Orca Currents through March 2020: Short, high-interest novels for middle-school readers

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  • 1
    catalogue cover
    Series: Orca Currents
    World's Worst Parrot Alice Kuipers Canada
    9781459823754 Paperback JUVENILE FICTION / Animals Age (years) from 9 - 12, Grade (CAN) from 4 - 7, Grade (US) from 4 - 7, Reading age from 9 - 12 Publication Date: January 28, 2020
    $9.95 CAD 4.25 x 7 x 0.38 in | 128 pages Carton Quantity: 128 Canadian Rights: Y Orca Book Publishers
    • Marketing Copy

      Description
      Ava works hard at maintaining a certain image online and at school. As far as anyone else knows, life is great. But when she inherits an African gray parrot from her great-uncle Bernie (whom she barely remembers), Ava’s carefully crafted world starts to crumble. The parrot, Mervin, is loud and messy and obnoxious. Ava’s brother thinks it’s hilarious to post videos of Ava trying to deal with the crazy bird. He even creates a profile for the two of them. Everyone wants to see more of Ava and Mervin. Suddenly, Ava is internet famous—in the worst possible way. Her friends think the parrot is gross and start acting weird. But then a new girl at school helps Ava see that this parrot might not be the worst gift in the world and that just being yourself is the best way to be.
      Bio
      Alice Kuipers is the author of more than 10 books for young readers, including the Arthur Ellis Award winner, The Worst Thing She Ever Did. Her work has been published in dozens of countries and has also been made into plays and produced for radio. She lives with her family in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.
      Marketing & Promotion
        Marketing and Promotional Plans 
        • Print and online advertising campaigns
        • Promotion at national and regional school, library and trade conferences
        • Extensive ARC distribution 
        • Blog post and social media promotion; season's social media splash for new hi-lo
        • Outreach in Orca newsletter 
        • Planned appearance at local writers festival
    • Awards & Reviews

      Awards
      Reviews
      “The lively parrot and Ava's growing understanding of and affection for him rise above average.”
      “A breezy read but still touches on many of the struggles of middle-grade students in the digital age…It’s a pleasure to follow the avian antics and watch as Mervin squawks his way into everyone’s hearts.”
      “Recommended.”
  • 2
    catalogue cover
    Series: Orca Currents
    On the Rocks Eric Walters Canada
    9781459823648 Paperback JUVENILE FICTION / Family Age (years) from 9 - 12, Grade (CAN) from 4 - 7, Grade (US) from 4 - 7, Reading age from 9 - 12 Publication Date: January 28, 2020
    $9.95 CAD 4.25 x 7 x 0.38 in | 128 pages Carton Quantity: 128 Canadian Rights: Y Orca Book Publishers
    • Marketing Copy

      Description
      Fourteen-year-old Dylan is sent to live with his estranged grandfather, Angus. Basically strangers, the two avoid each other as best they can. One day Dylan discovers a young orca stranded high up on the rocky beach. Dylan runs to tell his grandfather. There’s nothing that can be done, says Angus. The sun is coming up, and soon the orca will die of exposure. But Dylan knows he has to try to save the whale. He collects towels to cover the delicate skin of the orca and begins transporting buckets of water from the ocean below to keep it hydrated. It’s grueling work, and it will be hours before the tide comes back in and the water is high enough for the orca to swim free. Angus is moved by his grandson’s determination and helps as best he can. They both desperately hope that soon the orca will be able to join its family, who have been calling out to it just offshore. On the Rocks is an inspiring story about the ups and downs of family.
      Bio
      Eric Walters began writing as a way to get his fifth-grade students interested in reading and writing. A Member of the Order of Canada, he has now published more than 100 novels and picture books. He is a tireless presenter, speaking to over 100,000 students per year in schools across the country. He lives in Guelph, Ontario.
      Marketing & Promotion
        Marketing and Promotional Plans 
        • Print and online advertising campaigns
        • Promotion at national and regional school, library and trade conferences
        • Extensive ARC distribution
        • Blog post and social media promotion; season's social media splash for new hi-lo  
        • Outreach in Orca newsletter 
        • Planned appearance at local writers festival
    • Awards & Reviews

