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
This past year, like 2020, seems to be one for the record books. Throughout the challenges of 2021, we’ve heard from our users how books and reading have been important for information, comfort and even escape. We have been honoured to have played our own small role in that process.
We had a lot to celebrate last year as well. In September we surpassed 1 million titles in our collection. This milestone would not have been possible without the support of our colleagues in publishing, our funders, our member libraries, our fantastic team – and of course our users who have advocated for us, supported us and inspired us in this work. We especially want to acknowledge our collaborations with Penguin Random House Canada, the National Library Service (NLS) and Audible.ca, which helped us bring thousands of new and exciting titles into our collection. We are looking forward to adding even more human-narrated audio and human-transcribed braille to our collection this year.
CELA and NNELS together have been having positive and productive conversations with senior officials of the federal government with regards to reinstatement of our full federal funding for this fiscal year. An important part of that conversation also includes the Liberal Party platform commitment to establish a permanent fund to support services that ensure equitable access to reading and other published works for Canadians with print disabilities. Following our most recent conversation, we are pleased to share that Minister Qualtrough has confirmed continued funding at our current levels for this fiscal year as the Government of Canada continues its work on a long-term solution. We will share information with our users and stakeholders as we know more.
We have been collaborating with NNELS on the PLARC (Public Library Accessibility Resource Centre) project to create a consolidated resource centre for accessibility materials and training for libraries. You can check it out on the Accessible Libraries website.
And lastly we’re excited about our expanded delivery pilot project which will test three new ways to get books into the hands of our users. Our guiding principle at CELA has always been to ensure our users have choices in the materials that they read and the ways they can read them. We’re delighted that this project could increase options for all our users. There is more information about this project in our newsletter or check out our Expanded Delivery Options page on our website or feel free to reach out to us via phone for more information.
CELA Executive Director
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
3984568 Harvey Holds His Own (The Harvey Stories #2) by Colleen Nelson
4 volumes. Harvey the West Highland Terrier is back with his beloved Maggie. He is also back at Brayside retirement home, where he and Maggie now volunteer along with their friend Austin. There Maggie is drawn to a new resident, Mrs. Fradette, who tells stories of learning to fix cars as a twelve-year-old during the flood of 1950. Mrs. Fradette, with her bold fashion and love of poker, doesn’t fit in among the beige-cardigan-wearing, bridge-playing ladies of Brayside, but she doesn’t seem to care. Maybe that’s why Maggie likes her so much. Since seventh grade began, Maggie hasn’t been fitting in well with her friends, either. Harvey has a problem of his own. He can smell an intruder in his yard, and he needs to find it. He is so intent on the nighttime fiend that he almost doesn’t notice how worried Austin is about his grandfather, who has been Brayside’s custodian for longer than Harvey has been alive. It seems like the retirement home is planning to give the job to a younger man, an injustice that Austin can’t let pass unchallenged. In intertwining perspectives, Colleen Nelson tells four stories of individuals standing firm for what they know is right: Josephine Fradette, insisting on her right to become a mechanic; Maggie, certain that her friends’ expectations shouldn’t define who she becomes; Austin, indignantly campaigning against ageism; and Harvey, who has found his home at last and is determined to protect it. Grades 4-7. 2020.
3984545 The Barren Grounds: The Misewa Saga, Book 1 (The Misewa Saga #1) by David A. Robertson
4 volumes. Morgan and Eli, two Indigenous children forced away from their families and communities, are brought together in a foster home in Winnipeg, Manitoba. They each feel disconnected, from their culture and each other, and struggle to fit in at school and at their new home - until they find a secret place, walled off in an unfinished attic bedroom. A portal opens to another reality, Askí, bringing them onto frozen, barren grounds, where they meet Ochek (Fisher). The only hunter supporting his starving community, Misewa, Ochek welcomes the human children, teaching them traditional ways to survive. But as the need for food becomes desperate, they embark on a dangerous mission. Accompanied by Arik, a sassy Squirrel they catch stealing from the trapline, they try to save Misewa before the icy grip of winter freezes everything - including them. Grades 5-8. 2020.
4329458 Linked by Gordon Korman
4 volumes. Link, Michael, and Dana live in a quiet town. But it's woken up very quickly when someone sneaks into school and vandalizes it with a swastika. Nobody can believe it. How could such a symbol of hate end up in the middle of their school? Who would do such a thing? Because Michael was the first person to see it, he's the first suspect. Because Link is one of the most popular guys in school, everyone's looking to him to figure it out. And because Dana's the only Jewish girl in the whole town, everyone's treating her more like an outsider than ever. The mystery deepens as more swastikas begin to appear. Some students decide to fight back and start a project to bring people together instead of dividing them further. The closer Link, Michael, and Dana get to the truth, the more there is to face - not just the crimes of the present, but the crimes of the past. With Linked, Gordon Korman, the author of the acclaimed novel Restart, poses a mystery for all readers where the who did it? isn't nearly as important as the why? Grades 3-7. 2021.
3984566 The King of Jam Sandwiches by Eric Walters
5 volumes. Thirteen-year-old Robbie leads a double life. It's just Robbie and his dad, but no one knows that his dad isn't like most parents. Sometimes he wakes Robbie up in the middle of the night to talk about dying. Sometimes he just leaves without telling Robbie where he’s going. Once when Robbie was younger, he was gone for more than a week. Robbie was terrified of being left alone but even more scared of telling anyone in case he was put into foster care. No one can know. Until one day when Robbie has to show the tough new girl, Harmony, around school. Their first meeting ends horribly and she punches Robbie in the face. But eventually they come to realize that they have a lot more in common than they thought. Can Robbie's new friend be trusted to keep his secret? Grades 4-8. 2020.
4329461 Wednesday Wilson Gets Down to Business (Wednesday Wilson) by Bree Galbraith, Morgan Goble
1 volume. Meet the unbeatable hero of a fresh new early chapter book series - Wednesday Wilson! The most important thing to know about Wednesday Wilson is that she's an entrepreneur. Well, she almost is. She and her best friend, Charlie, are hard at work thinking up business ideas to make it big. Only now there's been an incident with the Emmas (whose last initials happen to spell M.E.A.N.) involving a bearded dragon named Morten and a piece of kale... it's a long story. But maybe this is just the opportunity Wednesday and her friends needed. Maybe they'll invent something brilliant that will save the day and make them millionaires. Or... not? It'll take more than one incident with the Emmas to keep this girl down. Wednesday Wilson is bound for success! Grades 1-4. 2021.
4318805 The Hermit by Jan Coates
4 volumes. Eleven year old Danny Marsters was planning to have a fun but straightforward summer: pool parties and bike rides with his buddies, the odd game of washer toss with Grampy, and, of course, soccer camp. He didn't count on developers threatening to build condos on the land the whole community had worked so hard to turn into the best soccer field in the county. And he definitely didn't expect to stumble across a dishevelled man living all alone, deep in the woods behind Barnaby's Brook. But Danny's curiosity gets the better of him, and he slowly befriends the hermit. Just when he discovers a hidden connection between himself and the old man, disaster strikes, and more secrets are exposed that just might help Danny save the soccer field once and for all. Loosely based on the real-life "Hermit of Gully Lake," this story of unexpected friendship and close-knit neighbourhood bonds will appeal to anyone who has had to stand up for the things - and the people - they love. With themes of environmentalism and community activism, The Hermit is a timely novel full of heart. Grades 3-7. 2020.
3984565 Nevers by Sara Cassidy
3 volumes. Resourceful fourteen-year-old Odette is on the move again, traveling as a stowaway on a cheese cart with her hapless mother, Anneline. They are in Burgundy, France, in 1799, fleeing yet another calamity caused by Anneline (who is prone to killing people accidentally). At dawn they find themselves in a town called Nevers, which is filled with eccentric characters, including a man who obsessively smells hands, another who dreams of becoming a chicken and a donkey that keeps the town awake at night, braying about his narrow life. As Odette establishes a home in an abandoned guardhouse, she makes a friend in the relaxed Nicois and finds work as a midwife's assistant. She and Nicois uncover a mystery that may lead to riches and, more important for Odette, a sense of belonging. Grades 4-7. 2019.
4318895 Harvey Comes Home (The Harvey Stories #1) by Colleen Nelson, Tara Anderson
4 volumes. A dog’s world is a world of scents, of adventure. When a Harvey the West Highland Terrier wanders out of his old life guided only by his nose and his heart, lives begin to converge. Austin, a young volunteer at the Brayside retirement home, quickly finds that the audacious Harvey inspires Mr. Pickering, a bitter resident coping with memory loss, to tell stories of his childhood. Moved by the elderly man’s Dust Bowl recollections of grinding poverty and the perseverance of his friends and family, Austin begins to trade his preconceived notions for empathy. But is it enough to give him the resolve to track down Harvey’s original owner? Grades 4-8. 2019.
