10 Books to Read by Canadian Authors:

Happy Canada Day! 🍁 In honour of Canada Day I thought I would do a post on 10 books everyone should read by Canadian authors. I tried to do a mix of young adult, middle grade, adult and children's literature. I've included links to buy the books as well as links for all the authors. I hope you enjoy some Canadian literature!

1.  Silverwing        By: Kenneth Oppel

Shade is a young silverwing bat, the runt of his colony. But he's determined to prove himself on the long, dangerous winter migration to Hibernaculum, millions of wingbeats to the south. During a fierce storm, he loses the others and soon faces the most incredible journey of his young life. Desperately searching for a way to rejoin his flock, Shade meets a remarkable cast of characters: Marina, a Brightwing bat with a strange metal band on her leg; Zephyr, a mystical albino bat with an unusual gift; and Goth, a gigantic carnivorous vampire bat. But which ones are friends and which ones are enemies? In this epic story of adventure and suspense, Shade is going to need all the help he can find -- if he hopes to ever see his family again.

Buy it here: Amazon       Chapters/Indigo          Barnes & Noble

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I was born in Port Alberni, a mill town on Vancouver Island, British Columbia but spent the bulk of my childhood in Victoria, B.C. and on the opposite coast, in Halifax, Nova Scotia...At around twelve I decided I wanted to be a writer (this came after deciding I wanted to be a scientist, and then an architect). 

My books include the Silverwing trilogy, which has sold over a million copies around the world, and Airborn, winner of the 2004 Governor General's Award for children's literature, and the Michael L. Printz Honor Book award from the American Library Association. 
Half Brother has won both the Canadian Library Association's Book of the Year for Children Award. as well as their Young Adult Book Award -- the first time in the awards' history the same title has won both honours.
My latest books are The Boundless and The Nest.

2. The Penelopiad        By: Margaret Atwood

In Homer’s account in The Odyssey, Penelope--wife of Odysseus and cousin of the beautiful Helen of Troy--is portrayed as the quintessential faithful wife, her story a salutary lesson through the ages. Left alone for twenty years when Odysseus goes off to fight in the Trojan war after the abduction of Helen, Penelope manages, in the face of scandalous rumours, to maintain the kingdom of Ithaca, bring up her wayward son, and keep over a hundred suitors at bay, simultaneously. When Odysseus finally comes home after enduring hardships, overcoming monsters and sleeping with goddesses, he kills her suitors and--curiously--twelve of her maids.

In a splendid contemporary twist to the ancient story, Margaret Atwood has chosen to give the telling of it to Penelope and to her twelve hanged Maids, asking: "What led to the hanging of the maids, and what was Penelope really up to?" In Atwood’s dazzling, playful retelling, the story becomes as wise and compassionate as it is haunting, and as wildly entertaining as it is disturbing. With wit and verve, drawing on the storytelling and poetic talent for which she herself is renowned, she gives Penelope new life and reality--and sets out to provide an answer to an ancient mystery.

Buy it here: Amazon    Chapters/Indigo    Barnes & Noble

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Margaret Atwood was born in 1939 in Ottawa, and grew up in northern Ontario and Quebec, and in Toronto. She received her undergraduate degree from Victoria College at the University of Toronto and her master’s degree from Radcliffe College.
Margaret Atwood is the author of more than forty books of fiction, poetry, and critical essays. Her latest book of short stories is Stone Mattress: Nine Tales (2014).  Her MaddAddam trilogy – the Giller and Booker prize-nominated Oryx and Crake (2003), The Year of the Flood (2009), and MaddAddam (2013) – is currently being adapted for HBO. The Door is her latest volume of poetry (2007). Her most recent non-fiction books are Payback: Debt and the Shadow Side of Wealth (2008) and In Other Worlds: SF and the Human Imagination (2011). Her novels include The Blind Assassin, winner of the Booker Prize; Alias Grace, which won the Giller Prize in Canada and the Premio Mondello in Italy; and The Robber BrideCat’s EyeThe Handmaid’s Tale – coming soon as a TV series with MGM and Hulu – and The Penelopiad. Her new novel, The Heart Goes Last, was published in September 2015. Forthcoming in 2016 are Hag-Seed, a novel revisitation of Shakespeare’s play The Tempest, for the Hogarth Shakespeare Project, and Angel Catbird – with a cat-bird superhero – a graphic novel with co-creator Johnnie Christmas. (Dark Horse.) Margaret Atwood lives in Toronto with writer Graeme Gibson.

