7 Libraries. 7 Books. 1 Winner.


Seven Simcoe County libraries are squaring off against each other in a cover-to-cover competition this summer: Barrie, Bradford West Gwillimbury, Essa, Innisfil, Midland, New Tecumseth and Ramara. Based on Canada Reads, each library has selected a Canadian book and a local champion. Read all seven books this summer, pick your favourite and then enjoy a live debate in September 2021 to see which book is crowned the winner.  Visit bit.ly/bwgpl_simcoereads to learn more about the Champions and their selected titles.


It's easy to join Simcoe Reads:

  • Visit the App Store or Google Play and download the FREE Beanstack Tracker app to get started earning virtual prizes;
  • Join our Champion, Emily Dahlgren, in the challenge and read all seven Canadian titles (or as many as you want);
  • Play along at home on the Beanstack Tracker app and complete badges; and
  • Tune in this fall to see who wins when our champions defend their book in a live debate

BWG Library Champion: Emily Dahlgren

Emily Dahlgren

Emily Dahlgren is a 16-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, writing and relaxing with a great book.

BWG Library Book: Ayesha At Last


Ayesha at Last by Uzma Jalaluddin is a modern and Muslim spin on Pride and Prejudice.  It won the 2019 Cosmopolitan Book of the Year and was a Goodreads Choice Award Finalist. 


Emily describes Ayesha at Last as …”  a story about love – but it’s so much more than that. It is also a story about family, religion, tradition, morals and acceptance. It follows Ayesha and Khalid, how their lives intertwine and how their love begins to blossom.


It also tells the stories of the people around them. It shows how love can be portrayed in so many different ways: you can find love in an arranged marriage, or after marriage. You can find love at first sight, and not know it yet, or you knew right away and stayed together ever since.


Love does not come in “one size fits all,” it is not a recipe you can follow exactly. Love is different for everyone, because love is unique – just like the stories that go along with it!”

Simcoe Reads Events


An evening with Uzma Jalaluddin – Thursday, August 19, 2021 at 7:00 p.m.


Join Simcoe Reads champion Emily Dahlgren and Ayesha at Last author Uzma Jalaluddin in conversation on Zoom. Submit your questions for the author before the event to bwgplreads@bradford.library.on.ca or during the event using the chat function. Registration opens Monday, July 5 on Eventbrite and space will be limited so register today at bit.ly/bwgpl_ayeshaevent. For more information on this and author events with other Simcoe Reads Libraries, follow the BWG Library on Facebook at facebook.com/bwglibrary.

On Wednesday, August 4, Barrie Public Library will be hosting Alicia Elliott, author of A Mind Spread Out on the Ground. Register here.

On Tuesday, August 10, New Tecumseth Public Library will be hosting Michael Christie, author of Greenwood. Register here.

On Thursday, August 19, BWG Library will be hosting Uzma Jalaluddin, author of Ayesha at Last. Register at bit.ly/bwgpl_ayeshaevent.

On Thursday, August 26, Essa Public Library will be hosting Jael Richardson, author of Gutter Child. Register here.

On Tuesday, August 31, Innisfil Public Library will be hosting Frances Itani, author of The Company We Keep. Register here.

On Thursday, September 9, Midland Public Library will be hosting Amanda Leduc, author of The Centaur’s Wife. Contact Faith at 705-526-4216 ext. 3305 or fshergold@midlandlibrary.com to register.


Barrie Public Library Champion: Carolina Belmare

Carolina Belmare

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. 

Essa Public Library Champion: Grace Baker

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 Public Library Champion: Anne Smith

Anne Smith

An active volunteer within the Toronto community, Anne immediately began looking for new volunteer opportunities when she retired to Innisfil and is currently the Chair of the Innisfil ideaLAB & Library Board.


Anne has always been an avid reader and believes that if you love reading, you will never be bored or lonely.  She is delighted to have passed on her love of reading to her two daughters and five grandchildren.

Midland Public Library Champion: Cady McLaughlin

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.

New Tecumseth Public Library Champion: Judy Penz Sheluk

Judy Penz Sheluk

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 many writing societies, including Crime Writers of Canada, where she serves as Chair on the Board of Directors. 

Ramara Public Library Champion: Linda Lyons

Linda Lyons

Linda has participated in multiple volunteer opportunities, including the establishment of a library and learning centre at a Mexican orphanage.  Now retired and settled on Lake Simcoe, Linda indulges her life-long passion of reading and writing.


Decades from being a young girl who haunted the bookmobile, she views these challenging times as an opportunity to appreciate the fellowship of family and friends and the wonder of books.

Barrie Public Library Book: A Mind Spread out on the Ground

Cover of A mind spread out on the ground

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.

Essa Public Library Book: Gutter Child

Gutter Child Cover

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.

Innisfil Public Library Book: The Company We Keep

Company we keep cover

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.

Midland Public Library Book: Centaur’s Wife

The centaur's wife cover

Apocalyptic events take place as fire rains from the sky and plants begin to reclaim the earth.  The narrative of the survivors finding each other is intertwined with fables and magic, including the story of a doctor who delivered triplets, and discovered their father was not what he seemed.


Heather and one of those centaur triplets have had a deep connection, and it's this connection that may lead to humanity's ruin, or its survival.

New Tecumseth Public Library Book: Greenwood

Greenwood cover

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 epic, set against the devastation of the natural world.

Ramara Public Library Book: Indians on Vacation

Indians on vacation cover

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.