In response to the current situation facing the Canadian market, we are temporarily halting the production of the Loan Stars monthly top ten lists. But don’t worry, we’re not going anywhere! In the meantime, we will still be collecting and encouraging recommendations for upcoming books through CataList and we will be turning our focus to helping library staff personally connect with forthcoming titles — whenever their publication date. We will update this site with details on when we will be reinstating both the Adult and Juvenile monthly lists as we know them.

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The top books chosen by Canadian library staff

May 2020 Adult List

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  1. Ridgerunner
    by Gil Adamson 'Canada'
    House of Anansi Press
    May 12, 2020
    FICTION / Literary
    Hardcover

    Description

    Part literary Western and part historical mystery, Ridgerunner is the follow-up to Gil Adamson’s award-winning and critically acclaimed novel The Outlander.

    November 1917. William Moreland is in mid-flight. After nearly twenty years, the notorious thief, known as the Ridgerunner, has returned. Moving through the Rocky Mountains and across the border to Montana, the solitary drifter, impoverished in means and aged beyond his years, is also a widower and a father. And he is determined to steal enough money to secure his son’s future.

    Twelve-year-old Jack Boulton has been left in the care of Sister Beatrice, a formidable nun who keeps him in cloistered seclusion in her grand old house. Though he knows his father is coming for him, the boy longs to return to his family’s cabin, deep in the woods. When Jack finally breaks free, he takes with him something the nun is determined to get back — at any cost.

    Set against the backdrop of a distant war raging in Europe and a rapidly changing landscape in the West, Gil Adamson’s follow-up to her award-winning debut, The Outlander, is a vivid historical novel that draws from the epic tradition and a literary Western brimming with a cast of unforgettable characters touched with humour and loss, and steeped in the wild of the natural world.

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  2. Watershed
    by Doreen Vanderstoop 'Canada'
    Freehand Books
    May 02, 2020
    FICTION / Dystopian
    Paperback

    Description

    It is 2058, and the glaciers are gone. A catastrophic drought has hit the prairies. Willa Van Bruggen is desperately trying to keep her family goat farm afloat, hoping against hope that the new water pipeline arrives before the bill collectors do.

    Willa's son, Daniel, goes to work for the pipeline corporation instead of returning to help the family business. When Daniel reveals long-concealed secrets about his grandfather's death, Willa's world truly shatters. She's losing everything she values most: her farm, her son, her understanding of the past -- and even her grip on reality itself. Vividly illustrating the human cost of climate change, Watershed is a page-turner of a novel about forgiveness, adaptation, and family bonds.

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  3. Network Effect
    by Martha Wells
    Tor.com
    May 05, 2020
    FICTION / Science Fiction / Action & Adventure
    Hardcover

    Description

    The first full-length novel in Martha Wells'New York TimesandUSA Todaybestselling Murderbot Diaries series.

    "
    I caught myself rereading my favorite parts... and I can’t recommend it enough." —New York Times


    You know that feeling when you’re at work, and you’ve had enough of people, and then the boss walks in with yet another job that needs to be done right this second or the world will end, but all you want to do is go home and binge your favorite shows? And you're a sentient murder machine programmed for destruction? Congratulations, you're Murderbot.

    Come for the pew-pew space battles, stay for the most relatable A.I. you’ll read this century.



    I’m usually alone in my head, and that’s where 90 plus percent of my problems are.

    When Murderbot's human associates (not friends, never friends) are captured and another not-friend from its past requires urgent assistance, Murderbot must choose between inertia and drastic action.

    Drastic action it is, then.

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  4. Big Summer
    by Jennifer Weiner
    Atria Books
    May 05, 2020
    FICTION / Women
    Hardcover

    Description

    AN INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

    “Sexy and satisfying, Big Summer is the perfect quarantine read.” —USA TODAY

    “The beach read to end all beach reads.” —Entertainment Weekly

    “Big fun, and then some. It’s empowering and surprising—a reminder to put down the phone and enjoy each moment for what it is.” —The Washington Post

    A deliciously funny, remarkably poignant, and simply unputdownable novel about the power of friendship, the lure of frenemies, and the importance of making peace with yourself through all life’s ups and down. From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Good in Bed and Best Friends Forever, Big Summer is the perfect escape with one of the most lovable heroines to come to the page in years.

    Six years after the fight that ended their friendship, Daphne Berg is shocked when Drue Cavanaugh walks back into her life, looking as lovely and successful as ever, with a massive favor to ask. Daphne hasn’t spoken one word to Drue in all this time—she doesn’t even hate-follow her ex-best friend on social media—so when Drue asks if she will be her maid-of-honor at the society wedding of the summer, Daphne is rightfully speechless.

