Haunted Canada 7: Chilling True Tales
Joel A. Sutherland
illustrated by Norman Lanting
February is I Love to Read Month, and Feb. 17 is the second annual I Read Canadian Day. It was launched in 2020 by the Canadian Children’s Book Centre and several partners to urge young readers to spend 15 minutes with a Canadian book. That will not be a challenge for kids who check out books by librarian Joel A. Sutherland, who competed as the Barbarian Librarian on the Canadian edition of Wipeout. Often hailed as Canada’s R.L. Stine, Sutherland has written several spooky tales for ages 8 and up, including the Haunted series of novels set in locales across Canada (Field of Screams, Night of the Living Dolls, The House Next Door).
He is the author of seven of the 10 books in the Haunted Canada series, including a brand-new revised edition of No. 7, which has a new look, a new ghost story and an author Q&A.
Stand Like a Cedar
Nicola I. Campbell
illustrated by Carrielynn Victor
Named for her home region, the Nicola Valley in B.C.’s southern interior, Nicola I. Campbell is the author of four previous children’s books: Shi-shi-etko, the award-winning Shin-chi’s Canoe, Grandpa’s Girls and A Day with Yayah (grandmother). New picture book Stand Like a Cedar will be released on Feb. 23. Aimed at readers ages 6 to 9, it explores nature, Indigenous culture and languages, as kids learn about birds, fish, mammals and plant life.
Pain Killer: A Memoir of Big League Addiction
If you’re curious to know exactly what a hockey player has to do to get banned for life from the NHL, wonder no more. Brantt Myhres recounts his rise, downfall and recovery — working his way up from the minor leagues to a big-money career in the NHL, blowing it all on booze and drugs and finally getting clean in rehab. Sober for more than a decade now, the L.A. Kings hired him in 2015 to try to keep that team’s players on the straight and narrow. His memoir lands on bookstore shelves Feb. 16.
Kill the Mall
Horror, humour and surreal hairpieces come into play when this bizarro novel’s narrator is invited to take up a weeks-long residency position at a suburban mall, where he’s expected to live in a store and divide his time between “engaging the public” and carrying out undefined work. It isn’t long before his notion of the shopping centre as a consumer paradise is challenged, thanks to a mystery involving the creatures who inhabit the mall at night.
A Stranger in Town
St. Martin’s Publishing Group
In the sixth novel in the Rockton series, the misfit inhabitants of the secret Yukon hideaway are on edge when an injured hiker lands in their midst. Detective Casey Butler (formerly Casey Duncan) and her boyfriend, the local sheriff, are on the case, trying to find out who attacked the woman — and learn why they are seeing fewer locals around town all of a sudden.
— Pat St. Germain