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Yipee’s Gold Mountain

Yipee’s Gold Mountain
Red Deer Press
97808889955509 (paperback)

The story raises complex questions about what it means to be an American, how people give and receive care over our lives, and how gender and perceptions shape our experiences and the way others value us. The novel is likely to generate substantial conversation and could work well in a small classroom or teen book group (the author offers her own perspectives on some of these questions in the back matter).
I kept thinking about the story, the characters, and the questions the novel raised long after I closed Yipee’s Gold Mountain; for me, that’s the mark of a thoughtful book. As Canadians try to recognize and unpack settler culture and to understand Indigenous concerns, books like this can help readers appreciate nuances of history that may otherwise be lost.

Resource Links

… distinct and unique… crafted effectively… The novel challenges the assumptions and stereotypes that people may have about the behaviour of indigenous or Chinese communities… The book further challenges these assumptions and stereotypes by depicting other non-indigenous and non-Asian characters who behave in ways that have been associated with those two communities… Recommended

CM Magazine

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Orca Book Publishers
9781459812048 (paperback)
9781459812055 (pdf)
9781459812062 (epub)

Inspired by the real-life annual fashion show at Montreal arts high school FACE… Rivera succeeds in creating real tensions between the youngsters—readers will wonder throughout whether they'll be able to pull it off—and their final act comes together with a surprising twist. Kudos to Rivera, whose dance routine details, in addition to the shimmery gold costumes, make the acts come alive.

Montreal Review of Books

It was refreshing to read a book which pushes the boundaries of the dominant culture in so many ways, first, with the main character, Adina, then with Seth, a boy who not only dances but also creates and sews all the costumes for their dance routine. The main character, Adina, is a young woman of South Asian descent. There are glimpses of Adina’s culture throughout the book via the foods she eats, the music she and her brother listen to, and to some background information about her family. I longed to know more about Adina’s culture… Recommended

CM Magazine

Orphan Ahwak

Orca Book Publishers
9781551436531 (paperback)

The author’s biggest achievements in this work are two-fold: her creation of a character who portrays the strength of the human spirit, and her ability to immerse us into a foreign world so completely that we miss it when it’s gone.

Canadian Children’s Book News

Author Raquel Rivera writes with such good description of the characters that you can really relate to them. Even though the plot is exciting, the characters are another reason that keeps the reader turning the pages… I would recommend “Orphan Ahwak” to my friends, just as long as they were prepared for the parts that are hard for animal lovers.

Amazon Reader View by Avery Largent (age 9)
Winner QWF Prize for Children’s Literature and Young Adults, 2008; shortlisted Rocky Mountain Book Award, 2009; CCBC Best Books 2008.

Tuk and the Whale

Illustrated by Mary Jane Gerber

Groundwood Books
ISBN-13: 9780888996893 (hardcover)
ISBN-10: 0888996896 (hardcover)
ISBN-13: 9780888998910 (paperback)
ISBN-10: 0888998910 (paperback)

Through the eyes and voice of Tuk, a young Inuit boy, readers see, hear and feel the excitement and apprehension that the lost whalers’ arrival engenders… [a] simple, elegant, eloquent tale… Mary Jane Gerber’s delightful pen-and-ink drawings capture moments large and small.

Globe and Mail

... an exceptional job of seamlessly weaving details of her research into a story that reveals the importance of family, teamwork, and tradition. I appreciate the fact that Ms. Rivera does not neatly tie the book up in a pretty little bow. Instead, it foreshadows the serious troubles that befell the native peoples in the boom of the whaling industry.

The Well-Read Child
Shortlisted QWF Prize for Children’s Literature and Young Adults, 2008; nominated Silver Birch Express Award, 2009; Resourcelinks ‘Best of 2008’. Chinese edition by PanAsia International Culture & Tech Co. Ltd.

Artic Adventure: Tales from the Lives of Inuit Artists

Illustrated by Jirina Marton

Arctic Adventure
Groundwood Books
ISBN-13: 9780888997142 (hardcover)
ISBN-10: 0888997140 (hardcover)

The menace of climate change lends an elegiac power to the reading of Arctic Adventures by Montreal author Raquel Rivera. But the book doesn’t need that extra frisson; it’s compelling on its own… Rivera gives us a taste of a vanished way of life, a sense of the unimaginable hardships that shaped these artists’ characters, and a glimpse of the work that grew so organically from their experiences on the land.

Quill & Quire starred review

… beautifully balances stories that document a vanishing way of life, aboriginal art, and information about the Arctic. Children will thoroughly enjoy the stories, and teachers will relish this contribution to the all-too-scarce resources for the curriculum about Canada’s North. It is a little gem.

CM Magazine
Nominated Red Cedar Award, 2010; CCBC Best Books for Kids&Teens starred selection, 2008; USBBY Outstanding International Books, 2008; ResourceLinks ‘Best of 2007’; Quill & Quire’s ‘Best of 2007’.

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