Welcome to Braille Books Acquired. This quarterly newsletter contains a list of Braille books recently acquired by the Centre for Equitable Library Access (CELA).
In this issue:
- Uncontracted braille / fiction and non-fiction for children
- Fiction printbraille
- Non-fiction printbraille
- Fiction for young adults
- Non-fiction for children and young adults
- Fiction for adults
- Non-fiction for adults
Although the majority of these books have been published within the last 5 years, there may be some books listed here which are older, but which were only recently added to our collection. To make this clearer for you, we include the date of the print version of each book at the end of its annotation.
Letter from CELA’s Executive Director Laurie Davidson
CELA’s role, as a repository of stories and information, is one we take very seriously. We work with publishers, literary awards and reading programs to ensure that everyone, regardless of how they read, can stay informed and take part in our national conversations. Whether you choose the Governor General Award winning Five Little Indians about residential schools, the Trillium award winning How to Pronounce Knife, or one of the fantastic books from the TD Summer Reading Club, we have books to help you learn, to make you think, to entertain or engage you. We also work very hard to make sure that the books in our collection reflect the diverse experiences and stories of our own users. We should all be able to see ourselves and our neighbours in the stories we read.
We are also celebrating the beginning of Summer Reading Club season. CELA collaborates with the TD Summer Reading Club to supply adapted notebooks to kids with print disabilities and to support other Summer Reading Clubs, like those in BC and New Brunswick, to provide accessible versions of many of the books on their reading lists.
If there are books you would like to see added to our collection please use our book suggestion form to let us know. And stay tuned to our social media, our blog and our newsletters this summer for exciting announcements about additions to our collections.
Books have always been a way to help us make sense of the world. Like many across the country, we have been grappling with the news of the identification of nearly 1000 unmarked graves at residential schools in the past weeks. Throughout the month of June, we have been featuring Indigenous authors, especially residential school survivors, as it is their voices and experiences that need to be centered in these conversations. Our hearts are with all those affected by this national tragedy.
CELA Executive Director
Books for Learning: Residential Schools
As Canada grapples with the discoveries of unmarked graves at residential schools, many of us are turning to books to educate ourselves and gain new understanding of our history and the harms done to Indigenous communities.
We wanted to offer some resources from our collection, and our deepest condolences to Indigenous communities across the country.
- The reports from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission
- The Red Files by Lisa Bird-Wilson
- Five Little Indians by Michelle Good
- Indian Horse by Richard Wagamese
- Picking up the Pieces by Carey Newman
For young children
- When We Were Alone by David A. Robertson, Julie Flett
- Shi-shi-etko and Shin-chi's canoe by Nicola I Campbell, Kim LaFave
- Stolen words by Gabrielle Grimard, Melanie Florence
For older children
- I am not a number by Kathy Kacer, Jenny Kay Dupuis
- These are my words: the residential school diary of Violet Pesheens (Dear Canada) by Ruby Slipperjack
- Speaking our truth: a journey of reconciliation by Monique Gray Smith
Summer reading fun for kids!
Do you want to keep your child reading throughout the summer? There are summer reading programs taking place across Canada that have great book suggestions and feature fun online activities. Kids can download or borrow many of these titles in accessible formats through CELA so they can participate and log the books they’ve read this summer.
The BC Summer Reading Club is featuring mysteries and other adventures for young sleuths as their Crack the Case! theme.
In the New Brunswick Summer Reading Club, kids can immerse themselves in a fantasy world as part of their Reading is Fantastic! program. For the rest of the country, kids can read stories about athletes, learn about games from around the world and stay active by participating in the TD Summer Reading Club.
The TD Summer Reading Club is Canada’s largest summer reading program and is available for free for kids aged 0-12. Kids can sign up online or at their local library and receive an adapted notebook in larger print to track their reading. The notebook is full of activity suggestions. You may find accessible versions of the notebooks as a large-print PDF, audio, braille or in OpenDyslexic font on their Accessibility page.
We hope your child will enjoy participating in your library’s summer reading fun!
Braille Books Acquired is now available by e-mail. If you would like to receive it in this format, please get in touch with the CELA Contact Centre at 1-855-655-2273, or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you.
Uncontracted braille / fiction and non-fiction for children
3790192 Inuit Games: English Edition (Nunavummi) by Thomas Anguti Johnston, Sigmundur Thorgeirsson
1 volume. Inuit games have been played as long as anyone can remember! Learn all about Inuit games and why they are important for staying healthy and strong for life in the Arctic. Grades 1-4. 2020.
3827265 Happy Narwhalidays (A Narwhal and Jelly Book #5) by Ben Clanton
1 volume. Narwhal and Jelly spread some holiday cheer (and warm waffle pudding) in the festive fifth book of this blockbuster graphic novel series! Dive into three new stories about Narwhal's favorite time of the year! It's the festive season in the worldwide waters, and Narwhal is looking forward to cozying up with a good book, singing and partying with pod pals and enjoying some warm waffle pudding. But most of all Narwhal is excited about the arrival of the Merry Mermicorn! According to Narwhal, she's part mermaid, part unicorn and completely mer-aculous! Jelly is of course skeptical about the existence of the "Mira-Miny-What-A Corn"… even when he receives a mysterious present. It must be from Narwhal. Now Jelly has to get the perfect gift, but finding a present for someone as unique as Narwhal is no easy feat, even when you have six tentacles. How will Jelly ever come up with a whaley great gift for a best pal who spreads cheer all through the year? Grades 1-4. 2020.
3868327 The Fabulous Zed Watson! by Kevin Sylvester, Basil Sylvester
5 volumes. The literary scavenger hunt of a lifetime, starring an endlessly endearing non-binary tween. Zed Watson loves a few things: their name (which they chose themself!), their big rambunctious family, and - oh yeah - monsters. When Zed discovered the mystery surrounding an unpublished novel called The Monster’s Castle, they were completely hooked. Now Zed is a member of a small but dedicated legion devoted to finding the long-buried text. When a breakthrough discovery leads Zed to the route that they are sure will take them to the treasure, they know it’s time for a road trip. And with the help of their shy, flora-loving neighbour, Gabe, and his sister, Sam, a geologist who is driving back to college in Arizona, Zed and company are soon off on a wild adventure following cryptic clues. But it’s not all fun and games. Gabe doesn’t like Zed’s snacks, Sam is a bossy driver with total command of the ancient Impreza’s stereo, and Zed is often misgendered. It’s a good thing they also encounter kind strangers, potato-themed dance-offs and lots and lots of ice cream along the way. If Zed and Gabe can combine their strengths, survive Sam’s wrath and best the greedy historian who’s also hot on the book’s trail, they just might find the greatest treasure of all. Co-authored by child-parent duo Basil Sylvester and Kevin Sylvester, this is a vibrant and enormous-hearted story about friendship, identity and belonging. It features illustrations by celebrated author and illustrator Kevin Sylvester, and an Own Voices perspective based on Basil’s experience. Grades 3-7. 2021.
3882059 Woke: A Young Poet's Call to Justice by Elizabeth Acevedo by Olivia Gatwood, Mahogany L. Browne, Theodore Taylor III
1 volume. Woke: A Young Poet's Guide to Justice is a collection of poems to inspire kids to stay woke and become a new generation of activists. Historically poets have been on the forefront of social movements. Woke is a collection of poems by women that reflects the joy and passion in the fight for social justice, tackling topics from discrimination to empathy, and acceptance to speaking out. With Theodore Taylor’s bright, emotional art, and writing from Mahogany L. Browne, Elizabeth Acevedo and Olivia Gatwood, kids will be inspired to create their own art and poems to express how they see justice and injustice. With a foreword by best-selling author Jason Reynolds. Grades 3-7. 2020.
Sports and games
3893668 Proud to Play: Canadian LGBTQ+ athletes who made history by Erin Silver
2 volumes. The 2018 Winter Olympics marked a milestone for LGBTQ+ athletes. Thirteen athletes out of 3,000 competitors were out and proud - nearly double the number who felt comfortable sharing their sexuality four years earlier at the Sochi Games. Many athletes stay closeted for their entire sports careers, often unable to compete at their highest ability because of the shame and self-doubt they feel in not being true to their orientation or identity. But coming out still means facing harassment from fans, teammates, opponents, and the media, and a lack of sponsorship opportunities. While organizations like You Can Play, the Canadian Olympic Committee and Eagle Canada have made progress in recent years in promoting inclusivity at the grassroots and elite sporting levels, there is still much work to be done to ensure all athletes feel safe being their authentic selves. Athletes profiled include swimmer Mark Tewksbury, rhythmic gymnast Rose Cossar, professional hockey player Brock McGillis, speed skater Anastasia Bucsis, pairs figure skater Eric Radford, volleyball players Betty Baxter and Christopher Voth and hockey player Angela James. Grades 4-12. 2021.
