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Most Anticipated: Our Spring 2023 Books for Young Readers Preview

Titles—from picture books to YA—for readers of all ages!

Our 2023 Spring Preview finishes on a high note with this incredible list of books for young readers (which we all know are really books for everyone!).


Picture Books

Book Cover Black Girl Black Girl

The cooking of a healthy breakfast moves from parent-child bonding to an eloquent conversation about energy, the growth of plants, and the miraculous ways the sun’s light nourishes us all in Sun in My Tummy (February), by Laura Alary, illustrated by Andrea Blinick. Black Girl, Black Girl (January), by spoken-word poet Angela Bowden, illustrated by Letitia Fraser, is a powerful message of self-love for melanated girls of all shades, hair textures, sizes, expressions, ages, and passions, this musical work of spoken-word poetry explores all the lives a Black girl can dream of—from athletics to STEAM-related careers, journalism and law, art and medicine, and more.

Book Cover Percy's Perfect Friend

Learn about fossils, bird migration, beekeeping, the science behind making food delicious, and the chemistry involved in cheese making in IsThisAnOlogy? (March), by Amanda Dorothy Jean Bulman and Ruth Lawrence, illustrated by Leon Chung, featuring illustrations, interviews, comics, photographs, charts, recipes, and experiments you can try at home. In Percy’s Perfect Friend (April), early childhood educator Lana Button celebrates the importance of toys in play, the power they have to help children practice social skills, language skills, and imagination, and their ability to bring children together. And from L.E. Carmichael, the author of the critically acclaimed The Boreal Forest, Polar (May), illustrated by Byron Eggenschwiler, is a stunning exploration of the animals that have adapted to survive in Earth's harsh polar regions.

Book Cover Sometimes I Feel Like a River

In wordless time-travel adventure Afikomen (March), by Tziporah Cohen, illustrated by Yaara Eshet, three children at a Passover seder visit ancient Egypt to help baby Moses find his way safely to Pharaoh’s daughter. Animals write a letter to remind humans how they were meant to live on this Earth and of how to turn things around before it's too late in Dear Humans (March), by Nisha Coleman. The Girl Who Loved the Birds (April), illustrated by Elinor Atkins, is the third in a series of Kwantlen legends by award-winning author Joseph Dandurand, following The Sasquatch, the Fire and the Cedar Baskets and A Magical Sturgeon. And award-winner Danielle Daniel returns to picture books with Sometimes I Feel Like a River (March), illustrated by Josée Bisaillon, a lyrical celebration of our relationship to the natural world.

Book Cover The Island

In I Love My City (March), by France Desmarais & Richard Adam, illustrated by Yves Dumont, translated by Nicholas Aumais, readers explore the history, geography, demography, technology, infrastructure, and government of cities, with fascinating facts about specific urban centres around the world. In gentle and spare prose, and with her unique folk-art illustrations, Lori Doody tells the story of resettlement in Newfoundland The Island (April). And Shrek meets The Paper Bag Princess in Princess Pru and the Ogre on the Hill (April), by Maureen Fergus, illustrated by Danesh Mohiuddin, a fearsomely funny story about a savvy princess who looks past appearances to befriend an ogre.

Book Cover The Invitation

Stacey May Fowles’ debut picture book The Invitation (April), illustrated by Marie Lafrance, is a whimsical, warmhearted story of how a super-special surprise can lead to anxiety—or invite imagination. The Van Buren Sisters vs. the Pants Police (May), by J.F. Fox, illustrated by Anna Kwan, is a true story about two sisters, four wheels, and hordes of angry fashion police! And a farm girl with a big imagination turns her landlocked home into an ocean playground in this dreamy picture book for little mermaids everywhere in I Am a Meadow Mermaid (June), by Kallie George and Elly MacKay.

