are edgy, fast-paced novels that combine real-world themes and believable characters to make for short, heart-stopping books — sure to engage the most reluctant reader.


  Gang Girl

Themes: Law & Crime, Homelessness & Poverty, Bullying, Parents 

Angry with his family Zaine trashes a shed and ends up in trouble with the police. In order to avoid a criminal record he goes into a restorative justice program, but must avoid a gang that wants to recruit him.

Themes: Law & Crime, Diversity & Multicultural, Assimilation, Peer Pressure

After moving to Toronto from the Philipines Angelo is angry with all the changes in his life. After being accused of stealing, Angelo has to set things right without getting the law involved.

As a newcomer from Russia, Sasha 
thinks she has found a 
new start in a 
girls’ volunteerism 
group at her 
Canadian school. But 
she quickly 
learns that the group 
is a front for a 
girl gang — and 
their leader is eager to exploit Sasha’s computer skills for a more 
lucrative level of crime: 
stealing identities and luring and blackmailing men online.


"Watson's novel is topical and the issues deserve to be depicted in literary form ... she writes engaging, high interest novels."

   —CM Magazine: Canadian Review of Materials


Ride or die

Saving Grad

rez runaway

Dark Side

"An important cautionary tale for young-adult readers and a solid
option for reluctant readers
looking for a realistic page-turner."

—Atlantic Books Today

"Author Karen Spafford-Fitz capably creates an intense plot of relationships between family and friends which can be positive and negative, supportive or destructive, and she makes sure to take us along on that bus ride." 

—CanLit for Little Canadians

Themes: LGBTQ, gender identity, Native peoples, homelessness, runaways, street youth

“A gritty fairy tale for modern times, Rez Runaway communicates hope and compassion to an increasingly vulnerable teen demographic with an optimistic endnote that all teens need to hear: “It really does get better.””

— National Reading Campaign

Themes: Mental health, cultural diversity, parental pressure, abuse

The book is likely to encourage readers to think critically about mental health and healthy family relationships. Dark Side is an engaging read that covers many serious issues which will hold appeal to a wide audience of teen readers. Highly Recommended.

                — CM Magazine: Canadian                           Review of Materials