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