As a primary school teacher living on a ranch in Bridge Lake, B.C., Becky Citra followed her children's novel, My Homework is In the Mail! (Orca Book, 1999), with a young adult novel, The Runaway (Orca $7.95), Dog Days (Orca, 2003) and Strawberry Moon (Orca, 2005). Strawberry Moon is part of her Max and Ellie series set in Upper Canada in the early 1800s. Her novel Never to be Told (Orca 2006) concerns a young girl name Asia who lives with elderly Ira and his wife Maddy on a remote farm at Cold Creek in northern B.C. in 1915. When Ira has a heart attack and his interfering son Harry arrives, Asia begins to see a ghost at a neighboring farm. Eventually sent to live with her grandmother in West Vancouver, Asia untangles the mystery of her mother's disappearance.

In Jeremy and the Enchanted Theater (Orca, 2004), illustrated by Jessica Milne, the protagonist travels to Mount Olympus with an orange cat named Aristotle to save Mr. Magnus' theatre, but Zeus agrees to help only if three riddles can be solved. In the follow-up, Jeremy in the Underworld (Orca 2006), illlustrated by Milne, Jeremy must travel to the underworld in order to solve one of the riddles.

Missing (Orca, 2011) is the story of Thea, a girl who hopes her father's wandering days are over when he lands a steady job renovating a Cariboo ranch. A budding friendship with a local boy named Van and the trust of an abused horse are the backdrop for a decades old mystery that she must solve to come to terms with the losses in her own life.

As a nine-year-old who bounces from foster home to foster home, Tory falls in love with a shaggy pony named Lucky during summer on a horse ranch. Disaster strikes in Becky Citra's twelfth title The Way Home (Second Story $8.95) when Lucky flees into the wilderness during a forest fire. Eventually Lucky finds refuge at Rainbow Ranch with a friendly couple raising a foster son Patrick, who doesn't speak. When Tory tracks him down, she understands why Patrick needs Lucky more than she does-but possibly Tory can find a new home at Rainbow Ranch, too.

Following the death of his mother, 12-year old Will Poppy moves to a run-down castle with an aunt he hates and suspicious servants in Griffin of Darkwood (Coteau Books 2016). Will has a serious case of writer's block after his mother passed away, and but adventure is right around the corner when he is given a mysterious package which includes an old picture of his grandparents and a piece of cloth with the words "The Griffin of Darkwood"; on it. The village is filled with rumours of a curse on the decrepit castle Will now calls home which has something to do with the disappearance of a young girl forty years ago. The servants are out to harm him and it's up to Will to unravel the mysteries of the Griffin of Darkwood and what it has to do with his family.


BOOKS:

My Homework is In the Mail! (Orca Book, 1999)
The Runaway (Orca)
Dog Days (Orca, 2003)
Jeremy and the Enchanted Theater (Orca, 2004). Illustrated by Jessica Milne.
Strawberry Moon (Orca, 2005)
Jeremy in the Underworld (Orca, 2006). Illustrated by Jessica Milne.
Never to be Told (Orca, 2006). $8.95) 1-55143-567-5
Whiteout (Orca, 2009)
Sam's Ride (Orca, 2009). Illustrated by Amy Meissner
After the Fire (Orca, 2010) 978-1-55469-345-0 $9.95
Missing (Orca, 2011)
The Way Home (Second Story 2013) $8.95 978-1-927583-01-2
Finding Grace (Second Story 2014) $9.95 978-1-927583-25-8
Duke's Den (Orca Books 2015) $9.95 9781459809017
Griffin of Darkwood (Coteau Books 2016) $10.95, ISBN 9781550506914


[BCBW 2015] "Kidlit"