Six Incredible Canadian Authors to Check Out

By: Shanleigh Klassen

We just wanted to take a moment to appreciate these incredibly talented Canadian authors and their wonderful middle grade storytelling abilities. These authors write stories that come from the heart, and whether they’re high-flying adventures or down-to-earth contemporaries, we’re so excited to see more and more Canadian representation in the growing middle grade scene.

Take a look below to discover (or re-discover!) just a handful of the talented middle grade authors with Canadian roots. You’re sure to discover your next favourite read!

Michael Hutchinson
Michael Hutchinson, a Cree man with long brown hair pulled into a low ponytail, stands in front of bright Indigenous art piece. He wears a pale purple dress shirt underneath a gray suit jacket.

Michael Hutchinson is an award-winning author and citizen of the Misipawistik Cree Nation in Treaty 5 territory. Michael has spent much of his career telling the stories of Indigenous peoples and advocating for First Nation families and communities across Canada.

In The Case of Windy Lake, the first book in the Mighty Muskrats Mystery series, Sam, Otter, Atim, and Chickadee — four inseparable cousins nicknamed the Mighty Muskrats by their Windy Lake First Nation home — decide to solve the mysterious case of the missing visiting archeologist. In the midst of community conflict, family concerns, and environmental protests, the four get busy following every lead from their base of operations in a fort made out of an old school bus.

With three books already out and a fourth to come on September 20th, you are in for a delightful treat with the Mighty Muskrats Mystery series.

Book cover for The Case of the Windy Lake by Michael Hutchinson. Four Cree children are in a red motorboat on a lake at night. In the near distance is a shore lined with pine trees.  Book cover for The Case of the Missing Auntie by Michael Hutchinson. Four Cree children stand in a grassy courtyard with a large brown school building behind them. The two children on the right are holding piles of paper.  Book cover for The Case of the Burgled Bundle by Michael Hutchinson. Four Cree children crouch and hide behind a light brown camper van, peering to look at a standing figure on the other side with pink hair. Behind the figure are two teepees.  Book cover for The Case of the Rigged Race by Michael Hutchinson. In a snowy forest at night, two Cree children are being pulled by dog sled. To their right, a person in a light blue coat is on gray snowmobile pulling another person in a dog sled as they hold a dog in their lap.



David A. Robertson
David A. Robertson, a smiling Cree man with short dark hair, black glasses, and a black shirt, is shown in front of a white background.

David A. Robertson is the two-time Governor General's Award-winning author of dozens of books, ranging from picture books to graphic novels to memoirs. David is a member of the Norway House Cree Nation and a highly sought-after speaker and educator, writing stories that are rich, evocative, and honest.

In David’s most recent books for middle grade readers, the Misewa Saga, we follow Morgan and Eli who discover a portal that opens to another reality. The world of Askī has suffered a hundred years of the White Time and Misewa is now the last surviving community of the North Country. In The Barren Grounds, Morgan and Eli join Ochek, the fisher, and the cheeky Arik on a dangerous mission to save Misewa before the icy grip of winter freezes everything.

Read our deep dive into this incredible series and gear up for the third installment, The Stone Child, to publish on August 2nd.

                         Book cover for The Barren Grounds by David A. Robertson. Four figures walk across a snow tundra. From left to right, there is an anthropomorphized squirrel wearing a tan winter coat, a taller Cree child wearing a white modern puffy winter coat and blue jeans, a tall anthropomorphized bear wearing a tan winter coat, and a shorter Cree child wearing a tan winter coat.     Book cover for The Great Bear by David A. Robertson. Three figures, two Cree children on either side of an anthropomorphized squirrel wielding a wooden staff, stand in front of a large brown bear. The bear is standing on its hindlegs, it's two front paws raised high and it's head thrown back. The overall colour scheme is orange.     Book cover for The Stone Child by David A. Robertson. In a birch forest at night, two figures, a Cree child with shoulder-length brown hair and an anthropomorphized squirrel, sit on either side of a second Cree child who lies on the ground, seemingly asleep. In front of the sleeping child is a large glowing stone. The overall colour scheme is pale blue.



