Old Misery

Poor Old Misery. She and her old cat, Rutterkin, “ain’t got two pennies to rub together”. And the one thing of value she does have —a tree, filled with good eating apples — is regularly ransacked by humans and animals of all kinds who make off with armloads of apples! So, one day, when a surprise visitor grants her a wish, Old Misery tells him, “There’s but one wish for me, mister, and it’s this here: whoever I catch stealing apples off my tree will get stuck to it until I decide to let them go!” At first, it seems like her wish was a terrific idea, as she catches all the apple thieves and sends them on their way for good. But then Old Misery decides to use her new power on another surprise visitor. And she learns what may be the most miserable lesson of all: be careful what you wish for!

The Outlaw

In this spare and powerful story set in the Old West, people in a small town live in constant worry of another visit from the Outlaw. Then the Outlaw suddenly and mysteriously disappears. Time passes, and one day a stranger rides into town. He takes it upon himself to fix everything that is in disrepair — the clapboard schoolhouse, the train station platform. He even builds a horse trough. But when someone recognizes him as the Outlaw, the crowd turns on him. It takes the courage of a small boy to change the course of events. The subtle, beautiful mixed-media art with its nineteenth-century textural references perfectly complements this original story from debut author and illustrator Nancy Vo.

Uncle Holland

When Holland is arrested for the thirty-seventh time for stealing beautiful things, he must make a very difficult decision. A police officer says that he must either go to jail or become a soldier. He chooses to join the army and is sent south, where he finds himself surrounded by beautiful things: palm trees, parrots, flowers and big blue waves…and fish! Holland starts painting pictures of the fish, which he sells at the market on the weekend. Soon, he has money to send home to his parents. They are worried that he’s gone back to his stealing ways, so his father writes to ask if he earned the money honestly. Holland writes back to reassure him that he has decided to paint instead of steal because “not everything that’s pretty can be stuffed in your pockets!” Based on a true story about JonArno Lawson’s uncle, and accompanied by Natalie Nelson’s collage illustrations, this quirky picture book is about making choices – and art.

Two Times A Traitor

Angry over his family’s recent move and current enforced holiday in Halifax, twelve-year-old Laz Berenger rebels against a guided tour of the Citadel and sets out to explore on his own. In one dark tunnel, his St. Christopher medal burns suddenly hot. There’s a strange smell, and Laz blacks out. When he wakes up, everything happens at once. A sword is put to his throat. Men who look like extras from Pirates of the Caribbean hand him over to a ship’s captain who strips him and takes his medal. He is declared a French spy. Laz realizes, to his horror, that it is 1745 and he is trapped in time. These English colonists, still loyal to King George, are at war with the French. To earn his freedom, Laz must promise to spy on the French at the fortification of Louisbourg. But once in Louisbourg, Laz earns a job as runner to the kind Commander Morpain and learns to love both the man and the town.

Mine!

One evening at bedtime, Charlotte finds a tiny ghost in her bed. She quickly discovers that the ghost does not know how to share. Despite his chorus of “Mine!” that rings through the house, he and the patient Charlotte become fast friends. They spend every moment of the next day with each other, making pancakes, playing games, and learning along the way that it is more fun to share.