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Sunday, September 24, 2017

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CanLit150

Celebrate more than 150 years of Canada with 150 books.

Jennifer Mook-Sang Recommends

Baygirl by Heather Smith

“The main character in this wonderful story has a stunning voice, sharp and funny, in the face of great adversity – the kind of book I’d read over and over.” – Jennifer Mook-Sang

Baygirl

(From Orca Book Publishers)

Growing up in a picturesque Newfoundland fishing village should be idyllic for sixteen-year-old Kit Ryan, but living with an alcoholic father makes Kit's day-to-day life unpredictable and almost intolerable. When the 1992 cod moratorium forces her father out of a job, the tension between Kit and her father grows. Forced to leave their rural community, the family moves to the city, where they live with Uncle Iggy, a widower with problems of his own. Immediately pegged as a "baygirl," Kit struggles to fit in, but longstanding trust issues threaten to hold her back when a boy named Elliot expresses an interest in her.

Heather Smith

(From Heather Smith's website)

Heather Smith spent much of her early life wrestling with words. Not only was she a reluctant reader, she struggled with speech as well. Unable to pronounce certain words she became a walking thesaurus, anxiously swapping out words she wanted to say with words she could say. Although Heather’s relationship with words was rocky, the two were eventually able to get over their difficulties and have been on speaking terms ever since. Today, Heather wrestles with words in a different way – she’s a writer! Instead of dodging them, she grabs them tight with both hands and finds them a home on the page.

Originally from Newfoundland, Heather now lives in Waterloo, Ontario, with her husband and three children. Her east coast roots inspire much of her writing. Her first novel, Baygirl, was described by Quill and Quire as “a balanced, well-written debut”. Baygirl also received a nomination for the 2015 White Pine Award where it earned its place as an Honour Book.

Heather’s second young adult novel, The Agony of Bun O’Keefe, will be published by Penguin Random House in the fall of 2017. Her first picture book, Angus All Aglow, will be published by Orca Book Publishers in the fall of 2018.