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Our favorite books to read this February

Our favorite books to read this February

By Press Staff | Date: February 14, 2024

February brings with it a host of exciting and important events for young readers, including I Love to Read Month, World Read Aloud Day, Freedom to Read Week, International Mother Language Day, and Pink Shirt Day. We’ve created a list of books for you and your avid young readers to explore during this eventful month.


I Love to Read Month is an opportunity to encourage reading for all ages. An integral part of First Nations cultures has always been storytelling. Oral stories are passed down from generation to generation and are an educational and interactive way of sharing life’s lessons. Books are another way to inform us, connect us to other worlds, instruct us, and challenge us.—Manitoba First Nations Education Resource Centre

  • Fourteen-year-old Eva’s life is like her shoes: rapidly falling apart. Heartbreaking and humorous, Hopeless in Hope is a compelling story of family and forgiveness.
  • In The Gift of the Little People, an illustrated short story for all ages, celebrated Rocky Cree storyteller William Dumas shares a teaching about hope in the face of adversity.


Did you know February 7 is World Read Aloud Day? LitWorld founded World Read Aloud Day way back in 2010 “to celebrate the power of reading aloud to create community and amplify new stories, and to advocate for literacy as a foundational human right.”
Here’s a book that we think is PERFECT for honouring this important global movement:

  • We Need Everyone by Michael Redhead Champagne (@northendmc) empowers children to identify their gifts and use them to overcome challenges, achieve goals, and strengthen communities.


For many of us, February 19 marks Family Day—a day to spend more time with loved ones. Here are some books from HighWater Press authors that showcase the importance of spending time with our loved ones and celebrating the histories that we come from.

  • Dancing With Our Ancestors transports readers to the excitement of a potlatch in Hydaburg, Alaska—author Sara Florence Davidson’s last memory of dancing with her late brother.
  • In Heart Berry Bling, a young girl learns about patience and perseverance from her granny’s teachings, and discovers along the way that beading is a journey—and like every journey, it’s easier with a loved one at her side.
  • We Dream Medicine Dreams is a gentle story about life and death that will touch the hearts of children and adults alike.


In 2024, Freedom to Read Week will celebrate its 40th anniversary, representing 40 years of dedication to freedom of expression, a fundamental right of all Canadians. Freedom to read can never be taken for granted. Even in Canada, a free country by world standards, books and magazines are banned at the border, and schools and libraries are regularly asked to remove books and magazines from their shelves. Few of these stories make headlines, but they affect the right of Canadians to decide for themselves what they choose to read.—Freedom to Read Council

  • Rediscover Beatrice Mosionier’s groundbreaking classic with this 40th anniversary edition of In Search of April Raintree. Intimate, hopeful, and impossible to put down.
  • In Sugar Falls, a young girl struggles to survive residential school. Inspired by true events, this story of strength, family, and culture shares the awe-inspiring resilience of Elder Betty Ross.


Globally, 40% of the population does not have access to an education in a language they speak or understand. International Mother Language Day recognizes that languages and multilingualism can advance inclusion. UNESCO encourages and promotes multilingual education based on mother tongue or first language. It is a type of education that begins in the language that the learner masters most and then gradually introduces other languages. This approach enables learners whose mother tongue is different from the language of instruction to bridge the gap between home and school, to discover the school environment in a familiar language, and thus, learn better.—United Nations

  • Told from the perspective of a young girl observing her grandmother, When We Were Alone is an empowering story of resistance that gently introduces children to the history of residential schools in Canada. Ispík kákí péyakoyak/When We Were Alone includes the text in Swampy Cree syllabics and Roman orthography, as well as the original English.
  • Awâsis and the World-Famous Bannock highlights the importance of collaboration and seeking guidance from one's community, while introducing the Cree words for different animals and baking ingredients. Find a pronunciation guide and the recipe for Kôhkum’s world-famous bannock in the back of the book.


Bullying is a major problem in our schools, workplaces, homes, and online. Over the month of February, and throughout the year, CKNW Kids' Fund's Pink Shirt Day aims to raise awareness of these issues, as well as raise funds to support programs that foster children’s healthy self-esteem. This year, Pink Shirt Day (February 28) celebrates the art of Corey Bulpitt, an internationally recognized artist from the Haida Na7ikun-Raven Clan. Bulpitt is known for his graffiti-influenced, Haida-style work, with pieces displayed across the country, including one of his best-known pieces of public work, a mural located under the Granville Street Bridge in Vancouver. His work is featured in galleries, museums, and private collections world-wide.—

  • Eleven-year-old Alex is a natural on the ice, but he becomes a target because he’s Indigenous in The Kodiaks: Home Ice Advantage. Hockey fans will love this action-packed middle grade novel about teamwork, overcoming adversity, and being proud of who you are and where you come from. Coming in April 2024, this title by bestselling author David A. Robertson is available for pre-order.
  • Between the Pipes explores toxic masculinity in hockey through the experiences of an Indigenous teen. Coming in September 2024, this title is available for pre-order.