3. Sea of Shadows         By: Kelley Armstrong
The first book of a bold and hugely anticipated new YA trilogy by the phenomenal Kelley Armstrong. 
In the Forest of the Dead, where the empire's worst criminals are exiled, twin sisters Moria and Ashyn are charged with a dangerous task. For they are the Keeper and the Seeker, and each year they must quiet the enraged souls of the damned.
Only this year, the souls will not be quieted.
Ambushed and separated by an ancient evil, the sisters' journey to find each other sends them far from the only home they've ever known. Accompanied by a stubborn imperial guard and a dashing condemned thief, the girls cross a once-empty wasteland, now filled with reawakened monsters of legend, as they travel to warn the emperor. But a terrible secret awaits them at court--one that will alter the balance of their world forever.
Buy it here: Amazon     Chapters/Indigo     Barnes & Noble
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Kelley Armstrong has been telling stories since before she could write. Her earliest written efforts were disastrous. If asked for a story about girls and dolls, hers would invariably feature undead girls and evil dolls, much to her teachers’ dismay. Today, she continues to spin tales of ghosts and demons and werewolves, while safely locked away in her basement writing dungeon. She lives in southwestern Ontario with her husband, kids and far too many pets. 

4. Falling Kingdoms        By: Morgan Rhodes
Princess Cleo of Mytica confronts violence for the first time in her life when a shocking murder sets her kingdom on a path to collapse. Once a privileged royal, Cleo must now summon the strength to survive in this new world and fight for her rightful place as Queen.
The King of Limeros’s son, Magnus, must plan each footstep with shrewd, sharp guile if he is to earn his powerful father’s trust, while his sister, Lucia, discovers a terrifying secret about her heritage that will change everything.
Rebellious Jonas lashes out against the forces of oppression that have kept his country cruelly impoverished—and finds himself the leader of a people’s revolution centuries in the making.
Witches, if found, are put to death, and Watchers, immortal beings who take the shape of hawks to visit the human world, have been almost entirely forgotten. A vicious power struggle quickly escalates to war, and these four young people collide against each other and the rise of elementia, the magic that can topple kingdoms and crown a ruler in the same day.
Buy it here: Amazon     Chapters/Indigo     Barnes & Noble
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Morgan Rhodes lives in Ontario, Canada. As a child, she always wanted to be a princess- the kind that knows how to wield a sharp sword to help save both kingdoms and princes from fire-breathing dragons and dark wizards. Along with writing, Morgan enjoys photography, travel, and Reality TV, and is an extremely picky yet voracious reader of all kinds of books. Under another pen name, she's a nationally bestselling author of many paranormal novels. Falling Kingdoms is her first high fantasy. 

5. Mortimer        By: Robert Munsch
With over half a million copies in print, Mortimer is one of Robert Munsch’s most popular and beloved books.
Mortimer is the story “... of a little boy who won’t go to sleep at night and who drives his family crazy with his rowdiness ... [It] reads as though it was written by a parent driven frantic by one of the contemporary but compulsive stages of childrearing ... [It is] of tremendous appeal to kids and parents at the same stage.”—Globe and Mail

Website  Goodreads
I was born on June 11, 1945 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. I grew up in a family of 9 kids. At least, that is where I lived when I was young. My mother says I never grew up and still act like I was 6 years old. She may be right, but I figure that I act like a very mature 6 year old.

