Books·Books of the Year

The best Canadian books for kids and young adults of 2022

Here are CBC Books picks for the best Canadian young adult, middle grade and picture books of the year!

Here are CBC Books picks for the best Canadian young adult, middle grade and picture books of the year!

Love from Mecca to Medina by S.K. Ali

Love from Mecca to Medina is a book by S.K. Ali. (Salaam Reads/Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers)

In the sequel to Love from A to Z, Adam and Zayneb must find their way back to one another. Adam is in Doha, Qatar, making a map of the Hijra, a historic migration from Mecca to Medina, and Zayneb is in school in Chicago. When the pair get a chance to reunite for Thanksgiving week on the Umrah in Saudi Arabia, the trip goes nothing like what they expect and their love is put to the test.

Love from Mecca to Medina is for ages 14 and up.

S.K. Ali is a writer and teacher from Toronto, best known for her debut YA novel, Saints and MisfitsShe is also the author of Love from A to Z.

Abuelita and Me by Leonarda Carranza, illustrated by Rafael Mayani

Abuelita and Me is a picture book by writer Leonarda Carranza and illustrator Rafael Mayani. (Annick Press )

Abuelita and Me is a picture book about a girl and her beloved abuelita. One day while travelling across the city, the girl and her grandmother encounter racist actions directed at them. But the duo are empowered to be strong and stare down negativity. Abuelita and Me is about how believing in yourself can defeat even the most negative of people around you.

Abuelita and Me is for ages 4 to 7.

Leonarda Carranza is a writer who was raised in Toronto, and born in Cuscatlán (El Salvador) to a mixed-race family of Afro-Indigenous ancestry. She holds a Ph.D. in social justice education from the University of Toronto. She is the winner of Briarpatch Magazine's Writing in the Margins contest, and Room's 2018 Short Forms contest. Carranza lives in Brampton, Ont.

Rafael Mayani is a Mexican artist based in Vancouver. He draws inspiration from the vibrant colours and shapes of Mexico and the natural beauty of Canadian landscapes.

Boys and Girls Screaming by Kern Carter

Boys and Girls Screaming is a YA novel by Kern Carter. (DCB, Filena Arcia)

In the YA novel Boys and Girls Screaminga teen named Ever is coping with the sudden death of her father. Ever decides to form a support group called Boys and Girls Screaming for kids who have suffered trauma. But while the other students share their stories and find solace, Ever is driven deeper into depression and hits her breaking point. It's up to the group to set Ever onto a path of healing. 

Boys and Girls Screaming is for ages 14 and up.

Kern Carter is a Toronto author and freelance writer. He has written and self-published two books — the novella Thoughts of a Fractured Soul and the novel Beauty Scars. Kern also has writing credits in Forbes, the New York Times, Global Citizen, Elle Magazine and

Swim Team by Johnnie Christmas

Swim Team is a middle-grade graphic novel written and illustrated by Johnnie Christmas. (HarperCollins, Amanda Palmer)

Swim Team follows middle schooler Bree as she navigates swim class. Bree is excited for her first day at her new middle school until she's stuck with the only elective class that fits her schedule, Swim 101. Swimming makes Bree sick to her stomach, but she's forced to dive headfirst into her fear. With the help of Etta, her elderly neighbour and former swim team captain, Bree becomes good at swimming. Her swimming obsessed community is counting on her to guide her school's failing swim team to a state championship, but first, they have to defy all odds and beat their rival, Holyoke Prep. 

Swim Team is for ages 8 to 12.

Johnnie Christmas lives in Vancouver and is a #1 New York TImes bestselling graphic novelist. He's the author of the sci-fi series Tartarus and Crema, the book Firebug and is working on three middle-grade graphic novels. He's best known for creating the Angel Catbird series with Margaret Atwood and adapting the lost Alien 3 screenplay into a graphic novel of the same name. 

