Four new books for 2022!

2022 is a busy year with four new books on the way!

I have to admit, I didn’t see much of 2021. I was busy writing, edited and proofreading three new books of my own and translating a very sweet book from French to English. I’ve also wrapped up a new middle-grade novel and a couple of picture books; hopefully a publisher will love them and want them. That news is to come, but in the meantime, I hope you enjoy learning about the books being released this year!

Spring: I Can’t Do What? Strange Rules and Laws from Around the World (Red Deer Press), illustrated by Mike Deas. My Delicious Garden (Owlkids Books), written by Anne-Marie Fortin, illustrated by Julian Castanié and translated by me.
Fall: Secret Schools (Owlkids Books), illustrated by Erin Taniguchi. The Prisoner and the Writer (Groundwood Books), illustrated by Sophie Casson.

I Can’t Do What?: Did you know that you can’t keep a goldfish in a round goldfish bowl in Rome? That you can’t take a selfie while running with the bulls in Pamplona? That you can’t climb a tree in a Toronto city park? This book is a look at some of the more curious rules and laws that have been created around the world over many years. Some of these rules and laws may make us laugh. Some may make us angry or frightened for the people they influence. All of these rules and laws will make us think. How did they come to be? How can they be changed?

With numerous sidebars presenting historical information, quizzes after each of the four sections, and ideas throughout for discussion and response activities, this is an active, well—researched illustrated book that shines a bright light on our world and its human workings. The book unfolds in four sections, outlining “People Problems” (everyday life; family; animals; food; fashion), “Sports Zone” (soccer; baseball; hockey; basketball; more sports), “Entertainment” (books and media; television and film; music and dance; technology), and “Kid Concerns” (school; toys; outdoor fun). This new book from acclaimed author Heather Camlot might just be the start of a young reader’s passion for governance and social justice.

My Delicious Garden: In the depths of winter, one young girl is already dreaming of planting her very own vegetable garden. In January, she sketches out the rows of lettuce, the trellis for the peas, and a large plot for the tomatoes while she waits for warmer weather. March is time for sowing, and April gives way to the first leaves of her seedlings.

As the seasons change from spring to summer, she (with the help of her moms) spreads compost and turns up the soil to finally plant her veggies into the earth. As the months go by, she lovingly weeds, waters, and cares for her garden until it’s time to harvest a bounty big enough to share with all their friends! My Delicious Garden celebrates the joy of growing food from seed and is a cozy exploration of the connections between nature, food, and community.

Secret Schools: Education goes undercover in this compelling look at some of the world’s most secretive schools through history

Can you keep a secret? What if it meant hiding from your loved ones, sneaking out late at night, or risking imprisonment? And what if that secret was that you were going to school?

From covert classrooms created by enslaved Africans in the United States, to academic schools disguised as “sewing lessons” for women in Afghanistan, to espionage schools run by powerful governments, Secret Schools explores the hidden classrooms that have opened their doors so children and adults could learn.

Vivid linocut illustrations and interesting facts enhance the book’s 15 true stories of resilience and courage in the pursuit of education. Accompanying profiles for each story introduce readers to an important person who played a significant role in each secret school. Concluding with a look at inventive approaches to education in today’s world, this deep dive into clandestine learning will invite readers to think deeply about the meaning of education and the barriers many face in accessing it.

The Prisoner and the Writer: When a Jewish army captain is falsely accused of treason and sent to prison, a writer uses his pen to fight for justice.

In 1895 a prisoner watches the ocean through the bars of his cell. Accused of betraying France, Captain Alfred Dreyfus is exiled to a prison on Devil’s Island, far from his wife and children. It’s a horrible fate — but what if he’s innocent?

Seven thousand miles away, the famous writer Emile Zola wonders: Is Alfred a traitor to France? Or a victim of anti-Semitism? Convinced that Alfred is innocent, Emile knows that it is his DUTY to help. He pens the famous letter “J’Accuse …!”, explaining that Alfred was blamed, charged, tried and convicted … only because he is Jewish.

This powerful middle-grade story written in verse with full-page illustrations is told from the perspectives of both Alfred Dreyfus and Emile Zola, two men whose courage changed the world. The true story, published in time for the 125th anniversary of “J’Accuse …!”, acts as a reminder that a person committed to truth, justice and equality must stand up and speak out against prejudice for themselves — and for others. Includes an author’s note and further historical context.

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