Simcoe Reads

7 Libraries. 7 Books. 1 Winner.

What is Simcoe Reads?

NTPL has joined forces with 6 other libraries in this cover-to-cover competition! Read the books; watch the debate; vote for the winner.

Simcoe Reads Debate and Voting

The Debate aired October 3 and 10, and voting closed October 12, but you can still watch the Debate online now.

And the winner is…

Gutter Child, by Jael Richardson! Congratulations to Essa Public Library and their Champion Grace Baker!

Heartfelt thanks to all who participated in NTPL’s first Simcoe Reads Cover-to-Cover Competition, and notably to Judy Penz Sheluk who championed NTPL’s selection Greenwood, by Michael Christie.

We’ll be back, New Tecumseth, for Simcoe Reads 2022!!

Simcoe Reads 2021

New Tecumseth Public Library

Greenwood by Michael Christie

From the award-winning author Michael Christie comes a propulsive, multigenerational family story, in which the unexpected legacies of a remote island off the coast of British Columbia will link the fates of five people over a hundred years.  An ingenious nested-ring, multigenerational epic, set against the devastation of the natural world.

MICHAEL CHRISTIE is the author of the novel If I Fall, If I Die, which was longlisted for the Scotiabank Giller Prize, the Kirkus Prize, was selected as a New York Times Editors’ Choice Pick, and was on numerous best-of 2015 lists. His linked collection of stories, The Beggar’s Garden, was longlisted for the Scotiabank Giller Prize, shortlisted for the Writers’ Trust Prize for Fiction, and won the Vancouver Book Award. His essays and book reviews have appeared in the New York Times, the Washington Post, and the Globe & Mail.

Greenwood, his most recent novel, was longlisted for the Scotiabank Giller Prize. Rights have been sold in seven countries.

A former carpenter and homeless shelter worker, he divides his time between Victoria, British Columbia, and Galiano Island, where he lives with his wife and two sons in a timber frame house that he built himself.


Photo of the cover of the novel Greenwood by Michael Christie, with author photo beside it.

Michael Christie Zoom Author Visit


Tuesday August 10

We are thrilled to announce NTPL’s Simcoe Reads selection: Greenwood, by
Michael Christie.  A propulsive, multigenerational family story, in which the
unexpected legacies of a remote island off the coast of British Columbia will link
the fates of five people over a hundred years. An ingenious nested-ring epic set
against the devastation of the natural world.

NTPL’s Champion local author Judy Penz Sheluk will interview Michael


Open Book Club

Tuesday August 31

Join us for an informal discussion featuring NTPL’s Simcoe Reads 2021 selection Greenwood by Michael Christie. All seven library Simcoe Reads 2021 titles will also be reviewed!


Champion: Judy Penz Sheluk

A former journalist and magazine editor, Judy Penz Sheluk is the author of the bestselling Marketville Mystery and Glass Dolphin Mystery series. Her short crime fiction appears in several collections, including The Best Laid Plans, Heartbreaks & Half-truths and Moonlight & Misadventure, which she also edited. Judy is a member of Sisters in Crime, International Thriller Writers, the Short Mystery Fiction Society, and Crime Writers of Canada, where she serves as Chair on the Board of Directors. She splits her time between Alliston and Goulais River, Ontario.

Barrie Public Library

A Mind Spread Out on the Ground by Alicia Elliott

In an urgent and visceral work that asks essential questions about the treatment of Native people in North America while drawing on intimate details of her own life and experience with intergenerational trauma, Alicia Elliott offers indispensable insight into the ongoing legacy of colonialism.

ALICIA ELLIOTT  is a Tuscarora writer from Six Nations of the Grand River. Her writing has been published by The Malahat Review, Room, Grain, CBC, The Globe and Mail, and Maclean’s, among others. She is currently creative nonfiction editor at The Fiddlehead, associate nonfiction editor at Little Fiction | Big Truths, and a consulting editor with The New Quarterly. Her essay A Mind Spread Out on the Ground won Gold at the National Magazine Awards in 2017. Elliott lives in Brantford, Ontario, with her husband and child.

Alicia Elliott Zoom Author Visit

A Mind Spread Out on the Ground

Wednesday, August 4
7 pm

BPL’s champion, Carolina Belmares interviews Alicia Elliott.


Champion: Carolina Belmares

Carolina Belmare’s passions include helping women with hectic lifestyles match their body to who they are, and what they’re capable of. She loves her blended family and her floofy cat named Churro. Carolina is an avid reader, an author, a speaker, an educator, and an entrepreneur.

Bradford-West Gwillimbury Public Library

Ayesha at Last by Uzma Jalaluddin

Ayesha Shamsi has a lot going on. Her dreams of being a poet have been set aside for a teaching job so she can pay off her debts to her wealthy uncle. She lives with her boisterous Muslim family and is always being reminded that her flighty younger cousin, Hafsa, is close to rejecting her one hundredth marriage proposal. Though Ayesha is lonely, she doesn’t want an arranged marriage. Then she meets Khalid, who is just as smart and handsome as he is conservative and judgmental. She is irritatingly attracted to someone who looks down on her choices and who dresses like he belongs in the seventh century.

