SILVER BIRCH® FICTION 2014 NOMINATED TITLES



 
Curse Of The Dream Witch

Allan Stratton


Scholastic Canada


The captivating story of a young princess cursed by powerful and vindictive witch, and forced to live a virtual prisoner of her parents' fears until, at last, she realizes that she must confront those fears head on.  With the help of a peasant boy and her pet mouse, she faces challenges that range from a nasty prince intent upon forcing her into marriage, and a giant mole determined to consume her for dinner to the Dream Witch herself!


 
Eldritch Manor

Kim Thompson

Dundurn


Twelve-year-old Willa Fuller is convinced that the old folks in the shabby boarding house down the street are prisoners of their sinister landlady, Miss Trang. Only when Willa is hired on as housekeeper does she discover the truth, which is far more fascinating.
    
Eldritch Manor is a retirement home for some very strange beings indeed. All have stories to tell — and petty grievances with one another and the world at large.
    
Storm clouds are on the horizon, however, and when Miss Trang departs on urgent business, Willa is left to babysit the cantankerous bunch. Can she keep the oldsters in line, stitch up unraveling time, and repel an all-out attack from the forces of darkness ... all while keeping the nosy neighbours out of their business and uncovering a startling secret about her own past?


 
Neil Flambé And The Tokyo Treasure

Kevin Sylvester


Simon & Schuster


Something smells fishy—and it’s not the sushi—in this addition to the culinary mystery series celebrity chef Gordon Ramsey calls “good fun.”
    
World-class chef Neil Flambé isn’t thrilled when his cousin Larry moves to Japan to work on an online manga comic book. Now who’ll help him in the kitchen? But he finds a replacement in Gary the bike courier, and life, and the restaurant, moves on without Larry. That is, until the news that life may have really left Larry behind—he’s been lost at sea.
    
Neil is devastated. But then he checks Larry’s online manga. There’s a subtle change in the plot, something Neil and Larry had discussed—something only Neil would notice. Is this a cryptic message from beyond the grave—or is Larry still alive? Determined to find out, Neil heads to Japan to solve his next mystery.


 
Nobody’s Dog

Ria Voros


Scholastic Canada


For thirteen-year-old Jakob, the summer is looking pretty bleak. His only friend has moved away and no one else seems to have any time for him — except the girl who lives downstairs. But she's a little weird. Then again, so is Jakob. A few months ago, he was in a car accident that killed both his parents, and though he can't remember exactly what happened, he can't stop turning it over in his mind. No wonder people leave him alone.

Then out of nowhere, a stray dog befriends Jakob. Together they begin to roam the city streets by night, discovering an exhilarating secret world where they can both taste a new kind of freedom. But as their nocturnal adventures take Jakob farther and farther away from the safety of home, the truth of that awful night begins to emerge.
    
Will he be strong enough to face it — and who will be there for him when he does?
Exploring the heartbreaking loneliness of grief with sensitive assurance, Nobody's Dog is a powerful and uplifting tale about family, love and survival, and finding friendship in the most unexpected places.



 
Record Breaker

Robin Stevenson


Orca Book Publishers


There is no shelter from some kinds of fallout.
    
It's 1963, and Jack's family is still reeling from the SIDS death of his baby sister. Adrift in his own life, Jack is convinced that setting a world record will bring his father back to his senses and his mother back to life. But world events, including President Kennedy's assassination, threaten to overshadow any record Jack tries to beat—from sausage eating to face slapping. Nothing works, and Jack is about to give up when a new friend suggests a different approach that involves listening to, not breaking, records.


 
The Awesome, Almost 100% True Adventures Of Matt & Craz

Alan Silberberg


Aladdin


A magical pen causes creative chaos in this quirky, comic-style story from the Sid Fleischman Award–winning author of Milo.
    
Best friends Matt and Larry “Craz” Crazinski couldn’t be more different. Matt loves order, while Craz lives on the edge. The boys share a passion for cartooning, but thanks to the school paper gatekeeper (and kind-of bully), Skip Turkle, it seems their cartoons will never be published.
    
