Canadian Children’s Authors and Books You Don’t Want to Miss

Lori Blahey is a former Senior Marketing Consultant at EPL.

February 19, 2020 is the first ever I READ CANADIAN DAY, an opportunity to celebrate Canadian literature for young readers. To get you started, here are our staff picks for awesome Canadian authors and books for kids and teens.

All material is free to borrow with your library card. Don’t have one? Sign up for free online!

EPL staff have a lot of love for these authors:

1. Gordon Korman

“I love Gordon Korman's work and the Macdonald Hall series was absolutely hilarious! He has many great titles but this one (written for his Grade 7 English project!) is a classic.” — Tangraya Coupland, Library Assistant at the Heritage Valley Branch

This Can’t be Happening at Macdonald Hall is available as a book and eBook.

2. Susin Nielsen

“She's written Juvenile fiction such as Word Nerd and No Fixed Address and teen fiction such as The Reluctant Journal of Henry K. Larsen and We are all Made of Molecules. Many of her characters show up in several of her books. Some of her titles have made the Young Reader’s Choice Awards nominations list. She also wrote some TV episodes for Degrassi Junior High and Degrassi High.” — Karna Antoniw, Youth Services Librarian at the Whitemud Crossing Branch

Word Nerd is available as a book and eBook.

No Fixed Address is available as a book, eBook and downloadable audiobook.

The Reluctant Journal of Henry K. Larsen is available as a book and eBook.

We are all Made of Molecules is available as a book, eBook and downloadable audiobook.

3. Robert Munsch

"Who doesn't love Robert Munsch? My family is a big fan of his books (and we’ve read them all too!) but our absolute favourite is The Paper Bag Princess. It's such a fun twist on a classic fairytale." — Karen Chidiak, Marketing & Communications Manager

The Paper Bag Princess is available as a book. 2020 marks the 40th anniversary of this iconic title and to celebrate, EPL is hosting a Paper Bag Princess Anniversary Party at select branches across the city. Find an event near you.

4. Kenneth Oppel

“As a child, I was a big fan of Kenneth Oppel's Silverwing series. I remember loving the writing style, being pulled into the story and kept engaged. I also loved the epic adventure.” — Cassey Stewart, Community Librarian at the Meadows Branch

“I also recommend Kenneth Oppel. I was first introduced to him when I read the Silverwing series to my kids, but he is a very prolific author and his writings range from historical fiction to fantasy and light horror for kids. Pretty amazing writer!” — Rena Backstrom, Library Assistant at the Capilano Branch

 Silverwing is available as a book, eBook and en français.

Airborn is another classic and the first in the Steampunk trilogy. Airborn is available as an eBook.

5. Arthur Slade

“A Saskatchewan author who writes across genres and ages. I really enjoyed the adventures in Crimson but my all-time favourite is Dust, which won the Governor General’s literary award in 2001.” — Ilona Storie, Collections Librarian in the Collection Management & Access Division

Dust is available as a book.

Crimson is available as a book.

6. Polly Horvath

“I was a big fan of Polly Horvath growing up and she's written many more books since. My favourites were The Trolls, which is about a trio of children and their spunky Aunt Sally, with her many tall tales about growing up on Vancouver Island. I also loved Everything on a Waffle about a young girl growing up in a small whaling town after her parents are presumed lost at sea. Her storytelling is spellbinding and unpredictable, and I would borrow both as audiobook CDs from EPL and listen to them incessantly.” — Maria Milanowski, Library Assistant at the epl2go Literacy Vans

The Trolls is available as a downloadable audiobook.

Everything on a Waffle is available as a downloadable audiobook.

Other Staff Picks:

Staff love these books for kids...

  • Jillian Jiggs by Phoebe Gilman – "a family favourite!"
  • The Pirates of Captain McKee by Julie Lawson (previously published as Whatever you do, Don't go near that Canoe) – “a super fun picture book that’s a rollicking, rhyming adventure about a canoe with a mind of its own.”
  • The Imaginary Garden by Andrew Larsen – “a lovely intergenerational story about Theodora and her grandfather's garden grown from paint and creativity, not seeds.”
  • Murder on the Canadian by Eric Wilson – “mysteries for young readers mostly set in locations across Canada.”
  • Dear Canada series – “a popular historical novel series set in locations all across the county, written in diary format.”
  • Anything by Richard van Camp and Julie Flett – “these beautiful picture books and board books are perfect for babies and toddlers.” For more books celebrating Indigenous authors, illustrators and narratives, please check out this list.

These books for teens and older readers...

And these books by Edmonton authors...

  • Awake and Dreaming by Kit Pearson – The story of an impoverished little girl who dreams of living with a "real" family.
  • Kat and Meg Conquer the World by Anna Priemaza – Set in Edmonton, a friend story that highlights ADHD and anxiety.
  • The Mystery of the Frozen Brains by Marty Chan – Part of his mystery series, which are fun reads about Marty growing up in small town Alberta.
  • Who Is Boo? by Bridget Ryan – A children’s book series that chronicles the adventures of Boo, a curious rabbit who is in a race around the world with his brother.

Looking for more great recommendations? Check out our booklists for kids and teens!

Picks for Young Readers