Skin introduces us to a group of Canadian teenagers who are coming of age in the late 1980s. Faced with racial discrimination, Phiroza, Jennifer, and Tuan must navigate the choppy waters of high school, each confronting his or her own set of challenges. Ranging from academic difficulties, to budding relationships, to the trials of adapting to a foreign language and culture, the three share their stories of struggle, survival, and defiance of negative expectations and racist attitudes. Lenny is at the top of her class. Jace seemingly couldn't care less. By all appearances these two classmates are polar opposites, but despite all their differences they are inexplicably drawn towards one another. When it is revealed that each has been trying to hide the same dark secret—that they share a home with an alcoholic parent—each decides to take action and confront the demon they call "Mom" or "Dad."
- Auteur:Foon, DennisSommaire:
- Auteur:Alma, AnnSommaire:
Eleven-year-old Josie Grun escapes from Communist East Germany with her mother and father one dark night in 1989 just months before the Berlin Wall comes tumbling down. Braving border guards, barbed wire, and rifle shots, Josie reluctantly turns her back on her best friend, Greta, and all that was once familiar. She crosses the ocean to join her uncle in Calgary, attempts to learn a foreign language, and overcomes the prejudices of her schoolmates in order to forge a new life. Clinging to the passion that has always been a comfort, her figure skating, she enters a local competition to prove that she is free on the ice and off.
- Auteur:Levinson, BarrySommaire:
Baltimore in 1966 is a quiet, blue-collar town. But all that is about to change for one group of young men. Bobby drops out of law school during his final year. Neil heads for the war in Vietnam, but goes AWOL and comes home as an antiwar protester. Ben marries the Cadillac dealer's daughter and half-heartedly begins his new life as son-in-law to the boss. Turko and Eggy discover the decadence of the '60s, but struggle to adapt.
- Auteur:Davis, BridgettSommaire:
After her mother leaves home, Rae Dodson, only a child, must care for her grief-stricken father. Rae is forced to grow up quickly in a time of change, seeking to understand the actions of the adults who surround her.
- Auteur:Watson, KateSommaire:
Sixteen-year-old Finley Price has perfected two things: how to direct a world-class production, and how to fly way, way under the radar. The only person who ever seems to notice Finley is her best friend and godparents' son, Oliver Bertram. Since Finley moved in with her godparents after the death of her father, she and Oliver have grown close. If Finley could just take Oliver's constant encouragement to heart and step out of the shadows, she'd finally chase her dream of joining the prestigious Mansfield Theater. But when teen movie stars Emma and Harlan Crawford move across the street from the Bertrams, they shake up Finley and Oliver's stable friendship. As Emma and Oliver grow closer, Finley realizes that Harlan's attention is shifting to her. She discovers she might have feelings for him too. Or, is she only interested in Harlan because Oliver is taken' Finley doesn't want to be won, and she doesn't want to see Oliver with anyone else. To claim Oliver's heart'and keep her own'she'll have to find the courage to do what she fears most: step into the spotlight.
- Auteur:Chapman, BrendaSommaire:
A coming-of-age story set against the backdrop of "peace, love, rock and roll," and the Vietnam War. It’s the summer of 1971, and fifteen-year-old Darlene travels with her mother to cottage country. This year her wild cousin, Elizabeth, is staying with them in the hopes that time away from Toronto will straighten her out – but Elizabeth has other plans. It’s her summer mission to torment Darlene by manipulating her friends and seducing every eligible male in her path. Meanwhile, Darlene is captivated by the mysterious strangers who rent the cottage down the road, particularly free-spirited Candy, who tells stories of traipsing across the United States with rock stars. Darlene is also friends with a reclusive journalist who will stop at nothing to pen the ultimate anti-war story. She, too, secretly dreams of becoming a writer, but knows that her father will never allow it. When the connections between the young strangers and the war start to become clear, Darlene is presented with more choices than she would like.
