A look into the 2022 White Pine Book Club

This year’s White Pine Book Club has just begun and it looks to be a great year. We interviewed Mrs. Kerr and Mr. Beatty to find out more. 

What is The White Pine Book Club?

The White Pine Book Club consists of books that have been nominated for the White Pine Award. If you read a certain number of books, you’re able to vote for your favourite nominee to win the award. 

How Do I Participate?

You can participate by reading the books that have been nominated. You can check them out at the Richardson library and digitally on SORA. You can also join the Google Classroom, with the code being fv6f4cs, for more updates on the club. 

Book Synopses

Gutter Child:

The death of Elimina’s mainland mother results in her being sent off to an academy with a debt to pay. She becomes more exposed to the gutter system and meets other gutter children trying to survive in their own ways. Through an unexpected turn of events, we can see a shift in priorities as she sees that maybe a paid debt isn’t the only thing she wants.

The Forest of Stolen Girls:

After Hwani and her younger sister’s encounter with the forest, her family has never been the same. Years later, Hwani’s father discovers that 13 girls have recently disappeared from the same forest connected to his daughter’s incident. When he begins to investigate further, he ends up vanishing as well. Determined to find her father, Hwani returns to the case and uncovers secrets that cause her to take an unwanted look in her own past.

Blood like magic:

When Voya Thomas fails her calling, she is given an unexpected second chance from her ancestors. When she discovers that her task is to kill her first love, she is mortified but is willing to do anything to protect her family’s bloodline. She becomes caught between protecting her family and protecting her love. As she tries to find something else to please her ancestors, she realizes that in witchcraft, blood is everything.

The Montague Twins:

The Montague Twins is the first graphic novel in a promised series. It stars twins Alistar and Pete, working as detectives for their small town. However, when they discover witches lurking about and three girls go missing, the Montague twins get more than what they ever could’ve bargained for. 

Fight Like a Girl:

Trisha is a Trinidadian teenager that practices Muay Thai Kickboxing. She also lives in a dysfunctional family with an abusive father. The night her father drunkenly wanders out at night, Trisha accidentally runs over him when practising for her learner’s permit, with her mother in the passenger seat. However, her mother is at peace with her husband’s death, until she finds a new man, and Trisha notices that the cycle is repeating.

The Wild:

After making a couple of bad decisions, Dawn’s parents send her to “Out of the Wild,” a remote Boot Camp that supposedly educates children on responsibility and respect. One day in the woods though, Dawn and some of the other kids at the camp discover a shocking revelation, and they learn that things may not be what they seem.

Don’t Breathe a Word:

Eva has always been distant and felt like she had never belonged. But when she is invited to go to a fancy boarding school called Hardwick Preparatory Academy, she never knew what was coming. When she joins the Five, an elite secret society, her life becomes unravelled. Connie, the diligent student she is, volunteers to be one of the students to participate in testing Hardwick’s nuclear fallout shelter. She won’t pass up the chance to spend 4 days locked with her school crush. However, when situations change, Connie and the other students find out there is far more to this test than she assumed. Connie realizes that one false move can have deadly implications, as they are made to follow an escalating succession of demands. Despite the fact that their tales are 60 years apart. Eva and Connie’s lives become inexorably linked as Eva uncovers how six students walked into the fallout shelter all those years ago, but only 5 come out.

Nothing but life:

When Dill’s step-dad commits a horrible crime, he finds himself struggling to come to terms. He and his mom then move to Hamilton in hopes of starting fresh and leaving the tragedy at Windsor behind. Through a fight at his new school, word comes out that he was present at the time of the Windsor High shooting. Dill is faced with an inner dilemma as he cares for his stepfather and doesn’t want to out him despite all his wrongdoings. 

What Unbreakable Looks Like:

Lex was kidnapped and trafficked, now she is known as Poppy. Her prior life is a distant memory as she is kept at a motel with six other girls. When the girls are freed she is unsure how to reclaim her identity as Lex. She understands what it is like to be completely protected once she moves in with her aunt and uncle. Except she doesn’t have faith in it. She is wary of her new surroundings. She is suspicious about her new acquaintance. She has doubts about her new existence. Instead, she puts her faith in things she shouldn’t because it seems right. Lex believes she doesn’t deserve her new profound life. But when she is sexually assaulted by her boyfriend and his friends, Lex starts questioning her life and does nothing about it, because that’s all she’s ever done. Lex is pushed into a new atmosphere and realizes that she has the ability to help others. But first, with the help of her family, friends, and new love, she must battle the horrors of her past.


A bruise, according to Daya Wijesinghe, is a blend of comfort and control. Since her parents died in an accident she survived, bruises have become a method for her to hide her anguish. So when Daya finds herself at a roller derby match by happenstance, she’s hooked. Yes, the rules are perplexing, and the activity appears to necessitate the type of collaboration and interpersonal engagement that Daya dislikes. But the possibilities to bruise abound, and Daya recognizes that she’ll need all the chances she can get if she wants to keep her inner suffering at bay. The more Daya immerses herself in the world of roller derby, the more she enjoys it. Daya’s rough-and-tumble teammates and fans push her to new heights, forcing her to confront major truths about love, grief, strength, and healing.


The following is an interview conducted with Mr. Beatty and Ms. Kerr regarding White Pine.

A: What book out of this year’s lineup is your favourite, or the one you are looking most forward to reading?

Mr. Beatty: I’ve heard good things about both The Forest of Stolen Girls and Gutter Child. I enjoyed reading Nothing But Life though.

J: What do you hope to achieve with this club?

Ms Kerr: We want to give students a safe space to encourage reading and meet new people. What’s also great is that the discussions we do at White Pine are more student-driven, so it’s not like an English class where book discussions are primarily driven by the teacher. It also teaches students to have a critical eye when reading books. 

J: What does the club normally look like?

Ms Kerr: Well, we would meet once a week in the library. We’d eat our lunches and the snacks provided by the club while sitting, talking, asking questions, and discussing books through a student-led discussion. 

J: Can you elaborate on the reward for reading 5 books?

Ms Kerr: If you have read at least five books by April, you can vote for your favourite one. In May, we go as a group to Harbour Front Centre which is in Toronto, and there are a lot of cool things such as workshops and book signings. 

Mr Beatty: This is also a wonderful event for authors since they spend thousands of hours by themselves writing. So seeing people cheer for them is special.

J: What types of books can someone expect to see in this club?

Ms Kerr: The beauty of White Pine is that there is a little bit of everything, and you have the opportunity to read books from genres you might’ve thought you didn’t like. For instance, maybe you don’t read fantasy but you give it a try because it is a White Pine selection. Suddenly you come out of the club with your new favourite book being a fantasy one. There is a wide range of genres though, like coming of age, romance, fantasy, mystery and much more.  


Richardson’s White Pine Book club has officially started! Stay tuned for amazing books across a variety of genres, student-led book discussions and meeting those with similar interests to you. Join the Google Classroom for more updates on how this year is going to look.