As Canada Day draws to a close, I thought I would talk a bit about my favourite Canadian reads and authors. Now, my list could go on forever, so I will narrow it down to twelve picks in children’s and teen. (I may cull together a more complete Canadian fiction authors list soon!).
In no particular order, here goes:
1. Anything by Susin Nielsen. I just cannot recommend her work enough! If you haven’t read Word Nerd, The Reluctant Journal of Henry K. Larsen or Dear George Clooney: Please Marry My Mom, please do.
2. Gordon Korman‘s Losing Joe’s Place. This was a title I mentioned a few times on my old site, and worth (I think!) another mention. Though I read tons of Korman’s books growing up, this is my absolute favourite. I mean, I was in stitches, tears streaming down my face when I first read this.
3. Sarah N. Harvey‘s YA novels. I especially loved Death Benefits and Three Little Words. Terrific novels, great characters, beautifully written. I wish more folks would read her work!
4. Any titles by Vikki VanSickle. This author’s work takes me back to Jean Van Leeuwen Ellen Conford, Judy Blume and other greats- with this rooted Canadian feel. Her Clarissa Delaney series is wonderful, and her last novel (a standalone) Summer Days, Starry Nights is pretty terrific.
5. Kit Pearson‘s entire catalogue of work! The Daring Game, A Handful of Time, the Guests of War trilogy, the list goes on.
6. Kenneth Oppel. Some of my faves include the teen Apprenticeship of Victor Frankenstein series and Half Brother. I must get to The Boundless soon!
8. Ashley Spires and Binky the Space Cat! This is a fun and sweetly silly graphic novel series, featuring an extremely likable and peculiar house cat named Binky– who thinks he must valiantly protect his humans from alien invaders (…which are actually bugs!). Spires has also written and illustrated some great picture book titles, like Small Saul and Larf.
9. L.M. Montgomery’s Jane of Lantern Hill. Now, call it Canadian blasphemy, but as much as I loved Anne Shirley and Gilbert growing up? Jane of Lantern Hill was just the most magical to me.
10. Y.S. Lee‘s excellent The Agency series. This is very well-written, thoughtful and clever historical-mystery teen series. So far, there are three fantastic titles, with a fourth to be published next year.
11. Anything by Alice Kuipers. (Okay, so she is British-born, but lives in Saskatchewan!). Her novels BREAK MY HEART. Intensely. See: Life on the Refrigerator Door, 40 Things I Want to Tell You, The Worst Thing She Ever Did.
12. Don Calame‘s Swim the Fly trilogy. An author, like Korman, that I mentioned a few times on my old site. Bears another mention here! His writing has me in stitches as well! He has a tremendous gift for getting teen boy thoughts and dialogue just SO right. (And okay, like Kuipers, he was not born in Canada, but he lives in British Columbia, so I am counting this!).
(Caveat to this list: Of course, I’ve left a ton of names and titles off this list! Some Canadian authors I simply have not read, and other fab authors like Teresa Toten, C.K. Kelly Martin, Courtney Summers, Susan Juby, Kelley Armstrong and Robin Stevenson just didn’t make it…it’s tough narrowing things down!)