Recreational Reading for Your Kids: A Spring Preview

Spring is almost here and that means two things: new books hitting the shelves, and March Break comes around as a reminder of what kids can be like at home with nothing to do (summer holidays are not that far off!).We’ve combined these two things to create a spring preview of upcoming books for young people (there’s also quite a few you might want to add to your own TBR pile).


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Spring is almost here and that means two things: new books hitting the shelves, and March Break comes around as a reminder of what kids can be like at home with nothing to do (summer holidays are not that far off!).We’ve combined these two things to create a spring preview of upcoming books for young people (there’s also quite a few you might want to add to your own TBR pile). * * *

Drama & Fiction for Middle Readers

Sultans of the Street by Anusree Roy
Playwrights Canada Press
Ages 8 – 16 ~ Coming in April
The action of this play for young adults takes place on the streets of Calcutta. Brothers Prakash and Ojha spend most of their time flying kites instead of going school. When Ojha gets caught stealing, the brothers are blackmailed into begging for money alongside two young orphans. With nothing in common the kids don’t get a long at first but they soon see the possibilities for escaping their blackmailer by working together.
by Ellen Close & Braden Griffiths
Playwrights Canada Press
Ages 9 – 12 ~ Coming in April
In this dramatic adaptation of Carla Gunn’s novel, Amphibian, we meet nine-year-old Phin who’s really worried that humans are ruining the environment. On top of that his parents have just gotten divorced and he’s dealing with a bully at school. When his class gets a white tree frog as a pet, Phin decides he can’t take it anymore. It’s time for action.
Last Chance Island by Norma Charles
Ronsdale Press
Ages 10 + ~ Coming in March
The lives of three very different kids intertwine on Last Chance Island, a fictional remote island set off the coast of Ireland. Two young children, Kalu and his cousin Aisha, escape from their village in Africa after it is destroyed by rebel soldiers. They make their way to the coast where they are able to find work on a fishing boat bound for Britain. Spike, a Canadian teenager whose father has just died, is sent to live on the island with a distant relative. When these three kids meet their lives are changed forever.

Contemporary Fiction for Teens

Odd One Out by Betty Jane Hegerat
Oolichan Books
Ages 12 – 16 ~ Coming in March
Fifteen-year-old Rufus Peters is living the fairly typical Canadian teenage lifestyle: he does okay at school, his parents are boring but not too harsh, and his siblings are annoying. The worst thing he has to deal with is the fact that his twin sister outshines him in every way so he feels rather unexceptional. However, everything changes for Roof and his family when Amelia shows up.
Thistledown Press
Ages 13 + ~ Coming in April
Sebastian has been in and out of foster homes for much of his life. Numb to his horrible memories and with poor judgment of how to fit in, he finds himself in trouble after a failed break and enter. When he is moved to his eighth foster home while he awaits trial, he begins to bond with his new caregiver. But it’s not so easy for Sebastian to breakaway from old habits when Donny, a wealthy drug dealer, begins manipulating him and Seb so badly wants his approval.
Small Displays of Chaos by Breanna Ficher
Coteau Books
Ages 14 + ~ Coming in April
Amid the anticipation and excitement of senior year, seventeen-year-old Rayanne is struggling with Anorexia. It seems her new friend, Ed—the unyielding voice in her head that demands she be as skinny as possible—is impossible to ignore.

Historical Fiction for Teens

Door Into Faerie by Edward Willett
Coteau Books ~ Shards of Excalibur series
Ages 13 + ~ Coming in May
In a race to find the final resting place for Excalibur, the protagonists of the series must get there before their enemies to defeat Merlin forever. Once the sword is whole again, the long-closed door into Faerie will open.
Convictions by Judith Silverthorne
Coteau Books
Ages 14 + ~ Coming in April
In 1842 Jennie Lawrence finds herself on one of the few women-only convict ships bound for Australia after being found guilty of stealing. The conditions of the ship are repellent – from bed bugs to physical abuse – with no end in sight. However, on the long journey Jennie begins to bond with her fellow convicts, realizing they are all there because of desperate circumstances back home. It’s this bond that gives them the confidence to band together to improve their circumstances.
Taking a Chance on Love by Mary Razzell
Ronsdale Press
Ages 14 + ~ Coming in March
Seventeen-year-old Meg is living in an isolated village on the Sunshine Coast of BC during WWII. A summer job at the local guesthouse opens up her world beyond her single friend and the daily highlight that is the arrival of mail and supplies via steamship. One guest, Bruce, interests her most – he’s a young naval officer bitter from the war after being badly burned in battle. They strike up a friendship but will it turn into more?

Books for Both You & Your Teen

ECW Press
Ages 15 + ~ Available Now
Eleven-year-old Harriet is determined to leave her fractured family to run away to Algonquin Park, where she can hole up like Tom Thomson, and focus on her mixed-media art. The only person who seems to understand her work is her brother, Irwin. Irwin, who suffers from hydrocephalus, loves her more than anything else; she is his compass as he tries to navigate the tangled mess that is the human heart.
The Company of Crows by Karen Molson
Linda Leith Publishing
Ages 16 + ~ Available Now
Teenager Veronica’s life is not going well – she has to start wearing glasses and spend the summer at Laughing Willows Trailer Park with her obnoxious younger brothers and unhappy mother. Bored, she begins to make friends with the slightly strange inhabitants of her new community and develops a fascination with the local crows. When violence erupts this odd community must band together.
Saints, Unexpected by Brent van Staalduinen
Invisible Publishing
Ages 14 + ~ Coming in April
There’s magic in the Hamilton secondhand store owned by fifteen-year-old Mutton and her family. It’s this magic that keeps the family going as they deal with increasingly threatening developers and the youngest member’s illness. When Mutton and her older brother are robbed at gunpoint and the thief takes off with an item that isn’t meant for him, it sets off a chain of events that leads to a remarkable and heartbreaking summer.
The Goddess of Fireflies by Genevieve Pettersen
Translated by Neil Smith, Vehicule Press
Ages 16 + ~ Coming in March
It’s 1996 and fourteen-year-old Catherine is prime for rebellion against her parents who are too busy divorcing each other to pay any attention to her. When she tries mess for the first time her world begins to spiral out of control.
Concord Floral by Jordan Tannahill
Playwrights Canada Press
Ages 14 + ~ Now Available
Concord Floral is a one-million-square-foot abandoned greenhouse that serves as a refuge for neighbourhood teens. They throw parties, experiment, dare, and come of age there. When Rosa and Nearly stumble upon the secret at Concord Floral that no one wants to acknowledge, they set off a chain of events, including phone calls from the grave.
Eight-Wheeled Freedom by D.D. Miller
Wolsak & Wynn
Ages 14 + ~ Coming in June
The Derby Nerd shares with readers his love of the sport. From its Riot Grrrl and DIY roots to its ever-growing audiences across the US and Canada today, Miller covers it all in this entertaining and thorough book.