Category Archives: Uncategorised

How to Make a Book Trailer

Book trailers are creative short videos that tell students something about the book without giving away the ending, and convince them to read the book!  The video should be 2-3 minutes long and can include images, narration, sound, text and a variety of effects.

Research Other Book Trailers

Share one or more of these links with students so they can research student-created book trailers:

Create Your Book Trailer Script and Storyboard

Print out a book trailer planning template and storyboard  This will help students decide on the number of slides, captions, type of images needed, etc.  Here are some samples:

Search for and Download Images

  1. Students can use Pixabay  or the Creative Commons‘ new search engine to find images that have a creative commons / copyright free designation.
  2. Images that match the tone of the book can be saved to a thumb drive.

Choose Copyright Free Music

  1. Students can find and listen to one or more copyright free music tracks on one of the following sites:
  2. One or more sound files that reflect the mood of the book can be downloaded to a thumb drive.

Create Your Book Trailer

Students can use one of the following video tools to create a book trailer.  Their names, year made, image and audio sources should be added to the end of the trailer.

Adobe Spark Video App

Download the app. Open it and follow along with the YouTube video Using Adobe Spark Video for a Book Trailer YouTube video

Additional resources:

iMovie App

Download the app. Open it and follow along with this iMovie iOS Guide

Additional resources:

Sight Unseen

Sight Unseen by David Carroll
David Carroll’s Sight Unseen is an uncomfortable read on many levels. Since his diagnosis with the rare Stargardt disease, Finn is obsessively counting down the seconds to total blindness. His poor vision has already forced him to give up the mountain biking that he loves, and he’s lost many friends because of the protective walls he’s built around himself. He does have two friends; a loyal friend nicknamed Cheese who he’s invited along for the summer, and Tab, a girl he’s just met and to whom refuses to acknowledge his disability.
At his family cabin for the summer, Finn takes dangerous risks, such as canoeing alone and a heart stopping ride down the mountain in an attempt to feel like himself again. Adding to the stress level of this read is Finn’s compulsive list-making of things to do before “lights out”, which he plasters around his bedroom with a portent of doom. But in the ultimate “would you rather?” question, Finn discovers a mysterious island, where his vision is perfect and time stops in the rest of the world. But to stay on the island Finn must give up friends and family. This is a difficult read, it’s hard to see Finn lashing out and fighting the finality of his diagnosis, and the anxiety which he carries around every minute of the day. It’s a skillful author who can paint such an intimate and truthful portrait of a grim diagnosis, and leave Finn with hope for the future at the end.
This is David Carroll’s second nomination for Red Cedar; he was also nominated in 2014 for Ultra.
Reviewed by Katherine Parker

The Summer We Saved the Bees

The Summer We Saved the Bees, by Robin Stevenson

summerWhat do you do when your activist mom is so worried about the state of the environment and the future of the world that she forgets to consider the needs of her own kids first? That’s the dilemma 12-year-old Wolf faces when his mom uproots his family from their home on Vancouver Island to travel by van across Canada performing skits to warn people that the bees are dying: When the honeybees are gone, humans will die out, too. Of course, Wolf fears for his future, but he doesn’t want to stop his whole life to try to do something about it, especially when his mom insists the whole family wear those stupid-looking bee costumes!

Beautifully written and loaded with interesting facts about bees, The Summer We Saved the Bees is an important book that is not just about need for environmental activism to make the world a better place, it is also about family, friendship, love and tolerance of others who might be different, and shows the reader that there is usually more than one way to look at things.

The Summer We Saved the Bees is classed as middle-grade fiction, but can be enjoyed by readers of all ages.

Reviewed by Lori Shwydky

Power Up! A Visual Exploration of Energy

Power Up! A Visual Exploration of Energy, by Shaker N. Paleja

Comprehensive and clear, Power Up! A Visual Exploration of Energy breaks down the different img_6740types of renewable and nonrenewable energies on each oversized page. Fantastic visuals — including colourful infographics, charts, diagrams, and maps — provide an understanding of what energy is, the various types, and how it works. The strong illustrations clarify and bring to life many complex concepts. Questions like What is fracking?, How does hydroelectricity work?, and Can the oceans’ tides produce energy for us? are broken down and explained. Significant issues such as oil spills, new energy sources, and global demand are also presented in a manner which appeals to the visual learner. An excellent resource for research, Power Up! is also a fascinating read on its own.

-Reviewed by Johanna Ahn

Red Cedar Award Gala 2016!!

Red Cedar Book Awards — 2016 Winners & 2017 Nominees

The Red Cedar Awards Gala 2016 was a resounding success! More than 200 people attended the Gala in Vancouver, which featured presentations by young readers & nominees, door prizes donated by Kidsbooks, and a book signing after-party with official bookseller Kidsbooks. We also announced the 2016 winners!

There were so many wonderful Canadian books nominated for the 2016 Red Cedar Book Award in the fiction category. It was a close race, between cows, cats, campers, ghosts, gardeners, hockey players, guitar players, siblings, friends, and (of course) zombies.

But the young reader voters have spoken and chosen their favourite… And the winner of the 2015/2016 Red Cedar Fiction Award Winner is ….

