Thousands of Canadian-authored kids and YA books

On Our Radar

tagged: on our radar

In this series, we highlight new and recent books with buzz. 


The Greatest Hits of Wanda Jaynes, by Bridget Canning (Fiction)

Longlisted for the International Dublin Literary Award for 2019: 

"Hurling a can of coconut milk at a gunman in a grocery store, thrusts Wanda Jaynes into the media spotlight. Her world spirals out of control as her job is made redundant, her love life gets frayed and the tension of being a heroine changes everything. How do you cope when the world is watching your every move?" (Librarian's comments)


Refuse: CanLit in Ruins, edited by Hannah McGregor, Julie Rak, and Erin Wunker (Nonfiction)

Reviewed by Alex Good in the Toronto Star: 

"Whether you agree or disagree, Refuse is an important collection of immediate responses to this fracturing. Important because, whether it’s being taught in the classroom or making news headlines, the debate over these matters is now so loud it’s no longer possible to ignore the calls for change."


To Greet Yourself Arriving, by Michael Fraser (Poetry)

Reviewed by Lori Fox in Arc Poetry:

"Michael Fraser’s latest collection, To Greet Yourself Arriving, is the only book of poetry I’ve ever read with a glossary. That Fraser felt he needed one in a collection whose central theme is famous Black men and women could be said to be, in part, an excellent reason for writing such a book. With a rare sort of graceful simplicity, the poet takes readers boldly by the wrist and thrusts them into a room full of voices―a party where inventor Elijah McCoy is having a cocktail with astronomer Neil de Grasse Tyson, ex-president Barack Obama listens to boxing heavyweight champion Jack Johnson recount a famous bout and Howlin’ Wolf smokes a spliff while Maya Angelou reads aloud to entertain the crowd."


Dodger Boy, by Sara Ellis (Middle-Grade)

Interviewed in Open Book:

"Characters taking on a life of their own is a total illusion but it’s a useful illusion that feels completely convincing in the moment. Example:  In the early stages of Dodger Boy whenever I told anybody the basic premise (U.S. draft dodger comes to stay with Charlotte’s family in Vancouver in 1970) they would inevitably predict that Charlotte would get a crush on the dodger. So I tried to make that happen. But whenever I got into that territory the whole thing went slack and Charlotte just gave me a withering look and refused to play. When I finally figured out what Tom Ed’s effect on Charlotte really was she gave a big sigh of relief and looked up at me and said, 'Well. Duh. Finally.'


Angus All Aglow, by Heather Smith and Alice Carter (Picture Book)

Reviewed by Danielle Wing in CM Magazine:

"Angus All Aglow is a heartwarming story that emphasizes the individuality and creativity that each child brings to the world and the challenges children face as they try to communicate their uniqueness to others. Readers will find opportunities to see themselves and others in this story, and the message of acceptance will ring true for many of them. Angus All Aglow will be a welcome addition to libraries and classrooms where stories with strong themes of individuality, friendship and acceptance are needed."

November 19, 2018

Books mentioned in this post


The Greatest Hits of Wanda Jaynes

by Bridget Canning
edition: eBook
also available: Paperback
tagged: literary

Wanda Jaynes is about to lose her job amidst a mountain of bills, and she suspects her musician boyfriend might be romantically interested in his friend, Trish. But Wanda’s life changes radically on a routine trip to the grocery store when a gunman enters the supermarket and opens fire.

The Greatest Hits of Wanda Jaynes is the highly anticipated d …



CanLit in Ruins

edited by Erin Wunker; Hannah McGgregor & Julie Rak
edition: eBook
also available: Paperback
tagged: canadian, essays

CanLit–the commonly used short form for English Canadian Literature as a cultural formation and industry—has been at the heart of several recent public controversies. Why? Because CanLit is breaking open to reveal the accepted injustices at its heart. It is imperative that these public controversies and the issues that sparked them be subject t …


Dodger Boy

by Sarah Ellis
edition: Hardcover
also available: eBook
  • age: 10 to 14
  • Grade: 5 to 9
tagged: adolescence, friendship, lgbt

From award-winning author Sarah Ellis comes the story of an American draft dodger who turns up to stay with thirteen-year-old Charlotte and her family.

In 1970 Vancouver, thirteen-year-old Charlotte and her best friend, Dawn, are keen to avoid the pitfalls of adolescence. Couldn’t they just skip teenhood altogether, along with its annoying behavio …


Angus All Aglow

by Heather Smith, illustrated by Alice Carter
edition: Hardcover
also available: eBook Audiobook
  • age: 3 to 5
  • Grade: p to k
tagged: self-esteem & self-reliance, friendship, school & education

Angus loves sparkly things, so much so that he can hear them.

To Angus, shiny objects not only look beautiful; they also crackle, buzz and go whiz-bang-POP! His unique ability is lost, however, when Angus wears his grandma's beaded necklace to school, and his classmates tease him for his atypical choice. Saddened by their laughter, Angus stops heari …

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