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Pause & Read

Have a title you’d like to recommend? Send an E-mail to Scout the Dog.

Freedom's Just Another Word by Caroline StellingsHere's a great addition to any secondary school library; and one that takes the reader back to the 'hippie' days and a time when racial issues were rampant. Freedom's Just Another Word, written by Caroline Stellings, is set in 1970 when Janis Joplin, "an electrifying blues-rock singer at the height of her fame -- and of her addictions" is passing through Saskatoon. The chance meeting between Janis and the novel's main character, Louisiana, Easy for short, sets the stage for Easy's journey to self-discovery. Easy is an 18-year-old, biracial, want-to-be blues singer, who ends up driving to Texas with two nuns (a story unto itself) in an effort to connect again with Janis. The racism Easy experiences in the southern United States is chilling. The decisions Easy has to make along the way are none other than easy. ~Lynn W.

Batcat and the Seven Squirrels by Eric WaltersEric Walters writes a story that many beginning readers will enjoy in Batcat and the Seven Squirrels. Readers will find that this tale is based on a real life incident from Eric's own past. At the centre of the story is 8-year-old Nathan who first finds one squirrel eventually leading him to care for seven of them along with the neighbourhood stray cat. Nathan learns about the cycle of life as the squirrels eventually leave his care, but ends up gaining a pet of his own in the process. This chapter book is part of the Orca Echoes series, featuring "lively, entertaining short chapter books aimed at readers between ages seven and nine". ~Lynn W.

Scout the Dog

The Mask That Sang by Susan CurrieThe Mask That Sang, written by Peel District School Board teacher Susan Currie, is winner of the Second Story Press Aboriginal Writing Contest and is a great read for students in the junior grades. In the novel we meet Cass and her Mom, who have always lived on their own, facing the challenges before them. For Cass it's always the school bullies, and for her Mom, it's always finding a way to pay the rent, put food on the table, and take care of Cass. When they move into Cass' grandmother's house and find a 'false face' mask, Cass begins the journey of learning who she is and from where her roots stem. Students will enjoy the friendship Cass finds with classmate Degan; and the issues they face together whether dealing with Ellis, a rich, but awkward student, or problem solving the mysteries that unfold from Cass' mask. ~Lynn W.