Author Feature: Regan McDonell


Black Chuck: Psycho. Sick. Dangerous. Réal Dufresne’s reputation precedes him. When the mangled body of his best friend, Shaun, turns up in a field just east of town, tough-as-hell Réal blames himself. But except for the nightmares, all Ré remembers is beating the living crap out of Shaun the night of his death. Shaun’s girlfriend, sixteen-year-old Evie Hawley, keeps her feelings locked up tight. But now she’s pregnant, and the father of her baby is dead. And when Réal looks to her to atone for his sins, everything goes sideways. Fast. The tighter Evie and […]

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Author Feature: Darren Groth

Munro vs. the Coyote

Munro vs. the Coyote: Since the sudden death of his younger sister, Evie, sixteen-year-old Munro Maddux has been having flashbacks and anger-management issues. He has a constant ache in his right hand. And there’s a taunting, barking, biting voice he calls “the Coyote.” Munro knows a six-month student exchange will not be the stuff of teenage dreams, but in Brisbane he intends to move beyond his troubled past. It is there, at an assisted living residence called Fair Go Community Village, that Munro discovers the Coyote can be silenced. Munro volunteers as a “Living Partner” […]

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The Unnatural Selections Drawing Game

Unnatural Selections Blog Collage 2

Have you ever seen a Hawkodile? Or a Toraffe? What about a Cowaconda? All of these creatures (and more) can be found roaming through the imaginative universe of Unnatural Selections, a picture book by artist Wallace Edwards. To create this book, Professor I.B. Doodling, a traveling artist, took suggestions from schoolchildren to create fantastical hybrid animals. The result is a collection of magnificent beasts that are sure to inspire the imagination. Since your students or children will be full of creative energy after reading Unnatural Selections, here is a simple drawing activity that pairs perfectly […]

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Author Feature: Dr. Jillian Roberts


#TuesdayTalk with Dr. Jillian Roberts. Dr. Jillian’s first title in the Just Enough series, Where Do Babies Come From? Our First Talk About Birth, launched on October 13, 2015. What prompted you to write the Just Enough series? I was worried about how the internet was providing children with easy access to inappropriate material. Children need to have strong connections with their parents in order to navigate the challenges of the internet age. The books in the Just Enough series are meant to help parents develop this bond and talk about difficult subjects. What do […]

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Author Feature: Trudee Romanek


#TuesdayTalk with Trudee Romanek. Trudee’s first book with Orca, Raising the Stakes, is part of the Orca Limelights series and launched on October 13, 2015. What are the challenges or perks of writing for a middle school audience? In books for young adults, we’re really trying to tackle some soul-searching questions—what’s the difference between right and wrong in a given situation, for example. The hope is that we can help kids examine their own thoughts on various issues as they struggle with some of these grey areas growing up. That means as writers we revisit these […]

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Author Feature: Melanie Jackson


#TuesdayTalk with Melanie Jackson. Melanie’s most recent Orca Currents novel, Eye Sore, launched this May. When did you decide to become a writer? From the word go. My mother read to me, and I got into stories at an early age. I remember being so angry with Cinderella’s ugly stepsisters that I swatted the page they were pictured on. Stories were everything to me. Here’s a shout-out thank you to the CBC for inspiring me in another way. When I was young, they had a TV show called Time for Adventure. It always began with […]

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