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Awards & Honours

2004 Canadian Library Association
Young Adult Book of the Year

2005 Ontario Library Association
White Pine Award

2005 Red Cedar Teen Reader’s Choice Award

Selected for
2004 Canadian Children’s Book Centre
Our Books annual guide

Cheeseburger Subversive is a coming of age story written with humour and panache.
Scarsbrook has a special eye for the absurd, a wonderful way of looking at the world that turns tragedy into humor.
A very funny and heart-warming debut.

— W.P. Kinsella

Author of Dance Me Outside and
Shoeless Joe (basis for the movie, Field of Dreams),
in Books in Canada


Scarsbrook has nailed the Canadian teenage boy’s insecurities, victories over bullies and persistent sexual longing to the wall. In a laugh-out-loud-funny style laced with witty, sardonic remarks by our hero, Dak, Scarsbrook brings alive the pain of rejection, the excitement of real friendship and the ache of a lost love.

4/4 stars — Highly Recommended

— Joan Marshall, Canadian Review of Materials


Highly Recommended

— David Jenkinson, Canadian Children’s Literature



This coming of age novel is a brilliantly funny revved-up romp – part Catcher in the Rye, part Happy Days.

— AECB, Selected Canadian Titles for American Libraries


Cheeseburger Subversive is a perceptive and memorable book. The title story will make you laugh out loud! ‘Benjamin’s Aliens’ will disturb you. ‘Tristan’s Quarter’, the last story in the book, will have you eagerly awaiting the sequel, Featherless Bipeds.

— What If? Canada’s Fiction Magazine for Teens


This book is funny, funny, funny! I laughed out loud … and I was constantly harassing people, saying, ‘Listen to this! Listen to this!’

— Maggie L. Wood

Reviewer, Author of The Princess Pawn


Although edgy and at times profane, the stories included in Richard Scarsbrook’s Cheeseburger Subversive are highly recommended. Each story enrich(es) the others in a way that is sharp and controlled.

— The Saskatoon StarPhoenix


To say Cheeseburger Subversive is a coming-of-age tale misses what makes the novel so much more than that … the theme of personal politics at boy’s eye-level makes Scarsbrook’s novel unique.

— Paul A. Toth

Author of Fizz


This is one of the funniest books I’ve read in a long time. Even the titles of the chapters will reach out and grab your attention. Richard Scarsbrook has created a book that has it all.

— Lascha Belanger, Saskatchewan Publishers Group

Cheeseburger Subversive is certain to be enjoyed by readers of all ages. The writing, which is Scarsbrook at his best, is often the type you want to read aloud to others.

— Storyteller: Canada’s Short Story Magazine

Cheeseburger Subversive brims over with well-realized and poignant scenes, keenly observed details, and light-handed humour.

— Quill and Quire

Through Dak, a character ahead of his years, the reader experiences life as it truly is, filled with both hilarity and trying times

— Patricia A. Carvacho,

Cheeseburger Subversive is a rare book … Scarsbrook dresses up his ‘cheeseburger’ with lots of spicy pickles and tangy mustard, without being afraid of adding a meaty message.

— Lian Goodall, The St. Catharines Standard-Spectrum

This book is laugh out loud funny, but still manages to be touching and dramatic. Read it. You’ll thank me.

— Andrea Raymond, Editor, Surface and Symbol

Richard Scarsbrook enters the world of his young protagonists through the front door, and rivals the best writers in the country in cunning and humour. Truly an exciting new voice in Canadian fiction.

— Jesse Stothers, Editor