By Yolanda T. Marshall
Summer is heating up! Whether you plan to cool down indoors with your air conditioner or on a beach with sunscreen and a book, here are a few Canadian gems you should add to your reading list.
Sisters of the Snake
Written by Sarena Nanua and Sasha Nanua, Canadian twin sisters who were born on Diwali day.
“Princess Rani longs for a chance to escape her gilded cage and prove herself. Ria is a street urchin, stealing just to keep herself alive. When these two lives collide, everything turns on its head: because Ria and Rani, orphan and royal, are unmistakably identical. A deal is struck to switch places—but danger lurks in both worlds, and the thief and princess must work together to save their home. Or watch it all fall into ruin. Deadly magic, hidden temples, and dark prophecies: Sisters of the Snake is an action-packed, immersive fantasy that will thrill fans of The Wrath & the Dawn and The Tiger at Midnight.”- HarperTeen, 2021.
Sarena and Sasha, born just 10 minutes apart, started writing books at the age of nine due to their love of books about twins. They are also the authors of the YA (young adult) sequel, Daughters of the Dawn.
“Ria and Rani have barely settled into their new lives at the palace—as princesses, as sisters—when a sinister prophecy uproots them once more. The Blood Moon will rise in one month’s time, and with it their enemy Amara’s opportunity to destroy everything Ria and Rani hold dear. The twin princesses must find Amara—a deadly search that separates Ria and Rani once more and takes them to wintry kingdoms and scorching deserts, pitting them against ancient mysteries and trap-ridden labyrinths, lethal sea monsters and an elusive enemy that steals into their very dreams. The lush world-building of Star Daughter meets the thrilling adventure of Ash Princess in this sensational finale to Ria’s and Rani’s journeys that pits them against impossible odds—and battles from within that could destroy everything they’ve fought to save.” – HarperTeen, 2022.
Written by Liselle Sambury, a Trinidadian Canadian YA author, and a Governor General’s Literary Awards Finalist.
“Daisy sees dead people—something impossible to forget in bustling, ghost-packed Toronto. She usually manages to deal with her unwanted ability, but she’s completely unprepared to be dumped by her boyfriend. So when her mother inherits a secluded mansion in northern Ontario where she spent her childhood summers, Daisy jumps at the chance to escape. But the house is nothing as Daisy expects, and she begins to realize that her experience with the supernatural might be no match for her mother’s secrets, nor what lurks within these walls…”- Margaret K. McElderry Books, 2023.
Lawrencia’s Last Parang: A Memoir of Loss and Belonging as a Black Woman in Canada
Written by Anita Jack-Davies, a Canadian-born author and assistant professor who grew up in Trinidad and Tobago.
“A snapshot of the author’s life after the passing of her grandmother Lawrencia, the woman who raised her. Written in the style of a patchwork quilt that takes the reader back and forth between past and present, she examines her grief from the perspective of a Canadian-born Black woman of Caribbean descent, and she begins to question her identity and what it means to be a Black Canadian in new ways.” – Inanna Publications, 2023
Aswen Plays Ball
Written by Sharanja Devasundar, a Canadian-born writer with a passion for reading and writing. This book is pleasantly illustrated by Nicolle Lalonde.
“There is nothing Aswen wants more than to be a great basketball player. It’s his favourite sport! But no matter how hard he tries; he can never seem to score a point. His basketball keeps missing the net. It frustrates him very much! Aswen begins to think he should give up. Why continue playing if he isn’t any good? Aswen’s family will teach him that hard work and perseverance are all that’s needed to succeed. You can be great at anything if you practice! A sweet and heartwarming children’s book about a Tamil-Canadian family, as they teach their youngest member to never give up on what he loves.” – Independently published, 2023.
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Aswen Plays Ball