    Drue was always the one who had everything—except the ability to hold onto friends. Meanwhile, Daphne’s no longer the same self-effacing sidekick she was back in high school. She’s built a life that she loves, including a growing career as a plus-size Instagram influencer. Letting glamorous, seductive Drue back into her life is risky, but it comes with an invitation to spend a weekend in a waterfront Cape Cod mansion. When Drue begs and pleads and dangles the prospect of cute single guys, Daphne finds herself powerless as ever to resist her friend’s siren song.

    A sparkling novel about the complexities of female relationships, the pitfalls of living out loud and online, and the resilience of the human heart, Big Summer is a witty, moving story about family, friendship, and figuring out what matters most.
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  5. The Trouble with Hating You
    by Sajni Patel
    Forever
    May 12, 2020
    FICTION / Romance / Romantic Comedy
    Paperback

    Description

    A fiercely independent engineer walks out on the man her parents have set her up with -- only to start working side-by-side with him at her job in this laugh-out-loud debut with "delicious banter, deep wounds, heartwarming friendships, and a path to love that often feels impossibly hard, and [a payoff] satisfying enough to give you a book hangover the size of Texas" (Sonali Dev, USA Today bestselling author of Recipe for Persuasion).

    Liya Thakkar is a successful biochemical engineer, takeout enthusiast, and happily single woman. The moment she realizes her parents' latest dinner party is a setup with the man they want her to marry, she's out the back door in a flash. Imagine her surprise when the same guy shows up at her office a week later -- the new lawyer hired to save her struggling company. What's not surprising: he's not too thrilled to see her either after that humiliating fiasco.

    Jay Shah looks good on paper...and off. Especially if you like that whole gorgeous, charming lawyer-in-a-good-suit thing. He's also infuriating. As their witty office banter turns into late-night chats, Liya starts to think he might be the one man who truly accepts her. But falling for each other means exposing their painful pasts. Will Liya keep running, or will she finally give love a real chance?
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  6. A Children's Bible
    by Lydia Millet
    WW Norton
    May 12, 2020
    FICTION / Literary
    Hardcover

    Description

    Named a Most Anticipated Book of 2020 by Apple Books, Literary Hub, The Millions, and The Week

    An indelible novel of teenage alienation and adult complacency in an unraveling world.

    Pulitzer Prize finalist Lydia Millet’s sublime new novel—her first since the National Book Award long-listed Sweet Lamb of Heaven—follows a group of twelve eerily mature children on a forced vacation with their families at a sprawling lakeside mansion.

    Contemptuous of their parents, who pass their days in a stupor of liquor, drugs, and sex, the children feel neglected and suffocated at the same time. When a destructive storm descends on the summer estate, the group’s ringleaders—including Eve, who narrates the story—decide to run away, leading the younger ones on a dangerous foray into the apocalyptic chaos outside.

    As the scenes of devastation begin to mimic events in the dog-eared picture Bible carried around by her beloved little brother, Eve devotes herself to keeping him safe from harm.

    A Children’s Bible is a prophetic, heartbreaking story of generational divide—and a haunting vision of what awaits us on the far side of Revelation.

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  7. Officer Clemmons
    by Francois Clemmons
    Catapult
    May 15, 2020
    BIOGRAPHY & AUTOBIOGRAPHY / Entertainment & Performing Arts
    Hardcover

    Description

    The intimate debut memoir by the man known to the world asMister Rogers’ Neighborhood’s Officer Clemmons, who made history as the first African American actor to have a recurring role on a children’s television program.

    When he created the role of Officer Clemmons on the award-winning television seriesMister Rogers’ Neighborhood, François Clemmons made history as the first African American actor to have a recurring role on a children’s program. A new, wide world opened for Clemmons—but one that also required him to make painful personal choices and sacrifices. Officer Clemmons details Clemmons’s incredible life story, beginning with his early years in Alabama and Ohio, marked by family trauma and loss, through his studies as a music major at Oberlin College, where Clemmons began to investigate and embrace his homosexuality, to a chance encounter with Fred Rogers that changed the whole course of both men’s lives, leading to a deep, spiritual friendship and mentorship spanning nearly forty years.

