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At FriesenPress, we celebrate each and every book we help our authors publish. Here are some of our team’s recent favourites – happy reading!

A Fire Chief's Memoir by

What do you do when you lose more than you can afford, when the stable bridge you’ve been crossing suddenly gives way and you find yourself plummeting into a chasm of fear and self-doubt? After losing a dear friend and fellow firefighter to suicide, Steve is left shaken and leaves the fire service forever – or so he thinks. While trying to decide what his future holds, Steve takes us through his past. From Firefighter to Assistant Chief, a winning lottery ticket to a twist of fate, a series of strange health problems and devastating injury, Steve pulls us along the dizzying journey with him. And just when we think it can’t possibly get any worse for him, he leads us to the edge. And then the healing begins. Although a sequel to his first book, The Unbroken, Extinguished is a story of its own, stranger than fiction, and another incredible example of Steve’s willingness to lay everything on the line to help anyone suffering from mental illness. At the same time, this isn’t a book just for them, or just for first responders. It is powerfully human and will resonate with everyone who reads it.

River of Your Days

Experiences growing up on the Prairies and living in Winnipeg, Montreal and coastal British Columbia mesh with reflections from living and working in countries in the Global South affected by poverty, disasters and conflict. In this volume of contemporary freeverse poetry, Carriere celebrates the beauty, challenges and complexity of what she observes and experiences in intelligent, highly visual, often melodic poetry that invites the reader to engage creatively with it. One thing becomes another in her lines: night is a sparrow, “a brown shadow that eats/its own dark,/folds its radiant wings.” Her keen gaze finds, now a snake “noosing its beauty/around a leafless branch,” now fallen bodies on broken steps in a war zone, now a child, “mix of starfish and ash, small/ cockle tossed on the ocean’s froth.” Reflections on age, on war, on love and loss, are intertwined with a palpable passion for, and engagement with, the natural world.. River of Your Days will appeal to adult readers of all ages, backgrounds, and walks of life.

She Who Burns

In 1916, a wee orphaned girl is taken in by a childless couple who own a sheep farm in the Scottish Highlands. Sheena becomes the first of six generations of mothers and daughters whose lives are deeply affected by the darkness of sexual assault and the bright light of fire. At age sixteen, Sheena’s daughter Sadie leaves Scotland and travels south to London during the worst of the Blitz. There she finds two friends: one offers Sadie a home and the other introduces her to the mysteries of the Tarot. Amid the horrors of war, Sadie falls in love with a Canadian soldier and moves to Canada as a war bride. The next generations inherit their ancestors’ unresolved traumas along with a vintage deck of Tarot cards that pass down from one daughter to the next, influencing their lives in ways they don’t fully understand until a time of reckoning arrives. With its vivid cast of compelling women, She Who Burns offers readers a powerful, fast-paced, engaging story that seizes the heart and doesn’t let it go.

A Home For Grumbly Bear

Grumbly Bear wants to know what is beyond his home in the Rocky Mountains. He packs berries and salmon snacks and heads out on an adventure! Trying to be brave, Grumbly watches his beloved mountains fade away as he travels a bumpy road in the back of a truck. Grumbly comes upon a fishing boat and takes his adventure to the water. Grumbly falls asleep on the rocking boat and wakes in the middle of the Great Water! Find out where his adventure takes him next, the friends who help him along the way, and where he finds…home.

The Quiet Limit

I had come to terms with my inability to change whatever it was at this point. It was coming whether I knew how it would happen or not. What if you knew what year you’d die? Since she could first comprehend the meaning of death Lai has known she’d only live to see eighteen years. In her secluded community, scientists calculate residents’ life expectancies at birth and one’s place within society is determined based on their lifespan. Tragically, Lai’s anticipated Year of Death has defined her as someone with little value to society. When her eighteenth birthday comes and goes, she knows she’s living on borrowed time and begins to emotionally withdraw and resign herself to her fate. That’s when Lai discovers something that shocks her to her core and forces her to face the reality that the controlled, peaceful, productive community she knows is hiding something deeply sinister. Set in a speculative society that is so imaginatively conceived we’re never quite sure if it’s utopian or dystopian, The Quiet Limit gives us a heartbroken protagonist at the most heightened and emotional moment of her life and sets her on an urgent, dangerous quest to find answers before her time is up.

Finding Courage

Lea and her brothers are normal teenagers living normal lives in Vancouver with their parents. (Well, except for the part where they’re quintuplets . . . and ninjas in training.) But that normalcy is turned upside down when, one day, they get home from school to find their house trashed. On top of that, their parents are missing, and all traces of their existence have been erased. As they search the house for clues, they find a message from their parents telling them they are members of the Hirawa clan and that they should travel to Japan to get help from their grandparents. The only problem? They’ve never met their grandparents. They didn’t even know they had grandparents. The Hirawa clan has historically stood against the Kaneshiro clan, who are planning to release the Yōkai, creatures of myth that were banished by a Hirawa ancestor long ago. And according to prophecy, only the quintuplets have what it takes to stop them. But to do that, they’ll need to survive life under the Hirawa clan’s roof, find their parents, and unlock their true powers. No sweat, right?

The System Almost H.A.D Me!
Understanding Culturally Responsive Pedagogy - For Educators By An Educator by

This unique essay in verse is a learning tool for educators who want to reconsider their cultural pedagogy. Using the author’s own experiences with a lack of diversity in the education system in Cape Breton as a framing narrative, the piece calls into question how educators respond to students from diverse backgrounds. Educators will: • Gain a better understanding of what it is to be responsive, both culturally and linguistically. • Learn the importance of building relationships with students, and how to create a school environment that is culturally responsive. • Reflect on the current pedagogical approach with an equitable lens. • See how being culturally and linguistically responsive in teaching increases student success. "The System Almost H.A.D. Me! Understanding Culturally Responsive Pedagogy…" includes an educational overview with twenty-two concrete tips for how to make your school environment culturally and linguistically responsive. It also shares resources for teachers and the bios of the contributors, including an experienced culturally responsive classroom teacher, a responsive illustrator, as well as the bio of the equitable community honoree. Culturally Responsive Pedagogy is a style of teaching, both in Canada and the United States, that promotes diverse, authentic learning environments for students and staff. It is, at its heart, grounded in equity. Educators, parents, and even students will learn to make connections to what it is to be culturally responsive in both teaching and learning. Partial proceeds from the sales of this book will go back to the community of Whitney Pier, and the students in the Cape Breton Centre for Education.

Orange Cat
Between the Lightning and the Thunder by

Toys go missing, of course, in a house with six children. It’s as natural as apple pie and ice-cream. It’s a different matter when they start appearing. When beautiful old toy soldiers—just like the ones in the antique shop down the road—start popping up on Mary Frances’ bedroom window-sill, her search for clues to the curious figures leads her to a wider mystery. Things aren’t where they should be. Or, perhaps, they aren’t when they should be. Either way, Mary Frances and her sister Annie are going to need all the help they can get to solve the mystery. That help comes to them unexpectedly in the form of Thunderpaws, a mysterious orange cat with remarkable abilities. With Thunderpaws guiding them, Mary Frances and Annie learn to slip into the space between the lightning and the thunder and emerge into a place that looks a lot like home. Here, too, there are things going missing and other things appearing that don’t belong, and a wandering man who might hold the key to the whole affair. The girls meet young boys Evan and Johnathan (who live in a suspiciously familiar-looking farmhouse), and the four children must band together with an elusive group of time-travelling orange cats to put everything back when it belongs.