It’s funny how people tend to handle the grief of others. Most want absolutely nothing to do with it. If there’s anything you need … I swear to God, the unspoken end of that sentence is don’t expect me to be around to do it for you. What everyone really wants is for you to just get over it, to get back to being the person you were as fast as possible so they don’t have to feel so goddamn awkward anymore.
—  The Space Between; Don Aker

The Fifth Rule

by Don Aker

Summary: Former young offender Reef Kennedy is back in Halifax for the funeral of his mentor, Frank Colville. He has no intention of staying long–memories of Frank compete with memories of Leeza and the terrible way their relationship ended. And then there’s the restraining order against him, which Leeza’s mother has renewed….

Leeza, in the meantime, is feeling stifled by her mother’s “concern.” A first-year university student, she is kicking herself for not attending university out of town. And why can’t she stop thinking about Reef, especially after all the pain he has caused her?

Despite their best efforts to stay away from each other, circumstances quickly unfold to push Reef and Leeza closer. An eager political crusader wants to shut down Reef’s former group home, and he will stop at nothing to get media attention, including manipulating news items about Reef. Before he leaves town, Reef must face his demons and make some tough choices or else risk losing everything he has worked for, including the only girl he has ever loved. 

Come check it out at the library

Marathon of Books Blog - February 9th, 2014

Dear Canadian Teen Book Lovers,

Hit forty books in my Marathon of Books today and over a hundred hours of reading! Nearing the end of my journey through Nova Scotia but I’m not quite there yet. Nova Scotia is definitely full of talented writers though.

I did most of my reading travelling to and from my grandparents house where I got to celebrate my grandfather’s 83rd birthday. It was wonderful to see them for the first time since Christmas, but I admit when I came home around 6 pm at night and I still had just under half a book to read, I was tired. Luckily, Don Aker’s writing had me hooked and made me want to find out where Jace’s journey was taking him.

Planning to sleep in tomorrow, although tomorrow’s book is longer than today’s. Hopefully with a good night’s rest though I’ll be able to tackle it.


Books Read: 40/365

Pages Read: 8690

Kilometres Travelled: 869.0

Hours of Reading: 103 hours and 12 minutes

Marathon of Books Blog - January 25th, 2014

Dear Canadian Teen Book Lovers,

After I graduated from high school I was invited to work part-time in their library for a couple of years. Even though the White Pine program actually began during my last year of high school, I didn’t really become aware of it until the list for 2004 came out. That year “The First Stone” by Don Aker was on the list, and I ended up reading it along with “The Lottery” by Beth Goobie which was also on the list.

Those two books made me fall in love with the program. “The First Stone” won the award that year, and years later when I realised a membership with the Ontario Library Association would allow me to apply to be a White Pine Selection Committee member, I jumped at the chance. I couldn’t imagine anything better than getting to read and discuss a whole bunch of Canadian teen books and then deciding on the top ten to recommend to teens.

Up until this year and my Marathon of Books, I was right.

It’s been ten years since I read “The First Stone,” and a lot has happened to me in that time. Reading it today I had a new appreciation for Leeza’s rehabilitation given my own experience rehabilitating from a heart transplant. Remembering tubes, catheters, walking again and the feelings that go along with it made this a tougher read for me this time though because Aker is so good at putting the reader inside Leeza’s experiences.

“The First Stone” is the book that cemented my love of Don Aker’s books and it remains my favourite of his works, even though I’ve read more of his books since then. Aker actually emailed me himself to ask me to put his book on my list, not knowing it was already there.

I will be reading two more of his books while on my tour through Nova Scotia, another that I have read before and one that is new to me too. Looking forward to it.

Books Read: 25/365
Pages Read: 5186
Kilometres Travelled: 518.6
Hours of Reading: 59 hours and 34 minutes