Friday, 12 December 2014

Graceless - Canadiana Book Gift Ideas

I didn't realize until I was an adult how patriotic I am to Canada and how lucky I am to have been born and raised here.  So much of my Canadian experience has been driven by the books I've read.

All through December I have been highlighting specific areas from my gifting that reflect

1) Something they want
2) Something they need
3) Something to read
4) Keepsake gifts/memories and gifts that inspire the true holiday spirit.

Today I am going to highlight books as gifts that are truly Canadian (and also amazing reads).  I have recommended ages but really these are great gifts for anyone, any age.

Books for Little Ones (aged 2-5)

Just One Goal by Robert Munsch

I have always been a sucker for Robert Munsch as are Molly and Jack.  His books are quintessentially Canadian and offer a cultural diversity that you don't see in enough childrens books.  Besides, what could be more Canadian than a book about a girl in Hay River Alberta who plays hockey and builds her own rink with some help from her dad.

just one goal Robert Munsch
Image Courtesy of a Pinterest Post.

Books For Older Ones (6-12)

Booky by Bernice Thurman Hunter
The first book in the 'Booky" series was read to me in the second grade during weekly visits to my primary school's library.  I fell in love with Booky and how her family got by in 1920s depression era Toronto.  This is a great read-out loud book.  Booky supplied an honest take on everything from trading food stamps for Coca Cola, bed bugs to kitchen tonsil removal.   I tore through the entire Booky series a year or two later and have re-read them a few times over the years.

Booky by BT Hunter
Image Courtesy of Goodreads

Tweens - Age 10 and up

Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery
Anne is an orphan with fiery red hair and a temper to match.  Find out what happens when she's adopted by the Cuthberts, who expected a boy who could help with farm work and got Anne instead, as she tries to fit in a sleepy town in PEI.  Anne embodies the awkwardness of being a pre-teen and a great gift to read, or re-read.  Guilty admission...My good friend KM and I used to recite monologues from Anne of Green Gables for hours in my room after school in middle school.  I think I just answered the question in my head about why boys didn't like me until well into high school.

Anne of Green Gables
Image Courtesy of Tourism PEI

For your Favourite Historian or Lover of Toronto

Alias Grace by Margaret Atwood.
What Can-Con list is complete without a mention of Canadian writing royalty Margaret Atwood? This is by far my favourite Atwood book.  I especially love the Toronto setting around Islington and Dundas (where I grew up).  I haven't read it in years, but want to re-read it.  Here's the Wikipedia description which is going to have me reaching for my bookshelf soon, "The story is about the notorious 1843 murders of Thomas Kinnear and his housekeeper Nancy Montgomery in Upper Canada. Two servants of the Kinnear household, Grace Marks and James McDermott, were convicted of the crime. McDermott was hanged and Marks was sentenced to life imprisonment. Although the novel is based on factual events, Atwood constructs a narrative with a fictional doctor, Simon Jordan, who researches the case. Although ostensibly conducting research into criminal behaviour, he slowly becomes personally involved in the story of Grace Marks and seeks to reconcile his perception of the mild mannered woman he sees with the murder of which she has been convicted."
Alias Grace Margaret Atwood
Image courtesy of Wikipedia.

For some of my absolute favourite book recommendations click here

For book ideas featuring stories about the underdog click here

To read my grown-up Christmas reading list click here

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