22 Canadian YA books to watch for in fall 2022

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Here are the Canadian YA books we are excited to read in the second half of 2022.

Counting Scars is a book by Melinda Anne Di Lorenzo. (Orca Book Publishers)

In the YA novel Counting Scars, 16-year-old Adele Reimer is sent to a youth reform camp after her mother goes to rehab and her estranged father is unable to take custody. At camp, Adele just wants to avoid trouble. But when she meets mysterious Fergus and charming Andy, Adele is pulled into a dangerous situation that may end up costing her life. 

Counting Scars is for ages 12 and up.

When you can read it: Aug. 16, 2022

Melinda Anne Di Lorenzo is a writer who lives in Victoria. 

Murder at the Hotel Hopeless is a book by John Lekich. (Orca Book Publishers)

In the YA novel Murder at the Hotel Hopeless, Charlie Hope helps his mother run the family hotel, where nothing much usually happens. But when Mr. Ignato, an elderly resident at the hotel, dies after falling down the stairs, Charlie suspects foul play. Nobody believes him except for Penny Price, a spoiled child actor staying at the hotel. The two team up to solve the murder and stumble across Mr. Ignato’s criminal past. 

Murder at the Hotel Hopeless is for ages 12 and up.

When you can read it: Aug. 16, 2022

John Lekich is a Vancouver journalist and author whose work has appeared in the Hollywood Reporter, the Los Angeles Times and the Globe and Mail. He is also the author of several YA novels, including The Prisoner of Snowflake Falls, King of the Lost and Found and The Losers’ Club, which was a 2002 finalist for the Governor General’s Literary Award for children’s literature – text. 

Careful What You Wish For is a book by Mahtab Narsimhan. (Orca Book Publishers)

In the YA novel Careful What You Wish For, Eshana feels more comfortable talking to people online than in person. When she discovers a website where people can support each other in making their dreams come true, she connects with someone called Wise One. Eshana tells the Wise One how hard it is for her to make friends and the next day at school, suddenly everyone wants to talk to her. But one of Eshana’s bullies ends up in a car accident after telling the Wise One about her and Eshana wonders if having all her wishes come true is worth the cost. 

Careful What You Wish For is for ages 12 and up.

When you can read it: Aug. 16, 2022

Mahtab Narsimhan is a Vancouver author of several books for young readers, including You and Me BothEmbrace the Chicken, Mission Mumbai, The Tiffin and The Third Eye, which won the 2009 Silver Birch Fiction Award. Born in Mumbai, Narsimhan immigrated to Canada in 1997. 

A Venom Dark and Sweet is a book by Judy I. Lin. (Feiwel & Friends, Aaron Perkins)

In A Venom Dark and Sweet, the conclusion to the Book of Tea duology, a great evil has come to the kingdom of Dàxi and the Banished Prince has seized control. Ning, a young but powerful shénnóng-shi — a wielder of magic using the ancient art of tea-making — along with Ning’s sister, Princess Zhen and her bodyguard, Ruyi, travel throughout the kingdom in search of allies to help take back Zhen’s rightful throne.

A Venom Dark and Sweet is for ages 13 and up.

When you can read it: Aug. 23, 2022

Judy I. Lin was born in Taiwan and immigrated to Canada with her family at a young age. Magic Steeped in Poison is the first book in the Book of Tea duology.

Silencing Rebecca is a book by Nikki Vogel. (Thistledown Press, nikkivogel.ca)

In the YA novel Silencing Rebecca, Rebecca Waldmann’s sheltered life as an Orthodox Jewish teen in Toronto is shattered when her father moves them to Edmonton and she must attend a public high school. Rebecca doesn’t have experience with wearing cool clothes, swearing or talking back to teachers and things get worse when she hits puberty and is transformed into a golem. As she alternates between human girl and mythical clay creature, Rebecca must fight off the attention of a predatory schoolmate and her father’s determination to force her into an arranged marriage in order to speak her own truth.

Silencing Rebecca is for ages 13 and up.

When you can read it: Aug. 31, 2022

Nikki Vogel is an Edmonton-based writer. Her poetry has been published in Room, filling Station and The Istanbul Review. Silencing Rebecca is her first book. 

Why Are You Still Here? is book by Lynda Partridge, pictured, with illustrations by Dave Nicholson. (UpRoute)

Why Are You Still Here? is part of the Lillian Mysteries series of books. It continues the story of Lillian, the complex and not-always-lovable foster kid who finds a sense of peace and belonging from a surprising spirit that returns her to Indigenous traditions and ways of knowledge. The latest book uncovers the mystery of ghosts and spirits that live behind a window at Lillian’s family farm.

