March 2021


News from the Canadian Children’s Book Centre & Friends
Links We Love
March Reading List: Real Women, Real Stories
Author Corner: Elizabeth MacLeod
Experts’ Picks

News from the Canadian Children’s Book Centre & Friends

We Want To Hear From You!

Please take a few moments to provide your thoughts and assessment that will help guide and shape the future of the Canadian Children’s Book Centre.

Fill out the survey here!

Download Free Activities for Moira’s Birthday

This year’s TD Grade One Book Giveaway title is Moira’s Birthday by Robert Munsch and illustrated by Michael Martchenko. Head to our website for free activities to download and share with young ones!

Orca introduces new Ultra-Readable books to reach more readers

Orca Book Publishers is introducing a new Ultra-Readable format for their bestselling lines of high interest, low reading level (hi-lo) books aimed at striving readers.All of Orca’s new hi-lo books are now being published in this format, which is designed to be more appealing to a wider range of reading levels and abilities, including readers with dyslexia or other language-based learning difficulties. With more than 200 hi-lo books on its list, Orca will now be reprinting all hi-lo titles in this format.

Learn more here.

Marie-Louise Gay wins 2020 Elizabeth Mrazik-Cleaver Canadian Picture Book Award for The Three Brothers

IBBY Canada (International Board on Books for Young People, Canadian section) is pleased to announce that Marie-Louise Gay has won the 2020 Elizabeth Mrazik-Cleaver Canadian Picture Book Award for The Three Brothers, published by Groundwood Books. Selected from 122 submitted books, the winner receives $1,000. The jury also selected two honour books from the list of ten finalists: The Paper Boat by Thao Lam and At the Pond, by Geraldo Valério.

IBBY Canada presents 2020 Claude Aubry Award for distinguished service in children’s literature to Barbara Greenwood (English) and Robert Soulières (French)

IBBY Canada, the Canadian national section of the International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY), presents the 2020 Claude Aubry Award for distinguished service in the field of children’s literature in English to Barbara Greenwood and in French to Robert Soulières.

Canadian Children’s Book Week: Readers Take Flight/Tournée Lire à tout vent

We are excited to announce the touring creators for Canadian Children’s Book Week: Readers Take Flight. Forty-Five talented Canadian authors, illustrators and storytellers were selected to take part in this virtual tour and share a love of reading with young people in schools, libraries and homes all across Canada.

Established in 1977, this year’s national tour will take place from May 2-8, 2021. See the list of touring creators here.


Empowering Youth, One Generation at a Time: Free Resources 

The Rick Hansen Foundation School Program (RHFSP) is inspired by Rick’s belief in the power of youth and their ability to change the world. RHFSP raises awareness, challenges perceptions, and changes attitudes, through a variety of lessons and activities, empowering youth to take action on important issues.

RHFSP resources are designed for youth from K-12 and include age-appropriate lessons and interactive activities for every grade level. Free, bilingual, and connected to provincial curriculum, our resources are:

  • Ready-to-use
  • Deliverable online or in the classroom
  • Developed by educators, for educators
  • Grounded in Universal Design for Learning and incorporate Differentiated Instruction Strategies

Learn more here.

Order the Winter Edition of Canadian Children’s Book News Now!

It is essential now, more than ever, for Black, Indigenous and People of Colour (BIPOC) to see themselves represented in the books they read. The Winter issue of Canadian Children’s Book News celebrates Black Canadian voices and showcases several talented authors and illustrators who are creating stories that provide this representation.

In this issue, author Nadia Hohn examines how the Canadian publishing industry has responded to #WeNeedDiverseVoices and #OwnVoices and why diversity is needed in children’s books. Ardo Omer sheds a light on the importance of the Festival of Literary Diversity (FOLD). Award-winning author Christopher Paul Curtis explains what drives him to continue writing books about Black history and illustrator Eva Campbell shares her vibrant world of oil paint and pastel on canvas and the importance of having kids see themselves in her artwork. Four Black Canadian authors also share their road to publication. Our “Keep Your Eye On…” column introduces you to Andre Fenton, an author and spoken-word artist from Halifax, Nova Scotia. Our Bookmark! column features 17 books written by Black Canadian authors, and as always, we have over 40 reviews of recently published books for you to enjoy.

You can download an article for free! Read “Keep Telling Tales: Shaping How Young People Engage With the World.”

Order your copy today!

Purchase Our Greeting Cards and Support the CCBC!