3790191 Duck Days (Slug Days Stories #3) by Sara Leach, Rebecca Bender
1 volume. The third title in the collection that began with USBBY Outstanding International Book Slug Days. Lauren, a third-grade student who has Autism Spectrum Disorder, takes on the challenges of sharing her best friend and persevering when a classmate mocks her bicycle’s training wheels. Irma is Lauren’s best friend. Irma knows all the strategies Lauren uses when her Autism Spectrum Disorder makes it hard to “go with the flow.” Lauren helps Irma learn English words and understand unfamiliar customs. So why does Irma suddenly want to introduce Lauren to her mountain-biking, litter-dropping neighbor Jonas? Why is Irma calling Jonas her friend? As if sharing Irma weren’t bad enough, Lauren also has an alarming new problem at school. Their teacher has announced a mountain biking day when the students will learn to ride their bikes on an obstacle course. But Lauren still uses training wheels. She just can’t face the teasing she will get when her classmates see them. She isn’t brave like Irma. She can’t go with the flow like Dad. How can she possibly face this challenge? From author Sara Leach and illustrator Rebecca Bender comes an honest and warm-hearted successor to the critically acclaimed Slug Days and Penguin Days. With straightforward text and frequent black-and-white illustrations, Duck Days is an accessible chapter book for any young reader with mountains of their own to climb. Grades 1-4. 2020.
3789971 On Thin Ice (Hockey Super Six) by Kevin Sylvester
1 volume. Will the Hockey Super Six thwart their enemy’s plans for world domination in book two of this action-packed series? In the second book pitting six ordinary kids with super hockey skills against the forces of evil, Jenny, Benny, Mo, Starlight, DJ and Karl desperately need to stay out of Crosscheck’s grasp! Their last run-in revealed to evil scientist (and former mediocre goalie) Clarence Crosscheck the scope of some of their secret powers - powers he can use in his never-ending quest for world domination. Hard at work on a robot army to do his bidding, Crosscheck underestimates how strong the Super Six can be when they work together as a team. Get ready for high-stakes ice battles, non-stop hijinks and never-before-seen hockey action (it’s kids vs. robots, and some giant lizards too)! Grades 3-7. 2020.
Suspense and thrillers
3861518 Haunted Hospital (Orca Currents) by Marty Chan
1 volume. Xander thinks the George Wickerman Hospital would be the perfect setting for Spirits and Specters, a role-playing game where players go on “missions” to find evidence of paranormal activities. According to local legend, tuberculosis patients were used as test subjects in medical experiments that ended tragically, and their disfigured ghosts walk the hallways of this now-abandoned building. What better location to go ghost hunting? Even though they didn’t really believe the rumors, Xander and his friends soon begin to suspect that they are not alone. Is this place actually haunted by ghosts? Or something even more terrifying? Grades 4-7. 2020.
3827343 Canadian Women Now and Then: More Than 100 Stories of Fearless Trailblazers by Elizabeth MacLeod, Maia Faddoul
3 volumes. This timely and relevant collection of fascinating stories about groundbreaking Canadian women, present and past, offers an inspiring, one-of-a-kind look at Canadian history. Canadian women have long been trailblazers, creating art, making discoveries and setting records - and often battling incredible odds and discrimination in the process. Here, award-winning children's writer Elizabeth MacLeod presents biographies of more than one hundred of these remarkable women, from the famous, such as Margaret Atwood, to the lesser known, such as multi-award-winning mathematician Karen Yeats. There are stories of activists and architects, engineers and explorers, poets and politicians and so many more. Each category pairs a historical groundbreaker with a present-day woman making her mark in that same field. Included are stories of Indigenous women, immigrants, women with disabilities and women from the LGBTQ+ community. Together, they tell the story of Canada. And together they offer a vision of what's possible, to inspire all children to blaze trails of their own. This unique look at Canadian history is engagingly written with a storyteller's touch, making this a book that will be read for both research and pleasure. Organized by profession, it includes women in science, the arts, sports, politics, activism, law, business and more. This excellent resource for social studies lessons also contains a time line of significant dates in Canadian women's history, a list of author's sources, further resources and an index. Grades 4-7. 2020.
Alphabet, number and picture books
4005049 Raven Squawk, Orca Squeak (First West Coast Books #4) by Robert Budd, Roy Henry Vickers
1 volume. With bright and bold illustrations by celebrated Indigenous artist Roy Henry Vickers, this sturdy board book introduces iconic sounds of the West Coast and supports the language development of babies and toddlers. From the the crackle of a beach campfire to the swoosh of canoe paddles, the rustle and creak of cedars in the wind, the roar of sea lions and the crashing waves of the Pacific Ocean, the rhythmic text, vibrant illustrations and glossy tactile finish of Raven Squawk, Orca Squeak will delight the very youngest readers. Preschool. 2020.
4030971 Measuring Penny (Penny) by Loreen Leedy
1 volume. Lisa has an important homework assignment - to measure something in several different ways. She has to use standard units like inches and nonstandard units like paper clips to find out height, width, length, weight, volume, temperature, and time. Lisa decides to measure her dog, Penny, and finds out… Penny's nose = 1 inch long. Penny's tail = 1 dog biscuit long. Penny's paw print = 3 centimeters wide... and that's only the beginning! Lisa learns a lot about her dog and about measuring, and even has fun doing it. This clear and engaging concept book, delivered with a sense of humor, is certain to win over the most reluctant mathematician. Grades P-4. 2000.
3973134 Once I Was a Bear by Irene Luxbacher
1 volume. A beautiful, beguiling tale about adapting to change and finding your place. Especially comforting during this time of social distancing and uncertainty about the future. Oh, to be a bear in the forest! To rest and play, day after day, always feeling safe and at home. But when change fills the air, and it's time to journey into a different kind of wilderness, will it ever feel the same? This sensitively imagined story illuminates the difficult transitions we all must face as we learn how to be at home in the world. Grades P-4. 2020.
4029414 The Secret Fawn by Kallie George
1 volume. Gorgeous cut-paper art illuminates this sweet, heartfelt picture book about how special being little can be. For fans of Finding Wild and Little Fox in the Forest. A little girl is always missing out on the wonderful things her family gets to see and do, just because she is the youngest and smallest. She misses seeing shooting stars because she goes to bed too early; she can't pick the first apple of autumn because she's too short; and, this morning, everyone else got to see a deer, except her. She goes into her backyard in search of the deer, a sugar cube tucked in her pocket. She sees a flick of brown in the orchard - is that the deer? No, it's just the neighbor's friendly dog (shhhhh, Nala!). Is that it by the pond? No, that's just a bird, playing in the water. Just when she's about to give up, she spots a fawn, beautiful, quiet and small, just like her. The Secret Fawn beautifully captures the power of nature to inspire children and shows how connecting with animals can help kids who feel left out or overlooked. Grades P-2. 2021.
Folklore, fables and fairy tales
4030970 Dragons Love Tacos by Adam Rubin
1 volume. A New York Times bestselling phenomenon, this deliciously funny read-aloud is an unforgettable tale of new friends and the perfect snack that will make you laugh until spicy salsa comes out of your nose. Dragons love tacos. They love chicken tacos, beef tacos, great big tacos, and teeny tiny tacos. So if you want to lure a bunch of dragons to your party, you should definitely serve tacos. Buckets and buckets of tacos. Unfortunately, where there are tacos, there is also salsa. And if a dragon accidentally eats spicy salsa… oh, boy. You're in red-hot trouble. Grades P-2. 2012.
3973128 Sunny by Celia Krampien
1 volume. From debut author/artist Celia Krampien comes an unforgettable, transcendent story about the true power of optimism with this gorgeously illustrated picture book, Sunny. Most people would say there is nothing good about trudging to school on a rainy day. Most people would say that being carried away by the wind and dropped into the middle of a tumultuous sea is a very bad sort of situation. No, most people wouldn’t like that at all. But Sunny isn’t most people. Sunny likes to look on the bright side. And when things get exceedingly bleak? Well, isn't that what friends are for? Grades P-4. 2020.
3980831 We Wear Masks by Marla Lesage
1 volume. During the COVID-19 pandemic, many children have been introduced to wearing face masks and seeing others in masks. Author and illustrator Marla Lesage normalizes mask-wearing by introducing young readers to artists, ranchers, pilots, welders, scientists and many more people who already wear masks in their day-to-day lives. This delightful, rhyming picture book will help explain to children why wearing a mask is important as we interact with others in our communities. Readers will learn that, when they put on their mask, they are choosing to be kind and considerate of others. We Wear Masks is a fun tool to help children make sense of this new reality and make wearing masks less scary and more relatable. This book can be used as a conversation starter about the pandemic, the spread of germs and viruses, and what families can do to keep themselves and the people they care about safe. Grades P-K. 2020.
