Rue Des Rosiersby Rhea TregebovPublished by Coteau BooksReview by Shelley A. Leedahl$24.95 ISBN 9-781550-506990 Rue Des Rosiers by Vancouverite Rhea Tregebov is not just an exemplary novel, it’s also an important book that examines anti-Semitism and empathetically puts faces on the victims and aggressors, and my hope is that the novel receives the major attention it warrants. In this richly-layered story, multi-genre author Tregebov introdu...

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The Literary History of Saskatchewan: Volume 3 – Advancesedited by David Carpenter and Kelly-Anne RiessPublished by Coteau BooksReview by Keith Foster$29.95 ISBN 978-1-55050-954-0 The Literary History of Saskatchewan: Volume 3 – Advances is Coteau Books’ third and final volume analyzing Saskatchewan’s proud literary tradition. Compiling and assessing a literary history of the province isn’t easy, especially when that history...

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Murder at the St. Aliceby Becky CitraPublished by Coteau BooksReview by Shelley A. Leedahl$14.95 ISBN 9-781550-509625 Do you know a teen who would enjoy British Columbia-based historical fiction and a mystery in the same book? Then the novel Murder at the St. Alice by prolific YA writer Becky Citra is worth a look. BC’s Citra has written more than twenty books, including her well-received The Griffin of Darkwood, and a time travel series. I...

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Rescue in the Rockiesby Rita FeutlPublished by Coteau BooksReview by Shelley A. Leedahl$12.95 ISBN 9-781550-509489 I’m both surprised and saddened that until reading A Rescue in the Rockies, I was unfamiliar with Edmonton writer Rita Feutl’s titles for children and young adults. Surprised, because this is a writer at the top of her game, and saddened, because had I known how good she is, I would’ve been recommending her books lo...

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Baggageby Wendy PhillipsPublished by Coteau BooksReviewed by Ben Charles$14.95 ISBN 9781550509700 Baggage, written by Wendy Phillips and published by Coteau Books is a fantastic teen read that covers dark themes with the seriousness that fits the subject matter and a narrative device that is relevant to young readers. The story is set in British Columbia and begins at the Vancouver airport as a young, unidentified foreign boy is found near Intern...

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Trial by Winterby Anne PattonPublished by Coteau BooksReview by Michelle Shaw$10.95 ISBN 9781550509786 I’ve always wondered what it would be like to live in a sod house in Saskatchewan during a winter blizzard. Now, thanks to Anne Patton, I have an inkling. Trial by Winter is the third and final story in Anne Patton’s Barr Colony Adventure Series. It’s 1903 and the Bolton family have built a sod house on their land in the North-West Territo...

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Wide Openby D. M. DitsonPublished by Coteau BooksReview by Shelley A. Leedahl$24.95 ISBN 9-781550-509663 Sure it’s a cliché, but I had a hard time putting this book down. Welcome to the literary world, D.M. Ditson, with your intimate, hard-hitting, and honest portrayal of matters that are not easy to share. First book? Could have fooled me. Sexual abuse, Fundamentalist Christianity, mental health issues, black-out drinking, and a dysfuncti...

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Death by Dinosaur by Jacqueline Guest Published by Coteau Books Review by Amanda Zimmerman $14.95 ISBN 978-1-55050-943-4 Jacqueline Guest, bestselling author of Belle of Batoche, masterfully weaves her knowledge of Drumheller AB into a mystery sure to keep young readers wondering to the very last chapter. Sam Stellar, a fourteen year old spy enthusiast, and her tech loving friend Paige, are looking forward to spending their summer at th...

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Sedley by Chelsea Coupal Published by Coteau Books Review by Ben Charles ISBN 9781550509410 $17.95 Sedley, written by Chelsea Coupal, is a delightful and insightful reflection of life in small-town Saskatchewan that had me smiling from the first page to the last. This collection of poems that Coupal has so masterfully penned is a wonderful commentary of the author’s life and experiences growing up in the town of Sedley, SK, a small village loca...

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breathing at dusk by Beth Goobie Published by Coteau Books Review by Shelley A. Leedahl $17.95 ISBN 9-781550-509151 Beth Goobie, poet and fiction writer, is her own hard act to follow. With twenty-five books – including the Governor General-nominated young adult novel Mission Impossible – preceding her latest title, readers have come to expect work that sets the bar high in terms of both content and technique. In breathing at dusk, Go...