With everyone across the country separated from their friends and families, we are all searching for ways to connect with one another. Support the CCBC and send your loved ones a greeting featuring art from past Canadian Children’s Book Week posters. Perfect for keeping in touch with friends, these greeting cards feature original art by illustrators Barbara Reid, Julie Flett, Ian Wallace, Wallace Edwards, Bill Slavin, Elly MacKay, Gabrielle Grimard and Eugenie Fernandes. All purchases from these packs of eight cards go towards programs like Canadian Children’s Book Week, the CCBC Book Awards and Bibliovideo

Visit our shop today!

Follow Bibliovideo on Social Media!

Bibliovideo, the YouTube channel all about Canadian books for young people, is now on social media! Follow on Facebook and Twitter to stay up to date with the newest videos!

Want to stay updated on the world of Canadian children’s books all month long? Follow us on Facebook and Twitter!

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Links We Love

Articles and videos of interest to educators and parents.

A Canadian Trifecta: Illustrators, Review, Giveaway! (The Children’s Bookroom)

Zetta Elliott writes stories that centre Black characters and confront systemic racism (CBC) 

‘We’re going fine-free’: Toronto Public Library eliminates late fees for children’s books (Global News)

11 Canadian books for kids and young adults to check out during Black History Month 2021 (CBC)

10 of the best children’s books that are LGBTQ+ inclusive, chosen by experts (Good Housekeeping)

In new picture book, B.C. poet Jordan Scott helps kids see stuttering as something natural (CBC)


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March Reading List: Real Women, Real Stories

This month’s reading list is in honour of International Women’s Day, featuring books about or inspired by real women and girls. This selection of Canadian books for young people of all ages was selected by the CCBC: for more great books, visit

Picture Books

Emmy Noether: The Most Important Mathematician You’ve Never Heard Of
Written by Helaine Becker
Illustrated by Kari Rust
Kids Can Press, 2020
ISBN 978-1-5253-0059-2
IL: Ages 5-9 RL: Grades 3-4

Emmy Noether is not pretty, quiet, good at housework or eager to marry — all the things a German girl is expected to be in her time. What she is, though, is a genius at math. When she grows up, she finds a way to first study math at a university (by sitting in, not actually enrolling) and then to teach it (by doing so for free). She also manages to do her own research into some of the most pressing math and physics problems of the day. And though she doesn”t get much credit during her lifetime, her discoveries continue to influence how we understand the world today.


Happy Birthday, Alice Babette
Written by Monica Kulling
Illustrated by Qin Leng
Groundwood Books, 2016
ISBN 978-1-55498-820-4
IL: Ages 5-9 RL: Grades 2-4

It’s Alice’s birthday! But her friend Gertrude seems to have forgotten. No matter, Alice goes out and enjoys her day just the same. A beautiful spring afternoon in Paris — what could be better? Little does she know that her dear friend has a few surprises up her sleeve. Inspired by the lives of artist Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas, this is a sweetly joyful story of love, friendship and creative inspiration.



It Began With a Page: How Gyo Fujikawa Drew the Way
Written by Kyo Maclear
Illustrated by Julie Morstad
Tundra Books, 2019
ISBN 978-1-101-91859-3
IL: Ages 4-8 RL: Grades 2-3

Gyo Fujikawa’s iconic children’s books are beloved around the world. Now it’s time for Gyo’s story to be told — a story of artistic talent that refused to be constrained by rules and expectations. In the 1960s, Gyo created a picture book with a diverse cast of babies… black babies, Asian babies, all kinds of babies. Had it ever been done before? Not yet…


Walking in the City with Jane: A Story of Jane Jacobs
Written by Susan Hughes
Illustrated by Valérie Boivin
Kids Can Press, 2018
ISBN 978-1-77138-653-1
IL: Ages 7-9 RL: Grade 4

In this engaging informational picture book, author Susan Hughes provides a fictionalized story of the life of Jane Jacobs, an urban thinker and activist who made planning and development of healthy cities her life’s work and whose influence is still felt today. Kids will be inspired to notice the “sidewalk ballet” around them and to protect what makes their communities — and their cities — great!



