Books

12 Canadian books coming out in June to check out

Here are the Canadian books coming out this month you should bookmark.

A new month means new books. Here are 12 Canadian books coming out in June you should bookmark.

Sara and the Search for Normal by Wesley King

Sara and the Search for Normal is a book by Wesley King. (Simon & Schuster)

In Sara and the Search for Normal, a young girl named Sara joins a therapy group. She hopes she can learn to quiet her mind and figure out how to be normal. Instead, she learns that there are other kids out there just like her. And that it's more important to be yourself than it is to be what is considered "normal."

Sara and the Search for Normal is for readers ages 8-12.

When you can read it: June 2, 2020

Wesley King is a children's nook author from Nova Scotia. His previous books include OCDaniel and A World Below. He also co-wrote the The Wizenard Series series with Kobe Bryant.

Wesley King was on his boat in Halifax when he got a call that changed his life: Kobe Bryant, the basketball legend, wanted to talk to him about developing a children's book together. That phone call led to The Wizenard Series, which is about the ups and downs of youth basketball, and what’s possible with hard work and a little magic. King joined Tom Power to talk about the book series and share his memories of the late basketball star four months after his death. 9:32

Acadian Driftwood by Tyler LeBlanc

Acadian Driftwood is a book by Tyler LeBlanc. (Goose Lane Editions)

Tyler LeBlanc grew up on the South Shore of Nova Scotia and only vaguely knew his family had Acadian heritage. But once he decided to investigate, he learned his family's history traced back to the Acadian Expulsion in the mid-1700s, when hundreds of Acadians were sent from the Maritimes to the United States, Britain and France. Some stayed and tried to forge new lives wherever they ended up, while some returned to the Maritimes to face the difficult task of rebuilding their lives. In Acadian Driftwood, LeBlanc traces this family history and the legacy the expulsion had on the Maritimes today.

When you can read it: June 2, 2020

LeBlanc is a writer from the South Shore of Nova Scotia. His work has appeared in This Magazine, Modern Farmer and the Coast. Acadian Driftwood is his first book.

In Cheticamp, N.S., many Acadians are feeling the sting of isolation. 1:36

The Diamond House by Dianne Warren

The Diamond House is a book by Dianne Warren. (HarperCollins Canada, Don Hall)

Estella Diamond is the only daughter of successful brick factory owner in The Diamond House. She soon discovers something none of her brothers knew: that her father used to be married to an aspiring ceramics artist called Salina, an uncompromisingly rebellious figure. Estella wants to be like Salina, and models herself on the person she never knew; her plans are continually crushed by the family patriarchy. Years later, Estella meets a young woman called Hannah Diamond and her life changes forever. 

When you can read it: June 2, 2020

Dianne Warren is a writer and dramatist from Saskatchewan. Her novel Cool Water won the Governor General's Literary Award for fiction in 2010.

Followers by Raziel Reid

Followers is a book by Raziel Reid. (Penguin Teen)

Followers is a YA novel about a 16-year-old girl named Lily Rhodes who is thrust into the spotlight and the world of reality TV when she is arrested and her mug shot is shared on gossip sites. Why? Her aunt Whitney is the star of Platinum Triangle, and Whitney takes Lily in after her mother kicks her out. But Lily's new life isn't all that it's cracked up to be, as she learns that every move and generous gesture just might have nefarious motivation behind it.

When you can read it: June 9, 2020

Raziel Reid is a YA writer based in British Columbia. His debut novel, When Everything Feels Like the Movies, won the Governor General's Literary Award for young people's literature — text and was defended on Canada Reads 2015 by Elaine "Lainey" Lui. He is also the author of Kens.

Raziel Reid talks about "When Everything Feels Like the Movies," his controversial, award-winning book. 10:45

Good Mothers Don't by Laura Best

Good Mothers Don't is a novel by Laura Best. (Angela Haggerty, Nimbus Publishing)

In Good Mothers Don'tit's 1960 and Elizabeth has a seemingly idyllic family life. In reality, her mind and her life is beginning to splinter. She knows she will harm her children and is taken away. We rejoin her in a group home in 1975, as she scrambles to regain memories lost in electric shock therapy. She longs to find her children and tell them she never meant to leave them. 

When you can read it: June 15, 2020

Laura Best is a writer based in Nova Scotia. Her first YA book Bitter, Sweet was shortlisted for the Geoffrey Bilson Award for Historical Fiction for Young People.

