Books·Fall Book Preview

35 Canadian middle-grade books to watch for in fall 2021

Here are the Canadian middle-grade books we can't wait to read this season.

Here are the Canadian middle-grade books we can't wait to read this season.

Kylie the Magnificent by Marty Chan

Kylie the Magnificent is a middle-grade book by Marty Chan. (Orca, Ryan Parker)

In Kylie the Magnificent, 14-year-old Kylie really wants to be a part of the magician's showcase. The problem is, the director has already decided that, because she's a girl, Kylie would be better off assisting a magician rather than doing her own routine. Determined to prove him wrong, Kylie decides to team up with her friend Min to secure a spot in the show.

Kylie the Magnificent is for ages 9 to 12.

When you can read it: Aug. 17, 2021

Marty Chan is a children's book author based in Edmonton. His other books include Kung Fu Master, Haunted Hospital, the Ehrich Weisz Chronicles and the Keepers of the Vault series. 

The Wherewood by Gabrielle Prendergast

The Wherewood is a YA novel by Gabrielle Prendergast. (Orca Book Publishers, Erika Forest)

In The Wherewood, the second book in the Faerie Woods series, 14-year-old Blue (a human) should be upset that his new friends Salix (a Nixie) and Finola (a Faerie) have tricked him into going on another adventure into the Faerieland. But he's actually quite excited. When a misstep leads Blue into the forsaken Witherwood, he comes face to face with an old enemy. 

The Wherewood is for ages 9 to 12.

When you can read it: Aug. 17, 2021

Gabrielle Prendergast is a B.C.-based author who has written a number of books for young people, including Audacious, winner of the Westchester Award; Zero Repeat Forever, winner of the Sheila A. Egoff Prize for Children's Literature and The Crosswood, the first title in the Faerie Woods series.

Sunny Days Inside by Caroline Adderson

Sunny Days Inside is a middle grade novel by Caroline Adderson. (Groundwood Books)

The stories in Sunny Days Inside follow the course of the pandemic as the kids in the building observe the stresses on the adults around them and use their own quirky kid ingenuity to come up with ways to make their lives better — and they survive brilliantly, each in their own way.

Sunny Days Inside is for ages 9 to 12.

When you can read it: Aug. 1, 2021

Caroline Adderson is the author of five novels, including The Sky is FallingEllen in Pieces and A Russian Sister. Adderson is also a three-time winner of the CBC Literary Prizes. She has published two short story collections, including the 1993 Governor General's Literary Award finalist Bad Imaginings

The Dollhouse: A Ghost Story by Charis Cotter

The Dollhouse: A Ghost Story is a middle-grade book by Charis Cotter. (Tundra, Andrew Johnson)

The Dollhouse: A Ghost Story is a middle-grade mystery that takes place around a creepy dollhouse. Alice's world is falling apart. Her parents are getting a divorce, and Alice and her mom are heading to some small town where Alice's mom will be a live-in nurse to a rich elderly lady. Things start to get weird when Alice finds a dollhouse in the attic that's an exact replica of the house she's living in. 

The Dollhouse: A Ghost Story is for ages 9 to 12.

When you can read it: Aug. 31, 2021

Charis Cotter is a Newfoundland author known for books such as The Ghost Road and Screech! Ghost Stories from Old Newfoundland.

A Boy Is Not a Ghost by Edeet Ravel

A Boy Is Not a Ghost is a middle-grade book by Edeet Ravel. (Groundwood Books, Agatha Lesnik)

In A Boy Is Not a Ghost by Edeet Ravel,  Natt is torn from his home in Eastern Europe. He finds himself stranded with other deportees in a schoolyard in Novosibirsk. And he is about to discover that life can get worse than the horrific two months he and his mother have spent on a bug-infested livestock train. When his mother is falsely arrested for stealing potatoes, Natt must learn how to live the life of an exile on his own. 

A Boy Is Not a Ghost is for ages 9 to 12.

When you can read it: Sept. 1, 2021

Edeet Ravel is a novelist born in Israel and raised in Montreal. She is the author of the novel A Wall of Light, which was a finalist for the 2005 Giller Prize.

