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Orca HiLo Reading Levels 5.0-5.9 through December 2023

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  • 1
    catalogue cover
    Lost Orca Currents 1st edition John Wilson
    9781459811959 Other book format MATHEMATICS / General On Sale Date:March 22, 2016
    $14.93 CAD 4.25 x 7 x 0.4 in | 0.13 kg Carton Quantity:100 Orca Books
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  • 2
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    Casting Lily Holly Bennett Canada
    9781459814509 Paperback JUVENILE FICTION / Performing Arts Age (years) from 9 - 12, Grade (CAN) from 4 - 7, Grade (US) from 4 - 7, Reading age from 9 - 12 Publication Date:March 13, 2018
    $9.95 CAD 4.75 x 7.25 x 0.38 in | 140 gr | 144 pages Carton Quantity:76 Canadian Rights: Y Orca Book Publishers
    • Marketing Copy

      Description
      Fourteen-year-old Ava is thrilled when she lands a part in a play based on the true story of orphans sent to Canada in the 1800s to work on farms. But is she good enough to hold her own in a professional production? As the rehearsal pressures crank up, Ava struggles with her character, with the vocal demands of outdoor theater and with the annoying ego of her castmate Kiefer. But as she learns more about the historical Lily on which her part is based, things begin to fall into place.

      Then one bad decision jeopardizes Ava's chances of being able to perform on opening night.
      Bio
      Holly Bennett is the author of numerous young adult novels, all published by Orca. She lives in Peterborough, Ontario, where she enjoys singing, being in nature, hanging out with her family, Scrabble and, of course, reading. For more information, visit www.hollybennett.ca.
      Marketing & Promotion
    • Awards & Reviews

      Awards
      CCBC Best Books for Kids & Teens 2018, Commended
      Reviews
      "Bennett has thoroughly researched the process of working with young performers, from the auditions to the warm-ups, the rehearsal schedule and costume challenges, the opening night jitters and emotional reactions to press reviews. For drama students this will be familiar and comforting ground."
      "Casting Lily is more than a story about a play. It is about family, friendship, doing a job well and being authentic. Ava grows as a character, as well as a young person, over the course of the summer…A good read. Highly Recommended."
  • 3
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    True Blue Sigmund Brouwer Canada, Cindy Morgan
    9781459815803 Paperback JUVENILE FICTION / Performing Arts Age (years) from 9 - 12, Grade (CAN) from 4 - 7, Grade (US) from 4 - 7, Reading age from 9 - 12 Publication Date:January 16, 2018
    $9.95 CAD 4.75 x 7.25 x 0.38 in | 140 gr | 128 pages Carton Quantity:84 Canadian Rights: Y Orca Book Publishers
    • Marketing Copy

      Description
      Elle is on the road as an opening act for Johnny James, the biggest star in country music. Touring is everything she's ever dreamed of, but it has unexpected downsides: crazy fans, jealous backup singers, weird rules on the tour bus. But when something goes terribly wrong during a performance, Elle struggles to figure out how she can make things right with her fans, her father, her record company and with her friend Webb.

      True Blue continues the story that began in Billboard Express.
      Bio
      Sigmund Brouwer is the author of over 20 novels for adults and dozens of books for children. He visits over 150 schools per year to deliver his Rock and Roll Literacy presentation, reaching about 60,000 students per year. Sigmund lives in Red Deer, Alberta. For more information, visit www.sigmundbrouwer.com.

