TD Summer Reading Club 2020

TD Summer Reading Club is a free bilingual summer reading program for kids. Developed by the Toronto Public Library in association with Library and Archives Canada, the Club inspires kids to explore the joy of reading and build a lifelong love of literature.

All summer long, kids can read books online, get reading recommendations, track their progress, and connect with other kids all over Canada. There’s something for everyone including kids with print disabilities.

The theme for 2020 is Game On: “This summer, let’s gather together to cheer each other on as we achieve our personal best. We can work as a team, knowing we’re better together. We can test our individual limits to learn more about ourselves. While we might stumble, we’ll get up laughing and try again! Whether we’re playing in the library, online, around a table or in a field, individually or on a team, we’ll stretch our physical and mental limits and give it our best because we love the game.”

Two of our titles have been included on the Club’s 2020 Top 75 Recommended Readers, and we’re so excited to share them with children all across the country this summer.

Go Show the World: A Celebration of Indigenous Heroes
By Wab Kinew
Illustrated by Joe Morse
Tundra Books | 40 Pages | Ages 5-9
ISBN 9780735262928
“We are a people who matter.” Inspired by President Barack Obama’s Of Thee I Sing, Go Show the World is a tribute to historic and modern-day Indigenous heroes, featuring important figures such as Tecumseh, Sacagawea and former NASA astronaut John Herrington.

Jay Versus the Saxophone of Doom
By Kara Koostra with an afterword by Bobby Orr
Illustrated by Kim Smith
192 Pages | Ages 8-12 |
ISBN 9780143193753 | Puffin Canada
When it comes to hockey, Jay’s a team player, but there’s one person who seems determined to make life hard for Jay: his classmate and fellow team member, Mick Bartlet. It’s a good thing Jay can usually stickhandle his way out of his bullying. But something else is determined to make Jay’s life difficult, something far harder for Jay to play: the saxophone.

2020 Red Cedar Book Award

The Red Cedar is British Columbia’s Young Reader’s Choice book award. Every year, thousands of children between grades 4 and 7 from across the province are invited to read books from the nominated lists of non-fiction and fiction titles and vote for their favourite. We would like to congratulate Jonathan Auxier whose Sweep won this year’s award.

Sweep: The Story of a Girl and Her Monster
By Jonathan Auxier
368 Pages | Ages 8-12 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780735264359 | Puffin Canada
Eleven-year-old Nan Sparrow is quite possibly the best climber who ever lived–and a girl. With her wits and will, she’s managed to beat the deadly odds time and time again. But when Nan gets stuck in a deadly chimney fire, she fears her time has come. Instead, she wakes to find herself in an abandoned attic. And she is not alone. Huddled in the corner is a mysterious creature–a golem–made from ash and coal. This is the creature that saved her from the fire.

The 2020 OLA Forest of Reading® Winners and Honour Books

The 2020 Forest of Reading awards were announced earlier today and we are so thrilled that three of our titles were honoured at the virtual Festival of Trees. Congratulations to our authors and illustrators!

2020 Silver Birch Express Fiction Award Winner

Megabat
By Anna Humphrey
Illustrated by Kass Reich
192 Pages | Ages 7-10 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780735262577 | Tundra Books
Daniel Misumi has just moved to a new house. It’s big and old and far away from his friends and his life before. AND it’s haunted . . . or is it?Megabat was just napping on a papaya one day when he was stuffed in a box and shipped halfway across the world. Now he’s living in an old house far from home, feeling sorry for himself and accidentally scaring the people who live there. Daniel realizes it’s not a ghost in his new house. It’s a bat. And he can talk. And he’s actually kind of cute. Megabat realizes that not every human wants to whack him with a broom. This one shares his smooshfruit.

2020 Silver Birch Fiction Award Honour Book

Sweep: The Story of a Girl and Her Monster
By Jonathan Auxier
368 Pages | Ages 8-12 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780735264359 | Puffin Canada
Eleven-year-old Nan Sparrow is quite possibly the best climber who ever lived–and a girl. With her wits and will, she’s managed to beat the deadly odds time and time again. But when Nan gets stuck in a deadly chimney fire, she fears her time has come. Instead, she wakes to find herself in an abandoned attic. And she is not alone. Huddled in the corner is a mysterious creature–a golem–made from ash and coal. This is the creature that saved her from the fire.