      Awards
      Reviews
      “A short and simple...effective tale of intergenerational understanding.”
      On the Rocks is well-written and a 'page-turner'...An excellent read for readers who like stories about family and nature. Highly Recommended.”
  • 3
    catalogue cover
    Series: Orca Currents
    The Ride Home Gail Anderson-Dargatz Canada
    9781459821422 Paperback JUVENILE FICTION / Social Themes Age (years) from 9 - 12, Grade (CAN) from 4 - 7, Grade (US) from 4 - 7, Reading age from 9 - 12 Publication Date: January 28, 2020
    $9.95 CAD 4.25 x 7 x 0.38 in | 128 pages Carton Quantity: 128 Canadian Rights: Y Orca Book Publishers
    • Marketing Copy

      Description
      Mark is a city kid who has come to a small town to live with his grandmother after his mom goes into rehab. He has to take a school bus home for the first time. The long, noisy ride home is nothing like riding city transit. There’s some kind of secret code of knowing where you’re allowed to sit, the kids scream non-stop, and there’s pudding and cheese flying through the air. Someone even tries to set Mark’s seat on fire. Mark quickly decides that all these kids are nuts and does his best to avoid interacting with any of them. But when the bus is involved in a serious accident, Mark has to work with a couple of other students to get everybody to safety. He soon learns that he has more in common with these rural kids than he would ever have imagined. In turns funny and heartbreaking, The Ride Home is about learning that not everything is as it seems and that everyone has a story.
      Bio
      Gail Anderson-Dargatz is an award-winning author of over a dozen books, including The Cure for Death by Lightning and A Recipe for Bees, which were finalists for the Scotiabank Giller Prize. She also teaches other authors how to write fiction. Gail lives in the Shuswap region of British Columbia.
      Marketing & Promotion
        Marketing and Promotional Plans
        • Print and online advertising campaigns
        • Promotion at national and regional school, library and trade conferences
        • Extensive ARC distribution
        • Blog post and social media promotion; season's social media splash for new hi-lo
        • Outreach in Orca newsletter
        • Planned appearance at local writers festival
    • Awards & Reviews

      Awards
      Reviews
      “This is an accessible narrative with a layered reading experience.”
      “Appeal to readers who are most interested in realistic stories…A simple slice of life book with a pretty good lesson learned in the end. Recommended.”
  • 4
    catalogue cover
    Series: Orca Currents
    Oh Brother Sonya Spreen Bates
    9781459824331 Paperback JUVENILE FICTION / Disabilities & Special Needs Age (years) from 9 - 12, Grade (CAN) from 4 - 7, Grade (US) from 4 - 7, Reading age from 9 - 12 Publication Date: January 28, 2020
    $9.95 CAD 4.25 x 7 x 0.38 in | 144 pages Carton Quantity: 120 Canadian Rights: Y Orca Book Publishers
    • Marketing Copy

      Description
      Moving to a new city and a new school is never easy. So Lauren is relieved when Callie, Treena and Maddy welcome her into their group. But then Lauren witnesses their reaction to a first grader in a wheelchair. That boy is her little brother, Will. But she’s afraid that if she tells them, they may not want to be friends with her. Soon Lauren finds herself living a double life as she struggles with the challenges of building new friendships and trying to make it up to Will for not acknowledging him at school. At some point Lauren will have to make a decision. What is more important? Friends or family?
      Bio
      Sonya Spreen Bates is a Canadian writer living in South Australia. She grew up in Victoria, British Columbia, where she obtained a degree in linguistics from the University of Victoria. She then studied speech-language pathology at Dalhousie University and has spent many years working with children with communication disorders. Sonya writes for children and adults and has been published in Australia and New Zealand as well as Canada.
      Marketing & Promotion
        Marketing and Promotional Plans 
        • Print and online advertising campaigns 
        • Promotion at national and regional school, library and trade conferences 
        • Extensive ARC distribution 
        • Blog post and social media promotion; season's social media splash for new hi-lo
        • Outreach in Orca newsletter 
        • Planned appearance at local writers festival
    • Awards & Reviews