      Cindy Morgan is an award-winning singer-songwriter based in Nashville, Tennessee. A two-time Grammy nominee, Cindy is an adjunct professor of songwriting at Nashville's Belmont University. For more information, visit www.cindymorganmusic.com.
      Marketing & Promotion
    • Awards & Reviews

      Awards
      CCBC Best Books for Kids & Teens 2018, Commended
      Reviews
      "Written at a fourth and fifth grade reading level…the authentic story line will keep realistic fiction fans engaged."
  • 4
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    Pop Quiz Tom Ryan Canada
    9781459812222 Paperback JUVENILE FICTION / Performing Arts Age (years) from 9 - 12, Grade (CAN) from 4 - 7, Grade (US) from 4 - 7, Reading age from 9 - 12 Publication Date:September 12, 2017
    $9.95 CAD 4.75 x 7.25 x 0.31 in | 120 gr | 128 pages Carton Quantity:64 Canadian Rights: Y Orca Book Publishers
    • Marketing Copy

      Description
      Fifteen-year-old Aiden is a minor cast member on a long-running high school "dramedy" with a low budget and a loyal following. Aiden and his friends are excited that they're being promoted to lead roles for the upcoming tenth season of Pop Quiz. But then they learn the show is being canceled. According to the producers, no one even watches TV anymore, with kids preferring the antics of YouTube stars. With the help of some former cast members and a group of hardcore fans, Aiden and his friends attempt to create a movie special to wrap up the storylines and give the series the send-off it deserves.
      Bio

      Tom Ryan is the award-winning author of several acclaimed books for young readers. He has been nominated for multiple awards, including the White Pine Award, the Ann Connor Brimer Award and the Amy Mathers Teen Book Award. His YA mystery Keep This to Yourself was the winner of the 2020 ITW Thriller Award for Best YA Thriller and the 2020 Arthur Ellis Award for Best YA Crime Book. Two of his books were Junior Library Guild selections, and three of his young adult novels, Way to Go, Tag Along and Keep This to Yourself, were chosen for the ALA Rainbow List, in 2013, 2014 and 2020. He was a 2017 Lambda Literary Fellow in Young Adult Fiction. Tom, his husband and their dog live in Nova Scotia.

      Marketing & Promotion
    • Awards & Reviews

      Awards
      Reviews
      "The story is fast-paced and hard to put down…Pop Quiz is an appealing, hopeful story of community and the performing arts. Recommended. "
  • 5
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    Billboard Express Sigmund Brouwer Canada, Cindy Morgan
    9781459811089 Paperback JUVENILE FICTION / Business, Careers, Occupations Age (years) from 9 - 12, Grade (CAN) from 4 - 7, Grade (US) from 4 - 7, Reading age from 9 - 12 Publication Date:October 18, 2016
    $9.95 CAD 4.75 x 7.25 x 0.31 in | 120 gr | 128 pages Carton Quantity:60 Canadian Rights: Y Orca Book Publishers
    • Marketing Copy

      Description
      Elle has come to Nashville to become a star. She has what it takes, but her agent and all the label executives want to change everything about her—her hair, her body, her clothes and, most important, her music. So Elle becomes a blond, sings about cookin' for her man and wears tiny shorts and revealing tank tops. Then a chance meeting with an established female songwriter makes Elle realize that she's paying too high a price for success.

      Billboard Express continues the story that began in Rock the Boat by Sigmund Brouwer.
      Bio
      Sigmund Brouwer is the author of over 20 novels for adults and dozens of books for children. He visits over 150 schools per year to deliver his Rock and Roll Literacy presentation, reaching about 60,000 students per year. Sigmund lives in Red Deer, Alberta. For more information, visit www.sigmundbrouwer.com.

      Cindy Morgan is an award-winning singer-songwriter based in Nashville, Tennessee. A two-time Grammy nominee, Cindy is an adjunct professor of songwriting at Nashville's Belmont University. For more information, visit www.cindymorganmusic.com.
      Marketing & Promotion
    • Awards & Reviews