2020 Red Maple Fiction Award Winner

No Fixed Address
By Susin Nielsen
288 Pages | Ages 10+ | Hardcover
ISBN 9780735262751 | Tundra Books
Felix Knuttson is an endearing kid with an incredible brain for trivia. His mom Astrid is loving but unreliable; she can’t hold onto a job, or a home. When they lose their apartment in Vancouver, they move into a camper van, just for August, till Astrid finds a job. September comes, they’re still in the van; Felix must keep “home” a secret and give a fake address in order to enroll in school. When he gets to compete on a national quiz show, Felix is determined to win — the cash prize will bring them a home. Is their luck about to change?

Thanks to Curio.ca for virtually hosting the awards this year! If you missed the ceremonies, you can catch up with them online here.

The Forest of Reading is Canada’s largest recreational reading program. This initiative of the Ontario Library Association (OLA) offers seven reading programs to encourage a love of reading in people of all ages. The Forest helps celebrate Canadian books, publishers, authors and illustrators. More than 270,000 readers participate annually from their School and/or Public Library. All Canadians are invited to participate via their local public library, school library, or individually.

PROUD to Read

June is Pride month when we honor all types of love – to celebrate, here’s a list of everything from picture books to YA that recognize people’s different orientations.

Ages 0-3

My Two Dads and Me
By Michael Joosten
Illustrated by Izak Zenou
22 Pages | Ages 0-3 | Board
ISBN 9780525580119 | Doubleday Books for Young Readers
Families with same-sex parents are celebrated as we follow busy dads and their kids eating breakfast, getting dressed, heading out to the park, and settling back in at night with a bubble bath and a good-night lullaby.

My Two Moms and Me
By Michael Joosten
Illustrated by Izak Zenou
22 Pages | Ages 0-3 | Board
ISBN 9780525580126 | Doubleday Books for Young Readers
Families with same-sex parents are celebrated as we follow busy moms and their kids going on a playdate, heading to the pool for a swim, and settling back in at night with a bedtime story and a good-night lullaby.

Ages 3-7

Heather Has Two Mommies
By Leslea Newman
Illustrated by Laura Cornell
32 Pages | Ages 3-7 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780763690427 | Candlewick
Heather’s favorite number is two. She has two arms, two legs, two pets—and two mommies. When Heather goes to school for the first time, someone asks her about her daddy, but Heather doesn’t have a daddy.

Princess Puffybottom … and Darryl
By Susin Nielsen
Illustrated by Olivia Chin Mueller
32 Pages | Ages 3-7 | Hardcover
ISBN 9781101919255 | Tundra Books
What’s a pampered cat to do now that she has to compete for attention with an ill-mannered puppy? Award-winning author Susin Nielsen delights in this laugh-a-minute twist on the classic sibling rivalry story.

Ages 4-8

Big Bob, Little Bob
By James Howe
Illustrated by Laura Ellen Anderson
32 Pages | Ages 4-6 | Hardcover
ISBN 9781536215922 | Candlewick
Big Bob likes trucks and throwing balls and being loud. Little Bob likes dolls and jingling bracelets and being quiet. No matter what they do, they do not do it the same. Could they be friends despite these differences?

Ho’onani: Hula Warrior
By Heather Gale
Illustrated by Mika Song
40 Pages | Ages 4-8 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780735264496 | Tundra Books
Based on a true story, Ho’onani: Hula Warrior is a celebration of Hawaiian culture and a girl who learns to lead and learns to accept who she really is – and gains the respect of all those around her.

Julián Is a Mermaid
By Jessica Love
40 Pages | Ages 4-8 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780763690458 | Candlewick Press
All Julián can think about is dressing up just like the ladies he sees at the pool in his own fabulous mermaid costume. But what will Abuela think about the mess he makes — and even more importantly, what will she think about how Julián sees himself?

Pride: The Story of Harvey Milk and the Rainbow Flag
By Rob Sanders
Illustrated by Steven Salerno
48 Pages | Ages 5-8 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780399555312 | Random House Books for Young Readers
In this deeply moving and empowering true story, young readers will trace the life of the Gay Pride Flag, from its beginnings in 1978 with social activist Harvey Milk and designer Gilbert Baker to its spanning of the globe and its role in today’s world.

Skinnamarink
By Sharon Hampson, Lois Lilienstein, and Bram Morrison, with Randi Hampson
Illustrated by Qin Leng
40 Pages | Ages 4-8 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780735264496 | Tundra Books
Based on the classic folk song made famous by a beloved trio of children’s entertainers, this picture book is best sung aloud! “Skinnamarink” is a timeless anthem of love and inclusion.