3992478 Camp Average: Away Games (Camp Average #3) by Craig Battle
4 volumes. It’s another summer at Camp Avalon - also known as Camp Average to its campers - only this year, things are anything but normal. Mack and Andre are spending the summer at rival Camp Killington, where the competitive campers seem intent on making them suffer. Meanwhile, at Camp Average, Miles is trying to keep the peace - which is not easy, due to obnoxious newcomer Garth and his pranks. On top of that, Miles has another impossible task on his plate: getting Mack and Andre back on home turf. Things come to a head when Mack and Andre are forced apart, and Cassie challenges Garth to a do-or-die ball hockey showdown. Will the Camp Average crew find their way back together and come out on top? In this third and final addition to the series, the campers rally to support each other and discover once more how teamwork and cooperation win. Grades 2-7. 2021.
Mysteries and crime stories
4318835 The Case of the Burgled Bundle (A Mighty Muskrats Mystery #3) by Michael Hutchinson
4 volumes. The National Assembly of Cree Peoples has gathered together in the Windy Lake First Nation, home to the Mighty Muskrats - cousins Chickadee, Atim, Otter, and Sam. But when the treaty bundle, the center of a four-day-long ceremony, is taken, the four mystery-solving cousins set out to catch those responsible and help protect Windy Lake’s reputation! What’s worse, prime suspect Pearl takes off to the city with her older brother and known troublemaker, Eddie. If they have the burgled bundle with them, the Mighty Muskrats fear it may be lost for good. With clues pointing in too many different directions, the cousins need to find and return the missing bundle before the assembly comes to an end. The history and knowledge passed down to each generation through the bundle is at stake. Grades 4-7. 2021.
4326731 The Barnabus Project by Terry Fan, Eric Fan, Devin Fan
1 volume. Deep underground beneath Perfect Pets, where children can buy genetically engineered "perfect" creatures, there is a secret lab. Barnabus and his friends live in this lab, but none of them is perfect. They are all Failed Projects. Barnabus has never been outside his tiny bell jar, yet he dreams of one day seeing the world above ground that his pal Pip the cockroach has told him about: a world with green hills and trees, and buildings that reach all the way to the sky, lit with their own stars. So he decides it's time for he and the others to escape. With his little trunk and a lot of cooperation and courage, Barnabus sets out to find freedom - and a place where he and his friends can finally be accepted for who they are. This suspenseful, poignant and magical story about following your dreams and finding where you truly belong will draw readers into a surreal, lushly detailed world in which perfection really means being true to yourself and your friends. Kindergarten to grade 4. 2020.
4326714 On the Other Side of the Forest by Nadine Robert, Gerard Duboi
1 volume. Some say that wolves, ogres, and giant badgers live in the forest beside Arthur’s house. That’s why no one ever goes in there, to see what’s on the other side. But one day, Arthur’s dad has an idea - a magnificent idea! Build a tower to look over the treetops! But a magnificent idea takes a lot of work. Will the villagers join and help them? And when the tower takes shape, what will they see on the other side? A fun and creative Easter or Spring-themed gift for kids. Preschool to grade 3. 2021.
Alphabet, number and picture books
4326728 I See You See by Patrice Barton, Richard Jackson
1 volume. When a brother and sister go for a walk, their imaginations turn the ordinary into the extraordinary in this sweet and whimsical picture book. Pup is pulling, Maisie is pushing, and Jonah is looking and listening as the three of them set off on their daily dog walk. But what begins as a chore becomes an unexpected celebration of imagination as their neighborhood transforms. Maisie sees butterfly; Jonah sees a popsicle garden! Maisie sees the postman; Jonah sees a sky slide! And is that… a tree of cats?! Differences are what brings richness to the everyday in gorgeous homage to the wonders of the world around us - and the worlds we can create - if only we stop to look and listen. Preschool. 2021.
4326734 Out into the Big Wide Lake by Josée Bisaillon, Paul Harbridge
1 volume. An empowering and necessary picture book about a young girl with Down syndrome who gains confidence and independence through a visit to her grandparents. It's Kate's first time visiting her grandparents on her own at their lakeside home. She's nervous but excited at the adventure ahead. She helps her grandfather with his grocery deliveries by boat, where she meets all the neighbors, including a very grumpy old man named Walter. And she makes best friends with her grandparents' dog, Parbuckle. Her grandmother even teaches her to pilot the boat all by herself! When her grandfather takes ill suddenly, it's up to Kate - but can she really make all those deliveries, even to grumpy old Walter? She has to try! Based on the author's sister, Kate is a lovable, brave, smart and feisty character who will capture your heart in this gorgeous and moving story about facing fears and gaining independence. Preschool to grade 3. 2021.
Folklore, fables and fairy tales
4326715 Hello, Rain! by Chris Turnham, Kyo Maclear
1 volume. Flowers bloom in the garden. Umbrellas bloom on the streets. There are puddles for jumping and, later, a cozy home for hot chocolate and books. The air is full of waiting. The sky is full of breeze. The trees gust and billow. All before it rains. Rumble, rumble. Distant thunder. Rain is coming, rain is coming. No matter what kind of weather you prefer, Hello, Rain! is a great reminder of the natural beauty all around us. Preschool. 2021.
4326716 It's Not Little Red Riding Hood (It's Not a Fairy Tale #3) by Edwardian Taylor, Josh Funk
1 volume. Little Red likes to play by the rules. So when the narrator comes along and asks her to follow the story set out in her fairy tale, she grabs the basket for Grandma and goes. After all, she loves her grandma. But unfortunately, none of the other characters are quite what they’re expecting... As Little Red attempts to follow the narrator’s directions (which, frankly, seem kind of dangerous!), she is beset by fill-in characters, confusing instructions, and even a fierce battle! Will Little Red ever make it to Grandma’s house? And who will she find when she gets there? Complete with some unusual “guest appearances,” this laugh-out-loud Little Red Riding Hood retelling will have kids giggling all the way to Grandma’s house! Ding-dong! Kindergarten to grade 3. 2020.
4326726 Sharing a Smile by Nicki Kramar, Ashley Evans
1 volume. In the spirit of Come With Me, this timely and charming tale about mask-wearing follows a little girl and her generous plan to find her own courage by helping those in her neighborhood find theirs. In a changing world, little Sophie is feeling a bit worried. She loves being outside and playing with her friends in her neighborhood. But going outside lately means wearing a mask - something Sophie is still trying to understand. It makes her nervous when she wants to be brave. And after taking a closer look outside her window, watching her neighbors adjusting to this new normal, she realizes she isn’t the only one who feels a little scared. Which gives Sophie an idea. With her grandpa’s help, she does something special for the people in her neighborhood. When Sophie sees her small acts of kindness spread, she realizes that with the help of friends in our communities, anyone can find their courage - and their smile. Preschool to grade 3. 2021.
4326719 When Mom's Away by Layla Ahmad, Farida Zaman
1 volume. Things are changing for one little girl whose mom is a busy doctor. When her mom has to be in quarantine - sleeping on a cot in their garage to keep the family safe from the virus - the girl does her best to be brave. She and her dad spend time together, she goes to school online, and she helps her grandparents too… making sure to wave so they know it's her! They join their neighbours outside to thank the doctors and nurses around the world for their hard work. But of course the highlight of the day is when mom comes home, and they wave to each other through the window. A great story to inspire hope and confidence in both little ones and big ones when times may seem uncertain. Grades 1-4. 2021.
4326723 Dear Black Girls by Shanice Nicole, Kezna Dalz
1 volume. Dear Black girls all around the world, this one is for you - for us. Dear Black Girls is a letter to all Black girls. Every single day poet and educator Shanice Nicole is reminded of how special Black girls are and of how lucky she is to be one. Illustrations by Kezna Dalz support the book's message that no two Black girls are the same but they are all special - that to be a Black girl is a true gift. In this celebratory poem, Kezna and Shanice remind young readers that despite differences, they all deserve to be loved just the way they are. Grades 1-4. 2021.
4326718 Tough Like Mum by Lana Button, Carmen Mok
1 volume. Kim's mum is tough. Everyone says so. She can deal with unruly customers at the Red Rooster with a snap of her fingers. Kim is tough, too. She doesn't need to wear a hat to keep her ears warm. And she can make soup all by herself, even without the stove. Kim and her mum are tough. But Kim is learning that sometimes toughness doesn't look like what you'd expect. In this tender exploration of a mother-daughter relationship, Kim and her mother learn that in order to support and truly take care of each other, they need to be tough - and that sometimes being tough means showing vulnerability and asking for help. Preschool to grade 2. 2021.
4326736 No More Plastic by Alma Fullerton
1 volume. A young girl takes action against ocean pollution in a timely story with unique plastic-waste diorama art from award-winning author-illustrator Alma Fullerton. Grades K-3. 2021.
