This summer, take a deep breath and plunge into worlds that go beyond heat waves and summer re-runs. Here are a few cool favourites from the Faze library and some hot new reads you must absolutely dive into.
by Ellen Wittlinger
If your first love was a hard love, and you like to pen your confusion and frustrations in a secret diary that’s good enough to be a zine, read this award-winning book that takes a long hard look at changing relationships at home, re-creating your own identity and understanding what separates love from friendship. Check out similar quirky-smart characters in Razzle, also by Ellen Wittlinger.
A Complicated Kindness
by Miriam Toews
[Knopf Canada] Miriam Toews
“As far as I know, we are the most embarrassing sub-sect of people to belong to if you’re a teenager.” Nomi Nickel is a Mennonite stuck in Manitoba’s East Village. With another year of high school left, Nomi desperately wants to get out and see the world, instead of having to take the job at Happy Family Farms, actually a processing plant where Nomi hacks off chicken heads. She also wants to know where her mom and sister disappeared to, leaving her with dad, Ray and pious Uncle Hans.
Honourable mentions: Un-put-down-able books on family, love and questioning identity: The Believer by Virginia Euwer Wolff [Atheneum] Born Confused by Tanuja Desai Hidier [Push Fiction]
by Rachel Cohn
Rachel Cohn Cyd Charisse’s character wears platform boots mothers hate, is addicted to coffee, is constantly getting into trouble for things that aren’t child-like anymore, and thinks her surfer boyfriend is an improvement on the previous loser. Cyd’s rebellions get her shipped off to New York for a summer with her real dad, where she discovers life isn’t greener on the other side.
The Wind on Fire: Trilogy
by William Nicholson
The Wind Trilogy is a nightmarish fantasy tale that takes place within the walled city of Aramanth, where exams are everything. After the chief examiner insults Kestrel Hath’s father and subjects their family to harsh punishment, Kestrel and her brother, Bowman, must learn about the wind singer to uncover the secret evil that rules their city. If you enjoy fantasy, try The Blood Stone and The Surya Trilogy; both by Jamila Gavin [Egmont Books].
How to Survive Your Freshman Year
Edited by Mark W. Bernstein and Yadin Kaufmannhe
[Hundreds of Heads]
Totally freaking out about going away to university or college? Use your summer break and this book to find answers to questions you couldn’t ask your guidance counsellor: from choosing the right major, to doing laundry on your own and handling frat parties. This is your unofficial guide to survival after high school.
Wisdom for a Young CEO
by Douglas Barry
“What does it take to become a CEO?” asked then 12-year-old Douglas in a letter to more than 150 heads of corporations. This book is a compilation of letters, often personal replies, about what drives some of the most powerful bosses in the world to aim for the top. Surprisingly, all of them are voracious readers and Douglas realizes there is no prerequisite to success, just a healthy curiosity about life. Now 17, Douglas maintains an A average and understands one does not have to join every club in school to succeed.
Girlosophy: The Breakup Survival Kit
by Anthea Paul
[Allen and Unwin]
This is an awesomely cool book that offers advice on recovering from nasty breakups. From aromatherapy oils to calm your frazzled nerves to a break-up menu to keep you healthy, here’s a spiritual guide you will want to peek into every time self-doubt creeps up about whose fault it really was. Other Girlosophies: Girlosophy: The Oracle; Love: A Survival Kit; and A Soul Survival Kit; by Anthea Paul.
Women Warriors: Adventures from History’s Greatest
by Teena Apeles
For profiles of political activists (Mother Teresa, Rosa Parks), to legendary figures (Joan of Arc) to sports figures (Williams sisters) to TV’s breed of kick-ass heroines (Buffy, Storm, and Powerpuff girls), here’s a coffee-table book NOT for parents. Have it kicking around for friends who like to flip and read or a personal guide to inspire emancipation.
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