White Pine Nominees

It can be tricky to get teens to read. The Forest of Reading program has a category specifically designed to capture the interests of young adults. The White Pine nominees consist of ten different books that showcase topics such as: consent, diversity, intolerance, mental health and exploitation.

He Must Like You by Danielle Younge-Ullman

When a handsy customer goes too far, Libby dumps an entire pitcher of sangria on his head, then she is criticized for not laughing off his sexual harassment. He Must Like You focuses on what consent really means in both personal and professional settings.

Frying Plantain by Zalika Red-Benta

Kara is a Jamaican-Canadian youth trying to navigate her way through a tense family relationship. Each chapter covers a different stage in Kara’s adolescence that shapes her identity.

Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up with Me by Mariko Tamaki (Graphic Novel)

Freddy’s relationship with Laura Dean is a never ending cycle of break ups and hook ups. Freddy tries to find the courage to walk away for good.

Charming as a Verb by Ben Philippe

Henri knows how to work people. As a child of Haitian immigrants, he’s had to charm his way through doors that would otherwise remain closed to him. Henri is about to graduate and plans to attend an Ivy League school despite his socio-economic status.

The Starlight Claim by Tim Wynne-Jones

Nate is consumed with guilt and regret after the disappearance of his best friend at Ghost Lake. Hoping to find closure, he makes the decision to travel to Ghost Lake alone during the cold winter months. He comes across a group of strangers and finds himself in his own survival situation.

You Don’t Have to Die in the End by Anita Daher

Eugenia’s life is a mixture of alcohol, violence and pain. When her actions finally land her in hot water, she has the opportunity to sort her life out by attending a support program on a remote mountain ranch.

Hunted By the Sky by Tanaz Bhathena

To be born with a star-shaped birthmark means to be hunted. Gul’s parents have hidden her from the King’s wrath all her life. After her parents are murdered in front of her, Gul swears to bring down the King and his regime.

Fan the Fame by Anna Priemaza

Codemeister has made it big as a content creator but fame can change people for the ill. His inappropriate behavior continues to go unchecked due to his popularity. Those close to him struggle with the price of responsibility – do they call him out or remain silent?

Break in Case of Emergency by Brian Francis

Toby’s life is in pieces. Life with her mother was difficult. Life after her suicide is unbearable. Then Toby’s estranged father appears and exposes secrets from the past that just may put together the pieces of her future.

Like a Love Story by Abdi Nazemian

In 1989 during the height of the AIDS crisis, three friends discover what love really means. Art is openly gay. Art’s best friend is Judy, who is dating Reza. Reza keeps his true feelings hidden – he’s secretly in love with Art.

For books geared towards younger children, check out the Silver Birch and Red Maple categories. Stay tuned in February for great non-fiction reads in the Yellow Cedar category.

— Lesley L.