Great new books for young people...and readers of all ages!
A village is torn apart by its residents' inability to communicate...until a little girl shares the gift of punctuation in the humorous illustrated parable Babble (October), by Caroline Adderson, illustrated by Roman Muradov. The adventures of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, creator of the legendary Sherlock Holmes, come to life in Linda Bailey's inspiring picture book biography Arthur Who Wrote Sherlock (October), illustrated by Isabelle Follath. And Canada is home to over 308 endemic species of plants and animals—meaning they're found nowhere else on Earth—and in Canada Wild (October), award-winner Maria Birmingham introduces young readers to these uniquely Canadian animals—many of which are threatened or endangered.
Fanny Britt and Isabelle Arsenault are back with a new graphic novel, this time featuring Truffle, younger brother, best friend, aspiring rockstar in Forever Truffle (August). Readers will sympathize with a ghost who is too cute to be scary in A Wee Boo (September), by Jessica Boyd, illustrated by Brooke Kerrigan. And at a cozy 1920s chocolate shop, the special ingredients in each perfect treat are empathy, generosity, and thoughtful acts of kindness in Cocoa Magic (November), by Sandra Bradley, illustrated by Gabrielle Grimard.
Award-winning journalist Dave Cameron, with illustrations by Suharu Ogawa, has created an unconventional, one-of-a-kind story with We Are Many (October), introducing young readers to some big ideas about societies, group mentality and group dynamics. And Where We Live (October), by Margriet Ruurs, illustrated by Wenjia Tang, takes a look at 16 children's neighbourhoods around the world to broaden readers' understanding of global cultures.
A young orphan whose only joy is the singing of her violin; an 18th century composer who became one of the most renowned figures in European classical music; and in Anna Maria & Maestro Vivaldi (October), by Jan Coates, illustrated by Francois Thisdale, their fictionalized story unfolds as Antonio Vivaldi guides Anna Maria toward becoming one of the most celebrated violinists of her time. Lana the llama sticks out among all the sheep in the farmyard, but learns to stand up to a bully in Lana Llama (July), by Lori Doody. And Annabelle discovers an animal bone in the woods and decides to make it her new plaything, but nature ends up moving Annabelle in mysterious ways in Boney (October), by Carey Fagan, illustrated by Dasha Tolstikova.
A mysterious cook whips up midnight meals for fellow night owls in a lavish lunch cart while a hungry mouse looks on in Night Lunch (September), by Eric Fan, illustrated by Dena Seiferling, an atmospheric picture book inspired by the forerunner of food trucks and diners. I Hear You, Ocean (September), by Callie George, illustrated by Cameron Mok, transports readers to the seaside with marvelous ocean sounds. And rooted in the historical displacement and relocation of members of the Chemawawin First Nation from their ancestral homeland, The Move (May), by Doris George and Don K. Philpot, illustrated by Alyssa Koski, is a bilingual story of two Cree Elders adjusting to life in their new environment.
Intended to be read aloud, Where the Crooked Lighthouse Shines (September), by Joshua Goudie and Craig Goudie, draws on Newfoundland and Labrador’s long tradition of lyric storytelling, making whimsical use of rhyme and rhythm. A young girl sees the night sky clearly for the first time and realizes all the wonderful things that can be seen there with the help of her grandpa and a bit of imagination in Carolyn Huizinga Mills’ latest picture book, Grandpa’s Stars (October), illustrated by Samantha Lucy Haslem. And an introverted snail throws his own kind of party to celebrate all things quiet in Naseem Hrab's latest, How to Party Like a Snail (September), illustrated by Kelly Collier.
A curious little girl loves to ask questions, but most of all, she loves to hear how she was made with the help of an egg donor, her story told in TA-DA! A Story of Egg Donation (September), by Ella Kay, illustrated by Farida Zaman, a quirky, funny, and celebratory story about one of the many ways babies join a family. And in the tradition of fun cumulative stories like The Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly and If You Give a Mouse a Cookie, When Spider Met Shrew (September), by Deborah Kerbel, illustrated by Genevieve Cote, joyfully shows how helping someone in need can sometimes fulfill needs of our own.
