2018 Red Maple Fiction Award™ Nominees
And Then the Sky Exploded
By David A. Poulsen
When Christian learns his great-grandfather helped build the A-bombs dropped on Japan, he wants to make amends … somehow. While attending the funeral of his great-grandfather, ninth-grader Christian Larkin learns that the man he loved and respected was a member of the Manhattan Project, the team that designed and created the atomic bombs dropped on Japan during the Second World War. On a school trip to Japan, Chris meets eighty-one-year-old Yuko, who was eleven when the first bomb exploded over Hiroshima, horribly injuring her. Christian is determined to do something to make up for what his great-grandfather did. But after all this time, what can one teenager really do? His friends tell him it’s a stupid idea, that there’s nothing he can do. And maybe they’re right. But maybe, just maybe… they’re wrong.
Bent Not Broken: Madeline and Justin
By Lorna Schultz Nicholson
Meet Madeline and Justin. Before Madeline’s bike accident left her with a traumatic brain injury, she and her twin sister were inseparable. So were her parents. But now, Madeline’s parents are divorced and Becky has become rebellious, angry, and sneaky. Even worse, she doesn’t seem to want Madeline around anymore. At least Madeline knows she can always rely on the miniature therapy horses she visits every week.
Justin is a senior and the president of his school’s Best Buddies club. Before his sister with autism died, he used to take her to the barn to visit her beloved therapy horses. Now, with Madeline, he goes there to escape the gloom of his mother’s grief at home and the pressures of his final year in high school.
Together, Justin and Madeline help each other to reconnect with the important people in their lives — and with the lives that they thought they’d lost.
By Jennifer Dance
When a First Nations teen rescues a fish-hawk from a tailings pond in Alberta‘s oil sands, he has no idea that soon they will both be fighting for their lives. As a cross-country runner, Adam aims to win gold in the upcoming provincial championship. But when he is diagnosed with leukemia, he finds himself in a different race, one that he can’t afford to lose. He reclaims the name Hawk, given to him by his grandfather, and begins to fight, for his life and for the land of his ancestors and the creatures that inhabit it. With a little help from his grandfather and his friends, he might just succeed.
Laura Monster Crusher
By Wesley King
Laura Ledwick is... well... large. The kids at school don't let her forget it, and call her by various names: Laura Largebottom, Laura Lardo, Lots of Laura--you get the idea. When Laura's family moves to the next town over before eighth grade, she expects more of the same. What she doesn't expect are the snake-like yellow eyes watching her from the forest. Or the mysterious rattling in her closet. Or finally making real friends for the first time. Or handsome uber-nerd Liam R. Kelp, who might just be the cutest boy to ever wear a Science Is Cool T-shirt. But when Laura finally discovers the source of the rattling, things take on a whole new level of weird. It turns out Laura has just been given the most important job in the world: Monster Crusher. Her role is simple: protect the earth from the horrors beneath their feet. Eighth grade is about to get a lot more interesting.
By David Skuy
Dancing Cat Books
Terrified of being targeted by bullies for being overweight, Lionel tries to go through Grade 8 attracting as little notice as possible. But he discovers something about himself: he’s fast. And Lionel takes up running. That leads to joining a running group, and being recruited for the school track team. But being on the track team and getting more attention brings him closer to the bullies he’s been avoiding, and makes him a target.
By Gord Downie
Illustrated by Jeff Lemire
Simon & Schuster Canada
Chanie, misnamed Charlie by his teachers, was a young boy who died on October 22, 1966, walking the railroad tracks, trying to escape from the Cecilia Jeffrey Indian Residential School to return home. Chanie’s home was 400 miles away. He didn’t know that. He didn’t know where it was, nor how to find it, but, like so many kids—more than anyone will be able to imagine—he tried.
Chanie’s story is Canada’s story. We are not the country we thought we were. History will be re-written. We are all accountable. Secret Path acknowledges a dark part of Canada’s history—the long suppressed mistreatment of Indigenous children and families by the residential school system—with the hope of starting our country on a road to reconciliation. Every year as we remember Chanie Wenjack, the hope for Secret Path is that it educates all Canadians young and old on this omitted part of our history, urging our entire nation to play an active role in the preservation of Indigenous lives and culture in Canada.
Short for Chameleon
By Vicki Grant
Embarrassed by your brother? Estranged from your uncle? Then you might need some help from Almost Family Surrogate Agency. Cam Redden and his dad are rent-a-relatives, available for hire to anyone looking to upgrade. Cam's job is all about being whoever other people want him to be. Then two new clients come along. Albertina is an old lady with a big mouth, a bigger wig and a serious mission. Raylene is a beautiful girl with a nose ring, a wonky eye and a painful secret. Now to get to the bottom of the tragic mysteries that fuel them both, Cam may finally have to be himself.
By Joel A. Sutherland
Scholastic Canada Ltd.
It’s the summer before high school and Jacob and his friends want to make it a memorable one. This may be the last months they have together; once school starts, they’ll be going their separate ways. Ichiro’s family is moving to Japan. And while Jacob and the twins are staying behind in Valeton, they’ll be going to different high schools.
When the group discover an old abandoned home on a remote island of their community, things suddenly take an unexpected turn. The kids find themselves inexplicably drawn to the house that had once been a sanatorium for children with tuberculosis and learn that it has some haunting secrets to hide.
The Way Back Home
By Allan Stratton
Scholastic Canada Ltd.
She's angry and lonely, and her only true friend is her granny, whose Alzheimer's is worsening.
When her parents put Granny in a home, Zoe decides now is the time to break free. She smuggles Granny out and together they hit the road on a trip to find Zoe's long-lost uncle.
But there will be some home truths along the way. . .
From award-winning storyteller Allan Stratton comes a moving story of unresolved family conflicts, and a young girl’s awakening to the things that matter most.
By Vikki VanSickle
Scholastic Canada Ltd.
In a world where the familiar has sinister undertones, two friends are torn apart just when they need one another most.
Marivic Stone lives in Darby, a small town famous for a medical discovery that saved humankind. Now everyone must undergo a secret procedure called the winnowing, an inevitable — and dangerous — rite of adolescence.
No one who has experienced the winnowing remembers anything about it, but Marivic and her best friend Saren, are determined to learn the truth. What they uncover could change the world forever — if they survive.