The Dead Man in the Garden by Marthe Jocelyn, illustrated by Isabelle Follath

The Dead Man in the Garden is a middle-grade book by Marthe Jocelyn (left), illustrated by Isabelle Follath (right). (Tundra, isabellefollath.ch)

The Dead Man in the Garden is the third book in the Aggie Morton, Mystery Queen series. Young detective Aggie Morton and her friend Hector find two dead bodies during a spa stay in Yorkshire. As Aggie and Hector ignite their deductive skills, their restful trip takes a sudden, dangerous turn. The series is inspired by the life of Agatha Christie as a child and her most popular creation, Hercule Poirot. 

The Dead Man in the Garden is for ages 10 and up.

When you can read it: Sept. 7, 2021.

Marthe Jocelyn is the author of over 20 books, including The Invisible Enemy and Mayfly.

Isabelle Follath is an illustrator from Switzerland.

Aggie and Mudgy by Wendy Proverbs

Aggie and Mudgy is a middle-grade book by Wendy Proverbs. (Heritage House, Geoff Proverbs)

Aggie and Mudgy is based on the true story of the author's biological mother and aunt. It traces the long and frightening journey of two Kaska Dena sisters as they are taken from their home to attend residential school. It focuses on the journey to residential school and offers a glimpse into the act of being physically uprooted and transported far away from loved ones. 

Aggie and Mudgy is for ages 9 to 12.

When you can read it: Sept. 7, 2021

Wendy Proverbs is an emerging Indigenous author of Kaska Dena descent. She holds a BA and MA in anthropology from the University of Victoria. Like thousands of Indigenous people across Canada, as an infant she was caught in the sweeping scoop of Indigenous children taken from their birth families and was only reunited with biological family members as a young adult. 

The Science of Song by Alan Cross, Emme Cross & Nicole Mortillaro, illustrated by Carl Wiens 

The Science of Song is a middle-grade book by Alan Cross (left), Nicole Mortillaro, Emme Cross (not pictured) and illustrated by Carl Wiens (far right). (Kids Can Press, CBC)

What is music? How is it made? And what's changed — and what hasn't — about how we listen to it? The Science of Song is a blend of history and science, broken into readable chunks with colourful illustrations. It offers all the best stuff about the science and history behind our connection to music.

The Science of Song is for ages 8 to 12.

When you can read it: Sept. 7, 2021

Alan Cross is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer and consultant, and the host of the radio series The Ongoing History of New Music. The Science of Song is his first book for children. He lives in Oakville, Ont.

Emme Cross is a  journalist currently living on Oakville, Ont. The Science of Song is her first book for children.

Nicole Mortillaro is an author, editor and journalist living in Toronto. She is a senior science reporter for CBC News.

Carl Wiens is an illustrator wgo has worked on everything from books and magazines to animation projects. He is also the illustrator of Wild Buildings and Bridges. He lives in Belleville, Ont.

Snoozefest by Tanya Lloyd Kyi, illustrated by Valéry Goulet 

Snoozefest is a middle-grade book by Tanya Lloyd Kyi (left), illustrated by Valéry Goulet (right). (Kids Can Press)

For something that all humans do for hours every night, sleep is not that well understood. Snoozefest takes a look at why sleep is so important, what's happening in our bodies while we're sleeping and how the science of sleep research has evolved. It probes some of the mysteries about sleep and explains why teens and tweens aren't getting enough sleep.

Snoozefest is for ages 11 to 14

When you can read it: Sept. 7, 2021

Tanya Lloyd Kyi writes both fiction and nonfiction on topics related to science, pop culture, social history. Her other books include Under Pressure, Prince of Pot and Mya's Strategy to Save the World. 

Valéry Goulet is a French Canadian multidisciplinary graphic designer and design educator based in Calgary.

Traitors Among Us by Marsha Forchuk Skrypuch

Traitors Among Us is a middle-grade book by Marsha Forchuk Skrypuch. (Scholastic Canada)

In Traitors Among Us, sisters Krystia and Maria have been through the worst — or so they think. The Second World War ravaged their native Ukraine, but they both survived and are now reunited in a displaced persons camp. Caught in a dangerous trap, the sisters must look to each other for strength and perseverance. 

Traitors Among Us is for ages 8 to 12.

When you can read it: Sept. 7, 2021

Marsha Forchuk Skrypuch is the Brantford, Ont.-based author of over a dozen historical books for young readers of all ages. Her other books include Too Young to Escape, which was co-authored with Van Ho, and Don't Tell the Enemy.

