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?
The Rest is Silence
by Scott Fotheringham
Goose Lane Editions
In the backwoods of Nova Scotia, a man has decided to withdraw from the world and live off the land. Meanwhile, news reports begin to trickle in of a global catastrophe. Someone has released a genetically modified strain of bacteria that devours plastic. The world will never again be the same.
In this masterfully atmospheric novel, both apocalyptic in scope and intimate in setting, Scott Fotheringham cracks opens Pandora’s box to let loose a trail of chilling consequences.
No Turning Back
On a June night in 1980, the Linehan household in North Harbour went up in flames. In moments the fire consumed the family's ordinary, loving lives and innocent, human faith that life would always be as it was. Ida, the middle of three girls and one of ten siblings, survived the blaze only to endure weeks and months of treatment and recovery. Her only goal is to spare her family more pain, and she quietly promises herself never to quit and never to complain. She only wants life to be normal, but is that the same as being healed? In straightforward prose and an open-hearted manner, Ida Linehan paints a series of vivid, haunting pictures as she recounts a remarkable story.
By Andre Fenton
Annaka has always hated her first name. That’s why, when her mother packed her up at age seven and moved from Yarmouth to Halifax, she decided she would go by Anna. Now Anna is back in Yarmouth after the death of her beloved Grampy, and sorting through memories from her younger self. She discovers a journal Grampy gifted her years ago; it is filled with snapshots of a happy childhood: sketches of Nan braiding Anna’s hair on the porch, stories about road trips Anna and Grampy took in his antique truck, and memories of her best-kept secret, who also happened to be her best friend.
When she finds out her childhood imaginary friend, Clay, is not only real but waiting for her to return to Yarmouth, Anna also discovers that Clay can transport her into those journal entries. Maybe physically reliving memories can help with her Nan’s Alzheimer’s. Maybe Anna will finally piece together who her absent father is. Maybe she will discover the identity of the mysterious “other Annaka” scribbled in her Grampy’s handwriting.
With more questions than answers, Anna learns the danger of dwelling in the past—especially when it forces her to confront some uncomfortable truths. If there’s one thing this bittersweet homecoming has forced her to do, it’s reconcile who she was with who she is becoming. It turns out that’s hard to do when you have changed a lot, but the place that raised you remains unchanged.
By Susan White
Sissy and Ava Hush are estranged, middle-aged sisters with little in common beyond their upbringing in a peculiar manor in downtown St. John’s. With both parents now dead, the siblings must decide what to do with the old house they’ve inherited. Despite their individual loneliness, neither is willing to change or cede to the other’s intentions. As the sisters discover the house’s dark secrets, the spirits of the past awaken, and strange events envelop them. The Hush sisters must either face these sinister forces together or be forever ripped apart.
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 Last Time I Saw Her
By Alexandra Harrington
Friends and family are pitted against each other after a tragic accident leaves behind shattered relationships and shocking secrets. A riveting novel by a new voice in teen fiction.
It’s been almost a year since Charlotte Romer set foot in her hometown of River John, Nova Scotia. She’s been living at a boarding school hours away, safe from the trauma and broken relationships she left behind. All she has left in the small town is her older brother, Sean, who is struggling to keep the lights on in their run-down family home. Charlotte hasn’t spoken to her best friend, Sophie, since the night she fled. It’s not exactly a celebratory homecoming.
On her first night home, Charlotte shows up unannounced to Sophie’s eighteenth birthday party. The trickle-down effects of that decision haunt Charlotte for weeks. But when Charlotte reconnects with Sophie’s ex-boyfriend, Max, the two of them begin to slowly unravel what happened the night of the accident the summer before—the night that changed everything. Somebody knows something, and that somebody really doesn’t want Charlotte and Max to figure it out.
With a fast-paced, high-stakes plot, Alexandra Harrington’s debut YA novel will leave readers breathless until the final, shocking conclusion.
