Clarissa & Benji Books
“In the tradition of greats like Judy Blume and Beverly Cleary, VanSickle totally gets the Middle School/Junior high vibe of friends, relationships and the confusions surrounding love. ” Indigo Kids Blog
Teddy Bear of the Year
Ollie is a regular bear with a regular job. He listens to his girl’s stories about her days, he snuggles her to sleep and he is there waiting when she gets home from school. Just your typical teddy bear stuff. So when he is whisked away to the annual teddy bears’ picnic, he feels insignificant compared to the other bears who do daring and daunting things: sleepovers, hospital stays–even a night in the lost and found! But he soon learns that it’s not just the big things that matter, it’s the little things too.
The teddy bears’ picnic gets a modern twist in this warm and fuzzy picture book about a young teddy bear who learns that small acts of kindness can make a big difference.
Marivic Stone lives with her beloved grandfather in a small town that just happens to be famous for a medical discovery that saved humankind — though not without significant repercussions. Marivic loves her best friend, Saren, and the two of them promise to stick together, through thick and thin, and especially through the uncertain winnowing procedure, a now inevitable — but dangerous — part of adolescence.
But when tragedy separates the two friends, Marivic is thrust into a world of conspiracy, rebellion and revolution. For the first time in her life, Marivic is forced to think and act big. If she is going to right a decade of wrongs, she will need to trust her own frightening new abilities, even when it means turning her back on everything, and everyone, she’s known and loved.
*2018 Red Maple Award WINNER!
*2019 Manitoba Young Readers Choice Award Northern Lights HONOUR BOOK!
*2018 Snow Willow Award finalist
*2018 Toronto Public Library TPL Teens: The List selection
*2018 Hamilton Public Library Teen Top Novel selection
If I Had a Gryphon
Sam knows all about magical creatures and is less than impressed with her sedate hamster, who is content to eat, sleep, and drool. But as Sam rhymes off her favourite fantastical beasts, she realizes how challenging magical pet care can be. Walking a dog is one thing, but what about flying a Gryphon in a thunderstorm? When a kitten sneezes it’s cute, but when a dragon sneezes? It’s a fire hazard. This pet story with a twist is the perfect primer on magical creatures for kids not quite old enough for Harry Potter.
*2017 Rainforest of Reading Finalist
What People Are Saying About IF I HAD A GRYPHON:
“Vikki VanSickle’s first picture book is an outstanding success. The humorous storyline, the strong rhyming scheme, and the bold illustrations by Cale Atkinson make If I Had a Gryphon a marvellous addition to the picture book genre. Sure to be a favourite among fantasy fans and those contemplating what their perfect pet might be—mythical or otherwise! ” CM Magazine
“VanSickle delivers lean, bouncy verse and an impressive array of offbeat creatures, while Atkinson’s illustrations are bold and hint at dynamic motion. . .brisk and bright. “ Kirkus Reviews
“VanSickle’s rhymes are unflaggingly exuberant as the girl puts up with noisy harpies, biting chupacabras, and mischievous fairies, and Atkinson fills the pages with visual comedy. ” Publisher’s Weekly Review
“A delightful book.” Globe and Mail
Summer Days, Starry Nights
Fourteen year old Reenie Starr loves her family’s summer resort, Sandy Shores, more than anything else on earth. The resort falls on hard times the summer of 1962, so the Starrs decide to hire a young dancer from the city to come up and run an entertainment program. When 17 year old Gwendolyn Cates arrives, Reenie is starstruck by her glamorous looks and exciting lifestyle. But Gwendolyn is not exactly who she seems to be, and her arrival sets off a series of events that will change Reenie’s life forever.
What People are Saying About SUMMER DAYS, STARRY NIGHTS:
” Vikki VanSickle beautifully captures the novel’s time and place. Reenie’s affection shines through the lush descriptions of the resort and its surroundings. It’s hard not to fall in love with Reenie’s favourite place. And it’s just as hard not to fall in love with Reenie.” Quill & Quire
“Not only tackling some serious issues, but also with a little bit of Dirty Dancing-type nostalgia and the potential of a promising first love, Summer Days, Starry Nights is summer reading at its best. Verdict: Excellent.” Fabbity Fab Book Reviews.
“Vikki VanSickle pens a story that is like a classic rock-and-roll song: there is a familiarity to its melody, of a family working together, with harmonies and some dissonance…but together it is a pleasing sound that resonates with all. Summer Days, Starry Nights is sure to be a summer hit.” CanLit for Little Canadians
“…Great escapist reading, perfectly capturing the mood of summer vacation and the ups and downs a budding teenage girl experiences as she yearns to fit in…a lively, well-written story for ages 10 to 14. ” Montreal Gazette
” VanSickle taps into ’60s culture lightly and effectively, celebrating the bodily freedom of dance while she tracks Reenie’s developing self-knowledge and comfort with her small town, family resort setting.” Toronto Star
* Red Maple 2015 Finalist
* Book Books for Kids and Teens 2013, STARRED selection
Words That Start With B
Brilliant. Best-ever. That’s how grade seven was supposed to be, but so far things aren’t turning out as well as Clarissa Louise Delaney had planned. It’s hard enough being the unexceptional daughter of a bona-fide beauty queen, but lately her best friend Benji can’t seem to stick up for himself, Michael Greenblat keeps giving her strange gifts, and Mattie Cohen, world class good-two-shoes,seems to think they are friends. Things can’t possibly get any worse, or can they? In this year of surprises, you’ll laugh as Clarissa tackles boys, bullies, and the one b word she can’t bring herself to say.