From sunrise to sunset, a young child has opportunities to demonstrate kindness—to their parent, their pet and themself—and to receive kindness as well in Jessica Kluthe's Kindness is a Golden Heart (September), illustrated by Charlene Chua. A one-of-a-kind book, A Person Can Be... (October), by Kerri Kokias, illustarted by Carey Sookocheff, shows how naughty and nice (and other opposite qualities!) can describe the same person—at the same time. And Fox and Bear live happily in the forest until Fox decides to make life more productive and efficient in Fox and Bear (October), by Miriam Körner, a modern fable that raises existential questions for readers of all ages.
Jessica Kulekjian's lyrical informational picture book Hiders Seekers Finders Keepers (October), illustrated by Salini Perera, uses expressive text supplemented with sidebars to explain how different animals survive winter. Critically acclaimed creator Thao Lam, author of The Paper Boat and THAO, is back with The Line in the Sand (September) a wordless story about conflict resolution. And in The Bird Feeder (October), a poignant story from Andrew Larsen, illustrated by Dorothy Leung, a child spends time with a beloved grandmother during her final days and experiences love that will last a lifetime.
Dinos Driving (August), by Lynn Leitch, illustrated by Scot Ritchie, is a witty and whimsical picture book for young fans of dinosaurs and vehicles alike. Flo Leung encourages readers to explore culturally specific Lunar New Year practices, while offering a universal message about carrying on traditions and creating community in The Tray of Togetherness (October). If You Were a City (October), by Kyo Maclear, illustrated by Francesca Sanna, is a colourful celebration of cities and the people living in them. Maclear also releases Kumo: The Bashful Cloud (September), illustrated by Nathalie Dion, the uplifting journey of a cloud ("kumo" in Japanese) who discovers the rewards of feeling seen.
As the eldest child in a large family, Pauline struggles to find her niche, and she longs for peace and quiet—a charming story in graphic-novel style, A Place for Pauline (September), is by Anouk Mahiout, illustrated by Marjolaine Perreten. An inventive rat saves the day with perseverance, creativity, kindness, and some helpful hats in The Many Hats of Louie the Rat (October), by author/illustrator Sakshi Mangal. And collage art and rhyming couplets showcase fantastical dreams as the natural world is prepared for a new day in gentle bedtime book While You Sleep (November), by Jennifer Maruno, illustrated by Miki Sato.
Star: The Bird Who Inspired Mozart (October), by Mireille Messier, illustrated by Matte Stephens, is based on the true story of how Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, one of the world's most remarkable musicians, was inspired by one of the world's most unremarkable birds: a starling. Rachel Poliquin welcomes you to the weirdest museum you’ll ever explore—the one inside your body—in The Museum of Odd Body Leftovers (September), illustrated by Clayton Hanmer. And determined young Anishnaabe girl in search of adventure goes on a transformative journey into a forest on her traditional territory in the board book Together We Drum, Our Hearts Beat as One (October), by Willie Poll, illustrated by Chief Lady Bird.
Awarding-winning author Bill Richardson and illustrator Bill Pechet team up again with Lola Flies Alone (August), a delightful story about a young airline passenger who has even more imagination than she has style—and she has plenty of that. Conceived of as a letter to her younger self, Because You Are (July) captures Jael Richardson's insightful lessons about growing up, being joyful and loving yourself as a young Black girl. And from bat expert Dan Riskin comes Fiona the Fruit Bat (September), illustrated by Rachel Qiuqi, a sweet and informative picture book about bat echolocation.