Book Cover Kimiko Murakami

Taking a unique approach integrating astronomy, cultural history, and advances in technology, A Star Explodes: The Story of Supernova 1054 (March), by James Gladstone, illustrated by Yaara Eshet, encourages readers to think about the world around them and their place in the universe. From award-winning picture book creator and cartoonist Jacques Goldstyn, The Stars (May) is a brilliant and heartwarming hymn to friendship, the infinitude of the sky, and following what you love. Join the owls in the aspen grove as they nurture and raise their young through winter, spring, and summer in The Smallest Owlet (May), written and illustrated by Georgia Graham. Sarah Grindler's Garden Wonders (March) encourages readers to get cultivate their green thumbs. The Last Two Crayons (April), by Leah Freeman-Haskin, illustrated by Shantala Robinson, looks at the beautiful world of brown, with a heartwarming and empowering ending that celebrates diversity, creativity, and family. And Kimiko Murakami: A Japanese-Canadian Pioneer (May), by Haley Healey, illustrated by Kimiko Fraser, is the inspiring and true life story of Kimiko Murakami, a Japanese-Canadian pioneer and internment camp survivor, beautifully illustrated for a young audience.

Book Cover Grandpa's Stars

Healey and Fraser tell the story of another remarkable woman, Lilian Bland, the first woman ever to design, build, and fly her own airplane, in Lilian Bland: An Amazing Aviatrix (May). With Malaika, Carnival Queen (May), Nadia L. Hohn and Irene Luxbacher have created another compelling story about Malaika, who finds a way to cope with her sadness about her father through their shared love of carnival. Otis & Peanut (April), by Naseem Hrab, illustrated by Kelly Collier, kicks off a quirky and iconic new series of stories about friendship and belonging, in the style of Frog and Toad. And in Grandpas's Stars (March), by Carolyn Huizinga Mills, illustrated by Samantha Lucy Haslam, a child recreates the night sky on their bedroom ceiling to stay connected with the celestial world their grandfather introduced them to.

Book Cover The Only Astronaut

In The Only Astronaut (June), award-winning author Mahak Jain has crafted a witty and wonderful story about friendship, imagination and the thrill of a good adventure, with illustrations by Andrea Stegmaier. The Secret Pocket (April), by Peggy Janicki, illustrated by Carrielynn Victor, is the true story of how Indigenous girls at a Canadian residential school sewed secret pockets into their dresses to hide food and survive. The Ewe Who Knit You (February), by Cara Kansala, celebrates the power of friendship and kindness and teaches us to be proud of the things that make us unique. And Ary's Trees (June), by Deborah Kerbel, illustrated by Sopha Choi, is an eco-parable about the importance of environmental preservation and activism.

Book Cover Happy Birthday to Me

A bear and a girl form an unlikely friendship as they show each other the important things in life in How to Be Human: A Bear’s Guide (March), by Sophia Kolinas, illustrated by Aparna Varma. A child runs through a spectrum of emotions on the best day of the year—their birthday!—in Happy Birthday to Me (April), by Thao Lam. Inspired by her son’s experience—and her family's love of powwow music and dance—Indigenous educator and champion hoop dancer Sandra Lamouche shares an uplifting true story of the transformative effects of culturally safe and inclusive early childhood education in We Belong to the Drum (May), illustrated by Azby Whitecalf, translated by Dolores Greyeyes Sand.

Book Cover Jungle Cat

Sally is excited for the first day of puppy school, but it isn’t easy when there are so many new things to see (and sniff!) in Andrew Larsen's Sally's Big Day (February), illustrated by Dawn Lo. And an indoor cat brings a community together after his dreams of exploring the outside world quickly go awry in Larsen's Jungle Cat (May), illustrated by Udayana Lugo. Written with compassion and care, Dark Cloud (May), by Anna Lazowsk, illustrated by Penny Neville-Lee, is a thoughtful story about a little girl who visualizes her depression as a way of learning to cope with it.

Book Cover Serge the Snail Without a Shell

Serge, the Snail Without a Shell (April) the whimsical debut picture book by celebrated novelists Harriet Alida Lye and Rosa Rankin-Gee, illustrated by Andrea Blinick, is about a slug who is desperate to fit in at all costs, and the adventure he embarks upon to learn that maybe being yourself is best of all. Walking Together (April), by Elder Dr Albert D. Marshall & Louise Zimanyi, illustrated by Emily Kewageshig, introduces readers to the concept of Etuaptmumk—or Two-Eyed Seeing, the gift of multiple perspectives in the Mi’kmaw language—as we follow a group of young children connecting to nature as their teacher. And tap the page, shake the book, shout, clap and imagine a silly world of before-and-afters in Oops! (April), an interactive picture book by Julie Massy, illustrated by Pascale Bonenfant, translated by Charles Simard.

