Your friendly bookstore clerks at Bertrand Bookstore on Saint-Pierre Street, are offering a selection of books you can give to your friends and family of all ages, and of all styles: documentary, anthologies, fiction, and more... Let their brief summaries of these picks charm you as you search for just the right one! Psst! Some of these work really well as stocking stuffers!
The Couch Potato, Jory JOHN; illustrated by Pete OSWALD (HarperCollins, 40 pages – 23.99$, 9780062954534)
This is the last picture book by the brilliant duo that offered us The Bad Seed and The Good Egg. The Couch Potato makes sure to have everything within reach in order to move as little as possible. But when the electricity goes out, he gets out of his comfort zone and decides to go outside. Will he be charmed by sunshine and fresh air? Incredibly funny, it is sure to become a kid’s favorite.
Black Heroes of the Wild West, James Otis SMITH (TOON Books, 60 pages – 25.50$, 9781943145522)
This graphic novel tells the true story of three unsung black heroes: Mary Fields, a famous coach driver known as ‘’Stagecoach Mary’’, Bass Reeves, the first black Deputy US Marshal west of the Mississippi and Bob Lemmons, a legendary mustanger. It is a great book to learn more about figures you most probably (and sadly) never heard of written with great details and supported by timelines and photographs.
CHEAP TIMELESS CLASSICS
Series ‘’Mr. Men and Little Miss’’: a great collection of characters (6.99$)
This series of small books describing the adventures of different characters through their dominant personality trait started in 1971 and continues to this day. Kids are still charmed by the simple illustrations and funny tales. Why not offer to your children the character that most resembles them?
Crossing the Farak River, Michelle AUNG THIN (Annick Press, 224 pages – 12.95$, 9781773213965)
Hasina, the main character, is a young Rohingya forced to flee her village burned down by the military forces of Sit Tat, the Myanmar army. She must then find the strength to fight for her family and her identity. Michelle Aung Thin offers us a gripping novel that highlights the crisis in Myanmar, the perfect read for teenagers who are eager to learn more about the devastating conflict going on over there.
This Is Your Brain on Stereotypes: How Science Is Tackling Unconscious Bias, Tanya LLOYD KYI; illustrated by Drew SHANNON (Kids Can Press, 88 pages - 17.99$, 9781525300165)
Using scientific data, Tanya Lloyd Kyi explains the mechanisms that lead to discrimination, racism and homophobia, among other things, and offers suggestions for changing our perceptions. This book for teenagers is a must-read to learn more about our biases and how to overcome them.
Series Pocket Change Collective: small books with big ideas (11.95$)
This essential series by Penguin Young Readers Group brings together texts by activists and artists on highly relevant topics. Among others, the topics covered include gender, queer consciousness, and the problem of plastic. A perfect gift for the woke teens in your life.
Small Game Hunting at the Local Coward Club, Megan Gail COLES (House of Anansi Press, 440 pages – 22.95$, 9781487001711)
This debut novel by Canadian writer Megan Gail Coles is a dark biting exploration of toxic masculinity, class, gender and racial tensions. She takes us to Hazel restaurant in St. John's Newfoundland on Valentine’s Day in the middle of a winter storm. There we meet a collection of broken people whose lives will slowly be reveals, with all the lies they contain. This book is intense and incredibly compelling, but be warned that it touches a lot of heavy subjects like infidelity, sexual assault, homelessness, poverty, drug and alcohol abuse, and racism. Coles mentions it herself at the beginning of the novel: This might hurt a little.
A History of My Brief Body, Billy-Tay BELCOURT (Penguin Canada, 192 pages – 25$, 9780735237780)
In this memoir, Billy-Ray Belcourt recounts his life in the hamlet of Joussard, Alberta, and on the Driftpile First Nation. He explores the highs and lows of coming of age with a legacy of colonial violence, having to negotiate being queer and indigenous in a world that still not fully accepted those identities. You will be swept away by his raw and emotional voice and won’t be able to put the book down.
LOW PRICE, BIG IDEAS
Series ‘’Introducing...’’: graphics guides that explain a wide array of concepts (14.95$)
This is one of our favorite and bestselling series in the bookstore. Among other things, it tackles philosophy, science, mathematics, politics and theories like semiotics or relativity. The whole focus of the series is to engage readers with advanced subjects and to make them accessible through a concise and clear text and humorous illustrations. You always wanted to understand particle physics? Well, this is your chance!