Canadian, eh?

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.

The Nine Days Queen

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.

Silverwing CoverMeanwhile, 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.

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#read150

read150This year Canada celebrates its 150th birthday. I have seen a lot of really great campaigns launched to celebrate Canada and this special year, and this week I had the delight of discovering one more at a place I hadn’t thought to look: at my library.

My local library has put out a challenge to all of its patrons: read 150 books this year in honour of Canada’s birthday. They’re using hashtags on Twitter and Instagram and even have a form on the library website for people who don’t use social  media.  Patrons are sharing pictures of the last book that they read and the library is giving away prizes to a lucky few.

read150-magazineMy favourite part is that the library has put out a reading guide magazine that lists many great reading recommendations. It features a variety of themes including places, people, and age groups. The best part? They’ve flagged all of the Canadian authors with a maple leaf, and they have Canadian authors in all of the categories. I love that this guide was handed to me. I think it’s a great way for the library to be involved in such an important Canadian event!

I had already thought to myself that I wanted to read more Canadian works this year – it’s the ideal time to do it! Hearing about this campaign and flipping through the reading guide has motivated me even more. I already have my eye on several interesting books by Canadian authors, about Canadian culture, and with Canadian settings. I can’t wait to get reading. read150-maple-leaf

Picture source: https://calgarylibrary.ca/great-reads-for-2017/