The Undercover Book List

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Canadian Customers


American Customers


Buy This Book

The Undercover Book List

By Colleen Nelson
Juvenile Fiction for Ages 8–12
ISBN: 978-1-77278-187-8
List Price: $21.95 CAD / $17.95 USD
Hardcover with dust jacket
Trim size: 5.5 x 8 inches / 13.97 x 20.32 cm
Pages: 224

Publication Date: September 14, 2021

Distributed in the US by Ingram Publisher Services

Rights Available: World ex. North America

He’s known as the class troublemaker. She’s known as the bookworm. But when every note they send is anonymous, identity is suddenly what they make it.

Between her father’s posting overseas and her best friend Sienna’s move to the other side of the country, seventh grade is looking lonely for Jane MacDonald. But Sienna has left her with one last trick: a hidden message in a library book—the perfect plot to start a secret club and find Jane a new book-loving friend.

Tyson Flamand has problems of his own. Since the fourth grade he’s had a reputation as a bad kid, and there’s no point fighting it when teachers always think the worst. So when he finds an anonymous note in the library looking for a nerdy new friend, he knows he’s the last person in the world it could be meant for. But something makes him answer it anyway, and Tyson finds himself pulled into a secret book club where being hidden may be the first step to being truly seen.

With the insight of a veteran middle-school teacher, Colleen Nelson, author of the award-winning Harvey Comes Home and Sadia, weaves together two stories of identity, expectation, and the courage to challenge both. As their paths move ever closer, Jane and Tyson both discover their own self-reliance and their ability to overcome obstacles that seemed insurmountable.


“Told in alternating chapters from the perspectives of seventh graders Jane and Tyson, this story unfolds with clever aplomb…[and] a robustly diverse supporting cast…A well-plotted, well-written story that will engage readers and encourage nonreaders.”—Kirkus Reviews

“For the reluctant reader who doesn’t know they’re a reader yet and for those who will consume this story with gusto… The Undercover Book List brings reading out from under its nerd status into a mainstream social avocation it can be.”—CanLit for Little Canadians

“Both Jane and Tyson have challenges at home that ring true to middle-grade experiences and add depth to the character’s stories… I would recommend this story for Gr. 4-7.”—@kathiemacisaac