We are proud to share that The Forest of Reading Committee has released their 2024 Suggested Reading List and titles from four Transatlantic clients have been included!

The Forest of Reading® is Canada’s largest recreational reading program! This initiative offers ten reading programs to encourage a love of reading in people of all ages. The Forest helps celebrate Canadian books, publishers, authors and illustrators. More than 270,000 readers participate annually from their school and/or public library. All Canadians are invited to participate via their local public library, school library, or individually.

About the included titles on the Silver Birch Readers (Ages 8-12, Grades 3-6) list:

BLUE TO THE SKY by Sylvia McNicoll (DCB Young Readers)

The journey to conquering your fears starts with 1,776 steps.

Starting sixth grade after years of homeschooling, Ella is tired of being known as Allergic-to-Everything Girl. She just wants to eat pizza without breaking into hives, convince her mom to adopt a Whoodle dog, and get over her stage fright so she can perform her poem to her class.

When her best friend signs up for a CN Tower climb for charity, Ella knows she has to join. If she can climb to the top and summon the courage to recite her poem over the city, she’s convinced she’ll finally be cured of her fears.

Sylvia is represented by Amy Tompkins.

THE GROVER SCHOOL PLEDGE by Wanda Taylor (HarperCollins)

A true-to-life story about the pains and triumphs of growing up, perfect for readers of Renée Watson and Lisa Moore Ramée.

Arlaina Jefferson is eager to prove herself. Tasked with caring for her cousin’s rabbit, Obeena, Arlaina knows all that stands between her and the grown-up world of middle school is one year of staying out of trouble and making sure to clean up Obeena’s turds. It would be easy—if growing up didn’t also mean growing wiser.

Having faced thoughtless comments from fellow students, Arlaina is already struggling to explain the hurt she feels to her best friend, Tina. But when their teacher, Mr. Matthews, asks an ignorant question about classmate Nadia’s headscarf, Arlaina has the confirmation she needs: Mr. Matthews is part of a larger problem that plagues Grover School. All those comments that Arlaina—and several other students—once brushed off suddenly seethe under the light of truth. Some things just can’t be fixed by Obeena’s warm and fuzzy charms.

Bolstered by her father’s childhood experience in the Million Man March, Arlaina teams up with no-nonsense Nadia and a host of other Grover School students to right a systemic wrong. After all, proving you’re grown up doesn’t always mean staying out of trouble!

Wanda is represented by Léonicka Valcius. 

HOW TO BE A GOLDFISH by Jane Baird Warren (Scholastic Canada)

Some family secrets feel too big to share . . .

When her class is assigned a family tree project, Lizzie knows hers will become fodder for Scotch Gully’s town gossips. It’s 1981, and she’s the only one with an unmarried mom. So she turns to her neighbour Harry for advice, but he has problems of his own. A stranger has turned up, claiming to own his farm, and Harry is being forced out.

For David, the new owner’s son, everything is riding on this. The farm is his chance to escape the city and his bullies at school. And maybe even get his mom away from her horrible new fiancé. But he wasn’t expecting to find someone else living there.

Lizzie and David become surprising allies, and as their family stories crack wide open, they uncover the keys that could save Harry and his farm. But sharing long-buried secrets has a cost too. Can they trust themselves — and each other — to find the way forward together?

Jane is represented by Elizabeth Bennett.

THE SECRET DIARY OF MONA HASAN by Salma Hussain (Tundra Books)

Mona learns to find her voice over the course of a year that sees her immigrating from Dubai to Canada in this novel for fans of Front Desk by Kelly Yang. Now in paperback!

Mona Hasan is a young Muslim girl growing up in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, when the first Gulf War breaks out in 1991. The war isn’t what she expects — “We didn’t even get any days off school! Just my luck” — especially when the ground offensive is over so quickly and her family peels the masking tape off their windows. Her parents, however, fear there is no peace in the region, and it sparks a major change in their lives.

Over the course of one year, Mona falls in love, speaks up to protect her younger sister, loses her best friend to the new girl at school, has summer adventures with her cousins in Pakistan, immigrates to Canada, and pursues her ambition to be a feminist and a poet. 

Salma is represented by Amy Tompkins.

Congratulations to everyone included!