Using his imagination, a boy discovers that baking and diggers have a lot in common, scooping and shovelling sugar, digging in the dough, and they even dance—dipping low, lifting high, swinging, bending, and spinning—in The Digger Dance (October), by Judy Ann Sadler, illustrated by Yong Ling Kang. Iconic singer-songwriter Buffy Sainte-Marie and award-winning artist Julie Flett join forces to bring a beloved song to the page with Still This Love Goes On (September), a love letter to seasons, place, community, and traditions. And follow along with lovable forest creatures as they discover what is a self and what makes each of us unique in My Self, Your Self (September), by author-illustrator Esme Shapiro.
Rebellious raccoons take back the city in Revenge of the Racoons (October) a hilarious urban romp by bestselling author and performer Vivek Shraya. In the poetic picture book Welcome, Dark (September), young readers are invited to explore the sounds of nighttime and find comfort in them instead of fear, by Charis St. Pierre, illustrated by Rachel Wada. Ruth Ohi’s Blanket (August) is gentle wordless picture book about the difference a kind friend can make on a grey day. And Nonna and the Girls Next Door (September), by Gianna Patriarca, illustrated by Ellie Arscott, is a heartwarming story about the bond between grandmothers and grandchildren.
My Promise (October), by Jillian Roberts, illustrated by Slavka Kolesar, shows little ones they will be loved unconditionally and empowers parents and caregivers to raise well-rounded, resilient individuals. I Hope/ nipakosêyimon (September), illustrated by Gabrielle Grimard, translated by Dolores Greyeyes Sand, features poignant words from award-winning Indigenous author Monique Gray Smith all about all the hopes adults have for the young people in their lives. And a child who looks different from her mother finds beauty and belonging in Beautiful You, Beautiful Me (October), by Tasha Spillett-Sumner, creator of bestseller I Sang You Down from the Stars, illustrated by Salini Perera.
Becoming Blue (August), by Ellen Tarlow, illustrated by Julien Chung, is a clever and moving picture book about finding out what it means to be yourself. A young child, frustrated by all the things they can’t do, finds satisfaction in smashing stuff, and then—when they realize they can build things by putting together the broken pieces—it’s a creative breakthrough in Smash (October), by Adam Schafer, illustrated by Noel Tuazon. And Annie's Cat Is Sad (June), by Heather Smith, illustrated by Karen Obuhanyc, shows a little girl navigating her cat's bad day in a story about exploring sadness and how we find comfort.
Two Crows (September) is a book-in-verse inspired by the famous Scottish Gaelic ballad, “Twa Corbies,” from the award-winning author Susan Vande Griek, illustrated by Emma Fitzgerald. Meet the Blue-footed Booby, who does not have any boobies at all, since only mammals have boobies...which is just the beginning of things to learn in Nancy Vo’s Boobies (August). A frustrated little rabbit longs for spring in Only the Trees Know (September), by Jane Whittingham, illustrated by Cinyee Chiu, a gentle, warmhearted story about waiting. And Phoenix learns about Two Spirit/Niizh Manidoowag people in Anishinaabe culture and just how special he is in Phoenix Gets Greater (October), by Marty Wilson-Trudeau, illustrated by Megan Kyak-Monteith, with Phoenix Wilson.
Caroline Adderson, author of the Jasper John Dooley series, where Isabel was introduced, has created another pitch-perfect early chapter book series starring a hilarious, irrepressible and lovable hero, the latest instalment being Izzy's Tail of Trouble (September). The sounds of nature are being drowned out by the clamor of human activity, and that's not good for people, animals or the environment, as Stephen Aitkin shows in Listen Up!: Exploring the World of Natural Sound (September). And This is It, Lark Harnish (November), by Laura Best, follows a plucky thirteen-year-old hired girl in rural 1919 Nova Scotia, exploring grief and love, poverty and privilege, and family in all its forms.
From covert classrooms created by enslaved Africans in the United States, to academic schools disguised as “sewing lessons” for women in Afghanistan, to espionage schools run by powerful governments, Secret Schools (September), by Heather Camlot, illustrated by Erin Taniguchi, explores the hidden classrooms that have opened their doors so children and adults could learn. Award-winning author Jodi Carmichael, who has ADHD herself, affirms and celebrates those who struggle with their uniqueness and triumphantly discover its gifts in her novel The Unique Lou Fox (August).
