By Monika Trzeciakowski
This month we’re highlighting stories by Black authors from the Canadian East Coast for picture book, middle grade, and young adult readers. From a beach day filled with wonder to learning about Black Atlantic Canadian history, these books will showcase the talent of our East Coast authors.
1) The Summer Between Us by Andre Fenton
This coming-of-age story follows eighteen-year-old Adrian Carter as he graduates from high school and confronts difficult decisions about his future, all while dealing with the stress and pressure he feels to please those closest to him.
As Adrian navigates the emotional highs and lows of the summer between graduation and the post-secondary future, he negotiates the difficulties of forging a path in life against others’ expectations. Despite his wish to follow his longtime girlfriend Mel on her cross-country trip with her band, Adrian is hesitant about spending too much time in the punk’s scenes majority-white spaces. Adrian struggles with these feelings and works to find common ground with his emotionally distant father. Meanwhile he starts to understand that his own passion is grounded in a desire to support a community he’s forged on his own.
2) Amazing Black Atlantic Canadians by Lindsay Ruck
This fascinating, full-colour illustrated book features over 50 amazing Black people from Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, and Newfoundland and Labrador, sharing their incredible stories and accomplishments, past and present.
Among these amazing Black Atlantic Canadians are people who saved lives, set sports records (Delmore William “Buddy” Daye), achieved international superstardom (Measha Brueggergosman), made change in their own neighbourhoods (Quentrel Provo), overcame injustice (Viola Desmond), and enacted many other inspiring deeds of courage and perseverance. With dozens of profiles on both historical and contemporary Black people from Atlantic Canada, Lindsay Ruck celebrates the accomplishments of some of our region’s amazing Black heroes.
3) Sandy Toes: A Summer Adventure by Shauntay Grant and illustrated by Candice Bradley
Follow along as a young boy spends the day at the beach with his family in this spare and poetic picture book from award-winning poet and picture book author Shauntay Grant. With a simple story—and simply stunning illustrations from Candice Bradley—this book is an ode to celebrating summer’s wonders big and small.