Book Cover No Horses in the House

Cycling through the seasons, Welcome, Rain! (April), by Sheryl McFarlane, illustrated by Christine Wei, is a celebration of our feelings for the rain—how we wish it would go away and then long for it when it’s gone—and the necessary role it plays in our lives. Based on the incredible life of the pioneering, feminist and queer artist Rosa Bonheur, the charming No Horses in the House (March), by Mireille Messier, illustrated by Anna Bron, depicts Rosa's early years and her drive to fight for her dreams. And while it can be discombobulating for all involved when a grandma moves in permanently, fortunately, the narrator of The Care and Keeping of Grandmas (April), by Jennifer Mook-Sang, illustrated by Yong Ling Kang, has gone through it and has LOTS of tips on how to make your grandma feel at home.

Book Cover I want to Build a Seahouse

A poetic ode to the childhood yearning for freedom, sprinkled with new-sibling jealousy, I Want to Build a Seahouse (May), by Whitney Moran, whimsically illustrated with a magnificent coastal palette by award-winning artist Josée Bisaillon, is a heartfelt story of family and independence, and a celebration of imagination and the natural world. Debut picture book Âmî Osâwâpikones (Dear Dandelion) (April), by S.J. Okemow, celebrates self-love, care, and resilience with one of the most widespread plants—the dandelion. And Dear Polar Bears (February), by Gabrielle Prendergast, illustrated by Marcus Cutler, combines a playful story of friendship with humorous imagery depicting the differences between Earth's polar regions. 

Book Cover What to Bring

From David A. Robertson, the award-winning author of On the Trapline, comes The Song That Called Them Home (April), illustrated by Maya McKibbin, a cinematic fantasy-adventure story inspired by Indigenous legends. What to Bring (March), by Lorna Schultz Nicholson, illustrated by Ellen Rooney, is a heartfelt and powerful story exploring a rare perspective: experiencing a natural disaster through the eyes of a child. Written by Tonya Simpson in both Plains Cree and English and featuring stunning artwork by celebrated artist Carla Joseph, Forever Our Home / kâkikê kîkinaw (May) is a beautiful and gentle song about our spiritual connection to the land.

Book Cover Waking Ben Doldrums

Waking Ben Doldrums (March), by Heather Smith, illustrated by Byron Eggenschwiler, is a story of community, compassion and hope, and a reminder that, while we can’t always fix another person’s problems, a simple act of kindness can go a long way. Smith also releases Granny Left Me a Rocket Ship (June), a beautiful story about loss, grief, and memories presenting an honest yet optimistic view of how to joyfully remember loved ones after they're gone, Ashley Barron's layered cut-paper collage illustrations bringing fun to the story. And The Hidden World of Gnomes (June), by Lauren Soloy, is a delightful introduction and collection of facts about the secret lives of gnomes that will charm and fascinate readers of all ages.

Book Cover The Remembering Stone

Alice keeps a perfectly round skipping stone in her pocket to remember her grandfather by, and the stone goes missing she needs to find another way to hold her memory of him in The Remembering Stone (March), by Carey Sookocheff. Everyone's favourite June beetle learns about the many different places insects call home in Burt the Beetle Lives Here! (June), a graphic novel from Ashley Spires. Kathy Stinson and illustrator Lauren Soloy bring Maud Lewis’s world to life in A Tulip in Winter (March) and show how she captured in her art what she loved most while navigating the mobility issues caused by her disability.

Book Cover Super Small

From glow-in-the-dark sharks to immortal jellyfish and tiny cats with lethal aim, Super Small (May), by Tiffany Stone, illustrated by Ashley Spires, shows readers that just because you are small, it doesn’t mean you aren’t super. I, Sea: A Tale Told in Homonyms (April), by Suzanne Sutherland, illustrated by Ashley Barron, is a playful tale about homonyms and the power of perspective. Vibrant language and rhythm celebrate the start of a new day in When Sunlight Tiptoes (March), by Gillian Sze, beautifully illustrated by Soyeon Kim, an uplifting poem about a city waking up. And while Oma (grandmother) lies in her hospital bed, Mama reminds the family of Oma’s courage in shepherding her family through war and across the ocean to safety in Green Papayas (April), by Nhung N. Tran-Davies, illustrated by Gillian Newland. 

