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Skipped a generation

The loving relationship between a teen and her grandmother are at the heart of Allan Stratton’s riveting YA novel


The Way Back Home

Allan Stratton

Scholastic Canada, Ages 12+

ZOE BIRD’S WORLD is cracking apart. The teenaged narrator of Allan Stratton’s latest YA novel lives in a small Ontario town where she struggles against the oppressive influence of her narrow-minded parents at home and the nastiness of her cousin Madi at school. Madi ridicules Zoe and spreads lies about her, which Zoe’s parents are quick to believe. Zoe’s life is miserable and she’s angry all the time. Nobody listens to her or understands – except her grandmother. Granny Bird has always been Zoe’s refuge. She lives in the Bird House, a big, ramshackle place full of garbage-picking treasures and memorabilia. When Zoe is with Granny, she feels safe and loved. The pair sees the world the same way and shares a warped and wacky sense of humour.

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Debbie Ridpath Ohi: A big heart comes live on the page; Books for young people Fall preview; 100 of the top kids' books arriving on shelves this season.