Summer Beach Reads

Summer Beach Reads

Grab one of these new releases and soak up some sunshine outdoors. Whether it’s at the beach, cottage, boat or fun road trip – all these books are a guaranteed good time.

A staff-created list with even more of our recent recommendations can be found on our online catalogue.

Book cover image of Cassandra in Reverse<br />

General Fiction – Cassandra in Reverse by Holly Smale

This Resse Witherspoon Book Club pick is a moving family drama featuring an unforgettable autistic heroine who can time travel. A great read-alike for fans of The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion, Oona Out of Order by Margarita Montimore, and The Boys by Katie Hafner.

Place a hold online…


Book cover image of The Mostly True Story of Tanner and Louise

General Fiction – The Mostly True Story of Tanner and Louise by Colleen Oakley

A heartfelt summer road trip adventure featuring a not-to-be-underestimated elderly woman and an aimless young woman who—if they can outrun the mistakes of their past—might just have the greatest adventure of their lives.

Place a hold online…


Book cover image of California Golden

Historical Fiction – California Golden by Melanie Benjamin

Two sisters navigate the turbulent, euphoric early days of California surf culture in this dazzling saga of ambition, sacrifice, and longing for a family they never had, from the New York Times bestselling author of The Aviator’s Wife.

Place a hold online…


Book cover image of Silent Came the Monster

Historical Fiction – Silent Came the Monster by Amy Hill Hearth

A chilling historical fiction account of the real life 1916 shark attacks along the Jersey Shore. Perfect for Shark Week lovers and fans of authors like Erik Larson.

Place a hold online…


Book cover image of The Seven Year Slip

Romance – The Seven-Year Slip written by Ashley Poston

An overworked book publicist with a perfectly planned future hits a snag when she falls in love with her temporary roommate…only to discover he lives seven years in the past, in this witty and wise new novel from the New York Times bestselling author of The Dead Romantics.

Place a hold online…


Book cover image of Meet Me at the Lake

Romance – Meet Me at the Lake by Carley Fortune

This follow up to last summer’s bestselling hit, Every Summer After, sees two former flames trying to reunite years after they first fell in love. Set in Muskoka’s cottage country and the perfect beach read.

Place a hold online…


Book cover image of Smile Beach Murder

Cozy Mystery – Smile Beach Murder by Alicia Bessette

The first book in an all-new cozy mystery series featuring Callie Padget, a former reporter turned bookshop clerk in the Outer Banks who is pulled into a deadly web of secrets when a mysterious fall at a lighthouse echoes a tragedy from her past. Don’t miss the sequel: Murder on Mustang Beach.

Place a hold online…


Book cover image of The Melancholy of Summer

Young Adult Fiction – The Melancholy of Summer by Kalila Fuller

After her parents go on the run, a teenage girl placed in the care of a cousin she barely knows learns to trust and open up in The Melancholy of Summer, a lyrical YA contemporary coming-of-age story by Nigerian Canadian author Louisa Onomé.  ​

Place a hold online…


Book cover image of Camp Sylvania

Middle Grade Fiction – Camp Sylvania by Julie Murphy

From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Dumplin’ and Dear Sweet Pea comes a hilarious and spooky middle grade summer-camp story that takes a bite out of fat camp.

Place a hold online…

Book cover image of Sari-Sari Summers

Picture Book – Sari-Sari Summers written and illustrated by Lynn Bontigao

In this love letter to the Philippines (and to grandmothers), a young girl comes up with a brilliantly delicious way to attract customers after a heat wave leaves her Lola’s store empty.

Place a hold online…

Mental Health Awareness Month

Mental Health Awareness Month

May is Mental Health Awareness Month and staff have compiled a great list of recent reads that highlight ways to check in on your mental health or read about other people who are also struggling. Above all remember it’s okay to not be okay and there’s no shame in asking for help!

A staff-created list with even more of our recent recommendations can be found on our online catalogue.

Cover image of Radical Love

Memoir – Radical Love: Learning to Accept Yourself and Others by Zachary Levi

Radical Love combines witty, touching, and powerful commentary with relatable illustrations to help you on your own path toward mental wellness. With vulnerability and humor, Zac relates the valuable lessons and insights he’s learned so that you can rise from the ashes of trauma and pursue a meaningful life of gratitude.

