These are the books our Youth Ambassadors are currently reading.
What are YOU reading? Would you like to find out more about Atlantic Canadian Books?
By Melanie Mosher
Every summer, Laney’s family visits their cottage on Tidnish Beach. Summertime on Nova Scotia’s north shore is slow and sweet: there are long days in the water until fingers turn pruney, bottomless glasses of cherry Kool-Aid, and bonfires with the other families summering along the shore. But this year the baking heat and bright red sand provide cold comfort. This year Laney’s little sister, Jenny, is gone.
Ten-year-old Laney grapples with the loss. She carries immense, secret guilt that she can only work out by writing letters to her sister. Laney’s mother won’t even say Jenny’s name, so writing quickly becomes Laney’s coping mechanism, to the detriment of her social skills. She avoids the other kids until she makes a new friend—one who doesn’t look at her with pity.
It’s a tough lesson for a preteen, but Laney must learn to acknowledge her grief in order to overcome it. When a situation arises and Laney needs to help her new friend, she finally understands that even though she will miss Jenny forever, she can find happiness again. A tender meditation on life and loss through the lens of a childhood summer, A Beginner’s Guide to Goodbye will fill readers with warmth and spark important conversations.
Too Dumb for Democracy?
Goose Lane Editions
Brexit. Trump. Ford Nation. In this timely book, David Moscrop asks why we make irrational political decisions and whether our stone-age brains can process democracy in the information age.
In an era overshadowed by income inequality, environmental catastrophes, terrorism at home and abroad, and the decline of democracy, Moscrop argues that the political decision-making process has never been more important. In fact, our survival may depend on it.
Drawing on both political science and psychology, Moscrop examines how our brains, our environment, the media, and institutions influence decision-making. Making good decisions is not impossible, Moscrop argues, but the psychological and political odds are sometimes stacked against us. In this readable and provocative investigation of our often-flawed decisions, Moscrop explains what's going wrong in today's political landscape and how individuals, societies, and institutions can work together to set things right.
Bone Beds of the Badlands
A Dylan Maples Adventure
By Shane Peacock
Dylan and his best friends, Terry, the Bomb, and Rhett, have won first place in the National Science Fair for their amazing mechanical T-rex. The prize: a parent-free trip to one of the coolest places on Earth—the badlands of Alberta, home to ancient dinosaur remains and a landscape that looks like the surface of an alien planet. Unfortunately, it is also the scene of a manhunt for a desperate killer. Recently escaped from custody, known as “the Reptile,” this bizarre seven-foot man was last seen heading straight for the badlands, a perfect place to hide if you never want to be found.
When the boys and their new friend Dorothy get separated from their guided tour of Dinosaur Provincial Park, they may be lost, but they’re not alone…
Ten Thousand Truths
By Susan White
A moving story of losing family but finding a new one.Thirteen-year-old Rachel is bad news, or so her foster care worker tells her. She’s been shuttled from one rotten foster family to another ever since her mother and brother died in a car accident five years ago, and she’s running out of options. So when she gets caught shoplifting and is kicked out of her latest home, the only place left to send her is the last resort for kids like her: a farm in the middle of nowhere run by a disfigured recluse named Amelia Walton, whom Rachel nicknames “Warty” because of the strange lumps covering her face and neck. Rachel settles into life at the farm, losing herself in her daily chores and Amelia’s endless trivia, and trying to forget her past and the secret she’s holding inside. But when a letter arrives for her out of the blue, Rachel soon realizes that you can’t hide from your past-or your future.
Emma G. Weaver easily loses herself in history. She’s much more comfortable imagining the lives of the dead than getting involved with the living. She pushes down nagging questions about her own history, but when her Master’s research leads her from her safe and comfortable life in Edmonton, Alberta, back to the south shore of Nova Scotia, those questions can’t help but bubble to the surface. And Emma soon finds that the lives of the dead are inextricably linked to the lives of the living, that secrets don’t stay hidden forever—and that everything changes when they come to light.
Inspired by the true story of the notorious Goler clan of Nova Scotia’s Annapolis Valley, this work of contemporary Atlantic gothic fiction troubles the boundaries between myth and truth, villains and victims.
In The Field
by Joan Sullivan
Joan Sullivan’s book In the Field is a work of non-fiction that tells the story of one young Newfound¬lander soldier, Stephen Norris, lost in WWI, and how his death affected his family, his community, and, decades later, an entirely new generation. In 2004, a high school theatre class creates a musical about the Newfoundland Regiment. After pulling off a big production, teachers, students, and parents venture out on an overnight camping trip to Three Arm, where they find the remains of Stephen Norris’s boat. In the Field captures the haunting and profound experiences of adventure and homecoming.
By Bridget Canning
Award-winning author Bridget Canning returns with an incisive and unsettling collection that considers what it means to be good—or to be a villain—in our relationships with others. No One Knows about Us is a collection of short fiction about how we find connection in a disconnected world. Relationships exist under the wire, and conversations and revelations occur in secret pockets, both literally and physically. The characters conduct secret acts of vengeance, kindness, and vigilantism motivated by their hidden yearnings, grudges, losses, fears, and fixations.
the whither poems
By Catherine Edward
the whither poems is a poetry collection by Catherine Edward, a septuagenarian grandmother. “Whither is an oldish word, with a helpful attitude. I love it for that,” she says. “The overarching theme of the book is ‘that which cannot be’ while admitting to ‘what must be’. It is in the response to unanticipated, uninvited change that one’s mettle is revealed.”
Goose Lane Editions
A bear runs amok in a luxury hotel. A daily swim at the local pool becomes a question of life or death. The champion of a border wall faces an unexpected adversary.
The twelve stories in Different Beasts ask what it means to be both human and monster. Shape-shifting waifs, haunted stuffies, scavenging drones, insectoid demon-gods, and mutant angels all come to life in this wildly imagined debut. As do broken soldiers, disgraced politicians, tired parents, ogres and children, opportunists, and desperate survivors — human beasts each struggling with the animalian aspects of their nature.
In this wild, fantastical, viscerally memorable debut, J.R. McConvey explores the power dynamics that undergird social relationships and crystallize into structures of fealty and worship, fear and control, aspiration and desire.
The Gunsmith's Daughter
Goose Lane Editions
1971. Lilac Welsh lives an isolated life with her parents at Rough Rock on the Winnipeg River. Her father, Kal, stern and controlling, has built his wealth by designing powerful guns and ammunition. He’s on the cusp of producing a .50 calibre assault rifle that can shoot down an airplane with a single bullet, when a young stranger named Gavin appears at their door, wanting to meet him before enlisting for the war in Vietnam. Gavin’s arrival sparks an emotional explosion in Lilac’s home and inspires her to begin her own life as a journalist, reporting on the war that’s making her family rich.
The Gunsmith’s Daughter is both a coming-of-age story and an allegorical novel about Canada-US relations. Psychologically and politically astute, and gorgeously written, Margaret Sweatman’s portrait of a brilliant gunsmith and his eighteen-year-old daughter tells an engrossing story of ruthless ambition, and one young woman’s journey toward independence.