We love reading classics as much as the next person but there are a whole bunch of recent YA novels that we could easily swap in for a fresh perspective. We’ve made some suggestions below but we also recommend checking out the Complementing the Classics brochure put together by Penguin Classroom.
In addition to Lord of the Flies, read:
By Rory Power
400 Pages | 14+ | Paperback
ISBN 9780525645610 | Delacorte BFYR
This fresh debut about three best friends living in quarantine at their island boarding school is a mind-bending novel unlike anything you’ve read before. But when Byatt goes missing, Hetty will do anything to find her, even if it means breaking quarantine and braving the horrors that lie beyond the fence.
In addition to The Outsiders, read:
Patron Saints of Nothing
By Randy Ribay
352 Pages | 14+ | Paperback
ISBN 9780525554929 | Kokila
Jay plans to spend the last semester of his senior year playing video games before heading to university in the fall. But when he discovers that his Filipino cousin Jun was murdered as part of President Duterte’s war on drugs, and no one in the family wants to talk about what happened, Jay travels to the Philippines to learn the truth.
In addition to The Great Gatsby, read:
A Sky Painted Gold
By Laura Wood
384 Pages | 12+ | Hardcover
ISBN 9780593127223 | Random House BFYR
It is the summer of 1929 and budding writer Lou meets the Cardew siblings: the bubbly Caitlin and her handsome brother, Robert. Lou is swept into their glittering whirlwind of moonlit parties, unrivaled glamour, and whispered secrets. As she falls deeper into the world of high society, Lou must find a way to stay true to herself…and her heart.
In addition to Little Women, read:
Jo & Laurie
By Margaret Stohl and Melissa De La Cruz
384 Pages | 12+ | Hardcover
ISBN 9781984812018 | Putnam BFYR
1869, Concord, Massachusetts: After the publication of her first novel, Jo March goes to New York with her dear friend Laurie for a week of inspiration. But Laurie has romance on his mind, and despite her growing feelings, Jo turns him down. Until Laurie comes home with a girlfriend…will Jo risk losing the love of her life forever?
In addition to Anne of Green Gables, read:
Maud: A Novel Inspired by the Life of L.M Montgomery
By Melanie J. Fishbane
400 Pages | 12+ | Paperback
ISBN 9780143191261 | Penguin Teen Canada
Lucy Maud Montgomery has a dream: to go to college and become a writer. But living with her grandparents on Prince Edward Island, she worries that this dream will never come true. Life changes for Maud when she goes out West to live with her father until she discovers her stepmother’s plans for her which threat Maud’s future happiness.
In addition to Dracula, read:
By Renée Ahdieh
448 Pages | 12+ | Hardcover
ISBN 9781524738174 | Putnam BFYR
In 1872, New Orleans is a city ruled by the dead. For Celine, it’s a safe haven – until she becomes embroiled in the city’s glitzy underworld, after catching the eye of the group’s enigmatic leader, Sébastien. When a body is found in Sébastien’s lair, Celine battles her attraction and suspicions about his guilt along with the shame of her own secret.
In addition to The Scarlet Letter, read:
He Must Like You
By Danielle Younge-Ullman
336 Pages | 14+ | Hardcover
ISBN 9780735265691 | Penguin Teen Canada
After dumping a pitcher of sangria on an overly handsy customer, Libby has to navigate the fallout of her outburst, plus deal with her rage at the guys who’ve screwed up her life – and her increasing crush on the one guy who truly gets her. A story about consent, rage, and revenge, and the potential we all have to be better.
In addition to The Giver, read:
By Paola Mendoza and Abby Sher
320 Pages | 12+ | Hardcover
ISBN 9781984815712 | Putnam BFYR
It’s 2032, and in this near-future America, all citizens are chipped and everyone is tracked. It’s almost impossible to survive as an undocumented immigrant, but that’s exactly what sixteen-year-old Vali is doing. Then Vali’s mother’s counterfeit chip starts malfunctioning and the Deportation Forces raid their town, forcing them to flee.
