Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels
- Age: 9 to 18
- Grade: 4 to 12
A fast-paced story set amidst Toronto's turbulent summer of 1933, this graphic novel sheds light on prejudice and social injustice.
It’s Toronto in the 1930s. The city is small, often xenophobic, and the summer is stiflingly hot. Everyone flocks to the lakeshore. In one area of the beach, a neighbourhood protective association has formed to keep out “undesirables,” and members patrol wearing silver swastika pins. Meanwhile, the police chief believes the immigrant Jewish community is at the root of a communist threat, as the world witnesses an alarming rise of anti-Semitism overseas.
Sid and his Pop live at the edge of the Ward, Toronto’s immigrant slum, where they have rented a room from the Vendetellis since Sid’s mom and baby sister died from influenza. Times are tough, and Sid faces impossible choices as he wrestles with honesty, bigotry, poverty, and expectations as a member of a “whiz mob,” slang for a gang of pickpockets.
But when Sid and his friends get coerced into working for the police after they’re caught lifting a wallet at a baseball game, they become caught up in something much bigger than themselves, and must decide how far they will go to do what’s right and to protect those they love. The story climaxes at the infamous Christie Pits Riot, Canada’s largest race riot and a historic event that was a symbolic victory for Jewish and immigrant citizens
With extraordinarily cinematic artwork that immediately transports readers to the Toronto of 1933, this incredible graphic novel shines a striking lens on many contemporary issues: the immigrant experience, the roots of prejudice, and taking a stand against injustice.
About the authors
TED STAUNTON a écrit plus de quarante livres jeunesse et a contribué à la sériepopulaire Seven. Il joue aussi de la musique folk et blues. Ted se rend souventdans des écoles et des bibliothèques canadiennes. Il donne aussi un cours derédaction au collège George Brown à Toronto. Quand il n’est pas plongé dans un livre, il fait souvent de la musique avec le Maple Leaf Champions Jug Band..
Ted Staunton is the award-winning author of over forty books for young people, including Bounced, What Blows Up in The Almost Epic Squad series, the picture book Friends for Real, illustrated by Ruth Ohi, and the coauthor of the non-fiction title It Seemed Like a Good Idea . . . : Canadian Feats, Facts and Flubs, with his son Will. A busy and popular presenter at schools across Canada, Ted also teaches writing at George Brown College in Toronto, and is a roots/blues musician in whatever time is left over. Visit him online at www.tedstauntonbooks.com.
JOSH ROSEN is a cartoonist and illustrator who lives in Toronto. When he’s not making comics he works in children’s arts education, helping students over a wide range of ages find their own creative voices. Visit him online at www.joshdraws.com.
- Commended, OLA Best Bets: Honourable Mention
- Commended, Best Books for Kids and Teens, Canadian Children's Book Centre, Starred Selection
- Long-listed, City of Toronto Book Award
- Commended, OLA Light Reads, Great Stories List
Praise for Ted Staunton:
*“. . . takes off like a rocket and continues its upward trajectory right to the very last page . . . This book is a knockout, and that’s no con.” (Who I’m Not) — Quill & Quire, starred review
“Readers aren’t sure whether or not they can trust the main character and that makes the journey all the more exhilarating . . . Breathless, fast paced fun.” (Who I’m Not) — Kirkus Reviews
“Reluctant readers will be receptive to this gripping tale about identity and resilience, written in clear language.” (Who I’m Not) — School Library Journal