This Is the Way to Make Reading Fun

Mail Order Mystery has a mission: to make reading fun. We want to make reading fun for kids who love to read, and fun for kids who don’t know yet that they love to read. But we’re not the only ones with this mission.

Canada’s Forest of Reading Program is a massive, nation-wide recreational reading program started by the Ontario Library Association. It’s all about getting kids excited about reading, and we love it so much we just have to tell you about it.

Each year, multiple copies of the best new kids books are sent to school libraries across the country. Teachers and librarians encourage kids to read as many of these books as they can. They start book clubs, hold contests, get kids reading and get kids talking. Any kid who reads five or more books is eligible to vote for their favourite. And not only do these kids vote for their favourite; these kids’ votes decide the winner.

This year we went to the Silver Birch Awards for 8 to 12 year old readers. It was a spectacular all-day event. The kids were so into it.  Authors gave talks in packed auditoriums; when they asked if kids had any questions, hundreds of hands shot up. Kids waited for hours in line for author autographs. The awards ceremony sold out months in advance, and when the kid-presenters introduced the authors the kids in the crowd pretty much lost their minds with excitement.
We read as many of the books as we could and we had a great time making our own shortlist. If your kids are looking for something to read this summer, these were the three Silver Birch finalists, as decided by a quarter of a million Canadian children:

The winning book:

Chase, by Linwood Barclay: the action-packed tale of a cyber dog on the run.


Elephant Secret, by Eric Walters: the story of a girl, an elephant, and a multi-million dollar secret. (This is Eric Walter’s 100th book!)


Missing Mike, by Shari Green: A girl’s beloved dog goes missing when wildfires force her family from their home.


Our own family favourite:

Mine! by Natalie Hyde: A boy hopes to outrun his bad luck when he makes his way to the Yukon in search of his family’s long-lost gold claim.

And our other family favourite:

Ebb and Flow, by Heather Smith: A quiet, touching and hopeful book about a kid who had a very bad year. This book is best for kids on the older end of the age range.  


But wait, there’s more! You can see a full list of the 2019 nominees.

There are also categories for younger and older readers as well as non-fiction books. You can find out more about the books and programs.

And don’t forget to check out our Mail Order Mysteries. We ❤️ reading forever and always.

Happy reading!