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FALL IN LOVE WITH NEW BOOKS - YOUNG READERS

September is upon us, school is back in session, 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 readers. To see our list of books for adults, click here.


Happy reading!


Little Moar and the Moon

Written by Roselynn Akulukjuk, illustrated by Jazmine Gubbe
Published by Inhabit Media (October 12)

Moar has always loved autumn, but there is one thing about autumn that really worries him: the moon. The days become shorter and the moon, with its creepy face and eerie smile, seems to be looking down on him before he can get home from school! So, one day, Moar is determined to get home before the moon appears. But he may run out of time!

Roselynn Akulukjuk was born in Pangnirtung, NU. After finishing her studies and working in Toronto, Roselynn returned home to Nunavut, where she began working with Taqqut Productions, an Inuit-owned production company. Part of Roselynn’s love of filmmaking is the ability to interview elders, listen to their traditional stories, and share them with the world. 

Jazmine Gubbe is an illustrator from Ontario currently working in the animation industry. When she is not painting she is exploring nature and learning the mysterious local history.


A Sure Cure for Witchcraft

By Laura Best
Published by Nimbus Publishing (August 31)

Witches are hated in Württemberg, in what is now Germany, in the eighteenth century. It’s not so long since they were burned, and any woman who knows too much, who’s too clever or quick or skilled at healing, is suspect. Young Lilli knows this, and yet she also knows that the wise woman she’s learning from, Alisz, isn’t evil. Lilli’s learning and plight in the 1700s take front and centre in this multi-century story of healing, friendship, and the bravery it can take to be a woman who follows her own heart.

Laura Best has had over forty short stories published in literary magazines and anthologies. Her first young adult novel, Bitter, Sweet, was shortlisted for the Geoffrey Bilson Award for Historical Fiction for Young People and made the Best Books for Kids and Teens 2011 list. She lives in East Dalhousie, NS.




The House Next Door
By Claudine Crangle
Published by Groundwood Books (August 1)

Alone on his lot, a sturdy little house has stood for as long as anyone can remember, stoically weathering the storms. But one day, the wind brings change. With great wit and an eye-popping use of cardboard, paint and fabric, multimedia artist Claudine Crangle explores our fear of difference through the viewpoint of a small country house beset by urbanization. But not everything that’s new is bad, as the little farmhouse learns in this timely and hopeful picture book about embracing the changes in life we can’t control.

Claudine Crangle is a multidisciplinary artist whose previous picture books include Priscilla Pack Rat and Woolfred Cannot Eat Dandelions. As a kid who loved to make things out of cereal boxes, she hopes that this book will inspire creativity and construction. All of the houses in this story were made of cardboard, paper, found objects and various other materials scavenged from recycling bins where Claudine lives.




In the Key of Nira Ghani
By Natasha Deen
Published by Hachette Book Group (November 2 in paperback)

Nira Ghani has always dreamed of becoming a musician. Her Guyanese parents, however, have big plans for her to become a scientist or doctor. Nira's grandmother and her best friend, Emily, are the only people who seem to truly understand her desire to establish an identity outside of the one imposed on Nira by her parents. When auditions for jazz band are announced, Nira realizes it's now or never to convince her parents that she deserves a chance to pursue her passion. A relatable and timely contemporary, coming-of age story, In the Key of Nira Ghani explores the social and cultural struggles of a teen in an immigrant household.

Natasha Deen spent the first part of her life in Guyana, then her family moved to Calgary, AB, which she found terribly exciting until her first minus-forty-degree winter day, at which point she began to question the sanity of the grown-ups around her. She currently lives in Edmonton, Alberta with her husband, dogs, and cats, and regularly entices the muses to her office with offers of cupcakes and tea.





Welcome to the Cypher
Written by Khodi Dill, illustrated by Awuradwoa Afful
Published by Annick Press (October 12)

Starting with beatboxes and fingersnaps, an exuberant narrator introduces kids in his community to the powerful possibilities of rap, from turning “a simple phrase/into imagery that soars” to proclaiming, “this is a voice that represents me!” As the rhymes heat up, the diverse crew of kids gain self-confidence and a sense of freedom in this wonderful picture book debut that is perfect for reading aloud.

Khodi Dill a Bahamian-Canadian writer of everything from rap songs to children’s literature. He is a practicing anti-racist educator with a passion for social justice and the arts. 

Awuradwoa Afful is a Ghanaian-Canadian designer, illustrator, and animator. She was born and raised in Toronto.



A Picnic in the Sun
Story and songs by Christiane Duchesne and Jérôme Minière, illustrated by Marianne Ferrer
Published by The Secret Mountain Publishing (September 1)

An imaginative musical tale comprised of a narrated story interspersed with original and traditional songs that follows four inseparable friends who love being together. Bertie and his buddies never ever got bored with each other… except for the time when it rained for four straight weeks! That’s when they decided to repair an old boat and head for dryer lands, a sunny place atop the Blue Mountain. The journey to the faraway unknown destination wouldn’t be easy, but with a little help from newly made animal friends, they finally make it to the summit.

