Tyler Evans the Great
Your Nickel's Worth Publishing / 24 January 2024

Tyler Evans the Greatby Alison LohansPublished by Your Nickel’s Worth PublishingReview by Miriam Körner$ 19.95 ISBN 9781778690228 What does it mean to be a hero? I have no doubt that everyone has a slightly different definition. If you were to ask Tyler Evans in Alison Lohans’ newest chapter book Tyler Evans the Great, he would tell you what a hero is not: A hero doesn’t let the school bullies take his cookie away. A hero doesn’t lose a shoe when he kicks a ball. And a hero doesn’t get his hair ruffled, especially not by his mom. Could Tyler ever be a hero? Told through the eyes of the young protagonist, this book explores a child’s longing to be a hero for the people (and animals) that mean most to him in his young life: his brother, his single mom, his friends and schoolmates, his dogs and even the robin and caterpillars in his backyard. Tyler tries hard to be a hero, but either he isn’t quick enough and someone else has already stolen the part or his attempts backfire. To make matters worse, his older brother Matt doesn’t let Tyler play video games with him and calls him a…

1-Dogpower Garden Team, The
Your Nickel's Worth Publishing / 10 November 2021

The 1-Dogpower Garden TeamWritten by Alison Lohans, Illustrated by Gretchen EhrsamPublished by Your Nickel’s Worth PublishingReview by Shelley A. Leedahl$14.95 ISBN 9-781988-783710 The 1-Dogpower Garden Team—the latest book by multi-genre author Alison Lohans—is a collaborative effort, and well worth the read. I’ve not read every book in this talented Regina writer’s veritable library of titles—28 books, which include YA and adult novels and illustrated children’s books—but the several I have read demonstrate that this is a veteran writer who pays close attention to craft and delivers meaningful, heart-filled literature each time she puts her pen to page. Now Lohans has teamed with illustrator Gretchen Ehrsam on a unique illustrated children’s story about a girl (Sophie) and her hole-digging dog (Max), and how a common canine problem transitions into a child’s brilliant solution. What strikes me first and foremost is how different this story is—Lohans’ innovative use of language and humour and Ehrsam’s detailed, black and white prints (surrounded by a moss green border) coalesce so effectively, after I’d read the book the first time I immediately wanted to read—and admire—it again. Upon my second reading, I deduced that part of the magic is Lohans’ use of both simple sentences, which…

Leaving Mr. Humphries

Leaving Mr. Humphries by Alison Lohans Published by Your Nickel’s Worth Publishing Review by Shelley A. Leedahl $12.95 ISBN 978-1-927756-07-2 There are some writers you can always depend on to turn out a good book, regardless of the genre. I first knew Regina author Alison Lohans as a short story writer for young adults. She’s also impressed me with her novels and children’s books. The ability to genre-hop and keep the literary standards at high-bar are Lohans’ trademarks, so I’m not surprised that Leaving Mr. Humphries, her tender story about a child reluctant to let go of his stuffed blue teddy bear, Mr. Humphries, also delivers a read that simultaneously entertains and plucks at the heart-strings. This book is the result of a familial collaboration: it’s illustrated by Gretchen Ehrsam, Lohans’ American cousin, who-like the author-enjoyed childhood vacations at the family’s cottage in Dorset ON. What first impressed was how quickly I was engaged. With kids’ books, writers don’t have the luxury to slowly beguile readers, and Lohans instantly gets us into the main character’s head and heart-space. Josh is the protagonist. His mother is off to “a conference in the city,” and he’ll have to stay with Grandpa and…

Germy Johnson’s Piano War
aemworks Publishing / 2 March 2012

JJ “Germy” Johnson, the engaging hero of award-winning author Alison Lohans, Germy Johnson’s Secret Plan, is back with a new adventure. This time, JJ’s parents are forcing him to take piano lessons, which are proving to be hazardous to his health. To be perfectly honest, piano lessons also take up valuable time when he could be battling cyber-pterodactyls or man-eating sharks on his game system. But his parents just won’t see his point of view. So JJ is forced to take drastic action.

Germy Johnson’s Secret Plan
aemworks Publishing / 2 March 2012

Germy Johnson’s Secret Plan by Alison Lohans Illustrations by A.E. Matheson Published by aemworks Publishing Review by Michelle Shaw $7.95 ISBN 978-0-9784974-0-8 Germy (JJ) Johnson is facing a serious predicament. His Great Aunt Pru is coming for a long visit. She’s old and smells like medicine. Her false teeth click when she talks and sometimes she takes them out to surprise people. It’s not funny! Those false teeth give him nightmares…literally. Worst of all, she’s staying in his bedroom and he’s now forced to share a room with his baby sister, Jessica. JJ is determined to find a way to force Aunt Pru to leave and his new kitten gives him a brilliant idea. Germs…the ultimate weapon! What if Aunt Pru became deathly ill? Then she’d have to leave. JJ embarks on a quest to infest Aunt Pru with all the germs he can find. Which isn’t as easy he thought and earns himself a not-so-pleasant nickname along the way. Germy Johnson’s Secret Plan was first published in 1992 and was widely used in grade three classrooms across Canada. When it went out of print, the author, award-winning Regina-based Alison Lohans, kept getting requests for it. So she decided to…

Don’t Think Twice
Your Nickel's Worth Publishing / 29 October 2010

Don’t Think Twice by Alison Lohans Published by Your Nickel’s Worth Publishing Review by Karen Lawson $14.95 ISBN 978-1-894431-35-4 Anyone who came of age during the turbulent 1960s will immediately relate to the novel Don’t Think Twice by prolific Saskatchewan author, Alison Lohans. It is challenging enough to write a smoothly flowing story that is set in just one time period but Lohans takes on the difficult writer’s task of merging dual stories from two different eras. The plots swing seamlessly from 1967 to 1997 and merge to form a unified and smooth conclusion. Jan, a middle aged mother is frantically searching for her rebellious, runaway daughter, Lisa. She discovers that writing a journal to her daughter expressing her own emotions helps to alleviate her worries and fears about her daughter’s well being and safety. Jan shares her innermost feelings and explains how she survived her own tumultuous youth. She tells the story of how she met Lisa’s father Rob when they were both teenagers growing up in rural California. Jan became close to his family and explains how their views and liberal lifestyle impacted her own political beliefs and ideas. She also shares the story of the devastating family…