You Were Never Here by Kathleen Peacock

Cat hasn’t been to Montgomery Falls, the town her family founded, since she was twelve years old. Since the summer she discovered she could do things that no normal twelve-year-old could do. Since she had her first kiss with Riley Fraser. Since she destroyed their friendship.
Now, five years later, she’s back and Riley has disappeared.

New Brunswick’s Kathleen Peacock has written a book that has made people sit up and take notice.…

When the Hill Came Down by Susan White

New Brunswick author Susan White writes great stories, suitable for young adult readers on up. Past reviews here at TMR include Fear of Drowning, The Memory Chair and Waiting for Still Water. Fine stories all, and I highly recommend them. Now, PEI’s Acorn Press has released her latest, When the Hill Came Down, a story about loss, jealousy, childhood abuse/misuse, love, and redemption.…

You Don’t Have to Die in the End by Anita Daher

Despite not having met author Anita Daher, I felt as though I knew her. As Chair of The Writers’ Union of Canada, Anita’s regular, written updates are enjoyable—informative and inspirational, yet conversational—as though chatting with an insightful friend over coffee. So when I purchased her latest, You Don’t Have to Die in the End, I felt the comfort one expects when settling in to read the work of an author you trust.…

The Hannah D. State Interview

Hannah D. State is a Canadian author. Born in London, Ontario, she graduated from McGill University with a BA and earned her MPL from Queen’s University. Hannah enjoys going on nature walks and pondering the mysteries of the universe. She currently resides in New Brunswick. Journey to the Hopewell Star is Hannah’s first novel and while it was written with a young reader audience in mind, I found it engrossing enough to keep my interest until the end, desiring to read more of Samantha’s adventures.…

Annaka by Andre Fenton

Andre Fenton’s second novel Annaka is a whirlwind. The narrative follows 16-year-old Annaka Brooks as she returns home to Yarmouth, Nova Scotia for her Grampy’s funeral. Though much of her adolescence has been tarnished by feelings of loneliness and difference, her homecoming provides opportunities to rebuild connections with family and friends and to figure out key secrets from her past. Clay, her childhood imaginary friend, poses a particularly interesting reunion.…

Dangerous Loyalties Books One & Two by Phyllis A. Still

Note: I originally wrote the following reviews for a now-defunct book review site in the U.S. As there is an impending Book Three in the works, I thought it best to combine the two reviews and publish them here at The Miramichi Reader.

Defiance on Indian Creek is a young reader type of historical novel set in the late 18th century in the 13 colonies of New England, specifically West Virginia where Michael Shirley resides with his family in a two-story log home.…

New Brunswick’s Chocolate River Publishing

Riverview, New Brunswick’s Chocolate River Publishing was founded to put New Brunswick on the map (so to speak) on the national and international publishing stage. Their books for children and adults are carefully and lovingly produced to make learning about New Brunswick and Atlantic Canada fun for all. Some of their most recent titles appear above, and what follows is a brief description of each.…

Under the Zaboca Tree by Glynis Guevara

Guevara was born in Barataria, Trinidad. She was shortlisted for the Small Axe Literary short fiction prize in 2012 and was also a finalist for the inaugural Burt Award for Caribbean Literature in 2014. She currently lives in Toronto where she works as an adult literacy and ESL instructor.

Under the Zaboca Tree (2017, Inanna Publications) is a Young Adult (YA) book that tells the story of Baby Girl (Melody) Sparks, and her trip to Trinidad and Tobago with her father Smokey (Nicholas) who has sole custody of her.…

Black Water Rising by Robert Rayner

New Brunswick author Robert Rayner is the author of three adult novels, nine young adult novels, and five teen novels. His latest young adult novel is Black Water Rising (2016, Nimbus Publishing). His books have been shortlisted for the Ann Connor Brimer Children’s Literature Award and (four times) for the Hackmatack Children’s Choice Book Award. Six have been included in the Canadian Children’s Book Centre annual “Best Books” list, and one on the US Young Adult Library Services Association “Best Books to Get Teens Reading” list.…

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 these two novels are no exception. The Glory Wind (2010, Fitzhenry & Whiteside) aside from being on several shortlists, was the winner of the 2011 Geoffrey Bilson Historical Fiction for Young People Award as well as Winner of the 2011 Ann Connor Brimer Award.…

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.…

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.…

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.…

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.

Fight Back by Brent R. Sherrard

Fight Back by Brent R. Sherrard is a Young Adult (YA) novel in the SideStreets series produced by Lorimer Publishing. They are described as: “edgy, fast-paced novels that combine real-world themes and believable characters to make for short, heart-stopping books — sure to engage the most reluctant reader.” This is the first book I have read of the series and I believe it fits Lorimer’s description quite well.…