Hunted by the Sky by Tanaz Bhathena

Hunted by the Sky is a book by Tanaz Bhathena. (Nettie Photography, Penguin Teen)

Hunted by the Sky is a YA adventure novel set in medieval India. Gul, a young girl, has a birthmark on her arm that makes her a mark. So she's on the run. Her parents were murdered because Gul is marked. A group of female rebel warriors take Gul in and train her to become one of them. And she has one thing on her mind: revenge. 

When you can read it: June 23, 2020

Tanaz Bhathena is a YA novelist based in Mississauga. She is also the author of The Beauty of the Moment and A Girl Like That.

Dancing After TEN by Vivian Chong & Georgia Webber

Dancing After TEN is an autobiographical graphic novel by Vivian Chong and Georgia Webber. (Fantagraphics Books)

In Dancing After TENVivian Chong recounts how her life changed after a rare skin condition, Toxic Epidermal Necrolysis or TEN, resulted in her becoming blind. Chong explored a range of artistic practices — from drumming to stand-up to dance — in an effort of expression, healing and self-discovery.

When you can read it: June 23, 2020

Chong is an artist based in Toronto. She's releasing Dancing After TEN in conjunction with a dance-theatre production called Dancing with the Universe.

Chong's co-writer Georgia Webber is the graphic novelist behind Dumb, a memoir about the creator's experience losing her speech for months after a throat injury.

Artist Vivian Chong opens up about life on the stage and The Sunglasses Monologue, her one-woman show about going blind 4:08

Aubrey McKee by Alex Pugsley

Aubrey McKee is a book by Alex Pugsley. (John Lauener, Biblioasis)

Aubrey McKee is the the first in a series of five autobiographical novels by Alex Pugsley. Aubrey McKee tells the story of a boy growing up in 1970s and 1980s Halifax. The second novel, which follows the narrator's arrival in Toronto as a young man, is forthcoming. 

When you can read it: June 23, 2020

Pugsley is a filmmaker and writer from Nova Scotia. He is the co-author of the novel Kay Darling.

The Swap by Robyn Harding

The Swap is a thriller by Robyn Harding. (Simon & Schuster Canada, Talullah)

The Swap is about three women whose lives become entangled. Low is a teen girl who doesn't fit in her sleepy island town. Freya is a former social media star who owns the island's pottery studio. And Jamie is an island resident desperate to have a baby. Freya and Low form an unexpected bond. But when Jamie shows up, she quickly replaces Low in Freya's life. And one night, after a drunken party, Freya and Jamie swap partners — setting up Low for payback for being left out.

When you can read it: June 23, 2020

Robyn Harding is a writer and filmmaker based in Vancouver. Her previous thrillers include The Party and Her Pretty Face.

Annaka by Andre Fenton

Annaka is a YA novel by Andre Fenton. (Nimbus Publishing)

Annaka is a YA novel about a girl named Annaka. When she moved to Halifax from Yarmouth, she hoped to leave her past behind, including her name. But when she returns to Yarmouth after her grandfather died, she is confronted with happy family memories. And it turns out her childhood imaginary friend wasn't so imaginary. He can help her remember the past and piece together her grandmother's memory. But things get tricky when Annaka isn't content to leave the past in the past.

Andre Fenton is a spoken word poet and filmmaker from Halifax. He is also the author of the poetry collection Ode to Teen Angst.

When you can read it: June 30, 2020

Andre Fenton, a poet from north end Halifax, reads an original piece he wrote. 2:00

This Red Line Goes Straight to Your Heart by Madhur Anand

This Red Line Goes Straight to Your Heart is a book by Madhur Anand. (@globalecochange/Twitter.com, Strange Light)

This Red Line Goes Straight to Your Heart is the story of poet and ecology professor Madhur Anand's family. Her parents grow up in India. Her father had polio, which gives him a lifelong disability. Her mother loved education, and chose it over marriage. They meet, marry and come to Canada after British India was divided in India and Pakistan. Anand grows up in Canada, but is influenced by her parents, their traumas, their values, and their lived experiences. This Red Line Goes Straight to Your Heart poetically weaves all these narratives together to tell one story about truth, resilience, adaptation and love.

When you can read it: June 30, 2020

Anand is a poet and professor of ecology at the University of Guelph. She is also the author of the poetry collection A New Index for Predicting Catastrophes.

Understan by Gavin Barrett

Understan is a poetry collection by Gavin Barrett. (Richard Picton, Mawenzi House Publishers)

In the poetry collection Understan, Gavin Barrett uses everyday life and memory to explore love, death and the mysteries of life. The collection spans years and countries, as Barrett himself was born in Bombay and lived in Hong Kong before making his way to Canada.

When you can read it: June 30, 2020

Gavin Barrett is a poet living in Toronto. He is the founder, host and co-curator of the Tartan Turban Secret Readings.

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