Canada 150: Journeys, Voyages and Escaping!
This week, librarian Grant W. shares his selection of amazing Canadian books for children.
Blogger: Grant W.
Strap yourself in for this week's list of ten awesome Canadian children's books! The focus of this week is on the difficult challenges our characters face in their journeys, long voyages and their dire need to escape from villainous foes! These books offer young readers a vibrant selection of storytelling, fiction and classic Canadian history. This collection offers recommended reads for ages nine and up.
The Nutmeg Princess by Richardo Keens-Douglas
Prepare for storytelling at its finest! The Isle of Spice is a beautiful tropical island in the Caribbean, with an old lady named Petite Mama who grows and sells the sweetest of fruit from the mountain to the people of the island. Her greatest treasure is her nutmeg and mace crops, and there she claims a beautiful young Nutmeg Princess is said to live when the crop is ready to pick. No one in the town believes Petite Mama that the Nutmeg Princess exists except Aglo and Petal who dare to imagine. Will they get the chance to meet her?
Naomi’s Road by Joy Kogawa
This story draws on the many themes of displacement, discrimination and racial tensions for Japanese-Canadians living in the time of World War Two. The reader experiences these themes through the eyes of Naomi, a young girl who is sent with her brother, uncle and her aunt to an internment camp in Slocan, British Columbia. The living conditions of the camp are illustrated by Kogawa in a beautiful way, allowing the reader to experience Naomi’s journey in an optimistic and uncomplicated way. Despite Naomi’s struggles, she is a joyful girl that learns about friendship and coping in a very difficult time.
The Boundless by Kenneth Oppel
Join Will Everett on this action-packed journey across Canada as we all board the “Boundless”; a 900-cart, seven-mile train that travels across Canada! Will’s heart races at the idea of travelling along on the maiden voyage across the country, but what awaits Will when this tale takes a turn for the worst and he is seen witnessing a murder? Does Will stand a chance to escape the oncoming danger with the help of his new friends Mr. Dorian and Maren aboard the Boundless? This story is full of suspense, mystery, historical elements and whimsical Sasquatches. Prepare yourselves for an adventure!
The Wreckers by Iain Lawrence
John Spencer begins his first journey on the sea off the coast of Cornwall with his father and the men aboard “The Isle of Skye”. All appears to be safe on their journey until a storm picks up on the sea. Tossed and turned, the crew sees a light from a beacon in the distance and sails towards it, only to be trapped on pointed rocks that crash the ship. The villagers on the island greet the capsized boat with evil intentions and begin stealing the ship’s loot! Who are these villagers? Will John survive and learn about the villainous motives of these villagers? This book has a dark theme but is intriguing from the first chapter. Murder, suspense and courage are all prominent, as John looks to rescue his father, uncover what secret cargo was on the ship and escape the village “bred by evil”.
The Olden Days Coat by Margaret Laurence
This is an endearing classic and a recommended read for children of all ages. Sal hates that she has to spend Christmas at her grandma’s, but out of curiosity, she finds a box in her grandma’s shed that is filled with her grandma’s old possessions. Pictures of her grandma around her age (how cool!), boots, dresses and a beautiful coat that Sal just needs to try on. Miraculously, she is transported to the past where everything around her now looks like the photographs in the album! This is a beautifully illustrated book that will have your child continuing to turn the pages until the very end!
The Dragon’s Pearl by Julie Lawson
Xiao Sheng and his mother are in desperate need of money. They are hungry and there is a terrible drought over the province of Szechuan. Miraculously, Xiao Sheng comes across a magical crop of grass that continues to grow no matter how many times he cuts it. From it, he digs up a gleaming pearl with the magic ability to bring good fortune and replenish anything from oil to money! As he and his mother generously share the wealth with those in the town, news of the pearl begins to make its way to the other villagers and jealousy starts to brew. Will the pearl stay safe with Xiao Sheng and his mother? This is a wonderful read aloud book or great for a story time.
Mama’s Going to Buy You a Mockingbird by Jean Little
This endearing novel is about a boy named Jeremy who has learned that his father has become ill and is battling cancer. Through Jeremy’s eyes, the reader experiences the impact of emotional hospital visits, the love shared between father and son and the growth of Jeremy’s character throughout the novel. The story and slow character development create a compelling and insightful story on loss, family, friendships and growth to recognize that the memories of our loved ones will always live on.
Boy Soup by Michael Martchenko
*Sniffle* *Cough* *Ah-CHOO!* The giant just can’t seem to get rid of his aches and pains. What is better (according to the Giants Home Medical Guide) for colds than a bowl of half a dozen boys in a soup? Join this hilarious story as the boys’ witty friend Kate concocts a plan to help the boys escape the giant’s disgusting and terrible soup!
The Nose from Jupiter by Richard Scrimger
Alan has a visitor up his nose! Despite that being absolutely gross, how can it be possible? Well meet Norbert, the tiny alien from Jupiter who has come to earth on an exploration mission! Soon, the improbable pair become best of friends as Norbert teaches Alan to stand up for himself against his bullies and shows him how to really believe in himself.
Camp X by Eric Walters
George and Jack are spending their summer restlessly in Whitby, Ontario during World War Two. While hanging out in the forest to pass the time, the boys stumble across soldiers scaling a bridge! The boys are puzzled. Are there Nazi spies here in Whitby? As their curiosity continues to drive the boys deeper into the forest, they stumble upon Camp X, a military training site! Will they be able to make it out of the camp alive? Will they be able to escape? This story is based on the real life Canadian Secret military base that was located in Whitby during World War Two. It is a suspenseful, mysterious and captivating novel with engaging characters that will keep children hooked!
Canada 150 Lists(s):