Silver Birch

Silver Birch Award Nominees: great reads for Grades 3 to 6

It’s the most wonderful time of the year….. the Silver Birch Award nominations are in!

Every year I eagerly wait for the Forest of Reading program to announce its nominations. It is the largest recreational reading program in Canada and it is an incredible resource for young adult books. I have read so many books by Canadian authors that I would have never known about if it weren’t for this list. The program has several different categories for different age groups. The Silver Birch category features a wide variety of fiction titles for Grades 3 to 6.

The Ghost Collector by Allison Mills

Shelly is a ghost-hunter. It is a gift that runs through the Cree women in her family. When something awful happens to Shelly, she finds herself feeling just as trapped and invisible as the ghosts she hunts.

Ember and the Ice Dragons by Heather Fawcett (Fantasy)

Ember was born a dragon but disguised as a girl by her adoptive father. For her own safety she is sent to Antarctica where she discovers a breed of ice dragons who are being hunted for their jeweled scales.

A Boy Is Not a Bird by Edeet Ravel (Historical Fiction)

War means chaos and uncertainty. The Soviet Union has taken over Natt’s country and everything has changed. His father is arrested for being an Enemy of the State and their family is in danger of being exiled to Siberia.

Shirley and Jamila Save Their Summer by Gillian Goerz (Graphic Novel)

Jamila is new in town and wants to spend her summer on the basketball court. She meets a peculiar girl named Shirley who has a talent for solving mysteries. Together they create an unlikely friendship.

The Barren Grounds by David Robertson (Fantasy)

Two Indigenous children discover a portal to another realm where the land has been plunged into an eternal winter. They join a hunter named Ochek and a squirrel named Arik and set out to bring summer back to the land.

Dog Driven by Terry Lynn Johnson (Adventure)

McKenna enters a dog sled race across the frozen shores of Lake Superior. What nobody knows is that she’s losing her vision to a condition called Stargardt disease. McKenna is determined to win to prove that she is not defined by her disability.

All the Ways Home by Elsie Chapman

After his mother’s death, Kaede feels as if he’s lost his home. He travels to Japan to reconnect with his estranged father only to rediscover what home really means.

Harvey Comes Home by Colleen Nelson

Harvey the West Highland White Terrier is lost. He wanders by a retirement home and finds an unlikely friend in grumpy Mr. Pickering who grew up in the 1930’s during the time of the Dust Bowl.

The Jigsaw Puzzle King by Gina McMuchy-Barber

Eleven-year old Warren is tired of having to look out for his brother, Bennie. Bennie has Down Syndrome and doesn’t always know when people are being unkind. When Bennie signs up for the school talent show, Warren fears it could be a disaster.

Music for Tigers by Michelle Kadarusman

No one has seen a Tasmanian Tiger since 1936. They are believed to be extinct. Louisa spends her summer in a remote camp in a Tasmanian forest and makes a startling discovery: Tasmanian Tigers may still exist after all!

Stay tuned in January for my reviews of the Red Maple Award nominations, featuring titles for Grades 7 and 8.

— Lesley L.