CHECK OUT OUR YAs CURRENT READS
These are the books our Youth Ambassadors are currently reading. What are you reading right now? Would you like to find out more about Atlantic Canadian Books? Join in on our Digitally Lit Youth Book Club discussion page on Facebook.
The Last Wild Boy by Hugh MacDonald | Acorn Press
This is a new young adult novel by P.E.I.’s Poet Laureate. It is a dystopic story about Nora who lives in the walled city of Aahimsa, an idyllic community of girls and women working together to make a peaceful life free of the brutality of the outsiders. As the companion of the mayor of Aahimsa’s daughter, Alice, she enjoys privileges that other women from the working class can only dream of. But when she and Alice find an outsider baby abandoned within the city walls, Nora starts to question whether the outsiders pose as much of a threat to her civilization as she’s been taught. With the baby’s life in danger, Nora must decide whether she’s willing to give up everything she has to save him, and who she can trust to help her
Footprints by Robert Rayner | Breakwater Books
When three teenage friends oppose the annexation of their favourite beach by a prominent businessman, their efforts to keep it public are rebuffed or ignored.
Their actions quickly move beyond conventional protest, despite the warnings of an adult friend — the gentle, enigmatic Dexter Lully. As the friends, frustrated and desperate, are driven towards the dark, morally ambiguous world of direct action, one embraces it, one is thrust into it, and one teeters on the brink, appalled at the widening rift he sees separating his friends from him, and from society, forever.
Rattled by Lisa Harrington | Nimbus Publishing
It’s just all so unfair. My ditzy sister is trying to get her claws into my future husband, plus, I’m pretty sure I’m living across the street from a murderer, and of course no one believes me. Could my life get any suckier? I didn’t know it yet, but apparently it could.
Fifteen-year-old Lydia, resigned to a boring summer in Halifax, is thrilled when Megan and her totally hot brother, Sam, move in across the street. But their rude and hostile mother, Mrs. Swicker, is strangely protective, and does everything she can to stop Lydia and her older sister, Jilly, from getting anywhere near her kids.
One day Lydia accidentally stumbles across something very puzzling in the Swickers’ basement. Determined to find some answers, Lydia enlists the help of Jilly. But the further they investigate, the more bizarre the discoveries.
Lydia’s suspicions about Mrs. Swicker are mounting, but she has no idea what a twisted, dangerous secret she has uncovered until it’s too late.
Foul Deeds: A Rosalind Mystery by Linda Moore | Nimbus Publishing
A professional criminologist, Rosalind works with a cranky private investigator named McBride—a long-time association that has led her from one sordid foray to another in the world of crime. Her passionate escape is theatre and her latest venture is with a company of out-of-work actors putting on an independent production of Hamlet. Shakespeare’s language is a fabulous distraction until the uncanny parallels between life and art begin to unnerve her. Peter King, a respected environmental lawyer working tirelessly to keep water in the public domain, dies suddenly. Is it murder? His son Daniel thinks so. And as Roz and McBride delve deeper into the case, it becomes all too clear that there are those who will stop at nothing to ensure their foul deeds stay buried.
We All Will Be Received by Leslie Vryenhoek | Breakwater Books
In 1977, a young woman steals a duffel bag full of drug money and flees her bad-news boyfriend, hitching a ride with a long-haul trucker to the world’s edge. She intends to disappear forever, to redefine herself on her own terms as Dawn Taylor.
But eventually, stars and satellites align. In a remote roadside motel, Dawn’s past catches up with her.
As a ferocious storm blows in, Vryenhoek vividly captures the desires of a host of characters whose paths have converged in this strange place. Ethan struggles to escape a tired narrative of childhood trauma. Cheryl is desperate to resuscitate a reputation blown apart on social media. And Spencer, an ex-con seeking to overcome his criminal past, chases a faint hope he’s glimpsed on a website built half a continent away. When the highway closes and the power fails, there’s nothing to keep them from disclosing who they really are.
Eloquent and propulsive, We All Will Be Received reveals the difficulty of finding redemption when the tightening web of an interconnected world has made the past inescapable.
The Honey Farm by Harriet Alida Lye | Nimbus Publishing
Vintage Margaret Atwood meets Patricia Highsmith in this slyly seductive debut set on an eerily beautiful farm teeming with secrets.