The Lady and the Books
Written by Kathy Stinson
Illustrated by Marie Lafrance
Kids Can Press, 2020
ISBN 978-1-5253-0154-4
IL: Ages 4-7 RL: Grades PreK-2

Anneliese and Peter will never be the same after the war that took their father’s life. One day, while wandering the ruined streets of Munich, the children follow a line of people entering a building, thinking there may be free food inside. Instead, they are delighted to discover a great hall filled with children’s books — more books than Anneliese can count. Here, they meet the lady with the books, who encourages the children to read as much as they want. And she invites them to come back the next day. Eventually, she will have a greater impact on the children’s lives than they could ever have imagined.




A Likkle Miss Lou: How Jamaican Poet Louise Bennett Coverley Found Her Voice
Written by Nadia L. Hohn
Illustrated by Eugenie Fernandes
Owlkids Books, 2019
ISBN 978-1-77147-350-7
IL: Ages 7-10 RL: Grades 2-3

Iconic poet Louise Bennett Coverley, or Miss Lou, popularized the use of patois and helped pave the way for artists like Harry Belafonte and Bob Marley. This picture book tells the story of Miss Lou as a young girl who loved poetry but felt caught between writing “lines of words like tight cornrows” or words that beat “in time with her heart.”



Ocean Speaks: How Marie Tharp Revealed the Ocean’s Biggest Secret
Written by Jess Keating
Illustrated by Katie Hickey
Tundra Books, 2020
ISBN 978-0-7352-6508-0
IL: Ages 4-8 RL: Grade 3

In the 1950s, Marie Tharp got a job at a research laboratory. Barred from the ships going out to explore the ocean floor, she analyzed the data they recorded and created a map of the Atlantic Ocean floor, including a deep rift. Despite her colleague’s disbelief, her evidence was irrefutable. The mid-ocean ridge that Marie discovered is the single largest geographic feature on the planet.



Queen of Physics: How Wu Chien Shiung Helped Unlock the Secrets of the Atom
(People Who Shaped Our World)
Written by Teresa Robeson
Illustrated by Rebecca Huang
Sterling Children’s Books, 2019
ISBN 978-1-4549-3220-8
IL: Ages 7-12 RL: Grades 2-3

Although Wu Chien Shiung was born in China 100 years ago when most girls did not attend school, her parents encouraged her love of science. Wu Chien Shiung battled sexism and racism to become the ‘Queen of Physics’ for her work on beta decay. She earned the admiration of other scientists and became the first woman instructor at Princeton University, amongst other honours.


Junior & Intermediate Fiction

Amelia and Me
Written by Heather Stemp
Pennywell Books, 2013
ISBN 978-1-77117-254-7
IL: Ages 10-12 RL: Grades 4-6

The year is 1932. The place is Harbour Grace, Newfoundland, where most of the early transatlantic flights take off. Unfortunately, more of them end in tragedy than success, but that’s not going to discourage 12-year-old Ginny Ross, who longs to be a pilot like her hero Amelia Earhart. Does Ginny have what it takes to make her dream come true, even when the obstacles to her success are enormous?


Becoming RBG: Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s Journey to Justice
Written by Debbie Levy
Illustrated by Whitney Gardner
Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 2019
ISBN 978-1-5344-2456-2
IL: Ages 11 and up RL: Grades 5-6

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is a modern feminist icon who blazed trails to the peaks of the male-centric worlds of education and law, where women had rarely risen before. The child who questioned unfairness became a student who persisted despite obstacles, who became an advocate who resisted injustice, who became a judge who revered the rule of law, who became… RBG.



The Mozart Girl
Written by Barbara Nickel
Illustrated by Claudia Dávila
Second Story Press, 2019
ISBN 978-1-77260-089-6
IL: Ages 9-12 RL: Grades 4-5

Nannerl Mozart’s 12th-birthday wish is to become a famous composer. She’s already a musical prodigy, touring Europe with her little brother, Wolfgang, and playing for queens and kings. But Papa doesn’t take her seriously as a composer because she is a girl, Mama always has chores for her to do, and Wolfi steals everyone’s attention. Can Nannerl hold on to her dreams?



The Case of the Missing Moonstone
(The Wollstonecraft Detective Agency)
Written by Jordan Stratford
Illustrated by Kelly Murphy
Knopf Books for Young Readers, 2015
ISBN 978-0-385-75440-8
IL: Ages 8-11 RL: Grades 4-5

Lady Ada Byron, 11, is an awkward, mildly rude genius. Mary Godwin, 14, is an adventurous, kind romantic. Together they form the Wollstonecraft Detective Agency — a secret constabulary for the apprehension of clever criminals. Their first case involves a stolen heirloom, a false confession and an array of fishy suspects. But it’s no match for the deductive powers and bold hearts of Ada and Mary.