Houston, Is There A Problem? by Eric Walters

Houston, Is There A Problem? is a middle-grade book by Eric Walters. (Orca Book Publishers, Laurie Laukkanan)

The protagonist of Houston, Is There A Problem? is 13-year-old Houston Williams. And Houston is smart. Very smart. So no one is surprised when he earns a scholarship to attend a prestigious NASA space camp. At the training facility, Houston, Teal and Ashley are invited to join a top-secret research project. Only two of them will actually go into space. Houston will do whatever it takes to make sure he's picked.

Houston, Is There A Problem? Is for ages 9 to 12.

When you can read it: Sept. 14, 2021

Eric Walters is one of Canada's most prolific and successful writers for young people. Since then, he's penned almost 100 books, including Camp XThe Power of Three and Run. He's reaching more readers than ever: his 2006 novel We All Fall Down came in at #88 on the list of the bestselling 150 Canadian books of the past 10 years

Guardians of Porthaven by Shane Arbuthnott

Guardians of Porthaven is a middle-grade book by Shane Arbuthnott. (Orca Book Publishers, Erin Elizabeth Hoos)

In Guardians of Porthaven, Malcolm Gravenhurst is preparing to take on the mantle of Guardian on his 15th birthday. The Guardians are tasked with defending the city of Porthaven, and his family is the only one to possess the superpowers necessary to battle the frequent alien invasions of robotic klek. With the threat of annihilation, Malcolm must choose between family loyalty and doing the right thing.

Guardians of Porthaven is for ages 9 to 12.

When you can read it: Sept. 14, 2021

Shane Arbuthnott is the Saskatoon author of books such as Terra Nova and Dominion, which was nominated for the Kobo Emerging Writer Prize.

The Undercover Book List by Colleen Nelson

The Undercover Book List is a middle-grade book by Colleen Nelson. (Pajama Press, Thomas Nelson)

The Undercover Book List tells two stories of identity, expectation and the courage to challenge both. Between her father's posting overseas and her best friend Sienna's move to the other side of the country, Grade 7 is looking lonely for Jane MacDonald. But Sienna has left her with a hidden message in a library book — the perfect plot to start a secret club and find Jane a new book-loving friend.

The Undercover Book List is for ages 8 to 12.

When you can read it: Sept. 14, 2021

Colleen Nelson is a YA author based in Winnipeg. Her other books include Pulse PointSpinBlood Brothers and Finding Hope.

Meranda and the Legend of the Lake by Meagan Mahoney

Meranda and the Legend of the Lake is a middle-grade book by Meagan Mahoney. (Owlkids, Sally Adams)

In Meranda and the Legend of the Lake, 11-year-old Meranda thought her life was complicated enough with physical challenges and her helicopter parents. But when her great-uncle Mark dies, Meranda and her family visit Cape Breton, N.S., where her parents grew up. As secrets begin to unfold and Meranda begins to separate fact from fiction, she finds herself in very real danger.

Meranda and the Legend of the Lake is for ages 8 to 12.

When you can read it: Sept. 15, 2021

Meagan Mahoney is a Calgary-based writer and pediatric intensive care doctor. Meranda and the Legend of the Lake is her debut book.

Be a Camouflage Detective by Peggy Kochanoff

Be a Camouflage Detective is a middle-grade book by Peggy Kochanoff. (Nimbus, Avai Kochanoff )

How do insects hide themselves in the woods? Why do hares change the colour of their fur depending on the season? Be a Camouflage Detective, Peggy Kochanoff's latest illustrated guide readers, is a tour of the most common animal disguises and camouflages in Atlantic Canada and beyond — from the anatomy of a sea anemone to the dappled feathers of snowy owls.

Be a Camouflage Detective is for ages 7 to 12.

When you can read it: Sept. 17, 2021

Kochanoff is a Nova Scotia-based author and illustrator of several books for children including the Be a Nature Detective series. She graduated from Cornell University with a degree in vertebrate zoology and spent a summer working at the Central Zoo in New York City. 

Valley of the Rats by Mahtab Narsimhan

Valley of the Rats is a middle-grade book by Mahtab Narsimhan. (DCB)

In ​​Valley of the Rats, Krish hates the outdoors, camping and especially germs. When Krish and his father take a camping trip to Ladakh, he convinces himself they'll bond, despite their differences. But when Krish and Kabir break the most sacred rule, the Imdura threaten to keep them there forever. Can Krish overcome his fears to save his father and himself?

