Author Feature: Karen Spafford-Fitz

Brett is president of her school’s Unity Club. When a new group home for at-risk youth opens in the neighborhood, Brett becomes friends with Jude, one of the boys who lives at the home. After a series of acts of vandalism, the community starts demanding that the group home be shut down. Brett doesn’t believe that Jude, or any of the other teens, is responsible, but when an elderly woman is seriously injured, Brett begins to have doubts. What planning or research did you do for your book? When writing this book, I drew heavily […]

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Author Feature: Mere Joyce

In Shadow, fourteen-year-old Preston Craft is organizing a film festival for his school’s film club. When one of the films goes missing two days before the festival begins, Preston is convinced it was stolen and is determined to get it back. The only indication of the theft is a suspicious shadow that Preston noticed right before he discovered the film was gone—but Preston is legally blind and no one quite believes him. However, not unlike the gritty private eyes in the classic black-and-white films he adores, Preston refuses to give up. Can he solve the […]

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Author Feature: John Wilson

In Gold, Sam and Annabel are on vacation with Annabel’s parents in Italy. While visiting the small hilltop town of Civita, they hear rumors of looted gold from World War II buried somewhere in the town’s network of underground tunnels and caves. Once again the two friends cross paths with their old nemesis, Humphrey Battleford, but he is not the only one in pursuit of the gold. An intimidating man named Kurt, the grandson of a ruthless Nazi, is also snooping around. After Annabel is kidnapped, Sam must solve the mystery of the hidden treasure […]

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Author Feature: Deb Loughead

In Payback, Dylan O’Connor is in trouble again. While riding his bike home after dark, he has a run-in with a truck but doesn’t give it a second thought until police show up at his door the next day. CCTV cameras put Dylan at the scene of a crime, and when the police question him, Dylan realizes he was an inadvertent witness. But he doesn’t tell them the driver of the truck was Jeff Walker, a nasty piece of work. Dylan knows it’s in his best interests to keep his mouth shut. Then he starts […]

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Students’ and my take—make that double-take—on the doppelgänger

Author, teacher, school visit

  The following post is written by Melanie Jackson, author of Death Drop.   Everyone has one. That not-quite-double, that other self. A nicer other self, or a more sinister one. Possibly a deadly one. I’ve been exploring the idea of the doppelgänger with three classes of Grade 8 Creative Writing students at Vancouver’s Lord Byng Secondary. It’s part of a mystery unit I’m delighted to be teaching, with the help, advice, brilliant comments and unwavering cup-of-tea support of Byng teacher and English Department head Amy Hughes. We’re studying the doppelgänger as portrayed in a […]

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We’re going on a word hunt

We’re going on a word hunt, (we’re going on a word hunt,) We’re going to find some big ones, (we’re going to find some big ones,) I’m not afraid! (I’m not afraid!) This song puts me in mind of summer nights around the campfire after the final s’more has been eaten, when it’s time for scary stories and songs. But we have a twist on it for you today, instead of a bear hunt, we’re going on a word hunt!! We hope this exercise gets kids reading, and gets them to have fun while they’re […]

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