Young Adult Fiction

Fourteen-year-old Lucy Maud Montgomery dreams of going to college and becoming a writer. When she leaves PEI to live with her father and his new wife and daughter in Saskatchewan, her dream seems possible. Here Maud has another chance at love, as well as attending school… until Maud discovers her stepmother’s plans that threaten Maud’s future — and her happiness.

Charlotte, Branwell, Emily and Anne. The Brontë siblings have always been inseparable. Their vivid imaginations let them escape from their strict upbringing, transporting them into their created worlds. But as Branwell descends into madness and the sisters feel their real lives slipping away, they must weigh the cost of their powerful imaginations, even as their characters refuse to let them go.



Bad Girls of Fashion: Style Rebels from Cleopatra to Lady Gaga
Written by Jennifer Croll
Illustrated by Ada Buschholc
Annick Press, 2016
ISBN 978-1-55451-786-2
IL: Ages 12 and up RL: Grades 6-7

From Cleopatra to Coco Chanel and Marlene Dietrich to Madonna, female style rebels have used clothes to shake things up and break the rules. With an energetic, appealing writing style, Croll demonstrates how through the ages, women — often without other means of power — have used fashion as a tool, and how their influence continues to shape the way women present themselves today.


Canadian Women Now and Then: More Than 100 Stories of Fearless Trailblazers
Written by Elizabeth MacLeod
Illustrated by Maïa Faddoul
Kids Can Press, 2020
ISBN 978-1-5253-0061-5
IL: Ages 9 and up RL: Grade 5

Emily Stowe. Viola Desmond. Roberta Bondar. Canadian women have long been ground breakers, often battling incredible odds and discrimination. This unique look at history tells the stories of today’s inspiring Canadian women alongside trailblazers from the past who paved the way. Together, these women tell the story of Canada. And together, they offer a vision of what’s possible.



Fierce: Women Who Shaped Canada
Written by Lisa Dalrymple
Illustrated by Willow Dawson
Scholastic Canada, 2019
ISBN 978-1-4431-7510-4
IL: Ages 9-12 RL: Grades 4-5

Celebrate the accomplishments of overlooked heroes of Canadian history. Relegated to sidelines of history, the 10 inspiring women highlighted in this book were fierce, yet most readers have never heard of them. Their stories are integral to our national legacy. Its time to hear the stories of Marguerite de la Roque, Ttha’naltther, Catherine Schubert, Victoria Cheung, Mona Parsons and many others.



Gardening with Emma: Grow and Have Fun — a Kid-to-Kid Guide
Written by Emma Biggs
Illustrated by Rob Hodgson
Storey Publishing, 2019
ISBN 978-1-612-12925-9
IL: Ages 8-12 RL: Grades 3-4

Dig, discover and grow cool things! With tips for how to grow a flower stand garden, and suggestions for veggies from tiny to colossal, 13-year-old Emma shares her just-for-kids’ advice on growing a garden, including theme garden ideas and tips for preparing, planting and caring for a garden, along with creative ways to have fun doing it.




The Girl Who Rode a Shark: And Other Stories of Daring Women
Written by Ailsa Ross
Illustrated by Amy Blackwell
Pajama Press, 2019
ISBN 978-1-77278-098-7
IL: Ages 8 and up RL: Grades 5-6

Now more than ever, the world is recognizing how strong women and girls are. In this collection of biographies of women and girls whose perseverance in pursuit of their passions plunged them headfirst into the pages of history, readers will discover a Canadian astronaut, an Indian secret agent, and a free-diving chef who rode a shark!



Jazz Jennings: Voice for LGBTQ Youth
(Remarkable Lives Revealed)
Written by Ellen Rodger
Crabtree Publishing, 2017
ISBN 978-0-7787-3423-9
IL: Ages 9-12 RL: Grades 4-5

Jazz Jennings is one of the first young people to speak publicly about her experiences as a transgender individual. Overcoming incredible struggles as a young transgender person, Jazz now uses her platform to make a difference in the LGBTQ community. A vocal advocate for equal rights, she co-founded the TransKids Purple Rainbow Foundation — all before the age of 15.




