Silverwing & Dust

Books Number 10 and 11 for me in this challenge are award winning Canadian children's books.

Silverwing by Kenneth Oppel
First in the Silverwing Trilogy

Pages: 274
First Published: 1997
Genre: YA, animal fantasy
Awards: Mr. Christie's Book Award, CLA Children's Book of the Year, OLA Silver Birch Award
Rating: 4/5

First Sentence:

Skimming over the banks of the stream, Shade heard the beetle warming up its wings.

Comments: When Shade a young Silverwing bat is blown off course during his colony's migration south, he is determined to find his way back to them. An impending war between the bats and birds, and a hungry vampire bat recently escaped from a observatory make his journey even more challenging. I couldn't put this one down. An utterly compelling story with interesting characters. The book ends with a set-up for the next in the trilogy and I'm looking forward to reading it. Recommended

Dust by Arthur Slade

Pages: 168
First Published: 2001
Genre: YA, science fiction
Awards: Governor General's Award, Saskatchewan Book Award, Mr. Christie's Book Award
Rating: 5/5

First Sentence:

Matthew Steelgate had five cents in his pocket and a yearning for chewing gum and licorice.

Comments: When Robert's 7-year old brother disappears from a 1930s Saskatchewan prairie town it is only the first of many strange things that happen. He starts to have strange dreams, his parents seem to forget his brother, the local reverend starts making animal noises and an ivory-skinned man has arrived in town promising to make a rain machine. The first chapter describes the disappearance of the little boy and is utterly chilling. I was hooked at that point and couldn't stop reading. It's a short book and I don't want to give anything away by saying too much so I'll just say Slade has written a book which is a cross between Stephen King and W.O. Mitchell. I was at turns reminded of Who Has Seen the Wind and Needful Things. I will definately be reading others by this author.