During this month, the first of the new year, we're taking a special look at beginnings, a focus that includes the books that help young people get their start for a lifetime of loving books and reading. Suzanne Sutherland is the author of a new middle-grade novel, Something Wiki, and also a new YA novel, When We Were Good.
In this guest list, she tries to break down what these terms actually mean, how authors operate within these genres (and beyond them!), recommending some great books in the process.
To the uninitiated, the labels so casually thrown around by those of us with a professional interest in reading and writing for kids and teens—middle grade! young adult! new adult?—can, at times, get a little bit murky. Defining a novel's ideal readership and the category it falls into isn't always as simple as looking at the age of its characters or of its author. Even trickier: we live in a country with a market that allows its authors the flexibility and freedom to write the books they want to, happily switching storytelling modes and genres as well as age groups at will.
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!!!
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.
Brandee Bublé (younger sister of the singing Michael) releases her f …
Canadian children's literature is avowedly world-class, and the selection this season is up to the usual standard. Our Fall Preview offers hours and hours of bedtime reading for lit-lovers of all ages. And don't miss the rest of our Fall Previews: Fiction, Non-Fiction and Poetry.
With Good Morning, Canada (September), Andrea Lynn Beck follows up her celebrated Goodnight, Canada, as children across the country welcome a brand new day. You probably know and love Helaine Becker and Werner Zimmerman's A Porcupine in a Pine Tree, so get ready for their latest, Dashing Through the Snow: A Canadian Jingle Bells (October), which begins with Sasquatch upsetting Santa's sleigh and everyone getting the wrong presents. Sangeeta Bhadra's debut is Sam's Pet Temper (September), an amusing story about a boy who eventually learns to control his troublesome "pet," illustrated by Marian Arbona. In Winter Moon Song (August), award-winning writer Martha Brooks tells her own version of the "Rabbit in the Moon" story, which is shared by many cultures, her tender tale complemented by Leticia Ruifernández's illustrations.