4030928 Violet Shrink: Braille Edition by Christine Baldacchino
1 volume. In this powerful story from Christine Baldacchino, author of Morris Micklewhite and the Tangerine Dress, a young girl navigates social anxiety at family gatherings and works with her father to find a solution. This Braille edition consists of the original book with Braille overlays added by hand. Each edition is made on demand, and Groundwood Books is selling this edition at cost. Violet Shrink doesn’t like parties. Or bashes, or gatherings. Lots of people and lots of noise make Violet’s tummy ache and her hands sweat. She would much rather spend time on her own, watching the birds in her backyard, reading comics or listening to music through her purple headphones. The problem is that the whole Shrink family loves parties with loud music and games and dancing. At Cousin Char’s birthday party, Violet hides under a table and imagines she is a shark gliding effortlessly through the water, looking for food. And at Auntie Marlene and Uncle Leli’s anniversary bash, Violet sits alone at the top of the stairs, imagining she is a slithering snake way up in the branches. When Violet learns that the Shrink family reunion is fast approaching, she musters up the courage to have a talk with her dad. In this thoughtful story about understanding and acceptance, Violet’s natural introversion and feelings of social anxiety are normalized when she and her father reach a solution together. Christine Baldacchino’s warm text demonstrates the role imagination often plays for children dealing with anxiety, and the power of a child expressing their feelings to a parent who is there to listen. Carmen Mok’s charming illustrations perfectly capture Violet’s emotions and the vibrancy of her imagination. A valuable contribution to books addressing mental health. Grades P-2. 2020.
Indigenous peoples in Canada fiction
3973136 The Train by Jodie Callaghan
1 volume. Ashley meets her great-uncle by the old train tracks near their community in Nova Scotia. Ashley sees his sadness, and Uncle tells her of the day years ago when he and the other children from their community were told to board the train before being taken to residential school where their lives were changed forever. They weren't allowed to speak Mi'gmaq and were punished if they did. There was no one to give them love and hugs and comfort. Uncle also tells Ashley how happy she and her sister make him. They are what give him hope. Ashley promises to wait with her uncle by the train tracks, in remembrance of what was lost. Grades 1-4. 2020.
4029416 The Old Man and the Penguin: A True Story of True Friendship by Julie Abery
1 volume. Told in rhyming verse, this is the touching true story of an oil-soaked penguin, the man who rescues him and an unlikely friendship. João hears “a sorry screech” as he walks along the shore near his home. It's from a penguin, whose feathers are soaked in oil. Too tired to swim, too weak to stand, he's barely moving on the sand. João must save this little guy. Without his help, he'll surely die. João takes the penguin home. He cleans him, feeds him and nurses him slowly back to health - and the pair develop a special bond. When the penguin is fully recovered, João knows it's time to return him to the wild where he belongs. But the penguin has other ideas. Told in rhyming verse, this heartwarming picture book tells the true story of João Pereira de Souza of Brazil, who cared for a Magellanic penguin that had been caught in an oil spill. When João tried to release him back to the wild, the penguin returned to João's home and stayed for months. The penguin, named Dindim by João, did eventually leave, but he now returns to visit his friend for five months of every year. A charming read-aloud showcasing a tender relationship between an animal and human, this book also promotes environmental awareness and stewardship, and explains how human activities often threaten wildlife. Author Julie Abery includes information about João and the penguin, how wildlife is affected by oil spills every year, and what to do if you find wildlife in distress. The lively art by award-winning Pierre Pratt brings a touching sweetness and emotional depth to the story. There are character education lessons here on empathy, kindness and caring. Grades P-2. 2020.
3980827 I Talk Like a River by Jordan Scott
1 volume. What if words got stuck in the back of your mouth whenever you tried to speak? What if they never came out the way you wanted them to? Sometimes it takes a change of perspective to get the words flowing. “I wake up each morning with the sounds of words all around me. And I can't say them all…” When a boy who stutters feels isolated, alone, and incapable of communicating in the way he'd like, it takes a kindly father and a walk by the river to help him find his voice. Compassionate parents everywhere will instantly recognize a father's ability to reconnect a child with the world around him. Poet Jordan Scott writes movingly in this powerful and ultimately uplifting book, based on his own experience, and masterfully illustrated by Greenaway Medalist Sydney Smith. A book for any child who feels lost, lonely, or unable to fit in. Grades P-3. 2020.
3973135 Hockey in the Wild (Life in the Wild) by Nicholas Oldland
1 volume. The lovable Life in the Wild trio can't wait to get out on the ice to play hockey. Except, well, they're going to have to! It's wintertime, and the bear, the moose and the beaver can't wait for hockey season to start. They're so eager, in fact, they head out onto the ice before it's thick enough, and they all fall through. Twice. While they wait for the lake to freeze, they try to take their minds off hockey. There's competitive napping. Karaoke. Lots of comfort food. Until, at last, the day arrives when the ice is ready. But, after all that time not being active, are they ready? Part of the bestselling Life in the Wild picture book series from Nicholas Oldland, this funny romp is, at its heart, a love letter to the sport of hockey and the joys of playing in the wild outdoors. Oldland's distinctive dry humor shines here, making this a fun read-aloud. But the hilarious visual story - including the character's facial expressions and numerous asides - mean children, even nonreaders, will also want to spend time with the pages on their own. Children who love hockey will appreciate the friends' devotion to the game and the difficulty of waiting for conditions to be just right, but every child who has had to wait for something (that is, every child) will relate to the situation. In this, the book offers some character education lessons on patience and perseverance. Separately, there are connections to healthy outdoor activity and winter safety. Grades P-2. 2020.
Animals and wildlife
4030973 The Polar Bear by Jenni Desmond
1 volume. A gorgeously illustrated nonfiction book about the polar bear, this is a factually accurate as well as a poetic exploration of polar bear bodies, habits, and habitats. Working in a painterly, expressive way, Jenni Desmond creates landscapes and creatures that are marked by atmosphere and emotion, telling a story about bears that engages the reader's interest in amazing facts as well as their deep sense of wonder. Grades P-4. 2016.
3973127 Ocean Speaks: How Marie Tharp Revealed the Ocean's Biggest Secret by Jess Keating
1 volume. Meet Marie Tharp (1920-2006), the first person to map the Earth's underwater mountain ridge, in this inspiring picture book biography from the author of Shark Lady. From a young age, Marie Tharp loved watching the world. She loved solving problems. And she loved pushing the limits of what girls and women were expected to do and be. In the mid-twentieth century, women were not welcome in the sciences, but Marie was tenacious. She got a job at a laboratory in New York. But then she faced another barrier: women were not allowed on the research ships (they were considered bad luck on boats). So instead, Marie stayed back and dove deep into the data her colleagues recorded. She mapped point after point and slowly revealed a deep rift valley in the ocean floor. At first the scientific community refused to believe her, but her evidence was irrefutable. She proved to the world that her research was correct. The mid-ocean ridge that Marie discovered is the single largest geographic feature on the planet, and she mapped it all from her small, cramped office. Grades P-4. 2020.
4029415 Standing on Her Shoulders by Monica Clark-Robinson
1 volume. Standing on Her Shoulders is a celebration of the strong women who influence us - from our mothers, sisters, aunts, and grandmothers to the women who fought for equality and acceptance in the United States. Monica Clark-Robinson's lyrical text encourages young girls to learn about the powerful and trailblazing women who laid the path for their own lives and empowers them to become role models themselves. Acclaimed illustrator Laura Freeman's remarkable art showcases a loving intergenerational family and encourages girls to find female heroes in their own lives. Standing on Her Shoulders will inspire girls of all ages to follow in the footsteps of these amazing women. Grades P-4. 2021.
Science and medicine biography
4030969 Six Dots: A Story of Young Louis Braille by Jen Bryant
1 volume. An inspiring picture-book biography of Louis Braille - a blind boy so determined to read that he invented his own alphabet. Louis Braille was just five years old when he lost his sight. He was a clever boy, determined to live like everyone else, and what he wanted more than anything was to be able to read. Even at the school for the blind in Paris, there were no books for him. And so he invented his own alphabet - a whole new system for writing that could be read by touch. A system so ingenious that it is still used by the blind community today. Award-winning writer Jen Bryant tells Braille’s inspiring story with a lively and accessible text, filled with the sounds, the smells, and the touch of Louis’s world. Boris Kulikov’s inspired paintings help readers to understand what Louis lost, and what he was determined to gain back through books. An author’s note and additional resources at the end of the book complement the simple story and offer more information for parents and teachers. Grades K-3. 2016.
