Youth Book Corner: Hot New Releases

Our Outreach Coordinator, Leena Desai, shares some must-read recent releases.

We All Play
Written and illustrated by Julie Flett

Award-winning Cree-Métis author, illustrator, and artist Julie Flett is famous for seamlessly incorporating nature in her books and celebrating the ways in which the natural world quietly impacts human life. We All Play continues this theme. In this book, we see the ways in which animals such as birds, whales, cats, and more play and how children of varying ages enjoy playing too. Readers will encounter birds who chase and chirp, bears who wiggle and wobble, whales who swim and squirt, owls who peek and peep, and a diverse group of kids who love to do the same. All life is interconnected and there’s a lot we can learn from the natural world if we tuned ourselves to its rhythm. Flett’s book is a hat-tip to all the creatures we share our world with and includes Cree names for each animal at the end. Grades Preschool-2

Super Detectives (Simon and Chester Book #1)
Written and illustrated by Cale Atkinson

Renowned author, illustrator, and animator Cale Atkinson is famous for his books Unicorns 101, Where Oliver Fits, To the Sea, Off and Away, and Sir Simon: Super Scarer. In his latest graphic novel, we meet best buds Simon and Chester, one’s a ghost and one’s a boy, but together they are extraordinary. With the able assistance of a big-eyed pug, lots of snacks, and their sharp wit, Simon and Chester are about to solve the mystery of a lifetime. This is book one in what promises to be a rib-tickling series full of goofiness, humour and oodles of charm. Grades 1-4

Gutter Child
Written by Jael Richardson

In Jael Richardson’s dystopian novel, the titular gutter children live in a policed neighbourhood referred to as the Gutter, while the privileged live on the Mainland. We follow the story of Elimina Dubois, a gutter child who was raised on the Mainland, but now with her only guardian dead, Elimina is alone in a hostile world. She is sent to an academy where she meets other gutter children and finds her entire worldview shift as a result. When she was sent to the academy, all Elimina wanted was freedom and the comfort of her previous life, but now, she is no longer sure. Although set in an imaginary, dystopian time, Richardson imbues her world with a great degree of realism, which helps us see parallels between her world and ours in its portrayal of class system, race relations, and the ghettoization and demonization of certain people by those in power. Grades 10-12


Leena Desai