Summer is a time for soaking up the sun, drinking iced tea and reading! There is nothing better then to spend an afternoon laying on a blanket in the grass and getting caught up with your favourite characters. By reading classic Canadian books, you can learn more about the Canadian culture, languages and connect with your host kids.

Here are my top 8 Canadian books for children:

  1. The Hockey Sweater by Roch Carrier. This book is a classic with a capital “C”. Small town Quebec, hockey rivalry and a reference to the Eaton catalogue will send you back to a simpler time. Read this book to the hockey lover in your host family.
  2. Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery. An orphan girl is accidentally sent to a farm in Prince Edward Island but is eventually welcomed by her new family. In between you will find heart-warming, mischievous and coming of age stories. If the relationship Anne between stern Marilla and timid Matthew does not keep you captivated, her colourful imagination will! This book is full of old time-y phrases and ideologies but it’s a great story to read with a preteen.
  3. Something from Nothing by Phoebe Gilman. This story is an adaptation from an old Yiddish tale of creativity and positivity. This is a story of a grandfather and grandson that will warm your heart and make you feel grateful for all the blessings in your life. This book is a sweet tale to read to the entire family.
  4. The Paper Bag Princess by Robert Munsch. A Robert Munsch classic, The Paper Bag Princess is a girl-power tale for all! Princess Elizabeth is vain and delicate until a dragon destroys her village. She goes out to track down the dragon, outwit it and gain control back of her village (all while wearing a paperbag). She comes to realize that she has the inner strength to deal with anything thrown her way. A great book to read with your host kids.
  5. Awake and Dreaming by Kit Pearson. This novel is a great story of family and imagination. Set in Vancouver and Victoria, you get to follow the journey of an only child who dreams of normalcy. Throughout the novel, you will be jolted around emotionally while she redefines what a “family” means.
  6. When We Were Alone by David A. Robertson and Julie Flett. One of the newest stories on my list, When We Were Alone is a gentle story that tells the tale of Residential Schools in Canada and how the schools affected thousands of children across the country. This intergenerational tale is one for the entire family.
  7. Franklin Goes to School. Growing up in the 90’s, Franklin was a popular choice from the library. Franklin the Turtle had many adventures, but none as great as Franklin Goes to School. In this tale, Franklin is going to school for the first time and experiences excitement, nervousness and eventually comfort in his new surroundings. This book is perfect for your host kid that is going to school for the first time in September.
  8. Love You Forever. If you can get through The Notebook without crying, you MAY be able to survive this book. This is another Robert Munsch classic about a beautiful relationship between a mother and her son. **Warning** Do not read this book if you are feeling homesick! Or, do, and it’ll make you appreciate your family that much more!