Canada 150: Comic Books and Scary Stories
This week's list of ten awesome Canadian children's books focuses on two topics: comic books and chilling tales. These books offer a mix of fiction and true stories for the little reader in your life, but beware – most titles are only recommended for ages nine and up.
Case Files: 40 Murders and Mysteries Solved by Science by Larry Verstraete
Looking to raise a future forensic scientist? Get behind the scenes of 40 cases to find out how science saved the day. Use scientific inquiry to see how real life criminals are caught!
Child Soldier: When Boys and Girls are Used in War by Jessica Dee Humphreys and Michel Chikwanine
This graphic novel tells the true story of Michel Chikwanine, who was abducted as a young boy and forced to become a child soldier. Michel flees from his captors and eventually comes to Canada with his family as refugees, but adapting to his new country is not easy.
The book does a great job of handling a very tough topic with matter-of-fact text and illustrations. Parents may want to use this as a read-aloud book and talk about the issues it raises.
Draw Out the Story: Ten Secrets to Creating Your Own Comics by Brian McLachlan
What if you know a child that doesn't want to be a forensic scientist, but a comics artist instead? McLachlan breaks down all the steps to making comics in this fun and entertaining how-to book!
Haunted Canada: Ghost Stories by Pat Hancock and Alla Gould
Prepare for chills and thrills in this ghostly version of the popular "Haunted Canada" series! These creepy Canadian ghost stories are perfect for those that loved to be scared (but not too scared).
Head Lice by Elise Gravel
Head lice have never been cuter in this breezy non-fiction book by Elise Gravel. In her trademark quirky style, Gravel explores the world of head lice with fun facts and a witty head louse (that's the singular form of the word lice, which you would have known if you had read this book!). Parents will still find them terrifying, but kids might have their minds changed!
Nameless City by Faith Erin Hicks
The Nameless City lies at a spot of geographic importance and has changed many rulers of the year. Each new conqueror calls the city something else, so the people living there have taken to calling it the Nameless City. Kaidu is soldier-in-training for the current occupiers of the City. He meets Rat, a local girl that is surviving all by herself on the streets, and the two strike an unlikely friendship that will have each questioning their place in the Nameless City and risking their lives for the future of the City.
Neil Flambé and the Marco Polo Murders by Kevin Sylvester
Neil Flambe is a child-prodigy in the culinary world who gets wrapped in a police investigation when chefs across the city start being murdered in this fun and highly-entertaining mystery. Filled with a great cast of characters, this is a wonderful read for budding chefs or wanna-be detectives.
The Nest by Kenneth Oppel
Steve is an anxious child, something that is only exaggerated when he finds out his baby brother has a congenital condition. He is visited in his dreams by wasps that promise to make his brother better, but Steve quickly learns that this agreement may have some deadly side effects. A truly creepy but spellbinding novel from one of Canada's premier children's authors.
This graphic novel highlights the challenges women have faced throughout history to be independent and fulfill their dreams. Mini-biographies of historical figures like Mulan and Hatshepsut will make young readers appreciate the freedom to be who they want to be.
A Trip to the Bottom of the World with Mouse by Frank Viva
A trip to the Antarctic isn't exciting for mouse, whose refrain of "Can we go home now?" will be turned into "Can we read it again?" by readers of all ages. Beautifully clean and crisp-looking, this is a quick trip to a world of penguins and whales.
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