My Two Moms and Me By Michael Joosten
Illustrated by Izak Zenou
22 Pages | Ages 0-3
ISBN 9780525580126 | Doubleday Books for Young Readers
Families with same-sex parents are celebrated in this board book that follows busy moms and their kids throughout their day—eating breakfast, 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. LGBTQ+ parents and their friends and families will welcome this inclusive and cheerful book that reflects their own lives and family makeup. With artwork by acclaimed fashion illustrator Izak Zenou, this is a stylish, smart, humorous, family-focused book that will have babies and their two moms giggling as they enjoy it together. It’s an ideal baby-shower and first-birthday gift.
Llama Llama Red Pyjama By Anna Dewdney
34 Pages | Ages 1-3
ISBN 9780451474575 | Viking Books for Young Readers
Llama Llama’s tale of nighttime drama has charmed readers as a classic hardcover for a full decade. For the first time, Anna Dewdney’s infectious rhyming text and expressive artwork are available for the youngest of readers in this board book edition.
By Timothy Knapman
Illustrated by Joe Berger
26 Pages | Ages 2-5
ISBN 9781536212150 | Nosy Crow
All moms are amazing, and the mom in this story is no exception. She doesn’t wear a cape or fly around, but she runs for the bus so fast it feels like flying; uses her superstrength to carry her daughter’s boots, coat, bag, and scooter; and can make bumps and bruises better with just a kiss. Maybe moms really do have superpowers!
Llama Llama is determined to make Mother’s Day as special as possible for his mama. Your little llamas will love relating to their favorite picture book character as he faces new and challenging situations.
Show Mom just how much she means with this colorful book from the World of Eric Carle. Join The Very Hungry Caterpillar as he honors Mother’s Day and celebrates incredible parents everywhere. With joyful illustrations and colorful creatures, this charming keepsake is a great way to show parents, grandparents, soon-to-be mothers, aunts, friends, or whomever you call “Mom” just how much you care.
Great Job, Mom!
By Holman Wang
32 Pages | Ages 3-7
ISBN 9780735264083 | Tundra Books
Being a mom is eleven jobs in one! This unique picture book for very young readers celebrates the many jobs being a parent encompasses: A general who rallies the troops (or unruly kids), a curator of modern art (or finger paintings), an archeologist looking for buried treasures (or socks) . . . when Mom gets home from her day job as a carpenter, she never knows which job will be waiting for her, but she knows it’ll be fun!
This deluxe storybook features two Little Critter stories in one book! In the first story, Little Critter enjoys a day in the city with his mom. Then flip the book over to read about Little Critter’s very first camping trip with his dad.
My Mom and Me By Adam Hargreaves
32 Pages | Ages 3-7
ISBN 9781524792381 | Grosset & Dunlap
From making you smile–even when things are going wrong–to knowing just when hugs are needed, moms are Splendid, Fun, Magic, and Sunshine: lots of the Little Misses rolled into one! This book featuring the Little Miss characters will help you show your mom just how special she is to you. The perfect book for Mother’s Day, a new mom, a mother’s birthday–or for anytime you want to say I love you. Readers can also add their own words about their mom at the end of the book to make it a special, personalized gift.
How to Raise a Mom
By Jean Reagan
Illustrated by Lee Wildish
32 Pages | Ages 4-8
ISBN 9780553538298 | Knopf Books for Young Readers
This humorous new addition to the beloved HOW TO . . . books takes readers through a playful, busy day with Mom. Written in an instructional style, two siblings suggest the best ways to raise a happy, healthy mom—from waking her up in the morning to arranging play dates, to making sure she gets enough exercise, some quiet time, and plenty of veggies! Filled with charming role-reversal humor, creative ideas, and lots of love, How to Raise a Mom is the perfect gift for Mother’s Day—or any day!
How to Babysit a Grandma
By Jean Reagan
Illustrated by Lee Wildish
32 Pages | Ages 5-8
ISBN 9780385753845 | Knopf Books for Young Readers
When you babysit a grandma, if you’re lucky, you’ll have a sleepover at her house! And with the useful tips found in this book, you’re guaranteed to become an expert grandma-sitter in no time. (Be sure to check out the sections on: How to keep a grandma busy; Things to do at the park; Possible places to sleep, and what to do once you’re both tucked in for the night.)
