It is that time again! The 11th Annual Markham Reads is launching today. Markham Reads is where we vote for a book and read together as a City and connect with each other at fun events related to the book. Every year, Markham comes together to read a book as part of the biggest city-wide library program we have! It's a great way to connect as a city and meet new friends. Markham Reads celebrates one book that we've voted on as a community.
Read the summaries of the shortlisted books below and vote for your favourite using the voting form here.
Fifteen-year-old Sloane can incinerate an enemy at will—she is a Scion, a descendant of the ancient Orisha gods. Under the Lucis’ brutal rule, her identity means her death if her powers are discovered. But when she is forcibly conscripted into the Lucis army on her fifteenth birthday, Sloane sees a new opportunity: to overcome the bloody challenges of Lucis training, and destroy them from within. Following one girl’s journey of magic, injustice, power, and revenge, Deborah Falaye’s debut novel, inspired by Yoruba-Nigerian mythology, is a magnetic combination of Children of Blood and Bone and An Ember in the Ashes. (HarperCollins)
The Girl in the Middle: Growing Up Between Black and White, Rich and Poor by Anais Granofsky
When Anais Granofsky’s parents meet in the early 1970s, they are foreign and fascinating to each other. Stanley is the son of a very wealthy Toronto Jewish family; Jean is one of fifteen children from a poor Black Methodist family, direct descendants of the freed Randolph slaves. When Jean becomes pregnant at nineteen, Stanley doesn’t anticipate being cut off by his parents. Nor does the couple anticipate that Stanley, soon to rename himself Fakeer, will find his calling in the spiritual teachings of Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh on an ashram in India. The Girl in the Middle is the story of a child who spends her life navigating between two very different worlds. Alone, Anais and her mother teetered on the poverty line, sharing a mattress in a single room in social housing in Toronto, while her grandparents lived a twenty-minute car ride away on the mansion-lined Bridle Path. As Anais grows up, she spends weekends having lunch with her grandmother by the pool, while during the week, she and her mother often don’t know where their next meal will come from, even after Fakeer’s return. Anais realizes that if she wants to be loved, she has to switch identities to please each of the adult women in her family. It isn’t until she gets a role in the TV series Degrassi Junior High that Anais finds a third world—her own—and begins to define an identity for herself. (HarperCollins)
The Summer of Bitter and Sweet by Jenny Ferguson
In this complex and emotionally resonant novel about a Métis girl living on the Canadian prairies, debut author Jen Ferguson serves up a powerful story about rage, secrets, and all the spectrums that make up a person—and the sweetness that can still live alongside the bitterest truth. A William C. Morris Award Honor Book and a Stonewall Award Honor Book! Lou has enough confusion in front of her this summer. She’ll be working in her family’s ice-cream shack with her newly ex-boyfriend—whose kisses never made her feel desire, only discomfort—and her former best friend, King, who is back in their Canadian prairie town after disappearing three years ago without a word. But when she gets a letter from her biological father—a man she hoped would stay behind bars for the rest of his life—Lou immediately knows that she cannot meet him, no matter how much he insists. While King’s friendship makes Lou feel safer and warmer than she would have thought possible, when her family’s business comes under threat, she soon realizes that she can’t ignore her father forever. (HarperCollins)
Night after night, Mackenzie's dreams return her to a memory from before her sister Sabrina's untimely death: a weekend at the family's lakefront campsite, long obscured by a fog of guilt. But when the waking world starts closing in, too — a murder of crows stalks her every move around the city, she wakes up from a dream of drowning throwing up water, and gets threatening text messages from someone claiming to be Sabrina—Mackenzie knows this is more than she can handle alone. What really happened that night at the lake, and what did it have to do with Sabrina's death? Only a bad Cree would put their family at risk, but what if whatever has been calling Mackenzie home was already inside? (HarperCollins Canada)
One day, in a favorite café, she notices an attractive man reading the same talked-about bestselling novel that she is reading. A woman yearning for her own happy ending, Victoria is sure it's fate. The handsome book lover must be her soul mate. A woman yearning for her own happy ending, Victoria is sure it's fate. The handsome book lover must be her soul mate. There's only one small problem. Victoria is already married. Frustrated, and desperate to change her life, Victoria retreats to the dark places in her mind and thinks back to all the stories she's ever read in hopes of finding a solution. She begins to fantasize about nocturnal trysts with café man, and imaginative ways (poisoned pickles were an inspired choice in Jane Smiley's A Thousand Acres) of getting rid of the dread husband. It's all just harmless fantasy born of Victoria's fevered imagination and her books — until, one night, fiction and reality blur and suddenly it seems Victoria is about to get everything she's wished for. (HarperCollins)
Before there was Kate Beaton, New York Times bestselling cartoonist of Hark! A Vagrant, there was Katie Beaton of the Cape Breton Beaton, specifically Mabou, a tight-knit seaside community where the lobster is as abundant as beaches, fiddles, and Gaelic folk songs. With the singular goal of paying off her student loans, Katie heads out west to take advantage of Alberta's oil rush ― part of the long tradition of East Coasters who seek gainful employment elsewhere when they can't find it in the homeland they love so much. Katie encounters the harsh reality of life in the oil sands, where trauma is an everyday occurrence yet is never discussed. (Drawn and Quarterly)