Awards & Accolades
Two Times a Traitor
Summer of Fire
Run Like Jäger
- 2022 Crime Writers of Canada Best Juvenile or YA Crime Book Finalist
- 2021 Junior Library Guild Gold Standard Selection
- CBC identified Blood Donor as a YA book to watch for in fall 2021. Read about it here.
- “A fast-paced read with strong appeal for reluctant readers who are true-crime fans.” Kirkus Reviews. Full review here.
- “Excels in all aspects…An excellent choice for striving readers, especially those interested in thrillers or mysteries.”
CM: Canadian Review of Materials. Full review here.
- “Utterly un-putdownable. The dyslexia-friendly print and tight writing will draw in reluctant readers, but everyone will enjoy this thriller.” Marsha Skrypuch, author of Making Bombs for Hitler & Traitors Among Us
Two Times a Traitor
- 2017 Junior Library Guild selection
- "The plot of Two Times a Traitor is carefully woven and tension-filled. ... Young readers will identify with likeable Laz and will enjoy the drama and fast pace..." CM Magazine. Full review here.
- "This novel has enough action to suit the most demanding reader. ... Highly recommended..." Winnipeg Free Press
- "The past is accurately and engagingly depicted, and Laz’s reactions to the harsh conditions, especially bad food and filth, are totally believable. ...time travel is a thrilling concept, and the tale overflows with compelling action..." Kirkus Reviews
- 2017 Sunburst Award for YA nominee
- 2017 nominee for three readers' choice awards: Red Maple Award (Ontario), Snow Willow Award (Saskatchewan), and Rocky Mountain Book Award (Alberta)
- 2017 OLA Best Bets Honourable Mention
- 2016 White Ravens selection
- 2016 Junior Library Guild selection
- “Karen Bass anchors the fantasy element with such gritty, sore and smelly reality and such nail-biting terror that the reader has no choice but to be hooked.” Marsha Skrypuch, award-winning children’s author of Making Bombs for Hitler & many others. Full review here.
- “Alberta-based Geoffrey Bilson Award-winning author Karen Bass draws on the Cree legend of the Wîhtiko for her latest YA novel, which blends adventure, horror, and some good old-fashioned coming-of-age wisdom….The dynamic between the boys is the best part of the narrative, and will open many readers’ eyes to the issues of race, class, and privilege.” Quill & Quire
- “A plane crash launches a gripping story of survival and mystery in The Hill by Karen Bass. The award-winning author successfully weaves Cree mythology into the fast-paced adventure of two teens from vastly different worlds. Together, they learn that outwitting a creature from the spirit world is only possible with mutual respect.” Larry Loyie, Award-Winning Cree Author of As Long as the Rivers Flow and Residential Schools: With the Words and Images of Survivors
- 2016 Geoffrey Bilson Award for Historical Fiction for Young People winner
- Short-listed for the 2016 IODE Violet Downey Award
- 2016 OLA Forest of Reading Red Maple nominee
- “…readers will likely find the two main characters’ journeys to safety and justice in a cruel world compelling.” Publishers Weekly
- “Bass does a fantastic job building and releasing tension throughout the novel… [The characters’] feelings of helplessness and struggles with conflicted loyalties should be easy for any young reader to identify with.” Quill & Quire
- “This novel shows solid research into the conditions of the 38,000 German POW’s in Canada, and life in rural Alberta in the 1940s… the visceral details and important themes make the journey compelling.” Resource Links
- “Bass writes with a visceral power… Wrestling with complex issues of friendship, loyalty, politics and violence, Uncertain Soldier would be an excellent choice for a teen boys’ book club” Canadian Children’s Book News
- “Uncertain Soldier is an excellent novel, fascinating for its detail about Canadian rural life in the 1940s, rich in male characters with whom boys can identify, and important in theme—that one should not be too quick to judge others. Highly Recommended.” CM Magazine
- “Karen Bass again, as she did in Graffiti Knight, examines an ill-fated part of our history (her author’s note is an especially enlightening and valuable read) and textures it with humanity that makes it a touching story of distressing times.” CanLit for LittleCanadians
- 2016 Pacific Northwest Library Association Young Reader’s Choice Award nominee
- 2015 CBC Books’ 100 YA Books That Make You Proud To Be Canadian
- 2015 USBBY Outstanding International Book
- 2015 Bank Street Best Book
- 2014/2015 B.C. Teen Readers’ Choice Stellar Award nominee
- 2014 Geoffrey Bilson Award for Historical Fiction for Young People winner
- 2014 CLA Young Adult Book Award winner
- 2014 R. Ross Annett Award for Children’s Literature winner
- 2014 CAA Exporting Alberta Award winner
- 2014 Spring Best Books for Kids & Teens Starred Selection
- 2013 OLA Best Bet
- 2013 Resource Links “The Year’s Best” selection
- Rachel Seigel calls Graffiti Knight “…a riveting page-turner.” Canadian Children’s Book News. Read article excerpt here.