A creepy, mysterious dollhouse takes centre stage in Charis Cotter's latest atmospheric middle-grade mystery, The Dollhouse: A Ghost Story (August). From the Great Pyramids of Giza and the Leaning Tower of Pisa to the Burj Khalifa and the Shanghai Tower, Why Humans Build Up (October), by Gregor Craigie, illustrated by Kathleen Fu, asks why and how we build higher and higher, and what that means for the planet. And before Greta Thunberg there was Severn Cullis-Suzuki, whose 1992 Earth Summit speech made her known as “the girl who silenced the world for five minutes,” and she tells her story in Severn Speaks Out (September).
Natasha Deen's latest book about young sleuth Lark is Lark Steals the Show (September), set around a local art heist. Philippa Dowding continues the story of the Children of Oculum (a finalist for the Diamond Willow Award and the Forest of Reading Silver Birch Award) in her latest, Oculum Echo (October). And it’s 2021, the Taliban have regained power in Afghanistan, and Parvana and Shauzia—the brave protagonists of The Breadwinner—must now flee to escape new dangers from an old enemy in Deborah Ellis’s One More Mountain (October).
Mortimer T. Flightdeck, Future YouTube Sensation, dreams of becoming an intergalactic space rat in Joan Marie Galat’s Mortimer: Rat Race to Space (September). Buddy wants to prove to his big brother that he is not a scared little kid anymore and spend the night in a haunted theme park in Legends of Funland (August), by award-winner Melanie Florence. And when a winter storm hits, knocking out all the power, news that a small plane has gone missing unsettles Francie, who's is compelled to leave her cozy new boarding school and set out into the icy cold, swirling snowstorm in Green Mountain Academy (September), Frances Greenslades' follow-up to Red Fox Road.
In graphic novel Ride On (August), by Faith Erin Hicks, twelve-year-old Victoria is burned out from the high-pressure world or riding competitions—can she get back to basics and rekindle her love of horses? The latest in Michael Hutchinson’s Mighty Muskrats series is The Case of the Rigged Race (September), with Windy Lake First Nation hosting the annual Trappers Festival—but during the Teen Sled Race, the lead dog is the victim of a frightening accident that may be more than it seems. And Alison Hughes' Fly (October) is a novel in free verse about a middle schooler who discovers he's not the only one grappling with the imperfections of the world.
Everybody's favourite Agatha Christie-inspired heroine is back in Aggie Morton, Mystery Queen: The Seaside Corpse (November), by Martha Jocelyn, set among the world's first paleontologists in Lyme Regis. Irene grew up traveling around Germany with her Jewish family’s circus, surrounded by her loved ones and thrilling the crowds with her performance on the high wire...until one day, the audience boos, and the increasing power of Adolf Hitler’s Nazis has put them all in grave danger in Kathy Kacer’s Hidden on the High Wire (September). Elaine Kachala explores how wearable technology can give humans superpowers in Superpower?: The Wearable-Tech Revolution (October), illustrated by Belle Wuthrich.
Award-winner Michelle Kadarusman returns with Berani (August), an honest and stirring novel about the choices made by young environmental activists, and the balancing act between consequence and triumph. Over the past 500 years, thousands of species of plants and animals have become extinct, and Deborah Kerbal's The Late, Great Endlings (October), illustrated by Aimée van Drimmelen, pays homage to some of the more well-known endlings of the past century with rhyming stanzas that accompany watercolor illustrations and factual descriptions of each animal, along with the circumstances that led to their species' extinction. And One Tiny Bubble (September), by Karen Krossing, illustrated by Dawn Lo, is the wondrous true story of one tiny bubble that sparked all life on Earth—including yours.