Book Cover The Spirit Trackers

Multi-award-winning author Ryan Uytdewilligen employs a funny and unique take on metafiction and the literary technique of breaking the fourth wall to provide an easy-to-understand exploration of literary genres in This Is Not My Story (June), illustrated by David Huyck. A child in Brazil experiences the beauty and wonder of the natural world, and comes to understand his role within in Geraldo Valério's latest Two Green Birds (May). And when Uncle shares the story of the Windigo, the cousins get more than they expect in The Spirit Trackers (May), by Jan Bourdeau Waboose, illustrated by François Thisdale.

Book Cover Gordie's Skate

Gordie’s Skate (April), by Bill Waiser, illustrated by Leanne Franson, set in Saskatchewan during the Great Depression, is the story of hockey legend Gordie Howe and his first experience with skating. In Hansel and Gretel (May), Bee Waeland's graphic retelling of the fairy tale, a friendly woman lovingly decorates her candy home and two inconsiderate, greedy children take advantage of her kindness. And The Never-Ending Sweater (May), by Erin Welch, illustrated by Dorothy Leung, is a heartfelt story that celebrates the power of intergenerational love, connection and friendship, featuring the nostalgic imagery of a small East Coast village.

Book Cover What If I'm Not a Cat

What If I'm Not a Cat? (June), by Kari-Lynn Winters, illustrated by Kelly Collier, is a sweet, playful story about identity—and what it means to belong. In A Flower is a Friend (May), award-winning author Frieda Wishinsky’s spare text whispers softly to readers about the many ways a flower cares for those around it, while Karen Patkau’s striking art provides a close-up view of each mouse, frog, and butterfly within a blossom’s embrace. The Rainbow, the Midwife, and the Birds (May) includes four illustrated Dene stories, as told by Raymond Yakeleya.

Book Cover Dear Street

In Dounia and the Magic Seeds (March), by Marya Zarif, translated by Yvette Ghione, when fleeing her war-ravaged home, a young girl brings four magic seeds to help her family on their difficult journey. Kai’s Tea Eggs (April), by Karina Zhou, is a story about learning to embrace our heritage and celebrating what makes us unique. Dear Street (May) was inspired by author Lindsay Zier-Vogel's international Love Lettering Project, in which participants write love letters to their communities and hide them for strangers to find, and is illustrated by Caroline Bonne-Müller.

Middle Grade

Book Cover Like a Hurricane

Bigfoot Crossing (February) is a new suspense-filled written specifically for middle-schoolers reading below grade level by award-winner Gail Anderson-Dargatz. Award-winning science journalist and author Frances Backhouse explores the biology of grizzlies and the vital ecological role these bears play, and asks readers to consider what it takes to share the land with them in Grizzly Bears: Guardians of the Wilderness (February). Told in beautiful, evocative prose with its unique design, Like a Hurricane (February), by Jonathan Bécotte, translated by Jonathan Kaplansky, is a visually stunning exploration of what it means to be true to one's self.

Book Cover Thunderboom

In Are We Having Fun Yet? (March), by Maria Birmingham, illustrated by Katy Dockrill, readers follow the evolution of fun, which started simply, with storytelling by a fire, and soon it grew into activities like banquets, spectator sports, theatre and fairs, to name, and today huge theme parks attract thrill-seekers and people step into virtual worlds for fun. A lost island wreathed in whispering mists, two mysterious incidents, and a quest for the truth sets the tone for Kate Blair’s latest, A Mist of Memories (May). And in ThunderBoom (May), Eisner-nominated author Jack Briglio tells a story about the challenges faced by those who are developmentally delayed, nonverbal or both, Claudia Dávila's dynamic art bringing Logan's real and imaginary worlds to vivid life with appeal for comic book and graphic novel fans.