Fairy Mom and Me #1
By Sophie Kinsella
Illustrated by Marta Kissi
160 Pages | Ages 7-10
ISBN 9780735263352 | Puffin Canada
Ella Brook can’t wait to grow up, because one day she will become a fairy and have her own sparkly wings and a teacher on Fairy Tube, just like her mom! Until then, Ella has to learn by watching her mom in action. But sometimes spells go wrong, and Ella’s mom can never seem to remember the right magic codes. A lot of the time, it’s up to Ella to come to the rescue. Does she have what it takes to be a fairy one day? Or will there be more glitches than glitter?
Ella Brook is used to being a Fairy-in-Waiting. It means that one day she will become a fairy with her own sparkly wings and Computawand just like her mom. But sometimes Ella doesn’t want to have to wait any longer. After all, she helps her mom remember magic codes all the time! If only there was a spell for growing up faster. Will Ella prove that she’s ready to become a fairy? Or will she learn that she doesn’t need real magic to save the day?
When Marilla Cuthbert and her brother, Matthew, decide to adopt a child from a distant orphanage, they don’t get quite what they bargained for. The child who awaits them at the tiny Bright River train station is not the strapping young boy they’d imagined–someone to help Matthew work the fields of their small farm–but rather a freckle-faced, redheaded girl named Anne (with an e, if you please).
Matthew and Marilla may not be sure about Anne, but Anne takes one look at Prince Edward Island’s red clay roads and the Cuthberts’ snug white farmhouse with its distinctive green gables and decides that she’s home at last. But will she be able to convince Marilla and Matthew to let her stay?
Armed with only a battered carpetbag and a boundless imagination, Anne charms her way into the Cuthberts’ hearts–and into the hearts of readers as well. She truly is, in the words of Mark Twain, “the dearest and most lovable child in fiction since the immortal Alice.”
How did Captain Marvel gain superhuman powers? When was Shuri crowned queen of Wakanda? From Gamora to Wasp, this beautiful illustrated book celebrates diverse female Super Heroes who use their strength, intelligence, and courage to save the world. More than 50 character profiles explore the origins and achievements of fierce fan-favorites such as Ms. Marvel, America Chavez, Squirrel Girl, and Black Widow. With a foreword by Marvel Comics writer Kelly Thompson, DK’s Fearless and Fantastic! is the ultimate feminist tribute to Marvel Comics’ most powerful women and girls. This book will be a treasured gift for comic book fans and beginners, and fans of 2019’s hugely popular Captain Marvel movie.
By R.J. Palacio
320 Pages | Ages 8-12
ISBN 9780375869020 | Knopf Books for Young Readers
August Pullman was born with a facial difference that, up until now, has prevented him from going to a mainstream school. Starting 5th grade at Beecher Prep, he wants nothing more than to be treated as an ordinary kid—but his new classmates can’t get past Auggie’s extraordinary face. Wonder, now a #1 New York Times bestseller and included on the Texas Bluebonnet Award master list, begins from Auggie’s point of view, but soon switches to include his classmates, his sister, her boyfriend, and others. These perspectives converge in a portrait of one community’s struggle with empathy, compassion, and acceptance.
Sometimes, when you love someone very, very much, you want to find a way of describing how much you treasure them. But, as Little Nutbrown Hare and Big Nutbrown Hare discover, love is not an easy thing to measure! For two decades, Sam McBratney’s timelessly endearing story, beautifully rendered in Anita Jeram’s exquisite watercolors, has captured the deep and tender bond between parent and child. Guess How Much I Love You is one of the world’s best-loved picture books.
What do you give the mother who introduced you to P. D. Eastman’s Are You My Mother? Why, P. D. Eastman’s You Are My Mother, of course—a small hardcover gift book of unrhymed observations about the ways our mothers make us the people we are today! Featuring slightly color-enhanced artwork from Are You My Mother?, the observations (delivered by the baby bird star of the book) are charming, funny, and sure to rekindle cherished memories of reading together. An ideal gift for Mother’s Day, birthdays, or any day you just want to say thanks to Mom and tell her you love her!