Fiction for young adults
Folklore, fables and fairy tales
3861515 The Ickabog by J. K. Rowling
5 volumes. From J.K. Rowling, a warm, fast-paced, funny fairy tale of a fearsome monster, thrilling adventure, and hope against all odds. Once upon a time there was a tiny kingdom called Cornucopia, as rich in happiness as it was in gold, and famous for its food. From the delicate cream cheeses of Kurdsburg to the Hopes-of-Heaven pastries of Chouxville, each was so delicious that people wept with joy as they ate them. But even in this happy kingdom, a monster lurks. Legend tells of a fearsome creature living far to the north in the Marshlands... the Ickabog. Some say it breathes fire, spits poison, and roars through the mist as it carries off wayward sheep and children alike. Some say it's just a myth... And when that myth takes on a life of its own, casting a shadow over the kingdom, two children - best friends Bert and Daisy - embark on a great adventure to untangle the truth and find out where the real monster lies, bringing hope and happiness to Cornucopia once more. Featuring full color illustrations by children from across the United States and Canada, this original fairy tale from one of the world's most celebrated storytellers will captivate readers of all ages. Grades 6-7. 2020.
3827344 Facing the Sun by Janice Lynn Mather
8 volumes. The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants meets The Education of Margot Sanchez in this Caribbean-set story about four friends who experience unexpected changes in their lives during the summer when a hotel developer purchases their community’s beloved beach. Change is coming to Pinder Street. Eve is the rock in her family of seven, the one they always depend on. But when her dad is diagnosed with cancer, she wants nothing more than to trade her worries for some red lipstick and a carefree night. Faith is the dancer all the boys want, but she only has eyes for the one she can’t have. The only thing is, all the flirting in the world can’t distract her from her broken home life... or the secrets that she hides. KeeKee is the poet who won’t follow the rules, not even to please her estranged father. But after a horrible betrayal, she’ll have to choose between being right and losing everyone she loves. Nia is the prisoner longing to escape her overprotective mother. A summer art program might be her ticket to freedom, yet it comes with a terrible price - and the risk may not be worth the reward. Ready or not, it’s time for these four friends to face the sun. For high school readers. 2020.
3924853 Like Home by Louisa Onomé
7 volumes. A poignant and incandescent debut that explores the bonds of community and what it really means to change. Chinelo - or Nelo, as her best friend, Kate, calls her - is all about her neighbourhood, Ginger East. She loves its chill vibe, its ride-or-die sense of community and the memories she has of growing up there. Ginger East isn’t what it used to be, though. After a deadly incident at the local arcade, most of Nelo’s friends, except for Kate, have moved away. But as long as the two girls have each other, Nelo’s good. Then Kate’s parents’ corner store is vandalized, leaving Nelo shaken to her core. The police and the media are quick to point fingers, and soon more of the outside world descends upon Ginger East with promises to “fix the neighbourhood.” Suddenly, Nelo finds herself in the middle of a drama that is unfolding on a national scale. Worse yet, Kate has begun acting strange. She’s pushing Nelo away at the exact time they need each other most. Nelo’s entire world is morphing into something she hates, and she must figure out how to get things back on track or risk losing everything - and everyone - she loves. Grades 7-9. 2021.
Non-fiction for children and young adults
Science and technology
3882070 Our Environment: Everything You Need to Know by Shelley Tanaka, Jacques Pasquet, Yves Dumont
1 volume. The environment is an essential but sometimes tough and weighty concept to grasp. This engaging nonfiction book takes readers back to the basics, offering an accessible overview of what makes up our environment, how those parts work, and why they matter. Divided into five sections - water, air, soil, energy, and climate - the book uses facts, figures, and simple language to give an overarching survey of our environment. Questions run throughout the text, creating a spirit of inquiry. Where does the water we use every day come from? What is the atmosphere? How does pollution affect soil? What is renewable energy? What influences climate? And how do we protect our planet for the future? With an appealing design and simple drawings and diagrams to support comprehension, this book takes a positive spin on the environment, reinforcing the importance of taking care of each element. Informational text features include a table of contents, sidebars, diagrams, and glossary. Grades 3-4. 2019.
3861538 The Black Friend: On Being A Better White Person by Frederick Joseph
5 volumes. The instant New York Times bestseller! Writing from the perspective of a friend, Frederick Joseph offers candid reflections on his own experiences with racism and conversations with prominent artists and activists about theirs - creating an essential read for white people who are committed anti-racists and those newly come to the cause of racial justice. “We don’t see color.” “I didn’t know Black people liked Star Wars!” “What hood are you from?” For Frederick Joseph, life as a transfer student in a largely white high school was full of wince-worthy moments that he often simply let go. As he grew older, however, he saw these as missed opportunities not only to stand up for himself, but to spread awareness to those white people who didn’t see the negative impact they were having. Speaking directly to the reader, The Black Friend calls up race-related anecdotes from the author’s past, weaving in his thoughts on why they were hurtful and how he might handle things differently now. Each chapter features the voice of at least one artist or activist, including Angie Thomas, author of The Hate U Give; April Reign, creator of #OscarsSoWhite; Jemele Hill, sports journalist and podcast host; and eleven others. Touching on everything from cultural appropriation to power dynamics, “reverse racism” to white privilege, microaggressions to the tragic results of overt racism, this book serves as conversation starter, tool kit, and invaluable window into the life of a former “token Black kid” who now presents himself as the friend many readers need. For junior and senior high readers. 2020.
Fiction for adults
3924855 A Perfect Likeness: Two Novellas by Richard Wagamese
2 volumes. The volume brings together two previously published novellas by Richard Wagamese, Him Standing and The Next Sure Thing, with a foreword from author Waubgeshig Rice. Both stories follow the lives of young men who have dreams for a better future. In their search for fame and fortune, Cree Thunderboy and Lucas Smoke end up on paths where their biggest challenge is staying true to themselves. In Him Standing, Lucas Smoke learns the art of carving from his grandfather. He discovers that he is a natural; he can literally make people come to life in wood. But when Lucas is asked to carve a spirit mask by a mysterious stranger, he quickly learns that his skill with a knife could cost him his dreams. In The Next Sure Thing, Cree Thunderboy has two things he does well: playing blues guitar and picking winning horses at the track. Picking winners is just meant to be a means to an end - Cree's goal is to make his living playing the blues. He meets a powerful man at the racetrack who convinces him he can parlay his special skill with the horses into a shot at the fame and fortune he seeks. Celebrated author Richard Wagamese artfully crafts these thrilling yet vulnerable stories of two young men trying to find their place in the world. 2021.
3882069 The Bleeds: A Novel by Dimitri Nasrallah
3 volumes. From the author of the widely acclaimed Niko comes a fresh take on the political thriller, an allegory of power and privilege resurrected from the thwarted ideals of the Arab Spring. In The Bleeds, Nasrallah overturns the conventions of the political novel to focus on the corroded luxury and power structures framing the lives of those most affected by war and insurrection. For half a century, the Bleeds have ruled with an iron fist. Once hailed as the founders of an independence movement, they've long since cemented into corrupt autocrats upheld by the foreign investors who manage their region's uranium trade. The aging Mustafa Bleed orchestrated the election of his son, Vadim, but Vadim's first term has proven he's more interested in the casinos of Monaco than his new role as leader. Now that an election has set the stage for revolt, opposition leaders, foreign diplomats, and journalists are fomenting a revolution against the Bleeds. All the while, father and son grapple with bonds of love, loyalty, betrayal, and paranoia. Dimitri Nasrallah's second novel, Niko, was nominated for CBC's Canada Reads and the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, and has been published in four languages. His debut, Blackbodying, won the McAuslan First Book Prize. 2018.
3924846 The Duke and I: Bridgerton (Bridgertons #1) by Julia Quinn
8 volumes. From New York Times bestselling author Julia Quinn comes the story of Daphne Bridgerton, in the first of her beloved Regency-set novels featuring the charming, powerful Bridgerton family, now a series created by Shondaland for Netflix. In the ballrooms and drawing rooms of Regency London, rules abound. From their earliest days, children of aristocrats learn how to address an earl and curtsey before a prince - while other dictates of the ton are unspoken yet universally understood. A proper duke should be imperious and aloof. A young, marriageable lady should be amiable…but not too amiable. Daphne Bridgerton has always failed at the latter. The fourth of eight siblings in her close-knit family, she has formed friendships with the most eligible young men in London. Everyone likes Daphne for her kindness and wit. But no one truly desires her. She is simply too honest for that, too unwilling to play the romantic games that captivate gentlemen. Amiability is not a characteristic shared by Simon Basset, Duke of Hastings. Recently returned to England from abroad, he intends to shun both marriage and society - just as his callous father shunned Simon throughout his painful childhood. Yet an encounter with his best friend’s sister offers another option. If Daphne agrees to a fake courtship, Simon can deter the mamas who parade their daughters before him. Daphne, meanwhile, will see her prospects and her reputation soar. The plan works like a charm - at first. But amid the glittering, gossipy, cut-throat world of London’s elite, there is only one certainty: love ignores every rule. This novel includes the 2nd epilogue, a peek at the story after the story. 2016.