The drought has discontented the bees. Soil dries into sand; honeycomb stiffens into wax. But Cynthia knows how to breathe life back into her farm: offer it as an artists’ colony with free room, board, and “life experience” in exchange for backbreaking labour. Silvia, a wide-eyed graduate and would-be poet, and Ibrahim, a painter distracted by constant inspiration, are drawn to Cynthia’s offer, and soon, to each other.
But something lies beneath the surface. The edenic farm is plagued by events that strike Silvia as ominous: taps run red, scalps itch with lice, frogs swarm the pond. One by one, the other residents leave. As summer tenses into autumn, Cynthia’s shadowed past is revealed and Silvia becomes increasingly paralyzed by doubt. Building to a shocking conclusion, The Honey Farm announces the arrival of a bold new voice and offers a thrilling portrait of creation and possession in the natural world.
The Greatest Hits of Wanda Jaynes by Bridget Canning | Breakwater Books
Could you face your greatest fears—and survive?
Wanda Jaynes is about to lose her job amidst a mountain of bills, and she suspects her musician boyfriend might be romantically interested in her friend, Trish. But Wanda’s life changes radically on a routine trip to the grocery store when a gunman enters the supermarket and opens fire. When Wanda comes face to face with the shooter, she instinctively hurls a can of coconut milk at his head and knocks him unconscious. In the ensuing media storm, she’s hailed as a hero and miracle worker. But in the aftermath of so much attention, she receives strange emails and believes she’s being followed. As her fear and paranoia grow, both her private and professional lives hang in the balance. And it takes another act of bravery before she’ll learn who she really is.
The Gathering - Author, Theresa Meuse, Artist, Art Stevens | Nimbus Publishing
Alex is attending her first Mi’kmaw spiritual gathering, or mawiomi. Though she is timid at first, older cousin Matthew takes her under his wing. Meeting Elders along the way, they learn about traditional Mi’kmaw culture: the sacred fire, drumming, tanning and moccasin decorating, basket- and canoe-making, and enjoy a Mi’kmaw feast. Most importantly, Alex finds her voice in the talking circle.
With contemporary illustrations by the bestselling illustrator Art Stevens, The Gathering is an inclusive story that will educate and entertain Indigenous and non-Indigenous readers alike.
Queen of the Crows by Harmony Wagner | Nimbus Publishing
Elsa’s mom has disappeared again, but eleven-year-old Elsa is doing her best to fool the world into thinking her life is normal. As food, money and luck begin to run out, Elsa fears she won’t be able to keep her desperate, lonely secret any longer.
Then one day a crow talks to Elsa and a world of wonder opens up to her. The queen of the crows has also gone missing and the rest of the crows struggle to know what to do next.
Could the secret, magical world of the crows be the key to Elsa’s mental health?
Based on the award-winning short film screened by Telefilm Canada at the Cannes Film Festival, Queen of the Crows explores a family story of mental illness, love and imagination and triumph.
The Mystery of Ireland’s Eye: A Dylan Maples Adventure by Shane Peacock | Nimbus Publishing
Dylan is twelve years old and embarking on his first ocean kayaking trip with his parents. He has spent the last year convincing them that he is ready for the challenging—and very dangerous—adventure. In fact, he has been determined to go ever since he heard about the destination: Ireland’s Eye. The small island off the coast of Newfoundland is the easternmost settlement in Canada. Or it was. It is now hauntingly empty, a ghost town clinging to the edge of the unforgiving Atlantic. What is it about Ireland’s Eye that so captivates Dylan he is willing to take such risks to get there? Does the ghost town have anything to do with the dreams Dylan keeps having of his favourite grandfather who has just passed away? And why does the old man on St. John’s docks grimly whisper, “Don’t go to Ireland’s Eye” when he hears of Dylan’s plans?
Someone wants Alec dead.
And that someone can invade innocent bystanders, bending their will to his, forcing them to murder. That someone can travel through multiple dimensions, has powers beyond Earthly experience, and knows everything Alec knows.
Riley is a target too. The Tyons have come to Earth, looking for kids like Riley and Alec, who aren’t even aware of their special genetic traits and don’t know how to control them. It’s a race against time. Do they have the edge needed to save themselves, and more importantly, the world?
To see all of the books previously read by our Youth Ambassadors, click here!
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