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.

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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.


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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.


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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.


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(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. 


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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.





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