WATCH | Meet artist Johnnie Christmas:

Meet the illustrator bringing Margaret Atwood's dystopian comic world to life

6 years ago
Duration 2:51
Discover how Vancouver-based comic book artist Johnnie Christmas rekindled his passion for comic arts and found a collaborator in the beloved author.

Oculum Echo by Philippa Dowding

Oculum Echo is a book by Philippa Dowding. (DCB)

Oculum Echo is a novel about a dystopian world devastated by environmental collapse. The children of the automated, domed city of Oculum are in danger. With bombs raining down from the sky, Miranda1, Mannfred, Grannie and the 1,000 children of Oculum must flee their farm to escape. As they begin their journey through the wasteland chased by UnRuly, Echo1 is awakened from an 83-year sleep. Echo1 is on a mission to help the children of Oculum, but who must be protected in this new world and what must be destroyed?

Oculum Echo is for ages 9 to 12.

Philippa Dowding is a Toronto author of books for young readers. Her book Firefly won the 2021 Governor General's Literary Award for young people's literature — text.

Step by Deborah Ellis

Step is a book by Deborah Ellis. (Groundwood Books)

Step is a short story collection featuring children who are all about to turn 11-years old — and how that event changes them. The series of stories are about children from all over the world and feature magical and mysterious themes.

Step is for ages 9 to 11.

Deborah Ellis is a Canadian writer of children's books, including The Breadwinner. The award-winning book tells the story of Parvana, an 11-year-old living in war-torn Kabul, who must pretend to be a boy after her father is sent to prison so she can earn money for her family. The Breadwinner was praised by Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai and adapted into an Academy Award-nominated film produced by Angelina Jolie. In 2000, Ellis' adventure novel Looking for X won the Governor General's Literary Award for young people's literature — text. Her other books include the children's short story collection Sit and nonfiction book Kids of Kabul. She is a member of the Order of Canada.

Water, Water by Cary Fagan, illustrated by Jon McNaught

Water, Water is a book by Cary Fagan, left, illustrated by Jon McNaught, not pictured. (Tundra Books)

In Water, Water, a boy named Rafe wakes up one morning to find that his bedroom is floating out to sea. Forced to fish for food, Rafe finds himself stuck in a wet and otherworldly adventure involving a strange young girl and a strange new world.

Water, Water is for ages 9 to 12.

Cary Fagan is an Ontario author of books for adults and children. His children's books include the popular Kaspar Snit novels, the two-volume Master Melville's Medicine Show and the picture book Mr. Zinger's Hat. He is also the author of the novel A Bird's Eye, which was a finalist for the Rogers Trust Fiction Prize and an Best Book of the Year. In 2014, Fagan received the Vicky Metcalf Award for Literature for Young People for his body of work. His 2019 novel, The Student, was a finalist for both the Toronto Book Award and the Governor General's Literary Award.

 Jon McNaught is a London-based illustrator, printmaker and lecturer.

Blood Scion by Deborah Falaye

Blood Scion is a YA book by Deborah Falaye. (HarperTeen, John Bregar)

In the YA fantasy novel Blood Scion, a teen named Sloane discovers she is a superpowered Scion, a descendant of the ancient Orisha gods. But when she is forced to join the army under a brutal warlord, Sloane realizes she has an opportunity to use her magical powers to defeat the enemy from within.

Blood Scion is for ages 14 and up.

Deborah Falaye is a Nigerian Canadian YA author based in Toronto. She grew up in Lagos, where she spent her time devouring African literature, pestering her grandma for folktales and tricking her grandfather into watching Passions every night. Blood Scion is her debut novel.

Lizzy and the Cloud by the Fan Brothers

Lizzy and the Cloud is a picture book by the Fan Brothers (Eric Fan, Simon & Schuster, Terry Fan)

Lizzy and the Cloud is a picture book about a girl named Lizzy and the pet cloud named Milo that she loves and cares for. But as Milo continues to grow and grow, the time is fast approaching when Lizzy has to let her pet go free. 

Lizzy and the Cloud is for ages 3 to 8.

