Canada, the nation, was created on July 1, 1867 with the British North America Act or Constitution Act of 1867. This year we are celebrating our 153rd anniversary with a new approach – together, but apart. Even though we cannot have our larger scale celebrations with Canadian music and entertainers, we can enjoy a lovely Canadian summer day with a great Canadian read.
A Canadian Story Hour:
- Thank you, Canada by Andrea Beck – “Thank you, Canada, you make us proud. Andrea Lynn Beck's bestselling and award-winning picture books Goodnight, Canada and Good Morning, Canada have struck a chord with Canadians from coast to coast to coast. Thank You, Canada continues to celebrate our country's myriad strengths. Joyful, detailed spreads bring out the varied flavours of Canada, in its culture, people, nature and contributions to the world. Thank You, Canada allows kids to explore connections and think about what it means to be Canadian -- it's a joyful letter of gratitude for all our country has to offer, past, present and future.”
- Canada All Year by Per-Henrik Gurth – “This charming picture book follows a group of happy animal travelers as they spend a year exploring the True North. Each month gets its own colourful spread highlighting a different Canadian festival, seasonal event or activity. The trip begins in January with a visit to Ottawa's Rideau Canal and ends in December with a dogsled ride in Nunavut. Along the way, the group partakes in such Canadian delights as the Quebec Winter Carnival, the Canadian Tulip Festival and the Calgary Stampede. Yee haw! Artist Per-Henrik Gu¨rth presents early-learning concepts using all-Canadian images and an adorable animal cast of characters. Encompassing all major regions of Canada, each book is an eye-pleasing coast-to-coast journey. The bold, bright art and simple text give pre-readers an introduction to the alphabet, numbers and colour — and to their beautiful country."
- Guess How Much I Love Canada by Katrine Crow – “Two young explorers journey on a trip across Canada as they share their favourite cities, parks, and landmarks from coast to coast. Charming illustrations and facts about Canada's culture, geography, and history put a fun and informative spin on this nonfiction book that every young reader is sure to enjoy.”
- Canada by Julie Murphy – “Informative, easy-to-read text and over-sized scenic photos draw in readers as they journey through Canada - home of the vast Hudson Bay, the famed Montreal Canadiens hockey team, and pop singing sensation Justin Bieber. Readers will learn about Canada's history, government, major cities, land features, natural resources, culture, and more! Maps, a timeline with photos, fun facts, and pronunciation guides aid readers. The book closes with a facts page including Canada's population and total area, as well as images of the Canadian flag and currency. Students will find valuable report information while exploring Canada!”
Canadian Authors for Juvenile Readers:
- Jacob Two-Two meets the Hooded Fang by Mordecai Richler – “Poor Jacob Two-Two. Not only must he say everything twice just to be heard over his four brothers and sisters, but he finds himself the prisoner of the dreaded Hooded Fang. What had he done to deserve such a punishment? The worst crime of all – insulting a grown-up! Although he's small, Jacob is not helpless, especially when The Infamous Two come to his aid.”
- Owls in the Family by Farley Mowat –“ Every child needs to have a pet. No one could argue with that. But what happens when your pet is an owl, and your owl is terrorizing the neighbourhood? In Farley Mowat's exciting children's story, a young boy's pet menagerie -- which includes crows, magpies, gophers and a dog -- grows out of control with the addition of two cantankerous pet owls. The story of how Wol and Weeps turn the whole town upside down is warm, funny, and bursting with adventure and suspense.”
- This Can’t Be Happening at MacDonald Hall by Gordon Korman – “Macdonald Hall's ivy-covered buildings have housed and educated many fine young Canadians. But Bruno Walton and Boots O'Neal are far from being fine young Canadians. The roommates and best friends are nothing but trouble! Together they've snuck out after lights-out, swapped flags, kidnapped mascots . . . and that's only the beginning. Bruno and Boots are always in trouble. So the headmaster, a.k.a. "The Fish," decides it would be best to separate them. Bruno must now room with ghoulish Elmer Drimsdale, plus his plants, goldfish and ants. And Boots is stuck with nerdy, preppy, paranoid George Wexford-Smyth III. Of course, this means war. Because Bruno and Boots are determined to get their old room back, no matter what it takes.”
