Youth Book Corner: May Recommendations

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

Top Pick for Elementary:
The Mostly True Story of Pudding Tat, Adventure Cat
by Caroline Adderson

The Mostly True Story of Pudding Tat, Adventuring Cat follows a titular tabby as he and his friend, a flea, adventure around the world in 1901. With his white fur and pink eyes, Pudding is a striking cat with a keen sense of sound that makes up for his poor eyesight. At the start of a new century the world is full of possibilities. He and the flea journey to Niagara Falls, stay in a fancy hotel in Manhattan, and even find themselves in the middle of World War I. How will they find their way back home? A Festival friend and favourite, Caroline Adderson writes with humour and a great deal of affection for her kitty and his roguish friend.

Top Pick for Middle Grade:
Mya’s Strategy to Save the World
by Tanya Lloyd Kyi

Mya Parsons is an earnest, over-achieving do-gooder who, at 12 years, has set her sights on a career with the United Nations and winning the Nobel Peace Prize. There’s just one problem: Mya doesn’t have a cell phone, which of course means that any dreams of world domination are nigh impossible. It doesn’t help that her best friend, Cleo, has a cell phone, or that Mya’s plans of earning brownie points by babysitting her precocious younger sister aren’t amounting to much. Mya’s Strategy to Save the World is a hilarious and heartwarming account of the life of a tween as she contends with the seemingly-unsurmountable obstacles in her present while working towards ambitious plans for the future.

Top Pick for Young Adults:
Kings, Queens and In-Betweens
by Tanya Boteju

Navigating the world as a teenager is difficult, even more so for Nima Kumara-Clark: a bi-racial girl from a small town who has feelings for her straight best friend. Nima is intelligent but self-conscious, confident but reserved, and while people around her call her a lesbian, she questions their need to stamp labels on everyone. As Nima journeys to self-discovery, she is exposed to the world of drag through Miss Dee Dee La Bouche, a stunning drag queen participating in a carnival in Nima’s town. Unapologetic and charismatic, Miss Dee Dee, or Deidre, takes Nima under her wing. Written from Nima’s perspective, this book by Tanya Boteju—an educator and a former drag king—is a witty, coming-of-age tale, populated with an array of queer and questioning characters that see the world not as it is, but rather how it can be.


Lauren Dembicky