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A list of YA fiction featured in All Lit Up’s Kids’ Litspace.
Showing 1–16 of 43 results
Shortlisted for the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize for Best First Book (Canada and Caribbean region)
A Globe and Mail Top Five First Fiction Title of 2009
Nine-year-old Phineas William Walsh has an encyclopedic knowledge of the natural world. He knows that if you wet a dog’s food with your saliva and he refuses to eat it then he’s top dog, and he knows that dolphins can sleep half a brain at a time. What he doesn’t know, though, is why his grandfather died, or why waste-of-flesh Lyle always picks on him. Or why his parents can’t live together – after all, when other mate-for-life animals have a fight, it’s not like one of them just packshis bags and leaves the country.
To make it to-infinity worse, he’s worried sick about what humans are doing to the planet, and his mother is worried sick about him. But shouldn’t everyone be losing sleep over the fact that a quarter of all Earth’s mammals are on the Red List of Threatened Species? So, when a White’s tree frog ends up in an aquarium in his fourth-grade classroom, it’s the last straw, and he and his best friend, Bird, are spurred to action.
“Carla Gunn’s prose crackleswith energy in this illuminating, heart-gripping novel. A hilarious, brilliant, loveable, exasperating child, Phin and his mesmerizing voice need listening to. The powerful, authentic narrator brings to mind The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, but Gunn’s an original, and draws us deeply into Phin’s many and varied worlds. A compassionate tale balancing light and dark, this is a must-read book.’ —Sheree Fitch, author of Kiss the Joy As It Flies
“I’m thrilled to promote Amphibian as our number one summer reading suggestion to customers of all ages, many of whom have returned to say how much they enjoyed it. It really has all the elements of a classic in the making. In nine-year-old Phineas Walsh, Carla Gunn has created a narrator that is perceptive, hilarious and frustrating, as he grapples with humanity’s seeming indifference to the rapid destruction of our animals and our planet. The issues are urgent, yet the author maintains a light tone throughout that isbreathtakingly delightful, heartfelt and ultimately hopeful. It’s fresh, timely and very hard to find fault with. I was thrilledto read it and shed light on this gem of a book that might otherwise get lost in the shuffle. It’s what independent bookselling is all about.” —Andrew Peck, Singing Pebble Books, Ottawa
A hilarious coming-of-age novel about the pain of young love, family secrets, and sick ferrets
Fifteen-year-old Jacob feels almost on the inside: almost smart, almost funny, almost good-looking, almost worthy of falling in love. His sister is too busy dating guys in Whitesnake jackets to notice, and his best friend is occupied with his own painful pubescent crisis. Jacob’s mother has just started a curious (and rather un-Christian) holy war with the church across the street, while his father has secretly moved into the garage.
Everything changes when Jacob meets Mary. Jacob thinks Mary is the most beautiful girl in the world. If only Mary’s father wasn’t the minister at the enormous rival church. If only she wasn’t dating a youth pastor with pristine white teeth and impeccably trimmed hair. If only Jacob could work up the courage to tell Mary how he feels . . .
As the conflict between the churches escalates, a peeping Tom prowls the neighbourhood, a bearded lady terrorizes unsuspecting Dairy Queen customers, a beautiful young girl entices Jacob into a carnal romp in a car wash, and the church parishioners prepare their annual re-enactment of Operation Desert Storm.
For the Love of Mary is sidesplitting satire with a surprising amount of heart.
All Katrina really wants is a home, a forever home where she can live with her three sisters. She is even willing to give up her Disney-princess dream of living happily ever after for the chance. But giving up her birth parents for the possibility of a predictable life is not an easy choice, no matter what they have done. After five years of fending for herself and her little sisters, six foster homes and an eighteen-hour car ride to their new lives, Katrina lives in constant fear that one of her sisters will blow it and get them sent back to Blackwater Creek. It takes years before she believes her adopted parents will love her no matter what happens.
Finalist for the Saskatchewan Young Readers’ Choice Awards, Snow Willow, 2018
Named to Best Books for Kids & Teens, Spring 2018
Fifteen-year-old Munna lives with his Ma and sisters in a small town in India. Determined to end his family’s misfortunes, he is lured into a dream job in the Middle East, only to be sold. He must work at the Sheikh’s camel farm in the desert and train young boys as jockeys in camel races. The boys, smuggled from poor countries, have lost their families and homes. Munna must starve these boys so that they remain light on the camels’ backs, and he must win the Gold Sword race for the Sheikh. In despair, he realizes that he is trapped and there is no escape . . .
For fans of the Netflix series Heartstopper (based on the bestselling graphic novels by Alice Oseman): a disarming coming-of-age novel about a queer teen music prodigy who discovers pieces of himself in places he never thought to look.