Why Are You Still Here? is for ages 12 and up.

When you can read it: Sept. 1, 2022

Lynda Partridge is a member of the Algonquins of Pikwakanagan First Nation. She grew up in the child welfare system and was placed in several non-Indigenous foster homes. Partridge is also the author of Lillian and Kokomis: The Spirit of Dance.

Dave Nicholson is an illustrator and tattoo artist.

Daughters of the Dawn is a book by Sasha Nanua and Sarena Nanua. (HarperTeen)

In the sequel to the YA novel Sisters of the Snake, twin princesses Ria and Rani have barely settled into their new lives at the palace when a sinister prophecy uproots them. The Blood Moon rises in one month’s time giving their enemy Amara an opportunity to destroy everything they hold dear. Ria and Rani must embark on a deadly search and battle impossible odds to find Amara and save their home.

Daughters of the Dawn is for ages 13 and up.

When you can read it: Sept. 6, 2022

Sasha Nanua and Sarena Nanua are YA authors and twin sisters based in Ontario. Born minutes apart from each other, they grew up loving stories about twins and magic, and began writing books together at a young age. They are also the authors of the Pendant trilogy. 

Meet Me in Mumbai is a book by Sabina Khan. (Scholastic Canada)

When Ayesha falls for Suresh, the two find themselves inseparable, until a twist of fate takes Suresh back to India in the YA novel Meet Me in Mumbai. Suddenly, Ayesha discovers she is pregnant and navigating the biggest decision she’ll ever make on her own. Seventeen years later, Mira finds an old box with letters addressed to her from her birth mother, Ayesha. Ayesha writes that if Mira can forgive her, Mira should travel to India for her 18th birthday and meet her. Mira knows she’ll always regret it if she doesn’t go, but is she ready for what she will learn?

Meet Me in Mumbai is for ages 14 and up.

When you can read it: Sept. 6, 2022

Sabrina Khan is an author based in British Columbia. She writes about Muslim teens who straddle cultures. She is also the author of The Love and Lies of Rukhsana Ali and Zara Hossain Is Here.

More Than Money is a book by Hadley Dyer, centre left, and Mitchell Bernard, centre right, illustrated by Paul Gill. (Annick Press)

More Than Money is a nonfiction YA book that explores economic inequality and how it impacts every aspect of life, from healthcare and education to access to opportunities. Through illustrations, graphs and charts, readers will learn about important issues and ideas in economics in order to better understand the consequences of inequality.

More Than Money is for ages 12 and up.

When you can read it: Oct. 11, 2022

Hadley Dyer is a writer from Toronto. She is the author of several titles for young readers and has worked in the children’s book industry for more than 20 years.

Mitchell Bernard is a Toronto-based political economist specializing in East Asia and has been a professor at York University and several universities in Japan. 

Paul Gill works in design, animation and book illustration. He lives in Vancouver. 

Union is a book by Sara Cassidy. (Katrina Rain, Orca Book Publishers)

Fifteen-year-old Tuck is left broken and untrusting, after being abused by his mother’s boyfriend in the YA novel Union. But he starts to imagine a happy life when he falls for his childhood friend, Grace. Plus, Tuck is asked to start up a union at the fast-food restaurant where he works. His new sense of purpose and growing love for Grace helps Tuck come to terms with his pain and begin his healing process. 

Union is for ages 12 and up.

When you can read it: Sept. 13, 2022

Sara Cassidy is a journalist, editor and author living in Victoria. She has written more than 10 books geared for young readers, including Genius Jolene, which was illustrated by Charlene Chua; The Moon is a Silver Pond, which was illustrated by Josée Bisaillon; and the middle-grade book Nevers, which was a finalist for the 2020 Governor General’s Literary Prize for young people’s literature — text.

As Long as the Lemon Trees Grow is a book by Zoulfa Katouh. ( Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, zoulfakatouh.com)

As Long as the Lemon Trees Grow is a YA novel set during the Syrian Revolution. Pharmacy student Salama Kassab finds herself volunteering at a hospital in Homs, helping the wounded. She is so desperate to find a way out of her country that she manifests a physical embodiment of her fear in the form of Khawf – an imaginary companion. As Khawf pushes her to leave the country amidst bullets, bombs and military assaults, Salama is torn between her loyalty to Syria and her conviction to survive. 

As Long as the Lemon Trees Grow is for ages 14 and up.

When you can read it: Sept. 13, 2022

Zoulfa Katouh is a Syrian Canadian author based in Switzerland. She holds a bachelor’s degree in pharmacy and is currently pursuing her master’s degree in drug sciences. As Long as the Lemon Trees Grow is her debut novel.