- Graffiti Knight is ”… a gripping page-turner … Highly recommended.” Kirkus Reviews. Full review here.
- “Karen Bass’ depiction of life in post-war Eastern Germany is incredibly gripping and informative. As young adult war-related historical fiction goes, this book is second to none.” Amy Trepanier for CM Magazine. Full review here.
- “…a character-rich story…Bass has artfully recreated an historical time and place peopled by realistic, three-dimensional characters grappling with their own emotions and global forces they can only barely understand.” John Wilson for Quill & Quire. Full review here.
- 2012 Moonbeam Children's Book Awards, Bronze Medal winner, YA General Category
- “High school, family life, friendships and personal passions are all on display and bundled well into a good story.” CM Magazine. Full review here.
- “Writing for teens is an exercise in walking a tight-rope. Stories must reflect the current realities of their world, which is sometimes difficult for an adult writer to access directly, while offering commentary on that world that avoids didacticism. Karen Bass achieves both feats with ease in her novel Drummer Girl.” Deakin Review of Children's Literature
- “Sid is a compelling character who, despite her own flaws and blind spots, remains very likeable. Important lessons aside, Sid’s story, including a bit of light romance, will keep teens turning the pages.” Canadian Children's Book News
- “Bass has created a story that is fast paced and gritty. Sid is caught up in a journey of self-discovery and her path is not always smooth.” Resource Links
- “While drumming and music are the hooks to reel in readers, drummer-girl Sid and her friends are every high-schooler, and Bass clearly shows the pain of being harassed and bullied.” Booklist
- “Fast paced and insightful, a good choice for teen readers, especially those interested in music.” Kirkus Reviews
Summer of Fire
- “There are many incidents throughout the story that could spark interesting class discussions. I found this novel a compelling read.” Canadian Teacher Magazine
- “It’s a funny, entertaining, and quick read, and definitely worth checking out. Summer of Fire is a story that you’re easily drawn into and one that is hard to forget even after you put it down.” What If? Magazine
- “This novel will speak to teens, especially those who understand what Del is going through. Students interested in German history and first hand accounts of life during WWII will also enjoy reading about Garda and her struggles.” Resource Links
Run Like Jäger
- "Bass creates believably complex and sympathetic characters in Brandt and Jäger that, while in no way diminishing the horror of the Holocaust, makes it understandable how two naive young men could get caught up in Hitler’s lies and dreams." School Library Journal
- "This is an important addition to the historical fiction collection and is highly recommended." Resource Links
- "The story is extremely well-written and manages to bridge current-day problems with past historical occurrences. I would highly recommend reading this captivating book." What If? Magazine
- “…a thought-provoking book for middle teen readers, although many adults might enjoy it, too.” Prairie Fire
- “Bass presents this story with clarity and compassion, drawing the reader in through Kurt’s curiosity and pain to an understanding of the real meaning of courage and cowardice.” CM Magazine
- “Bass’s novel is thoughtful and solidly written. It offers an interesting alternative to the books about the Second World War and the Holocaust from the perspectives of the victors and the persecuted.” Quill & Quire
- “Bass creates a convincing sense of the Third Reich’s soaring national spirit and tells an absorbing war story to boot. She also weaves engaging banter and familiar coming-of-age themes around a cast of multifaceted characters in two different eras.” Booklist