Amy’s Marathon of Books – Summer Reading

Dear Canadian Teen Book Lovers,

The Canadian Children’s Book Centre (CCBC) has invited me to write a guest post for their website and I was happy to oblige them.

My name is Amy Mathers and this year I am reading my way across Canada in a Marathon of Books. I started on January 1st, 2014, and today I am up to my 157th book. I’m currently reading from Toronto, Canada’s biggest city, but I’ve already made it through the Maritimes, Quebec, and the eastern part of Ontario through reading a book a day.

I’m reading to prove that people with muscular dystrophy can have physical achievements like marathon runners, but the ultimate goal of my journey is to raise enough funds for a new teen fiction book award to be distributed on a yearly basis by the CCBC.

Teen fiction is my favourite genre because teens are at a moment in their lives when the future has yet to be created. Their sense of self is still forming, and as a result they experience vivid and powerful emotions, heart-breaking realisations of reality and inspiring insights into life in general as they grow. Their stories are full of trials and sometimes defeat, but teens often display a resilient nature that helps them to get back up again.

Every day I read and review a different book by a Canadian teen author, helping to promote their work and support the fine teen fiction selection we have in this country. It’s a daunting task because there is a plethora of talent out there, but I’ve been having a wonderful time discovering new books and authors I’d never known about before.

As summer quickly approaches and school lets out, it’s the perfect time for recreational reading. While I am reading 365 books this year, I am encouraging others to read along with me through taking what I call the 13 Book Challenge. The 13 Book Challenge involves selecting and reading one teen fiction book from each province and territory so you, too, can read your way across Canada.

You can read for fun and simply to explore the teen literature our country has to offer, or you can print out a fundraising form and raise your own money to donate to the excellent cause of supporting our teen authors.

And by doing so, even if you’re not physically travelling anywhere this summer, you can travel to other places, perspectives and time periods in your mind through reading. Who could ask for a better vacation?

You can see my reading list and get book suggestions or read the reviews I’ve done so far on my website: You can also make donations from there, or send them by mail to the CCBC.

If we all work together, we can say thank you for the teen books that have touched us and changed our lives.


Amy Mathers


Amy’s Summer Reading List

Here are some good summer reads. I picked some because they are adventure type books that will transport readers to other places, some because they are lighter reads, and some because they are about quintessential summer life in Canada. –Amy

Betsy Wickwire’s Dirty Secret by Vicki Grant
Amazon | Indigo | Canadian Bookstores

Looking at the Moon by Kit Pearson (The Guests of War Trilogy)
Amazon | Indigo | Canadian Bookstores

Light the Way Home by Nancy M. Russell
Amazon | Indigo) | Canadian Bookstores

Millions for a Song by Andre Vanasse
Amazon | Indigo | Canadian Bookstores

Close to the Heel by Norah McClintock
Amazon | Indigo | Canadian Bookstores

Last Message by Shane Peacock
Amazon | Indigo | Canadian Bookstores

Grist by Heather Waldorf
Amazon | Indigo | Canadian Bookstores

One Lonely Degree by CK Kelly Martin
Amazon | Indigo | Canadian Bookstores

The Yo-Yo Prophet by Karen Krossing
Amazon | Indigo | Canadian Bookstores

First Descent by Pam Withers
Amazon | Indigo | Canadian Bookstores