NWT Literacy Council staff have an annual tradition of sharing suggestions for books we are giving as gifts during the holidays, books we have enjoyed reading in the last year, or books we are looking forward to next year. We hope you enjoyed our first set of recommended books here. Check out our third list on January 5, 2023 to see what we will be reading in the new year.
The Expectant Father by Armin A Brott and Jennifer Ash
Over this holiday season, there are numerous books I am hoping to read. While this book may not be applicable to everyone, I am currently reading The Expectant Father by Armin A. Brott and Jennifer Ash. This book helps people like me, who are expecting their first child, by giving numerous tips, suggestions, and a general overview of what to expect. It has been a great read so far and has been helping me on my journey toward fatherhood. I highly recommend it to anyone who is preparing for or expecting children.
- Jeremy Mousseau, Community Literacy Coordinator
A Man Called Ove by Swedish author Fredrik Backman
This book would make a great gift for the grumpy old men in your life, or anyone looking for a comedic and heartwarming story about human connection, deep rooted values, grief, selflessness and those who are misunderstood. The story pulled on many of my emotional heartstrings. It shows us that life isn’t always what we think it is going to be, and may include forming unconventional bonds with people we least expect, at times when we don’t even realize it’s exactly what we need. Follow the book up with a popcorn and movie night to watch the film!
- Christine Lewandowski-Shannon, Family and Community Literacy Coordinator
Auntie Uncle: Drag Queen Hero by Ellie Royce
This fun book explores the two sides of the main character’s Uncle Leo, an accountant by day, and Auntie Lotta, a drag queen, by night. The narrator loves the special things that they do with Auntie Lotta, and the different things that they do with Uncle Leo. When Auntie Lotta becomes a local hero and is offered a medal from the city, she doesn’t know what to do. Despite being the same person, Leo and Lotta have different friends, and they don’t know how to bring their two networks together.
I will be giving this to my 7-year-old daughter who has really enjoyed attending Drag Queen Story Times, and also is at a stage of exploring how you can have different friendship circles based on life activities. We are having lots of conversations about connecting friends across circles and showing friends all sides of yourself.
- Katie Johnson, Program Director
Outcry in the Barrio by Freddie and Ninfa Garcia
Outcry in the Barrio is an old and grey book set many decades ago, but its message still resounds even more loudly as time goes by. This is a true story of a Mexican-American immigrant who went through numerous hardships and struggles, a downward spiral to addiction, violence, and wrong choices as an immigrant growing up. He conquered them all in the end through his personal encounter with God. Most of all, this is one man’s journey of hope given by a loving God who turned his life from darkness to light. I am giving this book to my brothers to remind them that there is always hope for a better tomorrow no matter what difficult circumstances one is going through in life. Hope and inspiration are always good reads.
- Grayce Patino, HIPPY Coordinator
Probably Ruby by Lisa Bird-Wilson
A book I am hoping to receive this holiday season is Probably Ruby by Lisa Bird-Wilson.
Nominated for the 2022 Governor General's Literary Award for fiction, and winning awards including the City of Saskatoon/Saskatoon Public Library Saskatoon Award and the Regina Public Library Award, Probably Ruby is definitely a must-read for me.
Ruby is given up at birth, goes through foster homes, and then is adopted by a less-than-desirable family, including an alcoholic father who can’t hold down a job and a mother who doesn’t support her in searching for her Indigenous roots. The mother makes Ruby hide under a huge hat because otherwise her skin will “instantly brown up”. Probably Ruby tells the story of an Indigenous woman who, feeling unloved and deprived of her birth family’s past and history, finds resilience in her quest to discover her identity.
- Charlotte Upton, Skill Builders for Youth Coordinator
The Silmarillion by J.R.R Tolkien and Christopher Tolkien
As a long-time fan of anything Lord of the Rings, I am very excited to read the newest installment in the franchise. The Silmarillion is a book completed by JRR Tolkien’s son, Christopher. Christopher took the works of his father and edited them into a single book. I grew up reading The Hobbit and all of the Lord of the Rings books—perhaps multiple times. As such, I am very excited to read more stories from this series. I have been not-so-subtly hinting at the book for awhile in hopes my wife gets it for me. If not, I will certainly get it for myself. If you are a fantasy lover like myself, I highly recommend this series of books!
- Jeremy Mousseau, Community Literacy Coordinator