Valley of the Rats is for ages 9 to 12.

When you can read it: Sept. 18, 2021

Mahtab Narsimhan is the author of a young adult trilogy, four middle-grade novels and two picture books. Her first novel, The Third Eye, won the Silver Birch Award. A native of Mumbai, Narsimhan now lives in British Columbia.

Unstoppable by Helen Wolfe, illustrated by Karen Patkau

Unstoppable is a middle-grade book by Helen Wolfe (left), illustrated by Karen Patkau (right). (Second Story Press )

In Unstoppable, readers will meet 10 women who face physical and mental health challenges. But they all share the determination to make the world a better place, not just for themselves but for those who will come after them. And while some have devoted themselves to disability policy, others prefer to lead by example. In either case they have proved themselves to be unstoppable.

Unstoppable is for ages 9 to 12.

When you can read it: Sept. 21, 2021

Helen Wolfe has worked in education, publishing and social work. She has written over 30 teachers' guides for books as well as for a documentary about blind adults.

Karen Patkau is a Canadian author, artist, designer and illustrator. She has written and illustrated several nature-themed books for children, including Ringtail, Creatures Great and Small and Who Needs an Iceberg?

The Wolf Mother by Hetxw'ms Gyetxw Brett D. Huson, illustrated by Natasha Donovan

The Wolf Mother is a middle-grade book by Hetxw’ms Gyetxw Brett D. Huson (left), illustrated by Natasha Donovan (right). (HighWater Press)

In The Wolf Mother, Hetxw'ms Gyetxw introduces young readers to a pack of grey wolves. New pups have just begun to open their eyes, one of which is a striking black female. As she learns to hunt, play and run with her pack, instinct pulls her to explore beyond her home territory. Will the young wolf's bold spirit help her find a new pack of her very own?

The Wolf Mother is for ages 9 to 12.

When you can read it: Sept. 28, 2021

Hetxw'ms Gyetxw, also known as Brett D. Huson, is a writer from the Gitxsan Nation of the northwest interior of British Columbia.

Natasha Donovan is a Métis illustrator originally from Vancouver. She has illustrated several graphic novels, including the Surviving the City series by Tasha Spillet and Huson's animal series, which includes The Sockeye MotherThe Grizzly Mother and The Eagle Mother. She also illustrated the cover for The Ghost Collector by Allison Mills and her work appears in the anthology This Place: 150 Years Retold.

A Terrible Tide by Suzanne Meade

A Terrible Tide is a middle-grade book by Suzanne Meade. (Second Story Press, Sarah Luth)
 

Based on the true story of an earthquake that shook Newfoundland's Burin Peninsula, A Terrible Tide tells the tale of this forgotten disaster from the point of view of a young girl, Cecilia whose life is turned upside down. On Celia's 13th birthday, an earthquake destroys her village in Newfoundland. Celia and her family must band together and share the work needed for the community to survive. 

A Terrible Tide is for ages 9 to 12.

When you can read it: Sept. 28, 2021

Suzanne Meade is a Canadian author specializing in historical fiction. As a member of the LGBTQ community, she is passionate about telling stories that connect with girls, women and other marginalized communities.

Ciel In All Directions by Sophie Labelle, translated by Andrea Zanin

Ciel In All Directions is a middle-grade book by Sophie Labelle, illustrated by Andrea Zanin (not pictured). (Second Story Press, Julie Artacho)

The follow up to the 2020 middle-grade book Ciel is Ciel In All Directions. In the latest book, Ciel may have settled into high school with their best friend Stephie and new buddy Liam, but life is anything but ordinary for this non-binary trans kid! Between an important science project for school and their ever more popular YouTube channel, Ciel and their friends find themselves involved in a campaign to represent the LGBT Alliance. 

Ciel In All Directions is for ages 9 to 12.

When you can read it: Sept. 28, 2021

Sophie Labelle is a trans cartoonist, public speaker and writer from Montreal. She is the creator of the webcomic Assigned Male and has illustrated several comic books.

Andrea Zanin is a Quebec writer and translator. 