- Auteur:Cusk, RachelSommaire:
Winner of the British Whitbread First Novel Award, Saving Agnes is a delight to the ear of any listener who enjoys the English language at its best. Rachel Cusk's prose, rich with poetic imagery and insight, is spell-binding. Agnes Day is not quite certain of her own identity. Defining herself by her past failures and fearful of her future, she trudges through her days despising her editing job and searching for that special someone to help her forget the lover who jilted her. Although her naive attempts to bolster her self-esteem culminate in a series of one-night-stands and an affair with a mysterious heroin addict, Agnes' indomitable sense of humor somehow sustains her. Narrator Jenny Sterlin's British accent is the perfect accompaniment to a creation that is meant to be appreciated aloud in its native dialect. Her reading captures every nuance of mood and language to give listeners an unforgettable listening experience.
- Auteur:Moore, Nathaniel G.Sommaire:
Winner, ReLit Award (Novel) CBC Books' "Writers to Watch" Pick Nate’s nervous mother chews gum at warp speed and has a bob that resembles Darth Vader’s helmet. His icy father dabbles part-time in the death trade at a funeral home after working for a decade in the insurance racket. His older sister Holly is always lurking in the shadows or away at school. Nate, a creative, messy, and anxious teen, has chosen Randy Savage as his hero. As he finishes high school, the world to which Savage belongs is quickly waning in popularity, and Nate begins to see the wrestler’s downfall mirrored in his own life. But not until the family dismantles for good in 1994 does Nate’s life truly begin to fracture. Savage 1986-2011 chronicles the middle-class implosion of Nate’s nuclear family, bracketed by July 1986—when he first saw Randy Savage in person—and the wrestler’s sudden death in May 2011. When Savage dies, Nate is freed from beliefs—once a source of beauty and escape—that had come to constrict him, fusing him to a moribund past. The novel is about the blurred lines between child and adult roles and the ever-changing landscape of interior heroism. Whether dealing with a family’s economic turbulence, the scarring effects of teenage love, or creating a new family order, Moore revisits, remasters, and repackages a twenty-five year family odyssey with guts, honesty, and love. Praise for Savage 1986-2011: “This is Running Backwards with Scissors in Leaside. Nathaniel G. Moore’s emotional atomic drops and body slams in Savage (1986-2011) put the nuke in nuclear family. Moore writes in Technicolor™—he’s a poet of fractured reality, minstrel of meltdown, clown prince of sad suburban absurdity.” (Zsuzsi Gartner, author of Better Living Through Plastic Explosives) "... Savage 1986-2011 is a reminder that no love is easy, and scars might never fade, but they can heal. Better, they may even end up transformed, like so many blue Mondays made into art." (The National Post) "Writing in 2009 for the National Post, Mark Medley dubbed author Nathaniel G. Moore 'a writer so far removed from the CanLit conversation that he might as well be writing in another language'—an honour that may at first glance sound like baffled, even backhanded praise, but trust me: if you've got your head screwed on right, this is the best of compliments. So it is with Moore's latest, Savage 1986-2011, a novel released this month from Vancouver's Anvil Press, and which continues to defy the narrative and stylistic clichés of our award-winning tomes while still (somehow) remaining utterly Canadian, utterly Torontonian, and utterly of its time. We read for so many reasons, but if 'social change' is yours, then Savage is a must, boasting a sweeping tour of nostalgia, melancholy, and private, pop-addled history, ranging from the Cold War Reagonomics of 1980s Leaside to the Post-Sacred haunts of late-2000s Bloorcourt. Twinning the crumbling mausoleums of our collective spectacles to a private coming-of-age story like you've never read, Savage judders with vitality, mourning a life lived in the spotlight of art, beneath the menace of family, and ravaged by the forever-cuts of love." (Spencer Gordon)
- Auteur:van Staalduinen, BrentSommaire:
When fifteen-year-old Mutton is robbed at gunpoint while working in her mother’s Hamilton thrift store, the thief makes off with an item that Mutton knows isn’t meant for him, hurling her and her family into a summer of remarkable and heartbreaking events. From fighting unscrupulous developers to first loves to the anguish that comes from never knowing what your final words to a loved one might be, Saints, Unexpected reminds us of the magic that comes with each opportunity to begin again.
- Auteur:Skuy, DavidSommaire:
Terrified of being targeted by bullies for being overweight, Lionel tries to go through grade 8 attracting as little notice as possible. But Lionel discovers something about himself: he's fast. And Lionel takes up running. That leads to joining a running group, and being recruited for the school track team. But being on the track team and getting more attention brings him closer to the bullies he's been avoiding-- and makes him a target.
