Historic House Names of Nova Scotia
by Joseph M.A. Ballard

What’s in a name? So much thought goes into the names of our children but what about a house? Ballard did extensive research for his edition of Images of our Past, a book filled with photos, names and their history which has been organized in a beautiful manner.
Whether or not you are a history buff, this book will be one you want to read as it’s probable you have driven past a dozen or so houses discussed in this collection. While the author admits to primarily including houses in our neighbouring Colchester County, several named homes profiled are from Pictou as well as Stellarton, Pictou County.
Can you find your way to Mount Rundell or Sherbrooke Cottage? They are close by and have intriguing histories you’ll be sure to embrace. This book can easily be used as a treasure map for the historian in your family as it takes you not only through the past but to unique places that have a lot to say.
As part of our culture, house names not only help us with directions, they help us understand the history of the home and can tell us a lot about its original owners. Ballard concludes that naming your house has less to do with being pretentious and more about your own character and reviving a custom before it is forgotten.

Making It Home
by Alison DeLory

As the cliché states: home is where the heart is but it is also about perspective. Halifax-based author Alison DeLory’s first novel has a beautiful way of teaching us all a bit more about the place we call home.
Starting with a heart breaking scene Maritimers have heard so much about, if they haven’t directly experienced it, of beached whales and the effort it takes to save even one. Being quickly introduced to Tinker we soon discover him to be a hard-working older man who comes by his name honestly, and onto his friends and family members of the close-knit, fictitious community of Falkirk Cove.
DeLory has a way to make each character relatable and in a situation we can all appreciate. As the small community deals with the heartache of their own people having to move out west for work they work together to invite refugees to their community.
This novel tells the story of what is considered to be the struggles of daily life in Nova Scotia alongside the devastating struggles in Syria. While Cape Bretoner’s leave family and friends to find employment out west, families like Sami and Amira work to find cover from constant bombs and flying shrapnel. When the decision is finally made by Doctor Sami to leave their Middle Eastern community, the walk proves taxing on their asthmatic daughter and young son.
While the stories were hard to stomach in parts, the transition from Cape Breton
to Syria and Turkey throughout the novel was easy and the transition of time was seamless.

Phantom of Fire
by Shane Peacock

Another great beach read for your middle-grader to young adult, and admittedly I loved it as an adult, too! Shane Peacock is the author of the Dylan Maples Adventure series and Phantom of Fire will be released officially in July.
While Peacock is living in Toronto, his descriptions of our neighbouring province of New Brunswick made me feel like he was overlooking a beautiful beach in the Maritimes. A simple dedication to the Humboldt Broncos started this book off on a sweet note.
Dylan, the main character, feels lost after losing a friend and hockey teammate in a car accident. Even though it’s the beginning of school, and a new one for him, his parents decide to travel to New Brunswick as a family to help the fifteen-year-old get back to his old self, or at least discover his new self. After losing one of the three friends he grew up with, quitting hockey and not feeling like he was fitting into a new school, the last thing Dylan wanted was to spend some time in the uneventful province of New Brunswick with friends of his parents.
Soon after the arrival following the long drive from Toronto, Dylan sneaks out to the nearby beach where the real adventure and healing begin. An interesting look at The Bathurst Ghost Ship, it was evident Peacock did his research as he captured the mystery within the story tremendously well.

The Big Dig
by Lisa Harrington

Lucy hasn’t had an easy life in Lisa Harrington’s young adult novel The Big Dig. With the loss of her mother, life just doesn’t feel right and then her father tells her she’ll be spending the summer with her Great Aunt in Cape John! What teenager wants to spend their summer in Cape John, Lucy thinks.
The complications do not end there as she barely knows her great aunt who is deaf, her aunt who has been fighting with her mother as long as Lucy has been alive and there just isn’t anything to do in the small community hours away from her best friend and city life.
A few days into her stay, Lucy meets Colin. A boy a few years older than her who is sweaty, gross and persistent on digging a hole. Being asked to bring him a cup of juice by her Great Aunt Josie seems like an impossible task but it does lead to a bond no one expected, even the reader.
Harrington touches on a lot of emotionally difficult topics but in a way that intrigues the reader while highlighting all that is magical about the small community and beauty of Cape John. This story proves you don’t need to live in a big city to find something to do, even if you are almost a teenager.
Living in Bedford, Nova Scotia, it’s clear that this Nimbus author has a love for our county. A perfect summer read you can take to the beach. Look for it at your favourite book store after it’s launched on May 31, 2019!