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Fire Lake

J.C. Paulson / 17 February 2021
Fire Lakeby J.C. PaulsonPublished by J.C. PaulsonReview by Marlin Legare$19.99   ISBN 9780995975644 Fire Lake by J.C. Paulson can be best described as a mystery novel that is unapologetically Canadian and is steeped in intrigue. This novel, published by Joanne Paulson, is the third of the Adam and Grace series that follows the experiences of reporter Grace Rampling and her husband Sgt. Adam Davis, an RCMP detective. In this entry, Grace and Adam decide to escape the stressors of their careers and Saskatoon city life by camping out for a couple’s getaway in Northern Saskatchewan. The destination that they find themselves at is the titular Fire Lake, a fictional setting based on real locations in Northern Saskatchewan that inspired Paulson. At first, the time at the cabin is pure bliss for the couple. Not only do they find themselves...

Time to Fly!

Your Nickel's Worth Publishing / 3 February 2021
Time to FlyWritten and Illustrated by Valerie WiebePublished by Your Nickel’s Worth PublishingReview by Michelle Shaw$24.95 ISBN 9781988783642 This beautiful hardcover book invites children of all ages to dream, to explore and discover how they fit into the world around them. Author and illustrator Valerie Wiebe, who lives and works on a farm outside Langham, Saskatchewan, is a multitalented artist who has used her paintings as her inspiration for the text. While younger children will be captivated by the bright colors and the rhythmic language, I think the book will be especially inviting to slightly older children who will be able to engage with the pictures and allow their imaginations to explore the possibilities in each painting. The book has also been suggested as an excellent gift for anyone beginning a new venture, including gra...

Book of Ecological Virtues, A

University of Regina Press / 6 January 2021
A Book of Ecological Virtues: Living Well in the AnthropoceneEdited by Heesoon Bai, David Chang, and Charles ScottPublished by University of Regina PressReview by Shelley A. Leedahl$39.95  ISBN 9-780889-777569 I made several “notes to self” while reading this anthology. Although not a critical marker re: the book’s literary or academic merit, it does indicate that the text spoke to me on a personal level. Read Canticle to the Creatures (St. Francis), I scribbled. Try editor/contributor David Chang’s awareness practice on Pg. 226/227. Google Peter H. Kahn, Jr. Share the quotes on grief with ____.   This heartening anthology of well-constructed essays addresses how one can live both ethically and full-heartedly during this epoch’s “sombre reality of ecological degradation.” The trio of editors – all professors at Simon...

Spirit Sight

Wood Dragon Books / 6 January 2021
Spirit Sight: Last of the Gifted, Book Oneby Marie PowellPublished by Wood Dragon BooksReview by Shelley A. Leedahl$18.99   ISBN 9-781989-078280 I’m grateful that Regina writer Marie Powell provided a map (Wales, 1282), glossary, and character list with her galloping new young adult fantasy, Spirit Sight: Last of the Gifted, Book One, because as one who doesn’t naturally gravitate toward the oft complex fantasy genre, these guideposts were helpful. Powell’s a veteran writer – see her complete library of books at mariepowell.ca – with more than forty books published, and she’s clearly not lacking one iota in inspiration. She explains that this particular novel series – the characters return in Last of the Gifted: Water Sight, Book Two – was inspired by her “adventures in castle-hopping across North Wales to explore her f...

If It Wasn’t For the Money

Wood Dragon Books / 6 January 2021
If It Wasn’t for the Money: A Sam Anderson Mysteryby J.A. MartinePublished by Wood Dragon BooksReview by Shelley A. Leedahl$19.99   ISBN 9-781989-078341 If It Wasn’t for the Money: A Sam Anderson Mystery, by Saskatchewan author J.A. Martine – aka business writer Jeanne Martinson – is a rather delectable novel, in more ways than one. The story concerns twin sisters who’d inherited “bloody millions,” their down-on-their-financial-luck husbands, the adventurous magazine writer Sam Anderson (who possesses an interesting, lottery-related back story), and an initially clownish retired Regina cop, all of whom we meet on an Alaska-bound cruise ship. Smooth sailing? Oh no … this is a mystery, after all.  The characters are well-drawn – especially Sam, who leads photography workshops on the ship and rappels down a rockface f...