Sixteen-year-old Dale Cardigan is a loner who’s managed to make himself completely invisible at his all-boys high school. He doesn’t fit with his classmates (he gives them funny nicknames in his head), his stepbrother (nobody at school knows they’re related), or even his mother (she never quite sees how gifted a musician Dale might be) – but they don’t fit with him either. And he’s fine with that. To him, high school and home are stages to endure until his real life can finally begin.
After Dale is unable to locate his father’s grave at the cemetery, he starts writing letters addressed to his father, initially to tell him everything he can’t bring himself to tell his mother and soon as a way to keep track of some unexpected developments. Somewhat against his will, he befriends his classmate Rusty, who gets a rare look at Dale’s complex life outside school. Their friendship gets awkward when it seems Dale’s growing attraction to Rusty is doomed to remain one-sided, but it’s to Rusty that Dale turns when he stumbles upon a family secret.
In the Key of Dale is a beguiling, pitch-perfect book about growing up, fitting in, and finding a way out of grief and loneliness toward the melodic light of adulthood.
Ages 14 and up.
Lohans has had a number of successful publications for young adults, and all of her titles have been selected for the prestigious Our Choice list by the Canadian Children’s Book Centre.
"The good writing found in Lohans’ three YA novels is equally present in this collection of ten short stories…" Quill & Quire.
Lemon has three mothers: a biological one she’s never met, her adopted father’s suicidal ex, and Drew, a school principal who hasn’t left the house since she was stabbed by a student. She has one deadbeat dad, one young cancer-riddled protege, and two friends, the school tramp and a depressed poet. Figuring the numbers are against her, Lemon just can’t be bothered trying to fit in. She spurns fashion, television, and even the mall. She reads Mary Wollstonecraft and gets pissed off that Jane Eyre is such a wimp. Meanwhile, the adults in her life are all mired in self-centredness, and the other kids are getting high, beating each other up in parks, and trying to outsex one another. High school is misery, a trial run for an unhappy adulthood of bloated waistlines, bad sex, contradictions, and inequities, and nothing guidance counsellor Blecher can say will convince Lemon otherwise. But making the choice to opt out of sex and violence and cancer and disappointment doesn’t mean that these things don’t find you. It will be up to Lemon if she can survive them with her usual cavalier aplomb.
Lightfinder is a YA fantasy novel about Aisling, a young Cree woman who sets out into the wilderness with her Kokum (grandmother), Aunty and two young men she barely knows. They have to find and rescue her runaway younger brother, Eric. Along the way she learns that the legends of her people might be real and that she has a growing power of her own.The story follows the paths of Aisling and Eric, siblings unwittingly thrust into a millennia old struggle for the future of life on earth. It deals with growing up, love and loss, and the choices life puts in our path. Love and confusion are in store, as are loss and pain. Things are not always what they seem and danger surrounds them at every turn. Will Raven’s mysterious purposes prevail? With darkness closing in how will they find the light to guide them? Will Aisling find Eric in time?
Becky James lives in a small town where nothing ever changes. But there’s something very different about the new student, Gene Newman.
Brilliant, talented, and socially awkward, Gene is like nobody else Becky has ever known. Little does she know just how different he actually is.
Gene confides in Becky that he has a secret. More than that, he is a secret. And, apparently, it’s a secret worth killing for.
Winner of the W.O. Mitchell Book Prize
Winner of the 2012 Relit Award for Best Novel
Longlisted for the Scotiabank Giller Prize
Shortlisted for the Ferro-Grumley Award for LGBT Fiction
Shortlisted for the Alberta Literary Award for Best Fiction
A Globe and Mail Best Novel of 2011
A seventeen-year-old boy, bullied and heartbroken, hangs himself. And although he felt terribly alone, his suicide changes everyone around him.
His parents are devastated. His secret boyfriend’s girlfriend is relieved. His unicorn- and virginity-obsessed classmate, Faraday, is shattered; she wishes she had made friends with him that time she sold him an Iced Cappuccino at Tim Hortons. His English teacher, mid-divorce and mid-menopause, wishes she could remember the dead student’s name, that she could care more about her students than her ex’s new girlfriend. Who happens to be her cousin. The school guidance counsellor, Walter, feels guilty – maybe he should have made an effort when the kid asked for help. Max, the principal, is worried about how it will reflect on the very Catholic school. And Walter, who’s been secretly in a relationship with Max for years, thinks that’s a little callous. He’s also tired of Max’s obsession with some sci-fi show on TV. And Max wishes Walter would lose some weight and remember to use a coaster.
And then Max meets a drag queen named Crepe Suzette. And everything changes.
Monoceros is a masterpiece of the tragicomic; by exploring the effects of a suicide on characters outside the immediate circle, Mayr offers a dazzlingly original look at the ripple effects – both poignant and funny – of a tragedy. A tender, bold work.