Eric Fan and Terry Fan are brothers and frequent collaborators on children's books. Their books include The Night Gardener and Ocean Meets SkyThey also illustrated The Darkest Dark by astronaut and author Chris Hadfield.

The Summer of Bitter and Sweet by Jen Ferguson

The Summer of Bitter and Sweet is a book by Jen Ferguson. (Heartdrum, Mel Shea)

The Summer of Bitter and Sweet is a YA novel about a young Métis girl living on the Canadian prairies. Lou is spending the summer working at her family's failing frozen treats business with her newly ex-boyfriend. When an old friend unexpectedly comes back to town after three years away — and her biological father sends her a letter wanting to reconnect — Lou is suddenly faced with more challenges than she might be able to handle. 

The Summer of Bitter and Sweet won the Governor General's Literary Award for young people's literature ⁠— text.

The Summer of Bitter and Sweet is for ages 13 and up.

Jen Ferguson is an activist and academic of Michif/Métis and Canadian settler heritage based in Los Angeles. Ferguson has a PhD in English and creative writing. Her work includes the 2016 novel Border Markers and her essay Off Balance was featured in Best Canadian Essays 2020. The Summer of Bitter and Sweet is her debut YA novel. 

Mina by Matthew Forsythe

Mina is a picture book by Matthew Forsythe. (Paula Wiseman Books, Matthew Forsythe)

The picture book Mina is a colourful and heartful look at the bond between father and daughter. Mina lives with her dad in a tree stump on the edge of the forest. When her father brings home a surprise, an anxious Mina learns more about the power of trust and loyalty.

Mina is for ages 4 to 8.

Matthew Forsythe is the Toronto-born author-illustrator of Pokko and the Drum, a Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year, a recipient of the Boston Globe–Horn Book Award Honor, and a Charlotte Zolotow Honor Book.

kā-āciwīkicik / The Move by Doris George & Don K. Philpot, illustrated by Alyssa Koski

kā-āciwīkicik/The Move is picture book by Doris George, left, and Don K. Philpot, illustrated by Alyssa Koski (not pictured). (Heritage House)

kā-āciwīkicik / The Move is a picture book written in Cree and English. The story features colourful illustrations and uses magic and memory to explore how a formerly barren landscape transformed into a rich natural world — becoming a place where an elderly couple can spend their remaining days in an ancestral home.

kā-āciwīkicik / The Move is for ages 4 to 8.

Doris George is a Cree author and educator. She is the principal of Chemawawin Schools in Easterville, Man., where she also taught Cree language for four years. She holds a BA and B.Ed. from University College of the North and a Community Linguist Certificate (CLC) from the University of Alberta. 

Don K. Philpot is a writer and educator born and raised in Edmonton and Winnipeg, and spent the first part of his adult life in two Cree communities in northern Manitoba. Philpot specializes in Cree language structures and use, language and literacy education, and children's literature. 

Alyssa Koski is an Alberta artist, illustrator and animator.

LISTEN | Doris George reacts to being nominated for the Governor General's Literary Awards:

Easterville author and Cree educator, Doris George speaks with guest host Marjorie Dowhos about the making of her Cree and English book, "kā-āciwīkicik / The Move," which has been nominated for best illustrated book for young people at this year's Governor General's Literary Awards.

I Hear You, Ocean by Kallie George, illustrated by Carmen Mok

I Hear You, Ocean is a book by Kallie George, left, illustrated by Carmen Mok. (Luke Spencer Byrd, Greystone Books)

I Hear You, Ocean is the follow-up to the 2021 picture book I Hear You, ForestI Hear You, Ocean reminds children that the ocean has plenty to say, if you only listen. From the sounds of rushing water to the sound a shell makes, the outdoors is a wondrous place to feel connected to the world.

I Hear You, Ocean is for ages 3 to 5.

Kallie George is a Vancouver-based writer for children whose books include the Heartwood Hotel series and Anne Arrives.