Stonewall: A Building. An Uprising. A Revolution
By Rob Sanders
Illustrated by Jamey Christoph
40 Pages | Ages 5-8 | Hardcover
ISBN 9781524719524 | Random House Books for Young Readers
This powerful and timeless true story  will allow young readers to discover the rich and dynamic history of the Stonewall Inn and its role in the LGBTQ+ civil rights movement that continues to this very day.

Ages 10+

Middle School’s a Drag, You Better Werk!
By Greg Howard
304 Pages | Ages 10+ | Hardcover
ISBN 9780525517528 | Putnam Books for Young Readers
When kid drag queen Coco Caliente (aka Julian Vasquez) walks in looking for an agent, Mikey Pruitt thinks he’s finally found his million-dollar idea. As newly out Mikey prepares Julian for the gig of a lifetime, he realizes there’s no rulebook for being gay–and if Julian can be openly gay at school, maybe Mikey can tell his crush how he feels.

The Ship We Built
By Lexie Bean
288 Pages | Ages 10-14 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780525554837 | Dial Books
Rowan has too many secrets to write down in the pages of a diary. He’s not the “right kind” of girl, and he’s not the “right kind” of boy. But Rowan discovers another way to share his secrets: letters. Letters he attaches to balloons and releases into the universe, hoping someone new will read them and understand.

Where the Heart Is
By Jo Knowles
304 Pages | Ages 10-14 | Hardcover
ISBN 9781536200034 | Candlewick
Micah seems to want their relationship to go beyond friendship, and though Rachel almost wishes for that, too, she can’t force herself to feel “that way” about him. In fact, she isn’t sure she can feel that way about any boy — or what that means. If home is where the heart is, what would happen if you lost it? Compassion and humor infuse the story of a family caught in financial crisis and a girl struggling to form her own identity.

Zenobia July
By Lisa Bunker
320 Pages | Ages 10+ | Hardcover
ISBN 9780451479402 | Viking Books for Young Readers
When someone anonymously posts hateful memes on her school’s website, Zenobia knows she’s the one with the abilities to solve the mystery, all while wrestling with the challenges of a new school, a new family, and coming to grips with presenting her true gender for the first time.

Ages 12+

Again Again
By E. Lockhart
304 Pages | Ages 12+ | Hardcover
ISBN 9780385744799 | Delacorte Press
After a near-fatal family catastrophe and an unexpected romantic upheaval, Adelaide Buchwald finds herself catapulted into a summer of wild possibility, during which she will fall in and out of love a thousand times–while finally confronting the secrets she keeps, her ideas about love, and the weird grandiosity of the human mind.

Beyond the Gender Binary
By Alok Vaid-Menon
Illustrated by Ashley Lukashevsky
64 Pages | Ages 12+ | Paperback
ISBN 9780593094655 | Penguin Workshop
Pocket Change Collective is a series of small books with big ideas from today’s leading activists and artists. Taking from their own experiences as a gender-nonconforming artist, Alok Vaid-Menon shows us that gender is malleable.

Chicken Girl
By Heather T. Smith
240 Pages | Ages 12+ | Hardcover
ISBN 9780143198680 | Penguin Teen Canada
After being body shamed, Poppy accepts a job as an anonymous sign waver outside a restaurant. There, she meets six-year-old girl Miracle, who helps Poppy see beyond her own pain, opening her eyes to the people around her including Lewis, a teen caring for an ailing parent, while struggling to reach the final stages of his gender transition. 

Girl Crushed
By Katie Heaney
352 Pages | Ages 12+ | Hardcover
ISBN 9781984897343 | Knopf BFYR
When Jamie dumps Quinn a month before their senior year, Quinn is suddenly girlfriend-less and best friend-less. Enter a new crush: Ruby, the gorgeous lead singer of Sweets. But the closer Quinn grows to Ruby, the more she misses Jamie, and the more Jamie misses her. Who says your first love can’t be your second love, too?

The Boy in the Red Dress
By Kristin Lambert
368 Pages | Ages 12+ | Hardcover
ISBN 9780593113684 | Viking Books for Young Readers
New Year’s Eve, 1929: Millie is running the show at the Cloak & Dagger, a swinging speakeasy in the French Quarter. All of New Orleans is out to celebrate, but no one can outshine the boy in the red dress: Marion, the club’s star performer. Then a girl turns up dead outside the club and Marion becomes the number one suspect.

This Coven Won’t Break
By Isabel Sterling
336 Pages | Ages 12+ | Hardcover
ISBN 9780451480354 | Razorbill
In this gripping, romantic sequel to These Witches Don’t Burn, Hannah must work alongside her new girlfriend to take down the Hunters desperate to steal her magic. When Hannah learns the Hunters have gone nationwide, armed with a serum capable of taking out entire covens at once, she’s desperate to help at any cost.

