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Most Anticipated: Our Books for Young Readers Preview

Looking forward to some of the books for young readers (and readers of all ages) that we're going to be falling in love with in the first half of 2021.

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Picture Books

Seeing Stars (April), by Denise Adams, is a quirky, fun book exploring the secret underwater life of starfish, in the style of The Secret Life of Squirrels. Told half in French and half in English, Pierre and Paul: Dragon (April), by Caroline Adderson and Alice Carter, the second book in the Pierre & Paul series, uses simple phrases and clues in the illustrations to make the story accessible to readers in both languages. The Covid-19 pandemic, which seems to be taking some time to go away, has meant big changes for one little girl’s family in When Mom’s Away, (April), by Layla Ahmad and Farida Zaman. Outside, You Notice (April), by Erin Alladin, illustrated by Andrea Blinick, is a lyrical celebration of the outdoors pairing childlike observation with facts about the natural world. Maya’s imagination sets the stage for her friends to act out her feminist play. Can she make room in her queendom for the will of the people? Maya's Big Scene (February), by Isabelle Arsenault, is a funny picture book about leadership and fair play for fans of King Baby and Olivia. And a young boy discovers strang …

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Most Anticipated: Our 2021 Spring Poetry Preview

Our Spring Preview continues with an amazing selection of new and forthcoming poetry.

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The Montreal Prize Anthology 2020 (April), by Jordan Abel, Kaveh Akbar and Wendy Cope, explodes with talent, combining radiant vision with striking invention in form. Andrea Actis's Grey All Over (April) not only celebrates a rare, close, complicated father-daughter bond, it also boldly expands the empathetic and critical capacities of poetry itself. Make the World New (April) brings together in a single volume some of the highlights of work by Lillian Allen, one of the leading creative Black feminist voices in Canada, and is the first book of her poems to be published in over 20 years. Selina Boan’s debut poetry collection, Undoing Hours (March), considers the various ways we undo, inherit, reclaim and (re)learn. And Shane Book, the author of the acclaimed 2014 collection Congotronic, returns with All Black Everything (June), a collection of urgent, forceful, and energetic new poems.

Set in a small-town, sub-Arctic dive bar, Tara Borin’s debut collection The …

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Most Anticipated: Our 2021 Spring Fiction Preview

Our Spring Preview begins with the fiction you're going to be falling in love with in 2021.

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Caught between cultures and identities, immigrant families from a Bengali neighbourhood in Toronto strive to navigate their home, relationships, and happiness in Silmy Abdullah’s debut, Home of the Floating Lily (June). Pyromaniacs, vigilantes, mysterious phenomena, prehistoric beasts, cryptid species, grave robbers and ghosts... the stories of Nathan Adler's Ghost Lake (December) feature a cast of interrelated characters and their brushes with the supernatural, creatures of Ojibwe cosmology, the Spirit World, and with monsters, both human and otherwise. Four writers and four different perspectives on the problematic notion of purity in Disintegration in Four Parts (June), a collection of novellas by Jean-Marc Ah-Sen, Emily Anglin, Devon Code, and Lee Henderson. And Sergeant Roxanne Calloway of the RCMP finds herself investigating the death of the Artistic Director of a prairie theatre company about to put on Macbeth (of course!) in And Then is Heart No More (April), by Raye Anderson.

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Most Anticipated: Spring 2020 Books for Young Readers Preview

We're excited to be looking ahead to books for young readers, including picture books and middle grade and YA titles.

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Picture Books

Told half in French and half in English, with simple phrasing and visual cues in the illustrations making the story easy for early readers to decode in both languages, Pierre & Paul: Avalanche! (March), by Caroline Adderson and illustrated by Alice Carter, is an engaging story of friendship and imagination. A girl and her neighbour grow a community from their garden in What Grew in Larry's Garden (April), by Laura Alary, illustrated by Kass Reich. Extraordinary things are happening behind the windows of the city in Marion Arbona's Window (March), an interactive, one-of-a-kind wordless picture book. And Christine Baldacchino follows up the acclaimed Morris Micklewhite and the Tangerine Dress with Violet Shrink (March), illustrated by Carmen Mok, about a young girl who navigates social anxiety at family gatherings and works with her father to find a solution.

