Youth Book Corner: New Spring Releases

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

k?xntim s?anixw k’?l nixwtitkw i? acxw?l?xwalt / We Go with Muskrat to Those Living Underwater
Written by Harron Hall, illustrated by Ron Hall

The muskrat is an important animal to Indigenous people. In its various forms—as a food source, as a character in mythology, as a symbol of sacrifice and recreation—the muskrat means different things to different groups of Indigenous people. In k?xntim s?anix? k??l nix?titk? acx??l?x?alt / We Go With Muskrat to Those Living Underwater, the muskrat is our travel guide and teacher. It tells us the names—in both Salishan and English—of the underwater creatures living in the Okanagan Valley. Amusing descriptions of underwater animals are accompanied by beautiful illustrations that are engaging and interactive. Grades 1-4         

My Best Friend is Extinct
Written by Rebecca Wood Barrett, illustrated by Cornelia Li

Rebecca Wood Barrett’s charming middle-grade novel is set in a cozy winter wonderland that is populated with humans and some not-so-human extraordinary beings. The decidedly human protagonist of the novel is Henry Springs who loves the snowy resort town he and his mom have moved into. The town is witnessing the coming of a new ice age with record-breaking snowfall, but what is even wilder is that there are strange, prehistoric-like creatures who are also experiencing the same weather. Henry encounters one such creature and takes care of him when he is injured. What he doesn’t count on are many other unusual beasts living in their small town. My Best Friend is Extinct is a delightful read which, in addition to its heart-warming story, also offers a valuable message about the need to protect endangered wildlife. Grades 4-7

Zara Hossain Is Here
Written by Sabina Khan

Sabina Khan’s follow-up to her acclaimed novel, The Love and Lies of Rukhsana Ali, is a familiar story, but it’s a reality that keeps repeating for many immigrants. The book is centered around seventeen-year-old Pakistani immigrant, Zara Hossain, who lives with her family in Corpus Christi, Texas. Like most immigrants, her family prides themselves on being the “model minority” by working hard and keeping quiet. One day, the star football player in Zara’s school leaves a threatening note in her locker and when Zara reports the incident, the vandalizer is suspended. The novel deals with the aftermath of this incident and the implications that are involved for immigrants for speaking up, even when it is for what is right. Grades 8-12


Leena Desai