Carmen Mok is the Ontario-based illustrator of numerous books, including Waiting for Sophie by Sarah Ellis, Look at Me Now by Carol McDougall and Shanda LaRamee-Jones and Percy's Museum by Sara O'Leary.

Killer Underwear Invasion! by Elise Gravel

Killer Underwear Invasion! is a book by Elise Gravel. (Chronicle Books)

Killer Underwear Invasion! is a middle-grade nonfiction book that helps young readers learn media literacy skills. The book uses colourful and humorous illustrations to help children understand what fake news is, why people spread it, and how to tell what is true and what isn't. The title aims to equip young readers with the tools needed to better discern truth in news sources.

Killer Underwear Invasion! is for ages 9 to 12.

Elise Gravel is a Quebec author and illustrator. She is the author of several books for children, including The BatThe Worst Book EverThe Mushroom Fan ClubI Want a Monster! and What Is a Refugee.

Anne: An Adaptation of Anne of Green Gables (Sort Of) by Kathleen Gros

Anne: An Adaptation of Anne of Green Gables (Sort Of) is a book by Kathleen Gros. (Quill Tree Books)

Anne: An Adaptation of Anne of Green Gables (Sort Of) is a middle-grade graphic novel that updates and puts a modern twist on the classic story Anne of Green GablesWhen Anne Shirley finally lands in the loving home of the Cuthberts, she becomes friends with a girl named Diana — and things just might be more than that. The girls live in the same apartment building, the Avon-Lea. When Anne realizes she might have a first-time crush, she knows that life is about to become even more complicated. 

Anne: An Adaptation of Anne of Green Gables (Sort Of) is for ages 9 to 12.

Kathleen Gros is a comic book artist who was born in Toronto and now lives in Vancouver. She is the creator of the webcomic Lunar Maladies. She has also published the graphic novels Jo and Last Night at Wyrmwood High. 

Beatrice and Croc Harry by Lawrence Hill

Beatrice and Croc Harry is a middle-grade novel by Lawrence Hill. (HarperCollins Canada, Beatrice Freedman)

In the middle-grade novel Beatrice and Croc Harrya young girl wakes up all alone in a treehouse in the woods. She doesn't know how she got there — or who she even is. But as she follows a trail of surprising and magical clues, she uncovers the story of the forest, of her family and of herself, thanks in no small part to an unlikely friend and ally, King Crocodile Croc Harry.

Beatrice and Croc Harry is for ages 9 to 13.

Lawrence Hill is the acclaimed author of novels such as The Book of NegroesThe IllegalSome Great Thing and Any Known Blood and the memoir Black Berry, Sweet Juice. He also delivered the 2013 Massey Lectures, Blood: The Stuff of LifeHis novel The Book of Negroes won CBC's Canada Reads in 2009 and was adapted into a six-part miniseries, which can be streamed on CBC GemThe Illegal also won Canada Reads in 2016, making Hill the only author to win CBC's battle of the books twice.

LISTEN | Why Lawrence Hill wrote his first book for kids:

We listen back to our January conversation with Canadian author Lawrence Hill, about the joy and challenge of writing his children's book, Beatrice and Croc Harry, and how he tackled big social issues for young readers.

How to Party Like a Snail by Naseem Hrab, illustrated by Kelly Collier

How to Party Like a Snail is a book by Naseem Hrab, left, illustrated by Kelly Collier. (OwlKids)

How to Party Like a Snail is a tale about a snail who loves to have a party — just not loud ones. Snail wishes for a quiet party but his animal friends have other ideas. They all soon learn just what it takes to have a get-together that all can enjoy.

How to Party Like a Snail is for ages 4 to 7.

Naseem Hrab is a Toronto-based writer and storyteller. She is also the author of Ira Crumb Makes a Pretty Good Friend and Ira Crumb Feels the Feelings. Her picture book Weekend Dad was a finalist for the 2020 Governor General's Literary Prize for young people's literature — illustrated books.

Kelly Collier is a Toronto artist and illustrator. She is the author-illustrator of two picture books, A Horse Named Steve and Team Steve, and the illustrator of Sloth and Squirrel in a Pickle.