4326727 Beep Beep Bubbie by Bonnie Sherr Klein, Élisabeth Eudes-Pascal
1 volume. Kate is upset when her grandma (Bubbie) gets a motorized scooter. Will Bubbie still be Bubbie in that scooter? Kate slowly warms to the scooter after she sees what a good friend it is to Bubbie. And shopping at Granville Island Market with Bubbie and the scooter turns out to be so much fun! Her little brother Nate loves the scooter's bells and whistles, and Kate makes new friends on their joyous outing. Preschool and kindergarten. 2020.
4326724 Can I Give You a Squish? by Emily Neilson
1 volume. An important lesson on consent for over-exuberant little huggers, nestled inside this lighthearted, summery story about expressions of love and friendship. Kai is a little mer-boy who's big on hugs - or "squishes," as he and his mama call them. But not everyone's a fan of Kai's spirited embrace, which he discovers soon after squishing a puffer fish, who swells up in fright! Kai feels awful; but with the help of his friends, he figures out another way to show his affection, and then everyone demonstrates their preferred ways of being greeted. Because, as Kai realizes, "Every fish likes their own kind of squish." Preschool to grade 2. 2020.
4326733 Home Is in Between by Mitali Perkins, Lavanya Naidu
1 volume. Shanti misses the warm monsoon rains in India. Now in America, she watches fall leaves fly past her feet. Still, her family’s apartment feels like a village: Mama cooking luchi, funny stories in Bangla, and Baba’s big laugh. But outside, everything is different - trick-or-treating, ballet class, and English books. Back and forth, Shanti trudges between her two worlds. She remembers her village and learns her new town. She watches Bollywood movies at home and Hollywood movies with her friends. She is Indian. She is also American. How should she define home? Preschool to grade 1. 2021.
4326722 Malaika’s Surprise (The Malaika Series #3) by Irene Luxbacher, Nadia L. Hohn
1 volume. When Malaika finds out she is going to have a new baby brother or sister, she worries that her mother will forget about her. But a surprise arrives on Malaika’s birthday that gives her more reason to celebrate her family’s love. Preschool to grade 2. 2021.
4326732 Elephants Do Not Belong in Trees by Russ Willms
1 volume. In this delightful picture book an elephant takes up roost in a tree, upsetting the other animals living there. But the elephant helps save the day when a bulldozer comes along to chop the tree down. Preschool to kindergarten. 2021.
4326711 Princesses Versus Dinosaurs by Linda Bailey, Joy Ang
1 volume. This is a princess book! No, it's a dinosaur book! No, it's... a T. rex book? A dragon book? A rubber ducky book?! From Linda Bailey, award-winning and critically acclaimed author, and Joy Ang, Adventure Time-artist and illustrator of the Mustache Baby series, comes an irresistibly irreverent picture book in which plucky princesses and determined dinosaurs have a battle royale over whose book this is. When they start calling in the big guns - or rather, the big carnivores - and decide to build a wall to resolve their differences, princesses and dinosaurs alike learn a thing or two about open-mindedness and sharing. Preschool to grade 2. 2020.
Indigenous peoples in Canada fiction
4326717 Louis Riel Day: The Fur Trade Project by Deborah L. Delaronde, Sheldon Dawson
1 volume. A young boy learns about the history of the fur trade and Louis Riel Day for a school project with the help of his grandfather in this illustrated picture book. Grades 1-3. 2021.
4326712 I Sang You Down from the Stars by Tasha Spillett-Sumner
1 volume. A New York Times and CBC Books bestselling #OwnVoices love letter from an Indigenous mother to her new baby, new from celebrated author Tasha Spillett-Sumner and 2021 Caldecott winning illustrator Michaela Goade, that honors the beauty of a little one's arrival. Grades 2-5. 2021.
4326729 We Dream Medicine Dreams by Lisa Boivin
1 volume. When a little girl dreams about a bear, her grandfather explains how we connect with the knowledge of our ancestors through dreams. Bear, Hawk, Caribou, and Wolf all have teachings to share to help us live a good life. But when Grampa gets sick and falls into a coma, the little girl must lean on his teachings as she learns to say goodbye. Kindergarten to grade 2. 2021.
4326720 The Shaman's Apprentice by Zacharias Kunuk, Megan Kyak-Monteith
1 volume. A young shaman in training must face her first test—a trip to the underground to visit Kannaaluk, The One Below, who holds the answers to why a community member has become ill. Grades 4-8. 2021.
4326735 On the Trapline by David A. Robertson, Julie Flett
1 volume. A boy and Moshom, his grandpa, take a trip together to visit a place of great meaning to Moshom. A trapline is where people hunt and live off the land, and it was where Moshom grew up. As they embark on their northern journey, the child repeatedly asks his grandfather, "Is this your trapline?" Along the way, the boy finds himself imagining what life was like two generations ago - a life that appears to be both different from and similar to his life now. This is a heartfelt story about memory, imagination and intergenerational connection that perfectly captures the experience of a young child's wonder as he is introduced to places and stories that hold meaning for his family. Preschool to grade 3. 2021.
4326730 Journey Around the Sun: The Story of Halley's Comet by James Gladstone, Yaara Eshet
1 volume. Halley’s Comet tells its own history in this unique STEM book. Halley’s Comet, visible from Earth only once every 75 years, tells its own story in this unique informational picture book. With each return of the comet, the book highlights human life at that time, and how science has advanced toward a greater understanding of our universe. Grades 3-7. 2021.
4326713 We Move Together by Kelly Fritsch, Anne McGuire, Eduardo Trejos
1 volume. We Move Together follows a mixed-ability group of kids as they creatively negotiate everyday barriers and find joy and connection in disability culture and community. A perfect tool for families, schools, and libraries to facilitate conversations about disability, accessibility, social justice and community building. Includes a kid-friendly glossary. Grades 1-4. 2021.
4326737 The Bare Naked Book by Kathy Stinson, Melissa Cho
1 volume. Bodies, bodies! Big and small, short and tall, young and old - every BODY is different! The Bare Naked Book has been a beloved fixture in libraries, classrooms, and at-home story times since its original publication in 1986. Now, this revised edition is ready to meet a new generation of readers. The text has been updated to reflect current understandings of gender and inclusion, which are also showcased in the brand-new, vibrant illustrations by Melissa Cho. Featuring a note from the author explaining the history of the book and the importance of this updated edition, readers will delight in this celebration of all kinds of bodies. Preschool. 2021.
4326725 My Mommy, My Mama, My Brother, and Me: These Are the Things We Found By the Sea by Natalie Meisner, Mathilde Cinq-Mars
1 volume. And these are the things we find by the sea - my mommy, my mama, my brother, and me. With this gentle refrain, the debut picture book from celebrated author and playwright Natalie Meisner (Double Pregnant) reflects on her own two-mom, two-son family's early days growing up in Lockeport, Nova Scotia. Living by the sea offers myriad charms for the two young brothers in this poetic ode to beachcombing. When the fog disappears, the path to the beach beckons, with all the treasures it leaves behind: lobster traps, buoys, fused glass, urchins, a note in a bottle. But best of all is all the neighbours they meet along the way. An unforgettable instant classic for families of all shapes and sizes. Featuring glorious watercolours by Mathilde Cinq-Mars, which capture the warmth and magic of time spent with family by the sea. Preschool to grades 2. 2019.
Fiction for young adults
4329495 Blood Like Magic (Blood Like Magic) by Liselle Sambury
11 volumes. Voya is determined to save her family’s magic no matter the cost. The problem is, Voya has never been in love, so for her to succeed, she’ll first have to find the perfect guy - and fast. Fortunately, a genetic matchmaking program has just hit the market. Her plan is to join the program, fall in love, and complete her task before the deadline. What she doesn’t count on is being paired with the infuriating Luc - how can she fall in love with a guy who seemingly wants nothing to do with her? With mounting pressure from her family, Voya is caught between her morality and her duty to her bloodline. If she wants to save their heritage and Luc, she’ll have to find something her ancestor wants more than blood. And in witchcraft, blood is everything. For high school readers. 2021.
4329453 Rising Like a Storm (The Wrath of Ambar #2) by Tanaz Bhathena
9 volumes. In the concluding installment to the Wrath of Ambar duology from masterful author Tanaz Bhathena, Gul and Cavas must unite their magical forces - and hold onto their growing romance - to save their kingdom from tyranny. With King Lohar dead and a usurper queen in power, Gul and Cavas face a new tyrannical government that is bent on killing them both. Their roles in King Lohar's death have not gone unnoticed, and the new queen is out for blood. What she doesn't know is that Gul and Cavas have a connection that runs deeper than romance, and together, they just might have the strength and magic to end her for good. Then a grave mistake ends with Cavas taken prisoner by the government. Gul must train an army of warriors alone. With alliances shifting and the thirst for vengeance growing, the fate of Ambar seems ever more uncertain. It will take every ounce of strength, love, and sacrifice for Gul and Cavas to reach their final goal - and build a more just world than they've ever known. For junior and senior high readers. 2021.