A young Indigenous girl searching for a sense of home finds strength and courage in her gifts, her deepening connection to the land, and her own cultural awakening in She Holds the Stars (August), a moving coming-of-age story by Sandra Laronde. A moving graphic novel, AWOL (October), by Marla Lesage, explores the realities of PTSD from a kid's perspective, alon with an author's note and kid-friendly mental health resources. When financial hardship and a terrible incident of hate-inspired vandalism threaten not only the Purim party but her synagogue too, Elsie, like Queen Esther, takes action to bring her entire community—Jewish and non-Jewish alike—together in The Book of Elsie (August), by Joanne Levy.
In If You Can Dream It, You Can Do It (October), Colleen Nelson, middle-school teacher and award-winning author of The Harvey Stories and The Undercover Book List, teams up with children’s librarian and literacy advocate Kathie MacIsaac to show young readers that there are many paths to a dream job. Gabe’s summer job scaring tourists with ghost stories turns terrifyingly real when he accidentally summons the spirit of a dead girl—and must join forces with her to protect the world of the living in Kenneth Oppal's Ghostlight (September).
Seen and Unseen: What Dorothea Lange, Toyo Miyatake, and Ansel Adams's Photographs Reveal About the Japanese American Incarceration (September), by Elizabeth Partridge, illustrated by Lauren Tamaki, features powerful images of the Japanese American incarceration captured by three photographers—Dorothea Lange, Toyo Miyatake, and Ansel Adams—along with firsthand accounts of this grave moment in history. It's a race against time to save Eli, in The Stone Child (Auguest), the third book in David A. Robertson's award-winning, Narnia-inspired Indigenous middle-grade fantasy series. And Jo Rioux makes her debut as a writer-illustrator in new fantasy-adventure graphic novel Cat’s Cradle: The Golden Twine (June).
A dying friend, a terrible bargain, an underwater quest, and dangerous magic—in Seekers of the Fox (October), the adventure picks up right where Kevin Sands' previous book in the series left off. Over the course of a week, 13-year-old runner, Josie Tomaselli, confronts multiple challenges with humour, confusion, fear, “lady balls,” and the inspiration of her pre-race music playlist, plus she’s missing the support of her father, who is dying of cancer in Lorie Scarfarotti’s Running Through It (September). And in Lorna Shultz Nicholson’s Behind the Label (September), a teen with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder tries to keep her family together, while her older classmate with a learning disability wants to play in a rock band where her gifts truly shine, and when the two are partnered in a school club, they soon come to appreciate and depend on each other in a world that at times seems counter to their dreams.
In the 1980s, the coastal fishing town of Prince Rupert is booming, and even though they both live in the same cul-de-sac, Mia’s life is very different from her non-Indigenous, middle-class best friend, and she begins to notice how adults treat her differently just because she is Indigenous in Kim Spencer's Weird Rules to Follow (October). And the two friends are separated from their classmates and left to adventure in the big city in Suzanne Sutherland's second early chapter book about Jordan and Max, Jordan and Max: Field Trip! (September), exploring friendship and LGBTQ themes.
Secret ballrooms, hidden artwork and unlikely friends—welcome to the Regency, where even time moves in surprising ways in Kevin Sylvester’s latest, Apartment 713 (September). And when 13-year-old Billy Knight leaves home to "ride the rails" across Canada during the 1930s, he encounters a wide cast of characters—including fellow drifters and grifters; kid gangs; crooks; idealists; ragtag philosophers; and railroad bulls; as well as everyday folk simply trying to get by—and much more than he bargained for in Christine Welldon’s latest historical novel, Knight of the Rails (October).
On the trip of a lifetime, Adam and Zayneb must find their way back to each other in Love from Mecca to Medina (October), a surprising and romantic sequel to Love from A to Z, by S.K. Ali. Road of the Lost (October), by Nafiza Azad, a young adult fantasy, follows a girl who discovers she’s spent her life under an enchantment and must make a quest into the magical Otherworld to and discover her destiny. And Suck It In and Smile (October), by Laurence Beaudoin-Masse, translated by Shelley Tanaka, is funny, touching look at the life of a social media influencer who starts to question the #lifegoals she has created for herself.
