Spring has officially sprung and – surprise, surprise – we’re thinking about books. To celebrate the warmer weather, we’ve curated a collection of new and forthcoming books to fill out the shelves of young readers this spring. Use the "Shop Local" button to pick up or pre-order these titles at your nearest indie bookstore.
Click here to check out our picks for adults.
A Dupatta Is…
Written by Marzieh Abbas, illustrated by Anu Chouhan
Macmillan Publishers (April 11)
A Dupatta Is... is a loving and lyrical ode to the dupatta. Dupattas—shawls traditionally worn by women in various cultures of South Asia—are beautiful and colorful of course, but they're also fun, functional, and carry the sounds and smells of family and identity.
Marzieh Abbas was raised between the bustling cities of Dubai, UAE, and Karachi, Pakistan. Marzieh loves traveling, baking, reading and samosas. She is a member of SCBWI, 12x12PB, and a life-long learner. She runs a kidlit review group on Facebook and blogs about her author journey and life in Pakistan.
Anu Chouhan is an illustrator from Burnaby, BC. A trained animator and character designer, Anu often combines her love of Bollywood, anime, and global fashion into her art. She enjoys creating art that celebrates diversity and empowerment.
The Probability of Everything
Written by Sarah Everett
HarperCollins Canada (June 27)
Amplus-68 has an 84.7% chance of colliding with earth in four days, and with that collision, Kemi’s life as she knows it will end. With the days numbered, Kemi decides to put together a time capsule that will capture her family’s truth. But no time capsule can change the most inevitable and hardest part of life: saying goodbye. The Probability of Everything is a heart-wrenching middle grade debut about an aspiring scientist as she navigates grief and loss at a moment when life as she knows it changes forever.
Sarah Everett is the author of No One Here is Lonely and Everyone We’ve Been. She remembers growing up in enchanted forests, on desert islands, and inside a magical wardrobe. She would only ever erase her memory of past karaoke performances and certain fashion choices. She lives in Alberta.
The Superteacher Project
Written by Gordon Korman
Scholastic Canada (February 7)
It’s the start of a new school year and Oliver is looking forward to seventh grade. But Oliver’s new homeroom teacher, Mr. Aidact, is an odd duck. He has a seemingly superhuman ability to detect and defuse almost every one of Oliver’s schemes. Oliver and his friend Nathan are determined to find out what is up with this guy. What they uncover is out of this world! It’s The Unteachables meets I, Robot in another funny middle school tale from Gordon Korman.
Gordon Korman is the beloved author of over one hundred novels for young readers, including hilarious middle-grade classics such as the Macdonald Hall series, I Want to Go Home, and Slacker. Born in Montreal, Gordon grew up in Thornhill, ON, and now lives in New York.
Written by Andrew Larsen, illustrated by Udayana Lugo
Orca Book Publishers (May 16)
Bob is an orange tabby cat with big dreams. He lives in a safe and friendly apartment building with his human, but Bob knows he is more than an indoor cat. When he sneaks outside to chase after his dream, his adventure suddenly gets too wild. It's a good thing jungle cats know when to ask for help! Vibrantly illustrated with playful depictions of city life, this is the delightful story of an over-confident cat who learns about the comforts of community and home.
Andrew Larsen is the award-winning author of over 15 books, including In the Tree House, The Bagel King, A Squiggly Story, and Sally's Big Day. His books have been nominated for numerous awards including the Blue Spruce Award and the TD Canadian Children's Literature Award.
Udayana Lugo is a self-taught illustrator of mixed heritage. She has worked as a designer of a variety of things, including jewelry, auto parts, furniture, and interiors, and now she is an illustrator of children's books. Udayana lives in Richmond, British Columbia.
Pieces of Me
Written by Kate McLaughlin
Macmillan Publishers (April 18)
When eighteen-year-old Dylan wakes up, she’s in an apartment she doesn’t recognize. The other people there seem to know her, but she doesn't know them. Dylan has lost time before, but never like this. Soon after, Dylan is diagnosed with Dissociative Identity Disorder and must grapple not only with the many people crammed inside her head, but that a secret from her past—one so terrible that she’s blocked it out—has put them there.
Kate McLaughlin grew up in rural Nova Scotia with only her imagination and the Bay of Fundy to keep her entertained. That imagination was encouraged by her mother, and Kate began writing at age eight. She’s published more than 50 books under different pen names, including What Unbreakable Looks Like and Daughter.
I Want to Build a Seahouse
Written by Whitney Moran, art by Josée Bisaillon
Nimbus Publishing (May 2)
In a lighthouse on the sea lives a young girl who is about to become a big sister. Trouble is, she doesn't want a little sister. With her peaceful life disrupted, the girl's only option is to run away – and build her very own seahouse! A poetic ode to the childhood yearning for freedom, the debut picture book by editor Whitney Moran, whimsically illustrated by award-winning artist Josée Bisaillon, is a heartfelt story of family and independence, and a celebration of imagination and the natural world.