So I became a writer. Mud Puddle sold 3000 copies the first year.
But Annick press kept putting out my books and they slowly sold better and better. Finally I quit my job at the University and started just writing and telling stories. About then I became a Canadian citizen and lost my American citizenship.
Along the way I became Canada¹s best selling author, but I was not selling much in the USA. Then, in 1994, the ‘New York Times’ did an update of their list of bestselling children¹s books that they had last done in 1978. GOODNIGHT MOON had been #1 since forever! So I have kept on doing about 2 books a year and now I have 54 books published. My latest one is PUT ME IN A BOOK.

6. Earth and Sky        By: Megan Crewe
Seventeen-year-old Skylar has always been haunted by fleeting yet powerful feelings that something around her has gone wrong. Those impressions have never seemed to reflect anything real, and have only earned her stares and whispers behind her back. But after she meets a mysterious boy named Win, she learns an unsettling truth: we are not alone on Earth. 
In fact, visitors from beyond the stars are manipulating our planet and the essential fabric of our world; life as we know it is starting to unravel. And Skylar—and her heightened awareness—just may be the key to our salvation.
Buy it here: Amazon   Chapters/Indigo    Barnes & Noble

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I was born in Toronto, Canada around the end of 1980, and I grew up there with my parents, my younger brother, and various cats. 

I've always loved stories--when I was little, I used to beg my dad to read my favorite books "with the voices," which meant he'd put on a different voice for each character. There was nothing better! So unsurprisingly it wasn't long before I starting making up my own stories.

I'm still living in Toronto, now with my husband, my son, and three cats of my own. At the moment I'm a fulltime writer/stay at home mom. When I'm not writing or mothering, I'm reading everything I can get my hands on (about an equal mix of YA and adult fiction, with the occasional nonfiction title thrown in), learning Fut Gar kung fu, and planning my next overseas exploration.

7. Anne of Green Gables        By: L.M. Montgomery

When Anne Shirley arrives at Green Gables, she surprises everyone: first of all, she’s a girl, even though Marilla Cuthbert and her brother Matthew specifically asked for an orphan boy to help around the farm. And second of all, she’s not just any girl: she has bright red hair, a wild imagination, and can talk a mile a minute.
But she also has a sweet disposition and quick wit, and Anne (with an “e” of course—it’s so much more distinguished!) soon finds her place in Avonlea, making a friend in her neighbor Diana Barry and attending the local school, where she spurns the advances of the popular and handsome Gilbert Blythe when he commits the ultimate sin of making fun of her hair.
Anne has a temper as fiery as her hair and a knack for finding trouble, and she also has a big heart and a positive attitude that affects everyone she meets. 

Buy it here: Amazon   Chapters/Indigo   Barnes & Noble

L. M. Montgomery, was a Canadian author best known for a series of novels beginning in 1908 with Anne of Green Gables. The book was an immediate success. The central character, Anne Shirley, an orphaned girl, made Montgomery famous in her lifetime and gave her an international following. The first novel was followed by a series of sequels with Anne as the central character. Montgomery went on to publish 20 novels as well as 530 short stories, 500 poems, and 30 essays. Most of the novels were set in Prince Edward Island, and locations within Canada's smallest province became a literary landmark and popular tourist site—namely Green Gables farm, the genesis of Prince Edward Island National Park.

8. Scorpion Rules        By: Erin Bow

Greta is a Duchess and a Crown Princess. She is also a Child of Peace, a hostage held by the de facto ruler of the world, the great Artificial Intelligence, Talis. This is how the game is played: if you want to rule, you must give one of your children as a hostage. Start a war and your hostage dies.
Greta will be free if she can make it to her eighteenth birthday. Until then she is prepared to die with dignity, if necessary. But everything changes when Elian arrives at the Precepture. He’s a hostage from a new American alliance, and he defies the machines that control every part of their lives—and is severely punished for it. 
Then Elian’s country declares war on Greta’s and invades the prefecture, taking the hostages hostage. Now the great Talis is furious, and coming himself to deliver punishment. Which surely means that Greta and Elian will be killed...unless Greta can think of a way to break all the rules.