Place a hold online…


Cover image of Tell Me What You Want

Non-Fiction – Tell Me What You Want by Charlotte Fox Weber

Written with warmth and compassion, full of dramatic, intimate, and moving personal stories, and based on careful research as well as firsthand observations. For fans of Maybe You Should Talk to Someone and Group, this inspiring and moving exploration of the twelve fundamental psychological needs we all share goes behind the closed doors of therapy to guide us in navigating our deepest longings.

Place a hold online…


cover image of Generation Dread<br />

Non-Fiction – Generation Dread by Britt Wray

Climate and environment-related fears and anxieties are on the rise everywhere. As with any type of stress, eco-anxiety can lead to lead to burnout, avoidance, or a disturbance of daily functioning. In Generation Dread, the author seamlessly merges scientific knowledge with emotional insight to show how these intense feelings are a healthy response to the troubled state of the world.

Place a hold online…

Cover image of Feelings: a story in seasons<br />

Graphic Novel/Memoir – Feelings: A Story in Seasons by Manjit Thapp

Articulating and validating the range of feelings we all experience, this is a book that allows us to feel connected and comforted by the experiences that make us human. Told over the course of a year, the author shares the ups and downs of her feelings across all four seasons, from the highs of spring and summer to the lows of winter.

Place a hold online…

Cover image of Adelaide

Fiction – Adelaide by Genevieve Wheeler

With unflinching honesty and heart, this relatable debut from a fresh new voice explores grief and mental health while capturing the timeless nature of what it’s like to be young and in love—with your friends, with your city, and with a person who cannot, will not, love you back.

Place a hold online…


Cover image of Forever is Now

Young Adult Novel-inVerse – Forever is Now by Mariama J. Lockington

A poignant and lyrical young adult novel-in-verse about a Black teen coming of age in an anxiety-inducing world that tackles teen activism, agoraphobia and the Black Lives Matter movement.

Place a hold online…

Cover image of Chaos Theory

Young Adult Fiction – Chaos Theory by Nic Stone

A gripping romance about two BIPOC teens: a certified genius living with bipolar disorder and a politician’s son who is running from his alcoholism and grief. This is a gut punch of a novel about about living with grief, prioritizing mental health, and finding love amid the chaos.

Place a hold online… 

Cover image of Living with Viola<br />

Middle Grade Graphic Novel – Living with Viola by Rosena Fung

Forest of Reading nominated debut author, Rosena Fung draws on her own early experiences with anxiety and the pressures of growing up as the child of Chinese immigrant parents to craft a personal story that explores mental health, cultural differences, and the trials of middle school.

Place a hold online…

Cover image of Iveliz Explains it All

Middle Grade Novel-in-Verse – Iveliz Explains it All by Andrea Beatriz Arango; illustrated by Alyssa Bermudez

A powerful and compassionate, novel-in-verse debut that navigates mental health, finding your voice, and discovering that those who really love you will stay by your side. The author does an excellent job exploring PTSD, grief, therapy, medication and suicidal ideation in a young child in this incredible #ownvoices story.

Place a hold online…

Cover image of Dark Cloud

Picture Book – Dark Cloud by Anna Lazowski; illustrated by Penny Neville-Lee

In this sensitive picture book, symbolic imagery perfectly captures how depression can look and feel as a little girl visualizes her depression as a way of learning to cope. The lyrical text and expressive drawings provide young children with a way to understand and talk about their own feelings. The repetition in the text and the visual narrative pull readers in, making this an excellent read-aloud pick to spark discussions about feelings.

Place a hold online…

Autism Acceptance Month

Autism Acceptance Month

Check out these great books about and by neurodivergent authors or characters to help get a better understanding of the wide range of Autism experiences this April as we embrace the shift from Autism Awareness to Autism Acceptance.

“Many self-advocates for autism spectrum disorders view their neurology as a difference in thinking, not something that needs to be cured. Self-advocates ask for acceptance and support, not isolation. Like everyone, those with autism want acceptance for both their strengths and weaknesses.

Acceptance calls for society to meet children and adults with autism where they are and to make room for them. The word “acceptance” asks that we see autism not as a disease, but as a natural difference in neurology.