When a surprise engagement is announced between Khalid and Hafsa, Ayesha is torn between how she feels about the straightforward Khalid and the unsettling new gossip she hears about his family. Looking into the rumors, she finds she has to deal with not only what she discovers about Khalid, but also the truth she realizes about herself

Uzma Jalaluddin Zoom Author Visit

Ayesha at Last

Thursday, August 19
7 pm

BWGPL’s Champion, Emily Dahlgren will interview Uzma Jalaluddin.


Champion: Emily Dahlgren

Emily Dahlgren is a 15 year old Bradford West Gwillimbury resident who likes to stay busy! She runs her own business, The Munchies’ Concession Stand, and co-runs ‘A Bradford Christmas,’ the foundation she started with her sister. When she is not serving the community, Emily expresses her creativity by video editing, and writing, and relaxing with a great book.

Essa Public Library

Gutter Child by Jael Richardson

Set in an imagined world in which the most vulnerable are forced to buy their freedom by working off their debt to society, Gutter Child uncovers a nation divided into the privileged Mainland and the policed Gutter.

Jael Richardson Zoom Author Visit

Gutter Child

Thursday, August 26
7 pm

EPL’s Champion, Grace Baker will interview Jael Richardson.


Champion: Grace Baker

Grace Baker is a grade 10 student at Nottawasaga Pines Secondary School. She has always loved reading but her passion has grown immensely during quarantine while reading in her spare time. Grace loves musical theatre, being outdoors and is excited to be a part of Simcoe Reads. She is eager to represent her community, discover new authors and challenge herself in this new experience.

Innisfil IdeaLab and Library

The Company We Keep by Frances Itani

It’s been three years since Hazzley’s husband died but she is still struggling to cope. After some persuasion from her longtime friend, Hazzley decides to start a conversation group. The group quickly grows to include six strangers who meet in the back room of Cassie’s cafe weekly, each with their own unique stories to tell. The strangers find comfort and good company in this touching yet funny novel.

Frances Itani Zoom Author Visit

The Company We Keep

Tuesday, August 31
7 pm

IILL Champion, Anne Smith will interview Frances Itani.


Champion: Anne Smith

Anne moved to Innisfil eight years ago, following her retirement as a Senior Executive with an International Financial Services Company. Having been an active volunteer within the Toronto community, Anne immediately began looking for new volunteer opportunities and is currently the Chair of the Innisfil ideaLAB & Library Board, the President of the Innisfil Rotary Club, Treasurer of the Innisfil Community Foundation and a member of 100 Women Who Care, South Simcoe. Since early childhood, Anne has been an avid reader and Enid Blyton was her favourite author as a child. Anne believes that if you love reading, you will never be bored or lonely, and she is delighted to have passed on her love of reading to her two daughters and five grandchildren.

Midland Public Library

The Centaur’s Wife by Amanda Leduc

Amanda Leduc’s The Centaur’s Wife is a magic realist novel that imagines what it means for us, and our world, to be broken, changed, and grieving…and to be resilient, sufficient, and bound together.

Amanda Leduc Zoom Author Visit

The Centaur’s Wife

Thursday, September 9
7 pm

MPL’s Champion, Cady McLaughlin will interview Amanda Leduc.


Champion: Cady McLaughlin

Cady McLaughlin is a farmer, designer, and mother from Lafontaine, Ontario. She grows flowers and works on the family farm looking after horses, hens, and hay. Cady is passionate about community building and environmental sustainability. With degrees in museum studies and history, Cady gravitates towards stories that envelop the reader in a different world, while empowering them to make discoveries about their own.

Rama Public Library

Indians on Vacation by Thomas King

Inspired by a handful of postcards sent nearly a hundred years ago, Bird and Mimi attempt to trace long-lost uncle Leroy and the family medicine bundle he took with him to Europe.

Champion: Linda Lyons

After forty years of various occupations including office management, real estate brokerage, and community volunteer, Linda Lyons returned to formal education at Pima Community College and the University of Arizona. While pursuing degrees in English and Creative Writing, she participated in multiple volunteer opportunities including the establishment of a library and learning centre at a Mexican orphanage.  Now fully retired and settled on the shores of Lake Simcoe, she putters about her “work-in-progress” home and garden and indulges her life-long passion of reading and writing. Decades from being a young girl who haunted the bookmobile, hid under the covers with a flashlight, and read cereal boxes and toothpaste tubes, she chooses to view these challenging times as an opportunity to appreciate the fellowship of family and friends and the wonder of books and the natural world.

Simcoe Reads 2021 MC

Lisa Morgan

Lisa Morgan is the Midday host at 107.5 KOOLFM in Barrie. An avid reader, some of her earliest memories involve visiting the library for story time and to borrow books to pass the long summer days.   After winning last year’s inaugural event, Lisa is excited to be hosting Simcoe Reads this year.