2016 fiction winner

We also had some fantastic nominations in the information book category for the Red Cedar Award. We learned about history, the environment, animals, quirks of the human body, viruses and germs. Oh, so many germs…

The young readers of British Columbia have cast their ballots, and chosen their favourite… And the winner of the 2015/2016 Red Cedar Information Book Award Winner is….

2016 info winner

We also announced the 2016/2017 Red Cedar Nominees! And the nominees are…

Fiction Book Nominees

The Blackthorn Key by Kevin Sands
Masterminds by Gordon Korman
The Case of the Missing Moonstone by Jordan Stratford and Kelly Murphy
Lost in the Backyard by Alison Hughes
Seven Dead Pirates by Linda Bailey
Sight Unseen by David Carroll
Speechless by Jennifer Mook-Sang
Eco Warrior by Philip Roy
Connecting Dots by Sharon Jennings
The Nest by Kenneth Oppel
Shot in the Dark by Janet M. Whyte
The Summer We Saved the Bees by Robin Stevenson

Information Book Nominees

Animal Hospital: Rescuing urban wildlife By Julia Coey
The Art of the Possible: An everyday guide to politics  by Edward Keenan, illustrations by Julie McLaughlin
Baseballogy: Supercool facts you never knew.  By Kevin Sylvester
Colossal Canada: 100 epic facts and feats By Elizabeth Macleod and Frieda Wishinsky
DNA Detective  By Tanya Lloyd Kyi, illustrations by Lil Crump
Elephant Journey: The true story of three zoo elephants and their rescue from captivity By Rob Laidlaw, art by Brian Deines
Friend or Foe: The whole truth about animals that people love to hate By Etta Kaner, illustrations by David Anderson
Give Me Wings: How a choir of former slaves took on the world By Kathy Lowinger
Power up!: A visual exploration of energy  By Shaker Paleja, art by Glenda Tse
Trash Talk: Moving toward a zero-waste world Written by Michelle Mulder
What’s the Buzz?: Keeping bees in flight By Merrie-Ellen Wilcox

A huge thank you to all of our amazing group leaders, passionate young readers, generous sponsors, talented authors, brilliant publishers and hard-working volunteers for another fantastic Red Cedar Award season!

Red Cedar Gala 2015

With the 2016 Red Cedar Gala just around the corner, we’re taking a look back at some of the highlights from the 2015 Red Cedar Gala! From fantastic guest speakers to yummy treats, last year’s gala had something for everybody. We can’t wait for this year’s gala!


Author Nikki Tate signs autographs for young fans!


The winners are announced!


Getting a book signed by author W. C. Mack!


Nothing like a yummy cupcake to keep everyone’s energy high!

Stay tuned to the Red Cedar blog for highlights from this year’s Gala!

Message from Deborah Ellis

We’ve got a great message from Deborah Ellis, author of Red Cedar Award nominee The Cat at the Wall.
Hi everyone!  I am sorry that my schedule does not permit me to be with you at the Gala – I have been to the Red Cedar celebration before, and it is the best party in the country.
Thank you to all the readers and teachers and librarians who put work and time into this program. You are all reading heros.
The Cat At The Wall takes place in an amazing part of the world – Israel and Palestine. I hope all of you will one day be able to visit there and meet the kind, good people who live there.
The cat in the book is a creature who is perplexed by what is going on around her, much like all of us from time to time.  We are all dropped into the world and we have to try to make sense of it and figure out what role we can play in it as we journey through life.
As you journey through your own life, remember the power you have in your choices.  Our choices define us, tell the world who we are, and our choices shape the future.  Be sure that your choices are shaping the future in the way that you would like it to go.
Thanks again, you brave, enthusiastic readers.  And Happy Red Cedar!


Meet the Red Cedar Review Team

For the past two years or so, Red Cedar’s dynamic volunteer duo, library technician Deepika Thaman, and librarian Sylvia Nurse, both based in the Lower Mainland, have enjoyed helping to review and publish reviews of Canadian nominated books from children across British Columbia. Students can read and review books in either the fiction or non-fiction category (or both if they’re really avid readers!) Deepika and Sylvia are delighted and amazed by the high volume of reviews received. To date, the results are absolutely fantastic as 200+ Red Cedar Award book reviews have been submitted so far. This definitely proves that in this high-tech digital age, children still love reading print books.

Have you checked out the reviews on our Red Cedar blog? The blog is a great activity to get students between grades 4 and 7 across the province excited about Canadian authors and books. A really neat touch to our website this year has been the posting of great interviews with authors like Charis Cotter and David Smith. A big thanks to all the teachers and teacher-librarians who shared their student’s thoughtful interviews with us.

Voting takes place in April, and once group leaders collect their group members’ votes they will be submitted through our website the week of April 18-22.

Stay tuned — the award winners will be announced at our Gala in early May! Is your reading group planning on coming to the Gala? Please RSVP at with the number of people that are planning to attend. More information about the Gala can be found on our website.

Interested in volunteering with Red Cedar? Check out our website for more information and to apply! We’re always happy to welcome enthusiastic volunteers,