Acceptance of these differences is what leads to a happy life, not a cure. The Autism Society, a group of parents and doctors, has also called for the name change, citing that stigma against individuals with autism is often the biggest barrier to self-actualization.” – Quoted from the online article: Why April Is Autism Acceptance Month, Not Autism Awareness Month by K. M. Kovalcik, published March 14, 2023)

A staff-created list with even more of our recent favourites can on our online catalogue.

Book cover image of The Winter Knight

Fiction – The Winter Knight by Jes Batis

A propulsive urban fairy tale/detective story with queer, trans and neurodiverse heroes that asks what it means to be a myth, who gets to star in these tales, and ultimately, how we make our stories our own by a talented queer autistic Canadian writer and teacher.

Place a hold online…


Book cover image of Dyscalculia

Memoir – Dyscalculia by Camonghne Felix

A powerfully moving memoir about one woman’s lifelong struggle with mental health, depression and suicidal ideation. This book has great bipolar II representation and discusses the nuanced differences between ADHD and dyscalculia – a learning disorder that affects a person’s ability to understand numbers-based information and math.

Place a hold online…


Book cover image of Unmasking Autism

Non-Fiction – Unmasking Autism by Devon Price

A deep dive into the spectrum of Autistic experience and the phenomenon of masked Autism, giving individuals the tools to safely uncover their true selves while broadening society’s narrow understanding of neurodiversity.

Place a hold online…


Book Cover image of Little Victories

Memoir/Graphic Novel – Little Victories by Yvon Roy

A beautiful visual exploration of the highs and lows experienced by a parent learning how to adapt to his son’s autism. Faced with a challenging road ahead, the author uses creative flair and ingenuity in order to connect with his son, enabling him to reach his fullest potential and prepare him for the transition into adulthood.

Place a hold online…


Book cover image of Your Therapist Says It's Magical Thinking

Poetry – Your Therapist Says It’s Magical Thinking  by Sadie McCarney

An #ownvoices collection of poetry from a queer, neurodivergent Canadian poet that explores the complexities of mental health advice and history in both critical and creative ways.

Place a hold online…


Book cover image of Jude Saves the World

Middle Grade Fiction – Jude Saves the World by Ronnie Riley

A wonderfully queer positive middle grade novel from a debut Canadian author that sees twelve-year- old Jude managing their ADHD, figuring out how to come out as nonbinary at school and to unsupportive family members and also fighting to create the first Diversity Club at their school.

Place a hold online…


Book cover image of ADHD is my Superpower

Picture Book – ADHD is my Superpower by Sam Bernstein

This own-voices children’s book introduces readers to some of the ways that ADHD can challenge people, and some of the ways in which it can be a superpower with the hope to open readers’ minds to the strengths of neurodiverse people who think and act differently.

Place a hold online… 

Cover image of Let Me Be Me

Film – Let Me Be Me

A documentary film about the Westphal family and their autistic son Kyle’s journey for acceptance and success as he grows up to become a fashion designer, forging connections with friends and family along the way.

Place a hold online…

Transgender Reading Recommendations

Transgender Reading Recommendations

International Transgender Day of Visibility is an annual event that occurs every March 31. It is a day to celebrate transgender (and nonbinary) people and raise awareness of the discrimination and challenges they face worldwide. Library staff have compiled this list of resources created by or featuring transgender and nonbinary people in an effort to help everyone learn more about their achievements and continued struggles. A full list with even more of our recent favourites can be found on our online catalogue.

Book cover image of Mad Honey

Fiction – Mad Honey by Jodi Picoult

Mad Honey is a riveting novel of suspense, an unforgettable love story, and a moving and powerful exploration of the secrets we keep and the risks we take in order to become our true authentic selves.

Place a hold online…


Book cover image of The Story of Us

Fiction – The Story of Us by Catherine Hernandez

From the author of Canada Reads finalist Scarborough, comes a new novel beautifully narrated by the all-seeing eye of the protagonist’s newborn baby. The Story of Us follows the life of a Filipino migrant worker hired to look after an Alzheimer’s patient. It is about sisterhood, about blood and chosen family, and about how belonging can be found where we least expect it.