But then the boys discover a pen that promises to help them DRAW BETTER NOW!—and quickly realize it’s no ordinary pen: Whatever they draw comes to life!
    
They start small with their drawings—bags of cash, cool gadgets. Next, they get their pesky English teacher to take a unique and extended vacation. But when the boys get a little bolder in their magical drawings, they realize that things don’t always end up as perfect as the art they create...
    
In this funny, slightly zany, and ultimately heartwarming story, Sid Fleischman Award–winner Alan Silberberg demonstrates the power of friendship—and that the best life is not always sketched out in advance.


 
The Hypnotists

Gordon Korman

Scholastic Canada


Jackson Opus has always been persuasive, but he doesn't know that he's descended from the two most powerful hypnotist bloodlines on the planet. He's excited to be accepted into a special program at the Sentia Institute — but when he realizes he's in over his head, Jackson will have to find a way to use his powers to save his friends, his parents, and his government.


 
The Metro Dogs Of Moscow

Rachelle Delaney


Puffin Canada


JR (short for Jack Russell) is an embassy dog. His human, George, is a diplomat who has to travel for work. A lot. Now George is working at the Canadian Embassy in Moscow. And while he fancies himself an adventurous globetrotter, he doesn't see why JR needs any more excitement than hanging out at the park with the other embassy dogs.

JR, however, has had quite enough of leashes and perfectly manicured parks—not to mention the boring embassy dogs. He decides to explore Moscow himself, and soon meets some wily Russian strays. JR is convinced that this is the life he’s been looking for. Amazing city smells! Mouthwatering stuffed potatoes! And best of all, the freedom to travel on the Moscow metro!
    
Meanwhile, George has found himself a new girlfriend: the ravishingly beautiful Katerina, who JR suspects is too good to be true. And if that weren’t trouble enough, JR's new friends are starting to mysteriously disappear.
    
When an embassy dog goes missing as well, JR knows he must use everything he’s learned about his new home to solve the mystery of Moscow’s missing dogs.


 
Ultra

David Carroll


Scholastic Canada


A young ultra-marathon runner is pushed to the breaking point and beyond in this gripping tale of physical endurance and emotional healing.

Quinn has been called a superhero and a freak of nature. At age 13, he’s an amazing distance runner. He takes on the second-hardest challenge of his life when he enters his first ultra-marathon: a grueling 100-mile, 24-hour-long race that will push him to the very limit of his endurance.
    
While Quinn struggles to go on — up a mountain and through the night, as his muscles break down and he begins to hallucinate — we learn why the ultra-marathon is only the second-hardest thing he has endured in his young life. And maybe this devastating event from his past is exactly what Quinn has been running from . . .
    
Framed as an interview with a media commentator after Quinn’s news-making finish, this remarkable debut novel from ultra-marathon runner David Carroll reminds us that when we challenge what is possible, the word impossible loses its meaning.


 
Yesterday’s Dead

Pat Bourke


Second Story Press


Meredith struggles to cope during the Spanish Flu epidemic of 1918...
    
Thirteen-year-old Meredith yearns to become a teacher but must leave school to help support her family. To find the best paying job for a young girl of her class, she travels to the city to work as household help in a doctor’s home. From the start, her life is made difficult by the cantankerous and prickly butler, and confrontations with Maggie, the doctor’s spoiled thirteen-year-old daughter.

 
As the deadly Spanish Flu sweeps across the city, members of the household fall ill one by one. With the doctor working night and day at the hospital, only Meredith, Maggie, and Jack, Maggie's handsome older brother, are left to care for them. Every day the newspapers’ lists of “Yesterday’s Dead” add to Meredith’s growing fears.


When Jack becomes gravely ill, Meredith must stop fighting with Maggie so they can work together to save him. As Meredith wrestles with questions of duty and responsibility, she opens the door to a future that she thought had been closed forever.