“Teachers must be supported in teaching Indigenous curriculum”

Monique Gray Smith_Speaking Our Truth-1

The following post was written by our publisher, Andrew Wooldridge. On Friday July 6, the newly-minted Ford government of Ontario abruptly cancelled a planned Indigenous curriculum development session for Ontario teachers hours before it was to begin, with no notice and with no acceptable explanation. Following the cancellation, there has been an outpouring of support for these teachers and their students, as well as a wider expression of desire for this curriculum to be developed and implemented. The actions of the Ford government are short-sighted and damaging; to arbitrarily withdraw from the imperative to do […]

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Author Feature: Daphne Greer


Camped Out: Max knows his mom can’t afford to send him to summer camp. But he really, really wants to go. He needs a break from looking after his autistic brother, Duncan. And from his mom’s new boyfriend. He is surprised when his mom says that he can go after all. But there’s a catch. There are spots available at the camp for families with special needs. A grant would cover Duncan’s fees, and Max could attend at no charge. If he goes as Duncan’s escort. This is the second story featuring Max and Duncan […]

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Author Feature: Alison Hughes

Hit the Ground Running

In Hit the Ground Running, sixteen-year-old Dee and her seven-year-old brother, Eddie, have been on their own for six weeks. Their father has seemingly vanished into the baking Arizona desert. Their money is drying up and the rent is coming due, but it’s a visit from a social worker and the prospect of being separated from Eddie that scares Dee enough to flee. She dupes her brother into packing up and embarking on the long road trip to Canada, their birthplace and former home. Lacking a driver’s license and facing a looming interrogation at the […]

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An Interview with Falah Raheem

Falah Raheem Screenshot

Stepping Stones: A Refugee Family’s Journey was inspired by the stone artwork of Syrian artist Nizar Ali Badr, discovered by chance by Canadian children’s writer Margriet Ruurs. The author was immediately impressed by the strong narrative quality of Mr. Badr’s work, and, using many of Mr. Badr’s already-created pieces, she set out to create a story about the Syrian refugee crisis. Stepping Stones tells the story of Rama and her family, who are forced to flee their once-peaceful village to escape the ravages of the civil war raging ever closer to their home. With only […]

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Bob Tyrrell, founder of Orca Book Publishers, remembers Mel Bolen and Jim Munro

  The following post is written by Bob Tyrrell, founder of Orca Book Publishers. The book community on the west coast suffered a great loss this past fall when we lost both Jim Munro and Mel Bolen, a mere month apart. Although both were well and truly retired, and had passed their businesses on to capable successors, their deaths were felt by the bookselling community at large. Bolen and Munro were undoubtedly two of the smartest, most successful booksellers in the country. Ever. Both Mel and Jim were supportive of Orca in our early days. […]

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Diwali and the Dirty Wall Project

Diwali by Rina Singh

Travel gives us the opportunity to explore the history and culture of other countries, and we often return home with altered perspectives. This is what happened to Kane Ryan, a Canadian traveler who became fascinated by India on his stay in the country. After a poignant visit at a Chennai orphanage, Kane knew he wanted to help impoverished children. He raised four thousand dollars before returning to India and founding the Dirty Wall Project. This program, composed entirely of volunteers, helps poor communities with school fees, medical needs and building projects. They also fund events […]

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