Do you enjoy books featuring animals as active, interactive characters? Or perhaps you just like books told from the animals’ perspective in order to gain more insight into their lives? We have lots of suggestions, both for adults and older kids.
If you enjoyed Louise Penny’s Inspector Armand Gamache mysteries, you might try a title from one of these other authors. They offer intricately plotted mysteries set in small towns with well-drawn out characters. While they are detailed and atmospheric, they do so without becoming overly gory.
Okeima Lawrence is multi-disciplined with a history of youth social infrastructure advocacy and community development work in Toronto, addressing systemic issues that face racialized and low-income communities. As a former Toronto Public Library Board member, he was appointed to the board twice serving for eight years, leading the library’s innovative strategic plan and enhanced arts and youth programs and services. Okeima enjoyed participating in Toronto CityIdol, a civic-engagement contest modeled off American Idol, but for local solutions-focused idea sharing and municipal governance. In 2012, he was a Diversity Fellow with CivicAction where he was the lead organizer of Investing In Us: The DiverseCity Fellows and Inclusion Pledge. Currently, Okeima is the Creative Director of Creative Practices Institute, a client-centred boutique coaching and organizational development practice, and is an Analyst with the City of Toronto. Okeima graduated from York University’s Political Science and International Relations program, and is the recipient of the Children’s Breakfast Club Community Builder Award. When Okeima is not working, he is often exploring Toronto’s many restaurants or reading at a tranquil parkette enjoying the rhythm of Toronto, often with his camera.
Anne Michaels is the author of five award-winning poetry collections: The Weight of Oranges (1986); Miner’s Pond (1991); Skin Divers (1999); Poems (2000); and her most recent poetry collection, Correspondences, for which she was shortlisted for the Griffin Poetry Prize (2014). Fugitive Pieces (1996), Michaels’ internationally best-selling first novel, was the winner of the Toronto Book Award, the Guardian Fiction Award and the Orange Prize for Fiction, among many other Canadian and international awards. Fugitive Pieces was also adapted into an internationally released feature film. Her second novel, The Winter Vault (2009), was a finalist for the Scotiabank Giller Prize, the Trillium Book Award and the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize. Her books have been translated into more than 40 languages.
Arlene Chan has written seven books about the history and culture of the Chinese in Canada, some shortlisted for the Ontario Speaker’s Book Award, Heritage Toronto Book Award, Silver Birch Award and Red Cedar Award. Growing up in Chinatown as a third generation Chinese Canadian, Arlene had a front-row seat to the development of the Chinese community in Toronto. She serves as a Chinatown tour guide for Heritage Toronto and The Ward Museum; president of the Jean Lumb Foundation; a former appointee of the Ontario Medal for Young Volunteers Advisory Council; and serves on the board of Little Pear Garden Dance Company. She is an advisor for the Chinese Canadian Museum, Heritage Interpretation Working Group for Ontario Infrastructure, and Toronto Public Library's Chinese Canadian Archives. Arlene is two-time member of the winning Canadian National Women's Dragon Boat Team (2011 and 2013) and when she is not writing, speaking or leading tours, she is buried in research-related nonfiction. Arlene is working on her next book, an article about the Chinese Immigration Act for The Canadian Encyclopedia, and program notes for a new play at the Stratford Festival.