The Line in the Sand by Thao Lam

The Line in the Sand is a book by Thao Lam. (Owlkids)

The Line in the Sand is a wordless picture book about communication and understanding differences. When two monsters have a misunderstanding one day at the beach, the pair grow curious about the literal line in the sand that separates them. The two must learn that resolving conflict helps everyone in the long run. 

The Line in the Sand is for ages 4 to 8.

Thao Lam is an author and illustrator from Toronto. Her picture books include ThaoWallpaper and My Cat Looks Like My Dad.

She Holds Up the Stars by Sandra Laronde

She Holds Up the Stars is a book by Sandra Laronde. (Paula Wilson, Annick Press)

She Holds Up the Stars is a middle-grade book about a young girl, Misko, who spends a summer on the rez with her grandmother. During the summer, Misko bonds with a spirited horse who refuses to be broken and develops an appreciation for the world around her, and comes to understand her family, her heritage and herself better.

She Holds Up the Stars is for ages 10-14.

Sandra Laronde is a Teme-Augama Anishinaabe writer and performer. She is the founder and artistic director of Red Sky Performance.

LISTEN | Sandra Laronde discusses She Holds Up the Stars on The Next Chapter:

Sandra Laronde on her novel, She Holds Up the Stars.

A Venom Dark and Sweet by Judy I. Lin

A Venom Dark and Sweet is a book by Judy I. Lin. (Feiwel & Friends, Aaron Perkins)

In A Venom Dark and Sweet, the conclusion to the Book of Tea duology, a great evil has come to the kingdom of Dàxi and the Banished Prince has seized control. Ning, a young but powerful shénnóng-shi — a wielder of magic using the ancient art of tea-making — along with Ning's sister, Princess Zhen and her bodyguard, Ruyi, travel throughout the kingdom in search of allies to help take back Zhen's rightful throne.

A Venom Dark and Sweet is for ages 13 and up.

Judy I. Lin was born in Taiwan and immigrated to Canada with her family at a young age. Magic Steeped in Poison is the first book in the Book of Tea duology.

Kumo: The Bashful Cloud by Kyo Maclear, illustrated by Nathalie Dion

Kumo the Bashful Cloud is a picture book by Kyo Maclear, left, and illustrated by Nathalie Dion, right. (Nancy Friedland, Tundra, Jinny Montpetit)

Kumo: The Bashful Cloud is the story of a cloud who wishes to be invisible. But when Kumo has cloud duty one day, fears of self-doubt and being noticed grow overwhelming for her. But Kumo learns that facing one's fears, and making new friends along the way, can be for the best.

Kumo: The Bashful Cloud is for ages 4 to 8.

Kyo Maclear is an essayist, novelist and author of children's books. Her books have been translated into 15 languages, won a Governor General's Literary Award and been nominated for the TD Canadian Children's Literature Award, among others. Her memoir Birds Art Life was a finalist for the 2017 Hilary Weston Writers' Trust Prize for Nonfiction and won the 2018 Trillium Book Award.

Nathalie Dion is an author and illustrator based in Montreal. She also illustrated the picture books The Biggest Puddle in the World by Mark Lee and I Found Hope in a Cherry Tree by Jean E. Pendziwol.

Blanket by Ruth Ohi

A composite photo featuring a book cover with two illustrated mice facing each other and its author, a smiling woman with glasses and short dark hair.
Blanket is a picture book by Ruth Ohi. (Groundwood Books, Annie T)

Blanket is a wordless picture book by Ruth Ohi. It's a gentle, heartwarming book about wanting to get away from the world, but why it's important to have a friend who is by your side even when you want to hide away.

Blanket is for ages 3-6.

Ruth Ohi is an picture book author and illustrator from Toronto. She has created more than 60 books for kids, including the Fox and Squirrel series, Scribble and Choose Kindness.

