Books to Read Canada Day Long Weekend

Since Canada Day is this weekend, I thought I would share a few stories by some of Canada’s best authors, including a few of my own favourite stories. So, keep reading to find some Canadian reads for Canada Day.

Good Families Don’t |  Robert Munsch

No list of Canadian literature would ever be complete without a mention of Robert Munsch. While he has some amazing, fun, and moving stories, this was one of my daughter’s all-time favourite picture books when she was little. My daughter would have us read the story over and over and over—to the point where we all had it memorized.

However, it was a funny story, so we didn’t complain too much. In typical Munsch style, chaos ensues when a little girl discovers a fart in her bedroom. No one believes her – good families don’t fart; after all, what would the neighbours think? – but each time someone checks her room, the fart eats them. How on earth do you stop a fart? While not one of Munsch’s best-known stories, it is excellent.

The Handmaid’s Tale | Margaret Atwood

Much like Munsch, you can’t have a list like this and not mention Margaret Atwood. While I prefer her story, The PenelopiadThe Handmaid’s Tale is excellent. It has also received a lot of attention with the TV series based on it. The Handmaid’s Tale revolves around Offred, a Handmaid who works in the house of the commander.

Once an independent woman, she is now only valued for her fertility. Set in a dystopian society with low fertility rates, women have lost all freedom. They are banned from working, reading, or even friendships. This book has been so popular that Atwood has written a sequel, which was released in 2019. It is entitled The Testament, and with any luck, readers will finally discover what happened to Offred at the end of the first book.

Jane of Lantern Hill | L.M. Montgomery

Nothing makes me think of summer more than any of Montgomery’s books. Though she is best known for the Anne of Green Gables series, Jane of Lantern Hill is actually my favourite book by Montgomery. Jane is an awkward child with a beautiful mother and a controlling grandmother. She lives in Toronto in a large and empty mansion.

Her mother is caring and loves Jane, but her other family members aren’t so kind – especially her grandmother, with whom they live. Everything changes when the father she thought was dead demands that she be sent to spend the summer with him in Prince Edward Island. It is a heart-warming tale of a girl coming to age and learning more about not only herself but also her mother, grandmother, and father, whom she never knew.

The Lotterys More or Less | Emma Donoghue

Emma Donoghue might be better known for her bestselling book Room, which won the 2010 Rodgers Trust Prize and was also made into a film by the same name. However, she also writes for children. This book is the sequel to The Lotterys Plus One, and like that, this story revolves around Sumac Lottery, one member of a family of seven children, four parents, one grandfather, and many pets.

Sumac is attempting to ensure that the family’s traditions are all met over the holidays, but unfortunately, everything seems to go wrong. An ice storm hits, causing the power to go out and delaying her fathers’ and her brother’s flight home from India. Then, their houseguest has an accident, and they need to look after him. What will happen to Sumac’s perfect holiday?

The Vinyl Cafe Series | Stuart McLean

I’ve certainly mentioned The Vinyl Cafe series before, but I will mention it again here. This lovely, warm, and hilarious series of short stories, all revolving around Dave, Morley, and their children, is absolutely fantastic — McLean was truly a gifted storyteller. I first came across the Vinyl Cafe years ago as a radio show on CBC.

I still have fond memories of listening to it while cooking in my grandmother’s kitchen, as well as memories of being doubled over laughing while listening to the show in my own kitchen. I have read McLean’s stories and found myself laughing out loud. Then, amazingly, I listened to the same story on his radio show and somehow laughed even harder – as I said, he was a gifted storyteller in both mediums. The stories are about everyday life, family and friendship. If you have never read or listened to them, make the time this summer. You won’t regret it.

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Deborah van der Linde

Deborah is a librarian who is passionate about books, storytelling, and writing. Thanks to her husband Adam’s military career, they have had the great fortune of living all across Canada. Deborah and Adam have two delightful children and a dog that thinks he’s one of the kids.

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