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Teaching with Canadian Books

10 new Canadian books for a reading road trip!

Take a reading road trip to visit places and meet people across Canada through books. As you do, I hope you’ll see how the places we live inspire our stories, and the stories we tell tie us together.


Welcome to Top Grade: CanLit for the Classroom, a blog and preview video series that features new releases from Canadian book publishers ideal for use in K-12 classrooms and school library collections. Throughout the year, we dive into new titles, highlighting relevant curriculum links and themes.


Written by secondary school teacher Spencer Miller

Road trips are one of my favourite summertime activities. This summer I took my biggest road trip yet, driving all the way from Montreal to Calgary. As I drove, I soaked in all the beauty of craggy mountains, mighty waterfalls and giant prairie skies.

I also made stops along the way to visit new cities, tour museums, peruse book stores and try new foods. After my trip, I felt a deeper appreciation for the lands we live on and the people who call this place home.

I invite you to take a reading road trip to visit places and meet people across Canada through books. As you do, I hope you’ll see how the places we live inspire our stories, and the stories we tell tie us together.

Here are 10 new Canadian books to check out on your reading road trip!



Gunner’s Big Day on Frobisher Bay (ages 3-8) follows a friendly dog named Gunner on a fishing trip with his family. Young readers can explore the iconic landscape of Iqaluit through Gunner’s eyes. This story encourages readers to get out and explore the lands they live on (and bring along a furry friend!)


Up Home (ages 4-8), now available in a fifteenth-anniversary edition, is an award winning picture book celebrating North Preston, Nova Scotia. Happy childhood memories from poet Shauntay Grant capture the warmth of one of Canada’s historical Black communities. This book teaches young readers that the communities we live in have deep roots and important histories.


In The Journal of Anxious Izzy Parker (ages 6-8), eight-year-old Izzy and her mom move across the country to Prince Edward Island. In her honest and awkward journal, Izzy writes about her anxiety and how she is learning to make friends. This story reflects how our homes and communities help us grow.


Salma Makes a Home (ages 6-9) is the first book in a new chapter book series by Danny Ramadan. After leaving their home in Syria, Salma’s family is learning how to navigate life in their new home in Vancouver. Salma approaches every challenge with creativity and charm. Her experiences teach young readers how we can create welcoming communities for all.


The Stars (ages 7-10) is a moving story about our love and passions. Set in the multicultural city of Montréal, two young aspiring astronomers meet in the park and bond over their shared love of space. The Stars shows how the places we live  and the people we meet inspire our dreams and passions.



The Rainbow, the Midwife & the Birds (ages 8-12) is a collection of four Dene stories told by Raymond Yakeleya, inspired by his experiences growing up and living in the Northwest Territories. This book teaches young readers how the stories we share shape our communities and ourselves. Young readers can also access an animated film and video game through QR codes in the book.



Sixties Girl (ages 8-12) is a middle-grade novel about growing up in a changing world. As a grandmother recalls her childhood experiences to her grandson, readers are transported back to experience what growing up in Winnipeg looked like in the 1960s. Young readers will learn how our cities are full of history and always changing.



Bernice and the Georgian Bay Gold (ages 9-12) captures all the wonder of a classic children’s adventure story. Inspired by Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island and her grandmother’s story of their Métis family, young Bernice sets out to discover a treasure hidden near Georgian Bay. This adventure story reflects the wonder and mystery of the lands we live on.



Lore Isle (ages 10-14) is middle-grade fantasy that follows a young boy as he wanders into a magical land of mummers, sprites, fairies, and murderous pitcher plants in an attempt to save his family home in Newfoundland. This fantastical tale reveals that there is magic all around us.



Hopeless in Hope (ages 12-18) is a compelling story of family and forgiveness. Heartbreaking and humorous, the story follows young Eva Brown as she grows up in the small town of Hope and spends time living in a group home. This story reminds young readers that the places we live hold valuable lessons to learn.



Spencer Miller is a teacher, writer, reader, and fan of the Toronto Raptors. He is currently pursuing graduate studies at the University of Calgary (Treaty 7). You can follow more of Spencer’s passion for books on Instagram @YACanadaBooks.