3873560 I Am Ariel Sharon by Yara El-Ghadban
2 volumes. A bold and innovative novel, I Am Ariel Sharon dives into the tortured mind of the controversial Israeli prime minister as he lies comatose and faces an ultimate reckoning. Award-winning Palestinian Canadian novelist Yara El-Ghadban imagines the confrontation at death’s door between Ariel Sharon, the “King of Israel,” and the women closest to him - his mother, his wives, and the mysterious nurse Rita. Like latter-day Greek furies, they lament the brutality of his life and maltreatment of the Palestinian people and demand he face up to his part in the bloodshed of Israel’s wars. Here is an extraordinary, magical, and impassioned story of nearly impossible empathy, the singular work of a novelist in full flight. 2021.
3924851 The Push: A Novel by Ashley Audrain
5 volumes. A tense, page-turning psychological drama about the making and breaking of a family, told through the eyes of a woman whose experience of motherhood is nothing at all what she hoped for - and everything she feared. Blythe Connor is determined that she will be the warm, supportive mother she never had to her new baby Violet. But in the thick of motherhood's exhausting early days, Blythe doesn't find the connection with her daughter she expected. She's convinced that something is wrong with Violet - the little girl is distant, rejects affection, and becomes increasingly disruptive at preschool. Or is it all in Blythe's head? Her husband, Fox, says she is imagining things. Fox doesn't see what Blythe sees; he sees a wife who is struggling to cope with the day-to-day challenges of being a mother. And the more Fox dismisses her fears, the more Blythe begins to question her own sanity. Then their son Sam is born - and with him, Blythe has the natural maternal connection she'd always dreamed of. Even Violet seems to love her little brother. But when life as they know it is changed in an instant, the devastating fall-out forces Blythe to face the truth about herself, her past, and her daughter. The Push is a rare and extraordinary gift to readers: a novel about the expectations of motherhood we're taught not to challenge and what really happens behind the closed doors of even the most perfect-looking families. It's impossible to put down and impossible to forget. 2021.
4033806 The Woman in Valencia by Annie Perreault, Ann Marie Boulanger
3 volumes. While on vacation with her family in Valencia, Claire Halde witnesses a shocking event that becomes the catalyst for a protracted downward spiral and a profound personal unravelling as she struggles to come to grips with her role in the incident. This haunting novel, which unfolds across three timelines set in as many decades, takes the reader on a dark journey through the minds of three women whose pasts, presents and futures are decided by a single encounter on a scorching summer afternoon. 2021.
3974876 Return of the Trickster (The Trickster trilogy #3) by Eden Robinson
6 volumes. In the third book of her brilliant and captivating Trickster Trilogy, Eden Robinson delivers an explosive, surprising and satisfying resolution. All Jared Martin had ever wanted was to be normal, which was already hard enough when he had to cope with Maggie, his hard-partying, gun-toting, literal witch of a mother, Indigenous teen life and his own addictions. When he wakes up naked, dangerously dehydrated and confused in the basement of his mom's old house in Kitimat, some of the people he loves - the ones who don't see the magic he attracts - just think he fell off the wagon after a tough year of sobriety. The truth for Jared is so much worse. He finally knows for sure that he is the only one of his bio dad Wee'git's 535 children who is a Trickster too, a shapeshifter with a free pass to other dimensions. Sarah, his ex, is happy he's a magical being, but everyone else he loves is either pissed with him, or in mortal danger from the dark forces he's accidentally unleashed, or both. The scariest of those dark forces is his Aunt Georgina, a maniacal ogress hungry for his power, who has sent her posse of flesh-eating coy-wolves to track him down. Even though his mother resents like hell that Jared has taken after his dad, she is also determined that no one is going to hurt her son. For Maggie it's simple - kill or be killed, bucko. Soon Jared is at the centre of an all-out war - a horrifying place to be for the universe's sweetest Trickster, whose first instinct is not mischief and mind games but to make the world a kinder, safer, place. 2021.
3974874 The Relatives: A Novel by Camilla Gibb
3 volumes. From the renowned author of Sweetness in the Belly, The Beauty of Humanity Movement and This Is Happy, comes a bold, urgent and richly imagined novel about what it means to be a family in our modern world. Lila is on a long, painful journey toward motherhood. Tess and Emily are reeling after their ugly separation and fighting over ownership of the embryos that were supposed to grow their family together. And thousands of miles away, the unknown man who served as anonymous donor to them all is being held in captivity in Somalia. While his life remains in precarious balance, his genetic material is a source of both creation and conflict. What does it mean to be a family in our rapidly shifting world? What are our responsibilities to each other with increasing options for how to create a family? As these characters grapple with life-altering changes, they will find themselves interconnected in ways they cannot have imagined, and forced to redefine what family means to them. 2021.
3974881 Book of Wings by Tawhida Tanya Evanson
2 volumes. In this sweeping, allusive novel, the celebrated poet, dervish, and oral storyteller Tawhida Tanya Evanson comes to terms with what it means to stand on one's own two feet in an uncertain world. The acclaimed Antiguan-Canadian artist traces a global journey from Vancouver to the United States, Caribbean, Paris, and Morocco as a relationship with her lover and travel partner disintegrates and she finds herself on a path toward personal discovery and spiritual fulfillment that leads her deep into the North African landscape. 2021.
Mysteries and crime stories
3790193 The Aosawa Murders by Alison Watts, Riku Onda
6 volumes. On a stormy summer day the Aosawas, owners of a prominent local hospital, host a large birthday party. The occasion turns into tragedy when 17 people die from cyanide in their drinks. The only surviving links to what might have happened are a cryptic verse that could be the killer's, and the physician's bewitching blind daughter, Hisako, the only person spared injury. But the youth who emerges as the prime suspect commits suicide that October, effectively sealing his guilt while consigning his motives to mystery. The police are convinced that Hisako had a role in the crime, as are many in the town, including the author of a bestselling book about the murders written a decade after the incident, who was herself a childhood friend of Hisako’s and witness to the discovery of the murders. The truth is revealed through a skillful juggling of testimony by different voices: family members, witnesses and neighbours, police investigators and of course the mesmerizing Hisako herself. 2020.
3893669 Fate: The Lost Decades of Uncle Chow Tung: Book 1 (Uncle Chow Tung series #1) by Ian Hamilton
5 volumes. Hong Kong, 1970. The Dragon Head (also known as the Mountain Master) of the Fanling Triad has died and there is a struggle to replace him among senior members of the gang. Normally, the Deputy Mountain Master is next in line, but this one is weak and ineffectual and has only survived because of the protection of the Dragon Head. Up to this point, the Fanling Triad has operated in relative isolation from neighbouring gangs, but the Dragon Head's death has drawn attention to the area - and to its wealth. Other gangs start to make threatening moves and it's obvious to the senior members of the Fanling gang that they need a leader who can fend off the threats, unite the membership, and maintain their prosperity. There are several candidates. The least conspicuous is their White Paper Fan, their young administrator. His name is Chow Tung, but many of those who work with him already refer to him as “Uncle.” Followed by Foresight. 2019.
4005005 Lucky by Marissa Stapley
5 volumes. For fans of The Flight Attendant, a compelling and thrilling road-trip novel about a talented grifter named Lucky whose past comes back to haunt her. What if you had the winning ticket that would change your life forever, but you couldn't cash it in? Lucky Armstrong is a tough, talented grifter who has just pulled off a million-dollar heist with her boyfriend, Cary. She's ready to start a brand-new life, with a new identity - when things go sideways. Lucky finds herself alone for the first time, navigating the world without the help of either her father or her boyfriend, the two figures from whom she's learned the art of the scam. When she discovers that a lottery ticket she bought on a whim is worth millions, her elation is tempered by one big problem: cashing in the winning ticket means the police will arrest her for her crimes. She'll go to prison, with no chance to redeem her fortune. As Lucky tries to avoid arrest and make a future for herself, she must confront her past by reconciling with her father; finding her mother, who abandoned her when she just a baby; and coming to terms with the man she thought she loved - whose complicated past is catching up to her, too. This is a novel about truth, personal redemption, and the complexity of being good. It introduces a singularly gifted, complicated character who must learn what it means to be independent and honest... before her luck runs out. 2021.