Our Marketing & Publicity Associate Director, Vikki VanSickle, was on CTV’s Your Morning today to talk about books to read while in quarantine and virtual events to keep kids occupied. Check out our titles from her recommended list below and don’t forget to watch her segment!
Studio: A Place for Art to Start
By Emily Arrow
Illustrated by The Little Friends of Printmaking
ISBN 9780735264854 | Hardcover
40 Pages | Tundra Books
In this charming ode to creativity, noted children’s singer and entertainer Emily Arrow introduces readers to the concept of the studio: a place for painters, dancers, singers, actors, sculptors, printmakers . . . and you! Whether it’s a purpose-made space with big windows, a room filled with equipment, or the corner of a bedroom, your studio can be anywhere–you just have to find it! Check out At Home with Emily Arrow on YouTube!
Alma and the Beast
By Esme Shapiro
ISBN 9780735263963 | Hardcover
44 Pages | Tundra Books
Alma lives happily in her hairy world, where she can braid the trees, comb the grass, pet the roof and feed her plumpooshkie butterfly. Until one day . . . a hairless, button-nosed beast appears in the garden!
If I Had a Gryphon
By Vikki VanSickle
Illustrated by Cale Atkinson
ISBN 9781770498099 | Hardcover
32 Pages | Tundra Books If I Had a Gryphon is a raucous rhyming read-aloud about fantastical beasts in everyday situations–and the increasingly beleaguered heroine who has to deal with them. Keep up with all our virtual story times and events using this handy schedule!
By Anna Humphrey
Illustrated by Kass Reich
ISBN 9780735266957 | Paperback
192 Pages | Tundra Books
The first installment of a sweet and hilarious chapter book series about a boy and a bat, two unlikely friends who bond over loneliness, jellyrolls and Darth Vader.
The Last Kids on Earth
By Max Brallier
Illustrated by Douglas Holgate
ISBN 9780670016617 | Hardcover
240 Pages | Viking Books For Young Readers
Told in a mixture of text and black-and-white illustration, this is the perfect book for any kid who’s ever dreamed of starring in his or her own comic book or video game. And then grab the rest of the series, now a New York Times bestseller!
The first season of The Last Kids on Earth is available on Netflix now!
The Blue Castle
By Tanya Lloyd Kyi
ISBN 9780735265233 | Paperback
288 Pages | Tundra Books
At twenty-nine, Valancy has never been in love, and it seems romance has passed her by. Then a letter arrives from Dr. Trent–and Valancy decides to throw caution to the winds. For the first time in her life Valancy does and says exactly what she wants. Soon she discovers a surprising new world, full of love and adventures far beyond her most secret dreams. Listen to Rachel McAdams narrating Anne of Green Gables for free on Audible.ca!
The Story of Owen
By E.K. Johnston
ISBN 9780823445028 | Paperback
320 Pages | Holiday House
Dragons. In modern day North America. How can sixteen-year-old Owen fight back when he can barely pass algebra? It takes a village to train a dragon slayer, and Owen needs all the help he can get.
As part of our Year of Anne celebrations, we’ve created Instagram story templates using artwork from Elly MacKay’s beautiful covers. But we’re not just showing Anne the love – some of our templates also feature other beloved characters like Emily Starr, Jane Stuart, and Sara Stanley.
Right click on each image to save it, then feel free to fill in the box with your favourite quote or moment and share it on your own social platforms. Make sure to tag us @TundraBooks so we can see!
We are honored to announce that the Alcuin Society has chosen two of our titles to receive their Awards for Excellence in Book Design. The Alcuin Society Awards for Excellence in Book Design in Canada is the only national competition for book design in the country. Congratulations to our illustrators and designers!
2nd place in the children’s category:
Book design by Julie Morstad and C.S. Richardson
Written by Kyo Maclear
Illustrated by Julie Morstad
Hardcover | 32 Pages
Trim Size: 8-5/8 x 11-1/4
3rd place in prose fiction:
Book design by Kelly Hill
Anne of Green Gables
Written by L.M. Montgomery
Hardcover | 400 Pages
Trim Size: 5-5/16 x 7-7/8