Place a hold online…


Book cover mage of Light from Uncommon Stars

Fantasy/Sci Fi – Light from Uncommon Stars by Ryka Aoki

An adventure set in California’s San Gabriel Valley, with cursed violins, Faustian bargains, and queer alien courtship over fresh-made donuts.

Place a hold online…


Cover image of the film Being Thunder

Film – Being Thunder

A documentary that follows the life of Sherente, a two spirit-genderqueer teenager from Rhode Island’s Narragansett tribe as they fight for the right to perform wearing traditional female dress in regional pow wow competition despite backlash from tribal elders and other community members.

Place a hold online…


Cover image of the film Framing Agnes

Film – Framing Agnes

A 2022 Canadian documentary film, directed by Chase Joynt. An examination of transgender histories, the film centres on Joynt and a cast of transgender actors re-enacting various case studies from Harold Garfinkel’s work with transgender clients at the University of California, Los Angeles.

Place a hold online…


Book cover image of Pageboy

Memoir – Pageboy by Elliot Page

A ground-breaking coming-of-age memoir from the Academy Award-nominated actor Elliot Page. A generation-defining actor and one of the most famous trans advocates of our time, Elliot will now be known as an uncommon literary talent, as he shares never-before-heard details and intimate interrogations on gender, love, mental health, relationships, and Hollywood.

Place a hold online…


Book cover image of Beyond Pronouns

Non-Fiction – Beyond Pronouns by Tammy Plunkett

A practical guide for parents of transgender or nonbinary children, written by an author who has personal experience helping guide their own transgender child.

Place a hold online…


Book cover image of Heavy Vinyl

Graphic Novel – Heavy Vinyl -Y2K-O! by Carly Usdin

This fun graphic novel series follows a group of queer activists living in the late 1990s who work at a Vinyl Record store during the day and play in a band at night.

Place a hold online…


Book cover image of Lark & Kasim Start a Revolution

Young Adult Fiction – Lark & Kasim Start a Revolution by Kacen Callender

From the national award-winning author of Felix ever after, comes a new character-driven YA contemporary novel featuring a diverse cast of queer characters who tackle issues including activism, bullying, mental health, intersectional identities, polyamory and self-worth (among others).

Place a hold online…

Book cover image of The One Who Loves You the Most

Middle Grade Fiction – The One Who Loves You the Most by Medina

A debut middle grade book about identity, body dysphoria, mental health and finding oneself and a community of belonging, told from the perspective of a 12-year-old non-binary biracial youth who is adopted by white parents.

Place a hold online…

Book cover image of If You're a Kid Like Gavin

Picture Books – If You’re a Kid Like Gavin written by Gavin Grimm and Kyle Lukoff, illustrated by J Yang

A celebratory and empowering story from young trans activist Gavin Grimm, two-time Stonewall Award-winning and Newbery Honor-winning author Kyle Lukoff, and illustrator J Yang follows the true story of how a young boy stood up for himself–and made history along the way.

Place a hold online… 

Passport to Discovery – Poetry

Passport to Discovery – Poetry

Calling all young explorers! Your next adventure starts today! This month’s Passport to Discovery theme is poetry. Poems are everywhere, from the nursery rhymes you sing with your family, to the lyrics of a song you know on the radio, to a jingle from a commercial. 

Let’s get started:

  • Pick up a Take & Make Kit to grow a poem! Write a poem using the first letters of each word on the flower pot. Then decorate the pot with some flowers.
  • Using the page from a discarded book, skim the page, lightly circling the words or phrases you like. Using a black crayon or marker, draw a circle around those words and blackout the rest of the words on the page. Read through your final poem.
  • Write a Spoonerism Scramble. Runny Babbit speaks a topsy-turvy language of his own called spoonerisms, a deliberate play on words in which corresponding letters are switched between two words in a phrase, often with a funny outcome. Imagine if you spoke entirely in spoonerisms—what would you sound like? 
  • Read one of these poetry books from our collection.
  • Download this month’s activity sheet if you prefer to get started from home.

Explorers are welcome to join the program at any time. Here’s how it works:


  • Pick up a passport from your local branch to begin a full year of learning, reading, doing, and having a whole lot of fun!
  • Visit your local branch each month to pick up a themed craft kit and activity sheet.
  • Complete at least one of the activities
  • Return to the branch to get your passport stamped and ballot entered into a grand prize draw that will take place at the end of the program in February, 2024.

