All summer we’re reading our way across Canada and our first stop is Newfoundland! Newfoundland has its own timezone, its own dog breed and the capital city, St. John’s, is the oldest city in North America. Here are three books we recommend to get to know The Rock better.
Growing up in a picturesque Newfoundland fishing village should be idyllic for sixteen-year-old Kit Ryan, but living with an alcoholic father makes Kit’s day-to-day life unpredictable and almost intolerable. When the 1992 cod moratorium forces her father out of a job, the tension between Kit and her father grows. Forced to leave their rural community, the family moves to the city, where they live with Uncle Iggy, a widower with problems of his own. Immediately pegged as a “baygirl,” Kit struggles to fit in, but longstanding trust issues threaten to hold her back when a boy named Elliot expresses an interest in her.
It’s Newfoundland, 1986. Fourteen-year-old Bun O’Keefe has lived a solitary life in an unsafe, unsanitary house. Her mother is a compulsive hoarder, and Bun has had little contact with the outside world. What she’s learned about life comes from the random books and old VHS tapes that she finds in the boxes and bags her mother brings home. Bun and her mother rarely talk, so when Bun’s mother tells Bun to leave one day, she does. Hitchhiking out of town, Bun ends up on the streets of St. John’s, Newfoundland. Fortunately, the first person she meets is Busker Boy, a street musician who senses her naivety and takes her in. Together they live in a house with an eclectic cast of characters: Chef, a hotel dishwasher with culinary dreams; Cher, a drag queen with a tragic past; Big Eyes, a Catholic school girl desperately trying to reinvent herself; and The Landlord, a man who Bun is told to avoid at all cost. Through her experiences with her new roommates, and their sometimes tragic revelations, Bun learns that the world extends beyond the walls of her mother’s house and discovers the joy of being part of a new family — a family of friends who care.
A visually stunning, often humorous book of verse, All Around the Circle celebrates the landscape and spirit of outport Newfoundland. How did Aunt Maud’s cat manage to sail across the tickle? Why is Heloise the chicken so worried? With a colourful cast of characters, tall tales, and vibrant artwork, Cara Kansala, artist of the wildly popular Grumpy Goat Gallery, offers a tongue-twisting playful read that will delight kids from five to ninety-five.
Find out more about Road Trip Reading Club at our website. Want to read along with us? Let us know how you’re doing or what your own Road Trip Reading looks like using the hashtag #RoadTripReadingClub. Also, be sure to enter our summer photography contest!
Stay tuned for our next stop, Prince Edward Island!