Books, Canada

Canada Day

Canada Day

Originally published June 2024

As we commemorate Canada Day and the anniversary of Confederation, it’s the perfect time to delve into some outstanding books inspired by the colourful Canadian landscape. To mark the occasion, we’ve curated a collection of new and upcoming books that take place at different locations across the country. Canada Day is also a great opportunity to highlight the wide number of Canadian publishers, so be sure to check out the ones on this list and show your support for the many, many others as well!

Adventures in Desolation Sound
By Grant Lawrence
Illustrated by Ginger Ngo
Harbour Publishing (September 2024)
Grade Level: K–2

Inspired by musician and CBC host Grant Lawrence’s bestselling memoir, Adventures in Solitude, this action-packed picture book is sure to give young readers a greater appreciation for the geography of rural British Columbia. Grant and his sister Heather are spending their summer in Desolation Sound, a remote area at the northern end of BC’s Sunshine Coast. The cabin where Grant’s family is staying is so rustic it doesn’t even have a toilet inside, and at first Grant wishes he was back in the city. But as time goes on, he and Heather begin to discover the magic of the Sound and just how many fun things there are to do!

Age 16
By Rosena Fung
Annick Press (May 2024)
Grade Level: 7–12

This coming of age graphic novel follows three generations of women across Guangdong, Hong Kong, and Toronto. At the tender age of 16, each one faces a pivotal moment in her life—the consequences of which are felt by the generations to come. And when all three family members find themselves living under the same roof, long-suppressed secrets begin to surface. Rosena Fung’s poignant story showcases how mothers and daughters can both pass down and rebel against the challenges and insecurities faced by women in their time—until someone chooses to change.

The ANNEthology: A Collection of Kindred Spirits
Edited by Judith Graves and Robin Sutherland
Acorn Press (May 2024)
Grade Level: 8–12

Inspired by the iconic Anne of Green Gables series, this anthology contains stories by 10 of Canada’s top YA fiction writers, each one setting the loveable red-haired orphan on a new adventure. Featuring robots and ghosts, steampunk and dystopia settings and more, plus a diverse cast of characters, there are plenty of new Annes to be discovered among its pages. (Fun fact: the ANNEthology was created to mark both the 150th anniversary of L.M. Montgomery’s birth, and also the 30th anniversary of Acorn Press, which is Prince Edward Island’s longest-running traditional publishing house!)

Blue to the Sky
By Sylvia McNicoll
DCB Young Readers (April 2024)
Grade Level: 3–7

Blue to the Sky is a story about learning to be courageous, especially while living with life-threatening allergies. After years of homeschooling, Ella is starting sixth grade and doesn’t want to be known as the kid who is allergic to everything. Instead, she wants to become the girl who’s brave enough to face her fears—especially her fear of public speaking. An opportunity arises when her best friend signs up to participate in a CN Tower climb for charity, and Ella decides to join her. If she can conquer all 1,776 steps to reach the top of the tower, surely she can overcome her stage fright too!

Closer to Far Away
By Kristin Butcher
Red Deer Press (November 2024)
Grade Level: 4–7

Set in Whitaker, Saskatchewan, during the early 1920s, this tender historical novel follows 13-year-old Lucy May Barber as she struggles to keep her family together in the wake of her mother’s sudden death. That’s easier said than done, as Lucy faces one setback after the next, all while trying to cope with her own grief. When yet another tragedy strikes, will Lucy be able to find the strength to go on?


The Day Dancer Flew
By Tiffany Stone
Illustrated by Brittany Lane
Orca Book Publishers (May 2024)
Grade Level: K–3

A little girl adores riding her horse Dancer because it makes her feel like she’s flying! However, when the town floods and everyone else manages to escape, Dancer is left stranded in his stable. Worried about her beloved horse, the girl enlists help from some of the people in her community, including a horse expert and a helicopter pilot. Together, they come up with a plan that just might work to rescue Dancer. Inspired by real events that took place in 2021 during the flooding near Spences Bridge, British Columbia, this powerful picture book shows how a community can come together to save both people and animals.

Jennie Butchart: Gardener of Dreams
By Haley Healey
Illustrated by Kimiko Fraser
Heritage House (May 2024)
Grade Level: K–2

This beautifully illustrated book introduces young readers to the origins of the world-famous Butchart Gardens in Brentwood Bay, British Columbia. Designated a National Historic Site, this 120-year-old display garden features 900 different plants across 55 acres, and it all started thanks to one woman: Jennie Butchart. Learn more about her incredible story through this newest book in Heritage House’s Trailblazing Canadians series.

Lobster’s Vacation
By Michelle Robinson
Illustrated by Paul G. Hammond
Nimbus Publishing (June 2024)
Grade Level: K–2

Told through a quirky collection of rhymes, this colourful picture book takes readers on a journey across Nova Scotia as they follow along with one sightseeing lobster who’s playing out his tourist fantasy. Lobster’s Vacation contains nostalgic illustrations reminiscent of mid-century tourist brochures, making it a unique and delightful read.  

Luna and the Heart of the Forest
By Adam Karlin
Breakwater Books (March 2024)
Grade Level: 4–7

Middle grade readers are sure to fall in love this dark fantasy novel that takes place in the Canadian Atlantic. While visiting Newfoundland with her father, 11-year-old Luna finds her way into a magical forest brimming with monsters, ghosts, and characters from folklore. There, she accidentally unleashes a darkness that engulfs her dad, and must embark on a quest to save him and, ultimately, heal the island of Newfoundland itself.

The Stones of Burren Bay
By Emily De Angelis
Latitude 46 (May 2024)
Grade Level: 8–12

In this captivating story set against the backdrop of Manitoulin Island, Ontario, 15-year-old Norie tries to move on after losing her father in a car accident that also destroyed her one prized possession: her great-great-grandmother’s antique artist’s box from Ireland. Moving to the fictional community of Burren Bay to stay with a family friend who runs the local museum, Norie learns about the historic practice of Irish Celtic spiritualism. After an encounter with an ancient spirit, Norie begins a journey of healing and self-discovery as she starts to grapple with her grief while slowly rediscovering her passion for art.