It’s cold out, so cozy up with your favourite blanket, a cup of hot chocolate and a book. But if you snooze, you lose. So here’s the deal: check out some essential winter reading, guaranteed to keep you up and wanting more. With love from the Faze bookshelves:
by Caroline Goode
How often have you wished for divine intervention in love? And what would happen if the gods descend to help you, but being ancient, remain slightly out of touch with today’s reality. So when Cupid’s arrow hooks up jocks with Goths, and queens with nerds, 17-year-old Laura, at her Ohio high school, must take matters into her own hands and sort things out before the big school dance.
Truth or Dare: Teen Queens and Has-Beens
by Cathy Hopkins
The Darkness: Permission to Rock
by Dick Porter
You’ve heard all about Justin and his crazy hair and outfits because The Darkness is all about the flash, without the bling. Besides, if you wanna leave picture books lying around for when your friends hang out in your room, I suggest you put away the colouring variety and update with this kick-ass part photo, part rock ‘n’ roll guide.
If you’re the sensitive, animal-loving type, let… Smarter Than Jack by Jenny Campbell (Avocado Press) do the talking. It’s a series of heart-warming stories about our best friends — our pets. Plus, it’s for a good cause. Profits from the sale of this book help the Canadian Federation of Humane Societies.
Me to We: Turning Self-Help on Its Head
by Craig and Marc Kielburger
There is not a more tragic yet inspiring story in this book than the one about Joe Opatowski. I remember scrambling for the remote when I heard the news on TV that Joe had died in a tragic accident while driving back from the U.S., where he had gone to speak about how his life had changed since taking up with Free The Children (FTC) an organization that works to promote the rights of children around the world. You see, it is a cruel coincidence to be reading someone’s inspiring life story while learning of his death. Joe’s story tells it simply. In this mostly self-absorbed world, the search for happiness ends when you go from ‘me’ to ‘we’ and realize there are other less privileged souls out there. Even though Joe grew up in difficult circumstances, he learned to improve his life by helping others.
You could also change the world with: It’s Your World If You Don’t Like It, Change It: Activism for Teenagers by Mikki Halpin (Simon & Schuster)
BEST AUTOBIOGRAPHY EVER
Red Land, Yellow River: A Story From the Cultural Revolution
by Ange Zhang
Ange Zhang was a teen in China when the Cultural Revolution swept the country. Unable to fully grasp the true meaning of the revolution, Ange went about his life till one day he came home and discovered that his father, a well-known writer, was a target of the new regime. As Ange’s world falls apart with the arrest of his father, he questions his efforts to join the Red Army while also joining millions of Chinese students for re-education as peasants. Ange is a talented artist, and this book is vivid with illustrations and family photos of his life and China’s Cultural Revolution.
Another equally cool book to add to your collection: Preposterous Fables for Unusual Children: The Wolf King by Judd Palmer (Bayeux)
The Looking Glass Wars
by Frank Beddor
A twisted take on Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland, Frank’s tale starts with the belief that it’s not Lewis Carroll who tells the story to Alice, but Alice who tells it all. And it’s anything but a fairy tale! With not a tea party or white rabbit to tally up cuteness, you are left with murdered parents, evil rulers, revenge and revelation of truth. Inspired by his hatred of the original that he describes as ‘a terrible girls’ book,’ and an unusually illuminated deck of cards in the British Museum, Frank has written one of the most mind-bending stories of our time. Be warned though, fairy tales may never seem safe again.
by Donna Jo Napoli (Atheneum)
Called ‘Lazy One’ by her stepmother, this is a story of a girl named Xing Xing growing up in China. With the loss of her father and mother, and bound to her stepmother’s daughter, she must serve her family and help arrange a good marriage for her half-sister, who cannot walk because of her painful foot bindings.
Also check out: Esther by Sharon E. McKay (Penguin)
FROM OTHER WORLDS
The Rules of Magic
by Annie Dalton
If you believe urban myths exist just to scare people, you might want to rethink and read this book. Then again, if you’re spooked easily, never mind.
Fall (Witch Season)
by Jeff Mariotte (Simon Pulse)
If a season was a witch and took off on us, would we miss fall? What would you do to bring the seasons back? Do you dare travel to worlds that lie beyond ours?
It all happens in a far less ordinary world:
Outcast: Dragon Secrets by Christopher Golden and Thomas E. Sniegoski(Aladdin)