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Books for Young People fall preview: titles for exploring

(illustration: Claudia Dávila)

(illustration: Claudia Dávila)


Coming in September is the latest release from Kids-Can’s Citizen Kid series, Child Soldier: When Boys and Girls are Used in War. Written by former Congolese child soldier Michel Chikwanine with Jessica Dee Humphreys, this graphic novel with images by Claudia Dávila is an eye-opening and heartbreaking account of Chikwanine’s kidnapping at the age of five, the time he spent serving his rebel captives, and his
escape and rehabilitation.

More thought-provokers:

The Way to School by Plan Canada CEO Rosemary McCarney (Second Story, Sept.) includes photographs from around the world and short text to describe the obstacles many children face in their efforts to gain an education.

The first title in the new Ripple series from Fitz-henry & Whiteside is Ashoka by Christine Welldon, which features 16 inspiring kids and adults who are making a difference.

Anne Dublin’s 44 Hours on Strike (Second Story, Sept.) introduces readers to the 1931 Toronto Dressmaker’s Strike through the story of Jewish sisters Sophie and Rose, and their fight for union rights amidst anti-Semitism and poverty.

Toronto Star columnist Edward Keenan gives kids a crash course in civics with The Art of the Possible: An Everyday Guide to Politics (Owlkids, Oct.).

Neil Pasricha sets his sights on a younger demographic with Awesome is Everywhere (Puffin Canada, Sept.), a kids’ guide to finding your happy place anywhere in the world your mind can take you.

Eat This! A Kid’s Field Guide to Fast Food Advertising (Red Deer, Dec.) by Edna Staebler Award–winning journalist and author Andrea Curtis aims to give kids some food for thought.


Continuing the growing (and welcome) trend of discussing sexual assault and its aftermath in YA with honesty and grace, Lorimer is set to release One Night by Toronto journalist Melanie Florence in September. The book tells of aboriginal sisters Luna and Issy – one serious, the other carefree – and how they deal with Luna’s rape and subsequent pregnancy. Siblings also feature in Vancouver author Darren Groth’s Are You Seeing Me? (Orca, Sept.), in which Justine and her high-functioning autistic twin brother Perry set out on a road trip from their home in Australia in search of independence, forgiveness, and a chance to reconnect with their mother.