Recommended by Milan Singh
The Map of Salt and Stars by Zeyn Joukhadar
This book is a beautiful mapping of two parallel journeys by Nour and Rawiya across geographies, histories, and mythology. Through the eyes of Nour, we learn about the hardship, joy, and resilience of a young woman and her family as they leave Syria as refugees to New York.
Dancing on Our Turtle’s Back
by Leanne Betasamosake Simpson
Simpson provides readers with a generous and poetic mapping of Anishinaabe teachings, histories, and experiences as an approach toward Indigenous cultural resurgence and resistance.
Recommended by Chiana van Katwijk
White Teeth by Zadie Smith
I love this book because it addresses the complexities and joys of growing up in a biracial family, and how our parents’ life experiences colour and shape who we are.
Recommended by Lucy Yang
AlliterAsian: Twenty Years of Ricepaper Magazine,
edited by Julia Lin, Allan Cho, and Jim Wong-Chu
This is an anthology of fiction, non-fiction, and poetry published by Ricepaper Magazine, a literary magazine based in BC that celebrates Asian Canadian literature and culture by established and emerging writers and artists.
Recommended by Mayana Ambers
Daughters Are Forever
by Lee Maracle, the late Stó:lo (Salish) author
Lee was one of the first Indigenous Canadian female authors to be published back in 1975 with her book Bobbi Lee: Indian Rebel. Further to this, she was an activist in the Red Power movement, a poet and a professor, and published short stories, novels, and collaborative anthologies. She has been referred to as one of “Canada’s most prolific Indigenous writers” and is a personal hero to me.
Recommended by Melissa Illing
Elite Capture: How the Powerful Took Over Identity Politics (And Everything Else) by Olúfẹ́mi O. Táíwò
The book breaks down how oppression and identity politics have been commodified and restructured to benefit those in power. It provides an analysis of how the powerful have been able to weaponize solidarity and social justice movements to further divide marginalized groups to keep the status quo.
Convenience Store Woman by Sayaka Murata
This novel focuses on an oddball woman who is obsessed with convenience stores and questions what it means to have a fulfilling life. It is an anxious love story.
Recommended by Starleigh Grass
A Snake Falls to Earth by Darcie Little Badger
Nina (an asexual Lipan Apache youth) uses her technological savvy to help Oli (a shape-shifting snake from an alternate dimension) in a quest to save his friend. This novel is wholesome, heartwarming, and adorable.
Love After the End: An Anthology of Two-Spirit and Indigiqueer Speculative Fiction, edited by Joshua Whitehead
In this anthology of utopian short stories, Two-Spirit and queer Indigenous authors “equipped themselves with beaded breastplates in order to tell you their stories.”
Wapke: Indigenous Science Fiction Stories, edited by Michel Jean and translated by Kathryn Gabinet-Kroo
Quebec’s first collection of science fiction stories by Indigenous authors. Originally written in French, the collection is also available in English.
Recommended by Judy Yuen
Finding Junie Kim by Ellen Oh
This young adult novel is based on the true experiences of the author’s mother during the Korean War. This emotional and suspenseful story explores one generation’s past and how it can influence, inspire, and create hope for the present day.
Recommended by Joni Razote
America Is in the Heart by Carlos Bulosan
Carlos Bulosan was a Filipino farm worker who immigrated to America in the 1930s. His stories of poverty, racism, and labour struggle still stand today and provide impetus for today’s generation of union activists.
Recommended by Nisha Gill
Trailblazers: The Black Pioneers Who Have Shaped Canada by Tiyahna Ridley-Padmore
This is the one book I always ensure I read to my students each year. Over 40 Black trailblazers are highlighted with beautiful poems in this book. It shines a light on Canadian histories that are usually left in the shadows. There are so many stories that simply make you say “wow” and serve as a reminder of how far Canada has come and where we still have work to do.
Recommended by Serena Pattar
Born a Crime by Trevor Noah
This is one of my favourites, a really insightful look at his upbringing during the apartheid in South Africa. He manages to share pretty intense themes with humour, compassion, and understanding.
The Marrow Thieves by Cherie Dimaline
A great dystopian fantasy with strong Indigenous characters; it’s an engaging book that’s easy to get through in one sitting.