Young Adult Canadian Picks:
- Getting the Girl by Susan Juby – “Sunglasses. Check. Binoculars. Check. Notepad. Check. Mom's pink bike. Check. Check? Meet Sherman Mack. Short. Nerdy. Amateur P.I. and prepared to do anything for Dini Trioli. Nobody knows who began it or when it became a tradition, but every girl at Harewood Tech fears being D-listed, a ritual that wipes her off the social map forever. When Sherman believes Dini is in danger of being D-listed, he snatches up his surveillance gear and launches a full-scale investigation to uncover who is responsible. Could it be the captain of the lacrosse team? The hottest girls in school, the Trophy Wives? Or maybe their boyfriends?One thing is for sure: Sherman Mack is on the case. And he's not giving up. Part comedy, part mystery, and with all of Juby's trademark tongue-in-cheek humor, Getting the Girl takes on one of the cruelest aspects of high school: how easy it is for an entire school to turn on someone, and how hard it can be to be the only one willing to fight back.”
- We Are All Made of Molecules by Susin Nielsen-Fernlund – “Thirteen-year-old Stewart Inkster is academically brilliant but ungifted' socially. Fourteen-year-old Ashley Anderson is the undisputed 'It' girl of her school, but her academic performances leave something to be desired. Their worlds eventfully collide when Stewart and his dad move in with Ashley and her mum. In alternating voices, family tragedy and family ties are deftly explored, alongside sibling rivalry and union, adolescent confusion and revelation.”
- The Field Guide to the North American Teenager by Ben Philippe - “Norris Kaplan is clever, cynical, and quite possibly too smart for his own good. A Black French Canadian, he knows from watching American sitcoms that those three things don't bode well when you are moving to Austin, Texas. Plunked into a new high school and sweating a ridiculous amount from the oppressive Texas heat, Norris finds himself cataloging everyone he meets: the Cheerleaders, the Jocks, the Loners, and even the Manic Pixie Dream Girl. Making a ton of friends has never been a priority for him, and this way he can at least amuse himself until it's time to go back to Canada, where he belongs. Yet against all odds, those labels soon become actual people to Norris...like loner Liam, who makes it his mission to befriend Norris, or Madison the beta cheerleader, who is so nice that it has to be a trap. Not to mention Aarti the Manic Pixie Dream Girl, who might, in fact, be a real love interest in the making. But the night of the prom, Norris screws everything up royally. As he tries to pick up the pieces, he realizes it might be time to stop hiding behind his snarky opinions and start living his life--along with the people who have found their way into his heart.”
Adult Fiction Canadian Picks:
- Alone in the Wild by Kelly Armstrong – “Every season in Rockton seems to bring a new challenge. At least that's what Detective Casey Duncan has felt since she decided to call this place home. Between all the secretive residents, the sometimes-hostile settlers outside, and the surrounding wilderness, there's always something to worry about. While on a much needed camping vacation with her boyfriend, Sheriff Eric Dalton, Casey hears a baby crying in the woods. The sound leads them to a tragic scene: a woman buried under the snow, murdered, a baby still alive in her arms. A town that doesn't let anyone in under the age of eighteen, Rockton must take care of its youngest resident yet while solving another murder and finding out where the baby came from--and whether she's better off where she is.”
- The Break by Katherena Vermette – “When Stella, a young Métis mother, looks out her window one evening and spots someone in trouble on the Break — a barren field on an isolated strip of land outside her house — she calls the police to alert them to a possible crime .In a series of shifting narratives, people who are connected, both directly and indirectly, with the victim — police, family, and friends — tell their personal stories leading up to that fateful night. Lou, a social worker, grapples with the departure of her live-in boyfriend. Cheryl, an artist, mourns the premature death of her sister Rain. Paulina, a single mother, struggles to trust her new partner. Phoenix, a homeless teenager, is released from a youth detention centre. Officer Scott, a Métis policeman, feels caught between two worlds as he patrols the city. Through their various perspectives a larger, more comprehensive story about lives of the residents in Winnipeg's North End is exposed.”