Another school year begins at the Younwity Hidden Institute of Witchcraft, and Abigail knows that this is the year she needs to buckle down, grow up, and start taking her studies seriously, but everything is thrown off course when her mentee goes missing in graphic novel Over My Dead Body (August), by Sweeney Boo. Into the Sublime (July), a YA psychological thriller from Kate A. Boorman, author of What We Buried, is about four teenage girls who descend into a dangerous underground cave system in search of a lake of local legend said to reveal your deepest fears. And Tuck navigates new love, past trauma and standing up for what's right in Sara Cassidy's new novel-in-verse, Union (September).
Aspiring filmmaker Mason is tired of being picked on and uses his skills to get revenge on his worst bullies, but when the video goes viral, everything gets out of control in Marty Chan's latest novel Final Cut (August). When 16-year-old Adele Reimer is forced to spend two weeks at a youth reform camp, she has no idea it will lead to a complicated and dangerous love triangle in Counting Scars (August), by Melinda Anne Di Lorenzo. And Her Courage Rises (October), by Haley Healey, illustrated by Kimiko Fraser, is full of inspirational female role models and insights into the trailblazing women who made history in BC and Yukon.
Rook and Gage live worlds apart—but somehow they must find a way to help one another survive in The Limitless Sky (May), by Christina Kilbourne. After his voyage across the galaxy, Nate Silva arrives home to find the city of Hamilton in the grip of a monstrous triumvirate in The Great Outer Dark (October). And an Indigenous teen girl is caught between two worlds, both real and virtual, in Walking in Two Worlds (October), the YA fantasy debut from bestselling Indigenous author Wab Kinew, perfect for fans of Ready Player One and the Otherworld series.
Part comedy, part grief narrative, In the Key of Dale (October), by Benjamin Lefebvre, is a disarming coming-of-age novel about a queer teen music prodigy who discovers pieces of himself in places he never thought to look. Charlie Hope was not expecting to spend his summer trying to solve a murder in Murder at the Hotel Hopeless (August), by John Lekich. And Wattpad superstar Alex Light’s Meet Me In the Middle (July) is the story of a girl who falls for her best friend’s older brother.
A Venom Dark and Sweet (August), concludes Judy I. Lin's Book of Tea duology—following bestseller A Magic Steeped in Poison— and is sure to enchant fans of Adrienne Young and Leigh Bardugo. A lonely teen discovers a website that grants wishes in Careful What You Wish For (August), by Mahtab Narsimhan. And The Book of Us (October), by Shane Peacock, is one young man’s journey towards understanding his impact on his girlfriend in the context of a culture complacent with the abuse of girls and women.
Based on extensive interviews, My Left Skate: The Extraordinary Story of Eliezer Sherbatov (October), by Anna Rosner, is a first-person biography of a teenager who had it all on the hockey rink: guts, drive, and exceptional talent. Discover nine ordinary women who took extraordinary measures to save lives during the Holocaust, resisting terror and torture while undercover or in hiding, in concentration camps, in forests, and in exile in Heroines, Rescuers, Rabbis, Spies: Unsung Women of the Holocaust (October), by Sarah Silberstein Swartz. And I’m The Girl (September) is a searing, suspenseful and groundbreaking new queer young adult novel from bestselling and Edgar-award winning author Courtney Summers.
Heartbreak Homes (October) is a gripping locked-door YA murder mystery told from multiple perspectives from Governor General's Award–and Crime Writers of Canada Award–nominated Jo Treggiari. Combining elements of horror, magic realism, and realistic fiction, Silencing Rebecca (August), a genre-bending YA debut by Nikki Vogel, tells the story of a sheltered life as an Orthodox Jewish teen in Toronto whose world is shattered when her father moves them to Edmonton, where she is plunged into the worldly life of a public high school. And Eric Walters’ Made 4 You (October) tells the story of a girl whose small town life is rocked by the arrival of a mysterious new classmate who has a secret worth killing for.
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