      Awards
      Reviews
      “Bates, in this novel, raises a number of issues...Readers are witness to what constitutes true friendship. Readers also see how hard it is to navigate middle school. A must read.”
      “Well-intentioned tale of peer pressure and sibling bonds.”
  • 5
    catalogue cover
    Series: Orca Currents
    Who is Tanksy? Bev Katz Rosenbaum Canada
    9781459820852 Paperback JUVENILE FICTION / Social Themes Age (years) from 9 - 12, Grade (CAN) from 4 - 7, Grade (US) from 4 - 7, Reading age from 9 - 12 Publication Date: August 27, 2019
    $9.95 CAD 4.25 x 7 x 0.31 in | 128 pages Carton Quantity: 84 Canadian Rights: Y Orca Book Publishers
    • Marketing Copy

      Description
      Fourteen-year-old Tanya Kofsky is invisible. She hates that no one listens to her, at home or at her new school. So as student elections get underway, Tanya starts secretly painting controversial images on the walls of the school. Soon everyone is talking about this amazing artist with a lot to say.

      The election results turn out to be a catalyst for more rebellion. And not just from students. Teachers, tired of the principal's authoritarian leadership, start promoting self-expression. Even the lunch ladies join in, ignoring the strictly controlled menu and serving more nutritious and culturally diverse fare.

      But can this revolution effect real change? Or will speaking up lead to complete disaster?
      Bio
      Bev Katz Rosenbaum is the author of several works of fiction. She has worked in-house as an editor for book publishers and magazines and has taught writing at the college level. Currently she juggles writing children's books with freelance editing. Bev lives in Toronto.
      Marketing & Promotion
        Key Selling Points
        The new girl at school, at first invisible, finds a way to express herself and in doing so encourages everyone to speak out for justice.
        This story illustrates the importance of standing up for what’s right and being true to one’s self.
        With the aftermath of the U.S. election, there is a revolution happening: young people are becoming empowered to make their voices heard.
        The story is both heartfelt and funny.
        This story promotes creative art therapy and self-care.

        Marketing and Promo Plans

        Print and online advertising campaigns
        Promotion at national and regional school, library and trade conferences
        Planned appearance at local writers festival
        Extensive ARC distribution, including NetGalley
        Blog post and social media promotion
        Outreach in Orca newsletter
    • Content Preview

    • Awards & Reviews

      Awards
      Reviews
      “Modern, politically engaged and fun, Who is Tanksy?, is a great read with potential to light that spark in the leaders and activists of tomorrow, carries the powerful message that change can truly come from anywhere.”
      “A compelling quick read due to her clever dialogue and Tanya’s winning personality.”
  • 6
    catalogue cover
    Series: Orca Currents
    Double Trouble Joanne Levy Canada
    9781459821330 Paperback JUVENILE FICTION / Social Themes Age (years) from 9 - 12, Grade (CAN) from 4 - 7, Grade (US) from 4 - 7, Reading age from 9 - 12 Publication Date: August 27, 2019
    $9.95 CAD 4.25 x 7 x 0.33 in | 144 pages Carton Quantity: 76 Canadian Rights: Y Orca Book Publishers
    • Marketing Copy

      Description
      Victoria Adelman is lonely. Her best friend has moved away, leaving her to spend the summer alone. One day, on her way home from a bat mitzvah, she meets Jazzy, her next-door neighbors’ granddaughter. Tori hopes her friendless status is about to change.

      Later, in her garden, she meets Jazzy again, but Jazzy doesn’t recognize the filthy, smelly girl as the one she met earlier. In a moment of insecurity, Tori tells Jazzy that the girl she met before was her twin sister, Vicky. Tori is sure she can fake being that girl in the dress—it’s only for two weeks.