- The Illegal by Lawrence Hill – “Keita Ali is on the run. Like every boy on the mountainous island of Zantoroland, running is all Keita's ever wanted to do. In one of the poorest nations in the world, running means respect. Running means riches-until Keita is targeted for his father's outspoken political views and discovers he must run for his family's survival. He signs on with notorious marathon agent Anton Hamm, but when Keita fails to place among the top finishers in his first race, he escapes into Freedom State-a wealthy island nation that has elected a government bent on deporting the refugees living within its borders in the community of AfricTown. Keita can stay safe only if he keeps moving and eludes Hamm and the officials who would deport him to his own country, where he would face almost certain death. This is the new underground: a place where tens of thousands of people deemed to be "illegal" live below the radar of the police and government officials. As Keita surfaces from time to time to earn cash prizes by running local road races, he has to assess whether the people he meets are friends or enemies: John Falconer, a gifted student struggling to escape the limits of his AfricTown upbringing; Ivernia Beech, a spirited old woman at risk of being forced into an assisted living facility; Rocco Calder, a recreational marathoner and the immigration minister; Lula DiStefano, self-declared queen of AfricTown and madam of the community's infamous brothel; and Viola Hill, a reporter who is investigating the lengths to which her government will go to stop illegal immigration. Keita's very existence in Freedom State is illegal. As he trains in secret, eluding capture, the stakes keep getting higher. Soon, he is running not only for his life, but for his sister's life, too.”
- Canada by Mike Myers – “Mike Myers is a world-renowned actor, director and writer, and the man behind some of the most memorable comic characters of our time. But as he says: "no description of me is truly complete without saying I'm a Canadian." He has often winked and nodded to Canada in his outrageously accomplished body of work, but now he turns the spotlight full-beam on his homeland. His hilarious and heartfelt new book is part memoir, part history and pure entertainment. It is Mike Myers' funny and thoughtful analysis of what makes Canada Canada, Canadians Canadians and what being Canadian has always meant to him. His relationship with his home and native land continues to deepen and grow, he says. In fact, American friends have actually accused him of enjoying being Canadian--and he's happy to plead guilty as charged. A true patriot who happens to be an expatriate, Myers is in a unique position to explore Canada from within and without. With this, his first book, Mike brings his love for Canada to the fore at a time when the country is once again looking ahead with hope and national pride. Canada is a wholly subjective account of Mike's Canadian experience. Mike writes, "Some might say, 'Why didn't you include this or that?' I say there are 35 million stories waiting to be told in this country, and my book is only one of them." This beautifully designed book is illustrated in colour (and not color) throughout, and its visual treasures include personal photographs and Canadiana from the author's own collection. Published in the lead-up to the 2017 sesquicentennial, this is Mike Myers' birthday gift to his fellow Canadians. Or as he puts it: "In 1967, Canada turned one hundred. Canadians all across the country made Centennial projects. This book is my Centennial Project. I'm handing it in a little late...Sorry."
Canadian “Cinematic” Pride:
- Wild Canada by David Suzuki – “Wild Canada takes an awe-inspiring look at the country around us, shot with ultra-high-definition cameras that capture sweeping panoramas and extraordinary close-ups of Canada’s majestic terrain and diverse species. This is the largest natural history survey of Canada in our generation – filmed across the country, showing animal behaviour never before captured.”
- Canada’s Most Haunted – For those missing the haunted walks try this – “Frightening paranormal activity abounds in the Great White North. From mansions to sea ports, Canada has as much haunted history as Europe and America combined. Prepare for an exciting thrill ride to some of Canada’s most haunted locations.”
Happy Canada Day Everyone!