Twice as Perfect by Louisa Onomé

A composite photo of a book cover featuring a young Black woman with long straight hair facing the reader and the book's author, a young smiling woman.
Twice as Perfect is a book by Louisa Onomé. (HarperCollins Canada,

Twice as Perfect is a YA novel about 17-year-old Adanna Nkwachi. Adanna feels the pressure to be the perfect daughter and student because her older brother Sam had a fight with their parents and disappeared. But when chance brings the siblings back together, Adanna is determined to find out what happened — and keep Sam's return a secret from their parents. The more Adanna learns, the more she realizes that maybe she needs to start putting herself, and her dreams, ahead of her parents' plans and expectations.

Twice as Perfect is for ages 14 and up.

Louisa Onomé is a Nigerian Canadian author who lives in Toronto. She is also the author of the YA novels Like Home and The Melancholy of Summer

Ghostlight by Kenneth Oppel

Ghostlight is a middle-grade book by Kenneth Oppel. (Puffin Canada)

In the novel Ghostlight, a teen named Gabe revels in his summer job giving ghost tours on Toronto Island. He loves to tell the story of Rebecca Strand, a teen who died after a fall from Gibraltar Point Lighthouse in 1839. But when he encounters the ghost of Rebecca, he learns that her death may not have been an accident. Gabe tries to solve the mystery but along the way encounters more ghosts, some not quite as friendly as Rebecca.

Ghostlight is for ages 9 to 12.

Kenneth Oppel is a bestselling author whose books include the Silverwing trilogy, which has sold over a million copies worldwide, and Airbornwhich won the Governor General's Literary Award for children's literature — text. His most recent books include InklingEvery Hidden Thing and The Nest.

LISTEN | Kenneth Oppel takes The Next Chapter's Proust Questionnaire: 

Acclaimed children's book author Kenneth Oppel on his favourite writers, his greatest regret and more.

Because You Are by Jael Richardson, illustrated by Nneka Myers

A composite photo of a picture book cover featuring a young girl in a yellow and purple dress dancing and the author photo, a woman with green glasses and curly hair.
Because You Are is a picture by Jael Richardson, pictured, and illustrated by Nneka Myers. (Simon Remark, HarperCollins)

Because You Are is a children's book about self-esteem, inner beauty and making a difference in the world we live in. Featuring illustrations by Toronto-based character designer and visual development artist Nneka Myers, the picture book was originally conceived of as a letter to Richardson's younger self — with a focus on being joyful and loving herself as a young Black girl. 

Because You Are is a picture book for ages 4-7.

Jael Richardson is an author, the founder and the artistic director of the Festival of Literary Diversity (FOLD) and the former books columnist for Q on CBC Radio. Richardson, who is from Brampton, Ont., is also the author of the nonfiction book The Stone Thrower, which was adapted into a picture book of the same name, and the novel Gutter Child.

Nneka Myers is a Toronto-based illustrator and character designer for TV animation. 

Pink is for Everybody by Ella Russell, illustrated by Udayana Lugo

Pink is for Everybody is a picture book by Ella Russell, illustrated by Udayana Lugo. (Owlkids)

Pink is for Everybody is a picture book about colour, love and acceptance. When a diverse group of children find a pink treasure chest, the collection of pink-coloured items inside set them on a playful adventure fuelled by fun and imagination. 

Pink is for Everybody is for ages 4 to 8.

Ella Russell grew up in a house that had a box full of costumes for rainy-day play. The box allowed them to become anybody they wanted — from a swashbuckling pirate to a proper palace-dweller. Russell lives in Toronto, with two cheeky but lovable furballs named Saffron and Juniper.

Udayana Lugo worked as a designer of products, interiors and graphics before her love of drawing and children's books led her to become a children's book illustrator. Lugo was born in Russia, grew up in Mexico City, and now lives in Richmond, B.C., with her husband and two kids.

Still This Love Goes On by Buffy Sainte-Marie, illustrated by Julie Flett

Still This Love Goes On is a picture book by Buffy Sainte-Marie, left, illustrated by Julie Flett. (Matt Barnes, Greystone Books)

Still This Love Goes On is a picture book about the power of love and of Cree traditions. It is an artful look at how love will always live on, across generations. 

