Connect with Amanda:It doesn’t get much more Canadian that E.K. Johnston and her books. She went to Laurier (in Waterloo, Ontario) and Exit, Pursued by a Bear and The Story of Owen are so Southwestern Ontario that it almost hurts. A good kind of hurt though. I read so many YA books from authors that aren’t Canadian that I had forgotten the feeling of “OH! I’ve been there!” Seriously, she talks about Hamilton (the city in Ontario not the other Hamilton), the 401, schools I’m familiar with, and that’s just to name a few.
Aside from being unapologetically Ontarian in her writing, her books are also REALLY GOOD. I devoured Exit, Pursued by a Bear and A Thousand Nights and loved the bit of The Story of Owen I got through before the library started fining me for having it too long.
The Story of Owen: Dragon Slayer of Trondheim & Prairie Fire
A dragon slayer also trying to survive high school. I don’t know which of those two tasks is scarier. This is one of Kate’s books that is so obviously Canadian. Within the first few pages I’d seen so many references to places I’m familiar with that it felt like watching the news on CP24. Owen was one of this year’s White Pine award nominees. I went to the ceremony and let me tell you, in a time when adults complain that kids spend too much time with technology, it was incredible to see just how many students had not only read this book but were wildly passionate about it! They were giving Kate so much flack (in a joking way, naturally) for how she ended Owen and made them immediately start Prairie Fire. I had to remain vigilant to avoid spoilers because they were all so excited to talk to her about it.
A Thousand Nights
The writing in this is so different from her other books but also so beautiful. A king killing his wives and the one wife that won’t fade easily? Yes, please! I’m all about tough female characters and this one definitely fits the bill. It’s also a magical story and all the editions are very very pretty to match the actual inside of the book. But I’m sure that wasn’t obvious from the fact that I own 4 (now 5) copies of it. Choose wisely or just buy them all. Both options are solid.
December 6th 2016
* Companion to A Thousand Nights
Exit, Pursued by a Bear
This book is easily one of my 2016 (if not all-time) favourites. One may be tempted to think this is just about cheerleading by looking at the cover but it is SO MUCH MORE. Kate tackles the hard topic of sexual assault in Exit and does it in what I think is an incredible way. It is not all doom, gloom, and catastrophe but that is precisely what makes it great. The line used a lot during the promo leading up to it’s release says it all, “Hermione Winters won’t be anyone’s cautionary tale.”
Author: E.K. Johnston
Publisher: Disney Lucasfilm Press
Publication Date: October 11, 2016
Fans have long wondered what happened to Ahsoka after she left the Jedi Order near the end of the Clone Wars, and before she re-appeared as the mysterious Rebel operative Fulcrum in Rebels. Finally, her story will begin to be told. Following her experiences with the Jedi and the devastation of Order 66, Ahsoka is unsure she can be part of a larger whole ever again. But her desire to fight the evils of the Empire and protect those who need it will lead her right to Bail Organa, and the Rebel Alliance….
E.K. Johnston had several jobs and one vocation before she became a published writer. If she’s learned anything, it’s that things turn out weird sometimes, and there’s not a lot you can do about it. Well, that and how to muscle through awkward fanfic because it’s about a pairing she likes.
You can follow Kate on Twitter (@ek_johnston) to learn more about Alderaanian political theory than you really need to know, or on Tumblr (ekjohnston) if you're just here for pretty pictures.
E.K. Johnston is represented by Adams Literary.
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