The Great Bear by David A. Robertson

The Great Bear is a middle-grade book by David A. Robertson.   (Puffin Canada, Amber Green)

The Great Bear is the second book in David A. Robertson's Narnia-inspired Indigenous middle-grade fantasy series. Eli and Morgan journey once more to Misewa, travelling back in time. Each struggling with personal issues, Eli and Morgan turn to the place where they know they can learn the most, and make the journey to Misewa to visit their animal friends. But they are faced with personal, physical and emotional challenges that will force them to find the resolve to save themselves and everything they care for. 

The Great Bear is for ages 10 and up. 

When you can read it: Sept. 28, 2021

Robertson is an author and graphic novelist based in Winnipeg. The multi-talented writer of Swampy Cree heritage has published 25 books across a variety of genres, including the graphic novels Will I See? and Sugar Falls, a Governor General's Literary Award-winning picture book called When We Were Aloneillustrated by Julie Flett and the YA book Strangers and the memoir Black Water. The Barren Grounds is a finalist for the 2020 Governor General's Literary Prize for young people's literature — text.

Children of the Fox by Kevin Sands

Children of the Fox is a middle-grade book by Kevin Sands. (Puffin Canada)

Children of the Fox is a magic-infused fantasy that brings together a ragtag group of kids to pull off a crime so difficult, countless adults have already tried and failed. Lured by the promise of more money than they've ever dreamed of, five young criminals are hired to steal a heavily guarded treasure from the most powerful sorcerer in the city. 

Children of the Fox is for ages 8 to 12.

When you can read it: Sept. 28, 2021.

Kevin Sands is an award-winning children's writer from Ontario. His literary career began in 2015 with the publication of The Blackthorn Key, which won the John Spray Mystery Award and was a finalist for the Arthur Ellis Best YA Crime Novel Award. He's continued the Blackthorn Key series with Mark of the PlagueThe Assassin's Curse and Call of the Wraith.

Burying the Moon by Andrée Poulin, illustrated by Sonali Zohra

Burying the Moon is a middle-grade book by Andrée Poulin (left), illustrated by Sonali Zohra (right). (Groundwood Books, Neale MacMillan)

Burying the Moon is an illustrated novel in verse about a young Indian girl who tackles the taboos around sanitation in her village. In Latika's village in rural India, there are no toilets. No toilets mean that the women have to wait until night to do their business in a field; and for girls, no toilets mean leaving school when they reach puberty. 

Burying the Moon is for ages 9 to 12.

When you can read it: Oct. 1, 2021

Andrée Pouli was born in Orléans, Ont., and today lives in Gatineau, Que. She has published more than 50 books and has been a finalist several times for the Governor General's Literary Award and the TD Canadian Children's Literature Award, winning the latter in 2014 for La plus grosse poutine du monde.

Sonali Zohra is a Indian illustrator living in Bangalore. She studied fine arts and photography, and holds a master's degree in design from the University of South Wales, in Australia. 

A Struggle for Hope by Carol Matas

A middle-grade book by Carol Matas. (Scholastic Canada)

A Struggle for Hope is a gripping story of survival and hope. Ruth survived the Holocaust and the long journey to Palestine. Now she finds herself once again in a war zone as Israel battles for its existence. As Ruth grapples with her new circumstances, she realizes she must carry on — and never give up on hope. 

A Struggle for Hope is for ages 9 to 12.

When you can read it: Oct. 5, 2021

Carol Matas is a Winnipeg writer who studies linguistics and drama. Her other books include Lisa, which won the Geoffrey Bilson Award for Historical Fiction for Young Readers, Jesper, Daniel's Story  and After the War.

The Bear House by Meaghan McIsaac

The Bear House is a middle-grade book by Meaghan McIsaac. (Holiday House)

In The Bear House, Moody Aster and her spoiled sister Ursula are the daughters of Jasper Lourdes, Major of Bears and lord of all the realm. Rivals, both girls dream of becoming the Bear queen someday, although neither really deserve to. But when their Uncle Bram murders their father in a bid for the crown, the girls are forced onto the run and rely on each other to survive.

The Bear House is for ages 10 to 14.

