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Favorite Canadian books of 2019: 12/18/19
As I have family in Canada, I've dedicated Tuesdays to reviewing Canadian books. These are by Canadian authors, though some of the narratives are set outside of Canada.
The Beauty of the Moment by Tanaz Bhathena
The Beauty of the Moment by Tanaz Bhathena is a YA set in Toronto. The novel alternates between the points of view of Susan, recently moved to Canada from Saudi Arabia. Meanwhile, Malcolm has lived most of his life in Toronto and he's earned a bad reputation and has pretty much given up on school.
Chicken Girl by Heather Smith
Poppy aka Pops works for a chicken restaurant as their advertising mascot. She dresses up in a chicken suit for work every day. Her twin brother Cameron, aka Cam, has started work at a hair salon. She is struggling with self esteem after a photo of herself dressed as Rosie the Riveter was edited to include a hamburger and uploaded to a site that ridicules fat people. Cam, has recently come out as gay and is trying to find a balance between things he likes to do and things he's now expected to like.
Comics Will Break Your Heart by Faith Erin Hicks
Comics Will Break Your Heart by Faith Erin Hicks is the graphic novelist's first prose only novel. It's set in a small town in Nova Scotia, a town with ties to a hot comic book franchise, recently adapted to a blockbuster movie.
The Ghost Road by Charis Cotter
The Ghost Road by Charis Cotter opens with a shipwreck. It opens with a girl calling to her mother and expecting to drown. This nightmare will play a significant role in the novel.
Gideon Falls, Volume 3: Stations of the Cross by Jeff Lemire
Gideon Falls, Volume 3: Stations of the Cross by Jeff Lemire explores more into the inner workings of the Black Barn and its relationship to Gideon Falls. Our tour guide for this is Father Burke who is chasing after Norton Sinclair, the vicious killer associated with the barn.
Heartwood Hotel 2: The Greatest Gift by Kallie George
Heartwood Hotel 2: The Greatest Gift by Kallie George is set during the winter hibernation. The Heartwood Hotel is the place to hibernate in style. The end of winter is celebrated with a huge feast and party.
The Hollow under the Tree by Cary Fagan
The Hollow under the Tree by Cary Fagan is set in Toronto in 1925. It begins with a poorly maintained circus train, a tight schedule, and the inevitable derailment.
In the Key of Nira Ghani by Natasha Deen
It Began with a Page: How Gyo Fujikawa Drew the Way by Kyo Maclear and Julie Morstad is a picture book biography of an illustrator whose artwork will probably be familiar to parents and grandparents.
It Began with a Page: How Gyo Fujikawa Drew the Way by Kyo Maclear and Julie Morstad
In the Key of Nira Ghani by Natasha Deen is about a Guyanese teen trying to adjust to life in Canada. At school she's tired to McKenzie aka "Mac" asking inane questions and making even more inane assumptions about her life and culture. At home she's tired of being put in constant competition with her spoiled and all-to-perfect cousin Farrah.
An Ocean of Minutes by Thea Lim
Most time travel books are set in contemporaneous times, either as the origin point — for traveling to the future or the past, or as the destination point, from either the past or the future. Lim, instead, sets a time range from 1978 to 1998, a span of twenty years, that is forty to twenty years in the past. This choice gives the entire novel a retro feeling, like reading a newly discovered time travel book from the 1950s or mid 1970s.
Read and Buried by Eva Gates (aka Vicki Delany)
Read and Buried by Eva Gates is the sixth book in the Lighthouse Library mystery series. In Something Read, Something Dead (2019) a huge crack in the foundation of the library was found. Read and Buried takes place during the last weeks of the repair work and the mayhem that ensues when a box is uncovered, containing a diary and a map of the area.
A Royal Guide to Monster Slaying by Kelley Armstrong
A Royal Guide to Monster Slaying by Kelley Armstrong is a middle grade fantasy set in a kingdom made up of clans. The ruling clan divides the matters of state between the two oldest siblings. The eldest becomes the monarch and the second eldest becomes the monster slayer.