Ages 14+

Date Me, Bryson Keller
By Kevin Van Whye
336 Pages | Ages 14+ | Hardcover
ISBN 9780593126035 | Random House Books for Young Readers
Everyone knows about the dare: Each week, Bryson Keller must date someone new–the first person to ask him out on Monday morning. Few think Bryson can do it. He may be the king of Fairvale Academy, but he’s never really dated before. Until a boy asks him out, and everything changes.

Followers
By Raziel Reid
336 Pages | Ages 14+ | Hardcover
ISBN 9780735263802 | Penguin Teen Canada
When Lily’s mom kicks her out of their trailer home in the Valley, her estranged aunt invites her to live with her, her movie-star husband, and their daughter, Hailey. Lily is set up in the pool house and thrust into the company of reality-star offspring — kids who are born with silver spoon emojis on their feed.

The Afterward
By E.K. Johnston
352 Pages | Ages 14+ | Paperback
ISBN 9780735231917 | Dutton BFYR
Apprentice Knight Kalanthe Ironheart may be forced to betray not her kingdom or her friends, but her own heart as she seeks a stable future for herself and those she loves. Olsa Rhetsdaughter is a beggar and thief, who lived hand to mouth on the streets until fortune–or fate–pulled her into Kalanthe’s orbit. And now she’s reluctant to leave it.

The Mermaid, The Witch, and The Sea
By Maggie Tokuda-Hall
368 Pages | Ages 14+ | Hardcover
ISBN 9781536204315 | Candlewick
The pirate Florian, born Flora, has always done whatever it takes to survive. Lady Evelyn Hasegawa, a highborn Imperial daughter, is on board as well—accompanied by her own casket. Both Florian and Evelyn have lived their lives by the rules, and whims, of others. But when they fall in love, they decide to take fate into their own hands.

The Stars and the Blackness Between Them
By Junauda Petrus
320 Pages | Ages 14+ | Paperback
ISBN 9780525555490 | Dutton Books for Young Readers
Told in two distinct and irresistible voices, Junauda Petrus’s bold and lyrical debut is the story of two black girls from very different backgrounds finding love and happiness in a world that seems determined to deny them both.

For more YA titles, check out our list from last year! And don’t forget to pick up one of these wonderful books at your local bookstore in June (or any month, really!).

Audiobooks for Kids

Take storytime to another level with these family-friendly audiobooks that your kids will love!

Ages 8-12

Chase
By Linwood Barclay
Read by Adam Sims
4 hours 47 minutes | Ages 8-12
ISBN 9780735268111 | Puffin Canada

Chipper is a very special dog. He’s part of a multi-million-dollar experiment at a secret organization known only as The Institute. The Institute has been experimenting with dogs, melding them with state-of-the-art computer technology. But there’s a problem with Chipper. His natural dog instincts often overrule his computer side. No matter what he’s doing, if he sees a squirrel or a mouse, he’ll drop everything to chase it. So The Institute has decided it’s time to pull the plug on Chipper. Chipper manages a daring escape with a destination in mind, but a team from The Institute, led by the cold-hearted Daggert, is hot on his heels.

Escape
By Linwood Barclay
Read by Adam Sims
5 hours 11 minutes | Ages 8-12
ISBN 9780735268333 | Puffin Canada

Twelve-year-old Jeff and genetically engineered spy dog Chipper are on the run from the mysterious and sinister organization known only as The Institute, with help from Harry, the summer guest at Jeff’s aunt’s fishing cabins. Due to a combination of bravery, luck and some of Chipper’s more useful modifications, they’ve managed to evade their pursuers so far. But The Institute is closing in and Chipper and Jeff will have to keep one step ahead if they want to stay alive. . . . Harry seems to have a plan to keep them hidden, but now even he seems to be acting suspiciously. Can Jeff and Chipper trust him?

Knock About with the Fitzgerald-Trouts
By Esta Spalding
Illustrated by Sydney Smith
Read by Caitlin Kelly
5 hours 36 minutes | Ages 8-12
ISBN 9780735264755 | Tundra Books

Welcome to the further adventures of the plucky Fitzgerald-Trout siblings, who live on a tropical island where the grown-ups are useless, but the kids can drive. In this second installment, the delightfully self-reliant siblings continue their search for a home. This time, their pursuit will bring them face-to-face with a flood, illegal carnivorous plants, and the chance to win an extraordinary prize at a carnival. Will they finally find the place they truly belong?

