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2023 Fall Preview: Middle Grade and Graphic Novels


We the Sea Turtles: A collection of island stories 
Michelle Kadarusman
Pajama Press, September 

Michelle Kadarusman returns with We the Sea Turtles, a collection of eight short stories, each featuring a child, located on an island around the world, who faces a life-changing moment. Themes of eco-anxiety, natural disasters, and being uprooted are explored. 

An Owl without a Name 
Jenna Greene
Wandering Fox/Heritage House, October 

Disoriented, injured, and alone, a young great horned owl is whisked away to a rescue centre. Though he’s self-conscious about not having a name, the young owl, in the company of new friends, comes to learn that identity is about more than a name – it’s about character.  

Opposite Identicals 
Deborah Kerbel
Yellow Dog/Great Plains Publications, October 

When 14-year-old twins Nova and Joule are uprooted and moved to the countryside by their parents, Nova is in heaven, but Joule isn’t. In fact, she wants out and gets her wish when she’s swallowed up by a sinkhole. It’s up to Nova to lead the search to find her missing sister. 


Ephemia Rimaldi: Circus Performer Extraordinaire 
Linda DeMeulemeester
Red Deer Press, September 

The suffragist movement and circus life are the setting for this historical adventure that follows female performer Ephemia Rimaldi as she fights to gain control of her trust fund before her relatives steal it for themselves. Agency, forgiveness, respect for diversity, and social justice are central themes. 

Monster vs. Boy 
Karen Krossing
Charlesbridge/Penguin Random House Canada, July 

Dawz is the only one who knows that Mim, a bear cub–sized monster, lives in his closet. When Mim is forced to leave the closet, she sets out to unlock the magic of books, but she needs Dawz’s help. Monster vs. Boy explores the question, what if the monsters that haunt us aren’t monsters at all? 

Stazy and the Magic List 
Nancy Hundal
Rebel Mountain Press, October 

Stazy has the worst luck: her parents are separated, she’s at a new school, living in a tiny house, and she needs extra help with her dyslexia on the first day of Grade 7. To make matters worse, the clique of Hali, Faye, and Rena aren’t open to being her friend. Can secrets learned and some magic change that? 

Maggie Lou, Firefox 
Arnolda Dufour Bowes and Karlene Harvey, ill.
Groundwood Books, October 

From Métis writer Arnolda Dufour Bowes comes a string of four stories that introduce readers to intrepid Maggie Lou, nicknamed Firefox by her Moshôm (grandfather). From boxing and construction to making camouflage and gumbo soup, Maggie Lou likes to keep life interesting.  

Atana and the Firebird 
Vivian Zhou
HarperAlley/HarperCollins, November

Debut author Vivian Zhou brings readers this epic fantasy that follows mermaid Atana and firebird Ren as they embark on a journey to uncover answers to Atana’s mysterious past. But are they willing to accept the Witch Queen’s offer, which comes with a hefty price? 


Butterfly Wings: A Hopeful Story About Climate Anxiety 
Samuel Larochelle and Eve Patenaude, ill.; Arielle Aaronson, trans.
Greystone Kids, September 

When Florent overhears his mothers express their reluctance to have another baby because of the state of the planet, he is consumed by fear and guilt. After a nightmare of burned forests and a ruined planet, Florent decides to stop talking. This exploration of climate change anxiety provides a safe space for kids to process their emotions.

The Bellwoods Game 
Celia Krampien
Simon & Schuster, July 

Every year, three kids are chosen to play the Bellwoods Game on Halloween night. All they have to do to save the town for another year is ring the bell to appease Abigail’s ghost. When Bailee is chosen, she quickly learns there’s something far more sinister at work in Fall Hollow. 



Silverwing: The Graphic Novel 
Kenneth Oppel and Christopher Steininger, ill. 
HarperCollins Canada, September 

Readers will be able to revisit Shade as he undertakes an epic journey to the Hibernaculum in this stunning graphic novel adaptation of Kenneth Oppel’s fan favourite Silverwing. Christopher Steininger, who has done storyboards for numerous shows and video games, provides the incredible artwork. 

Lost Time 
Tas Mukanik
Razorbill/Penguin Random House Canada, October 

Trapped 65 million years in the past, 12-year-old Evie must use her wits to survive the prehistoric wilderness. With the help of her pterosaur friend Ada, Evie, determined to find her way back home, sets off on a journey across the world. 


The Secret of the Ravens 
Joanna Cacao
Clarion Books/HarperCollins, November 

In order to survive, orphan twins Elliot and Liza accept raven quests to make the money they desperately need, which leads to Liza being mortally injured. Elliot has no choice but to team up with a dark mage to save his sister. This is Joanna Cacao’s author-illustrator debut.   

Mall Goth 
Kate Leth
Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, September 

From acclaimed comic artist Kate Leth comes Mall Goth, about Liv Holme, a 2000s teen goth who has been forced to move to a new town with her mother. To escape unwelcome attention and strain, Liv finds solace at the mall, the one place where she’s in charge of her own life.


Coming up next in the fall preview:
August 2: Young Adult & Nonfiction


July 26th, 2023

11:53 am

Category: Industry News, Preview