Suspense and thrillers
3924856 The Shadow by Melanie Raabe, Imogen Taylor
6 volumes. Ruth Ware meets Shari Lapena in this internationally bestselling psychological thriller about the inescapable pull of destiny and revenge. Norah Richter has recently moved from Berlin to Vienna, hoping to put her old life behind her. While walking to her new office one morning, Norah is approached by an elderly homeless woman who utters these chilling words: On the eleventh of February, you will kill a man called Arthur Grimm… with good reason. And of your own free will. Norah is unnerved - many years earlier, something terrible happened to her on February 11 - but she chooses to shrug off the encounter as mere coincidence, until a few days later when she meets a man named Arthur Grimm. Soon Norah begins to have a dreadful suspicion: Does she have a good reason to hate this man she's never met? Could he be responsible for the tragic event in her past? And can Norah make sure that justice is done without committing murder? 2021.
Non-fiction for adults
Addiction and substance abuse
3861638 All That Glitters: A Climber's Journey Through Addiction and Depression by Margo Talbot
4 volumes. World-renowned ice climber Margo Talbot shares her compelling story of healing and self-discovery amid the frozen landscapes of the planet. Born and raised in Fredericton, New Brunswick, Margo Talbot grew up with a distant mother who “ruled the household with her eyes”; a father who opted to spend much of his time away from home; and four siblings struggling to deal with their particular domestic situation. As a result of her family’s dysfunction and her own growing mental illness, young Margo rarely smiled, had difficulty connecting with others, and was plagued with a black wave of anger and sadness that overshadowed much of the world around her. In time, drugs, alcohol, sex, and violence became her primary ways to connect with herself and others. From the depths of suicidal depression and a conversation with Death, Talbot eventually found solace and redemption in both the healing power of nature and the glory of climbing frozen landscapes in some of the world’s most pristine and challenging environments. Heartbreaking, honest, energizing, and inspiring All That Glitters is a remarkable memoir that shines a fresh light of hope on mental illness. 2020.
Animals and wildlife
3790014 Ice Walker: A Polar Bear's Journey through the Fragile Arctic by James Raffan
2 volumes. From bestselling author James Raffan comes an enlightening and original story about a polar bear’s precarious existence in the changing Arctic, reminiscent of John Vaillant’s The Golden Spruce. Nanurjuk, “the bear-spirited one,” is hunting for seals on Hudson Bay, where ice never lasts more than one season. For her and her young, everything is in flux. From the top of the world, Hudson Bay looks like an enormous paw print on the torso of the continent, and through a vast network of lakes and rivers, this bay connects to oceans across the globe. Here, at the heart of everything, walks Nanurjuk, or Nanu, one polar bear among the six thousand that traverse the 1.23 million square kilometers of ice and snow covering the bay. For millennia, Nanu’s ancestors have roamed this great expanse, living, evolving, and surviving alongside human beings in one of the most challenging and unforgiving habitats on earth. But that world is changing. In the Arctic’s lands and waters, oil has been extracted - and spilled. As global temperatures have risen, the sea ice that Nanu and her young need to hunt seal and fish has melted, forcing them to wait on land where the delicate balance between them and their two-legged neighbors has now shifted. This is the icescape that author and geographer James Raffan invites us to inhabit in Ice Walker. In precise and provocative prose, he brings readers inside Nanu’s world as she treks uncertainly around the heart of Hudson Bay, searching for nourishment for the children that grow inside her. She stops at nothing to protect her cubs from the dangers she can see - other bears, wolves, whales, human beings - and those she cannot. By focusing his lens on this bear family, Raffan closes the gap between humans and bears, showing us how, like the water of the Hudson Bay, our existence - and our future - is tied to Nanu’s. He asks us to consider what might be done about this fragile world before it is gone for good. Masterful, vivid, and haunting, Ice Walker is an utterly unique piece of creative nonfiction and a deeply affecting call to action. 2020.
4005004 Chronicling the Days: Dispatches from a Pandemic (Essential Anthologies Ser. #15) by Linda M. Morra, Marianne Ackerman, The Quebec Writers's Federation
4 volumes. Where were you when the pandemic hit? While the shock of COVID-19 was fresh, the Quebec Writers' Federation sent out a call to its members asking for short descriptions of life under lockdown. The response was immediate and heartfelt. Written and posted online between April 6 and May 26 of 2020, these dispatches - including several from the front lines - are first-person stories of hunkering down, gasping for air, facing challenges, getting through. Mainly written from isolation, the pieces present reading and writing as constant themes: trying, failing, being blocked, and finding renewed purpose. Award-winning author Susan Doherty opens the volume with a dramatic account of her own close call: how the man who saved her life unknowingly put her in danger of infection. Poet Rachel McCrum and writer Crystal Chan, who shepherded the project, reflect in their closing remarks on how the experience created community, and delivered unexpected insight into the power and purpose of chronicling our days. This book is a collaborative effort to document a time like no other. The cover image, a re-imagined detail from a seventeenth-century engraving of a plague doctor wearing elaborate personal protective equipment, links our present to a past in which disease was a decisive player. It is a moment we are not likely to forget anytime soon. 2021.
Blindness and visual impairment
3863665 Forward Together: An Inside Look at Guide Dog Training by Christie Bane
14 volumes. Have you ever watched a person who is blind working with a guide dog and wondered how the dog was trained? Forward Together reveals the professional methods behind training guide dog skills, including the following: accepting the harness and other equipment; leading the handler around obstacles; stopping for changes in elevation; ignoring distractions while working; generalizing behaviors to different environments; and taking action as needed to keep the handler safe from traffic. The book also includes in-depth explanations of matching dogs to handlers, and teaching handlers how to work with their new guide dogs. The author draws on over three decades of experience raising and training guide dogs for different organizations to provide insight into the training behind these lifesaving dogs. 2020.
Customs and cultures
3882058 North of the Color Line: Migration and Black Resistance in Canada, 1870-1955 (The John Hope Franklin Series in African American History and Culture) by Sarah-Jane Mathieu
10 volumes. North of the Color Line examines life in Canada for the estimated 5,000 blacks, both African Americans and West Indians, who immigrated to Canada after the end of Reconstruction in the United States. Through the experiences of black railway workers and their union, the Order of Sleeping Car Porters, Sarah-Jane Mathieu connects social, political, labor, immigration, and black diaspora history during the Jim Crow era. By World War I, sleeping car portering had become the exclusive province of black men. White railwaymen protested the presence of the black workers and insisted on a segregated workforce. Using the firsthand accounts of former sleeping car porters, Mathieu shows that porters often found themselves leading racial uplift organizations, galvanizing their communities, and becoming the bedrock of civil rights activism. Examining the spread of segregation laws and practices in Canada, whose citizens often imagined themselves as devoid of racism, Mathieu historicizes Canadian racial attitudes, and explores how black migrants brought their own sensibilities about race to Canada, participating in and changing political discourse there. 2010.
3827369 Take Back The Fight: Organizing Feminism for the Digital Age by Nora Loreto
8 volumes. Two decades of neoliberalism have destroyed a structured, pan-regional feminist movement in Canada. As a result, new generations of feminists have come of age without ever seeing the force that an organized social movement can have in democratic society. They have never benefited from the knowledge, the debates, the actions, the mass mobilizations or the leadership that all accompany a social movement and instead organize in decentralized silos. As a result, government and corporate leaders have co-opted feminism to turn it into something that can be bought, sold, or used to attract voters. Campaigns like #BeenRapedNeverReported, #MeToo, the SlutWalks and the Canadian Women’s marches, while important, don’t yet have the organized power to bring the changes that activists seek to make in society. In Take Back The Fight, Nora Loreto examines the state of modern feminism in Canada and argues that feminists must organize to take back feminism from politicians, business leaders and journalists who distort and obscure its power. Furthermore, Loreto urges today’s activists to overcome the challenges that sank the movement decades ago, to stop centering whiteness as the quintessential woman’s experience, and to find ways to rebuild the communities that have been obliterated by neoliberal economic policies. 2020.
Fine arts biography
3866164 Saga Boy: My Life of Blackness and Becoming by Antonio Michael Downing
6 volumes. An enthralling, deeply personal account of a young immigrant's search for belonging and Black identity amid the long-lasting effects of cultural dislocation. Antonio Michael Downing's memoir of creativity and transformation is a startling mash-up of memories and mythology, told in gripping, lyrical prose. Raised by his indomitable grandmother in the lush rainforest of southern Trinidad, Downing, at age 11, is uprooted to Canada when she dies. But to a very unusual part of Canada: he and his older brother are sent to live with his stern, evangelical Aunt Joan, in Wabigoon, a tiny northern Ontario community where they are the only Black children in the town. In this wilderness, he begins his journey as an immigrant minority, using music and performance to dramatically transform himself. At the heart of his odyssey is the longing for a home. He is re-united with his birth parents who he has known only through stories. But this proves disappointing: Al is a womanizing con man and drug addict, and Gloria, twice abandoned by Al, seems to regard her sons as cash machines. He tries to flee his messy family life by transforming into a series of extravagant musical personalities: "Mic Dainjah," a punk rock rapper, "Molasses," a soul music crooner and finally "John Orpheus," a gold chained, sequin and leather-clad pop star. Yet, like his father and grandfather, he has become a "Saga Boy," a Trinidadian playboy, addicted to escapism, attention, and sex. When the inevitable crash happens, he finds himself in a cold, stone jail cell. He has become everything he was trying to escape and must finally face himself. Richly evocative, Saga Boy is a heart-wrenching but uplifting story of a lonely immigrant boy who overcomes adversity and abandonment to reclaim his Black identity and embrace a rich heritage. 2021.