Look Out for the Fitzgerald-Trouts
By Esta Spalding
Illustrated by Sydney Smith
Read by Caitlin Kelly
4 hours 12 minutes | Ages 8-12
ISBN 9780735264748 | Tundra Books

Meet the Fitzgerald-Trouts, a band of four loosely related children living together on a lush tropical island. They take care of themselves. They sleep in their car, bathe in the ocean, eat fish they catch and fruit they pick, and can drive anywhere they need to go–to the school, the laundromat, or the drive-in. If they put their minds to it, the Fitzgerald-Trouts can do anything. Even, they hope, find a real home.

Sweep: The Story of a Girl and Her Monster
By Jonathan Auxier
Read by Sarah Coomes
8 hours 14 minutes | Ages 8-12
ISBN 9780735269194 | Puffin Canada

For nearly a century, Victorian London relied on “climbing boys”–orphans owned by chimney sweeps–to clean flues and protect homes from fire. The work was hard, thankless and brutally dangerous. Eleven-year-old Nan Sparrow is quite possibly the best climber who ever lived–and a girl. With her wits and will, she’s managed to beat the deadly odds time and time again. But when Nan gets stuck in a deadly chimney fire, she fears her time has come. Instead, she wakes to find herself in an abandoned attic. And she is not alone. Huddled in the corner is a mysterious creature–a golem–made from ash and coal. This is the creature that saved her from the fire.

Ages 10+

A Royal Guide to Monster Slaying
By Kelley Armstrong
Read by Caitlin Driscoll
7 hours 48 minutes | Ages 10-14
ISBN 9780735269132 | Puffin Canada

Twelve-year-old Rowan is destined to be Queen; her twin brother, Rhydd, to be Royal Monster Hunter. Rowan would give anything to switch places, but the oldest child is always next in line, even if she is only older by two minutes. She resigns herself to admiring her monster hunting aunt’s glorious sword and joining her queen mother for boring diplomatic teas. But tragedy shatters the longstanding rule, and Rowan finds herself hunting the most dangerous monster of all: a gryphon.

Aggie Morton, Mystery Queen: The Body Under the Piano
By Marthe Jocelyn
Illustrated by Isabelle Follath
Read by Sarah English
8 hours 13 minutes | Ages 10+
ISBN 9780735268791 | Tundra Books

Filled with mystery, adventure, an unforgettable heroine and several helpings of tea and sweets, The Body Under the Piano is the clever debut of a new series for middle-grade readers and Christie and Poirot fans everywhere, from a Governor General’s Award–nominated author of historical fiction for children.

Me and Banksy
By Tanya Lloyd Kyi
Read by Veronica Hortiguela
6 hours 15 minutes | Ages 10+
ISBN 9780735268777 | Puffin Canada

Dominica’s private school is covered in cameras, and someone is hacking into them and posting embarrassing moments for the whole school to see. Like Ana picking her nose. When Dominica quickly changes her shirt from inside out in what she thinks is the privacy of a quiet corner in the library, she’s shocked — and embarrassed — to discover a video has captured this and is currently circulating amongst her schoolmates. So mortifying, especially since over the past three years, they’ve had a half-dozen school talks about social media safety.

No Fixed Address
By Susin Nielsen
Read by Nissae Isen
5 hours 35 minutes | Ages 10+
ISBN 9780735265875 | Tundra Books

Felix Knuttson, twelve, is an endearing kid with an incredible brain for trivia. His mom Astrid is loving but unreliable; she can’t hold onto a job, or a home. When they lose their apartment in Vancouver, they move into a camper van, just for August, till Astrid finds a job. September comes, they’re still in the van; Felix must keep “home” a secret and give a fake address in order to enroll in school. Luckily, he finds true friends. As the weeks pass and life becomes grim, he struggles not to let anyone know how precarious his situation is. When he gets to compete on a national quiz show, Felix is determined to win — the cash prize will bring them a home. Their luck is about to change! But what happens is not at all what Felix expected.

The Reluctant Journal of Henry K. Larsen
By Susin Nielsen
Read by Ashleigh Ball
5 hours 52 minutes | Ages 10+
ISBN 9780735265301 | Tundra Books

Thirteen-year-old Henry’s happy, ordinary life comes to an abrupt halt when his older brother, Jesse, picks up their father’s hunting rifle and leaves the house one morning. What follows shatters Henry’s family, who are forced to resume their lives in a new city, where no one knows their past. When Henry’s therapist suggests he keeps a journal, at first he is resistant. But soon he confides in it at all hours of the day and night.

Need more suggestions? Check out this list on the Penguin Random House Canada website!