4329493 Tremendous Things by Susin Nielsen
5 volumes. We all have moments that define us. For the comically clueless Wilbur, his moment happened on the first day of middle school, when someone shared his private letter with the entire student body. It revealed some of Wilbur's innermost embarrassing thoughts that no one else should ever know. Now it's the start of ninth grade and Wilbur hasn't been able to escape that major humiliation. His good friend Alex stuck by him, but Alex doesn't have as much time since he started dating Fabrizio. Luckily, Wil can confide in his best friend: his elderly neighbor Sal. Also, Wil's in the school band, where he plays the triangle. They're doing an exchange program with students from Paris, and Wilbur's billet, Charlie, a tall, chic young woman who plays the ukulele and burps with abandon, captures his heart. Charlie likes him, but only as a friend. So Alex, Fabrizio and Sal host a Queer Eye-style intervention to get Wil in shape and to build his confidence so he can impress Charlie when their band visits Paris, and just maybe replace humiliation with true romance in the City of Love. For junior and senior high readers. 2021.
Indigenous peoples in Canada fiction
4318889 My Indian by Chief Mi'Sel Joe, Sheila O'Neill
2 volumes. In 1822, William Epps Cormack sought the expertise of a guide who could lead him across Newfoundland in search of the last remaining Beothuk camps on the island. In his journals, Cormack refers to his guide only as “My Indian.” Now, almost two hundred years later, Mi’sel Joe and Sheila O’Neill reclaim the story of Sylvester Joe, the Mi’kmaq guide engaged by Cormack. In a remarkable feat of historical fiction, My Indian follows Sylvester Joe from his birth (in what is now known as Miawpukek First Nation) and early life in his community to his journey across the island with Cormack. But will Sylvester Joe lead Cormack to the Beothuk, or will he protect the Beothuk and lead his colonial explorer away? In rewriting the narrative of Cormack’s journey from the perspective of his Mi’kmaq guide, My Indian reclaims Sylvester Joe’s identity. For junior high readers. 2021.
3947876 Bruised by Tanya Boteju
5 volumes. To Daya Wijesinghe, a bruise is a mixture of comfort and control. Since her parents died in an accident she survived, bruises have become a way to keep her pain on the surface of her skin so she doesn’t need to deal with the ache deep in her heart. So when chance and circumstances bring her to a roller derby bout, Daya is hooked. Yes, the rules are confusing and the sport seems to require the kind of teamwork and human interaction Daya generally avoids. But the opportunities to bruise are countless, and Daya realizes that if she’s going to keep her emotional pain at bay, she’ll need all the opportunities she can get. The deeper Daya immerses herself into the world of roller derby, though, the more she realizes it’s not the simple physical pain-fest she was hoping for. Her rough-and-tumble teammates and their fans push her limits in ways she never imagined, bringing Daya to big truths about love, loss, strength, and healing. For high school readers. 2021.
4329452 When You Get the Chance by Robin Stevenson, Tom Ryan
4 volumes. As kids, Mark and his cousin Talia spent many happy summers together at the family cottage in Ontario, but a fight between their parents put an end to the annual event. Living on opposite coasts - Mark in Halifax and Talia in Victoria - they haven't seen each other in years. When their grandfather dies unexpectedly, Mark and Talia find themselves reunited at the cottage once again, cleaning it out while the family decides what to do with it. Mark and Talia are both queer, but they soon realize that's about all they have in common, other than the fact that they'd both prefer to be in Toronto. Talia is desperate to see her high school sweetheart Erin, who's barely been in touch since leaving to spend the summer working at a coffee shop in the Gay Village. Mark, on the other hand, is just looking for some fun, and Toronto Pride seems like the perfect place to find it. When a series of complications throws everything up in the air, Mark and Talia - with Mark's little sister Paige in tow - decide to hit the road for Toronto. With a bit of luck, and some help from a series of unexpected new friends, they might just make it to the big city and find what they're looking for. That is, if they can figure out how to start seeing things through each other's eyes. For junior and senior high readers. 2021.
Non-fiction for children and young adults
Animals and wildlife
3861517 Ours to Share: Coexisting in a Crowded World (Orca Footprints #16) by Kari Jones
1 volume. There are almost eight billion people alive today. Having that many people in the world puts pressure on both social and natural resources, and we have to ask ourselves difficult questions like, What is our fair share? And how do we share more equitably? Ours to Share starts by giving an overview of human population growth, from the time when there were only a few hundred thousand people until now. The book goes on to examine some of the inequities that happen between people when natural and social resources are stressed and provides examples of people who have found innovative ways to share more equitably with their neighbors. The book also examines the impact our expanding population has had on other species. Finally, the book offers suggestions for actions kids can take to better the world from their own home, school and community. Grades 4-7. 2019.
Canadian travel and geography
3947874 Meet Thérèse Casgrain (Scholastic Canada Biography) by Elizabeth MacLeod
Meet Thérèse Casgrain, who battled for women’s equality and social justice, and was the first woman to lead a political party in Canada! From 1916 to 1925, women across Canada were starting to win right to vote, province by province... but not in Quebec. It took another fifteen years of protest and the leadership of Thérèse Casgrain for women there to begin to win that right. And that was only the start of Thérèse’s 50-year career! She decided to change things from inside the government too, becoming the first woman to lead a political party in Canada. And although Thérèse may not have been elected, her decades-long fight for equal rights, health care, and world peace is in itself a victory. Grades 1-4. 2021.
4019100 The Disability Experience: Working Toward Belonging (Orca Issues #5) by Hannalora Leavitt, Belle Wuthrich
3 volumes. People with disabilities (PWDs) have the same aspirations for their lives as you do for yours. The difference is that PWDs don’t have the same access to education, employment, housing, transportation and healthcare in order to achieve their goals. In The Disability Experience you’ll meet people with different kinds of disabilities, and you'll begin to understand the ways PWDs have been ignored, reviled and marginalized throughout history. The book also celebrates the triumphs and achievements of PWDs and shares the powerful stories of those who have fought for change. For junior and senior high readers. 2021.
Food and drink
3947877 Little Helpers Toddler Baking Cookbook: Sweet and Savory Recipes to Make, Bake, and Share (Little Helpers Toddler Cookbook series) by Barbara Lamperti
2 volumes. If your little one is curious about what goes on in the kitchen, this toddler cookbook is the perfect way to get them involved. The recipes are designed to be whimsical and simple, so even young kids can start learning cooking basics, fine motor skills, and the joy of tasting and sharing their own creations. You’ll find advice for the best ways to bake with a toddler, including how to set up the workspace ahead of time, explain kitchen safety, and create a backup plan in case things get a little too messy. Every recipe includes both “adult steps" and “toddler steps” so you can see where to give your toddler some independence and where they’ll need a grown-up to lend a hand. Preschool. 2021.
4318830 Be a Weather Detective: Solving the Mysteries of Cycles, Seasons, and Elements (Be a Nature Detective) by Peggy Kochanoff
Why do dogs hate thunder? Is every snowflake really different? Where does wind come from? Naturalist and artist Peggy Kochanoff answers these questions and more in this illustrated guide to solving weather mysteries, for young readers. From the life cycle of hurricanes to explaining how to properly read a weather forecast, Kochanoff takes readers on a fascinating and entertaining tour of the most common weather patterns in Atlantic Canada and beyond. Packed with detailed and vivid watercolour illustrations and clear answers to creative questions, Be a Weather Detective is the perfect tool for solving the nature mysteries in your own backyard! Grades K-3. 2019.
3992477 Fired Up about Consent by Sarah Ratchford
4 volumes. According to the World Health Organization, one in three women will be sexually or physically assaulted in her lifetime. These rates are very similar for non-binary people and other feminized people, too. This is rape culture, and young adults are living through it here and now. Fired Up about Consent is a practical, survivor-informed primer for young people who want to learn how to build joyful, mutually satisfying sex lives and relationships. In these pages, author Sarah Ratchford defines rape and sexual assault, busts the myths behind toothless messaging and outdated advice, and provides sex-positive scripts on how to ask for and offer a clear, enthusiastic, and freely given “Yes!” Along the way, Ratchford touches on topics such as #MeToo, gender identity, masturbation, virginity, porn, sex work, reporting assault, and more, all through a radically inclusive and intersectional lens. The message is loud and clear: not only is consent sexy, it’s mandatory - and everyone deserves frank and empowering literacy around it. Only with empathy, compassion, and resistance can we move forward into a new culture of consent. For junior and senior high readers. 2021.