    From New York to Russia, Berlin to California, Grammy Award–winner Clemmons has performed for audiences around the world and remains a beloved figure. Evocative and intimate, and buoyed by its author’s own vivacious, inimitable energy, Officer Clemmons chronicles a historical and enlightening life and career of a man who has brought joy to millions of adults and children, across generations and borders.

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  8. The Goodbye Man
    by Jeffery Deaver
    G.P. Putnam's Sons
    May 12, 2020
    FICTION / Thrillers / Crime
    Hardcover

    Description

    In this twisty thriller from the New York Times bestselling master of suspense, reward-seeker Colter Shaw infiltrates a sinister cult after learning that the only way to get somebody out . . . is to go in.

    In the wilderness of Washington State, expert tracker Colter Shaw has located two young men accused of a terrible hate crime. But when his pursuit takes a shocking and tragic turn, Shaw becomes desperate to discover what went so horribly wrong and if he is to blame. Shaw's search for answers leads him to a shadowy organization that bills itself as a grief support group. But is it truly it a community that consoles the bereaved? Or a dangerous cult with a growing body count? Undercover, Shaw joins the mysterious group, risking everything despite the fact that no reward is on offer. He soon finds that some people will stop at nothing to keep their secrets hidden . . . and to make sure that he or those close to him say "goodbye" forever.
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  9. Mary Pickford, Queen of the Silent Film Era
    by George A. Walker 'Canada'
    Porcupine's Quill
    May 30, 2020
    COMICS & GRAPHIC NOVELS / Nonfiction / General
    Paperback

    Description

    In this wordless biography, wood engraver George A. Walker provides a fitting stage to explore the life of Mary Pickford, a silent film star whose groundbreaking contributions to the motion picture industry earned her the title `Queen of the Movies'.

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  10. Beach Read
    by Emily Henry
    Berkley
    May 19, 2020
    FICTION / Romance / Romantic Comedy
    Paperback

    Description

    THE INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER!

    "Original, sparkling bright, and layered with feeling..."—Sally Thorne, author of The Hating Game

    A romance writer who no longer believes in love and a literary writer stuck in a rut engage in a summer-long challenge that may just upend everything they believe about happily ever afters.


    Augustus Everett is an acclaimed author of literary fiction. January Andrews writes bestselling romance. When she pens a happily ever after, he kills off his entire cast.

    They're polar opposites.

    In fact, the only thing they have in common is that for the next three months, they're living in neighboring beach houses, broke, and bogged down with writer's block.

    Until, one hazy evening, one thing leads to another and they strike a deal designed to force them out of their creative ruts: Augustus will spend the summer writing something happy, and January will pen the next Great American Novel. She'll take him on field trips worthy of any rom-com montage, and he'll take her to interview surviving members of a backwoods death cult (obviously). Everyone will finish a book and no one will fall in love. Really.
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March & April 2020 Juvenile and Young Adult List

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  1. Canadian Women Now and Then
    by Elizabeth MacLeod 'Canada'
    Kids Can Press
    Apr 07, 2020
    JUVENILE NONFICTION / Biography & Autobiography / Women
    Hardcover

    Description

    This timely and relevant collection of fascinating stories about groundbreaking Canadian women, present and past, offers an inspiring, one-of-a-kind look at Canadian history. Canadian women have long been trailblazers, creating art, making discoveries and setting records --- and often battling incredible odds and discrimination in the process. Here, award-winning children's writer Elizabeth MacLeod presents biographies of more than one hundred of these remarkable women, from the famous, such as Margaret Atwood, to the lesser known, such as multi-award-winning mathematician Karen Yeats. There are stories of activists and architects, engineers and explorers, poets and politicians and so many more. Each category pairs a historical groundbreaker with a present-day woman making her mark in that same field. Included are stories of Indigenous women, immigrants, women with disabilities and women from the LGBTQ+ community. Together, they tell the story of Canada. And together they offer a vision of what's possible, to inspire all children to blaze trails of their own. This unique look at Canadian history is engagingly written with a storyteller's touch, making this a book that will be read for both research and pleasure. Organized by profession, it includes women in science, the arts, sports, politics, activism, law, business and more. The clean, modern design, along with the color portraits of each woman by Maia Faddoul, make the pages accessible and inviting. This excellent resource for social studies lessons also contains a time line of significant dates in Canadian women's history, a list of author's sources, further resources and an index.
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  2. A Book for Escargot
    by Dashka Slater
    Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)
    Apr 07, 2020
    JUVENILE FICTION / Animals / Insects, Spiders, etc.
    Hardcover

    Description

    *An Amazon Best Book of the Year and Indie Bestseller!*

    InA Book for Escargot, the standalone sequel toEscargot--written by award-winning andNew York Times-bestselling author Dashka Slater and illustrated by Sydney Hanson--we follow a funny and charming French snail through a library to find the book of his dreams.