Until We Break is a book by Matthew Dawkins. (Wattpad Books)

Until We Break is a YA novel about Naomi, a young woman who is the only Black student at a prestigious ballet academy. With dreams of earning a place with the New York City Ballet, Naomi works to overcome feelings of isolation and doubt as she trains to win the dance competition known as the Youth American Grand Prix. Naomi meets a street artist named Saint, who shows her a new way of looking at life. But when she suffers an injury, Naomi has to dig deep to prove that she has what it takes to be a top dancer. 

Until We Break is for ages 14 and up.

When you can read it: Sept. 20, 2022

Matthew Dawkins is a Jamaican Canadian author based in London, Ont. Until We Break is his debut book.

Made 4 You is a book by Eric Walters. (DCB)

YA novel Made 4 You is about the surprising relationship between teenagers Becky and Gene. When Becky James meets the brilliant, talented and socially awkward new student named Gene Newman, she knows he is different. Becky lives in a small town where nothing ever changes and Gene is like nobody else she has ever known. But after Gene confides in her about his secret, Becky finds it’s apparently a secret worth killing for.

Made 4 You is for ages 13 and up.

When you can read it: Sept. 24, 2022

Eric Walters is one of Canada’s most prolific writers for young people. He’s penned over 100 books, including Camp X, The Power of Three and Run. His 2006 novel We All Fall Down came in at #88 on the list of the bestselling 150 Canadian books of the past 10 years. Walters won the 2020 Governor General’s Literary Prize for young people’s literature — text for The King of Jam Sandwiches.

The Book of Us is a book by Shane Peacock. (DCB)

The Book of Us is a YA novel about young love, betrayal and redemption. It’s the summer before Grade 12 and Noah Greene is in the relationship of a lifetime with his brilliant girlfriend, Miranda Owens. But when Miranda overhears a private conversation between Noah and another girl, their relationship is shattered. Noah, determined to make amends and understand the harm he has caused, hopes to repair his connection with Miranda in time for prom. 

The Book of Us is for ages 13 and up.

When you can read it: Oct. 1, 2022

Shane Peacock is an author, playwright, journalist and screenwriter based in Cobourg, Ont. He has been shortlisted for the Governor General’s Literary Award, the TD Canadian Children’s Literature Award and the Marilyn Baillie Picture Book Prize. His books for young people include the Boy Sherlock Holmes series, the Dylan Maples Adventures series and the Dark Missions of Edgar Brim trilogy.

Suck It In and Smile is a book by Laurence Beaudoin-Masse, pictured, and translated by Shelley Tanaka. (Groundwood Books)

Suck It In and Smile is a YA novel about the dark side of internet stardom. Far from the shy teenager she was, Ellie is living life as a popular fitness influencer with hundreds of thousands of followers and a famous boyfriend. Yet, Ellie worries her life might not be as flawless as she makes it out to be on social media. From her obsession with the “ideal weight,” her growing attraction to another man and her family’s disdain for her career as a content creator, Ellie fears she may have lost herself along the way. 

Suck It In and Smile is for ages 12 and up.

When you can read it: Oct. 4, 2022

Laurence Beaudoin-Masse is a writer from Montreal. She is the author of two novels: Suck It In and Smile and its sequel. 

Shelley Tanaka is an author, translator and editor who has written and translated more than 30 books for children and young adults. She lives in Kingston, Ont.

A House Unsettled is a book by Trynne Delaney. (Vian Dang, Annick Press)

A House Unsettled is a YA novel about a creepy old house and the secrets inside it. When Asha moves to her great aunt’s old house in the country in search of a fresh start, she is immediately drawn to her neighbour Cole. Excited by this connection, her optimism is soon overshadowed by strange occurrences happening within the house. From footsteps in the halls to cold hands around her neck in the night, Asha fears for her safety and seeks out the source of these terrifying incidents, only to uncover secrets from the past that connect her to Cole’s family.

A House Unsettled is for ages 14 and up.

When you can read it: Oct. 11, 2022

Trynne Delaney is a Montreal-based writer. They are also the author of the novella the half-drowned. A House Unsettled is their debut novel.

In the Key of Dale is a book by Benjamin Lefebvre. (Arsenal Pulp Press, benjaminlefebvre.com)

YA novel In the Key of Dale is about 16-year-old Dale Cardigan, who doesn’t fit in with his classmates or his family. He’s a loner at his all-boys high school and he’s fine with that. Dale starts writing letters to his dad — who has died — to tell him everything he can’t tell his mother and to keep track of the unexpected developments in his life. Eventually, Dale finds himself falling for his classmate Rusty and in need of support after stumbling across an old family secret. 