- Auteur:Byrd, Lee MerrillSommaire:
The fire called Riley to his destiny, just like the spinning-wheel called Sleeping Beauty. Now, Riley has third-degree burns on 63% of his body. At the Shriners Burns Institute, he must endure countless skin grafts and searingly painful baths. And, for the rest of his days, he will live behind a mask. But through his painful recovery, he finds his own good fairy and life begins to make perfect sense to Riley--even if few others understand.
- Auteur:Walker, JohnnieSommaire:
Nicholas is a twelve-year-old with red hair whose dad just remarried. This makes Nicholas a redheaded stepchild. Literally. And tomorrow at lunch, the biggest boy in grade six plans to beat him up—he even made a Facebook event about it. Should Nicholas skip school? His new stepmom, a chain-smoking, ex-Jehovah’s Witness golf pro named Mary-Anne, doesn’t want him playing hooky. His secret alter ego, the fabulous and charismatic Rufus Vermilion, thinks his ginger genetics will doom him either way. But when events in the schoolyard leave both Mary-Anne and Rufus speechless, it’s up to Nicholas to pick up the pieces and do some serious growing up.
- Auteur:Carvalho, Cristina, Leitao, Alexandra AndresenSommaire:
Rebellion is Portuguese literary celebrity Cristina Carvalho's international debut. Born a rebel, Lena escapes her provincial existence and heads for Lisbon as a young woman to make a more exciting life for herself. Once there, though, she makes a series of fateful decisions--spending a night in a brothel, embarking on a marriage she lives to regret, longing instead for the blue-eyed man of her dreams. The timeless, anchorless, startling, and entirely credible narrative voice of Cristina Carvalho's extraordinary novel lays bare the intimate difficulties of Lena's life, first at her parents' boarding house and then, later on, with her husband and their son in the city. No matter where we live, every one of us knows a woman like Lena, but few of us have ever found ourselves right inside Lena's mind before-not in fiction, not in any language.
- Auteur:Thomas, JoanSommaire:
Winner, Commonwealth Writers Prize, Canada and the Caribbean, Amazon.ca First Novel Award, and On the Same Page, Manitoba Reads. Shortlisted, Eileen McTavish Sykes Award for Best First Book, Margaret Laurence Award for Fiction, and McNally Robinson Book of the Year. Longlisted, IMPAC Dublin Literary Award Lily Piper and her family live in an ephemeral world, due to collapse any moment when the Lord comes to pluck His faithful from the drought-ravaged Prairie. Lily tries to be ready, but she is restless, not the daughter she feels her mother wants. As she tries to invent herself, she conjures, too, an imagined past for her beloved father in an effort to understand him and the demons he battles. In her teens, Lily is sent to England to care for her Grandmother and further explores the delicious question of who she might become. She falls in love with her adopted cousin, learns to experience life in all its ambiguity, and waits with the rest of England for World War II to start — until the news she has been dreading arrives on the doorstep, and she is called home to face a future she thought she had escaped. Reading by Lightning is a Bildungsroman of great wit and depth. Thomas’s prose is wry and intimate, elegant and devastatingly funny. Her engrossing story of Lily Piper tells us something of how we can make sense of a future when the future is something we can hardly imagine.
- Auteur:Berger, Tamara FaithSommaire:
It's just another boring summer for our teenaged narrator -- until Barbra arrives. An Ethiopian Jew, Barbra was brought to Israel at age five, a part of Operation Solomon, and now our narrator's well-intentioned father has brought her, as a teen, to their home for the summer. But Barbra isn't the docile and grateful orphan they expect, and soon our narrator, terrified of her and drawn to her in equal measure, finds himself immersed in compulsive psychosexual games with her, as she binge-drinks and lies to his family. Things go terribly wrong, and Barbra flees. But seven years later, as our narrator is getting his life back on track, with a new girlfriend and a master's degree in Holocaust Studies underway, Barbra shows up at our narrator's house once again, her "spiritual teacher" in tow, and our narrator finds his politics, and his sanity, back in question.
