Animal Stories, Books for Everyone, Canadian, CTV Your Morning, Early Chapter Books, Fantasy, friendship stories, Funny Books, Graphic Novel, Mental health, middle grade, multicultural cast, picture books, Poignant Coming-of-Age Story, Realistic contemporary, Uncategorized, Verse Novel

As Seen on CTV: Back-to-School Reading List for Kids

Whether your kids are looking forward to a new school year or clinging to the end of summer, a good book can gently ease them back into an academic routine. Here are 10 new Canadian titles featuring warm welcomes, new friends, try-outs, social anxiety and fresh starts.

Watch the segment online here.

Picture Books, Ages 3-7

Saajin (Sah-jin) loves his name, which means ‘loving friend’ in Punjabi, but he finds it hard to correct people when they mispronounce it. My Name is Saajin Singh (Annick) is a gentle story about speaking up and having pride in your cultural identity.

A language barrier will not stop Amy Wu from making the new kid, Lin, an immigrant from China, feel welcome in her classroom. Amy Wu and the Warm Welcome (S&S) is a bright and joyful exercise in empathy and inclusion.

The Most Magnificent Idea (KCP) is a follow-up to the mega-successful The Most Magnificent Thing, which was also turned into an animated short narrated by Whoopi Goldberg. In this companion, a kid struggles to come up with a good idea and worries she may never have another idea again. This is an excellent book to introduce the concept of creative blocks, doubt, and perseverance.

Snail doesn’t love loud things, like parties, but he does like the company of his friends. How to Party Like a Snail (OwlKids) is a sweet and funny celebration of difference and how true friends will meet you where you are. A great read leading into birthday party season.

Emerging Readers, Ages 6-10

Rover and Speck: This Planet Rocks (KCP) is the first in a new graphic novel series for emerging readers and fans of Narwhal and Jelly. The story includes fun science facts and an activity at the back to keep readers engaged.

Forever Truffle (Groundwood) is a funky collection of three illustrated short stories about Truffle, a kid who wants to be a rockstar. The limited palette and mixed media make this a visual stand-out.

Middle Grade, Ages 9-12

In The Tryout (Scholastic), best friends and two of the only kids of colour in a small Texas town have their friendship put to the test during cheerleading tryouts. This graphic novel has relatable themes of belonging and identity and features stand-out artwork by Canadian artist, Joanna Cacao.

In Flipping Forward Twisting Backwards (PRH), Claire is a fifth grade champion gymnast with a secret: she can’t read. This verse novel goes deep into what it’s like to have a learning disability in accessible, impactful language and also uses a typeface specifically designed for young readers.

In the tradition of beloved animal stories like The One and Only Ivan, Berani is a gentle story about protecting endangered species told from three perspectives; a budding social activist driven to preserve the orangutan’s natural habitat, a young man who looks after an oranguatan held captive and displayed as an attraction at a restaurant, and Ginger Juice, the orangutan itself.

In The Stone Child, the third book in the nationally best-selling Misewa Saga series, Morgan must fight against time to save the soul of her brother by venturing into the forbidden northern woods. This middle grade fantasy series based on Indigenous stories about the constellations has become a favourite among students and teachers.

Happy reading!

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