If These Places Could Talk

If These Places Could Talk: Snapshots of Saskatchewanby Crista Bradley, with artwork by Wendi NordellPublished by Your Nickel’s Worth Publishing Review by Keith Foster$19.95          ISBN 978-1-988783-59-8 You’re never too young, or too old, to learn and explore. Crista Bradley’s book, If These Places Could Talk: Snapshots of Saskatchewan, enables young readers and adults to do both. Although technically a children’s book geared for ages five to ten, If These Places Could Talk will definitely appeal to adults as well. It’s perhaps of even more interest to adults than to children. Creating a multi-generational book is no small feat. This book is ideal for grandparents to read to their young ones. It will not only delight children, but grandparents can take a trip down nostalgia lane, supplementing Bradle...

Uncertain Harvest

University of Regina Press / 6 January 2021
Uncertain Harvest: The Future of Food on a Warming Planetby Ian Mosby, Sarah Rotz, and Evan D.G. FraserPublished by University of Regina PressReview by Elena Bentley$27.95      ISBN 9780889777200 Does a diet of algae, caribou, kale, millet, tuna, crickets, milk, and rice sound like the food future you imagined for yourself? Don’t worry, authors Ian Mosby, Sarah Rotz, and Evan D.G. Fraser are not predicting that the solution to our “collective food future” relies on these eight staples (despite what a quick glance down the contents page might imply). Rather than predict how we can create “a sustainable, resilient, and equitable food system,” Mosby, Rotz, and Fraser “critically assess the food futures being imagined and implemented this minute” in their new book Uncertain Harvest: The Future of Food on a Warming Planet.  P...

Baba’s Babushka Magical Ukrainian Adventures

Baba’s Babushka: Magical Ukrainian AdventuresWritten by Marion Mutala, Illustrated by Amber Rees, Wendy Siemens, Olha TkachenkoPublished by Your Nickel’s Worth PublishingReview by Shelley A. Leedahl$39.95  ISBN 9-781988-783611 Before one reads a single word of Baba’s Babushka, it’s evident that this  illustrated children’s book is far beyond the ordinary. The 175-page hardcover emanates quality, from the phenomenal production – including colourful, full-page illustrations opposite the text pages, each bordered in a Ukrainian embroidery design – to the heft of the paper used, the contributions of three skilled illustrators, the inclusion of Ukrainian recipes, and a glossary for the numerous Ukrainian words used in the text. The package is highly impressive … and then there are the four heartwarming, connected tales Mu...

Cold Case North

University of Regina Press / 2 December 2020
Cold Case North: The Search for James Brady and Absolom Halkettby Michael Nest with Deanna Reder and Eric BellPublished by University of Regina PressReview by Michelle Shaw$24.95 ISBN 9780889777491 In 1967, Métis leader James Brady and Absolom Halkett, a Cree Band Councillor, vanished from their remote lakeside camp while prospecting in Saskatchewan. No trace of them was ever found and their disappearance became one of Northern Saskatchewan’s most enduring mysteries. The initial police investigation concluded that the men had got lost and died while trying to find their way out of the remote area. But rumors persisted for over 50 years. If they were indeed lost why was no trace of their bodies ever found, even though there was an extensive search at the time. Many people believed they were murdered, and their bodies disposed of, probab...

Faces of the Force

Your Nickel's Worth Publishing / 2 December 2020
Faces of the Force: From Depot to Detachment – True Stories of C-1966/67 Troopby Helen Metella and Pamela CowanPublished by Your Nickel’s Worth PublishingReview by Toby A. Welch$19.95 ISBN 9781988783529 Faces of the Force: From Depot to Detachment – True Stories of C-1966/67 Troop contains the stories of 32 men from across Canada who gathered in Regina on June 10, 1966. They were all there to undergo a rigorous training regime to become RCMP officers. Fast forward to the troop’s 50-year reunion in Regina. The get-together inspired the group to record their stories, sharing how their lives have played out since they first met five decades earlier.  Enter Helen Metella and Pamela Cowan. Both former journalists, they compiled each individual story. They did a phenomenal job of evoking strong imagery with their words and enca...

Featured Reviews

Fire Lake
J.C. Paulson / 17 February 2021

Fire Lakeby J.C. PaulsonPublished by J.C. PaulsonReview by Marlin Legare$19.99   ISBN 9780995975644 Fire Lake by J.C. Paulson can be best described as a mystery novel that is unapologetically Canadian and is steeped in intrigue. This novel, published by Joanne Paulson, is the third of the Adam and Grace series that follows the experiences of reporter Grace Rampling and her husband Sgt. Adam Davis, an RCMP detective. In this entry, ...