3827262 Fighting for a Hand to Hold: Confronting Medical Colonialism against Indigenous Children in Canada (McGill-Queen's Indigenous and Northern Studies #97) by Samir Shaheen-Hussain
11 volumes. Launched by healthcare providers in January 2018, the #aHand2Hold campaign confronted the Quebec government's practice of separating children from their families during medical evacuation airlifts, which disproportionately affected remote and northern Indigenous communities. Pediatric emergency physician Samir Shaheen-Hussain's captivating narrative of this successful campaign, which garnered unprecedented public attention and media coverage, seeks to answer lingering questions about why such a cruel practice remained in place for so long. In doing so it serves as an indispensable case study of contemporary medical colonialism in Quebec. Fighting for a Hand to Hold exposes the medical establishment's role in the displacement, colonization, and genocide of Indigenous peoples in Canada. Through meticulously gathered government documentation, historical scholarship, media reports, public inquiries, and personal testimonies, Shaheen-Hussain connects the draconian medevac practice with often-disregarded crimes and medical violence inflicted specifically on Indigenous children. This devastating history and ongoing medical colonialism prevent Indigenous communities from attaining internationally recognized measures of health and social well-being because of the pervasive, systemic anti-Indigenous racism that persists in the Canadian public health care system - and in settler society at large. Shaheen-Hussain's unique perspective combines his experience as a frontline pediatrician with his long-standing involvement in anti-authoritarian social justice movements. Sparked by the indifference and callousness of those in power, this book draws on the innovative work of Indigenous scholars and activists to conclude that a broader decolonization struggle calling for reparations, land reclamation, and self-determination for Indigenous peoples is critical to achieve reconciliation in Canada. 2020.
3790144 Restoring Democracy in an Age of Populists and Pestilence by Jonathan Manthorpe
8 volumes. From the author of the Globe and Mail bestseller, Claws of the Panda, comes a book quite literally for our times. Restoring Democracy in an Age of Populists and Pestilence is a thoughtful account of how we can save democracies from the despots and populists who provide easy answers to complicated situations, dumbing political discourse down to sandbox antics. Manthorpe argues that democracy is more resilient than it appears, and is capable of overcoming the attacks from within and without that have sapped its vigour since the end of the Cold War. He begins with a description of the events of 1989, one of the seminal years in modern history. This saw the end of the Cold War, and the apparent conclusive victory of democracy and its civic values. But the view of these changes as a triumph of democracy - as summed up in Francis Fukuyama’s essay "The End of History" - was short-lived. Russia, shorn of its Soviet empire, and the Chinese Communist Party, re-examining its survival after the Tiananmen Square Massacre, began devising ways to counter-attack the West’s triumphalism and these met with considerable success. Internal pressures and contradictions - wealth disparity being chief among them - threaten the survival of many democratic systems. Abandoned industrial workers turn to the repeated platitudes designed to appeal to those left behind without actually offering them the ways and means to catch up. Immigrants, refugees, and the reformist fixations of isolated liberal elites have provided ammunition for would-be despots. Adding to the pressures building on the political norms of our democracies, the COVID-19 pandemic has brought economic and social stand-still for which no country is prepared. 2020.
Journals and memoirs
3924858 Blue Sky Kingdom: An Epic Family Journey to the Heart of the Himalaya by Bruce Kirkby
8 volumes. One morning at breakfast, while gawking at his phone and feeling increasingly disconnected from family and everything else of importance in his world, it strikes writer Bruce Kirkby: this isn’t how he wants to live. Within days, plans begin to take shape. Bruce, his wife Christine, and their two children - seven-year-old Bodi and three-year-old Taj - will cross the Pacific by container ship, then travel onward through South Korea, China, India and Nepal aboard bus, riverboat and train, eventually traversing the Himalaya by foot. Their destination: a thousand-year-old Buddhist monastery in the remote Zanskar valley, one of the last places where Tibetan Buddhism is still practiced freely in its original setting. Taken into the mud-brick home of a senior lama, Tsering Wangyal, the family spends the summer absorbed by monastery life. In this refuge, where ancient traditions intersect with the modern world, Bruce discovers ways to slow down, to observe and listen, and ultimately, to better understand his son on the autism spectrum - to surrender all expectations and connect with Bodi exactly as he is. Recounted with wit and humility, Blue Sky Kingdom is an engaging travel memoir as well as a thoughtful exploration of modern distraction, the loss of ancient wisdom, and the challenges and rewards of intercultural friendships. 2020.
3790082 Like a Boy but Not a Boy: Navigating Life, Mental Health, and Parenthood Outside the Gender Binary by Andrea Bennett
5 volumes. A revelatory book about gender, mental illness, parenting, mortality, bike mechanics, work, class, and the task of living in a body. Inquisitive and expansive, Like a Boy but Not a Boy explores author andrea bennett's experiences with gender expectations, being a non-binary parent, and the sometimes funny and sometimes difficult task of living in a body. The book's fourteen essays also delve incisively into the interconnected themes of mental illness, mortality, creative work, class, and bike mechanics (apparently you can learn a lot about yourself through trueing a wheel). In "Tomboy," andrea articulates what it means to live in a gender in-between space, and why one might be necessary; "37 Jobs 21 Houses" interrogates the notion that the key to a better life is working hard and moving house. And interspersed throughout the book is "Everyone Is Sober and No One Can Drive," sixteen stories about queer millennials who grew up and came of age in small Canadian communities. With the same poignant spirit as Ivan Coyote's Tomboy Survival Guide, Like a Boy addresses the struggle to find acceptance, and to accept oneself; and how one can find one's place while learning to make space for others. The book also wonders what it means to be an atheist and search for faith that everything will be okay; what it means to learn how to love life even as you obsess over its brevity; and how to give birth, to bring new life, at what feels like the end of the world. With thoughtfulness and acute observation, andrea bennett reveals intimate truths about the human experience, whether one is outside the gender binary or not. 2020.
3882057 Side Effects May Include Strangers (Hugh MacLennan Poetry Series #56) by Dominik Parisien
1 volume. Ask, can we for a moment make of beauty / the measure of our pain? and I will answer. To be ill is to be a body bursting with strangers. A curiosity. A narrative to interpret. Dominik Parisien's debut collection is a poignant celebration of the complicated lived experience of disability, a challenge to the societal gaze, and a bold reconfiguration of the language of pain. A powerful contribution to the field of disability poetics, Side Effects May Include Strangers is an affecting look at the multitude of ways a body is both boundary and boundless. Parisien takes bpNichol's claim that "what is a poem is inside of your body" and localizes the inner and outer lives of disabled, queer, and aging bodies as points of meaning for issues of autonomy, disability, sexuality, and language. Balancing hope and uncertainty, anger and gratitude, these poems shift from medical practice to myth, from trauma to intergenerational friendship, in an unflinching exploration of the beauty and complexity of othered bodies. 2020.
Science and medicine biography
3947873 Be Kind, Be Calm, Be Safe: Four Weeks that Shaped a Pandemic by Lynn Henry, Dr. Bonnie Henry
4 volumes. From the BC doctor who has become a household name for leading the response to the pandemic, a personal account of the first weeks of COVID, for readers of Sam Nutt's Damned Nations and James Maskalyk's Life on the Ground Floor. Dr. Bonnie Henry has been called "one of the most effective public health figures in the world" by The New York Times. She has been called "a calming voice in a sea of coronavirus madness," and "our hero" in national newspapers. But in the waning days of 2019, when the first rumours of a strange respiratory ailment in Wuhan, China began to trickle into her office in British Columbia, these accolades lay in a barely imaginable future. Only weeks later, the whole world would look back on the previous year with the kind of nostalgia usually reserved for the distant past. With a staggering suddenness, our livelihoods, our closest relationships, our habits and our homes had all been transformed. In a moment when half-truths threatened to drown out the truth, when recklessness all too often exposed those around us to very real danger, and when it was difficult to tell paranoia from healthy respect for an invisible threat, Dr. Henry's transparency, humility, and humanity became a beacon for millions of Canadians. And her trademark enjoinder to be kind, be calm, and be safe became words for us all to live by. Coincidentally, Dr. Henry's sister, Lynn, arrived in BC for a long-planned visit on March 12, just as the virus revealed itself as a pandemic. For the four ensuing weeks, Lynn had rare insight into the whirlwind of Bonnie's daily life, with its moments of agony and gravity as well as its occasional episodes of levity and grace. Both a global story and a family story, Be Kind, Be Calm, Be Safe combines Lynn's observations and knowledge of Bonnie's personal and professional background with Bonnie's recollections of how and why decisions were made, to tell in a vivid way the dramatic tale of the four weeks that changed all our lives. Be Kind, Be Calm, Be Safe is about communication, leadership, and public trust; about the balance between politics and policy; and, at heart, about what and who we value, as individuals and a society. The authors' advance from the publisher has been donated to charities with a focus on alleviating communities hit particularly hard by the pandemic: True North Aid with its Covid-19 response in Northern Indigenous communities, and First Book Canada, with its focus on reading and literacy for underserved, marginalized youth. 2021.
