rain Shadow are no exceptions. I am reviewing these middle-grade reader books together since they both take place in the fictional town of Junction, Manitoba in the mid 1940s, and Rain Shadow compliments some of the story lines in The Glory Wind, so for the most emotional impact, The Glory Wind should be read first, but this is by no means a requirement.

Girl on the Run by B.R. Myers

Although Young Adult (YA) novels are not my preferred genre, I do like to read and review them from time to time. Generally speaking, I have enjoyed reading the ones I have reviewed. Girl in the Run (2015, Nimbus) is by no means an unsatisfactory read, but it is definitely written for the female teen audience. In fact, a few chapters in, I was getting annoyed by all the ‘hot guy’ references and talk of kissing dreamy guys.… Continue reading

Algonquin Quest Series Books One and Two by Rick Revelle

Kingston (Ontario) area author Rick Revelle has authored two books now in his Algonquin Quest series, I am Algonquin (2013, Dundurn Press) and Algonquin Spring (2015, Dundurn Press). While they are in the Young Adult (YA) genre, they are very mature in tone, and I was totally engrossed in them. In fact, by the middle of Book One, I was greatly anticipating Book Two which I had waiting on the shelf.… Continue reading

The Memory Chair by Susan White

I must admit to a certain guilty pleasure that comes from reading and reviewing Young Adult (YA) novels. First of all, they are an ‘easy’ read; the stories are often straightforward, devoid of gratuitous sex, profanity and violence (in most cases) and the author’s message is clear. Secondly, it makes me see things through the eyes of a young person, often taking me back in time to my own adolescent years.… Continue reading

The Valerie Sherrard Interview

Miramichi New Brunswick author Valerie Sherrard has written more than a dozen novels for young people, including Counting Back from Nine, which was shortlisted for the Governor General’s Award and The Glory Wind. Her work has also been shortlisted for numerous Canadian awards, including the Ann Connor Brimer, Red Maple, and Snow Willow Awards. Valerie’s most recent novel is Random Acts.

Miramichi Reader: Valerie, please tell us a bit of your background.… Continue reading

Tomas and the Gypsy Violin by Robert Eisenberg

Quattro Books (“Home of the Novella”) has just published an endearing gem with Tomas and the Gypsy Violin. It is the story of Frank and Anna Lewitt, who adopt a seven-year-old Romani (formerly ‘Gypsy’) boy named Tomas after seeing a news report of the persecution of Roma in Eastern Europe. Told by Adam, Frank’s son from a previous marriage, he pleads:

This story is different. It is personal and painful to tell…..the little boy’s story cries out to be heard.

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