    Bonjour!
    It is moi, Escargot, your favorite French snail.
    Today I am going on a trip to the library, where there are so many stories to choose from!
    Stories about dog superheroes…
    guinea pig detectives....
    and flamingo astronauts.


    But sadly, none of these books is about a daring snail hero who saves the day. What is that you say? Perhapsthisis the book about the snail hero? Ooh-la-la!

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  3. The Silence of Bones
    by June Hur 'Canada'
    Feiwel & Friends
    Apr 21, 2020
    YOUNG ADULT FICTION / Mysteries & Detective Stories
    Hardcover

    Description

    June Hur's elegant and haunting debutThe Silence of Bonesis a bloody YA historical mystery tale perfect for fans of Kerri Maniscalco and Renée Ahdieh.

    I have a mouth, but I mustn't speak;
    Ears, but I mustn't hear;
    Eyes, but I mustn't see.


    1800, Joseon (Korea). Homesick and orphaned sixteen-year-old Seol is living out the ancient curse: “May you live in interesting times.” Indentured to the police bureau, she’s been tasked with assisting a well-respected young inspector with the investigation into the politically charged murder of a noblewoman.

    As they delve deeper into the dead woman's secrets, Seol forms an unlikely bond of friendship with the inspector. But her loyalty is tested when he becomes the prime suspect, and Seol may be the only one capable of discovering what truly happened on the night of the murder.

    But in a land where silence and obedience are valued above all else, curiosity can be deadly.

    Praise forThe Silence of Bones:

    ABA Indies Introduce Selection

    "At oncehaunting and evocative, June Hur'sThe Silence of Bones is a gorgeous, tightly-woven debut. Prepare to delve deep into the lush and dangerous world of Korea in the 1800's fora page-turner you won't soon forget." —Hafsah Faizal,New York Times-bestselling author ofWe Hunt the Flame

    "This gripping drama is definitely one you're not going to want to miss." —Buzzfeed

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  4. Check, Please! Book 2: Sticks & Scones
    by Ngozi Ukazu
    First Second
    Apr 07, 2020
    YOUNG ADULT FICTION / Comics & Graphic Novels / Coming of Age
    Paperback

    Description

    A collection of the second half of the mega-popular webcomic series of the same name,Check, Please!: Sticks and Scones is the last in Ngozi Ukazu's hilarious and stirring two-volume coming-of-age story about hockey, bros, and trying to find yourself during the best four years of your life.

    Eric Bittle is heading into his junior year at Samwell University, and not only does he have new teammates—he has a brand new boyfriend! Bitty and Jack must navigate their new, secret, long-distance relationship, and decide how to reveal their relationship to friends and teammates. And ontopof that, Bitty's time at Samwell is quickly coming to an end...It's two full hockey seasons packed with big wins and high stakes!

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  5. Dewdrop
    by Katie O'Neill
    Oni Press
    Apr 07, 2020
    JUVENILE FICTION / Comics & Graphic Novels / Animals
    Hardcover

    Description

    "The axolotl-cheerleader picture book you didn't know you were waiting for." - Kirkus

    From the author of The Tea Dragon Society comes Dewdrop, the delightful children's tale of an adorable axolotl who cheers on his underwater friends as they each bring their talents to the pond's sports fair!

    Dewdrop is an easygoing, gentle axolotl who enjoys naps, worm pie, and cheerleading. When the yearly sports fair nears, he and his friends—Mia the weightlifting turtle, Newman the musical newt, and three minnows who love to cook—get ready to showcase their skills to the whole pond! However, as the day of the fair gets closer, Dewdrop's friends can't help putting pressure on themselves to be the best. It's up to Dewdrop to remind them how to be mindful, go at their own pace, and find joy in their own achievements.
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  6. Dragonslayer (Wings of Fire: Legends)
    by Tui T. Sutherland
    Scholastic Press
    Mar 03, 2020
    JUVENILE FICTION / Animals / Dragons, Unicorns & Mythical
    Hardcover

    Description

    This special edition of the #1 New York Times bestselling Wings of Fire series soars back in time to give readers a glimpse of Pyrrhia through new eyes.