      But then Jazzy announces she’s staying with her grandparents for the school year. Tori needs to figure out what to do: come clean and lose her new friend, or live her life as a fake.
      Bio
      Joanne Levy is the author of a number of books for young people, including Crushing It and Small Medium At Large. She lives in Clinton, Ontario, with her husband and kids of the furred and feathered variety.
      Marketing & Promotion
        Key Selling Points
        Victoria Andleman first meets Jasvitha on her way back from a bat mitzvah, all dressed up. When she sees her again while wearing her grubby gardening clothes she panics and pretends to be her twin sister, Tori.
        This funny story of mistaken identity includes themes of friendship, honesty, and being true to yourself.
        Eileen Cook, author of Getting Revenge on Lauren Wood, called Small Medium at Large, Joanne Levy’s previous middle grade novel, “A can’t put-it-down read.”
        Like the author, main character Tori is Jewish, and her culture informs the story. Tori’s friend is of South Asian descent.

        Marketing and Promo Plans

        Print and online advertising campaigns
        Promotion at national and regional school, library and trade conferences
        Planned appearance at local writers festival
        Extensive ARC distribution
        Blog post and social media promotion
        Outreach in Orca newsletter
    • Awards & Reviews

      Awards
      Reviews
      "An excellent choice for readers who like stories about friendship and realistic situations, and the book would be a most worthy addition to any collection. Highly Recommended."
      “A light-hearted pick for summer reading or for any reader who enjoys comedies.”
  • 7
    catalogue cover
    Series: Orca Currents
    Just Three Lorna Schultz Nicholson Canada
    9781459821699 Paperback JUVENILE FICTION / Social Themes Age (years) from 9 - 12, Grade (CAN) from 4 - 7, Grade (US) from 4 - 7, Reading age from 9 - 12 Publication Date: August 27, 2019
    $9.95 CAD 4.25 x 7 x 0.33 in | 144 pages Carton Quantity: 76 Canadian Rights: Y Orca Book Publishers
    • Marketing Copy

      Description
      Before Rory and Jillian's mother died two years ago, she hired Rebecca to be the family housekeeper. But Rebecca is a terrible cook and not so great at housework either. The weird lunches and laundry disasters drive the twins crazy. One day Jillian catches her father flirting with Rebecca and decides it's time to find him a girlfriend. Rory disagrees. But eventually he goes along with the idea, and they create a profile for their father on an online dating site. Dad is very reluctant, but Jillian gets him to agree to go on three dates before giving up. Each date turns out to be more disastrous than the last.

      Will Rory and Jillian manage to find their dad the perfect match? Or was the answer right in front of them the whole time?
      Bio
      Lorna Schultz Nicholson is an award-winning author of many books for children and young adults. She has also worked as a television producer, radio host and rowing coach. Lorna lives in Edmonton, Alberta, with her husband and two dogs.
      Marketing & Promotion
        Key Selling Points
        Lorna has written lots of middle grade books, including Roughing which was nominated for a Golden Eagle Award and was a Canadian Children’s Centre Our Choice Selection.
        Lorna Schultz Nicholson has written several books for reluctant readers, including Vegas Tryout and Rookie.
        The twins’ well-meaning attempts to find their dad a girlfriend lead to humorous and sometimes disastrous situations.
        The book shows that happiness can be found where you least expect it and that families come in all shapes and sizes.

