IT’S ABOUT TIME
Frustrated by a lack of quality kids’ books that showcase diversity in all its forms, former associate publisher of children and teen books at Lorimer Press Christie Harkin (featured above) and freelance editor Solange Messier (who did a stint as a non-fiction editor with Fitzhenry & Whiteside) launched Clockwise Press. The duo aims to publish stories that reflect all members of society and appeal to readers of varying levels. To be released in March, Fragile Bones: Harrison and Anna is the debut title in the One-to-One series, written by veteran hi-lo author Lorna Schultz Nicholson. The story is told from two perspectives: that of aspiring med student Anna, and of Harrison, a boy with Aspergers/autism whom Anna has been paired with through their high school’s Best Buddies club. “We see diversity as more than just race,” says Harkin. “Diversity includes different abilities as well. We want all sorts of kids to identify with our stories and to see themselves and their peers in the books they read.”
NORTH STAR BOUND
The River Carries Me is a debut novel by Ottawa author Cheryl Stewart. The story of one family’s escape from slavery via the Underground Railroad is the first in a planned series from Dancing Cat Books. For non-fiction fans, there’s The Birdman: A Journey with the Underground Railroad’s Most Daring Abolitionist by Troon Harrison, publishing with Red Deer Press.
CORSETS AND CLUES
From Fierce Ink Press comes 1930s-set Thrice Burned, the second Portia Adams Adventure written by Angela Misri, which sees Portia struggling to accept the surprising news she’s Sherlock Holmes’s granddaughter, while helping Scotland Yard track down an arsonist.
Random House Canada presents a pair of historical titles featuring female sleuths. Author Y.S. Lee adds a final instalment to her Agency series with Rivals in the City, in which Victorian-era detective Mary Quinn must contend with criminals and a marriage proposal. The Wollstonecraft Detective Agency is a new middle-grade series by debut author Jordan Stratford, with illustrations by Kelly Murphy, which imagines teenaged Ada Lovelace and Mary Shelley joining forces to solve crimes in an alternate version of 1826. The first instalment is The Case of the Missing Moonstone.