Youth Book Corner: More Writers in the Classroom Highlights

Sunday, February 28 is the last date to submit applications for the spring installment of Writers in the Classroom. Our Outreach Coordinator, Leena Desai, recommends some more books by participating authors. 

Alice Fleck’s Recipes for Disaster
Written by Rachelle Delaney

The beloved author of middle-grade favourites such as The Metro Dogs of Moscow and The Bonaventure Adventures, Rachelle Delaney, returns with another fun and adventurous read set in the high-octane world of reality TV. Our titular heroine is a middle-grader who often acts as sous chef to her culinary-historian father, recreating dishes from the past. All seems great until Alice and her father are entered into a food competition show called Culinary Combat and thrust into the spotlight. Not only do they have to whip up dishes to please the notoriously fastidious judge, Tom Truffleman, but Alice is sure the show is being sabotaged behind the scenes. Alice sets out to find and apprehend the culprit while also trying to win the competition. Fast-paced and funny, with a mystery thrown in for good measure, Alice Fleck’s Recipes for Disaster convincingly combines two popular pillars of modern culture: the mystery novel and reality TV. Grades 4-7

Misfit in Love
Written by SK Ali

Misfit in Love is the sequel to SK Ali’s William C. Morris Award finalist novel, Saints and Misfits. The misfit in both the books is Janna Yusuf, who feels like she doesn’t belong either to her dad’s new family or with her mom and older brother Muhammad. She rebuffs the advances of her friend Nuah, but now, after finishing high school and on the precipice of college, Janna feels like she might actually like Nuah in return. Muhammad’s wedding seems like the perfect time to test the waters, but a series of unfortunate events leaves Janna confused: her brother and his fiancé don’t see eye to eye, her parents are acting strange, two dashing newcomers cause quite the flutter, and most importantly, Nuah seems to have changed. Misfit in Love is the heartwarming and funny story of a teenager who thinks she has everything under control, but who realizes that when it comes to matters of the heart, there is no such thing as a contingency plan and very little can in fact be controlled. Grades 8-12

If I Tell You the Truth
Written by Jasmine Kaur

Told through prose, poetry, and illustration, If I Tell You the Truth is the sequel to Jasmine Kaur’s 2019 debut When You Ask Me Where I’m Going. In the first novel, we follow Kiran as she flees to Canada after a sexual assault leaves her pregnant. Kiran is scared, alone, and traumatized, but when her visa runs out, she is also undocumented, which adds to her daily sense of dread and fear. In If I Tell You the Truth, Kiran finally shares her story with her daughter Sahaara, who feels fiercely protective of her mother and indignant in seeking justice. Kaur is not afraid to go to some dark places in her books, seeing as they deal with sexual assault, mental health, and immigration, but her ultimate message is one of courage, community, sisterhood, and love and therein lies the beauty of her writing. Grades 9-12


Leena Desai