Monday, November 17, 2008

Not Quite a Canon: Thirteen Canadian Teen Novels

My friend Claire, in Auckland, asked for my personal canon of teen novels. I decided to send a selection of Canadian teen novels that cover the spectrum of what's out there. It was hard to pare this list down, but one criteria was that that the title be available at the Auckland City Libraries.

Martha Brooks. Mistik Lake OR The True Confessions of a Heartless Girl (literary, contemporary fiction)

Chester Brown. Louis Riel. (history of Canada’s Metis people in comic strip format; Louis Riel is Canada's best-known folk hero; valuable alternative historical perspective) NOTE: I couldn’t find any Canadian Aboriginal authors listed in the Auckland City Libraries, so this is as close as I could get.

Christopher Paul Curtis. Elijah of Buxton (historical fiction told in dialect)

Charles De Lint. The Blue Girl (urban fantasy)

Deborah Ellis. Parvana OR I Am a Taxi (or read them both; they’re worth it – hardships of contemporary young people in other parts of the world)

Susan Juby. Alice, I Think (hilarious diary format)

Graham McNamee. Acceleration (suspense thriller of the sort boys like)

Lucy Maud Montgomery. Anne of Green Gables (a classic, of course)

Kenneth Oppel. Silverwing (animal fantasy) OR Airborn (steampunk fantasy)

Joanne Proulx. Anthem of a Reluctant Prophet (supernatural elements in an otherwise gritty novel; also a good example of a novel aimed at the older end of teen readership)

Shyam Selvadurai. Swimming in the Monsoon Sea (multiculturalism is a hallmark of Canadian lit; this one is set in Sri Lanka)

Sean Stewart. Cathy’s Book (I recommend this as a read-alike for Stephenie Meyer because it has romance and the supernatural in a contemporary setting. The hardcover edition in Canada had a whole bunch of loose paper elements that were integral to solving the mystery, in addition to an internet site, but the paperback version was less tactile, with the extras bound in. Also, the initial edition had product placement – a recent trend – that was dropped in the paperback editon.)

Mariko Tamaki. Skim (graphic novel format coming-of-age)


Arlene said...

Interesting, Lindy. I like the variety. Out of curiousity, how would you defind "steampunk"? I haven't heard of that term...arlene

Lindy said...

This is from wikipedia: The term denotes works set in an era or world where steam power is still widely used — usually the 19th century, and often set in Victorian era England — but with prominent elements of either science fiction or fantasy.