Quill and Quire

Children's publishing

« Back to

School’s out: summer reading for kids

School’s out for summer, and if you’re looking for ways to occupy the wee ones that don’t involve a Wii, here are five kids’ books reviewed in the June 2011 issue of Q&Q.

The Qalupalik by Elisha Kilabuk; Joy Ang, illus. (Inhabit Media)
The Qalupalik is a mystical Inuit tale that offers a unique reworking of a well-known narrative. In the classic tradition of vulnerable children outsmarting foes that are bigger, older, and stronger than they are, an orphan outwits a monster and lives to see another day. But while the plot may sound familiar, this is a monster like no other. Read Sarah Sorensen’s review

Unsinkable: Titanic, Book One and Collision Course: Titanic, Book Two by Gordon Korman (Scholastic Canada)
Unsinkable introduces readers to both the lore of the great ship and the cast of characters who are the focus of the story. Paddy Burns is a 14-year-old Belfast street waif scraping by as a pickpocket. When he and his partner in crime unsuspectingly target the brother of the head of the Gilhooley mob family, things take a turn for the worse, with Paddy narrowly escaping certain death at the hands of the gangsters. Thanks to a twist of fate, he lands on the deck of the Titanic as she leaves her Irish berth to begin her maiden voyage. Read Dory Cerny’s review

City Numbers by Joanne Schwartz; Matt Beam, photog. (Groundwood Books)
A sequel to City Alphabets (a Q&Q book of the year in 2009), City Numbers again finds Torontonians Joanne Schwartz and Matt Beam exploring the variety of signs and messages to be found and enjoyed in an urban environment. Read Gwyneth Evans’ review

That Boy Red by Rachna Gilmore (HarperCollins Canada)
In the first story of Governor General’s Literary Award winner Rachna Gilmore’s new collection, young Red MacRae complains about his crotchety grandmother’s penchant for showing off an ancient swatch of her long red hair, preserved since her youth, which she keeps carefully wrapped in a piece of white linen. You just can’t make this stuff up, and indeed, it turns out the six stories that comprise That Boy Red are based on the reminiscences of Gilmore’s late father-in-law, who grew up on a PEI potato farm during the Great Depression. Read Chelsea Donaldson’s review