Book Cover The Unloveable Alina Butt

In Ambreen Butt-Hussain's The Unlovable Alina Butt (May), fitting in at a new school is hard enough, but when you’re an awkward, big-nosed, nerdy Pakistani girl with a funny last name, it can seem impossible. Heather Camlot uses superheroes to explore how science is transforming our bodies and our experiences in Becoming Bionic and Other Ways Science Is Making Us Super (April), illustrated by Victor Wong. And everyone assumes that because he's Chinese, Jon Wong must be good at math and science and a first-class nerd, but when word starts spreading that he's a martial arts warrior, things get complicated by Marty Chan's Kung Fu Master (February).

Book Cover I Got You Babe

A young squire tackles mysteries, monsters and magic, but the inept knight he serves takes the credit every time in Squire & Knight (May), by Scott Chantler. Cities: How Humans Live Together (May), by Megan Clendenan, illustrated by Suharu Ogawa, asks, If you could design a city that would be both a great place to live and good for the planet, what would it look like? And I Got You Babe (February), by Paul Coccia, is a fabulous story of friendship, Pride, and a Sonny and Cher drag act.

Book Cover City of Neighbours

With their vacation plans and the safety of London at risk, the Math Kids are in for their most complex case yet in their latest adventure, The Math Kids: An Artificial Test (April), by David Cole, illustrated by Shannon O’Toole. Andrea Curtis's new book in the Think Cities series is City of Neighbours (May), illustrated by Katy Dockrill, a journey around the world to discover how people have been dreaming up new ways to ensure their cities and neighbourhoods are creative, inclusive and environmentally sustainable. And the second book in Anita Daher’s Mythic Adventure series is Peanut Butter and Pandemonium (April).

Book Cover Sixties Girl

Breaking News: Why Media Matters (May), authored by Raina Delisle, illustrated by Julie McLaughlin, helps kids become critical news consumers and teaches them how to tell fact from fiction. Set in 1960s Winnipeg, the poignant coming-of-age story Sixties Girl (April), by MaryLou Driedger, follows a decade in the life of a young girl growing up in a close-knit family in a time of sweeping social change. Twelve-year-old Charlie's life is in tatters when he volunteers at the vet's and meets Buster, the Chocolate Labrador Retriever with magical powers who flies Charlie through a series of adventures in which he rescues others, and eventually, himself, in Rescue (February), by Marie Etchell.

Book Cover Asha and Baz

Unable to solve their coding challenge in Caroline Fernandez’s Asha and Baz Meet Hedy Lamarr (April), the second instalment of this series focusing on women in STEAM, the friends are transported back in time to 1941, leaving them even more confused about how can an actor help them solve the Coding Challenge. A 13-year-old boy finds a pocket watch linked to a local legend about a lost treasure in Below the Surface (April), by Alison Finley. And part of Bree Galbraith's critically acclaimed early chapter book series, Wednesday Wilson Connects the Dots (June) delivers everything readers love: a high-energy plot, loads of twists and turns and a diverse cast of unforgettable characters.

Book Cover Lore Isle

Letters from beyond the grave and a green velvet dress reveal a secret to Yardley's beloved grandmother in Vicki Grant's A Green Velvet Secret (March). Jacob’s Dilemma (April), Daphne Greer’s anticipated middle-grade follow-up to the award-winning Jacob's Landing, finds Jacob trapped in a moral dilemma when his biological mom tracks him down just when he’s about to be adopted. And Lore Isle (June), by Jiin Kim, is a fantasy that follows a young boy into a magical land of mummers, sprites, fairies, and murderous pitcher plants in an attempt to save his home—and his family.

Book Cover The Best Way to Get Your Way

Celebrated Quebec author Marie-Renee Lavoie’s middle grade novel is The Curious Adventures of Kitty the Cat (May), translated by Arielle Aarsonson, a hilarious story of a cat who dies often and never grows up. The Best Way to Get Your Way (May), by Tanya Lloyd Kyi, illustrated by Chanelle Nibbelink, is an engaging introduction to debating skills that teaches kids how to take a stand—and win! And a mysterious painting, hidden among the relics of her late grandmother’s house, leads Frida to discover a family link to a notorious unsolved crime in Up for Grabs (May), by Michelle Mulder.