3924861 Treaty Words: For As Long As the Rivers Flow by Aimée Craft, Luke Swinson
The first treaty that was made was between the earth and the sky. It was an agreement to work together. We build all of our treaties on that original treaty. On the banks of the river that have been Mishomis’s home his whole life, he teaches his granddaughter to listen - to hear both the sounds and the silences, and so to learn her place in Creation. Most importantly, he teaches her about treaties - the bonds of reciprocity and renewal that endure for as long as the sun shines, the grass grows, and the rivers flow. Grades 5-7. 2021.
4019894 Carry On: Poetry by Young Immigrants by Various Contributors, Rogé Girard
Carry On began in a high school in Outremont, Quebec, where author and poet Simon Boulerice conducted creative-writing workshops for young newcomers to Canada. As the students began writing, their poems gave voice to their reflections on leaving family, friends, and countries of origin to make new homes and connections in their new home, Canada. Paired with expressive portraits by award-winning artist Rogé, each young writer reflects on the experience of leaving one home for another. The collection of poems express feelings of anxiety, sorrow, anticipation, gratitude, and hope for the future. With thoughtful verse and evocative illustrations, Carry On is a tribute to human resilience, the voices of newcomers, and creating empathy for all those who wonder about their place in the world. Grades 4-8. 2021.
Science and technology
3882068 In the Dark: The Science of What Happens at Night by Josh Holinaty
1 volume. What happens when we go to sleep at night? Now young readers can find out, in this entertaining exploration of the science of night. Nocturnal animals are hunting for food. Plants are using math (!) to conserve their overnight energy. Celestial objects only visible after dark are shining brightly in the night sky. Even our own bodies and brains are still working to keep us healthy! Amazing as it is, the world doesn't stop just because we've closed our eyes. Lisa Deresti Betik has created a fun, engaging and fact-packed introduction to the science of what happens in the world after dark. Grades 3-7. 2020.
Travel and geography
4019099 Finding Home: The Journey of Immigrants and Refugees (Orca Think #1) by Jen Sookfong Lee, Drew Shannon
2 volumes. What drives people to search for new homes? From war zones to politics, there are many reasons why people have always searched for a place to call home. In Finding Home: The Journey of Immigrants and Refugees we discover how human migration has shaped our world. We explore its origins and the current issues facing immigrants and refugees today, and we hear the first-hand stories of people who have moved across the globe looking for safety, security and happiness. Author Jen Sookfong Lee shares her personal experience of growing up as the child of immigrants and gives a human face to the realities of being an immigrant or refugee today. Grades 3-7. 2021.
Fiction for adults
4329454 Bonnie Jack: A Novel by Ian Hamilton
5 volumes. From the acclaimed author of the internationally bestselling Ava Lee series, a bold and captivating new novel about a search for lost family and the cost of keeping secrets. 2021.
4329455 Fake It So Real by Susan Sanford Blades
5 volumes. Fake it so Real takes on the fallout from a punk-rock lifestyle - the future of “no future” - and its effect on the subsequent generations of one family. In June of 1983, Gwen, a gnarly Nancy Spungen look-alike, meets Damian, the enigmatic leader of a punk band. Seven years and two unplanned pregnancies later, Damian abandons Gwen, leaving her to raise their two daughters, Sara and Meg, on her own. The voices of Gwen, Sara and Meg weave a raw and honest tapestry of family life told from the underbelly, focused on the grey area between right and wrong, the idea that we are all equally culpable and justified in our actions, and the pain and ecstasy that accompany a life lived authentically. 2020.
4329490 If You Hear Me (Biblioasis International Translation Series #28) by Lazer Lederhendler, Pascale Quiviger
7 volumes. Sliding doors open and close automatically, exit to the left, entrance to the right. Beyond it, cars go by, and pedestrians and cyclists. A large park behaves as if nothing has happened. The mirage of a world intact. In an instant, a life changes forever. After he falls from a scaffold on the construction site where he works, the comatose David is visited daily by his wife, Caroline, and their six-year-old son Bertrand - but despite their devoted efforts, there’s no crossing the ineffable divide between consciousness and the mysterious world David now inhabits. A moving story of love and mourning, elegantly translated by Lazer Lederhendler, If You Hear Me asks what it means to be alive and how we learn to accept the unacceptable. 2020.
4318896 A Funny Kind of Paradise by Jo Owens
5 volumes. When her husband left her with a baby, a toddler and a fledgling business, Francesca managed - she wasn't always gentle or patient, but the business thrived and Chris and Angelina had food to eat. At nearly 70, she feels she's earned a peaceful retirement. But when a massive stroke leaves her voiceless, partially paralyzed and wholly reliant on the staff of an extended care facility, it seems her freedom is lost. However, Francesca is still clear-headed and sharp, and she knows one thing: she wants to live. She savours her view of a majestic chestnut tree through the hospital window, and speaks in her mind to her beloved friend Anna, dead for two years. Amidst the indignities of bed baths and a feeding tube, Francesca is surprised to experience flashes of hilarity and joy, even the blossoming of a new friendship with a fellow patient. A Funny Kind of Paradise is a warm and insightful novel about one woman's opportunity for reinvention - for unconditional love, acceptance and closure - in the unlikeliest of places. 2021.
4329502 What Strange Paradise: A Novel by Omar El Akkad
4 volumes. More bodies have washed up on the shores of a small island. Another over-filled, ill-equipped, dilapidated ship has sunk under the weight of its too many passengers: Syrians, Ethiopians, Egyptians, Lebanese, Palestinians, all of them desperate to escape untenable lives in their homelands. And only one has made the passage: nine-year-old Amir, a Syrian boy who has the good fortune to fall into the hands not of the officials but of Vanna: a teenage girl, native to the island, who lives inside her own sense of homelessness in a place and among people she has come to disdain. And though she and the boy are complete strangers, though they don't speak a common language, she determines to do whatever it takes to save him. In alternating chapters, we learn the story of the boy's life and how he came to be on the boat; and we follow the girl and boy as they make their way toward a vision of safety. 2021.
4329485 Everyone in This Room Will Someday Be Dead: A Novel by Emily Austin
5 volumes. Gilda, a twenty-something, atheist, animal-loving lesbian, cannot stop ruminating about death. Desperate for relief from her panicky mind and alienated from her repressive family, she responds to a flyer for free therapy at a local Catholic church, and finds herself being greeted by Father Jeff, who assumes she’s there for a job interview. Too embarrassed to correct him, Gilda is abruptly hired to replace the recently deceased receptionist Grace. In between trying to memorize the lines to Catholic mass, hiding the fact that she has a new girlfriend, and erecting a dirty dish tower in her crumbling apartment, Gilda strikes up an email correspondence with Grace’s old friend. She can’t bear to ignore the kindly old woman who has been trying to reach her friend through the church inbox, but she also can’t bring herself to break the bad news. Desperate, she begins impersonating Grace via email. But when the police discover suspicious circumstances surrounding Grace’s death, Gilda may have to finally reveal the truth of her mortifying existence. 2021.
4329450 Astra: A Novel by Cedar Bowers
6 volumes. What if you could see yourself as others see you? Astra is a beguiling debut novel that reveals the different faces of one woman, as seen through the eyes of ten people over a lifetime. Born and raised on a remote British Columbia commune, Astra Brine has long struggled to find her way in the world, her life becoming a study of the thin line between dependence and love, need and desire. Over the years, as her path intersects with others - sometimes briefly, but always intensely - she will encounter people who, by turns, want to rescue, control, become, and escape her, revealing difficult yet shining truths about who they are and what they yearn for. There is the childhood playmate who comes to fear Astra’s unpredictable ways. The stranger who rescues her from homelessness, and then has to wrestle with his own demons. The mother who hires Astra as a live-in nanny even as her own marriage goes off the rails. A beautifully constructed and revelatory novel, Astra explores what we’re willing to give and receive from others, and how well we ever really know the people we love the most. 2021.
4329481 Sufferance: A Novel by Thomas King
5 volumes. Jeremiah Camp, a.k.a. the Forecaster, can look into the heart of humanity and see the patterns that create opportunities and profits for the rich and powerful. Problem is, Camp has looked one too many times, has seen what he hadn’t expected to see and has come away from the abyss with no hope for himself or for the future. So Jeremiah does what any intelligent, sensitive person would do. He runs away. Goes into hiding in a small town, at an old residential school on an even smaller Indian reserve, with no phone, no Internet, no television. With the windows shut, the door locked, the mailbox removed to discourage any connection with the world, he feels safe at last. Except nobody told the locals that they were to leave Jeremiah alone. And then his past comes calling. Ash Locken, head of the Locken Group, the multinational consortium that Jeremiah has fled, arrives on his doorstep with a simple proposition. She wants our hero to formulate one more forecast, and she’s not about to take no for an answer. A sly and satirical look at the fractures in modern existence, Sufferance is a bold and provocative novel about the social and political consequences of the inequality created by privilege and power - and what we might do about it. 2021.
