OLA 2012 Best Bets

Each year the OLA Best Bets Committee selects the top Canadian picture books, fiction and non-fiction for children, and fiction for teens. Books are selected on the basis of their literary merit as well as their appeal to the intended audience. Illustrations are also considered in the case of graphic novels. The following list, which highlights books published in 2012, was featured at last week’s Ontario Library Association Superconference.The titles are listed below, alphabetically by author.

Picture Books

JoJo the Giant
Written by Jane Barclay | Illustrated by Esperança Melo | Tundra Books

Mr. Zinger’s Hat
Written by Cary Fagan | Illustrated by Dušan Petričić | Tundra Books

This Is Not My Hat
Written and illustrated by Jon Klassen | Candlewick Press

The Stamp Collector
Written by Jennifer Lanthier | Illustrated by François Thisdale | Fitzhenry & Whiteside

Written by Jean Little | Illustrated by Geneviève Côté | North Winds Press/Scholastic Canada

Virginia Wolf
Written by Kyo Maclear | Illustrated by Isabelle Arsenault | Kids Can Press

Written and illustrated by Ashley Spires | Kids Can Press

Written and illustrated by Dave Whamond | Owlkids Books Inc.

A Few Bites
Written and illustrated by Cybèle Young | Groundwood Books

Dear Flyary
Written by Dianne Young | Illustrated by John Martz | Kids Can Press

Honourable Mentions

Martin on the Moon
Written by Martine Audet | Illustrated by Luc Melanson | Translated by Sarah Quinn | Owlkids Books Inc.

A Hen for Izzy Pippik
Written by Aubrey Davis | Illustrated by Marie Lafrance | Kids Can Press

A Walk in Pirate’s Cover
Written by Marisa Hochman | Illustrated by Bette Woodland | Thirty Six Peonies Publishing Inc.

Middle Grade Fiction

Middle of Nowhere
Written by Caroline Adderson | Groundwood Books

Yesterday’s Dead
Written by Pat Bourke | Second Story Press

The Mighty Miss Malone
Written by Christopher Paul Curtis | Wendy Lamb Books

Summer in the City
Written by Marie-Louise Gay and David Homel | Illustrated by Marie-Louise Gay | Groundwood Books

Mr. and Mrs. Bunny – Detectives Extraordinaire!
Written by Polly Horvath | Illustrated by Sophie Blackall | Groundwood Books

Written by Gordon Korman | Scholastic Canada

The Paper House
Written by Lois Peterson | Orca Book Publishers

Making Bombs for Hitler
Written by Marsha Forchuk Skrypuch | Scholastic Canada

The Grave Robber’s Apprentice
Written by Allan Stratton | HarperCollins Canada

Honourable Mentions

Hold the Pickles
Written by Vicki Grant | Orca Book Publishers

Margaret and the Moth Tree
Written by Brit Trogen and Kari Trogen | Kids Can Press

The Fathomless Fire
Written by Thomas Wharton | Doubleday Canada

Ten Thousand Truths
Written by Susan White | Acorn Press

Young Adult Fiction

Running on Empty
Written by Don Aker | HarperCollins Canada

Written by Holly Bennett | Orca Book Publishers

Shade & Sorceress
Written by Catherine Egan | Coteau Books

Written by Rachel Hartman | Doubleday Canada

Shadows Cast by Stars
Written by Catherine Knutsson | Atheneum Books

The Opposite of Tidy
Written by Carrie Mac | Razorbill

Written by Norah McClintock | Orca Book Publishers

Crush. Candy. Corpse
Written by Sylvia McNicoll | James Lorimer & Company

The Reluctant Journal of Henry K. Larsen
Written by Susin Nielsen | Tundra Books

Way to Go
Written by Tom Ryan | Orca Book Publishers

The Traitor in the Tunnel
Written by Y.S. Lee | Candlewick Press

Honourable Mentions

One in Every Crowd
Written by Ivan E. Coyote | Arsenault Pulp Press

Bright’s Light
Written by Susan Juby | HarperCollins Canada

I, Witness
Written by Norah McClintock | Illustrated by Mike Deas | Orca Book Publishers

Such Wicked Intent
Written by Kenneth Oppel | HarperCollins Canada

How to Tend a Grave
Written by Jocelyn Shipley | Great Plains Teen Fiction

NOTABLE NON FICTION – The YA committee does not review non-fiction but came across this book which they felt deserved a mention.

Bodyguards: From Gladiators to the Secret Service
Written by Ed Butts | Illustrated by Scott Plumbe | Annick Press


Hey Canada!
Written by Vivien Bowers | Illustrated by Milan Pavlovic | Tundra Books

Potatoes on Rooftops: Farming in the City
Written by Hadley Dyer | Annick Press

The World in Your Lunch Box: The Wacky History and Weird Science of Everyday Foods
Written by Claire Eamer | Illustrated by Sa Boothroyd | Annick Press

A Good Trade
Written by Alma Fullerton | Illustrated by Karen Patkau | Pajama Press

Cryptic Canada: Unsolved Mysteries from Coast to Coast
Written by Natalie Hyde | Matt Hammill | Owlkids Books Inc.

Hockey Science: 25 Winning Experiments
Written by Shar Levine and Leslie Johnstone | Illustrated by Lorenzo Del Bianco | Scholastic Canada

How to Raise Monarch Butterflies: A Step-by-Step Guide for Kids
Written by Carol Pasternak | Firefly Books

The Secret of the Village Fool
Written by Rebecca Upjohn | Illustrated by Renné Benoit | Second Story Press

Honourable Mention

Noisy Poems for a Busy Day
Written by Robert Heidbreder | Illustrated by Lori Joy Smith | Kids Can Press