Pairing creative rhyming similes with cut-paper collage art, …

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Most Anticipated: Our Spring 2019 Fiction Preview

New year, new books! The first half of 2019 promises glorious literary delights, and we begin our Spring Preview with a spotlight on fiction. 

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André Alexis's latest is Days By Moonlight (February), "a journey through an underworld that looks like southern Ontario, a journey taken during the 'hour of the wolf,' that time of day when the sun is setting and the traveller can't tell the difference between dog and wolf, a time when the world and the imagination won't stay in their own lanes." Watcher in the Woods (February) is the latest thriller in Kelley Armstrong’s City of the Lost series. Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale gets adapted again, this time into a graphic novel (March) with illustrations by Renée Nault. A spellbinding, down-the-rabbit-hole tale about loneliness and belonging, creativity and agency, female friendship and desire, Bunny (June) is Mona Awad's second book after her acclaimed 13 Ways of Looking at a Fat Girl. Bestselling and award-winning author Todd Babiak returns with The Empress of Idaho (April), an immersive and affecting story about a teenager’s fascination with an enigmatic new woman in town whose past is catching up with her.

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Most Anticipated: Our 2018 Spring Books for Young Readers Preview

The final installment of our spring preview has finally arrived, with amazing picture books, early-readers and middle grade, and YA titles that will delight readers of all ages.

 

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Picture Books

Little Brothers and Sisters (April), by Monica Arnaldo, starts with four pairs of siblings in and around an apartment complex, each expressing through play and daily life the pleasures and pitfalls of living with and playing with siblings. In Counting on Katherine (June), Helaine Becker tells the bold story of Katherine Johnson, an African-American mathematician who worked for NASA during the space race and who was depicted in the film Hidden Figures, with illustartions by Dow Phumiruk. And Lana Button captures the apprehensions of a young student facing a substitute teacher for the first time in My Teacher's Not Here! (April), illustrated by Christine Battuz.

Award-winner Jan L. Coates' A Halifax Time Travelling Tune (June), with illustrations by Marijke Simons, is a rollicking, lyrical journey through 1950s’ Halifax. In Swimming With Seals (April), by Mag …

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Most Anticipated: Our 2018 Spring Poetry Preview

Our Spring Preview continues with poetry, exciting debuts, new books by award-winners, and books by your favourites. 

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David Alexander’s After the Hatching Oven (April) explores chickens: their evolution as a domesticated species; their place in history, pop culture and industrial agriculture; their exploitation and their liberation. Cameron Anstee’s Book of Annotations (April) deploys a number of minimalist strategies to question how small a poem can be made, and how can a small poem be made expansive. Joelle Barron’s debut is Ritual Lights (March), a meditation on trauma and identity, deeply vulnerable and reserved, funny and full of rage. Jonathan Bennett’s latest collection of poetry is Happinesswise (April), poems that interrogate what we tell ourselves about happiness, about its opposite, and about ourselves in the process. And False Spring (May), by Darren Bifford, is a collection of poems with great weight and energy, largely concerned with various forms of collapse and cultural disintegration.

E.D. Blodgett, two-time winner of the …

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Most Anticipated: Our 2018 Spring Fiction Preview

It's here, it's here! Our preview of the forthcoming books we can't wait to be reading, starting with fiction. Here are the books that will be rocking CanLit in the first half of 2018. 

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In Rona Altrows’ At This Juncture (April), a woman plots to save Canada Post by inspiring people to start writing and mailing letters again. Bestselling nonfiction writer Katherine Ashenburg turns her hand to fiction with Sofie and Cecilia (March), a story of women’s friendship. Inspired by a true story, award-winner Sharon Bala’s first novel is The Boat People (January), which explores what it means to leave behind everything you have ever known to seek out a better life in a strange land. In Jackie Bateman’s Straight Circles (March), the final chapter of The Lizzy Trilogy, domestic satire meets gripping suspense. Andrew Batterhill’s debut, Pillow, was nominated for numerous prizes, the Scotiabank Giller among them, and he follows it up with Marry, Bang, Kill (March), a revisionist crime thriller hybrid of literary and genre fiction for fans of Elmore Leonard and Patrick deWitt. 

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Most Anticipated: Our Spring 2017 Books for Young People Preview

All the best books this spring for young readers...and young-at-heart readers too. 

