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Vikki VanSickle
Words That Start with B



Book Cover

Clarissa Delaney had a plan — this was going to be her year. But so far, grade seven sucks.

First of all, her favourite teacher has gone on sabbatical, leaving her with Mr. Campbell, whose lame sense of humour is completely annoying. Everyone in class drives her crazy, except for her best friend, Benji, but even he is troubled these days. His gentle demeanour has made him the target of threats and some serious bullying. Mr. Campbell hasn't even noticed, which only feeds Clarissa's resentment.

But the worst news comes at home. Her loving mom, who runs a hair salon out of their home, has always had a gift for lifting everyone's spirits when they're down. But an upsetting diagnosis takes her away temporarily, just when Clarissa needs her the most.

Readers will laugh through their tears, as Clarissa finds her bravest self to get her through this year of surprises.


Praise for Vikki VanSickle's Words That Start with B:

Shortlisted, CBA Libris Awards' Children's Book of the Year (2011)
Selection, CCBC Best Books for Kids and Teens (2011)
Recommended, IODE Violet Downey Book Award (2011)

"A well-crafted and enjoyable first effort from a writer who is obviously tuned into the minds and emotions of young teens." —Quill & Quire

"Clarissa and Benji offer a fresh, honest look at life as an outsider, when you don't quite belong and don't quite know who you are. They're funny and relatable and exactly the kind of characters kids should be reading in today's It Gets Better age." —CBC Books

"A fresh and honest look at a girl's school year in that wonderful, horrible, confusing time known as Grade Seven." —Canadian Bookseller Magazine

"Words That Start with B is the story of how a feisty girl battles a year of surprises, if not with grace, then with a lot of humour." —Open Book Toronto


Length: 208 pp
Setting: Small town Canada
Genre: Middle grade fiction
Period: Contemporary
Publication Date: September 1, 2010

Canadian (English, French) rights, Scholastic Canada
US (French) rights, Scholastic Canada

For all other rights contact The Cooke Agency.
Vikki VanSickle

Vikki VanSickle has a BA (Hons) in Drama from Queen's University and an MA in Children's Literature from the University of British Columbia. She is an active member of the children's literature community, presenting at academic conferences, reviewing books, and managing her popular children's lit blog, pipedreaming. A former CBA award-winning bookseller, she currently splits her time between working as the Marketing and Publicity Manager for Young Readers at Penguin Canada and writing.