2019 White Pine Award™ Nominees
36 Questions That Changed My Mind About You
Written by Vicki Grant
Published by Running Press Teens
Two random strangers. Two secrets. Thirty-six questions to make them fall in love.
Hildy and Paul each have their own reasons for joining the university psychology study that asks the simple question: Can love be engineered?
The study consists of 36 questions, ranging from “What is your most terrible memory?” to “When did you last sing to yourself?” By the time Hildy and Paul have made it to the end of the questionnaire, they’ve laughed and cried and lied and thrown things and run away and come back and driven each other almost crazy. They’ve also each discovered the painful secret the other was trying so hard to hide. But have they fallen in love?
Told in the language of modern romance–texting, Q&A, IM–and punctuated by Paul’s sketches, this clever high-concept YA is full of humour and heart. As soon as you’ve finished reading, you’ll be searching for your own stranger to ask the 36 questions. Maybe you’ll even fall in love.
The Agony of Bun O’Keefe
Written by Heather T. Smith
Published by Penguin Teen Canada
It's Newfoundland, 1986. Fourteen-year-old Bun O'Keefe has lived a solitary life in an unsafe, unsanitary house. Her mother is a compulsive hoarder, and Bun has had little contact with the outside world. What she's learned about life comes from the random books and old VHS tapes that she finds in the boxes and bags her mother brings home. Bun and her mother rarely talk, so when Bun's mother tells Bun to leave one day, she does. Hitchhiking out of town, Bun ends up on the streets of St. John's, Newfoundland. Fortunately, the first person she meets is Busker Boy, a street musician who senses her naivety and takes her in. Together they live in a house with an eclectic cast of characters: Chef, a hotel dishwasher with culinary dreams; Cher, a drag queen with a tragic past; Big Eyes, a Catholic school girl desperately trying to reinvent herself; and The Landlord, a man who Bun is told to avoid at all cost. Through her experiences with her new roommates, and their sometimes tragic revelations, Bun learns that the world extends beyond the walls of her mother's house and discovers the joy of being part of a new family -- a family of friends who care.
Written by Regan McDonell
Published by Orca Book Publishers
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 Réal 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 Réal get, the faster things seem to fall apart. And falling in love might just be the card that knocks the whole house down.
Catching the Light
Written by Susan Sinnott
Published by Vagrant Press
This was the line between here and there. No landwash, no vague intertidal zone, no undecided. She stood at the edge, a mass of instincts and yearnings and despair, while the dawn painted itself in around her, shade by delicate shade.
The kids call her Lighthouse: no lights on up there. In a small town, everyone knows when you can’t read. But Cathy is just distracted by the light, lines, and artistry of everyday life. She is a talented artist growing up in tiny Mariners Cove and yearns for acceptance. She dreams of enrolling in art school, but getting there will be a struggle. Hutch Parsons is everything Cathy is not: charismatic, popular, smart. Overflowing with energy, he is confident in his plans for the future. But one icy evening his world is upended and those plans are swept away.
Dancing between points of view, Catching the Light explores the ordinary lives of two extraordinary people. With gorgeously lyrical language and a strong sense of place, this tender novel announces a bright new voice in Atlantic fiction. Winner of the 2014 Percy Janes First Novel Award for an unpublished manuscript.
Written by Whitney Gardner
Published by A. A. Knopf Books for Young Readers
Cosplay, comic shops, and college applications collide in this illustrated novel, perfect for fans of Adam Silvera and Noelle Steveson!
Cameron’s cosplay creations are finally starting to earn her attention–attention she hopes to use to get into the CalArts costume design department for college. But after she wins a major competition, she inadvertently sets off a firestorm of angry comments from male fans online.
When Cameron’s family moves the summer before her senior year, she hopes to complete her costume portfolio in peace and quiet away from the abuse.
Unfortunately, the only comic shop in town–her main destination for character reference–is staffed by a dudebro owner who challenges every woman who comes into the shop.
At her twin brother’s suggestion, Cameron borrows a set of his clothes and uses her costuming expertise to waltz into the shop as Boy Cameron, where she’s shocked at how easily she’s accepted into the nerd inner sanctum. Soon, Cameron finds herself drafted into a D&D campaign alongside the jerky shop-owner Brody, friendly (almost flirtatiously so) clerk Wyatt, handsome Lincoln, and her brother Cooper, dragged along for good measure.
