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September is upon us and it's good to be a book lover! To celebrate the season, we’ve curated a collection of new and forthcoming books to fill out your list this fall. Use the "Shop Local" button to pick up or pre-order these titles at your nearest indie bookstore.

This page includes recommendations for young adults. To see our list of books for adults, click here. Click here for our picks for kids.

Happy reading!

Dragging Mason County
By Curtis Campbell
Annick Press (October 2023)

Peter Thompkin needs a public image overhaul. After a confrontation with one of the few other queer kids at school, rumors between to spread. Meanwhile, his best friend Alan is throwing the town’s debut Drag Extravaganza. Although Peter is a self-described “dragnostic,” he decides to help produce the show, hoping to prove that he isn’t a self-hating gay. At turns touching, sharply funny, and a little absurd, Dragging Mason County explores the pains and pleasures of queer community through one teen’s journey to self-acceptance.

Curtis Campbell is a writer, comedian, and theater artist. His plays are mainstays of the Toronto indie theater scene, and he is the winner of the inaugural Comedy Bar and Second City Award for Best Comedy. NOW Toronto has described Curtis’s work as “razor sharp,” the Toronto Star called it “pitch perfect satire,” and his mother has described it as “just not my cup of tea.” Curtis lives in Toronto with an artist named Kevin and their dog, Pip.

Into the Bright Open: A Secret Garden Remix
By Cherie Dimaline
Macmillan (September 2023)

Mary Lennox didn’t think about death until the day it knocked politely on her bedroom door and invited itself in. When a terrible accident leaves her orphaned at fifteen, she is sent to the wilderness of the Georgian Bay to live with an uncle she's never met. This queer YA reimagining of The Secret Garden subverts the cishet and white status quo of the original in a tale of family secrets wonderful and horrifying.

Cherie Dimaline's book, The Marrow Thieves, won the Governor General’s Award and the prestigious Kirkus Prize for Young Readers. Her novel Empire of Wild became an instant Canadian bestseller. Cherie spent many years working in and for Indigenous communities and now lives in her home territory where she is a registered and active member of the Georgian Bay Metis Community.

Those Pink Mountain Nights
By Jen Ferguson
HarperCollins Canada (September 2023)

Overachievement isn’t a bad word—for Berlin, it’s the goal. Dropping out of high school wasn’t smart, but it was necessary for Cameron, who is dealing with his cousin’s disappearance. And people at school label Jessie a tease and a rich girl, but she knows she contains multitudes. In her second novel following her Governor General’s Award-winning debut, Jen Ferguson writes about the hurt of a life stuck in past tense, the hum of connections that cannot be severed, and one week in a small, snowy town that changes everything.

Jen Ferguson is Michif/Métis and white, an activist, an intersectional feminist, an auntie, and an accomplice armed with a PhD in English and creative writing.

Hopeless in Hope
By Wanda John-Kehewin
Portage & Main Press (September 2023)

For Eva Brown, life feels lonely and small. When her beloved nohkum is hospitalized, Eva finds herself in a group home. She is furious with her mother and struggles to adjust as being reunited with her family seems less and less likely. During a visit to the hospital, Nohkum gives Eva her mother’s diary. Will it help Eva understand her mother? Heartbreaking and humorous, Hopeless in Hope is a compelling story of family and forgiveness.

Wanda John-Kehewin is a Cree writer who uses her work to understand and respond to the near destruction of First Nations cultures, languages, and traditions. She is a published poet, fiction author, and film scriptwriter. She is the author of the Dreams series of graphic novels. Hopeless in Hope is her first novel for young adults.

Curious Tides
By Pascale Lacelle
Simon & Schuster Canada (October 2023)

Emory might be a student at the prestigious Aldryn College for Lunar Magics, but her healing abilities have always been mediocre at best—until a treacherous night in the Dovermere sea caves leaves a group of her classmates dead and her as the only survivor. Now Emory is plagued by strange, impossible powers that no healer should possess. Ninth House meets A Deadly Education in this gorgeous dark academia fantasy.

Pascale Lacelle is a French-Canadian author from Ottawa. A long-time devourer of books, she started writing at age thirteen and quickly became enthralled by the magic of words. When not lost in stories, she’s most likely daydreaming about food and travel, playing with her dog Roscoe, or trying to curate the perfect playlist for every mood.

Goddess Crown
By Shade Lapite
Penguin Random House Canada (September 2023)

Kalothia has grown up in the shadows of her kingdom, hidden away in the forested East after her parents were outed as enemies of the king. Raised in a woodland idyll by a few kindly adult caretakers, Kalothia can hunt and fish and fend for herself but knows little of the outside world. In this thrilling Afro-fantasy, the first set in the lush, opulent kingdom of Galla, a girl raised in secret must face the subtle dangers of the royal court, where she becomes caught up in deadly power struggles and romantic intrigue.

Shade Lapite is British-Nigerian and has drawn on her heritage to create the world of her debut novel. Her love for the arts led her to a degree in media arts at Royal Holloway, University of London. She now lives in Toronto and juggles writing with her career in digital marketing.

Rise Up and Sing!: Power, Protest, and Activism in Music
By Andrea Warner, illustrated by Louise Reimer
Greystone Books (October 2023)

In Rise Up and Sing! Andrea Warner explores how music has contributed to the fight for social justice. Across eight areas of activism–the climate emergency, Indigenous rights, civil rights, disability rights, 2SLGBTQIA+ rights, gender equality, the peace/anti-war movement, and human rights–Warner introduces some of the artists who have made a difference.

Andrea Warner is the author of Buffy Sainte-Marie: The Authorized Biography and We Oughta Know: How Four Women Ruled the '90s and Changed Canadian Music. She’s the co-writer and associate producer of the 2022 documentary Buffy Sainte-Marie: Carry It On and co-hosts the the weekly feminist pop culture podcast Pop This!. Louise Reimer is a freelance illustrator and artist. She grew up in Vancouver and loves textiles, the 1970s, and going for hikes.


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