Time to Fly!
Your Nickel's Worth Publishing / 3 February 2021

Time to FlyWritten and Illustrated by Valerie WiebePublished by Your Nickel’s Worth PublishingReview by Michelle Shaw$24.95 ISBN 9781988783642 This beautiful hardcover book invites children of all ages to dream, to explore and discover how they fit into the world around them. Author and illustrator Valerie Wiebe, who lives and works on a farm outside Langham, Saskatchewan, is a multitalented artist who has used her paintings as her in...

Book of Ecological Virtues, A
University of Regina Press / 6 January 2021

A Book of Ecological Virtues: Living Well in the AnthropoceneEdited by Heesoon Bai, David Chang, and Charles ScottPublished by University of Regina PressReview by Shelley A. Leedahl$39.95  ISBN 9-780889-777569 I made several “notes to self” while reading this anthology. Although not a critical marker re: the book’s literary or academic merit, it does indicate that the text spoke to me on a personal level. Read Canticle to the Cre...

Spirit Sight
Wood Dragon Books / 6 January 2021

Spirit Sight: Last of the Gifted, Book Oneby Marie PowellPublished by Wood Dragon BooksReview by Shelley A. Leedahl$18.99   ISBN 9-781989-078280 I’m grateful that Regina writer Marie Powell provided a map (Wales, 1282), glossary, and character list with her galloping new young adult fantasy, Spirit Sight: Last of the Gifted, Book One, because as one who doesn’t naturally gravitate toward the oft complex fantasy genre, these guidepo...

If It Wasn’t For the Money
Wood Dragon Books / 6 January 2021

If It Wasn’t for the Money: A Sam Anderson Mysteryby J.A. MartinePublished by Wood Dragon BooksReview by Shelley A. Leedahl$19.99   ISBN 9-781989-078341 If It Wasn’t for the Money: A Sam Anderson Mystery, by Saskatchewan author J.A. Martine – aka business writer Jeanne Martinson – is a rather delectable novel, in more ways than one. The story concerns twin sisters who’d inherited “bloody millions,” their down-on-their-fin...

If These Places Could Talk

If These Places Could Talk: Snapshots of Saskatchewanby Crista Bradley, with artwork by Wendi NordellPublished by Your Nickel’s Worth Publishing Review by Keith Foster$19.95          ISBN 978-1-988783-59-8 You’re never too young, or too old, to learn and explore. Crista Bradley’s book, If These Places Could Talk: Snapshots of Saskatchewan, enables young readers and adults to do both. Although technically a childr...

Uncertain Harvest
University of Regina Press / 6 January 2021

Uncertain Harvest: The Future of Food on a Warming Planetby Ian Mosby, Sarah Rotz, and Evan D.G. FraserPublished by University of Regina PressReview by Elena Bentley$27.95      ISBN 9780889777200 Does a diet of algae, caribou, kale, millet, tuna, crickets, milk, and rice sound like the food future you imagined for yourself? Don’t worry, authors Ian Mosby, Sarah Rotz, and Evan D.G. Fraser are not predicting that the solution to our ...

Baba’s Babushka Magical Ukrainian Adventures

Baba’s Babushka: Magical Ukrainian AdventuresWritten by Marion Mutala, Illustrated by Amber Rees, Wendy Siemens, Olha TkachenkoPublished by Your Nickel’s Worth PublishingReview by Shelley A. Leedahl$39.95  ISBN 9-781988-783611 Before one reads a single word of Baba’s Babushka, it’s evident that this  illustrated children’s book is far beyond the ordinary. The 175-page hardcover emanates quality, from the phenomenal produ...

Cold Case North
University of Regina Press / 2 December 2020

Cold Case North: The Search for James Brady and Absolom Halkettby Michael Nest with Deanna Reder and Eric BellPublished by University of Regina PressReview by Michelle Shaw$24.95 ISBN 9780889777491 In 1967, Métis leader James Brady and Absolom Halkett, a Cree Band Councillor, vanished from their remote lakeside camp while prospecting in Saskatchewan. No trace of them was ever found and their disappearance became one of Northern Saskatc...

Faces of the Force
Your Nickel's Worth Publishing / 2 December 2020

Faces of the Force: From Depot to Detachment – True Stories of C-1966/67 Troopby Helen Metella and Pamela CowanPublished by Your Nickel’s Worth PublishingReview by Toby A. Welch$19.95 ISBN 9781988783529 Faces of the Force: From Depot to Detachment – True Stories of C-1966/67 Troop contains the stories of 32 men from across Canada who gathered in Regina on June 10, 1966. They were all there to undergo a rigorous training regime...