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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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Most Anticipated: Our Spring 2016 Fiction Preview

Book Cover Tears in the Grass

"Really?" some sad cynic somewhere might be saying as he contemplates just how many books appear on our Most Anticipated lists. "How can anybody possibly be that excited about so many books?" To which we'd reply, "But have you met the people behind 49th Shelf? Have you met our community members, the most avid supporters of Canadian literature?" If you have, you'll know that CanLit enthusiasm, as ever, abounds, and we're so pleased to be part of the movement. So here are some  of the best books you're going to be reading this spring. 

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In Cathy Ace's latest Cait Morgan book, The Corpse With the Garnet Face (April), the foodie sleuth accompanies her husband to Amsterdam to solve a mystery in his family tree. Tears in the Grass (March), by Lynda A. Archer, is set in Saskatchewan and it confronts a history of trauma, racism, love, and cultural survival. There's lots of buzz already for Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Fat Girl (February), by Mona Awad, which is a novel that hilariously skewers our body-obsessed culture. The latest by Todd Babiak is Son of France (March), the sequel to Come BarbariansThe Pharos Gate: Griffin and Sabine’s Missing Correspondence (March), by Nick Bantock, is the final volume in a love story that’s been celebrated by readers for 25 …

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Most Anticipated: Spring 2015 Poetry Preview

Best Canadian Poetry 2014

Okay, it's January, and it's freezing (at least where I am), but we're looking ahead and we're calling it spring. All month long, we've been highlighting the books we're excited about that are coming out this spring: see our kids' books, fiction and non-fiction previews so far. Last, and far from least, is our poetry list, which gives us so much to look forward to. 

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It's a new year, but let's not forget the old one yet. The Best Canadian Poetry in English 2014, edited by Molly Peacock and Sonnet L'Abbé, is out now, and it's beautiful. Un/inhabited (January), by Jordan Abel, who won last year's Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize for The Place of Scraps, questions the use of politically or racially charged language in 91 pulp western novels found on Project GutenbergThe Tongues of Earth (April) brings together the best of Mark Abley's poems from the 1980s to the present and includes about 20 new poems. In Madhur Anand's debut collection, A New Index for Predicting Catastrophes (April), the poet illuminates and celebrates the intersection of poetry and science and the ways they can mediate our discovery of the world and our place in it. And Limbinal (April) is a new collection by Oana Avasilichioaei, where "linguistic limbs fold and migrate, a distant border politi …

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Most Anticipated: 2015 Kids' Books Spring Preview

January is a fine time for looking ahead, and for scoping out the scene on the forthcoming reading year. Spoiler: it's going to be a good one. Throughout the month, we'll be sharing titles of books you're going to be falling in love with, beginning with kids' books.

On your marks; get set; GO!!!

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Picture Books

Giraffe Meets Bird

Hooray for us! We've got a new picture book from Caroline Adderson, Eat, Leo! Eat! (April), illustrated by Josée Bisaillon, about a clever Nonna who convinces her grandson to eat his lunch using the power of story (and the power of pasta). In Ready, Set, Kindergarten (February), by Paula Ayer and Danielle Arbour, a young girl readies herself for the big adventure that is school. Award-winners Carolyn Beck and Francois Thisdale team up for That Squeak (May), the story of a young boy grieving the death of a friend. In Giraffe Meets Bird (May), Rebecca Bender shares the origin story of the animal friends whose adventures have been captured in her two previous acclaimed books. 

Book Cover King of Keji

Brandee Bublé (younger sister of the singing Michael) releases her f …

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