- Auteur:Brooks, MarthaSommaire:
Finalist for the Geoffrey Bilson Award for Historical Fiction for Young People and the IODE Violet Downey Book Award, and an American Library Association Notable Children's Book and a Kirkus Reviews Best Book. It's 1941, and Canada is two years into World War II. Meanwhile, in rural Manitoba, fifteen-year-old Marie-Claire Cote begins a war of her own as she and her brother and sister, all stricken with tuberculosis, are taken by their anguished parents to "chase the cure" at nearby Pembina Hills Sanatorium. While her roommate retains a dogged cheerfulness that is both heroic and irritating, Marie-Claire resists with all of her prideful strength while she fights her own illness and tries to seek privacy where there is none. Her father, overwhelmed by fear and guilt, never visits. And her young brother, Luc, who is losing his battle with TB in another wing of the infirmary, sends notes to her penned for him by his nineteen-year-old roommate, Jack Hawkings. This is a story about surviving loss, and finding friendship, and love, in surprising places.
- Auteur:Roy, Anusree, Jones, ThomasSommaire:
Set in Calcutta, Pyaasa tells the story of Chaya, an eleven-year-old untouchable who dreams of nothing more than learning her times tables. When Chaya's mother begs a woman from a higher caste to give Chaya a job at a local tea stall, Chaya's journey from childhood to adulthood begins and ends over ten days. A moving and heartfelt play, Pyaasa illustrates with subtlety and nuanced truth the inequalities and injustices that persist through the Indian caste system.Winner of the 2008 Dora Mavor Moore Award for Outstanding New Play and Outstanding PerformanceIn the haunting Letters to My Grandma, Malobee unearths letters detailing her grandmother's fight to survive the 1947 partition of India, which resonates with Malobee's own struggles to create a new life in present-day Toronto. A grand multi-generational tale of hatred, regret, love, and forgiveness, Letters to my Grandma weaves the remarkable stories of these two women together, inextricably linking their histories and delving into how the hatred bred between Hindus and Muslims in the Old World consumes families in Canada today.
- Auteur:Zorn, ClaireSommaire:
In this award-winning novel, Hannah's journey through bullying and grief shows just how long old wounds can take to heal Hannah's world is in pieces, and she doesn't need the school counselor to tell her she has deep-seated psychological issues. It's been almost a year since her popular older sister, Katie, died in a car accident. Hannah should feel terrible, but for the first time in ages, the bullies who relentlessly tormented her have backed off-and she feels a glimmer of hope. With the support of her guidance counselor and an endearing goofball named Josh, Hannah begins to reconcile her past troubles and present grief. But will these attempts at friendship be too much for Hannah's fragility to bear?
- Auteur:Nanayakkara, TaraSommaire:
At twenty-five, kindergarten teacher Priya must accept the loss of her parents in a plane crash. Her grief plunges her into an eating disorder. While her friends recognize that she is crying out for help, Priya denies it all as she strives to make peace with Renita, her father’s sister—a woman who appears chronically depressed. Unbeknownst to Priya, Renita harbours a disturbing family secret. While Priya battles her inner demons, she finds herself choosing between two men: Trent, the handsome young performing arts instructor she meets through a friend and Gabe, compassionate and empowering—but with a past that causes the very mention of his name to rankle the nerves of Priya’s maternal grandparents. Priya must find the strength to overcome the ravages of anorexia and the tyranny of food disorders, as well as the poisonous role that family secrets can play on more than one generation. Throughout her heart-wrenching journey of self-discovery, Priya will lose her health and her family as she knows it, but ultimately she will reach out to others in unexpected ways and take bold steps to re-invent her life.
- Auteur:Shingoose, NahanniSommaire:
"A coming-of-age story about a teen girl who experiences her Indigenous heritage in a meaningful way. Part Ojibwe and part white, River lives with her white mother and stepfather on a farm in Ontario. Teased about her Indigenous heritage as a young girl, she feels like she doesn't belong and struggles with her identity. Now eighteen and just finished high school, River travels to Winnipeg to spend the summer with her Indigenous father and grandmother, where she sees firsthand what it means to be an "urban Indian." On her family's nearby reserve, she learns more than she expects about the lives of Indigenous people, including the presence of Indigenous gangs and the multi-generational effects of the residential school system. But River also discovers a deep respect for and connection with the land and her cultural traditions. The highlight of her summer is attending the annual powwow with her new friends. At the powwow afterparty, however, River drinks too much and posts photos online that anger people and she has her right to identify as an Indigenous person called into question. Can River ever begin to resolve the complexities of her identity -- Indigenous and not?"--