All the Canadian books you should read this spring
Looking for a new read? Check out the Canadian books from the first half of 2023 we are excited about.
Our top pick: VenCo by Cherie Dimaline
VenCo is a subversive and imaginative adult novel about a coven of modern-day witches. The book's protagonist, Lucky St. James, finds herself down on her luck when she and her grandmother Stella are set to be evicted from their apartment. One night, doing laundry in the building's basement, Lucky finds a tarnished silver spoon that features an illustration of a witch over letters that spell out S-A-L-E-M.
This alerts Lucky to Meena, someone who is part of VenCo, an international headhunting firm that seeks out exceptional women. An adventure unfolds involving secret witches, witch hunters, magic spoons and an epic road trip from Toronto to Salem, through Appalachia and into New Orleans.
Cherie Dimaline is a Métis author and editor. Her other books include Red Rooms, The Girl Who Grew a Galaxy, A Gentle Habit and Empire of Wild. The Marrow Thieves was named one of Time magazine's top 100 YA books of all time.
The Marrow Thieves was defended by Jully Black on Canada Reads 2018. The Marrow Thieves also won the Governor General's Literary Award for Young people's literature — text and the Kirkus Prize for young readers' literature.
Our top pick: Pageboy by Elliot Page
Elliot Page shares his personal journey from the massive success of Juno to discovering his queerness and identity as a trans person, while navigating criticism and abuse from some of the most powerful people in Hollywood. Pageboy is filled with behind-the-scenes details and interrogations on sex, love and trauma. It's a story about what it means to free ourselves from the expectations of others and step into our truth with defiance, strength and joy.
Pageboy will be available on June 6.
Page is an Academy Award-nominated actor, producer and director. He currently stars in the hit TV-series The Umbrella Academy. Pageboy is his first book.
Our top pick: Adherent by Chris W. Kim
Adherent follows a young woman in a remote community that survives by scavenging for food and supplies in the forest where objects from civilizations past are scattered throughout. When the community finds several notebooks, the woman becomes obsessed with the idea of venturing out to find the author.
Chris W. Kim is a cartoonist and illustrator from Toronto. His graphic novels include Herman by Trade and Strays.
Our top pick: Wires that Sputter by Britta Badour
Britta Badour's debut collection of poetry, Wires that Sputter, explores topics like pop culture, sports, family dynamics and Black liberation.
Badour, better known as Britta B., is an artist, public speaker and poet living in Toronto. She is the recipient of the 2021 Breakthrough Artist Award from the Toronto Arts Foundation. She teaches spoken word performance at Seneca College.
Our top pick: Delicious Monsters by Liselle Sambury
The YA novel Delicious Monsters is set in Toronto and involves a girl named Daisy who can see ghosts. When her mother inherits a secluded mansion in northern Ontario, Daisy discovers supernatural secrets that might be beyond her control. Flash forward a decade later and a teen named Brittney gets wrapped up in a mystery about what befell Daisy years prior.
Delicious Monsters is for ages 12 and up.
Liselle Sambury is a Trinidadian Canadian YA writer and blogger. Her debut novel, Blood Like Magic, was on the shortlist for the 2021 Governor General's Literary award for young people's literature — text.
Tegan and Sara: Junior High is a middle-grade graphic novel by Canadian sister musician duo Tegan and Sara. The story is inspired by the authors' own experiences of finding one's identity, musicianship and family in their adolescence. Growing up as identical twins, Tegan and Sara move to a new home and school, and begin to come into their own as individuals.
Tegan and Sara: Junior High is for ages 10 to 14.
Tegan Quin and Sara Quin are twin sisters and a pop music duo from Calgary. They previously published a memoir called High School.
Tillie Walden is an American cartoonist, illustrator and writer. She has published several graphic novels, including On a Sunbeam and Spinning.
Inspired by Indigenous legends, The Song that Called Them Home is a fantasy-adventure about a summer day with two siblings and their Moshom (grandfather) visiting the land. As Lauren, her younger brother James and their Moshom canoe on the lake, the waves begin to thrash and James is taken by the Memekwesewak creatures. Lauren is determined to find him and bring him back.
The Song that Called Them Home is for ages 4 to 8.
David A. Robertson is a children's author and member of Norway House Cree Nation. His previous picture books On the Trapline and When We Were Alone are both recipients of the Governor General's Literary Award. He currently lives in Winnipeg.
Maya McKibbin is a Two-Spirited Ojibwe, Yoeme and Irish illustrator, filmmaker and writer. She was nominated for the Governor General's Literary Award for illustrating the picture book Swift Fox All Along by Rebecca Thomas.