Science and technology
3790143 Canadarm and Collaboration: How Canada’s Astronauts and Space Robots Explore New Worlds by Elizabeth Howell
5 volumes. After providing the Canadarm robotic arm for the space shuttle in 1981, Canada received an invitation to start an astronaut program - a program that quickly let its people accumulate skill and prestige. Canadian astronauts have since commanded the International Space Station, flown as co-pilots on spacecraft, and even held senior roles within NASA. This book traces how Canada grew from small beginnings into a major player in international space policy. You will hear about Canada’s space program from the words of its astronauts, from Canadian celebrity Chris Hadfield to Liberal cabinet minister Marc Garneau to Governor General Julie Payette. You will experience the excitement and challenges of reporting on a rocket launch in Kazakhstan, as Canada sent its latest astronaut to space in preparation for possible moon missions in the 2020s. And you will learn from the people who work behind the scenes on Canadian space technology and space policy about why we are doing this - and what we plan to do next. 2020.
3893675 Big: Stories about Life in Plus-Sized Bodies by Christina Myers
4 volumes. Pop culture stereotypes, shopping frustrations, fat jokes and misconceptions about health are all ways society systemically rejects large bodies. BIG is a collection of personal and intimate experiences of plus-sized women, non-binary and trans people in a society obsessed with thinness. Revealing insights that are both funny and traumatic, surprising and challenging, familiar and unexpected, 26 writers explore themes as diverse as self perception, body image, fashion, fat activism, food, sexuality, diet culture, motherhood and more. These stories offer a closer look at what it means to navigate a world designed to fit bodies of a certain size (sometimes literally) and, in turn, invite readers to ask questions about - and ultimately reconsider - our collective and individual obsession with women’s bodies. Contributors include Dr. Rohini Bannerjee, Amanda Scriver, Cassie Stocks, Jo Jefferson, Layla Cameron, Rabbit Richards, Sonja Boon, Simone Blais, Tracy Manrell and other writers from across Canada, the US, and the UK. 2020.
3947875 Crossroads: My Story of Tragedy and Resilience as a Humboldt Bronco by Kaleb Dahlgren
6 volumes. On April 6, 2018, sixteen people died and thirteen others were injured after a bus taking the Humboldt Broncos junior hockey team to a playoff game collided with a transport truck in a rural intersection. The tragedy moved millions of people to leave hockey sticks by their front door to show sympathy and support for the Broncos. People from more than eighty countries pledged millions of dollars to families whose relatives had been directly involved in the accident. Crossroads is the story of Kaleb Dahlgren, a young man who survived the bus crash and faced life after the tragedy with resiliency and positivity. In this chronicle of his time with the Broncos and the loving community of Humboldt, Saskatchewan, Dahlgren takes a hard look at his experience of unprecedented loss, but also revels in the overwhelming response and outpouring of love from across Canada and around the world. But this book also goes much deeper, revealing the adversity Dahlgren faced long before his time in Humboldt and his inspiring journey since the accident. From a childhood spent learning to live with type 1 diabetes to his remarkable recovery from severe brain trauma that astounded medical professionals, Dahlgren documents a life of perseverance, gratitude and hope in the wake of enormous obstacles and life-altering tragedy. 2021.
3861540 Good Morning, I Love You: Mindfulness and Self-Compassion Practices to Rewire Your Brain for Calm, Clarity, and Joy by Shauna Shapiro
5 volumes. Many of us yearn to feel a greater sense of inner calm, ease, joy, and purpose. We have tried meditation and found it too difficult. We judge ourselves for being no good at emptying our minds (as if one ever could) or compare ourselves with yogis who seem to have it all together. We live in a steady state of “not good enough.” It does not have to be this way. In Good Morning, I Love You, Dr. Shauna Shapiro brings alive the brain science behind why we feel the way we do - about ourselves, each other, and the world - and explains why we get stuck in thinking that doesn’t serve us. It turns out that we are hardwired to be self-critical and negative! And this negativity is constantly undermining our experience of life. “It is never too late to rewire your brain for positivity - for calm, clarity, and joy,” writes Dr. Shapiro. “I know this is possible because I experienced it. Best of all, you can begin wherever you are.” Shapiro, one of the leading scientists studying the effects of mindfulness on the brain, shows us that acting with kindness and compassion toward ourselves is the key. With her roadmap to guide you, including her signature “Good Morning, I Love You” practice, in which you deliberately greet yourself each day with these simple words, you can change your brain’s circuitry and steady yourself in feelings of deep calm, clarity, and joy. For good. 2020.
Sports and games
3827292 Change Up: How to Make the Great Game of Baseball Even Better by Dan Robson, Buck Martinez
6 volumes. In the spirit of Moneyball, the voice of the Toronto Blue Jays offers cutting insights on baseball. Buck Martinez has been in and around professional baseball for nearly fifty years as a player, manager and broadcaster. Currently the play-by-play announcer for the Toronto Blue Jays, Martinez has witnessed enormous change in the game he loves, as it has morphed from a grassroots pastime to big business. Not all of the change has been for the better, and today’s fans struggle to connect to their on-the-field heroes as loyalty to club and player wavers and free agency constantly changes the face of every team’s roster. In Change Up, Martinez offers his unique insights into how Major League Baseball might reconnect with its fanbase, how the clubs might train and prepare their players for their time in “The Show,” and how players might approach the sport in a time of sagging fan interest. Martinez isn’t shy with his opinions, whether they be on pitch count, how to develop players through the minor-league system, and even if there should be a minor-league system at all. Always entertaining, ever insightful, Martinez shares brilliant insights and inside pitches about summer’s favourite game. 2016.
3866163 Who Was Doris Hedges?: The Search for Canada's First Literary Agent by Robert Lecker
9 volumes. Despite her trailblazing efforts to represent the work of Canadian writers to publishers in North America and abroad, Doris Hedges (1896-1972), the Montreal author who started Canada's first literary agency in 1946, is routinely excluded from Canadian literary histories. In Who Was Doris Hedges? Robert Lecker provides a detailed account of her remarkable career. Hedges published several novels, short stories, and books of poetry, moved in Montreal literary circles, did a stint as a radio broadcaster, and provided reports to the Wartime Information Board during the Second World War, possibly as an American spy. She lived a privileged life in the Golden Square Mile district of downtown Montreal with her husband, Geoffrey Hedges, a member of the Benson and Hedges tobacco empire. The more one uncovers about Hedges's life, the more one discovers a courageous figure who was exploring many of the conflicted issues of her day: the rise of juvenile delinquency, the suppression of female sexuality, the place of women in business and finance, and the difficulties confronting the publishing industry in the years leading up to and following the war. Mixing lively biographical commentary with literary analysis, Who Was Doris Hedges? is a vivid account of a writer's life and concerns during a period when Canada's literature was coming of age. 2020.
World War II
3893676 The Third Man: Churchill, Roosevelt, Mackenzie King, and the Untold Friendships that Won WWII by Neville Thompson
16 volumes. The relationship between Winston Churchill and Franklin Roosevelt was among the most momentous - and mysterious - in history. The story of how these fiercely independent leaders worked together to defeat Hitler's Germany has been divined mainly from their cautious letters and the comments of staffers. Meanwhile, the detailed record of their fellow head of government, Canadian Prime Minister William L. Mackenzie King, who knew each of them better than they knew each other, has been largely overlooked. A sublime diplomat, King was determined, as leader of the largest British Dominion and America’s closest neighbour, to serve as a lynchpin between the great powers. Churchill and Roosevelt both came to rely upon him as their next most important ally, routinely confiding in him and never suspecting that he was meticulously recording every word, prayer, slight, and tic from their countless interactions in his voluminous unpublished diary. The Third Man offers us a truly unique look at the personalities, the strategies, and the epic relationship that won WWII. 2021.