But as her “secret identity” gets more and more entrenched, Cameron’s portfolio falls by the wayside–and her feelings for Lincoln threaten to make a complicated situation even more precarious in this geek girl anthem from You’re Welcome, Universe author Whitney Gardner, complete with fully illustrated comic pages inked by Gardner herself.
A Girl Like That
Written by Tanaz Bhathena
Published by Farrar, Straus & Giroux
Sixteen-year-old Zarin Wadia is many things: a bright and vivacious student, an orphan, a risk taker. She’s also the kind of girl that parents warn their kids to stay away from: a troublemaker whose many romances are the subject of endless gossip at school. You don't want to get involved with a girl like that, they say. So how is it that eighteen-year-old Porus Dumasia has only ever had eyes for her? And how did Zarin and Porus end up dead in a car together, crashed on the side of a highway in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia? When the religious police arrive on the scene, everything everyone thought they knew about Zarin is questioned. And as her story is pieced together, told through multiple perspectives, it becomes clear that she was far more than just a girl like that.
This beautifully written debut novel from Tanaz Bhathena reveals a rich and wonderful new world to readers; tackles complicated issues of race, identity, class, and religion; and paints a portrait of teenage ambition, angst, and alienation that feels both inventive and universal.
Written by Nina Berkhout
Published by Groundwood Books
Twyla Jane Lee has one goal. To finish senior year so she can get out of her military hometown of Halo, Montana. But to graduate, she needs to complete forty hours of community service, and that means helping out a rude and reclusive former Marine named Gabriel Finch.
A young veteran of the conflicts in the Middle East, Gabriel spends his days holed up in a decommissioned nuclear missile silo on his family farm. Twyla assumes he’s just another doomsday prepper, readying his underground shelter for Armageddon. But soon she finds out the truth, and it takes her breath away.
Gradually the two misfits form a bond, and Twyla begins to unearth the secrets that have left the Marine battling ghosts. Her discoveries force her to question her views on the wars until she realizes that even if she gets out of Halo, she won’t ever be able to leave Gabriel Finch’s story behind her.
A beautifully written and thought-provoking novel about a teen facing the collision of love, ideals and uncertainty about her own future.
Munro vs. the Coyote
Written by Darren Groth
Published by Orca Book Publishers
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" and gets to know the team of residents he is assigned to. The burden Munro carries, however, is not so easily cast aside. When one of the team makes the decision to leave, the Coyote gets a new life. When a second resident is taken away, the spectre of trauma and death looms larger than ever.
Will Munro learn how to silence the voice? Or will the Coyote ultimately triumph?
Prince of Pot
Written by Tanya Lloyd Kyi
Published by Groundwood Books
Isaac loves art class, drives an old pickup, argues with his father and hangs out with his best buddy, Hazel. But his life is anything but normal. His parents operate an illegal marijuana grow-op, Hazel is a bear that guards the property, and his family’s livelihood is a deep secret.
It’s no time to fall in love with the daughter of a cop.
Isaac’s girlfriend Sam is unpredictable, ambitious and needy. And as his final year of high school comes to an end, she makes him consider a new kind of life pursuing his interest in art, even if that means leaving behind his beloved home in the Rockies and severing all ties with his family.
For a while he hopes he can have it all, until a disastrous graduation night, when Sam’s desperate grab for her father’s attention suddenly puts his entire family at risk.
Recipe for Hate
Written by Warren Kinsella
Published by Dundurn Press
How a group of Portland, Maine, punks defeated a murderous gang of neo-Nazis.
The X Gang is a group of punks led by the scarred, silent, and mostly unreadable Christopher X. His best friend, Kurt Blank, is a hulking and talented punk guitarist living in the closet. Sisters Patti and Betty Upchuck form the core of the feminist Punk Rock Virgins band, and are the closest to X and Kurt. Assorted hangers-on and young upstarts fill out the X Gang’s orbit: the Hot Nasties, the Social Blemishes, and even the legendary Joe Strummer of the Clash. Together, they’ve all but taken over Gary’s, an old biker bar. Then over one dark weekend, a bloody crime nearly brings it all to an end.
Based on real events, Warren Kinsella tells the story of the X Gang’s punk lives — the community hall gigs, the antiracism rallies, the fanzines and poetry and art, and what happened after the brutal murders of two of their friends.