Heather Fawcett
Heather Fawcett, a smiling white woman with long light brown hair, wearing a blue patterned scarf.

Heather Fawcett is the author of numerous books for adults, kids, and teens. Heather has degrees in both English Literature and Archaeology and somehow, all of her stories have included dragons in one form or another.

Heather’s most recent middle grade book, The School Between Winter and Fairyland, is a fresh and exciting twist on magical boarding schools, the well-loved Chosen One trope, and the nature of true heroism. Autumn is a beastkeeper at the enchanting Inglenook School. When she isn’t tending to the menagerie of terrifying monsters, she searches for clues about her twin brother’s mysterious disappearance. When the prophesied “Chosen One” comes to Autumn for help, she agrees on the condition that they’ll uncover the dark truth of the school once and for all.

Check out her other middle grade books, all available now.

                        Book cover for The School Between Winter and Fairyland by Heather Fawcett. Two children, one with white hair and another with short dark hair, stand back-to-back between two wizened trees, a dog and cat at their feet. Behind them is a rolling landscape with a large white castle nestled in the mountains. Above the figures is a portrait of another white-haired child held by a dragon, its wings framed on either side. Descending from this dragon, a red dragon-like serpent snakes down along the left tree.     Book cover for The Language of Ghosts by Heather Fawcett. On a floating island surrounded by a green background and water, is a castle at the top of a mountain. A large black sea monster follows the path down from the castle towards a small village on the shore, before entering the water surrounding the island.     Book cover for Ember and the Ice Dragons by Heather Fawcett. A child holds a floating red orb between two outstretched hands, as two other child on either side look on aghast. The child holding out the orb is facing a large twining serpent-like dragon who seems transfixed.



Angela Ahn
Angela Ahn, a smiling Korean-Canadian woman with chin-length black hair, black glasses, and wearing a long-sleeved black shirt, stands in front of a pale gray background.

Angela Ahn was born in Seoul, but her family immigrated to Canada before she could walk. Angela writes engaging middle grade stories with humour, heart, and as she says “where her children can see faces just like theirs on the front covers.”

Angela’s forthcoming Double O Stephen and the Ghostly Realm explores ghosts, pirates, and family secrets. Stephen loves pirates and personally believes the definition is in need of an update, going so far as to coin the perfect new word: piventurate — a sailor who passionately seeks adventure. At a museum one day, everything changes and Stephen finds himself in a strange new place, face-to-face with a real pirate. A pirate ghost.

Double O Stephen comes out on August 30th, and be sure you check out Angela’s other books while you’re at it.

                        Book cover for Double O Stephen and the Ghostly Realm by Angela Ahn. A Korean-Canadian child wearing a red bandana on their head and a yellow shirt with black pants holds a golden gong in one hand and a mallet in the other. Behind the child at the top of the image is the visage of a long-red haired pirate looking down to a pirate ship and ghostly people at its base.     Book cover for Peter Lee's Notes from the Field by Angela Ahn. A young Korean-Canadian child with short black hair and wearing a yellow vest over a blue tshirt, is centered at the base of the image holding a notebook in one hand and a red pen in the other. The child looks up towards the sketchy, seemingly hand-drawn images of a volcano, a trex, and various other dinosaurs and people on gridded paper, as torn from notebook.     Book cover for Krista Kim-Bap by Angela Ahn. The head of a young Korean-Canadian child with their dark hair pulled into a ponytail floates disembodied among a feast of floating food.



Zetta Elliott
Zetta Elliott, a smiling Black woman with curly black hair and wearing a red beaded necklace and a bright blue shirt, stands in front of a patterned brown wall.

Zetta Elliott is a Black Canadian-American feminist writer of poetry, plays, essays, novels, and stories for children. An author and an educator, Zetta writes “to tell stories that give voice to the diverse realities of children” and to create the kinds of stories “I wish I had had as a child.”