Whitney Moran has always lived by the sea and never too far away from a lighthouse. She is the managing editor of Nimbus Publishing and Vagrant Press in Kjipuktuk (Halifax) and makes her home in a seahouse in West Dover with her partner and their Old English Sheepdog.
Josée Bisaillon fell in love with illustration in university. Since then, scissors and brushes in hand, Josée has illustrated more than 40 picture books, including the Marilyn Baillie Award-winning The Snow Knows.
No Place Like Home
Written by Linh Nguyễn
HarperCollins Canada (March 14)
Lan, a teenager who recently came to Canada from Vietnam, spends every day searching for a sense of belonging. Books are the only things that make her feel at ease. But it comes as a shock when a mysterious wind whisks her right into the pages of her latest fantasy read. More shocking still is the fact that she herself summoned this wind! Sweeping in scope and timeless in tone, No Place like Home is a middle-grade portal fantasy unlike any other.
Linh. S. Nguyễn is a Vietnamese immigrant to Canada who straddles many intersecting worlds. She graduated from the University of Toronto as an English major and went on to pursue her master’s degree in Arts, Creativity and Education at the University of Cambridge. She loves to ride horses, swim in the ocean and design creative, community-engaged programming to foster opportunities for under-represented artists.
The Song of Wrath
Written by Sarah Raughley
Simon & Schuster Canada (April 18)
Iris Marlow can’t die. For years, she was tormented by her missing memories and desperate to learn her real identity. So when the mysterious Adam Temple offered to reveal the truth of who she was in exchange for her joining his team in a gruesome magical competition, it was an offer she couldn’t refuse. Penny Dreadful meets The Gilded Wolves in this captivating young adult sequel to The Bones of Ruin that follows Iris as she tries to thwart her destructive destiny.
Sarah Raughley grew up in Southern Ontario. Sarah has been nominated for the Aurora Award for Best YA Novel and works in the community doing writing workshops for youths and adults. Sarah has a PhD in English and, as an academic, Sarah has taught undergraduate courses and acted as a postdoctoral fellow. Her research concerns representations of race and gender in popular media culture, youth culture, and postcolonialism.
Smile So Big
Written by Sunshine Quem Tenasco, illustrated by Chief Lady Bird
Scholastic Canada (March 7)
When Challa comes home in tears after being teased about her smile, her mom gives her a special gift. It’s a magic mirror passed on from her mom, and from her djo djo before her. This story introduces readers to concepts of self-acceptance, self-empowerment, and recognition of the unique beauty that comes from within.
Sunshine Quem Tenasco is Anishinabe, from Kitigàn Zìbì Anishinàbe, Quebec. She is a clean water activist, mother of four and an entrepreneur, founder of Her Braids and Pow Wow Pitch. Her first book was Nibi’s Water Song.
Chief Lady Bird is a Chippewa and Potawatomi artist from Rama First Nation and Moose Deer Point First Nation. She uses digital illustration, mixed-media work, street art/murals, and community-based workshops to centre contemporary truths and envision Indigenous Futurisms.
Alone: The Journeys of Three Young Refugees
Written by Paul Tom, illustrated by Mélanie Baillairgé, translated by Arielle Aaronson
House of Anansi Press (May 2)
Each year, more than 400 minors arrive alone in Canada requesting refugee status. They arrive without their parents, accompanied by no adult at all. Alone relates the journey of three of them: Afshin, Alain and Patricia. Their story opens a window onto the many heartbreaks, difficult sacrifices and countless hardships that punctuate their obstacle-filled path. But Alone most especially tells of the courage and resilience that these young people demonstrated before being able to obtain a life where danger is no longer a part of their everyday existence.
Paul Tom was born in a refugee camp in Thailand, the son of Cambodian parents. He currently lives in Montreal where he uses his skills for projects that give a voice to those people we don’t hear enough about. Whether working as a film editor, director, or author, he tells stories in such a way as to shed light on the intimate, precious and fragile aspects of human beings.
Mélanie Baillairgé lives and works in Montreal. A multi-talented artistic and creative director, she likes to create images using bold colours and dramatic lines. Her illustrations, which have great evocative power, go straight to the heart.
Arielle Aaronson left New Jersey to pursue a diploma in Translation Studies at Concordia University in Montreal. She holds an M.A. in Second Language Education from McGill University and eaches English in the Montreal public school system. She previously translated Marie-Renée Lavoie’s Autopsy of a Boring Wife and A Boring Wife Settles the Score.