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Books to Read this Summer

The largest and arguably one of the most trusted news broadcasters in Canada, CBC News (including its online website) is a popular destination for information about books and reading in general. CBC News produces television, radio and podcast shows that feature book debates, battle of the books and other contests in “Canada Reads.”  The CBC also features CBC Literary Prizes to Canadian authors and other book-related initiatives, all to recognize and celebrate Canadian authors and writers, as well as those from around the world. You can visit their website to learn more:

On their online “books” page, CBC News share a lot of reading lists, such as “19 Canadian writers to watch in 2019” or “10 Canadian books coming out in July we can’t wait to read.” A recent list of theirs, “The CBC Books summer reading list: 33 books to check out this season” talks about some great books you can read this summer from Canadian authors and those from around the globe.

We decided to share a few of their book recommendations (in random order) for you so you can consider reading highly regarded books that will (hopefully) foster learning about different people, places and things, and allow your imagination to soar. Happy reading!

Examining Cultural Identity: Frying Plantain by Zalika Reid-Benta

Frying Plantain follows Kara Davis through elementary school to her high school graduation, as she comes of age while being perennially caught between her Canadian nationality and Jamaican heritage. Over a series of 12 stories, Davis visits her great aunt in Jamaica, endures a cruel prank by close friends and deals with her stubborn grandparents.

Examining Relationships: Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up with Me by Mariko Tamaki

This YA graphic novel is about a teenage girl named Freddy who can’t seem to quit her girlfriend, the popular, enigmatic Laura Dean. Though they keep breaking up and getting back together, Freddy frets over whether to forgive Laura’s many indiscretions — all the while taking her friendships for granted.

Examining Family Values and Identity: The Love and Lies of Rukhsana Ali by Sabina Khan

Rukhsana Ali is 17 and balancing the expectations of her conservative Muslim parents with her desire to wear crop tops and date girls. When Rukhsana is caught kissing her girlfriend Ariana, she is sent to Bangladesh where she discovers her grandmother’s old diary and is inspired to stand up for herself to her family. 

Examining Heritage, Family Relationships and Exceptionalities: The Perseverance by Raymond Antrobus

British-Jamaican poet Raymond Antrobus’s new collection, The Perseverance, explores his Jamaican heritage, his complicated relationship with his late father and his experience growing up deaf ― a diagnosis he received when he was six years old. The Perseverance is the first book of poetry ever to win the U.K.’s prestigious Rathbones Folio Prize and was a finalist for the 2019 International Griffin Poetry Prize.

Examining Intellect and Influence: The Youth of God by Hassan Ghedi Santur

The Youth of God follows Nuur, a smart and gifted 17-year-old boy living in a Somali neighborhood in Toronto. Two adults, a Muslim imam, and a dedicated teacher are both trying to influence him and shape his future.

Examining History and Culture: This Place: 150 Years Retold

This Place is an anthology of comics featuring the work of Indigenous creators as they retell the history of Canada of the past 150 years. Elements of fantasy and magical realism are incorporated throughout the book, telling the stories of characters like Jack Fiddler, an Anishinaabe shaman facing murder charges, and Rosie, an Inuk girl growing up during the Second World War.