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Author’s Corner: Elizabeth MacLeod

Elizabeth MacLeod is a children’s writer who likes researching and discovering amazing facts, then sharing the information and secrets she uncovers with readers. Dinosaurs, royal murder, horses that changed history, forensic science — Liz has written about them all. She has authored more than 70 books and has won many awards for her writing, including the Norma Fleck Award for Canadian Children’s Non-Fiction, as well as Children’s Choice awards across the country, such as the Hackmatack, Red Cedar, Red Maple and Silver Birch awards. Some of Liz’s favourite books to write are biographies, especially about great Canadians whose stories can inspire kids. She lives in Toronto.

First, tell us a little bit about yourself. How did you get your start as an author?

I liked writing — and loved reading — when I was a kid but when I went to university I studied sciences. I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do after I graduated so when I got a chance to attend the Banff Publishing Workshop I leapt at it. That led to a job as an editor at OWL Magazine.

While working there, I was offered the chance to write books for Grolier Limited and was reminded how much I liked writing. After a few years at OWL I moved to Kids Can Press as an editor. The publishers were interested in having me work as an author for them as well, so I was happy to keep writing. When I later became a freelance editor, I was able to write for a number of publishers.

Canadian Women: Now + Then is a unique approach to studying historical figures, looking at women in similar roles in the past and present. What inspired this approach?

Canadian Women: Now + Then is published by Kids Can Press. Back in 2006 they published my book The Kids Book of Great Canadian Women and were looking for a way to give it more than just an update. There were current women in that book, as well as women who were pioneers in their fields. In Canadian Women: Now + Then the decision was made to pair trailblazers and modern women by occupation. That way, kids could see clearly the struggles of the older women, as well as the progress that Canadian women have made.

For instance in the “Politicians” category we’ve paired The Famous Five, who worked so hard to have women declared persons in 1929, with Julie Lemieux, who in 2017 was elected the first openly transgender mayor in Canada. Editor Katie Scott and I also put a special focus on diversity in Canadian Women: Now + Then because we want to make sure readers see themselves reflected in the book.

Doing research for Canadian Women: Now + Then, what is the most interesting or surprising fact you learned?

Penny Oleksiak made me so proud to be Canadian during the 2016 Summer Olympic Games — her first Olympics! — when she won four medals for swimming and was Canada’s youngest gold medallist ever. I was surprised to discover while I was researching her story that she didn’t even learn to swim until she was nine years old. That’s quite old for a competitive swimmer.

Penny had tried to train with a number of local swimming clubs. But she was turned down again and again because she couldn’t even swim one length of a pool. It’s almost impossible to believe that seven years later she was one of the best swimmers in the world.

There’s also a two-page spread at the end of the book that I hope readers will find especially interesting. I wanted kids to be inspired by the profiles of the women in the book and to think about how the women’s stories could give readers courage or help them discover their passion or assist them in overcoming obstacles. So on these pages I ask readers questions such as, “What makes you feel brave?,” “How will you change the world?” and “How will you follow your dreams?” I also include specific examples of how the women in the book became trailblazers or found role models.

Your most recent book in the Scholastic Canadian Biography series is Meet Thérèse Casgrain. What drew you to her and her story?

Thérèse Casgrain is an amazing Canadian woman who worked for women’s voting right, equality and peace, yet most people have never heard of her. I hope this book will help change that!

Did you know that Thérèse was the first woman in Canada to lead a political party? In 1951 she became the leader of the Quebec branch of the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (CCF) — it would later become the New Democratic Party.

But before that, Thérèse led the struggle for women to finally get the vote in provincial elections in Quebec. Most women in the rest of the country had been able to vote in provincial elections since 1925, but women in Quebec only received this right in 1940 and only then because of Thérèse’s hard work.

What else? When Thérèse was 16 she and her family were in Paris along with her businessman father. When his meetings ran long, the family missed their ship sailing back to Canada — and missed sailing on the Titanic!

During World War II Thérèse fought profiteering on items that were in short supply. After the war, she found out that the Canadian government was about to start sending out the Baby Bonus to families across the country. The cheques were addressed to the mothers of the families — except in Quebec, where they were payable to the fathers. Thérèse managed to get that changed so Quebec moms received the cheques, like other Canadian women.

What I really love about Thérèse is her sense of humour. In 1970, when she was 74 years old, Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau asked her to become a senator. There was just one problem: senators have to retire at the age of 75. She could only be a senator for nine months.

Thérèse decided to do it anyway because it would give her a larger platform for her views and opinions. One young male reporter asked her derisively, “Why are you becoming a senator? What can you expect to accomplish in nine months? “Young man,” replied Thérèse, “You’d be amazed to see what a woman can do in nine months!”

