To celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday this year I’ve decided to read all Canadian works, whether that means novels set in Canada or books written by a Canadian author. Over the past two months I’ve been looking into what books I might want to read and making a great to-read list, which you can find on my Goodreads page. (Of course, this list is far too long for me to read everything in a year, but… all well.)
Interestingly enough, while I was creating this list I kept running across familiar sounding names: Kenneth Oppel, Jean Little, Karleen Bradford, and Kit Pearson, to name a few. These authors were staples in my childhood, and I had no idea that they were Canadian.
I absolutely loved these authors growing up. As a kid I was fascinated with the story of Lady Jane Grey because of Karleen Bradford’s novel The Nine Days Queen. Bradford’s writing led me down a wonderful path, and reading novels such as Lionheart’s Scribe led me to some of my favourite authors like Tamora Pierce and Diana Wynne Jones.
Kit Pearson is a name I have always associated with the Dear Canada series, and historical novels in general. In fact, Pearson’s The Sky Is Falling is one of the first World War II books that I can remember reading. Between Karleen Bradford and Kit Pearson’s novels I grew to love historical fiction, a love that I still have today.
Meanwhile, Kenneth Oppel single handedly made me fall in love with bats in Silverwing. It has always been one of my favourite books and to this day I still watch the evening sky and hope to see a bat swooping past.
I had no idea that working on my Canadian reading challenge would bring back so many wonderful childhood memories. It made me happy to realize that much of my childhood reading was influenced by Canadian authors. I’m sure that there are more to discover, and I’m very much looking forward to it.