Advanced Search

Add Best Comp

Add comparable title

Remove comparable title

Orca Fall 2022

By (author): Marla Lesage
Marla Lesage


Orca Book Publishers - Victoria



Product Form:


Form detail:

Paperback , Trade


Juvenile: Age (years) 9 - 12, Grade (CAN) 4 - 7, Grade (US) 4 - 7, Reading age 9 - 12
Oct 18, 2022
Print Run: 6000
$19.95 CAD


9in x 6 x 0.5 in | 480 gr

Page Count:

224 pages


100 Colour illustrations
FSC certified – mixed sources C023083
Orca Book Publishers
JUVENILE FICTION / Comics & Graphic Novels / General
American / British style comic books and graphic novels|Children’s / Teenage fiction: Family and home stories|Children’s / Teenage personal and social topics: Mental health|Interest age: from c 9 years
  • Short Description
In this graphic novel for middle readers, everyone in eleven-year-old Leah’s family is affected by her father’s PTSD.
Being back doesn't mean you're home.

A moving graphic novel, AWOL explores the realities of PTSD from a kid's perspective. The book includes an author's note and kid-friendly mental health resources.

As a military child, eleven-year-old Leah moves...a lot. But this summer she will be the one left behind when her best friend’s family is reassigned. To make matters worse, her mother will be away for training, leaving Leah at home with her father, who has just returned from deployment. When a new girl moves into her neighborhood, Leah must navigate the ups and downs of making a new friend while avoiding her father’s unpredictable mood swings.

Praise for We Wear Masks, winner of the Alice Kitts Memorial Award for Excellence in Children's Writing 2020:

“A timely book. The engaging rhymes and beautiful illustrations representing diverse community members, show readers different reasons masks are worn.”—The Toronto Star

“A book for the moment in which we find ourselves, and it offers a ready avenue for opening discussions with our children about what is occurring in the world around them. Recommended.”—CM: Canadian Review of Materials

Key Selling Points

  • A middle-reader graphic novel about a military family coping with the effects of PTSD.
  • The visual format explores the complicated issues of trauma and mental health in a safe, accessible manner.
  • From the author of the successful pandemic picture book We Wear Masks, which won the Alice Kitts Memorial Award for Excellence in Children's Writing.
  • AWOL is based on the author’s own family's journey with PTSD. The author wanted to create relatable characters so children in similar circumstances wouldn't feel so alone.

Marla Lesage is a registered nurse who loves to tell stories, both real and imagined, through urban sketching, painting, illustration and words. Her art can be found in private collections in Canada, the United States and Australia. She also wrote and illustrated We Wear Masks, which won the Alice Kitts Memorial Award for Excellence in Children's Writing. Marla lives with her family near Fredericton, New Brunswick.

Marketing and Promotional Plans

  • Print and online advertising campaigns
  • Promotion at national and regional school, library and trade conferences
  • Extensive ARC distribution, including NetGalley
  • Blog and social media promotion
  • Outreach in Orca newsletters

“Nuanced...Inviting art is classic comic-strip style with sturdy lines and soft color washes...Thoughtful slice-of-life realness.” - Kirkus Reviews

“Lesage is able to convey the complexities of a serious disorder in a simple, child-friendly manner…A very thought-provoking graphic novel that highlights the everyday realities of mental illness. Recommended.” - CM: Canadian Review of Materials

of 24

Also Available

Eight Times Up John Corr 9781459818613 $10.95 CAD Apr 09, 2019
The Monster Sisters and the Mystery of the Stone Octopus Gareth Gaudin 9781459822290 $19.95 CAD Apr 13, 2021
The Monster Sisters and the Mystery of the Unlocked Cave Gareth Gaudin 9781459822269 $19.95 CAD Sep 17, 2019
We Wear Masks Marla Lesage 9781459828797 $19.95 CAD Nov 24, 2020
Sorry For Your Loss Joanne Levy 9781459827073 $12.95 CAD Oct 12, 2021
The Sun Will Come Out Joanne Levy 9781459825871 $12.95 CAD Apr 13, 2021
Power Play Liam O'Donnell 9781554690695 $9.95 CAD Apr 01, 2011
Food Fight Liam O'Donnell 9781554690671 $9.95 CAD Apr 01, 2010
Media Meltdown Liam O'Donnell 9781554690657 $9.95 CAD Oct 01, 2009
Soccer Sabotage Liam O'Donnell 9781551438849 $9.95 CAD Apr 01, 2009
The King of Jam Sandwiches Eric Walters 9781459825567 $12.95 CAD Sep 22, 2020

Forgotten Password

Please enter your email address and click submit. An email with instructions on resetting your password will be sent to you.

Forgotten Password

An email has been sent out with instructions for resetting your password.