When you can read it: Oct. 5, 2021

Meaghan McIsaac is the Toronto author of books such as of Underhand and The Boys of Fire and Ash

Better Place by Duane Murray, illustrated by Shawn Daley

Better Place is a 2021 middle-grade graphic novel by Duane Murray (left) and Shawn Daley (right). (Top Shelf Productions)

Better Place is a middle-grade graphic novel about a boy named Dylan who just moved to a new neighbourhood and is a bit lonely. But thanks to his grandfather, together they embark on imaginative superhero adventures as Red Rocket and Kid Cosmo. But when grandad is one day gone to a "better place," Dylan must learn how to save the day by himself. 

Better Place is for ages 9 to 12.

When you can read it: Oct. 5, 2021

Duane Murray is an Ontario writer, actor and producer. He's produced several films, including his latest feature Red Rover, which he both co-wrote and produced. Better Place is his debut graphic novel.

Shawn Daley is a Ringo Award-nominated cartoonist based in Toronto. His published works include TerraQuill Collected, Samurai Grandpa and The Bridgebuilder's Creed.

Stealing Home by J. Torres, illustrated by David Namisato

Stealing Home is a middle-grade graphic novel by J. Torres (left), illustrated by David Namisato (right). (Kids Can Press)

In Stealing Home, a boy finds another way to approach life through baseball after moving to a Japanese internment camp during the Second World War. Sandy Saito is obsessed with baseball — especially the Asahi team, the pride of his Japanese Canadian community. But when the Japanese attack Pearl Harbor, his life, like that of many North Americans of Japanese descent, changes forever.

Stealing Home is for ages 9 to 12.

When you can read it: Oct. 5, 2021

J. Torres is Filipino-born Canadian comic book, television and animation writer. His published works include Planet Hockey.

David Namisato is a Toronto artist and illustrator.

Sorry For Your Loss by Joanne Levy

So Sorry for Your Loss is a middle-grade book by Joanne Levy. (Orca Book Publishers, Tania Grashowitz)

In Sorry For Your Loss, Evie Walman is not obsessed with death. She does think about it a lot, though, but only because her family runs a Jewish funeral home. When her parents ask her to help with Oren, a boy who was in a horrific car accident that killed both his parents, Oren refuses to speak and Evie is determined to find a way to help him deal with his loss.

Sorry For Your Loss is for ages 9 to 12.

When you can read it: Oct. 12, 2021

Joanne Levy is an Ontario author of books for young people, including Double Trouble and Fish Out of Water. She is also the author of the middle-grade novels The Sun Will Come Out, Crushing It and Small Medium At Large.

Shelter by Lois Peterson, illustrated by Taryn Gee

Shelter is a middle-grade book by Lois Peterson, illustrated by Taryn Gee. (Orca Book Publishers, LooRoo Photography )

Why are people homeless? Who are they? What can you do? In Shelter, readers will get answers to these complex questions. They'll learn about the root causes of homelessness and its effects through personal stories of people who live on the street, and what people and organizations around the world are doing to address the problem. 

Shelter is for ages 9 to 12.

When you can read it: Oct. 12, 2021

Lois Peterson is a B.C.-based author of eight books of fiction for children and numerous short stories, essays and articles for adults. She worked at a public library for more than 35 years and worked as executive director of a homeless shelter.

Taryn Gee is an Ontario artist who specializes in lifestyle illustration and possesses an affinity for both figurative and narrative art.

Living with Viola by Rosena Fung

Living with Viola is a middle-grade book by Rosena Fung. (Mark Medeiros, Annick Press)

Living with Viola is a graphic novel that explores mental health, cultural differences and the trials of middle school. Livy is already having trouble fitting in as the new girl at school — and then there's Viola, a shadowy twin that only Livy can see or hear. Livy tries to push back against Viola's relentless judgment, but nothing seems to work until she strikes up new friendships at school. 

Living with Viola is for ages 9 to 12.

When you can read it: Oct. 26, 2021

Rosena Fung is an illustrator and comic artist from Toronto. Her work has appeared in newspapers, magazines, giant murals and on TV.

Amazing Atlantic Canadian Women by Stephanie Domet and Penelope Jackson, illustrated by James Bentley

Amazing Atlantic Canadian Women is a middle-grade book by Stephanie Domet (left) and Penelope Jackson (right), illustrated by James Bentley (not pictured). (Nimbus, Dan MacCormack)

Amazing Atlantic Canadian Women features profiles of over 70 amazing women past and present from Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland and Labrador. Authors Stephanie Domet and Penelope Jackson share incredible stories of women who have overcome adversity, excelled in STEM fields, established successful creative careers, and championed change. 

