by Kirsti Granholm
2019 has been a great year for Canadian children’s literature so far, and it is only going up from here! We cannot wait to check out all of the new fall releases. Here are some CanLit children’s books to look out for in the upcoming months.
Broken Strings by Eric Walters and Kathy Kacer (Puffin Canada, September 2019) Ages 10-14
Shirli is a talented singer and actress who scores a part in the school play Fiddler on the Roof. Despite not getting the part she wanted, she knows she needs to make a good impression regardless. Shirli decides to ask her grandfather for help, despite not knowing all that much about him. While snooping around one day, Shirli finds an old, broken violin in the attic. When she shows her grandfather her findings, he is upset with the discovery. Music has never been allowed in his house.
It isn’t because he hates music; he did agree to help Shirli with the play. Rather, music brings back an awfully painful memory. What is that memory? And what really happened to Shirli’s grandfather in the past?
Clear Skies by Jessica Scott Kerrin (Groundwood Books, August 2019) Ages 9-11
It’s 1961, and the only thing Arno cares about is what’s going on in space—along with the rest of the world. The United States and Russia are in an intense race to the first moon landing. But Arno isn’t your typical space fan; his passion is astronomy and he knows a lot about it! Despite Arno’s love for space, he doesn’t want to be an astronaut. His claustrophobia would never allow him to be shipped into deep space in a tiny shuttle. That’s okay though, he knows he can study the stars from the comfort of Earth. Despite assuming he has it figured all out, there are many more challenges that Arno will have to face before he can do what he loves. Will Arno ever be able to make his passion a reality?
I Lost My Talk by Rita Joe and Pauline Young (Nimbus Publishing, October 2019)
I Lost My Talk is an acclaimed poem by Mi’kmaw poet Rita Joe. Most recently, her poem is being repurposed into an illustrated picture book by Nimbus Publishing. Joe’s poem expresses the pain she faced while at Schubenacadie Residential School and the aftermath of her suffering. Not only does she reflect on the past treatment of Indigenous people, but she offers hope for a world without discrimination. Find I Lost My Talkon the shelves this October.
In My Anaana’s Amautik by Nadia Sammurtok and Lenny Lishchenko (Inhabit Media, September 2019)
In My Anaana’s Amautikis beautiful picture book by the talented Nadia Sammurtok and artist Lenny Lishchenko. Together they have crafted a sweet, simple story of an Inuit child being carried by their mother in the pouch on her parka. This heartwarming story is a perfect bedtime read for any young child in your life—look for this book in stores this September.
Just Lucky by Melanie Florence (Second Story Press, September 2019) Ages 12-16
After Lucky’s beloved grandpa passes away, she is left to live with her grandma, who happens to forget everything. Lucky didn’t realize how difficult things would be until he was gone. Lucky manages, for a while, until one day her grandma sets the kitchen on fire. The result of the fire puts Lucky into foster care, and she quickly learns that it’s not easy being on your own. Will Lucky ever find another real family? Find out this September when Just Luckyhits the shelves.
My Story Starts Here: Voices of Young Offenders by Deborah Ellis (Groundwood Books, October 2019) Ages 14+
Award-winning author Deborah Ellis explores social justice once again, in her latest book My Story Starts Here. This YA title introduces readers into the realities of troubled teens across the country. Along with sharing the stories of children who have faced abuse, addiction, discrimination and poverty. Ellis questions the judicial system. She explores whether the courts help or hinder teens who have went through it. Ellis also analyzes the experiences of adults who have made it through the judicial systems and how their experience there affected their future. This well-rounded novel explores the realities of teens everywhere; it proves that there is more we can do to get troubled kids back on the right track.
Small in the City by Sydney Smith (Groundwood Books, September 2019) Ages 6-10
Small in the Cityis the story of a young boy, searching for his lost cat in a big city. As the boy roams through the busy streets, he realizes how small he is compared to the vast buildings and long, dark alleyway’s. This book illuminates the perspective of a small child living in an overwhelmingly big city. You are rarely noticed, easily startled, and a bit unsure of what is really going on around you.
This sweet story is accompanied by Smith’s award-winning illustrations. It has appeal for children of all ages due to the universality of feeling lost amongst the crowd.
The Blue Road: A Fable of Migration by Wayde Compton and April dela Noche Milne (Arsenal Pulp Press, October 2019) Ages 10-14
Follow along with Lacuna down the Blue Road as she faces a treacherous journey across the lands. Lacuna was just freed from her ink swap with the help of a dear friend. After she was released, Lacuna set off to the Northern Kingdom to find something or someone that is like her. It’s not going to be easy, though. The Blue Road has been known to be a mystically dangerous place to travel. And when she reaches the Kingdom, will she be welcomed or scorned? Find out this October when The Blue Roadis released in stores everywhere.
Let us know what titles you’re looking forward to this fall, @kidsbookcentre on Twitter.