Canadian Books

I campaigned hard, and I think I am on the verge of winning. I have been suggesting more Canadian content in the books at work and my boss has asked me for a list of Canadian books I think might be suitable to add to our library. Right now, we are heavy on the American Newberry and Caldecott winners.

I’ve been through the awards lists (Why do so many of them only go up to 1999, anyway? Els?) but these are, for the most part,  books chosen by adults for children and young adults. Even the readers’ awards draw on pools chosen for them by adults. It’s a very controlled experiment.

My question to my vast readership:  What are some Canadian books that you have enjoyed reading?  What have your children enjoyed reading? Anything: Fiction or non, awarded/nominated or not. High level, low level, whatever.  Actually, not just Canadian. Just not American Caldecott or Newberry winners.

I know, I know. I’m asking a lot of you. But I know all eight of the people who read this blog are avid literary types who want to help me subvert my student population. Excuse me, now. I have to go explain for the thousanth time that Malcom X was not, in fact, Canadian.

11 Comments to “Canadian Books”

  1. By Arwen, April 1, 2009 @ 3:47 pm

    Malcolm X was Canadian! He came from the 11th province.

    Har har har.

    Well, I mainly know for little kids, but all children in Canada should be given SOME exposure to Dennis Lee, right? And isn’t Jacob Two-Two Canadian? Or am I wrong about that? And Tim Wynne-Jones’s The Maestro! (*g*)

    I know there’s an online Canadian Children’s Lit newsletter via the University of Guelph, if it helps.

  2. By gen, April 1, 2009 @ 8:09 pm

    Check out the Red Cedar Awards, though they may not be Canadian content. It is run by Canadian librarians but the winners are actually chosen by students. In fact it might be something that you could do with your students next year. They have both fiction and non-fiction. My kids loved it.

    Also plus, talk to the people at Kid’s Books. Though I am sure that you have already done that.

  3. By elswhere, April 1, 2009 @ 8:36 pm

    Red Cedar is all Canadian books—as are the Stellar awards. I find that I usually only like some of them, but I guess that’d be true for any list.

    I like:
    Camp X—Eric Walters
    The Wreckers-Iain Lawrence
    Just about anything by Kenneth Oppel, esp. Airborn
    Alice, I Think—Susan Juby
    Jesse’s Star—Ellen Schwartz
    the Secret World of Og—Pierre Burton
    No More Dead Dogs—Gordon Korman
    Sparks Fly Upward—Carol Matas
    Me and the Blondes—Teresa Toten
    Jacob Two-Two Meets the Hooded Fang—Mordechai Richler
    Emily of New Moon series—L.M. Montgomery
    many titles in Scholastic’s Dear Canada series
    many titles in Orca Sounding series

    ..and more, I’m sure, that I can’t think of just now!

  4. By Liz, April 1, 2009 @ 9:50 pm

    Wonderful suggestions, all. Arwen, if there’s anything you think suitable gor grade 2-3, I’d love to hear about it.
    Gen and Els, I did think about the Red Cedar Awards. I could certainly suggest books from there, but my students could only be part of the choosing process as something outside of regular class time. Or maybe I could persuade the boss to start a special book club. Hmm, how to pitch that?

    Els, I totally forgot about some of those! Jacob two-two indeed! And LM Montgomery, why not Anne? Every Korean parent LOVES her! For some of them it’s one of the reasons they come here. “Anne Red-Hair’s country”.

    Will add to my list…

  5. By elswhere, April 2, 2009 @ 11:29 am

    Have you seen this site?

  6. By Erin, April 2, 2009 @ 11:36 am

    Farley Mowat – The Dog Who Wouldn’t Be, (and) Owls in the Family

    I read those both when I was in Grade 3 or 4, so they might be suitable.

  7. By Liz, April 2, 2009 @ 11:56 am

    Oooh, great link, Els!

    Erin, I think Farley Mowat is probably a very strong contender.

  8. By Beth, April 2, 2009 @ 8:52 pm

    I remember when Gordon Korman first published. He wrote his first book at 14 and that was a great incentive for young writers.
    My favourite author of all time from anywhere is Margaret Laurence but she’s not for kids.

  9. By Liz, April 2, 2009 @ 9:27 pm

    Beth, I always thought it was 12. One of my favorite books ever! Margaret Laurence might be a little much for my students.

  10. By Beth, April 3, 2009 @ 5:01 am

    You’re probably right. He was young.

  11. By elswhere, April 3, 2009 @ 9:44 am

    Not only that, but he’s still writing, which is pretty amazing.

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