Books

12 books for kids and young adults to read this fall

Check out these books for younger readers and young adults.

It's October! Check out these books for younger readers and young adults perfect for fall reading.

A Likkle Miss Lou by Nadia L. Hohn, illustrated by Eugenie Fernandes

A Likkle Miss Lou is a picture book by Nadia L. Hohn (left) and illustrated by Eugenie Fernandes. (Owlkids)

A Likkle Miss Lou is a picture book about Louise "Miss Lou" Bennett Coverley, a Jamaican poet known for bringing international attention to Jamaican patois. Nadia L. Hohn is a children's book author from Toronto. Her other titles include Malaika's Costume and Malaika's Winter Carnival. Eugenie Fernandes is an artist and children's book illustrator based in Ontario. 

A Likkle Miss Lou is for ages 4-8.

I Promise by Catherine Hernandez, illustrated by Syrus Marcus Ware

I Promise is a picture book by Catherine Hernandez (right) and illustrated by Syrus Marcus Ware. (Arsenal Pulp Press, Dahlia Katz)

I Promise is a portrayal of all the joys and challenges of parenting and a celebration of the many different forms that loving families come in. Catherine Hernandez is a playwright, performer and the author of the novel ScarboroughSyrus Marcus Ware is a visual artist, activist and scholar whose work has appeared in the Art Gallery of Ontario, the Globe and Mail and part of Nuit Blanche.

I Promise is for ages 3-8.

If Pluto Was a Pea by Gabrielle Prendergast, illustrated by Rebecca Gerlings

Gabrielle Prendergast is an author from British Columbia. (Margaret K. McElderry Books)

Children are inquisitive. If Pluto Was a Pea explores that premise as two kids learn more about the world they live in. This picture book features cute illustrations by artist Rebecca Gerlings to help children understand how big yet small they are in relation to the universe. Gabrielle Prendergast is a B.C.-based author whose books include the YA novel Zero Repeat Forever.

If Pluto Was a Pea is for ages 4-8.

In My Anaana's Amautik by Nadia Sammurtok, illustrated by Lenny Lishchenko

In My Anaana's Amautik is a picture book by Nadia Sammurtok (left) and illustrated by Lenny Lishchenko (right). (Inhabit Media)

An amautik is a pouch inside a parka where you can carry children. The picture book In My Anaana's Amautik is told from the perspective of a baby safely nestled in their mother's amautik. Nadia Sammurtok is an Inuk writer and educator. Her books include The Caterpillar Woman and The Owl and the Two RabbitsLenny Lishchenko is an illustrator based in Toronto.

In My Anaana's Amautik is for ages 0-3.

Kung Fu Master by Marty Chan

Kung Fu Master is a middle-grade novel by Marty Chan. (Orca Books, Ryan Parker)

Marty Chan's middle-grade novel Kung Fu Master is about a teenager named Jon Wong. His friends at school assume that because he's Chinese, he's good at math and science. And when they find out that he likes to pretend to be a martial arts warrior, rumours spread that Jon isn't a nerd — he's a kung fu master. Rather than tell the truth, Jon pretends it's true. But what will happen when he's asked to prove it?

Chan is a children's book author based in Edmonton. His other books include the Ehrich Weisz Chronicles and the Keepers of the Vault series.

Kung Fu Master is for readers aged 9-12.

The Collected Works of Gretchen Oyster by Cary Fagan

Cary Fagan is a Toronto-based writer of novels, short stories and children's books. (Tundra Books, Josh Levine)

The Collected Works of Gretchen Oyster is a middle-grade novel by prolific author Cary Fagan. When a middle-school student learns his older brother has run away from home, he becomes sad and depressed. But the discovery of a series of mysterious handmade postcards scattered through his town takes his mind off his own troubles as he sets out to find out who the mysterious culprit might be.

Fagan has written YA novels, picture books and fiction for adults. In 2014, he received the Vicky Metcalf Award for Literature for Young People, which recognizes children's authors for their entire body of work.

