Youth Book Corner: June Recommendations

Our Youth Writing Contest concluded recently with bestselling author Monique Gray Smith selecting two winners. Thank you to all the students who submitted their stories to us. We were truly impressed by your creativity and flair for writing. This is what our judge had to say about the submissions we received: I want to raise my hands out of respect to each and every one of the 134 young people who had entered this contest. Each one of the stories and poems caught my attention and heart in a different way. Please, keep writing!

Congratulations to first-prize winner Yuning (Nancy) Ren, from Fraser Heights Secondary School, who submitted the story “Loving Hands” and to the second-prize winner ZiFu Xu, from Richmond Christian Secondary, who submitted the story “The Monster from my Childhood.” You can read both these stories here.

Our Outreach Coordinator Leena Desai shares three of this month’s top reads.

Top Pick for Elementary:
Bilal Cooks Daal by Aisha Saeed

In this charming picture book, six-year-old Bilal helps his father make daal while his friends wait in anticipation to taste this beloved stew made of lentils and spices. Beautifully illustrated by Pakistani-Canadian illustrator Anoosha Syed, Bilal Cooks Daal is a touching tale about how food can bring a community of diverse people together.

Top Pick for Middle Grade:
All the Greys on Greene Street by Laura Tucker

Twelve-year-old Olympia lives in a loft in New York with her artist-mother and antiques dealer-father. Olympia spends her carefree days with her friends Richard and Alex until one day her father goes missing and it falls on Olympia and her friends to solve the mystery of his disappearance. Set in the 1980s, All the Greys on Greene Street is an engrossing and adventure-filled middle-grade read.

Top Pick for Young Adults:
Those Who Dwell Below by Aviaq Johnston

In this vivid novel that draws inspiration from Indigenous mythology, a young boy named Pitu must defeat a vengeful spirit who lives at the bottom of the ocean. But this is not the first time Pitu has encountered other-worldly beings in the form of spirits. Those Who Dwell Below is the journey of a boy coming into his own as he confronts danger with courage and determination.


Leena Desai