Amazing Atlantic Canadian Women is for ages 8 to 12.

When you can read it: Oct. 26, 2021

Domet is the Halifax author of two novels, Homing, which won the Margaret and John Savage First Book Award, and Fallsy Downsies, which won the Jim Connors Dartmouth Book Award. 

Jackson is a Halifax-based editor and writer working in children's and adult fiction and nonfiction books.

Bentley is a Quebec artist and illustrator who works mainly with acrylic on canvas and acrylic and pastel on paper. 

The School Between Winter and Fairyland by Heather Fawcett

The School Between Winter and Fairyland is a middle-grade book by Heather Fawcett. (Balzer + Bray)

The School Between Winter and Fairyland offers a twist on magical boarding schools, the well-loved Chosen One trope and the nature of true heroism. Twelve-year-old Autumn Malog is a servant at the enchanting Inglenook School, where young magicians study to become the king's future monster-hunters. In her free time, Autumn searches for clues about her twin brother's mysterious disappearance. 

The School Between Winter and Fairyland is for ages 8 to 12.

When you can read it: Oct. 26, 2021

Heather Fawcett is the Vancouver author of the middle-grade novels Ember and the Ice Dragons and The Language of Ghosts, as well as the young adult series Even the Darkest Stars

Harvey and the Extraordinary by Eliza Martin, illustrated by Anna Bron

Harvey and the Extraordinary is a middle-grade book by Eliza Martin (left), illustrated by Anna Bron (right). (Annick Press, Gaetz Photography)

Harvey and the Extraordinary is a book about Mimi, the expert in all things extraordinary, like snow days, blue raspberry candy and her dad, who recently joined the circus. With her new hamster as her assistant, Mimi starts rehearsals for a marvellous mime show. But her moody older brother and needy ex-best-friend — plus memories of the day her dad left home — keep interfering with her plans.

Harvey and the Extraordinary is for ages 8 to 11.

When you can read it: Nov. 2, 2021

Eliza Martin is a writer, theatre artist and arts educator. She works with children and youth in Toronto, Ontario. Harvey and the Extraordinary, based on her 2018 play, is her debut novel.

Vancouver-based Anna Bron studied traditional animation at Sheridan College. She illustrated the award-winning picture book Salma the Syrian Chef and has animated, designed and directed commercials and short films.

Chasing Bats and Tracking Rats by Cylita Guy, illustrated by Cornelia Li 

Chasing Bats and Tracking Rats is a middle-grade book by Cylita Guy (left), illustrated by Cornelia Li (right). (Annick Press, Travis Guy, JS Li)

Dr. Cylita Guy shows how studying urban wildlife can help us make cities around the world healthier for all of their inhabitants in Chasing Bats and Tracking Rats. In the process, Guy reveals how social injustices like racism can affect not only how scientists study city wildlife, but also where urban critters are more likely to thrive. 

Chasing Bats and Tracking Rats is for ages 9 to 12.

When you can read it: Nov. 9, 2021

Guy is a Toronto-based ecologist, data scientist and science communicator who studies bats. In her downtime, you can find your friendly neighborhood batgirl chasing her next big outdoor adventure.

Cornelia Li is a Chinese-born illustrator based in Toronto. She is intrigued by narrative weaved into daily interactions between people and their surroundings and sets out to capture this relationship by externalizing ideas and emotions into visual elements.

Spell Sweeper by Lee Edward Fodi

Spell Sweeper is a middle-grade book by Lee Edward Fodi. (HarperCollins)

Spell Sweeper is a middle-grade fantasy, featuring a failed young wizard, Cara Moone and her cleanup crew. Flunked out of wizard school, Cara is in training to be a MOP, also known as Magical Occurrence Purger. It's Cara's job to sweep up the hazardous dust a real wizard's spells leave behind. But some messes require more than magic to clean up.

Spell Sweeper is for ages 8 to 12.

When you can read it: Nov. 30, 2021

Lee Edward Födi is an author, illustrator and specialized arts educator. He is the author of several books for children, including The Secret of Zoone and The Guardians of Zoone. He is a co-founder of the Creative Writing for Children Society (CWC), a not-for-profit program that helps kids write their own books.

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