Book Cover The Umbrella House

In The Umbrella House (June), an intimate and inspiring novel about the power of art and the value of community, award-winning author and former New Yorker Colleen Nelson brings life and liveliness to an eccentric cast of New York City neighbours. Sweeping in scope and timeless in tone, No Place like Home (March), by Linh Nguyen, is a middle-grade portal fantasy unlike any other. And in Swept Away: Ruth Mornay and the Unwanted Clues (April), by Natalie Hyde tells the story of a woman who knows her small town neighbour’s death was not an accident, and teams up with her grandson (and a pet chicken) to prove it.

Book Cover Secrets of Jarrow

Charming, creative Salma takes on big feelings with even bigger ideas as she navigates life in a new country, Syrian identity, family changes, and new friendships in Salma Makes a Home (May), by Danny Ramadan, the beginning of a new engaging and heartfelt early chapter book series. With 25 hockey-card-style illustrations scattered throughout, Elliot Jelly-Legs and the Bobblehead Miracle (February), by Yolanda Ridge, illustrated by Sydney Barnes is a heartfelt story of friendship, hockey and the importance of believing in yourself. And in Secrets of Jarrow (May), a graphic novel by Bill Slavin, Mordecai Crow, in search of his long-lost parents, becomes embroiled in a murderous conspiracy when he seeks refuge in a fortress committed to preserving ancient knowledge.

Book Cover The Weird Sisters

Three sleuthing sisters find unanticipated self-acceptance in A Robin, a Ribbon, and a Lawn Mower (April), book two of hilarious mystery series The Weird Sisters, by Mark David Smith and Kari Rust. The Science and Superpowers of Seaweed (May) is a unique field guide, featuring seaweeds from both Atlantic and Pacific oceans and showcasing the beautiful and vital ecosystems of the coasts, and is sure to inspire curious beachcombers of all ages. In Big Winner (April), by Sylvia Taekema, 14-year-old Skye moves to a small town on the East Coast and meets a vulnerable friend who claims he's got a million dollar-winning lottery ticket. Each year, more than 400 minors arrive alone in Canada requesting refugee status, arriving without their parents, accompanied by no adult at all, and Alone: The Journeys of Three Young Refugees (May), by Paul Tom, illustrated by Mélanie Baillairgé, translated by Arielle Aaronson, relates the journey of three of them, opening a window onto the many heartbreaks, difficult sacrifices and countless hardships that punctuate their obstacle-filled path.

Book Cover Boldly Go

Boldly Go (February) and Mission to Mars (April) are the next two books in Eric Walters' Teen Astronauts series. Eleven-year-old Elliot is having a dismal pandemic summer when suddenly he's caught in the bubble of one of his own dreams and transported to another world in The Boy Who Woke the Sun (March), by A.T. Woodley, illustrated by Mike Deas, an epic fantasy about discovering your true path. And Malala Yousafzai entreats today's children to decide to be the last generation “that sees empty classrooms, lost childhoods and wasted potentials,” in Malala Speaks Out (April), translated by Susan Ouriou, her speech strikingly illustrated by Yael Frankeland and followed by an analysis by Clara Fons Duocastella that provides context about Malala’s early life in Swat Valley, Pakistan, and examines what makes her call to action so powerful.

Young Adult

Book Cover When It All Syncs Up

A Black teen dancer with dreams of landing a spot in a prestigious ballet company must learn to dance on her own terms in When It All Syncs Up (June), by Maya Ameyaw, about the healing power of art and friendship. Lives are a lie and their memories may not be real in Someone Is Always Watching (April), a new psychological thriller by #1 NYT bestselling author, Kelley Armstrong. Marisa's only hope for a second chance at her test flight is extra credit from a survival camp weekend in Take Off! (March), by Leah Beddia, but Marisa, who is gay and out, needs the courage to deal with Aimee, a toxic basketball star and long-time bully, and when Aimee is injured on the hike, Marisa will have to decide how to help her: getting them to safety may cost Marisa her credits, and is it worth it to save a bully?