What People Are Saying about WORDS THAT START WITH B… “Clarissa’s courage in standing up for what is right, even when it is not popular (even when it is dangerous), make her an admirable intermediate hero in a book that should elicit rich avenues for discussion in class.” Professionally Speaking: The Magazine of the Ontario College of Teachers
“Vikki VanSickle’s debut Middle Grade novel is a feel-good story. It might surprise you to learn then, that two of the most central “B Words” in the novel are Breast Cancer and bullying. But VanSickle manages these heavy issues with a delicate hand, making her novel into a heart-warming and incredibly true-to-life story of one girl’s unexpected grade seven year. You’ll be charmed.” Shelf Elf
“With a good dose of humour and some realistic vulnerability, Clarissa is a likeable and believable protagonist. Even better, the book is a well-crafted and enjoyable first effort from a writer who is obviously tuned in to the minds and emotions of young teens.” Quill and Quire
* Shortlisted for the 2011 CBA Libris Awards’ Children’s Book of the Year
* A Best Books for Kids and Teens selection, 2011
Available in FRENCH, as c comme catastrophe:
Click here to order.
Love is a Four-Letter Word Love: little word, big consequences. Clarissa has never given much thought to the word herself; she has other things to worry about, like her mother’s illness and how to get through grade eight now that her best friend Benji has been adopted by a bunch of musical theatre nerds. When Mattie becomes distracted by a crush and her mother starts spending too much time with her handsome personal trainer, Clarissa wonders when she stopped being enough for all the people in her life. Enter Michael, who seems to be interested in more than just friendship. But is that what Clarissa wants? In this laugh-out-loud follow-up to Words That Start With B, Clarissa discovers that while the word may be simple, love rarely is. September, 2011.
What People are Saying About LOVE IS A FOUR-LETTER WORD…
“Highly recommended reading. Funny, heart-warming and contemporary. Loved it. If you enjoyed Shug by Jenny Han, or enjoyed the Anastasia Krupnik series by Lois Lowry, or have enjoyed the work of Susin Nielsen, I think you will love this.” Fabbity Fab Book Reviews
“VanSickle’s writing gives her young characters, especially Clarissa, the clear and honest voices of youth, hopeful but laden with anxiety.” CanLit for Little Canadians
“After finishing both of Vikki Vansickle’s Clarissa Delaney books I’m truly enchanted by the small town vibe she’s created, the characters and am sorry to leave them behind.” Wild About Words
*An Indigo Kids Blog Best Book of 2011
* A Best Books for Kids and Teens selection ,2012
Days That End in Y
One summer. That’s all the time it takes to set your world spinning, or so Clarissa learns. Feeling abandoned by Mattie (camp), Benji (drama school), and even Michael (baseball), Clarissa feels even more alone when her mother accepts Doug’s proposal of marriage. This announcement gets Clarissa thinking about her father, and her search for answers leads to her stumbling upon information about the secret teenage life of her mother, and more importantly, about Bill, her absentee father.
Things get complicated when she spots a man who looks a lot like Bill. Will Clarissa be able to move beyond the past and take part in Annie’s vision of the future? Happily ever after has never seemed so impossible.
What People are Saying About DAYS THAT END IN Y…
“Without taking easy turns, or accepting simple, happily-ever-after solutions, Clarissa muddles, fights, and breaks her way through some life-altering times in her life; growing up a little bit in the process and becoming a lot wiser. The last few pages of Days That End in Y are especially so touching and all-around fantastic, highlighting just how awesome of a young woman Clarissa has become. I adore Clarissa’s story and VanSickle’s writing.”Fabbity Fab Book Reviews
“Vikki VanSickle has been called the new Judy Blume, and I think it’s well-deserved. Her characters are memorable … her pacing skilled, and her prose beautiful. I had trouble deciding whether to devour this novel or savour it as the last I’ll see of Clarissa Delaney.” Rachelle Delaney
“Vikki VanSickle’s Clarissa and Benji are the perfect escorts for middle-grade readers to navigate those transition years… In Days That End in Y, as in the first two books, Clarissa and Benji make mistakes with each other and with others, including their families…There is angst, questioning, confusion, misunderstanding, arrogance and the optimism of youth… a series that will be greatly missed but one of which we can be proud as readers of wonderful young CanLit.” CanLit for Little Canadians
“Clarissa is delightfully raw, honest, strong, imperfect and just so very real…The relationship between Clarissa and her mom is marvelous…[I] enjoyed the fact that nothing was tied up sweetly or unrealistically.” Misbehavin’ Librarian
“The plotline in Days That End in Y keeps the reader turning pages, is realistic, and has no easy answers or fixes. The characters are all believable, well-rounded and engaging… Days That End in Y is a great choice for middle school and public libraries.” CM Magazine
* A Best Books for Kids and Teens selection, 2013
* Resource Links Magazine Best of 2013, Fiction Grades 7-12
See the winner in the DAYS THAT END IN Y book trailer contest here!
Amy Abbot is Having a Party
In this digital YA short, I go back to my own high school years to discuss what it means to be Gold in a sea of Orange and Blue. After a stinging encounter with a film agent left me determined to step out of my good girl persona and gather some Authentic Teen Life Experience, I decided to say yes to something that scared me the most: a bush party. Twenty percent of the proceeds will go to Girls’ Rock Camp Toronto.