      Awards
      Reviews
      "Morgan and Brouwer paint an accurate portrait of the Nashville star-making machinery and the constant tug of war between art and commerce. It's deliciously entertaining, but most of all Elle's bravery is inspiring. After all...don't we all want to be true to ourselves and live authentic lives? This book will remind you why that's so valuable."
      "Readers who enjoyed Rock the Boat will be happy to return to Brouwer's Nashville and go through a different journey with Elle...Recommended for reluctant readers and young adolescents."
      "This is a feel-good glimpse into the life of a rising star. If you are looking for titles with strong female protagonists that are high-interest/low vocabulary, this title is exactly what you are looking for."
  • 6
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    Raising the Stakes Trudee Romanek Canada
    9781459807792 Paperback JUVENILE FICTION / Performing Arts Age (years) from 9 - 12, Grade (CAN) from 4 - 7, Grade (US) from 4 - 7, Reading age from 9 - 12 Publication Date:October 13, 2015
    $9.95 CAD 4.75 x 7.25 x 0.4 in | 160 gr | 160 pages Carton Quantity:46 Canadian Rights: Y Orca Book Publishers
    • Marketing Copy

      Description
      It’s the start of a new season for Harrington High’s improv team—and Chloe is determined that this will be the year they make it all the way to the top. Her teammates (who also happen to be her closest friends) are a talented bunch, and she knows they can do it. They have to. Because getting to nationals is Chloe’s best chance to prove—to her parents, to the improv scouts and, most of all, to herself—that she has what it takes to succeed. Chloe is doing everything she can to help her teammates perform better. So why are they all mad at her?
      Bio

      Trudee Romanek is the award-winning author of a dozen nonfiction books for young readers. Raising the Stakes is her first novel. Trudee lives with her family in Barrie, Ontario.

      Marketing & Promotion
    • Awards & Reviews

      Awards
      Reviews
      "Trudee Romanek sweetly illustrates the duality of competition and collaboration that exists in so many students of improv across the country. She offers a unique glimpse into the world of a high school improv team - a world inhabited by thousands of young Canadians year after year."
      "The author does a great job of describing the improv scenes and warm-up activities. This gives the reader a good understanding of how improv works and makes the story believable...If the reader is interested in performing arts, and in improv in particular, Raising the Stakes would be a good book to build background knowledge and introduce the world of improv."
      "The flow of this book is very smooth and transitions well between the various characters. Romanek provides great information through the characters on the subject of improv. While the reluctant reader will enjoy this book, it may attract other readers who are interested in this topic and may go the extra step in researching it."
      "This novel deals very specifically with the skills of improvisation...Chloe learns that friendships and learning experiences can take you further than trophies."
  • 7
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    Shimmy Kari Jones Canada
    9781459807648 Paperback JUVENILE FICTION / Performing Arts Age (years) from 9 - 12, Grade (CAN) from 4 - 7, Grade (US) from 4 - 7, Reading age from 9 - 12 Publication Date:September 08, 2015
    $9.95 CAD 4.75 x 7.25 x 0.37 in | 140 gr | 144 pages Carton Quantity:50 Canadian Rights: Y Orca Book Publishers
    • Marketing Copy

      Description
      Lila has always wanted a career in belly dance, so she is thrilled when she is invited to join Dana Sajala’s competitive and prestigious studio. But dancing at the new studio isn’t quite what she expected. Dana Sajala is a tough teacher, and Lila finds the constant criticism stressful. On top of that, Lila misses the dancers from her old troupe, and a rift is developing between her and her best friend, Angela, who is not altogether sympathetic to Lila’s struggles. Lila has always loved belly dance—the music, the costumes, the choreography—but when she realizes that none of it is as much fun as it used to be, she starts to question whether she has made the right choice.
      Bio
      Kari Jones is the author of several well-received books for kids and teens, including A Fair Deal, in the Orca Footprints series. She lives in Victoria, British Columbia, where she teaches English and creative writing at Camosun College.
      Marketing & Promotion
    • Awards & Reviews