Sorry for my lengthy answer — can you tell that my editor, Erin O’Connor, and I loved working on this book? I hope kids are as inspired by Thérèse’s compassion, persistence and fearlessness as I am!

What projects are you working on now? Can you tell us about any upcoming books?

This summer my book Meet David Suzuki will be published — it’s the eighth book in this series about great Canadians for kids ages six to ten. Right now I’m working on Meet Mary Ann Shadd — she was the first female Black publisher in North America and Canada’s first female publisher. (Mary Ann wasn’t born in Canada but was living in
Canada when she published her newspaper.) That book will be published early next year. I’m really proud to make these amazing people’s stories accessible to kids.

A book I co-wrote with Frieda Wishinsky, How to Become an Accidental Activist, will be published by Orca Books in April and we’re currently working on the third book in the series, How to Become an Accidental Entrepreneur with editor Kirstie Hudson. We hope the profiles in these books will encourage readers to become activists and entrepreneurs, as well as help them recognize their own incredible potential. I’m also working on a book for Orca about the importance of voting —I feel very strongly about the subject!

Find out more about Zetta on her website,

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Watch Your Favourite Book On Bibliovideo

Subscribe to Bibliovideo today to watch videos made specifically for booklovers! Don’t forget to push the bell to receive updates when new videos are uploaded.

Featured Video

Playlists to Binge Watch 

For Educators / Pour les éducateurs

I Read Canadian / Je lis un livre canadien

Telling Tales: Celebrating Stories

Illustrator Demonstrations / Démonstrations des illustrateurs

TD Summer Reading Club / Club de lecture d’été TD

Stay Home, Read Together / Lisons ensemble à la maison

Author Interviews / Entretiens avec des écrivains

Book Readings / Séances de lecture


We acknowledge the support of the Canada Council for the Arts.


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Experts’ Picks

Booksellers’ Picks

Canada’s independent booksellers share their recommendations for kids and teens. To find a local independent bookstore, visit

Woozles Children’s Bookstore in Halifax, NS:

The Fabulous Zed Watson by Basil Sylvester and Kevin Sylvester (HarperCollins, 2021) Ages 8-12

One of Zed Watson’s greatest passions in life is monsters, and specifically a book called The Monster’s Castle.  Alas, only four chapters were ever released and Zed longs for more.  The rest of the book was hidden by the author.  But when Zed discovers a plant-loving neighbor, Gabe, who is also obsessed with this book, the two piece together clues and embark on an epic road trip to find this long lost manuscript.  The resulting road trip/mystery tale is as wildly entertaining as Zed themselves!  Zed, Gabe and Gabe’s sister Sam are delightfully quirky characters, their journey leads them to discover unique and wonderful people and places, and their literary quest is utterly fascinating from start to finish.  Full of pure fun, it is also a poignant and heartfelt story featuring an utterly wonderful protagonist who may seem to Gabe like nothing ever bothers them but in actual fact Zed does experience sadness and frustration (especially when they are misgendered…which happens a lot).  But their vulnerability only adds to their charm.  A truly fabulous book in a myriad of ways, The Fabulous Zed Watson (both the book and the character) will delight readers and touch many hearts in the process.

Lisa Doucet, Co-manager

Woozles Children’s Bookstore: 1533 Birmingham St., Halifax, NS B3J 2J1

If your independent bookstore would like to participate in this feature, please contact us.

Librarians’ Picks

Canadian librarians share their recommendations for kids and teens.

Firefly by Philippa Dowding (DCB, 2021) Ages 9 – 12

In this affecting novel, 13-year-old Firefly is sent to stay with a relative, after her mother gets taken into custody.   Life with Aunt Gayle, who owns The Corseted Lady costume shop, offers a beacon of light out of the darkness of the “Bad Night.” Firefly’s compelling story unfolds through her indomitable and spirited first-person narration, and flashbacks revisit her troubled childhood of neglect and parental struggles with addiction.  Aunt Gayle’s care and kindness wraps around Firefly like a comforting, hand-knit blanket.  Being surrounded by steadfast support, along with seven million costumes in the shop, allows Firefly the opportunity to try on different identities and begin to discover her true self in the process.

—Linda Ludke, Collections Management Librarian, London Public Library

If you are a librarian that would like to participate in this feature, please contact us.

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Next Month

Look for our next newsletter early next month, which  is all about music!

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