        Marketing and Promo Plans

        Print and online advertising campaigns
        Promotion at national and regional school, library and trade conferences
        Planned appearance at local writers festival
        Extensive ARC distribution
        Blog post and social media promotion
        Outreach in Orca newsletter
    • Awards & Reviews

      Awards
      Reviews
      “There are wonderful, hopeful moments throughout this story about three characters who feel genuine, and the overall feel of the book is one of warmth and humour. Highly Recommended.”
      “A funny, approachable book about trying to solve a problem of your own making, Just Three will make a fine addition to upper elementary classroom libraries and high/low collections.”
  • 8
    catalogue cover
    Series: Orca Currents
    Kung Fu Master Marty Chan Canada
    9781459822467 Paperback JUVENILE FICTION / Social Themes Age (years) from 9 - 12, Grade (CAN) from 4 - 7, Grade (US) from 4 - 7, Reading age from 9 - 12 Publication Date: August 27, 2019
    $9.95 CAD 4.25 x 7 x 0.31 in | 144 pages Carton Quantity: 84 Canadian Rights: Y Orca Book Publishers
    • Marketing Copy

      Description
      Everyone assumes that because he's Chinese, Jon Wong must be good at math and science and a first-class nerd. No matter how hard he tries, he can't seem to shake the stereotypes. After a kung fu action movie, Jon and his best buddy pretend to be martial-arts warriors. Word soon spreads that Jon is a kung fu master, and the kids begin to treat him differently. Rather than correct the mistake, Jon plays up the role and basks in the positive attention from his classmates. But when the school bully challenges him to prove his skills, Jon must figure out a way to somehow keep his status as the cool kid. Without getting pulverized.
      Bio
      Marty Chan is an award-winning author of dozens of books for kids and plays for adults. He tours schools and libraries across Canada, using storytelling, stage magic and improv to ignite a passion for reading in kids. He lives in Edmonton.
      Marketing & Promotion
        Key Selling Points
        The humor in the book opens the door to talk about cultural stereotypes without sounding preachy.
        The book features a Chinese protagonist.
        The recent resurgence of Bruce Lee’s popularity in pop culture may connect kids who want to read books with kung fu.
        This is the author’s return to cultural comedy since The Marty Chan Mystery series, which librarians and teachers have used for the last decade.
        This book taps into the inner gawky teen who would do anything to fit in.

        Marketing and Promo Plans

        Print and online advertising campaigns
        Promotion at national and regional school, library and trade conferences
        Planned appearance at local writers festival
        Extensive ARC distribution, including NetGalley
        Blog post and social media promotion
        Outreach in Orca newsletter
    • Awards & Reviews

      Awards
      Reviews
      “Chan’s engaging story will teach children a valuable lesson in humility, the acceptance of one’s own limitations, and the importance of valuing oneself.”
  • 9
    catalogue cover
    Series: Orca Currents
    Iggy's World Gail Anderson-Dargatz Canada
    9781459821392 Paperback JUVENILE FICTION / Family Age (years) from 9 - 12, Grade (CAN) from 4 - 7, Grade (US) from 4 - 7, Reading age from 9 - 12 Publication Date: August 27, 2019
    $9.95 CAD 4.25 x 7 x 0.3 in | 128 pages Carton Quantity: 84 Canadian Rights: Y Orca Book Publishers
    • Marketing Copy

      Description
      Fourteen-year-old Iggy comes from a famous family. Well, sort of. His dad directs a cheesy sci-fi Web series, his mom writes for it, and his sister has a successful YouTube channel. Iggy doesn’t have the acting bug, so he feels like an outsider. Wanting to prove himself, Iggy starts his own podcast about what interests him: insects.

      But it’s not until Iggy embarrasses his famous sister on air that his podcast really takes off. He’s thrilled with his own success, until she fires back. Now it’s all-out war.

      Iggy’s World is an exploration of the age-old problem artists face: when we find inspiration from our real lives, what will our friends and family think? And, of course, just how much of our private lives do we really want to reveal online?
      Bio
      Gail Anderson-Dargatz is an award-winning author of over a dozen books, including The Cure for Death by Lightning and A Recipe for Bees, which were finalists for the Scotiabank Giller Prize. She also teaches other authors how to write fiction. Gail lives in the Shuswap region of British Columbia.
      Marketing & Promotion
        Key Selling Points
        Gail Anderson-Dargatz’s first novel, The Cure of Death by Lightning, met with terrific acclaim and was a finalist for the Giller Prize.
        Gail has also written many hi-lo or literacy learner novellas for both YA and adults working to strengthen their literacy skills.
        While dealing with serious themes (privacy and family secrets), the tone of the book is lighthearted and hilarious.
        YouTube has replaced traditional TV for tween entertainment and many kids are making their own podcasts and vlogs with their phones.