Still This Love Goes On is for ages 3 to 8.

Cree singer-songwriter Buffy Sainte-Marie's long career includes an expansive catalogue of music, art and work in activism. Hey Little Rockabye was her first children's picture book, published in 2020.

Julie Flett has illustrated several picture books including Richard Van Camp's Little You and We Sang You Home, Monique Gray Smith's My Heart Fills with Happiness and David A. Robertson's On the Trapline. She also is the creator behind the picture book Birdsong.

LISTEN | Buffy Sainte-Marie reflects on her life's biggest lessons:

Her powerhouse presence in music, education and cultural reclamation left an indelible mark on an entire generation of Indigenous people. Her music stretches over six decades, she has spoken up for Indigenous people during countless interviews, taught us on Sesame Street and won an Academy Award. In this intimate conversation, Buffy Sainte-Marie shares what it takes to stay on the map when others erase you, how to teach tough truths with kindness, and what living in the circle really means.

Braiding Sweetgrass for Young Adults by Robin Wall Kimmerer, adapted by Monique Gray Smith, illustrated by Nicole Neidhardt

The book cover for Braiding Sweetgrass for Young Adults features two illustrated hands braiding a rope of sweetgrass. On either side of the rope, the book cover below is purple and above is beige.
Writer Monique Gray Smith, left, and illustrator Nicole Neidhardt, right, adapted Robin Wall Kimmerer's book, Braiding Sweetgrass, for young adults. (Centric Photography, Lerner Publishing Group, Dean Kaylan)

Braiding Sweetgrass for Young Adults brings Indigenous wisdom, scientific knowledge and the lessons American scientist Robin Wall Kimmerer brought to the fore in Braiding Sweetgrass to a younger generation. Adapted by writer Monique Gray Smith and illustrated by Nicole Neidhardt, this new edition reinforces the importance of gaining ecological knowledge from earth's oldest teachers: the plants around us. 

Braiding Sweetgrass for Young Adults is for ages 13 and up.

Monique Gray Smith is a mixed-heritage — Cree, Lakota and Scottish — author who often writes and speaks about the resilience of Indigenous communities in Canada. She is also the author of the children's books Speaking Our Truth and You Hold Me Up and the novels Tilly and Tilly and the Crazy Eights.

Neidhardt is a Diné visual artist and illustrator. Smith and Neidhardt previously collaborated on When We Are Kinda children's book that celebrates simple acts of everyday kindness.

LISTEN | Why Monique Gray Smith and Nicole Neidhardt adapted Braiding Sweetgrass for younger readers:

Monique Gray Smith and Nicole Neidhardt on Braiding Sweetgrass for Young Adults.

Beautiful You, Beautiful Me by Tasha Spillett-Sumner, illustrated by Salini Perera

Beautiful You, Beautiful Me is a book by Tasha Spillett-Sumner, left, illustrated by Salini Perera. (Owlkids)

Beautiful You, Beautiful Me is a picture book with themes of understanding and loving who we are at all times. It's about a multiracial child named Izzy and her mother. One day the child notices that they have different skin tones: hers is the colour of chocolate, while Mama is the colour of sand. Mama uses this opportunity to help Izzy to see her own unique beauty.

Beautiful You, Beautiful Me is for ages 3 to 7.

Tasha Spillett-Sumner is an educator, poet and scholar of Nehiyaw and Trinidadian descent. She is also the author of the bestselling picture book I Sang You Down from the Stars and the graphic novel Surviving the City.

Salini Perera is a Sri Lankan Canadian artist and illustrator based in Toronto.

