2024 Festival:
October 21–27

34. Good Reads for YA

34. Good Reads for YA

Our Good Reads events feature books of the season that can’t be put down. Each of these new YA titles offers captivating stories that share important topics with youth. In her remarkable second novel, Those Pink Mountain Nights, Jen Ferguson writes about the hurt of a life stuck in past tense, the hum of connections that cannot be severed, and one week in a small town that changes everything. Clara Kumagai’s Catfish Rolling is perfect for fans of Studio Ghibli films, about a girl coming to terms with grief, adolescence, and new romances. Amanda West LewisFocus. Click. Wind. follows a brave student photojournalist campaigning against the United States’ involvement in the Vietnam War. Grades 8–12. Moderated by Susin Nielsen.

Presented in partnership with The Vancouver International Summer School in Children’s Literature at UBC.

Event Participants:

Jen Ferguson

JEN FERGUSON is Michif/Métis and white and has a PhD in English and creative writing. Her debut novel, The Summer of Bitter and Sweet, received great acclaim. She lives in Cedar Rapids, IA, and teaches at Coe College. Visit her online at jenfergusonwrites.com.

Clara Kumagai

CLARA KUMAGAI is from Canada, Japan and Ireland. Her fiction and non-fiction for children and adults has been published in The Stinging Fly, The Irish Times, Banshee, Room, The Kyoto Journal and Cicada, among others. She is a recipient of a We Need Diverse Books Mentorship, and was a finalist for the 2020 Jim Wong-Chu Emerging Writers Award. Catfish Rolling is her debut novel.

Amanda West Lewis

AMANDA WEST LEWIS is the author of seven books for young readers, including These Are Not the Words. Her novel September 17 was nominated for the Silver Birch Award, the Red Cedar Award and the Violet Downey IODE Award. She is a writer, theater creator, calligrapher and teaching artist. She is the founder of the Ottawa Children’s Theatre, and she has an MFA from Vermont College of Fine Arts. Born in New York City, she now lives in Brooke Valley, Ontario, with her husband, writer Tim Wynne-Jones.

Susin Nielsen

SUSIN NIELSEN has written for many beloved Canadian TV shows, and is the author of multiple books. Her most recent novel, No Fixed Address, won the Red Maple Award, the Violet Downey Book Award, and the Sheila A. Egoff Children’s Literature Prize.