Five Nimbus Titles on the 2019-2020 Hackmatack Shortlist
On March 29, 2019

Congratulations to Sarah Sawler (Be Prepared! and 100 Things You Don’t Know About Atlantic Canada), Frankie MacDonald (Be Prepared!), Joann Hamilton-Barry (There Be Pirates!), Allison Lawlor (Broken Pieces), and Jacqueline Halsey (Piper), for being nominated for the 2019 -2020 Hackmatack Children’s Choice Book Awards. Good books can spark good conversations, especially for young readers. We hope that these titles will continue to inspire discussion and reflection from the young students reading them. Learn more about each title below:


  1. Be Prepared!

Author: Frankie MacDonaldSarah Sawler

East Coasters can’t seem to help but talk about the weather. So why not dive into Be Prepared! with YouTube sensation Frankie MacDonald as he brings his passion for all things weather into an accessible, vibrant book. Join Frankie and author Sarah Sawler as they give you the low-down on where weather comes from, how it is predicted and what you can do to be ready for whatever the wind blows your way. Hear stories from Frankie’s life and advice from the man himself, like how he deals with bullies:

“I ignore negative people and trolls. I ignore negative comments, I ignore rude comments,” Frankie says. “And I don’t look at the mean emails, period.”

This book can help bring discussions of autism and bullying into the classroom—it’s no surprise it’s been selected as an award finalist for young readers.


  1. 100 Things You Don’t Know About Atlantic Canada (for Kids)

Author: Sarah Sawler

Fact is, you can never learn too much about the place you live. If you pick up this book from author Sarah Sawler, you’ll add 100 new facts to your knowledge of Atlantic Canada. But more than that, this book opens windows into all kinds of fascinating stories you may have never heard about the East Coast. Learn about the struggles Canada’s first female police officer faced, way back in 19th century Nova Scotia! Packed with activities and places to visit, this book makes a great traveling companion—and that’s a fact.


  1. There Be Pirates! Swashbucklers & Rogues of the Atlantic

Author: Joann Hamilton-Barry

Ahoy, young readers! Here be a treasure trove of information for everything pirates from author Joann Hamilton-Barry. With accessible writing about the history of piracy, illustrations and activities, this book will keep seafaring readers occupied for hours.

There Be Pirates! features the stories of pirates like Newfoundland’s Peter Easton (said to be the only pirate in Canada with a historical plaque honouring him) and many more who used to sail these very waters. Get the wind in your sails as you travel back in time to this exciting and dangerous period in East Coast history.


  1. Piper

Author: Jacqueline Halsey

Get lost in this story of determined, tough twelve-year-old Dougal Cameron and his harrowing trip from Scotland to the promise of Nova Scotia in 1773.

“Dougal lay listening to the unfamiliar creaks and groans of the ancient hull. Weird shadows danced over the deck as the sailor on watch walked by with his oil lamp. Dougal’s old life had ended but his new life hadn’t begun yet. It was a very strange place to be.”

A gripping read, rich in imaginative detail, Piper can also spark discussion for readers about how people travel to find a new place to call home. Did your family or ancestors make a voyage too?


  1. Broken Pieces: An Orphan of the Halifax Explosion

Author: Allison Lawlor

Although most people have heard of the 1917 Halifax Explosion, this book from author Allison Lawlor gives you the chance to see it first-hand through the true story of a young survivor. Readers will empathize with fourteen-year-old Barbara Orr as she navigates the devastation of Halifax and learns about the heroic response after this tragic event.

Broken Pieces is full of historical photographs and illustrations as well as glossary terms and facts. Did you know that the day after the explosion—as if things weren’t bad enough—Halifax was hit with a blizzard that dumped snowdrifts as high as an adult’s waist?

A great resource for educators and young readers, Barbara’s story explains this pivotal event 100 years ago accurately and with a human touch.

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