In 1822, William Epps Cormack sought the expertise of a guide who could lead him across Newfoundland in search of the last remaining Beothuk camps on the island. In his journals, Cormack refers to his guide only as “My Indian.”
Now, almost two hundred years later, Mi’sel Joe and Sheila O’Neill reclaim the story of Sylvester Joe, the Mi’kmaw guide engaged by Cormack. In a remarkable feat of historical fiction, My Indian follows Sylvester Joe from his birth (in what is now known as Miawpukek First Nation) and early life in his community to his journey across the island with Cormack. But will Sylvester Joe lead Cormack to the Beothuk, or will he protect the Beothuk and lead his colonial explorer away?
In rewriting the narrative of Cormack’s journey from the perspective of his Mi’kmaw guide, My Indian reclaims Sylvester Joe’s identity.
The Spoon Stealer
by Lesley Crewe
Born into a basket of clean sheets—ruining a perfectly good load of laundry—Emmeline never quite fit in on her family’s rural Nova Scotian farm. After suffering multiple losses in the First World War, her family became so heavy with grief, toxicity, and mental illness that Emmeline felt their weight smothering her. And so, she fled across the Atlantic and built her life in England. Now she is retired and living in a small coastal town with her best friend, Vera, an excellent conversationalist. Vera is also a small white dog, and so Emmeline is making an effort to talk to more humans. When she joins a memoir-writing course at the library, her classmates don’t know what to make of her. Funny, loud, and with a riveting memoir, she charms the lot. As her past unfolds for her audience, friendships form, a bonus in a rather lonely life. She even shares with them her third-biggest secret: she has liberated hundreds of spoons over her lifetime—from the local library, Cary Grant, Winston Churchill. She is a compulsive spoon stealer.
When Emmeline unexpectedly inherits the farm she grew up on, she knows she needs to leave her new friends and go see the farm and what remains of her family one last time. She arrives like a tornado in their lives, an off-kilter Mary Poppins bossing everyone around and getting quite a lot wrong. But with her generosity and hard-earned wisdom, she gets an awful lot right too. A pinball ricocheting between people, offending and inspiring in equal measure, Emmeline, in her final years, believes that a spoonful—perhaps several spoonfuls—of kindness can set to rights the family so broken by loss and secrecy.
By Daphne Greer
Coping with the recent death of his father, twelve-year-old Jacob Mosher is sent to spend the summer with his aging, estranged (and strange!) grandparents in rural Newport Landing, Nova Scotia. Reluctantly, he trades the security of his foster mum in “Upper Canada” for a blind grandfather, Frank, who dresses like a sea captain and conducts flag-raising ceremonies, and a quirky grandmother, Pearl, who sometimes forgets her dentures and has Jacob running in circles.
Jacob has two short months to figure out how to deal with his ailing grandfather, the surging Avon River tides, and the family secret that’s haunting his newfound grandparents. He didn’t expect so much danger and mystery to be lurking in tiny Newport Landing.
305 Lost Buildings of Canada
Goose Lane Editions
The legacies of theaters, hotels, fire stations, flour mills, and more — torn down, burned down, and otherwise lost — are uncovered in this bittersweet collection. Using archival photographs, blueprints, and written reports, Raymond Biesinger has rendered a selection of Canada’s most iconic lost buildings in his signature minimalist style.
Accompanying Biesinger’s illustrations are Alex Bozikovic’s descriptions which capture each building’s historical, cultural, and architectural significance. Bozikovic draws on local histories, archived building permits and his own extensive knowledge of the Canadian urban architectural landscape and its history — from the letters passed through Kelowna’s unlikely art deco post office to the destruction of a home in Halifax’s Africville — to offer fascinating, sometimes forgotten stories about each building and its significance.
An impossible architectural walking tour, 305 Lost Buildings of Canada spans the country, its cities and countryside, and its history. Cities change, buildings come and go, but in this fact-filed compendium, you’ll find the lost wonders of Canada’s architecture.