Five great books to give to a young woman today

Happy International Women's Day! Today seems like a particularly good time to celebrate some awesome young female Canadian writers who have all written great books recently. This would be a good day to pick one of these books up, and put it in the hands of a young woman in your life.


The Friday Society by Adrienne Kress

This is Toronto-based author and actor Kress's first foray into teen literature (her first two books, Alex and the Ironic Gentleman and Timothy at the Dragon's Gate were both written for middle-grade readers), and it's a great addition to a teen's library. The Friday Society is a steampunk adventure novel about a smart and talented trio of young women at the turn of the century navigating the restrictions of their world...and trying to solve a murder.


Between Sisters by Adwoa Badoe

An urban coming-of-age story set in Badoe's native Ghana, Between Sisters is about 16-year-old Gloria, who flunks out of school and accepts an offer to become the nanny to the son of a wealthy distant relative. Badoe vividly describes Gloria's life in Ghana as she navigates the privileges and temptations of her new city life.


Susceptible by Geneviève Castrée

Quebec writer and artist Castrée has been compared with Lynda Barry for her frank and sometimes painfully personal work. Her new book from Drawn & Quarterly is a devastating coming-of-age graphic memoir about a young girl torn between her divorced parents living on opposite sides of the country and forced to grow up too fast.


(You) Set Me on Fire by Mariko Tamaki

Tamaki garnered plenty of attention with her debut graphic novel, Skim, in 2008 -- it was nominated for a Governor General's Award and won the 2009 Doug Wright Award for Best Book. Her follow-up novel, (You) Set Me On Fire, has no illustrations, but packs a similar punch. Set in the confusing post-high school world of freshman university, the book is written from the first person perspective of 17-year-old Allison Lee. Her musings on sexuality and relationships are hilarious, heartbreaking and bitingly true. 


The Year of the Beasts by Cecil Castellucci

The latest from acclaimed YA author Castellucci is a hybrid between text and graphics: alternating chapters of prose and illustrations (with pictures by Nate Powell). Castellucci's story, which touches on the difficulties of sibling rivalry, builds to a devastating tragedy. Despite the book's darkness, it's marked by Castellucci's trademark sensitivity and wit.