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My name is Erin Bow -- physicist turned poet turned author of young adult novels that will make you cry on the bus. I'm a white girl, forty-something, feminist, geeky enough to do the Vulcan salute with both hands -- in public.  I live in Canada.  I love to cook, hate to clean, and yes, I do own a cat.

Right now I'm looking forward to the publication of my fourth novel,  a companion piece to The Scorpion Rules called The Swan Riders, which will be out September 20 from Simon & Schuster.  I'm at work on an new an entirely different novel, and a book of poetry about science. 

Did you notice I got to Canada in there somewhere?   Yeah, that was true love.  I'm married to a Canadian boy, James Bow, who also writes young adult novels.  We have two small daughters, both of whom want to be scientists. 

9. Room        By: Emma Donoghue

To five-year-old Jack, Room is the world. . . . It’s where hewas born. It’s where he and Ma eat and sleep and play andlearn. There are endless wonders that let loose Jack’s imagination -- the snake under Bed that he constructs out of eggshells;the imaginary world projected through the TV; the coziness ofWardrobe beneath Ma’s clothes, where she tucks him in safelyat night, in case Old Nick comes.
Room is home to Jack, but to Ma, it’s the prison whereshe’s been held since she was nineteen -- for seven long years.Through her fierce love for her son, she has created a life forhim in that eleven-by-eleven foot space. But Jack’s curiosity isbuilding alongside Ma’s own desperation, and she knows thatRoom cannot contain either indefinitely. . . . Told in the inventive,funny and poignant voice of Jack, Room is a celebration ofresilience -- and a powerful story of a mother and son whoselove lets them survive the impossible.

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Born in Dublin, Ireland, in October 1969, I am the youngest of eight children of Frances and Denis Donoghue (the literary critic). From the age of 23, I have earned my living as a writer, and have been lucky enough to never have an ‘honest job’ since I was sacked after a single summer month as a chambermaid. After years of commuting between England, Ireland, and Canada, in 1998 I settled in London, Ontario, where I live with Chris Roulston and our son Finn (12) and daughter Una (9).

10. A Spy in the House        By: Y.S. Lee

Steeped in Victorian atmosphere and intrigue, this diverting mystery trails a feisty heroine as she takes on a precarious secret assignment.

Rescued from the gallows in 1850s London, orphan (and thief) Mary Quinn found herself at Miss Scrimshaw’s Academy for Girls, the cover for an all-female investigative unit called the Agency. Now seventeen, Mary must put her training to the test. Disguised as a lady’s companion, she infiltrates a merchant’s home in hopes of finding clues to the whereabouts of his missing cargo ships. But the household is full of deceptions, and there is no one to trust. . . . Or is there? Packed with suspense and evoking gritty Victorian backstreets, this breezy mystery marks the debut of a detective who lives by her wits while uncovering secrets — including those of her own past.

Buy it here: Amazon  Chapters/Indigo   Barnes & Noble

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Y S Lee was born in Singapore, raised in Vancouver and Toronto, and lived for a spell in England. As she completed her PhD in Victorian literature and culture, she began to research a story about a girl detective in 1850s London. The result was her debut novel, The Agency: A Spy in the House. This won the Canadian Children’s Book Centre’s inaugural John Spray Mystery Award in 2011.

I hope you enjoyed these books and maybe found a couple of new ones to read, buy, or put on your tbr. If you've read or loved any of these books let me know in the comments. Or if you have any other recommendations of books by Canadian authors definitely let me know! Happy Canada Day! 

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1 comment

  1. Loved Sea of Shadows (need to read the next 2) and OBSESSED with Falling Kingdoms. Only other ones I know of are Earth & Sky which is sitting expectantly on my shelves and currently reading The Scorpion Rules. Will need to check the others out. Great list! :)