Book Cover The STars of Mount Quixx

The Stars of Mount Quixx (April) launches a new YA fantasy series by S.M. Beiko, award-winning author of the Realms of Ancient trilogy, this time set a world like ours from days gone by. A standalone novel of magic, mayhem, love, and betrayal set in the Wrath of Ambar universe, Of Light and Shadow (May), by Tanaz Bhathena, is the story of a bandit and a prince who change each other in unexpected ways. And winner of a Governor General’s Award, Canada’s most prestigious literary prize, and the Bologna Ragazzi Award, Who Owns the Clouds? (January), by Mario Brassard, illustrated by Gérard DuBois, is a stunningly evocative book about experience, trauma and healing will stay with readers from beginning to end.

Book Cover Best Vacation Ever

Kirkus Reviews recommends Brooke Carter's Star Eaters (February), noting, “The moral quandary in this science-fiction tale for reluctant readers is sharply articulated and deeply felt.” Best Vacation Ever (June), a stand-alone novel from YA superstar Jessica Cunsolo, deals with romance and friendship, but it’s also about learning to stand-up for yourself and be who you want to be. Cunsolo’s With Me series also continues with Be With Me (January), with Jason and Jackson Parker all grown up and ready to follow in their brother Aiden's footsteps.

Book Cover How to Win a Rainbow

After inadvertently starting rumors of a haunted cemetery, a teen befriends a ghost in Funeral Songs for Dying Girls (April), acclaimed and bestselling author Cherie Dimaline exploring grief and belonging. When Raven is sent to Rainbow Wings Summer Camp, a performing arts camp in Northern Ontario, where campers have special learning or health needs, she finds herself in the midst of intrigue, adventure, and a new understanding of herself in Sharon Frayne’s The Sound of a Rainbow (March). Dear Elsa (February), by Marco Fraticelli, is a book about friendship, haiku, and finding one's gifts. From M-E Girard, Lambda Award-winning author of Girl Mans Up, comes Then Everything Happens at Once (January), an empowering, sex-positive coming-of-age story about a teen exploring first love and desire, as her rocky relationship with her own body and a pandemic threaten to sabotage everything.

Book Cover How to Win a Break up

Perfect for fans of Fat Chance, Charlie Vega and Cool for the Summer: an “it” couple’s breakup becomes a sporting event in a deliciously charming novel about the games people play in the name of love in Farah Heron's latest, How to Win a Breakup (March). The Meadowlands (May), by Kate Kelly, is a young adult dystopian fantasy following the adventures of four children who come from a near future dominated by institutions, technology, and state control. And Something More (June), by Jackie Khalilieh, is a contemporary teen romance novel featuring a Palestinian-Canadian girl trying to hide her autism diagnosis while navigating her first year of high school, for fans of Jenny Han and Samira Ahmed. 

Book Cover Buffalo Flats

A stubborn, irreverent and resourceful young woman discovers that it is the bonds of family, faith and friendship that will tie her to the wild and unpredictable land she comes to love so fiercely in Martine Leavitt's Buffalo Flats (April).  After his voyage across the galaxy, Nate Silva arrives home to find Hamilton, Ontario, in the grip of a monstrous triumvirate in David Neil Lee’s latest, The Great Outer Dark (May). And in Cleaning Up (April), by Leanne Liberman, Jess finds a secret diary and imagines what it would be like to be a girl who has everything—will she become so wrapped up in someone else’s life that she misses a chance to create her own?

Book Cover Bliss Adair

A 16-year-old ace knitter and math whiz discovers that some secrets are meant to be shared while others are not in Bliss Adair and the First Rule of Knitting (March), by Jean Mills. Mills also releases Wingman (April), a story of hockey and friendship. From acclaimed author Louisa Onomé comes The Melancholy of Summer (May), the perfect embodiment of a Sad Girl Summer novel: a girl left on her own during a hot Toronto summer, grasping at sunshine, haunted by absence. In fractured vignettes in a novel told in verse, Brooke begins to examine her life from a new perspective in Valerie Sherrard’s latest, Standing on Neptune (April), and knows she must face the answer to the question that began her week: Am I pregnant? Transgender teen Ichiro enters a drag contest in hopes of earning enough money to live off the grid in Baby Drag Queen (April), by C.A. Tanaka. And fire, smoke, and ash consume the continent in Wake (May), the darkest chapter yet in Jae Waller’s The Call of the Rift series.

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