10 Canadian YA books you should read this summer
Looking for a new book to read? Check out this list of compelling YA by Canadian writers.
Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson, illustrated by Emily Carroll
Laurie Halse Anderson has collaborated with Stratford, Ont. artist Emily Carroll to turn her groundbreaking YA book Speak into a graphic novel. The book spans the school year of a high school freshman named Melinda Sordino, who is ostracized by her classmates for calling the police and breaking up a summer party. What her classmates don't understand — and refuse to hear — is that she only made that call after being raped by an upperclassman. Halse Anderson was nominated for the National Book Award when the powerful book was first published in 1999.
Siege of Shadows by Sarah Raughley
Siege of Shadows is the second book in writer Sarah Raughley's fantasy series, which began with the book Fate of Flames. Four superpowered girls known as the Effigies are losing the public's confidence after their failure to capture Saul, a man who controls a group of evil beasts known as Phantoms. After disappearing for a couple months, Saul re-emerges just as new threats to the Effigies arise.
Ayesha at Last by Uzma Jalaluddin
Ayesha At Last, Uzma Jalaluddin's debut novel, tells the story of a young Muslim woman who aspires to be a poet, but must balance what her family expects of her with what she wants for herself. Things get tricky when she falls for Khalid, a young conservative man who is set to marry someone else.
Past Tense by Star Spider
Star Spider's novel follows Julie Nolan, who has been in love with her oblivious best friend Lorelei since the third grade. But Julie's crush takes a sideline when her mother tells her that her heart is missing. Between starting high school and her mother believing she is dead, Julie must find a way to keep her own heart intact.
Those Who Run in the Sky is a coming-of-age story that follows a young shaman named Pitu who, while learning to use his gifts, ends up trapped in the spirit world. The novel was a finalist for the Governor General's Literary Award for young people's literature — text and won the Indigenous Voices Award for most significant work of prose in English.
Strangers is the start of an exciting new series by Winnipeg, Man. author David A. Robertson. A decade has past since a terrible tragedy forever changed Wounded Sky First Nation and forced Cole Harper to leave. But a series of murders and the emergence of a dangerous illness prompts Cole to return and face his demons with the help of his two oldest friends and a disfigured ghost. Monsters, the next book in the series, is due out in September 2018.
The Valiant by Lesley Livingston
YA fantasy writer Lesley Livingston's book, The Valiant, is set in ancient Rome during the height of the Roman empire. It tells the coming-of-age story of Fallon, the daughter of a Celtic king who is captured by bandits and sold to a female gladiator training school the night before her 17th birthday. The book was picked up by the American television network The CW and his being developed into a one-hour series.
The Way Back Home by Allan Stratton
This YA novel follows a free-spirited teenager named Zoe, whose parents think of her as a "bad girl" and have decided to put her beloved grandmother in a senior's home. Instead, Zoe absconds with her grandmother on a journey to Toronto to seek out answers about her mysterious uncle Teddy — who may or not be dead. The book was a finalist for the Governor General's Literary Award for young people's literature — text.
A Girl Like That by Tanaz Bhathena
A debut book about the risks of stereotyping, A Girl Like That follows the life and death of a girl named Zarin Wadia who lives in present-day Saudi Arabia. She is considered a troublemaker until a car crash takes her life. Through writing of her death, Tanaz Bhathena explores teenage alienation, angst and ambition.
Fire Song by Adam Garnet Jones
Following his sister's suicide, Shane, a gay Indigenous teenager in Northern Ontario, struggles to support his family. Eventually, Shane is forced to choose between his family's home and his own future. Fire Song is an adaptation of Adam Garnet Jones's award-winning film.