4329460 Not a Happy Family: A Novel by Shari Lapena
6 volumes. Brecken Hill in upstate New York is an expensive place to live. You have to be rich to have a house there, and Fred and Sheila Merton certainly are rich. But even all their money can't protect them when a killer comes to call. The Mertons are brutally murdered after a fraught Easter dinner with their three adult kids. Who, of course, are devastated. Or are they? They each stand to inherit millions. They were never a happy family, thanks to their vindictive father and neglectful mother, but perhaps one of the siblings is more disturbed than anyone knew. Did someone snap after that dreadful evening? Or did another person appear later that night with the worst of intentions? That must be what happened. After all, if one of the family were capable of something as gruesome as this, you'd know. Wouldn't you? 2021.
4033447 Letters Across the Sea by Genevieve Graham
7 volumes. Inspired by a little-known chapter of World War II history, a young Protestant girl and her Jewish neighbour are caught up in the terrible wave of hate sweeping the globe on the eve of war in this powerful love story that’s perfect for fans of The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. At eighteen years old, Molly Ryan dreams of becoming a journalist, but instead she spends her days working any job she can to help her family through the Depression crippling her city. The one bright spot in her life is watching baseball with her best friend, Hannah Dreyfus, and sneaking glances at Hannah’s handsome older brother, Max. But as the summer unfolds, more and more of Hitler’s hateful ideas cross the sea and “Swastika Clubs” and “No Jews Allowed” signs spring up around Toronto, a city already simmering with mass unemployment, protests, and unrest. When tensions between the Irish and Jewish communities erupt in a riot one smouldering day in August, Molly and Max are caught in the middle, with devastating consequences for both their families. Six years later, the Depression has eased and Molly is a reporter at her local paper. But a new war is on the horizon, putting everyone she cares about most in peril. As letters trickle in from overseas, Molly is forced to confront what happened all those years ago, but is it too late to make things right? 2021.
3992475 Nothing the Same, Everything Haunted: The Ballad of Motl the Cowboy by Gary Barwin
6 volumes. Motl is middle-aged, poor, nerdy, Jewish and in desperate need of a shave. Since having his balls shot cleanly off as a youth in WWI, he's lived a quiet life at home in Vilnius with his shrewd and shrewish mom, Gitl, losing himself in the masculine fantasy world of cowboy novels by writers like Karl May - novels equally loved by Hitler, whose troops have just invaded Lithuania and are out to exterminate people like Motl. In his dreams, Motl is a fast-talking, rugged, expert gunslinger capable of dealing with the Nazi threat. But only in his dreams. As friends and neighbours are killed around them, Motl and Gitl escape from Vilnius, saving their own skins. But they immediately risk everything to try rescue relatives they hope are still alive. With death all around him, Motl decides that a Jew's best revenge is not only to live, but to procreate. In order to achieve this, though, he must relocate those most crucial pieces of his anatomy lost to him in a glacier in the Swiss Alps in the previous war. It's an absurd yet life-affirming mission, made even more urgent when he's separated from his mother, and isn't sure whether she's alive or dead. An imaginative and deeply felt exploration of genocide, persecution, colonialism and masculinity - saturated in Gary Barwin's sharp wit and perfect pun-play - Nothing the Same, Everything Haunted: The Ballad of Motl the Cowboy is a one-of-a-kind novel of sheer genius. Adult 2021.
Indigenous peoples fiction
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. 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.
4318858 The Family Way by Christopher DiRaddo
8 volumes. The year Paul turns forty, his friends Wendy and Eve ask him to help them get pregnant. Nothing about the process feels natural to him. But for a gay man of a certain age, making a family still means finding your own way through a world with few ready answers. The eighteen-month journey reveals many insights about Paul's past and present, from his strained relationship to his father, his overprotective relationship with his partner Michael, and the many friends around him whom he considers his family. 2021.
4329496 Day for Night: A Novel by Jean McNeil
5 volumes. Set in London against a backdrop of growing authoritarianism and anxiety, a story of cinema and desire, the mysteries of marriage and creativity, and the often-violent returns and reversals of history. 2021.
4329475 The Most Precious Substance on Earth by Shashi Bhat
5 volumes. Nina, a bright, hilarious, and sensitive 14-year-old, doesn’t say anything when her best friend begins to pull away, or when her crush on her English teacher intensifies. She doesn’t say anything when her mother tries to match her up with local Halifax Indian boys unfamiliar with her Saved by the Bell references, or when her worried father starts reciting Hindu prayers outside her bedroom door. On her tumultuous path from nineties high school student to present-day high school teacher, Nina will learn difficult truths about existing as a woman in the world. And whether she’s pushing herself to deliver speeches at Toastmasters meetings, struggling through her MFA program, enduring the indignities of online dating, or wrestling with how to best guide her students, she will discover that the past is never far behind her. 2021.
4329484 The Snow Line by Tessa McWatt
4 volumes. Four travellers disembark from the Dhauladhar Express at the Pathankot train station, having arrived in Punjab to attend a wedding. Yosh, 30, a yoga teacher from Vancouver; Monica, 30, the bride's cousin from Toronto; Reema, 26, the bride's childhood friend, a mixed-heritage Londoner in search of her Indianness; and Jackson, 86, who is returning to India after a long hiatus in Boston, and who carries with him a small tea canister in which he has placed his wife Amelia's ashes. As they travel together, secrets are revealed, and each of them is opened up to more questions than answers. These intergenerational and intercultural relationships are a meeting of the past and the future, a reconciliation of past wrongs and a possibility that the future might be less violent, less selfish, less segregated. But can it be? 2021.
4329499 The Son of the House by Cheluchi Onyemelukwe-Onuobia
5 volumes. Pulsing with vitality and intense human drama, Cheluchi Onyemelukwe-Onuobia’s debut is set against four decades of vibrant Nigeria and celebrates the resilience of women as they navigate and transform what remains a man’s world. 2021.
4329473 Rue des Rosiers by Rhea Tregebov
6 volumes. Sarah is the youngest of the three Levine sisters. At twenty-five, she is rudderless, caught in a paralysis that keeps her from seizing her own life. When Sarah is fired from her Toronto job, a chance stay in Paris opens her up to new direction and purpose. But when she reads the writing on the wall above her local Metro subway station, death to the Jews, shadows from childhood rise again. And as her path crosses that of Laila, a young woman living in an exile remote from the luxuries of 1980s Paris, Sarah stumbles towards an act of terrorism that may realize her childhood fears. In this new novel by the author of The Knife Sharpener's Bell, writing that is both sensual and taut creates a tightly woven, compelling narrative. 2019.
Suspense and thrillers
4329492 The Hunted by Roz Nay
5 volumes. Stevie Erickson is looking for a fresh start. The sudden loss of her grandmother has sent her life into a tailspin, dredging up old losses and putting a strain on her relationship with her boyfriend, Jacob. So when Jacob is offered a job as a diver for GoEco, a dive operation for ecotourists on Rafiki, a beautiful, secluded island off the coast of Tanzania, he thinks it’s just the adventure they need and Stevie reluctantly agrees to go with him. Their trip gets off to a rough start with a nighttime scare at their first hostel. Already fragile, Stevie can’t shake the feeling that she’s being watched. Things improve when they meet seasoned backpackers Leo and Tamsin, a drop-dead gorgeous couple who instantly take a shine to Stevie and Jacob. But on Rafiki Island, their new friendship is put to the test, as is Stevie and Jacob’s own relationship. And when innocent flirting goes too far, past truths surface, exposing a killer in their midst - a killer whose sights are set on Stevie. A high dive into the dangers of obsession, this sinister and seductive thriller will leave you breathless. 2021.
Non-fiction for adults
4318863 Indigenous Toronto: Stories that Carry This Place by Denise Bolduc, Mnawaate Gordon-Corbiere, Rebeka Tabobondung, Brian Wright-McLeod
7 volumes. Rich and diverse narratives of Indigenous Toronto, past and present. Beneath many major North American cities rests a deep foundation of Indigenous history that has been colonized, paved over, and, too often, silenced. Few of its current inhabitants know that Toronto has seen twelve thousand years of uninterrupted Indigenous presence and nationhood in this region, along with a vibrant culture and history that thrives to this day. With contributions by Indigenous Elders, scholars, journalists, artists, and historians, this unique anthology explores the poles of cultural continuity and settler colonialism that have come to define Toronto as a significant cultural hub and intersection that was also known as a Meeting Place long before European settlers arrived. "This book is a reflection of endurance and a helpful corrective to settler fantasies. It tells a more balanced account of our communities, then and now. It offers the space for us to reclaim our ancestors’ language and legacy, rewriting ourselves back into a landscape from which non-Indigenous historians have worked hard to erase us. But we are there in the skyline and throughout the GTA, along the coast and in all directions." - from the introduction by Hayden King. 2021.
