Three Picks: CanLit YA

Canada Day may have passed, but every day is an opportunity to celebrate the awesomeness of my favourite country, so here's a look at some intriguing YA titles from some smaller Canadian publishers!

Coteau Books

The Broken Thread by Linda Smith

Destroying a deadly prince, in a violent court far from her home, was not what Alina expected when she was chosen to serve on the Isle of the Weavers.

Fifteen-year-old Alina comes from a long line of women who have gone to serve on the Isle of the Weavers, and she has always dreamed of doing the same. Her older sister is going to inherit the farm. She hasn't found any boy in the village that she's attracted to, like her other sister. And she loves her 10-year-old brother, but he's getting to be a pain to look after all the time. Still, a girl must be chosen to be a weaver, and Alina's already older than others were when they were called.

Then the weavers come. Her dreams come true, and she's taken to the Isle of Weaving, where the destiny of the world is born. Alina enters a long period of mental/spiritual training to prepare her to be a weaver. But she struggles with her trademark impatience.To the amusement of her trainers, she's anxious to begin weaving after only a few months training. Then Alina is asked to take spools of thread to the weaving room, and she gets her first glimpse of the awesome tapestry, with its multitude of threads, and colours, and shifting patterns. Left alone for a minute, she discovers a red thread - red like her own hair - which is short and broken, and she impulsively takes a strand of her hair and ties the red thread to a tawny thread nearby. Immediately, thousands of other threads in the tapestry break.What has she done? The tapestry reflects what goes on in the world, as well as affecting events. By reconnecting a thread that was meant to be broken, she has caused the end of thousands of other threads/lives. She must undo what she has done and the story begins.

Wait an evil prince? Magical threads that represent lives? Some secretive, powerful group called Weavers?Fate? This is totally my type of read. I love fantasy and action, and this book promises that in spades. 

Fishtailing by Wendy Phillips


Teen violence, bullying and the burning quest to fit in are presented in the poems of four unforgettable high school students: Natalie, Kyle, Tricia, Miguel. Their stories unfold in this explosive new book told in free verse. A story of teen angst like no other, it is based on fictional characters but is rooted in the realities of the teen experience. 

When Natalie moves to a new high school she befriends three unwitting victims into her spider-web of manipulations, lies and deceit. Through the poetry and assignments of an English class we glimpse the world of the four teens. Natalie, whose alcoholic parents, years of neglect and ultimate rape by her father's friend has shaped her into a cruel and manipulative teen; Tricia, dealing with her blended family, is drawn into Natalies' forbidden world of partying and rebellion; Kyle, a would-be musician is in love with Tricia and Miguel who lusts for Natalie while hiding the secrets of his family.     

The story weaves us through their poetry, their lives and culminates at a party where the four lives fishtail out of control. English class will never be the same.


The last time I read a book about serious issues by a Canadian author, it turned out to be amazing, so by perfect logic, this one should be good too? I'm very curious about verse and this one seems like a quick yet impactful read. 

Great Plains Publications

Lockdown by Maggie Bolitho

When a great earthquake rocks the Pacific Northwest, fifteen-year-old Rowan Morgan is hiking in a suburban forest. Tremors rip the coast from Oregon to Alaska and turn Rowan’s world upside down. After her father is wounded and taken to the hospital, he orders Rowan and her brother to stay inside his earthquakeproof, survivalist home. While the electrified fences offer some protection, it isn’t long before mobs gather, desperate for some of the food and water rumoured to be held inside.

Rowan knows that if the hungry neighbours had any true idea of the riches in father’s cellar and water tanks, they wouldn’t be so easily sent away. Early one morning, Rowan leaves the compound and sets off in search of her father. She is turned away from the hospital and so goes to check on nearby friends where she finds a local gang has moved in. She escapes from them only to run into a stranger she met in the forest the day before. Why is he following her and what does he want?

The potential BC earthquake is a topic I've been interested in for years. This is probably one of the reasons I don't believe I'm that much of an optimist- I like to know about natural disasters so much so that I'm taking a university course in them. Anyway, this one sounds like it has shades of In the After, but with a more realistic story, and I'm very excited for it. 

11 comments:

  1. I'm so very intrigued about The Broken Thread! It reminds me a bit of Crewel but more in a fantasy setting!
    Thanks for sharing!!

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    1. I haven't read Crewel so I can't compare... was it good?

      -P.E.

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  2. Oh, Lockdown sounds really interesting! And so does The Broken Thread :)

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  3. Is it weird the first thing I thought when I saw 'fishtailing' was the braid? LOL, priorities.

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    1. LOL no problem, that's actually what I though too. :P

      -P.E.

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  4. Ooh love this feature and woot for fellow Canadians! I love the sounds of Fishtailing and told in poems is kind of neat. I've been reading more books in verse lately and I found I really enjoy them - surprisingly, too, since I hated poetry in high school >.< And wow Lockdown sounds intense! It reminds me of Ashfall but for an earthquake instead.

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    1. Hm I haven't read Ashfall! I'm assuming it's about a volcano? I've also liked the novels in verse that I read. They're usually surprisingly emotional, so it's always fun to read them.

      -P.E.

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  5. Wow, I definitely haven't heard of these books before but yay for Canadian books!

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    1. Haha that was pretty much my intention! I looked at books that didn't get the same coverage in the YA blog world, and I wanted them to be by Canadian authors. :)

      -P.E.

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What do you think?