Youth Book Corner: New Must-Read Titles

Our Outreach Coordinator Leena Desai shares must-read books from upcoming releases.

The Frog Mother
Written by Brett D. Huson, illustrated by Natasha Donovan

Brett D. Huson, the author of The Frog Mother, is from the Gitxsan Nation of the Northwest Interior of BC. He has written four books in the Mother of Xsan series that celebrate the animal life that is crucial for the survival of the delicate ecosystem of the Skeena River. After talking about the lifecycles of the grizzly bear, the sockeye salmon and the eagle, Huson returns with The Frog Mother. In this book, we learn about the Columbia Spotted Frog, the special significance of this species to the Gitxsan and how essential it is to maintain the balance of the natural environment. Vibrant illustrations by Natasha Donovan and traditional Indigenous line drawings by Huson himself, as well as a glossary of traditional terms used in the text, greatly accentuate the importance of this book. Grades 5-7

Stand Like a Cedar
Written by Nicola I. Campbell, illustrated by Carrielynn Victor

Award-winning storyteller Nicola I. Campbell’s books are known for shedding light on the experiences of Indigenous people through her stories about children. Her book Shin-chi’s Canoe won the 2009 TD Canadian Children’s Literature Award and the 2008 Governor General’s Literary Award for illustration and talked about the plight of Indigenous students at a residential school. In Stand Like a Cedar, we follow a little girl and the sights and sounds she experiences. We learn what it means “to stand like a cedar” as well as the names of animals in the Nłe7kepmxcín or Halq’emeylem languages and the teachings they have for us. Carrielynn Victor’s breathtaking art compliments Campbell’s lyrical storytelling about nature, sustainability and connection to the land.  Grades 1–4

The Fabulous Zed Watson!
Co-authored by Basil Sylvester and Kevin Sylvester

In this new book, which we hope is the first in a series, child-parent duo Basil Sylvester and Kevin Sylvester introduce us to the titular non-binary tween, Zed Watson. Zed loves monsters and is always sniffing around for a mystery; so, when they find one surrounding an unpublished novel and a clue that could help them solve it, Zed decides to take a road-trip. Accompanying them on this adventure is their neighbour, Gabe, and his sister Sam. Adventure and fun ensues as they chase cryptic clues, encounter kind strangers, potato-themed dance-offs and lots of ice cream, all while trying to get to the bottom of the mystery of the book before a greedy historian does. Grades 4-8


Leena Desai