4329448 Care Of: Letters, Connections, and Cures by Ivan Coyote
4 volumes. Beloved storyteller Ivan Coyote returns with their most intimate and moving book yet. Writer and performer Ivan Coyote has spent decades on the road, telling stories around the world. For years, Ivan has kept a file of the most special communications received from readers and audience members - letters, Facebook messages, emails, soggy handwritten notes tucked under the windshield wiper of their truck after a gig. Then came Spring 2020, and, like artists everywhere, Coyote was grounded by the pandemic, all their planned events cancelled. The energy of a live audience, a performer’s lifeblood, was suddenly gone. But with this loss came an opportunity for a different kind of connection. Those letters that had long piled up could finally begin to be answered. Care Of combines the most powerful of these letters with Ivan’s responses, creating a body of correspondence of startling intimacy, breathtaking beauty, and heartbreaking honesty and openness. Taken together, they become an affirming and joyous reflection on many of the themes central to Coyote’s celebrated work - compassion and empathy, family fragility, non-binary and Trans identity, and the unending beauty of simply being alive. 2021.
4329483 The Diary of Dukesang Wong: A Voice from Gold Mountain by Dukesang Wong, Wanda Joy Hoe, David McIlwraith
2 volumes. Here is the only known first-person account from a Chinese worker on the famously treacherous parts of transcontinental railways that spanned the North American continent in the nineteenth century. Dukesang Wong’s written account of life working on the Canadian Pacific Railway, a Gold Mountain life, tells of the punishing work, the comradery, the sickness and starvation, the encounters with Indigenous Peoples, and the dark and shameful history of racism and exploitation that prevailed up and down the North American continent. The Diary of Dukesang Wong includes all the selected entries translated in the mid-1960s by his granddaughter, Wanda Joy Hoe, for an undergraduate sociology paper. Background history and explanations for the diary’s unexplained references are provided by David McIlwraith, the book’s editor, who also considers why the diarist’s voice and other Chinese voices have been silenced for so long. 2020.
4329500 The Big 50: The Men And Moments That Made The Toronto Blue Jays by Shi Davidi
7 volumes. The Big 50: Toronto Blue Jays is an extensive and dynamic look at the Blue Jays' 50 top moments and figures. In this revised and updated edition, longtime sportswriter Shi Davidi recounts the living history of the Blue Jays, counting down from No. 50 to No. 1. The Big 50: Toronto Blue Jays brilliantly brings to life the Blue Jays' remarkable story, from Dave Stieb and Roy Halladay to the roller-coaster that was Roberto Alomar to Joe Carter's 1993 World Series-winning home run and the unforgettable 2016 postseason. 2021.
4318804 Acadian Driftwood: One Family and the Great Expulsion by Tyler LeBlanc
3 volumes. Growing up on the south shore of Nova Scotia, Tyler LeBlanc wasn’t fully aware of his family’s Acadian roots - until a chance encounter with an Acadian historian prompted him to delve into his family history. LeBlanc’s discovery that he could trace his family all the way to the time of the Acadian Expulsion and beyond forms the basis of this compelling account of Le Grand Dérangement. With descendants scattered across modern-day Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island, the LeBlancs provide a window into the diverse fates that awaited the Acadians when they were expelled from their homeland. Some escaped the deportation and were able to retreat into the wilderness. Others found their way back to Acadie. But many were exiled to Britain, France, or the future United States, where they faced suspicion and prejudice and struggled to settle into new lives. A unique biographical approach to the history of the Expulsion, Acadian Driftwood is a vivid insight into one family’s experience of this traumatic event. 2020.
4329476 The Unconventional Nancy Ruth (A Feminist History Society Book #14) by Ramona Lumpkin
9 volumes. Born into privilege but expected to use her advantages for the good of others, Senator Nancy Ruth has led an uncommon, unconventional life. Like Nancy herself, this book is rich in surprises and contradictions about a remarkable woman who used her privilege to support social change and the battle to better women’s lives. 2021.
Business and economics
4329471 Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones by James Clear
6 volumes. James Clear, one of the world's leading experts on habit formation, reveals practical strategies that will teach you exactly how to form good habits, break bad ones, and master the tiny behaviors that lead to remarkable results. Clear is known for his ability to distill complex topics into simple behaviors that can be easily applied to daily life and work. Here, he draws on the most proven ideas from biology, psychology, and neuroscience to create an easy-to-understand guide for making good habits inevitable and bad habits impossible. Along the way, readers will be inspired and entertained with true stories from Olympic gold medalists, award-winning artists, business leaders, life-saving physicians, and star comedians who have used the science of small habits to master their craft and vault to the top of their field. 2018.
4019096 Victory at Vimy: Canada Comes of Age, April 9-12, 1917 by Ted Barris
8 volumes. At the height of the First World War, on Easter Monday April 9, 1917, in early morning sleet, sixteen battalions of the Canadian Corps rose along a six-kilometre line of trenches in northern France against the occupying Germans. All four Canadian divisions advanced in a line behind a well-rehearsed creeping barrage of artillery fire. By nightfall, the Germans had suffered a major setback. The Ridge, which other Allied troops had assaulted previously and failed to take, was firmly in Canadian hands. The achievement of the Canadians on those April days in 1917 has become one of our lasting myths. Based on first-hand accounts, including archival photographs and maps, it is the voices of the soldiers who experienced the battle that comprise the thrust of the book. Like JUNO: Canadians at D-Day, Ted Barris paints a compelling and surprising human picture of what it was like to have stormed and taken Vimy Ridge. 2007.
3947872 Defining the Boundaries of Disability: Critical Perspectives (Routledge Advances in Disability Studies) by Matthew C. Murray, Licia Carlson
5 volumes. This ground-breaking volume considers what it means to make claims of disability membership in view of the robust Disability Rights movement, the rich areas of academic inquiry into disability, increased philosophical attention to the nature and significance of disability, a vibrant disability culture and disability arts movement, and advances in biomedical science and technology. In exploring the boundaries of disability, and the ways in which these lines are drawn theoretically, legally, medically, socially, and culturally, the authors in this volume challenge particular conceptions of disability, expand the meaning and significance of the term, and consider the implications of claiming disability as an identity. 2021.
3984546 This Red Line Goes Straight to Your Heart: A Memoir in Halves by Madhur Anand
6 volumes. An experimental memoir about Partition, immigration, and generational storytelling, This Red Line Goes Straight to Your Heart weaves together the poetry of memory with the science of embodied trauma, using the imagined voices of the past and the vital authority of the present. We begin with a man off balance: one in one thousand, the only child in town whose polio leads to partial paralysis. We meet his future wife, chanting Hai Rams for Gandhiji and choosing education over marriage. On one side of the line that divides this book, we follow them as their homeland splits in two and they are drawn together, moving to Canada and raising their children in mining towns and in crowded city apartments. And when we turn the book over, we find the daughter's tale - we see how the rupture of Partition, the asymmetry of a father's leg, the virus of a mother's rage, makes its way to the next generation. Told through the lenses of biology, physics, history and poetry, this is a memoir that defies form and convention to immerse the reader in the feeling of what remains when we've heard as much of the truth as our families will allow, and we're left to search for ourselves among the pieces they've carried with them. 2020.
4329478 Driven: The Secret Lives of Taxi Drivers (Untold Lives) by Marcello Di Cintio
6 volumes. In conversations with drivers ranging from veterans of foreign wars to Indigenous women protecting one another, Di Cintio explores the borderland of the North American taxi. “The taxi,” writes Marcello Di Cintio, “is a border.” Occupying the space between public and private, a cab brings together people who might otherwise never have met - yet most of us sit in the back and stare at our phones. Nowhere else do people occupy such intimate quarters and share so little. In a series of interviews with drivers, their backgrounds ranging from the Iraqi National Guard, to the Westboro Baptist Church, to an arranged marriage that left one woman stranded in a foreign country with nothing but a suitcase, Driven seeks out those missed conversations, revealing the unknown stories that surround us. 2021.
4329459 Overdose: Heartbreak and Hope in Canada's Opioid Crisis by Benjamin Perrin
6 volumes. Someone is dying every two hours in Canada from illicit drug overdose. Fentanyl has become a looming presence - an opioid more powerful, pervasive, and deadly than any previous street drug. The victims are many - and often not whom we might expect. They include the poor and forgotten but also our neighbours: professionals, students, and parents. Despite the thousands of deaths, these victims have remained largely invisible. But not anymore. Benjamin Perrin, a law and policy expert, shines a light in this darkest of corners - and his findings challenge many assumptions about the crisis. 2020.