      Awards
      CCBC Best Books for Kids & Teens 2016, Commended
      Reviews
      "Jones writes this novella in a simple, highly readable style. The author's descriptions of the dances are some of the most interesting segments of the story...Entertaining and insightful for young dancers."
      "Part of the Orca Limelights series, a fantastic concept which combines stories about kids involved in creative and performing arts with simple storytelling perfect for reluctant readers...The central themes of this novel are fantastic and not often explored seriously in teen fiction. How important is it for creative teens to be completely wedded to their art form?...Jones also asks why we value art and creativity and why it is considered an important avenue of expression for teens...Shimmy shows readers the worth in building a community and supporting your peers."
      "Few have heard of dance competitions involving shimmying, more commonly called belly dancing...A unique topic...The overall themes of the book stick out and will encourage reluctant readers."
  • 8
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    The Frail Days Gabrielle Prendergast Canada
    9781459804647 Paperback JUVENILE FICTION / Performing Arts Age (years) from 9 - 12, Grade (CAN) from 4 - 7, Grade (US) from 4 - 7, Reading age from 9 - 12 Publication Date:April 01, 2015
    $9.95 CAD 4.75 x 7.25 x 0.32 in | 120 gr | 128 pages Carton Quantity:63 Canadian Rights: Y Orca Book Publishers
    • Marketing Copy

      Description

      Sixteen-year-old drummer Stella, guitarist Jacob and bassist Miles need a wild singer for their old-school rock band.

      When they discover nerdy Tamara Donnelly, who nails the national anthem at a baseball game, Stella is not convinced Tamara’s sound is right for the band. Stella wants to turn Tamara into a rock goddess, but Tamara proves to be a confident performer who has her own ideas about music and what it means to be epic cool. When their band, the Frail Days, starts to build a local following, Stella and Tamara clash over the direction the band should take, forcing them to consider what true musical collaboration means.

      Bio

      Gabrielle Prendergast is an award-winning writer, teacher and designer. She has written many books for young people including the Sheila A. Egoff Children’s Literature Prize winner, Zero Repeat Forever and the Westchester Award winner, Audacious. She lives in Vancouver with her family.

      Marketing & Promotion
    • Awards & Reviews

      Awards
      Reviews
      "A timely read for kids looking at chasing dreams of their own."
      "Prendergast displays excellent insight into what makes young artists tick in this short novella. Characterization is deftly done: Stella has an attractively rebellious edge to her personality, and Tamara's character grows naturally in confidence. Punchy, insightful and great for music lovers."
      "The dialogue is authentic, and the vocabulary is varied, interesting and appropriate for the intended audience. Characters are realistic, and the plot is believable. The theme of performing and finding a voice is well explored in this novel...The Frail Days would appeal to a variety of readers, including readers of music, relationships and realistic fiction...Highly Recommended."
      "A pleasing choice for high/low readers with an interest in the music biz."
      "While the themes are serious, the lively first person narrative by the iconoclastic Stella (piercings, fire-engine red hair, different fake tattoos every week) makes this a dynamic and funny novel."
      "An inspirational story...[that] tackles more than perseverance and ambition...[including] female competition, body image, and the pressure of gender expectations for young girls in society...The [Orca Limelights] stories are quick, bite-sized reads, but they pack a punch—the well-developed stories have relatable characters and entertaining plots. This book will appeal to a diverse audience of young female readers."
  • 9
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    Rock the Boat Sigmund Brouwer Canada
    9781459804555 Paperback JUVENILE FICTION / Performing Arts Age (years) from 9 - 12, Grade (CAN) from 4 - 7, Grade (US) from 4 - 7, Reading age from 9 - 12 Publication Date:March 01, 2015
    $9.95 CAD 4.75 x 7.25 x 0.31 in | 140 gr | 128 pages Carton Quantity:84 Canadian Rights: Y Orca Book Publishers
    • Marketing Copy

      Description
      Webb believes that if you want to reach your dreams, you have to live life loud. Bring the roof down. Rock the boat. Make sure that when you look back, you have no regrets. But when a shady music producer steals one of Webb’s songs, Webb finds out how hard it is for a kid on his own in Nashville to get justice. With the help of an unlikely ally, Webb discovers that he has what it takes to succeed: talent, determination and some good friends.
      Bio
      Sigmund Brouwer is the author of over 20 novels for adults and dozens of books for children. He visits over 150 schools per year to deliver his Rock and Roll Literacy presentation, reaching about 60,000 students per year. Sigmund lives in Red Deer, Alberta. For more information, visit www.sigmundbrouwer.com.
      Marketing & Promotion
    • Awards & Reviews

