Thursday, December 9, 2021

Some of the best presents for yourself or for the kids and grown-ups in your life

Also, see 7 great gifts for the writer in your life here. 

Tanaz Bhathena is the author of four young adult novels, most recently the duology Hunted by the Sky and Rising Like a Storm from Farrar, Straus and Giroux, a Macmillan imprint. See here.

Note: Along with Kids Can Press senior editor Patricia Ocampo, Tanaz will be one of the guest speakers for the online Writing for Children and for Young Adults workshop on Saturday, January 15. See here

Lana Button has a number of marvelous picture books, most recently , The Cow Said Boo from Pajama Press (see here) and Tough Like Mum from Tundra see here).   

Also check out her books with Kids Can Press:  What If Bunny's NOT a Bully? 2020, My Teacher's Not Here! 2018, Willow's Smile 2016, Willow's Whispers 2014, and Willow Finds a Way 2013.

She also has a picture book with OwlKids: Raj’s Rule (For the Bathroom at School).


Jennifer Mook-Sang is the author of the wonderful picture book, Captain Monty Takes the Plunge, from Kids Can Press, and the acclaimed middle grade book, Speechless, from Scholastic. 

Note: Jennifer will be one of the two guest speakers for the online Writing Kid Lit class starting in January on Monday afternoons. See here.

Erin Silver recently published a very funny middle grade book, Just Watch Me, from Common Deer Press – warning while touching on serious topics, this book  may also contain bathroom humour 😊

Erin also published a timely nonfiction book for ages 6+, What Kids Did: Stories of Kindness and Invention in the Time of Covid-19, from Second Story Press.  

And she has a second nonfiction book, this one for young adults, that came out in the spring of 2021, Proud to Play – The inspiring stories of amazing Canadian LGBTQ athletes (from Lorimer).

Kira Vermond is the author of six nonfiction books that make kids think. Four of them with OwlKids: Trending: How and Why Stuff Gets Popular;  Half-Truths and Brazen Lies;  Why We Live Where We Live Growing Up: Inside and Out; and The Secret Life of Money: A Kid's Guide to Cash, which was my son’s and daughter’s favourite book  the year it came out, although my kids are four years apart.

Kira also has two books written with the Ontario Science Centre and published with Annick Press: Why Don’t Cars Run on Apple Juice? And  Why Does My Shadow Follow Me?

Note: Kira will be one of the two guest speakers for the online Writing Kid Lit class starting in January on Monday afternoons. See here.

LaurieElizabeth Flynn launched her first novel for adults in 2021: The Girls Are All So Nice Here (from Simon and Schuster), which stayed on the bestsellers lists for two months see here.

Laurie previously pubished three young adult novels under the name L.E. Flynn: Firsts, a YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults pick (see here), Last Girl Lied To and All Eyes on Her (see here).

Tanya Bellehumeur-Allatt has published Peacekeeper’s Daughter with Thistledown Press. This memoir of Tanya's time in Israel abd ger seven months in Beirut at the height of the Lebanese Civil War when she was just a girl of twelve is receiving well-deserved critical acclaim. 

Order your copy now from the publisher here, from Chapters here, or order it through your local bookstore here


Gordon Miller’s memoir, Lost Boy from a Line of Heroes, also came out in 2021. For more than two hundred years, Gord’s Indigenous, Scottish, Irish and English ancestors played many roles in Canada’s fur trade, as voyageurs, trappers, and traders with the Northwest Company and the Hudson’s Bay Company. Gord’s memoir looks back on an era of trading posts, trap lines and canoe brigades in Canada’s North.

It's available from, distributor of Fist Nations, Metis, and Innuit Books – here.


It’s been a rich year for Roger Moore. He’s brought out two outstanding books: Stars at Elbow and Foot: Selected Poems 1979 – 2009, and a collection of prose,  On Being Welsh in a Land Ruled by the English. Check out both of them and Roger’s other books here.

This year Roger also self-published Vision and Revision: the art of writing and rewriting (available to his friends), and his The Nature of Art and the Art of Nature is at the printers in India and will be available in 2022


Suzanne Hillier launched her novel, My Best Friend was Angela Bennett, with Inanna Publications in 2021. Harrowing, funny, tender and unforgettable, this is a WW11 novel of love, loyalty and survival.   Available from Chapters here, from your local independent bookstore here, or directly from the publisher here.


Connie Cook has self-published her very funny detective novel Follow the Money, starring Diana Darling who learned her craft from a correspondence course – the kind of advanced education formerly advertised on matchbook covers. Available in paperback, hardcover or Kindle from Amazon here or as a Kobo e-book at Chapters here.


Carolyn Huizinga Mills published her debut novel, The Good Son, with Cormorant Books. It’s available from Chapters (here)  or from your favourite independent bookstore here.


Mark Baker, writing as G.E. Baker, has a serialized novel coming out: The Wistful and the Good. Starting Saturday, November 27, you can read it in weekly installments here.  

Angela Misrhas a funny middle grade adventure novel: Pickles vs. the Zombies, that answers the question, what will the pets do during a zombie apocalypse? And a sequel, Trip of the Dead,  featuring Trip the racoon, (both from Cormorant Books’ DCB imprint).  

Angela also has a series of Victorian mystery novels, featuring her female sleuth, Portia Adams. The most recent came out this fall: The Detective and the Spy (from Cormorant)  or you can start with the first in the series, Jewel of the Thames.


Kelley Armstrong has 50+ books, for adults, young adults and middle grade readers. If you’re not yet familiar with Kelly’s books, the best place to start is by browsing the shelves at your local bookstore, or if it’s on lockdown, check out her website here.  


Sylvia McNicoll is the author of more than a dozen middle grade and young adult novels, most recently Body Swap, a young adult novel published by Dundurn Press and the four books in the Mistake Mystery series for middle grade kids, also from Dundurn.


Dave Moores has two books out: Windward Legs, a novel for adults, featuring fast and frisky action both on and off the water (see here) and Attitude, a young adult novel, both from Middle Road Publishers.

Attitude is a fast-paced novel pitting resourceful teens, Lyle and Laura, against a cast of quirky, dysfunctional characters and real bad asses who mostly get what’s coming to them.” ~Mike Joll


Two great sailing adventures:

Sue Williams’ bestselling tale of her journey of self-disovery while crossing the Atlantic with her husband, Ready to Come About from Dundurn Press.


Jennifer M Smith’s amazing account of her 40,000-mile journey circumnavigating the globe aboard a small sailboat with just her husband, Green Ghost, Blue Ocean, from Nimbus publishing.

Karma Brown's newest book, The 4% Fix is a self-help book (see here). This is a new departure for Karma, as her previous books have all been novels, most recently,  Recipe for a Perfect Wife with Penguin Random House. Her four earlier novels were all with MIRA Books a Harlequin/HarperCollins imprint. Check them out here.

Hannah Mary McKinnon is the author of one five domestic thrillers, most recently, You Will Remember Me, published with MIRA Books (a HarperCollins imprint. Check out all five here.

Plus, on May 24, 2022, Hannah has a new novel coming out: Never Coming Home. Check it out and pre-order your copy here.


P.S. Check out 77 more gifts for writers hereAnd check out some of the very best gifs for writers here and gifts to make the world a better place here. See the best Jewish Canadian books for kids and teens here and here 

Plus, don't forget, try to shop local. Buy your books straight from the publisher or from a book store

See Brian Henry’s upcoming weekly writing classes, one-day workshops, and weekend retreats here.

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