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As Seen on CTV: Fresh Fall Reads for Kids

The days are getting shorter and the wind is getting cooler, meaning it’s time for a bumper crop of fall book releases! Here are just a few of my faves, as seen on my CTV Your Morning segment on September 17, 2020.

Big thank you to host Anne-Marie Mediwake and her shout-out to my YA novel The Winnowing, I’m so thrilled your daughter loves it xo

Picture Books, Ages 3-7

In this 72 page picture book epic, Barnabus, a so-called failed project who lives in a lab under a toy store, decides to escape and find the life he’s always dreamed about. Adventurous and touching with a classic, sci-fi feel.

TERRY FOX AND ME (Tundra Books)
This year is the 40th anniversary of the Terry Fox Marathon of Hope. That’s 40 years of Terry Fox’s incredible impact on cancer research. But what was he like as a kid? Created in collaboration with the Fox family and told from the perspective of Terry’s real life best friend, this is the perfect way to introduce the youngest kids to a true Canadian hero.

This bright, energetic book from award-winning Canadian author-illustrator Jillian Tamaki captures the spirit of cooking together and is the perfect book for families who are spending more time in the kitchen together during the pandemic. Inspired by Tamaki’s own experiences working in a community kitchen in Brooklyn, it is also a reminder that there are many people who need a helping hand in our communities.

I TALK LIKE A RIVER (Holiday House)
This is a moving book about a boy coming to terms with his stutter, from Canadian poet Jordan Scott and featuring gorgeous illustrations from two-time Governor-General Award winning artist Sydney Smith.

Nonfiction/Informational Books

Ages 3-7: EAT YOUR ROCKS, CROC (Scholastic Canada)
Remember Dear Abby? Well what if Dear Abby was a sugar glider, and her letters came from stressed-out animals around the world? This hilarious nonfiction picture book from Canadian author & zoologist Jess Keating packs a lot of facts and humour into an advice column format.

Frank, funny and much needed informational book about unconscious bias, how stereotypes affect the brain and become ingrained in our culture, and most importantly, how we can get past them, something that feels more urgent now than ever before.

Middle Grade, Ages 8-12

This is an exciting start to a major Canadian fantasy series for readers 9-12, inspired by Narnia and featuring traditional Indigenous stories. The first of a planned trilogy called The Misewa Saga, this is a fantastic, #OwnVoices book that feels like a new classic and will entertain and inform a new generation of Canadian readers.

PINE ISLAND HOME (Puffin Canada)
Polly Horvath likes to celebrate the resiliency and innovative spirit of kids, particularly in difficult circumstances, and Pine Island Home is Horvath at her best. In this quirky family tale, four sisters work together to hide a major secret: they are living alone in an old house on Vancouver Island.

YA/TEEN, Ages 13+

HE MUST LIKE YOU (Penguin Teen Canada)
Much-needed conversations about power dynamics, microagressions and consent take centre stage in this authentic and at times really funny novel from White Pine award-winning author Danielle Young-Ullman.

A sweet rom-com and poignant coming out story that gently pokes fun at high school theatre productions (in the best possible way, this from a high school theatre type).

FACING THE SUN (Simon and Schuster)

Pumpkin spice & cardigans not really your jam? Hold onto that summer feeling in this evocative coming-of-age story about four teen girls growing up in the Bahamas from Bahamian-Canadian author Janice Lynn Mather. I loved the relationship dynamics between the girls and their families, and teens will, too.

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