      Awards
      Reviews
      "Brouwer keeps both chapters and book as short as possible; despite this, his characters shine as individuals, and clearly he has done his research on the dangers the music world poses for new talent...A quick read for music lovers."
      "A fast-moving, easy and enjoyable reading experience that will appeal to many readers. The vocabulary is at-level, but the quick pace and shorter chapters will appeal to reluctant readers who will have a sense of accomplishment when they finish this book...Readers will be cheering for Dean's demise, and they won't be left disappointed in the end."
      "A quick, easy and compelling narrative appealing to both genders. Although it is aimed at eleven to fourteen-year-olds, the simple vocabulary, short sentences and brief chapters make it accessible to much younger readers."
      "Will hook readers from the first chapter...True to life and easy to grasp...A suspenseful plot, fascinating details, and a likable protagonist make this title a wonderful addition to hi-lo collections."
      "Webb is a likeable character and readers will be rooting for him to find justice. There is much to appeal to young singers and songwriters in this book, particularly those who play guitar. There is a web page about Jim Webb and his music, as well as a YouTube video of the title song. These features are solid tools for pulling in reluctant readers. Webb is also a character in two previous novels by Brouwer; many readers will like him enough to want to read more about his backstory."
  • 10
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    Warm Up Sara Leach Canada
    9781459804289 Paperback JUVENILE FICTION / Performing Arts Age (years) from 9 - 12, Grade (CAN) from 4 - 7, Grade (US) from 4 - 7, Reading age from 9 - 12 Publication Date:March 01, 2014
    $9.95 CAD 4.75 x 7.25 x 0.56 in | 120 gr | 128 pages Carton Quantity:104 Canadian Rights: Y Orca Book Publishers
    • Marketing Copy

      Description
      Jasmine used to love dance. Now she struggles to hold on to that love as her dance team trains for a big competition. Her teammates are bickering, and when their teacher suggests that Jasmine might not have what it takes to be on the team, Jasmine is ready to quit. At a particularly rough practice, she channels her anger into her moves, surprising everyone, including herself, with how well she dances. But the team is still falling apart, and it’s up to Jasmine to figure out a way to get her teammates to work together and celebrate the joy of dance.
      Bio

      Sara Leach is a writer and teacher-librarian in Whistler, British Columbia. She loves hiking the nearby alpine trails with her husband and two children. Fortunately, they have never been stranded in any mountain huts, although they have endured many rainy days.

      Marketing & Promotion
    • Awards & Reviews

      Awards
      CCBC Best Books 2014, Commended
      Reviews
      "A fast-paced, enjoyable read that [will have] you simultaneously resenting Jasmine’s teammates as well as cheering for the team to come together. Demonstrating perseverance and sportsmanship, this is a great read for girls interested in dance."
      "A sweet story that will surely leave a smile on your face. Not only does it capture the beauty and emotion of dance, but also the power of friendship. Jasmine is a girl who you cannot help but love and cheer for. She brings out happiness in herself and her teammates, as well as her straight-laced dance instructor. You will not want to put the book down as you wait for the characters in the book to come together as a true team. This book is simply a sweet, refreshing breath of fresh air."
      "Leach provides a compelling story of emotional growth while giving readers an authentic view of contemporary dance and competition...The smooth, graceful writing matches the subject nicely...The plot is heartily centered on learning social and emotional confidence, but Jasmine’s relationship with Will adds a nice fillip without detracting from the core message. As with most books from this publisher, its brevity never takes away from good storytelling. Dedicated dancers would appreciate this paired with Siena Cherson Siegel’s nonfiction graphic novel, To Dance (2006)."
      "A sweet, feel-good story."
      "Dancers will find this book enjoyable and non-dancers will learn about the finesse of the art...Jasmine's character shows great inner strength under adversity and is a positive model for teen girls on how to handle bullying."

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