In the Key of Dale is for ages 14 and up.

When you can read it: Oct. 11, 2022

Benjamin Lefebvre is a writer based in Kitchener, Ont. His edited books include the anthology The L.M. Montgomery Reader, which won the 2016 Prose Award for Literature from the Association of American Publishers, and an edition of L.M. Montgomery’s rediscovered final book, The Blythes Are Quoted. In the Key of Dale is his debut novel.

Heartbreak Homes is a book by Jo Treggiari. (Nimbus Publishing)

Heartbreak Homes is a YA novel about a murder and the three teenagers who team up to try to solve it. Frankie isn’t into the party scene, but she would do anything for her best friend, Jessa, who has been hanging out with the popular kids and vying for Malcolm’s attention. Martin, on the other hand, hasn’t heard from his friends after his family moved across town when his dad lost everything, while Cara and her crew have been stealing for their survival. When Malcolm throws a massive party at his father’s deserted development property, a lifeless body is found and Frankie, Martin and Cara must forge new bonds in order to unmask a killer.

Heartbreak Homes is for ages 12 and up.

When you can read it: Oct. 11, 2022

Jo Treggiari was born in London, England, and raised in Canada. She is the author of the YA novels Blood Will Out, Ashes, Ashes and The Grey Sisters, which was a finalist for the Governor General’s Literary Award and was shortlisted for an Arthur Ellis Award.

Heroines, Rescuers, Rabbis, Spies is a book by Sarah Silberstein Swartz. (Second Story Press)

Heroines, Rescuers, Rabbis, Spies is a nonfiction YA book that highlights the stories of nine ordinary women, often overlooked by history, who took extraordinary measures to save lives during the Holocaust. From resisting terror and torture while undercover or in hiding in concentration camps, forests and in exile, these women stood up for themselves and others in dangerous times. 

Heroines, Rescuers, Rabbis, Spies is for ages 13 and up.

When you can read it: Oct. 18, 2022

Sarah Silberstein Swartz was born in post-war Berlin to Jewish Polish Holocaust survivors. She is a writer and editor, specializing in women’s studies and Holocaust literature.

Love from Mecca to Medina is a book by S.K. Ali. (Salaam Reads/Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers)

In the sequel to Love from A to Z, Adam and Zayneb must find their way back to one another. Adam is in Doha, Qatar, making a map of the Hijra, a historic migration from Mecca to Medina, and Zayneb is in school in Chicago. When the pair get a chance to reunite for Thanksgiving week on the Umrah in Saudi Arabia, the trip goes nothing like what they expect and their love is put to the test.

Love from Mecca to Medina is for ages 14 and up.

When you can read it: Oct. 18, 2022

S.K. Ali is a writer and teacher from Toronto, best known for her debut YA novel, Saints and Misfits. She is also the author of Love from A to Z.

Road of the Lost is a book by Nafiza Azad. (Margaret K. McElderry Books)

Road of the Lost is a fantasy YA novel. Croi, a brownie, lives in the Wilde Forest and her power is weak, until her guardian gives her a book about magic from the Otherworld. Soon Croi finds herself being pulled to this new place, so she embarks on a journey beyond the forest, only to be met with danger and surprises. Enchanted to forget her true identity, Croi starts to change as she travels this treacherous path to find her true self and her place in the Otherworld.

Road of the Lost is for ages 14 and up.

When you can read it: Oct. 18, 2022

Nafiza Azad is a writer from Fiji now based in British Columbia. She is also the author of The Candle and the Flame, which was nominated for the William C. Morris Award, The Wild Ones and Road of the Lost. 

The Great Outer Dark is a book by David Neil Lee. (Poplar Press, Maureen Cochrane)

The Great Outer Dark is a fantasy YA novel. Nate Silva has voyaged across the galaxy only to return home to Hamilton to find it’s in the grip of a monstrous triumvirate. The Resurrection Church of the Ancient Gods has returned and the city is infested with invasive species from the church’s occult ceremonies. For the safety of everyone he loves, Nate teams up with his friend H.P. Lovecraft and hijacks the antique airship Sorcerer for one last voyage, to free Earth once and for all.

The Great Outer Dark is for ages 12 and up.

When you can read it: Oct. 25, 2022

David Neil Lee is a writer and musician from British Columbia, living in Hamilton, Ont. He is the author of Commander Zero, The Battle of the Five Spot: Ornette Coleman and the New York Jazz Field and the YA novels, The Midnight Games and The Medusa Deep.

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