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Orca Book Publishers

Genius Jolene
By (author): Sara Cassidy Illustrated by: Charlene Chua
Sara Cassidy ,

Illustrated by :

Charlene Chua


Orca Book Publishers - Victoria



Product Form:


Form detail:

Paperback , Trade


Juvenile: Age (years) 6 - 8, Grade (CAN) 1 - 3, Grade (US) 1 - 3, Reading age 6 - 8
Apr 07, 2020
Print Run: 3000
$7.95 CAD


7.63in x 5.25 x 0.32 in | 120 gr

Page Count:

112 pages


16 B&W illustrations
Orca Book Publishers
JUVENILE FICTION / Family / Alternative Family
Children’s / Teenage fiction: Family and home stories|Interest age: from c 6 years|Children’s / Teenage general interest: Transport and vehicles|Children’s / Teenage personal and social topics: LGBTQ+|Children’s / Teenage personal and social topics: Divorce, separation, family break-up|Children’s / Teenage personal and social topics: Prejudice and intolerance|Relating to gay people
Los Angeles
CCBC Best Books for Kids & Teens, starred selection 2020, Commended BC and Yukon Book Prizes, Sheila A. Egoff Children's Literature Prize 2021, Winner Forest of Reading Silver Birch Express Awards 2021, Short-listed Chocolate Lily Awards 2022, Short-listed ALA Rainbow Book List 2021, Commended
  • Short Description
In this illustrated early chapter book, Jolene travels with her long-haul trucker father to Los Angeles.
Jolene’s dad thinks she’s a genius.

On her annual trip in her father’s 18-wheeler, Jolene is ready for some new adventures.

Eight-year-old Jolene is headed to Los Angeles on a six-day road trip to deliver some newsprint with her dad. Just like last year, they tell each other stories and listen to music. They also keep up their favorite tradition: critiquing one type of food at every stop. This time it’s onion rings.

But this year is also different. Unlike last year, Jolene’s parents are no longer together. They split up when her father came out as gay. These are big changes for Jolene, but she is spunky and smart and has a good heart. She’s ready to stand up for what’s right—both on and off the road.

Key Selling Points

  • In this early chapter book, Jolene travels to Los Angeles with her long-haul trucker father who recently came out as gay. The pair come face to face with homophobia but find a way to forgive and behave with kindness.
  • Genius Jolene includes themes of critical thinking, travel, family, acceptance and confronting homophobia.
  • The author’s middle-grade novel A Boy Named Queen was a finalist for the Rocky Mountain Book Award, the Silver Birch Express Award, the Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz Children’s Book Award and the Diamond Willow Award.
  • This book features several black-and-white illustrations, which add to this engaging chapter book.

Sara Cassidy is a journalist, editor and author of over 15 books for young readers. Her books have been short-listed for many awards, including the Chocolate Lily Award for both Black Gold and Blackberry Juice, the Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz Children’s Book Award for A Boy Named Queen and the Bolen Books Children’s Book Prize for Skylark. Additionally, both A Boy Named Queen and Double Play were Junior Library Guild selections. Her poetry and short fiction have been widely published. She lives in Victoria, British Columbia.

Charlene Chua grew up in Singapore, where she divided her time between drawing, reading comics and failing her Mandarin classes. She has worked with clients from Canada, USA, Europe, Singapore and Australia on a wide variety of illustration projects. Charlene lives in Hamilton, Ontario.

“Father-daughter bonding story in a remarkable setting.” - Kirkus Reviews

“Jolene’s enjoyable and insightful journey makes the complex themes of family, acceptance, and forgiveness accessible to young readers through easy-to-read text and spirited illustrations.” - CM: Canadian Review of Materials

“[An] approachable, representative, middle grade chapter book focusing on father-daughter relationships.” - School Library Journal

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