4329449 Following the Good River: The Life and Times of Wa'xaid by Briony Penn
10 volumes. Based on recorded interviews and journal entries this major biography of Cecil Paul (Wa’xaid) is a resounding and timely saga featuring the trials, tribulations, endurance, forgiveness, and survival of one of North America’s more prominent Indigenous leaders. Born in 1931 in the Kitlope, Cecil Paul, also known by his Xenaksiala name, Wa’xaid, is one of the last fluent speakers of his people’s language. At age ten he was placed in a residential school run by the United Church of Canada at Port Alberni where he was abused. After three decades of prolonged alcohol abuse, he returned to the Kitlope where his healing journey began. He has worked tirelessly to protect the Kitlope, described as the largest intact temperate rainforest watershed in the world. Now in his late 80s, he resides on his ancestors’ traditional territory. Following upon the success of Wa'xaid's own book of personal essays, Stories from the Magic Canoe, Briony Penn's major biography of this remarkable individual will serve as a timely reminder of the state of British Columbia's Indigenous community, the environmental and political strife still facing many Indigenous communities, and the philosophical and personal journey of a remarkable man. 2020.
Indigenous peoples biography
3984544 A History of My Brief Body by Billy-Ray Belcourt
2 volumes. Billy-Ray Belcourt's debut memoir opens with a tender letter to his kokum and memories of his early life in the hamlet of Joussard, Alberta, and on the Driftpile First Nation. From there, it expands to encompass the big and broken world around him, in all its complexity and contradictions: a legacy of colonial violence and the joy that flourishes in spite of it, first loves and first loves lost, sexual exploration and intimacy, and the act of writing as a survival instinct and a way to grieve. What emerges is not only a profound meditation on memory, gender, anger, shame, and ecstasy, but also the outline of a way forward. With startling honesty, and in a voice distinctly and assuredly his own, Belcourt situates his life experiences within a constellation of seminal queer texts, among which this book is sure to earn its place. Eye-opening, intensely emotional, and excessively quotable, A History of My Brief Body demonstrates over and over again the power of words to both devastate and console us. 2020.
Journals and memoirs
4329497 Where Beauty Survived: An Africadian Memoir by George Elliott Clarke
8 volumes. A vibrant, revealing memoir about the cultural and familial pressures that shaped George Elliott Clarke’s early life in the Black Canadian community that he calls Africadia, centred in Halifax, Nova Scotia. As a boy, George Elliott Clarke knew that a great deal was expected from him and his two brothers. The descendant of a highly accomplished lineage on his paternal side - great-grandson to William Andrew White, the first Black officer (non-commissioned) in the British army - George felt called to live up to the family name. At the book’s heart is George’s turbulent relationship with his father, an autodidact who valued art, music and books but worked an unfulfilling railway job. Bill could be loving and patient, but he also acted out destructive frustrations, assaulting George’s mother and sometimes George and his brothers, too. Where Beauty Survived is the story of a complicated family, of the emotional stress that white racism exerts on Black households, of the unique cultural geography of Africadia, of a child who became a poet, and of long-kept secrets. 2021.
3984567 Rebent Sinner by Ivan Coyote
2 volumes. Ivan Coyote is one of North America's preeminent storytellers and performers, and the author, co-author, or co-editor of eleven previous books, all but one of which have been published by Arsenal Pulp Press. In their latest, Ivan takes on the patriarchy and the political, as well as the intimate and the personal in these beguiling and revealing stories of what it means to be trans and non-binary today, at a time in their life when they must carry the burden of heartbreaking history with them, while combatting those who would misgender them or deny their very existence. These stories span thirty years of tackling TERFs, legislators, and bathroom police, sure, but there is joy and pleasure and triumph to be found here too, as Ivan pays homage to personal heroes like the late Leslie Feinberg while gently guiding younger trans folk to prove to themselves that there is a way out of the darkness. Rebent Sinner is the work of an accomplished artist whose plain truths about their experience will astound readers with their utter, breathtaking humanity. 2019.
4329503 Dad Up!: Long-Time Comedian. First-Time Father by Steve Patterson
4 volumes. From one of the country's most beloved comedians and host of CBC Radio's incredibly popular program The Debaters comes a funny, poignant, and at times unexpectedly wise look at what it means to be a dad in this day and age. In Dad Up! he gives his all to be the best father possible to two young girls while imparting his hard-won wisdom and insights to readers everywhere. The youngest of five boys growing up in an Irish Catholic household, Patterson mines his childhood for any sage advice he might have picked up from his own dad. He chronicles the disappointment of failing to get pregnant, only to have the miracle conception take place in Regina during Grey Cup Week, under the guiding spirit of the Saskatchewan Roughriders and comedian Brent Butt (don't ask). Most importantly, Dad Up! charts the awesome experience of watching tiny infants that you somehow had a hand in creating evolve into confident and crafty little people, and the lessons that they teach along the way. 2021.
4329469 Norma Jeane Baker of Troy by Anne Carson
1 volume. Norma Jeane Baker of Troy is a meditation on the destabilizing and destructive power of beauty, drawing together Helen of Troy and Marilyn Monroe, twin avatars of female fascination separated by millennia but united in mythopoeic force. Norma Jeane Baker was staged in the spring of 2019 at The Shed’s Griffin Theater in New York, starring actor Ben Whishaw and soprano Renée Fleming and directed by Katie Mitchell. 2020.
3980824 The Shadow List by Jen Sookfong Lee
1 volume. In these devastating lyric poems, Jen Sookfong Lee unfolds the experience of her narrator, following her through frost-chilled nights and salt-scented days, as she pulls at the knot of accumulated expectations around her trying to create space to want and to be. The Shadow List is a book filled with desire, where we question the politics of who gets to choose and who doesn't and where the narrator creates hidden lists of what she really wants. With a novelist's way with character, Lee builds a deep connection with the narrator of the poems, yet each individual poem creates a vivid snapshot of moments many will recognize. 2021.
3882057 Side Effects May Include Strangers (Hugh MacLennan Poetry Series #56) by Dominik Parisien
1 volume. 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.
3974884 Phantompains by Therese Estacion
1 volume. Therese Estacion survived a rare infection that nearly killed her, but not without losing both her legs below the knees, several fingers, and reproductive organs. Phantompains is a visceral, imaginative collection exploring disability, grief and life by interweaving stark memories with dreamlike surrealism. Taking inspiration from Filipino horror and folk tales, Estacion incorporates some Visayan language into her work, telling stories of mermen, gnomes, and ogres that haunt childhood stories of the Philippines and, then, imaginings in her hospital room, where she spent months recovering after her operations. Estacion says she wrote these poems out of necessity: an essential task to deal with the trauma of hospitalization and what followed. Now, they are demonstrations of the power of our imaginations to provide catharsis, preserve memory, rebel and even to find self-love. 2021.
4329494 The Queer Evangelist: A Socialist Clergy's Radically Honest Tale by Cheri DiNovo
5 volumes. Cheri DiNovo went from living on the streets as a teenager to performing the first legalized same-sex marriage in Canada in 2001. This story of one queer kid will hopefully inspire other young people (queer and not) to resist the system and change it. 2021.
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. 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.
Travel and geography
4318865 The Meaning of Travel: Philosophers Abroad by Emily Thomas
5 volumes. How can we think more deeply about travel? This was the thought that inspired Emily Thomas to journey into the philosophy of travel, to explore the places where philosophy and travel intersect. Part philosophical ramble, part memoir, The Meaning of Travel begins in the Age of Discovery in the sixteenth century, when philosophers first began thinking and writing seriously about travel It then meanders forward to encounter the thoughts of Montaigne on otherness, John Locke on cannibals, and Henry Thoreau on wilderness. The first ever history of the places where history and philosophy meet, this book will reshape your understanding of travel. 2020.
4329468 The Case of the Murderous Dr. Cream: The Hunt for a Victorian Era Serial Killer by Dean Jobb
11 volumes. Incredibly, at the time the words of the world’s most famous fictional detective appeared in print in the Strand Magazine, a real-life Canadian doctor was stalking and murdering women in London’s downtrodden Lambeth neighbourhood. Dr. Thomas Neill Cream had been a suspect in the deaths of two women in Canada, and had killed as many as four people in Chicago before he arrived in London in 1891 and began using pills laced with strychnine to kill prostitutes. The Lambeth Poisoner, as he was dubbed in the press, became one of the most prolific serial killers in history. In this fascinating book, Dean Jobb reveals how bungled investigations, corrupt officials and failed prosecutions allowed Cream to evade detection or freed him to kill, again and again. It offers an inside account of Scotland Yard’s desperate search for a killer as brazen and efficient as Jack the Ripper. 2021.