        Marketing and Promo Plans

        Print and online advertising campaigns
        Promotion at national and regional school, library and trade conferences
        Planned appearance at local writers festival
        Extensive ARC distribution
        Blog post and social media promotion
        Outreach in Orca newsletter
    • Awards & Reviews

      Awards
      Reviews
      Iggy’s World is about family and also fitting in. It also looks at the meaning of true friendship and what a friend can look like. A good read. Highly Recommended.”
  • 10
    catalogue cover
    Series: Orca Currents
    Death by Airship Arthur Slade Canada
    9781459818705 Paperback JUVENILE FICTION / Action & Adventure Age (years) from 9 - 12, Grade (CAN) from 4 - 7, Grade (US) from 4 - 7, Reading age from 9 - 12 Publication Date: January 29, 2019
    $9.95 CAD 4.25 x 7 x 0.31 in | 128 pages Carton Quantity: 88 Canadian Rights: Y Orca Book Publishers
    • Marketing Copy

      Description
      Prince Conn will never be king. And that's just fine with him. He's ninth in line for the pirate throne and is quite happy to sail the skies in his airship with his crew of cheery misfits, plundering as they go. But one by one his siblings are being murdered, in tragic fires, violent cannon attacks or mysterious poisonings. Soon all fingers are pointing toward Conn as the mastermind. To prove his innocence, Conn must make his way to Skull Island, navigating his airship through a gauntlet of villains, explosions and betrayals. Can he reach his father's kingdom before it's too late? Or will he suffer the same fate as the rest of his family?
      Bio
      Arthur Slade is a Governor General's Award-winning author of many novels for young readers, including the Amber Fang series and Modo: Ember's End, a graphic novel based on the characters from The Hunchback Assignments trilogy. Raised on a ranch in the Cypress Hills of Saskatchewan, Arthur now makes his home in Saskatoon.
      Marketing & Promotion

        Key Selling Points

        Prince Conn is ninth in line for the pirate throne. When one by one his siblings are murdered, Conn must make his way to Skull Island, navigating his airship through a gauntlet of villains, explosions and betrayals, to solve the mystery and clear his name.

        Steampunk and fantasy--a departure from other books in the Orca Currents series.

        Corny humour will appeal to young teens

        Arthur Slade won the Governor General's award for his book Dust.

        Arthur Slade has over 14k followers on Twitter

        Breaks gender stereotypes

        Marketing and Promotional Plans

        Print and online advertising campaigns

        Promotion at national and regionalschool, library and trade conferences

        Digital and print ARCs available

    • Awards & Reviews

      Awards
      CCBC Best Books for Kids & Teens 2019, Commended
      Reviews
      "Filled to the brim with humorous dialogue and vivid action sequences, Death by Airship is sure to become a favourite with adolescent readers across all genders and reading levels…A novel that jumps off the page, leaving a vivid impression in the memories of its readers."
      "This is a wonderful read…The Pirate clan is a fascinating family, and I desperately want to know what the next adventure is! Another great read from the masterful pen of Arthur Slade! Hazzah!"
      "Slade, a master of gung-ho, young adult novels, mixes plenty of drive-ahead action and plot contrivances with his much-loved sense of humour."
      “The mystery keeps readers on the edge of their seats and the lower reading/ high interest level as well as the brevity of the book will not intimidate reluctant or struggling readers.”
      “There is much pirate talk and some science fiction elements, including flying ships and birds that blow up like bombs. The pace is fast and students that love pirates will enjoy this chapter book.”

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