Black History Month Reading Recommendations

Black History Month Reading Recommendations

Celebrate the diversity of Black Canadian experiences all year long by checking out any of these recent and award-winning releases by and about Black Canadian authors. A list with even more of our recent favorites can be found on our online catalogue.

Related event:

Photo of the book cover Hold My Girl

Fiction – Hold My Girl by Charlene Carr

With themes of racial identity, loss and betrayal, this emotional novel centred around a difficult moral question beautifully explores the complexities of motherhood. Recommended for fans of Heather Marshall and Ashley Audrain.

Place a hold online…


Photo of the book cover In the Upper Country

Fiction – In the Upper Country by Kai Thomas

The fates of two unforgettable women–one just beginning a journey of reckoning and self-discovery and the other completing her life’s last vital act–intertwine in this sweeping, powerful novel set at the terminus of the Underground Railroad.

Place a hold online…


Photo of the book cover Uncertain Kin

Short Story Fiction – Uncertain Kin by Janice Lynn Mather

For readers of Frying Plantain and Scarborough, a luminous, mesmerizing collection of linked stories about the lives of woman and girls in The Bahamas, from rising literary star and Governor General’s Award-finalist Janice Lynn Mather.

Place a hold online…


Photo of the book cover Even Thought I Knew the End

Fantasy/Novella – Even Though I Knew the End by C.L. Polk

A magical detective dives into the affairs of Chicago’s divine monsters to secure a future with the love of her life. This sapphic period piece will dazzle anyone looking for mystery, intrigue, romance, magic, or all of the above in a small but powerful package.

Place a hold online…


Photo of the book cover Dream of No One but Myself

Poetry/Prose – Dream of No One but Myself by David Bradford

An expansive, hybrid, debut collection of prose poems, self-erasures, verse, and family photo cut-ups about growing up in a racially trinary, diversely troubled family an award-winning poet.

Place a hold online…


Photo of book cover My Ackee Tree

Memoir – My Ackee Tree by Suzanne Barr

This memoir from Toronto-born chef, Suzanne Barr is full of food, family and her battle with the stereotypes of being a Black female cook who eventually became a culinary star in an industry beset by dated practices and landlords with too much power. For fans of The Measure of My Powers and Notes from a Young Black Chef.

Place a hold online…


Photo of the book cover Batter Royale

Young Adult Graphic Novel – Batter Royale by Leisl Adams

This Forest of Reading-nominated graphic novel debut sees a biracial teen girl competing in a reality baking competition with her friend in a fish-out-of-water style romantic comedy about climbing out of the circumstances you’re in and making your dreams come true.

Place a hold online…


Photo of the book cover Until we Break

Young Adult Fiction – Until We Break by Matthew Dawkins

From Jamaican-born Watty award-winning author and poet, Matthew Dawkins comes a YA romance that sees an injured aspiring ballerina forced to reassess her life aspirations with help from a talented street artist. This book deals with important topics including mental health, grief and racial justice. Be sure to join us Feb 16th for a virtual Author Talk with this talented debut novelist.

Place a hold online…


Photo of the book cover Delicious Monsters

Young Adult Fantasy – Delicious Monsters by Liselle Sambury

An evocative and mind-bending new psychological thriller that follows two Black teen girls navigating the treacherous past of a mysterious mansion ten years apart. Perfect for fans of true crime and cold cases from the best-selling, Governor-General award nominated author of Blood like magic.

Place a hold online…

Photo of book cover Beatrice and Croc Harry

Middle Grade Fiction – Beatrice and Croc Harry by Lawrence Hill

One of Canada’s most celebrated author’s debut novel for young readers in which a brave and resilient young Black girl searches for identity and healing when she finds herself stranded in a magical forest with only a talking crocodile for a companion.

Place a hold online…


Photo of the book cover Dear Black Child

Picture Books – Dear Black Child written by Rahma Roodah, illustrated by Lydia Mba

With gorgeous artwork, this new picture book celebrates Black joy in a moving and lyrical tribute to and affirmation of Black children around the world by an exciting new author and illustrator duo.

Place a hold online…