Zetta’s most recent publication, Moonwalking, is a middle grade novel-in-verse co-written with Lyn Miller-Lachmann that follows two boys in 1980s Brooklyn. JJ doesn’t fit in at his new school as one of the only white kids, while Pie is a math and history geek by day and graffiti artist by night. The boys fall into an unlikely friendship, swapping notes on their love of music and art, which sees them through a difficult semester at school and at home. But then a run-in with the cops threatens to unravel it all.

Be sure you check out this incredible story, as well as Zetta’s middle grade fantasy series, Dragons in a Bag.

Book cover for Moonwalking by Zetta Elliott and Lyn Miller-Lachmann. A white child with short blonde hair and wearing glasses and a red tshirt holds a walkman in one hand and a red electric guitar with the other. This child is leaning against the back of a Black child with wearing a green-tinted jean jacket and sketching in an open sketchbook on their lap. The white child's walkman is attached the to the green headphones the Black child is wearing. The two figures are superimposed over a skyline of Brooklyn, NY.  Book cover of Dragons in a Bag by Zetta Elliott. A young Black child wearing a white and red baseball tshirt, blue jeans cuffed at the ankle, and black sneakers sits on a brick fence. Next to the child is an old rose-printed carpet bag with a small blue and orange dragon emerging from within. A blue and orange creature winds around the child's foot that's propped up on the fence, and another dragon flies over head and winds its way around the title text.  Book cover for The Dragon Thief by Zetta Elliott. A young Indian child with their short hair pulled into low pigtails and wearing a light blue shirt holds an ornate cage with a purply-pink dragon-like creature inside. The child and dragon are framed in a window, looking outwards with sparkles shining all around them.  Book cover for The Witch's Apprentice by Zetta Elliott. A young Black child with short black hair and wearing a red hoodie stands centered with rainbow-like magic swirls surrounding them and swirling upwards On the child's shoulder is a bright red phoenix and towards the child's other should is a magpie in mid flight.



Faith Erin Hicks
Faith Erin Hicks, a smiling white woman with shoulder-length dark brown hair and bangs wearing a dark blue and orange paisley top, stands in front of stone stairs and greenery.

Faith Erin Hicks is a two-time Eisner Award-winning and bestselling writer and author of dozens of comics, ranging from original fantasy epics to Avatar the Last Airbender to YA novels. Faith’s stories are filled with humour, warmth, and adventure, suiting nearly every genre imaginable.

Faith’s upcoming publication, Ride On, is inspired by her own childhood love of horses. Victoria has always loved horses, but she’s burned out from the high-pressure world of riding competitions. Following a fight with her best friend, Victoria changes stables and though she initially gives the other riders the cold shoulder, Victoria slowly begins to discover new friends and interests in this graphic novel that explores passion, friendship, and finding balance.

Ride On will be available on August 16th, and be sure to also check out Faith’s award-winning The Nameless City series for an incredible high-paced adventure.

Cover for Ride On by Faith Erin Hicks. A white child with braided blue hair cuddles the muzzle of a brown horse wearing a bridle.  Cover for The Nameless City by Faith Erin Hicks. Two children, one with tan skin and short blond hair wearing a yellow top and another further in the distance with tan skin, dark hair in a top knot and a light blue shirt, sprint across the green tiles of a roof. More brown and green tiled roofs stretch out far into the distance.   Cover for The Stone Heart by Faith Erin hicks. Two children, one with their dark hair in a top knot and wearing a blue shirt and the other with short blonde hair wearing a yellow tunic top, stand next to each other. Behind them are superimposed images of an adult woman wielding a sword in front of the face with dark hair that's turned away. Behind them all is a tall brick tower surrounded by much smaller houses.  Cover for The Divided Earth by Faith Erin Hicks. Two children stand back to back, one with short blonde hair and wearing a yellow tunic, and the other with their dark hair in a top knot, wearing a blue shirt, and holding a red book to their chest. Behind them are rows of small houses, with a massive plume of smoke rising up in the far distance. Below the two figures at the bottom of the image are the silhouettes of two people running along the tops of rooftops as the fire blazes in the background.