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Illustrated Books

The wonder and beauty of nature in Newfoundland and Labrador come to life in The Puffin Patrol (May), by Dawn Baker. Helene Becker and Mark Hoffman celebrate reading as an adventure that can take you anywhere in You Can Read (February). Jo-Ellen Bogart and Lori Joy Smith collaborate on Count Your Chickens (February), “a cute-as-a-button picture book” featuring dozens of chickens as they set out for the county fair. In Bill Bowerbird and the Unbreakable Beak Ache (March), by Tyler Clark Burke, a bird with a pain in his mouth appeals to his community to help get him through tough times. And an unlikely friendship blooms as an old man and a young boy create their own sunshine underneath a rainy-day umbrella in Under the Umbrella (March), by Catherine Buquet, Marion Arbona, and translated by Erin Woods. 

The Land Behind the Wall (May), by Veronika Martenova Charles, depicts a young immigrant’s journey to Halifax from behind the Iron Curtain. Kell …

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Most Anticipated: Our Spring 2017 Non-Fiction Preview

History, memoir, cookbooks, essays on food culture, politics, plus books on birds, baseball, royal babies and bike rides. And that's just some of what's on offer by CanLit for non-fiction during the first half of 2017. Read on! 

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Celebrated restauranteur Jenn Agg tells her story of life in the restaurant industry in I Hear She’s a Real Bitch (April). In Michelle Alfano’s intimate memoir, The Unfinished Dollhouse (May), Alfano recounts her experience as the mother of a transgender child. Marianne Apostolides' memoir about abortion, Deep Salt Water (March), includes a series of collages by visual artist Catherine Mellinger. In My Decade at Old Sun, My Lifetime of Hell (out now), Arthur Bear Chief depicts the punishment, cruelty, and injustice that he endured as a residential school student and then later relived in the traumatic process of retelling his story in connection with a complicated claims procedure. And You Can Have a Dog When I’m Dead (February), by Hamilton Spectator columnist Paul Benedetti, puts on a humorous spin in the realities of modern family life. 

Book Cover Sugar Ride

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Most Anticipated: Our Spring 2016 Children's Book Preview

Book Cover Sky Pig

Amazing books are arriving this spring for young readers of all ages (and the not-so-young readers, too). Gorgeous picture books, middle-grade books to get kids hooked on reading, and hard-hitting YA titles are collected here. It's going to be a marvellous season. 

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Picture Books

Victoria Allenby and Tara Anderson follow up their award-winning Nat the Cat Can Sleep Like That with the delightful rhyming romp, Rhino Rumpus (June). Inuit artist Germaine Arnaktauyok's illustrations bring creatures from her culture's myths to life in Those That Cause Fear (June), written by Neil Christopher. This spring brings two new books in the "Lucy Tries Sports" series, by Lisa Bowes and illustrated by James Hearne: Lucy Tries Short Track (January) and Lucy Tries Soccer (April). Willow’s Smile (March), by Lana Button and Tania Howells, is Willow's third adventure, and this time she's navigating the perils of picture day and achieving a perfect smile. Award winners Jan Coates and Suzanne Del Rizzo team up for Sky Pig (April), which is about two friends conspiring to make pigs fly, against all odds. And Geneviève Côte's third Mr. King book is Mr. King’s Machine (April), in which the foolhardy kitty's friends teach him another lesson about environmentalism. 

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Most Anticipated: Our Spring 2016 Poetry Preview

Book Cover Injun

Spring is all about the daffodils, and rain showers, and looking forward to April—otherwise known as National Poetry Month! Here are some poetry titles that we're really excited about. 

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Injun (May), by the award-winning Jordan Abel, composed of text found in western novels published between 1840 and 1950, creates a long poem about race, racism, and the representation of Indigenous peoples. Tough poems for tough times: Martial Music, George Amabile's eleventh book, explores the relationships between civilization, technology, empire and human violence, theatres of war, the collateral damage of military occupation, the machinations of power politics, oil spills, destruction of the environment, PTSD, and other characteristics of what we call “world events.” Chewing Water (April), by Nelson Ball, represents a landmark event in a six-decade writing career. And House of Mystery (June), by Courtney Bates-Hardy, is a collection of poems about monsters, mothers, witches and mermaids that will tear apart our conceptions of fairy tales.

Slick Reckoning

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