Made in Korea by Sarah Suk

Made in Korea is a YA novel by Sarah Suk. (Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, Farisa Thang)

Made in Korea is a YA rom-com about two teenagers who are running competing Korean beauty businesses at their high school. Valerie Kwon and her cousin Charlie run a successful student-run enterprise called V&C K-BEAUTY. Wes Jung is the new kid at their school — after seeing the enthusiasm from his new classmates for the K-pop-branded beauty products that his mother gave him to help him make new friends, he comes up with an entrepreneurial idea that could help him pay for the music school he hopes to attend after graduation. Valerie and Wes try and resist their growing attraction to one another, while competing to be the most successful business in school. 

Made in Korea is for ages 12 and up.

Sarah Suk is a YA writer living in Vancouver. Made in Korea is her debut novel. Suk's next book, The Space Between Here and Now, will be published in fall 2023.

Apartment 713 by Kevin Sylvester

Apartment 713 is a middle-grade book by Kevin Sylvester. (HarperCollins)

In the middle-grade novel Apartment 713, a boy named Jake Simmons moves to an apartment building named The Regency, a place that features floors of peeling wallpaper and the barest of hints at its glory. Jake makes a few friends in the building but misses his old home. He quickly discovers that there are secrets hiding within The Regency, secrets that are begging to be explored, especially that off-limit unit known as apartment 713. 

Apartment 713 is for ages 8 to 12.

Kevin Sylvester is a Canadian broadcaster, illustrator and writer of middle-grade books such as the Neil Flambé Capers series and the MiNRS space adventure series. He is also the co-author of the book The Fabulous Zed Watson!written with his child Basil Sylvester.

The Secret of the Jade Bangle by Linda Trinh, illustrated by Clayton Nguyen

The Secret of the Jade Bangle is a book by Linda Trinh, left, and illustrated by Clayton Nguyen, right. (Kalla Photography, Annick Press)

The Secret of the Jade Bangle is a book in the middle-grade series The Nguyen Kids. When their grandmother dies, nine-year-old Anne Nguyen and siblings Jacob and Liz discover that they have new secret powers by way of a beautiful jade bangle. The siblings learn more about themselves and their Vietnamese heritage as they use the power to stand up for what is right. 

The Secret of the Jade Bangle is for ages 9 to 12.

Linda Trinh is a Winnipeg author of Vietnamese heritage. The Nguyen Kids is her first children's book series. 

Clayton Nguyen is a Vietnamese artist born in Ottawa and currently based in Toronto.

LISTEN | Linda Trinh writes the books she wishes she had when she was young:

She didn't have the words or stories to describe how tough it was to be a child immigrant from Vietnam... so she wrote a book to help kids in a similar situations. Linda Trinh, author of The Nguyen Kids, joins Keisha Paul on the Weekend Morning Show.

Phoenix Gets Greater by Marty Wilson-Trudeau, illustrated by Megan Kyak-Monteith, with Phoenix Wilson

Phoenix Gets Greater is a book by Marty Wilson-Trudeau, left, illustrated by Megan Kyak-Monteith, not pictured, with Phoenix Wilson. (Second Story Press)

Phoenix Gets Greater is a tale of love and acceptance. Phoenix is an Anishinaabe child who loves to dance ballet and play with his dolls. When Phoenix is bullied at school and struggles with feeling different, his family helps him better understand his two-spirit identity — and that he is always loved.

Phoenix Gets Greater is for ages 3 to 5.

Marty Wilson-Trudeau is an Anishinaabe Kwe writer originally from M'Chigeeng, Ont. She is a drama teacher at St. Charles College in Sudbury, Ont.

Megan Kyak-Monteith is an Inuk illustrator and painter. She currently lives and works in Halifax.

Phoenix Wilson is an Anishinaabe actor and dancer. He can be seen onscreen in LongmireLetterkenny and Wild Indian.

LISTEN | Why Phoenix Wilson and Marty Wilson-Trudeau wrote a book together:

It's a story of triumph and perseverance. A new book from mother/son duo Phoenix Wilson and Marty Wilson-Trudeau explores Phoenix's two-spirit identity. As a child, it was a secret that everyone seemed to know but him. Producer Bridget Yard spoke to Phoenix and Marty ahead of their recent book launch.

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