Forgetting How to Breathe
(Older Middle Grade)
In an Icelandic community in the heart of Canada, 13-year-old Tia is angry. Her mother has disappeared and she and her eight-year-old brother, Tag, have been sent to yet another foster home.
In a lodge at the edge of Lake Winnipeg with a family and “fake mom” that feels smothering, Tia feels more isolated and farther away from her mother than ever. She desperately tries to convince her brother to return to the city where they will find Mama, and reunite their family.
But when a freak spring snowstorm and a herd of runaway horses lead her to the Ice Pony Ranch and Animal Rescue Centre, Tia is offered a job that might just change everything.
(Older Middle Grade)
Themes: friendship, competition, belonging and bullying.
While striving to best a “mean girl” in a reining competition with her beloved horse, Wager, Sera learns important truths about friendship and belonging. Fitting into a new school in a new city isn?t easy, but dreams come true for Sera with a gift from her parents: a gorgeous and spirited American Paint horse. Sera?s bubble bursts when a mean girl, Brittany, tells her that neither she nor her less than well-trained horse belong with the rest of the ?reiners? in their riding class. As Sera sets out to prove Brittany wrong, she risks losing her passion for training and the friendship of Dev, another girl who truly understands her. This story was originally published by Stabenfeldt (Stavanger, Norway) in 2011 as Wager the Wonder Horse and distributed in six languages: Norwegian, Hungarian, Czech, German, Finnish and Swedish.
A 2015 CCBC Best Books for Kids and Teens selection.
Poachers in the Pingos
Junior Canadian Ranger Tommy Toner has a terrible secret. Ashamed, and afraid of what people will think, he keeps quiet, even though the guilt eats away at him. Tommy’s old friends Colly, Jaz and Shelby know something is wrong, but they have no idea that Tommy’s secret will bring them face-to-face with something dark, dangerous and terrifying.
Poachers in the Pingos
When Junior Canadian Rangers Colly and Jaz visit Colly’s uncle on Canada’s Arctic coast, they are quick to discover something is amiss: Someone has been hunting and killing gyrfalcons. During a pretend emergency Colly and Jaz put two and five together, and end up in a terrifying race for their lives!
Racing for Diamonds
Jaz lives in the small northern community of Destiny and is a new member of the Junior Canadian Rangers. Her divorced parents argue a lot, and Jaz hopes if she wins a dog-mushing derby, they will be so proud of her they will stop arguing. But the derby would be a lot more fun if she wasn’t paired with Colly, an older boy who is a more experienced JCR. On the derby trail all Jaz’s newfound skills, her will to survive and her ability to get along with Colly, are put to a life-and-death test.
2008 Arthur Ellis Award Finalist
2008/2009 Hackmatack Award Finalist
2008 Best Books for Kids selection
2009 Diamond Willow Award Finalist
Flight from Bear Canyon
Kaylee is upset about being left to spend the summer with Jack and his niece, Jaz. All she wants is time alone with her dog, Sausage. Things change quickly, though, when Jack is injured when his helicopter goes down near a group of grizzly bears. Kaylee and Jaz must team up to save him and Kaylee finds herself once again at the controls of a plane.
Flight from Big Tangle
Ever since her father and his plane disappeared in the Caribbean, Kaylee has been afraid to fly. Now, in the midst of a raging forest fire, the only way to safety is resting on pontoons at the end of the dock. Will Kaylee be able to overcome her fear and fly herself and her dog out of the fire?
Recommended by the Canadian Toy Testing Council and Resource Links
2004 Diamond Willow Award Finalist!
“There are plenty of details to the plot which will keep readers interested to the end. Kaylee also learns that loved ones are always in some sense with us. Recommended for ages 7 to 10.”
– Denise Moore, Hi-Rise magazine, December 2002.
“From a twisted ankle, to saving the life of a neighbour, the reader is treated to drama and surprises that make this work creep from ‘good’ into ‘excellent’ territory. By mid-way through this book, it is my opinion, that this book is very hard to put down.”
– John Dryden, Resource News.
Two Foot Punch
(good for reluctant readers)
Teen sports thriller set in Winnipeg, MB’s historic Exchange District.
Nikki blames her brother, Derek, for their parents? death in a house fire, but when Derek gets involved with a gang, Nikki knows she is the only one who can save him. Enlisting the help of a girl named Rain, who uses her athletic abilities to carry out acts of petty thievery, Nikki uses all her parkour skills to stay ahead of the gang and keep her brother from being killed
“Anita Daher has created one of the most indulging stories, perfectly mixing action and emotion, resulting in a page-by-page gripper like no other.”“Her thorough research of her topic pays off in a readable, exciting story that introduces the rest of us to the world of parkour. As a teacher, I’d fully recommend it to any of my students if they want a thriller that is full of twists, turns and adventure.”
(rare, out of print)
Young Adult psychological thriller set in Yellowknife, NT
I was smarter. I was always smarter. A little cut-cut, drip-drip, blood saved and sprinkled. Stuck in Yellowknife with her crazy grandmother, AJ is one angry girl. She’s lonely, too, and her blog has become her main source of contact with the world. It is there she reveals her innermost hurts-the absence of her mother, who has gone back to school, and of her father, who abandoned AJ when she was just a little girl; and the moving around she and her mom have had to do every few years for reasons she has never understood. And recently, she’s begun to cut herself-a powerful habit and shame she is trying to overcome.Then a festival is held in Yellowknife, and AJ is befriended by a travelling musician, a man she finds herself instantly drawn to.
Anita Daher’s chilling novel will grip you completely from beginning to shocking end.
Arthur Ellis Award Finalist!
2009 Manitoba Book Award: McNally Robinson Best Book for Young People Finalist!
Itty Bitty Bits
When Molly’s mom tells her that she cannot have her friend come for a sleepover until her room is clean, Molly looks around and decides it is much too big a job for her to do on her own. She races through the house and looks for help from her sister, her brother, her father, even her dog, but each is feeling overwhelmed by big projects of their own. In the end she watches a tiny ant, and sees how he takes on a huge task and gets it done, itty bitty bit, by itty bitty bit.