The Collected Works of Gretchen Oyster is for readers aged 10-14.

Just Lucky by Melanie Florence

Melanie Florence is a Toronto-based author of Cree and Scottish heritage. (Second Story Press)

In Melanie Florence's Just Lucky, Lucky is a teen who has been anything but. Abandoned by her mother at a young age, Lucky lives with her grandparents. But when her absent-minded grandmother accidentally sets the kitchen on fire, Lucky finds herself homeless and is sent into foster care. Just Lucky looks at life inside the foster care system and the children affected by it. 

Florence is the author of the YA novels The Missing, He Who Dreams, Rez Runaway and One Night, the picture books Missing Nimâmâ and Stolen Words and the nonfiction book Righting Canada's Wrongs: Residential Schools.

Just Lucky is for readers aged 13 and up.

The Girl Who Rode a Shark by Ailsa Ross, illustrated by Amy Blackwell

Ailsa Ross is an author and activist based in Alberta. (Pajama Press)

The Girl Who Rode a Shark aims to highlight the adventurousness and ingenuity of girls and women around the world. The collection of biographies includes art by Amy Blackwell to tell tales of amazing women including a Canadian astronaut, an Indian secret agent and a Balkan pirate queen who stood up to Ancient Rome.

The Girl Who Rode a Shark is for readers aged 9-12.

Break in Case of Emergency by Brian Francis

Break in Case of Emergency is a YA novel by Brian Francis. (HarperCollins, Samuel Engelking)

Break in Case of Emergency follows Toby Goodman, a teen whose father left their small town before she was born and whose mother dies by suicide when she's a young girl. When she finds out that her estranged father is coming back to town and wants to meet her, Toby must try to make sense of her life amid surprising revelations about her family history.

Brian Francis is a writer and columnist for The Next Chapter on CBC Radio. His first novel, Fruit, was a finalist for Canada Reads 2009. He is also the author of the novel Natural Order.

Break in Case of Emergency is for readers aged 14 and up. It is currently nominated for the Governor General's Literary Awad for young people's literature — text.

My Totem Came Calling by Blessing Musariri & Thorsten Nesch

My Totem Came Calling is a YA novel by Blessing Musariri and Thorsten Nesch. (Mawenzi House Publishers)

My Totem Came Calling by Blessing Musariri and Thorsten Nesch follows Chanda, a Zimbabwe teen suffering from black outs and memory lapses, which become even more worrisome when she starts seeing a zebra in the weirdest of places. After a conversation with an old aunt, Chanda embarks on a journey to an ancestral village where she learns more about herself and her African heritage.

Musariri is a poet, screenwriter and children's author based in Zimbabwe. Nesch is a German author who lives in Lethbridge, Alta.

My Totem Came Calling is for readers aged 14 and up.

Powwow Summer by Nahanni Shingoose

Nahanni Shingoose is Saulteaux, originally from Roseau River First Nation in Manitoba. (James Lorimer & Company Ltd.)

Powwow Summer is a coming of age tale about River, a teen of mixed European and Ojibwe heritage who lives with her white mother and stepfather on a farm in Ontario. River struggles with her identity and travels to Winnipeg one summer to see her Indigenous father and grandmother. Powwow Summer looks at the lasting effects of the residential school system and how one teen grows into adulthood by knowing more about her family's past.

Powwow Summer is for readers aged 14 and up.

The Starlight Claim by Tim Wynne-Jones

Tim Wynne-Jones is an British–Canadian author of children's literature and adult novels. (Candlewick, timwynne-jones.com)

The latest from bestselling children's book author Tim Wynne-Jones is a thriller geared for YA readers. The story follows a boy named Nate who is suffering from bad dreams after his best friend goes missing. Nate decides to embark on a treacherous solo journey to find out what happened that fateful day. Nate is forced to rely on his wits in a wilderness full of strangers, secrets and a blustery winter storm. 

The Starlight Claim is for readers aged 14 and up.

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