    In the shadow of wings . . . humans fight for survival. Ivy doesn't trust the Dragonslayer. He may be her father and the beloved ruler of Valor, but she knows he's hiding more than the treasure from the sand dragon he killed two decades ago. Leaf doesn't trust dragons. They're the reason his favorite sister, Wren, is dead, and now he'll do whatever it takes to slay even one. Wren doesn't trust anyone. She swore off humans after her village tried to sacrifice her to the dragons. She only has one friend, a small, wonderful mountain dragon named Sky, and they don't need anyone else. In a world of dragons, the humans who scramble around underfoot are easy to overlook. But Ivy, Leaf, and Wren will each cross paths with dragons in ways that could shape the destiny of both species. Is a new future possible for all of them . . . one in which humans can look to the skies with hope instead of fear?
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  7. Marie Curie and the Power of Persistence
    by Karla Valenti
    Sourcebooks Explore
    Apr 07, 2020
    JUVENILE FICTION / Science & Nature / General
    Hardcover

    Description

    What if superheroes didn't have supernatural powers but instead were humans with amazing brain power?

    This first book in the My Super Science Heroes series is about Marie Curie and her power of persistence. Using a fictionalized storytelling approach, readers will learn about Marie Curie's achievements and feel empowered to become superheroes themselves.

    This new series is scientifically vetted and promoted by the Marie Curie Alumni Association, a nonprofit dedicated to promoting research and curiosity and to enhancing research and professional collaboration.
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  8. Powwow
    by Karen Pheasant-Neganigwane 'Canada'
    Orca Book Publishers
    Apr 21, 2020
    JUVENILE NONFICTION / People & Places / Canada / Indigenous
    Lexile measure 1170L, Fountas & Pinnell Text Level Gradient X
    Hardcover

    Description

    ? “Clearly organized and educational—an incredibly useful tool for both school and public libraries.” —School Library Journal, starred review

    Powwow is a celebration of Indigenous song and dance. Journey through the history of powwow culture in North America, from its origins to the thriving powwow culture of today. As a lifelong competitive powwow dancer, Karen Pheasant-Neganigwane is a guide to the protocols, regalia, songs, dances and even food you can find at powwows from coast to coast, as well as the important role they play in Indigenous culture and reconciliation.
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  9. The Stone of Sorrow
    by Brooke Carter 'Canada'
    Orca Book Publishers
    Apr 07, 2020
    YOUNG ADULT FICTION / Fantasy / Epic
    Lexile measure HL730L
    Paperback

    Description

    In a land of myth and ice, seventeen-year-old Runa Unnursdóttir is not the runecaster her clan has been hoping for. She spends her days daydreaming of sailing away and exploring the world instead of studying the runes and learning her spells. The villagers consider her odd, in looks and in manner. She’s nothing like her talented sister, Sýr, keeper of the sacred moonstone that ensures the village’s continued survival. But when a rival clan led by an evil witch raids the village and kidnaps her sister, Runa is forced to act. With a fallen Valkyrie by her side, and the help of a gorgeous half-elf Runa is not quite sure she can trust, the apprentice must travel to the site of an ancient runecasting competition to try to win back the magical gem. But the journey will not be easy; the three unlikely companions encounter malevolent and supernatural creatures at every turn. Somehow, Runa must summon the courage and strength to face her destiny, a destiny she never wanted. Or die trying.
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  10. Girl Crushed
    by Katie Heaney
    Knopf Books for Young Readers
    Apr 07, 2020
    YOUNG ADULT FICTION / Romance / LGBT
    Lexile measure 830L
    Hardcover

    Description

    Leah on the Offbeat meets We Are Okay in this pitch-perfect queer romance about falling in love and never quite falling out of it--heartbreak, unexpected new crushes, and all.

    Before Quinn Ryan was in love with Jamie Rudawski, she loved Jamie Rudawski, who was her best friend. But when Jamie dumps Quinn a month before their senior year, Quinn is suddenly girlfriend-less and best friend-less.

    Enter a new crush: Ruby Ocampo, the gorgeous and rich lead singer of the popular band Sweets, who's just broken up with her on-again, off-again boyfriend. Quinn's always only wanted to be with Jamie, but if Jamie no longer wants to be with her, why can't Quinn go all in on Ruby? But the closer Quinn grows to Ruby, the more she misses Jamie, and the more (she thinks) Jamie misses her. Who says your first love can't be your second love, too?

    Katie Heaney is a full-time senior writer for the Cut, a former editor at BuzzFeed, and the author of the memoirs Never Have I Ever: My Life (So Far) Without a Date and Would You Rather? Girl Crushed is her YA debut.
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