Christiane Duchesne is the author of more than 80 children’s books. She is a two-time winner of the Governor General’s Literary Award and was a finalist for the Christian Andersen Award.

Jérôme Minière grew up in Orléans, France and settled in Montreal in 1995. As a singer-songwriter, he has released over a dozen albums, including the awardwinning "Le vrai le faux" and "Petit Cosmonaute." 

Marianne Ferrer was born in Venezuela and immigrated to Canada in 1998. After attending Dawson College in Montreal for illustration and design, she completed her education in graphic design at the Université du Québec à Montréal. She recently published The Invisible Garden and A Story about Cancer (With a Happy Ending).



Borders
Written by Thomas King, illustrated by Natasha Donovan
Published by HarperCollins Canada (September 7)

On a trip to visit his older sister, who has moved away from the family home on the reserve to Salt Lake City, a young boy and his mother are posed a simple question with a not-so-simple answer. Are you Canadian, the border guards ask, or American? “Blackfoot.” A powerful graphic-novel adaptation of one of Thomas King’s most celebrated short stories, Borders explores themes of identity and belonging, and is a poignant depiction of the significance of a nation’s physical borders from an Indigenous perspective.

Thomas King is an award-winning writer whose fiction includes Sufferance, Indians on Vacation, The Back of the Turtle, The Inconvenient Indian, and more. A Companion of the Order of Canada and the recipient of a National Aboriginal Achievement Award, Thomas taught at the University of Lethbridge and was chair of American Indian Studies at the University of Minnesota. Following this, he taught at the University of Guelph until he retired. 

Natasha Donovan is a Métis illustrator originally from Vancouver. Her sequential work has been published in This Place: 150 Years Retold and Wonderful Women of History. She is the illustrator of the award-winning graphic novel series Surviving the City, as well as the award-winning Mothers of Xsan children's book series.



A Terrible Tide
By Suzanne Meade
Published by Second Story Press (September 28)

November 18th, 1929. In her small village in Newfoundland, Celia is setting the table for her 13th birthday celebration when the house starts to shake. A few hours later, the sea water disappears from the harbour, only to rush back in a wave almost 30 feet high, destroying nearly everything in its path. Based on the true story of an earthquake that shook Newfoundland's Burin Peninsula, A Terrible Tide tells the tale of this forgotten disaster from the point of view of a young girl whose life is turned upside down.

Suzanne Meade specializes in historical fiction. As a member of the LGBTQ+ community, she is passionate about telling stories that connect with girls, women, and marginalized communities. In her spare time, she enjoys genealogy, yoga, reading, watching sci-fi, fantasy, and superhero movies, and playing video games. She currently teaches elementary school French and lives with her family and pets in Hamilton, ON.



Valley of the Rats
By Mahtab Narsimhan
Published by Cormorant Books (September 18)

Book nerd Krish hates the outdoors, and camping. But especially germs. When Krish and his father, Kabir, take a camping trip to Ladakh, he convinces himself that they will bond, despite their differences. When they’re lost in a bamboo forest, teeming with black rats, and germs, Krish is at an all-time low. His gut feel and a couple of rats lead them to a hidden village, Imdur, unmarked on any map. Krish and his father are allowed to stay, only if they follow rules. But Krish soon realizes the village has an odd custom of worshipping rats. They also have a secret. And so does his dad. Turns out, Krish has a secret too.

Mahtab Narsimhan is the author of a young adult trilogy, four middle-grade novels, and two picture books. Her first novel, The Third Eye, won the Silver Birch Award. Its sequels, The Silver Anklet and The Deadly Conch, have received critical acclaim, and Narsimhan’s standalone novel The Tiffin, was nominated for the Red Maple Fiction Award, the Manitoba Young Readers’ Choice Award and the SYRCA Snow Willow Award. A native of Mumbai (Bombay), Mahtab now lives in British Columbia.



Iron Widow
By Xiran Jay Zhao
Published by Penguin Random House Canada (September 21)

The boys of Huaxia dream of pairing up with girls to pilot Chrysalises, giant transforming robots that can battle the mecha aliens that lurk beyond the Great Wall. It doesn't matter that the girls often die from the mental strain. When 18-year-old Zetian offers herself up as a concubine-pilot, it's to assassinate the ace male pilot responsible for her sister's death. But she gets her vengeance in a way nobody expected – she kills him through the psychic link between pilots and emerges from the cockpit unscathed. She is labeled an Iron Widow, a much-feared and much-silenced kind of female pilot who can sacrifice boys to power up Chrysalises instead.​ Now that Zetian has had a taste of power, she will not cower so easily.

Xiran Jay Zhao is a first-gen immigrant from small-town China who was raised by the Internet​. A recent graduate of Vancouver’s Simon Fraser University, they wrote science fiction and fantasy while they probably should have been studying more about biochemical pathways. You can find them on Twitter for memes, Instagram for cosplays and fancy outfits, and YouTube for long videos about Chinese history and culture. 



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