Canadian Children’s Literature Awards

Last night, the Canadian Children’s Book Centre handed out its Canadian Children’s Literature Awards at The Carlu in downtown Toronto (except for the Prix TD de littérature canadienne pour l’enfance et la jeunesse, which will be announced October 29 at a separate event in Montreal). As a proud member of the CCBC, I had the privilege of attending the ceremony.

The awards, sponsored by TD Bank Group, featured a fan’s choice award for the first time this year. Children voted online for their favourite book from all of the nominated titles. Young Annaka Leib won a trip to Toronto and had the honour of presenting the award (and looking adorable doing so as she stood on a step to reach the microphone). The award went to Polly Horvath for One Night in Coal Harbour. 

The remaining winners were:

Monica Hughes Award for Science Fiction and Fantasy: Seraphina by Rachel Hartman

John Spray Mystery Award: The Lynching of Louie Sam by Elizabeth Stewart

The Lynching of Louie Sam

Geoffrey Bilson Award for Historical Fiction for Young People: The Lynching of Louie Sam by Elizabeth Stewart

The Lynching of Louie Sam

Norma Fleck Award for Canadian Children’s Non-fiction: Kids of Kabul: Living Bravely through a Never-Ending War by Deborah Ellis

Marilyn Balilie Picture Book Award: Mr. Zinger’s Hat, written by Cary Fagan and illustrated by Dušan Petričić

TD Canadian Children’s Literature Award: One Year in Coal Harbour by Polly Horvath

Congratulations to all the winners and nominees!


Alice Munro wins Nobel Prize

Okay, this is old news now, but on October 10 beloved Canadian short story writer Alice Munro has won the Nobel Prize for literature. Unfortunately, the eighty-two-year-old Munro will not be attending the ceremony to receive her award due to health concerns. I have a confession to make. Despite majoring in English in university and taking a course in Canadian literature, I have read very little of Alice Munro’s work. Why, I have no idea. I suppose in part because she is known for her short stories, and I really ‘t read short stories that often. Still, I feel a bit guilty as a Canadian that I am not more familiar with her work.

On a lighter note, the CBC has created the “Who said it Quiz: Alice Munro or Jay-Z?” Despite my limited knowledge of both the writer and the rapper, I managed to score 70%. Not bad!


Forest of Reading 2014 Nominations

The nominations for the 2014 Forest Of Reading were announced today. This means I can finally talk about the books I read as part of the Red Maple selection committee! Here’s the list:

Eric Walters – Between Heaven and Earth

Valerie Sherrard – Counting Back From Nine

Sigmund Brouwer – Devil’s Pass

Ted Staunton – Jump Cut

K.L. Armstrong and M.A. Marr – Loki’s Wolves: The Blackwell Pages

Deborah Ellis – My Name is Parvana

Cynthia d’Entremont – Oak Island Revenge

Joanne Levy – Small Medium at Large

Kenneth Oppel – Such Wicked Intent

Susin Nielsen – The Reluctant Journal of Henry K. Larsen


Over the next few weeks I will share my reviews of these books while I get started reading some of the nominated titles from the other lists. A full list of nominees can be found here.


Book Awards Roundup

Over the past month, several major books awards have been announced. Here’s a brief recap of the winners:

Scotiabank Giller Prize – 419 by Will Ferguson

Hilary Weston Writers’ Trust Prize for Non-fiction – A Geography of Blood: Unearthing Memory from a Prairie Landscape by Candace Savage

Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize – Siege 13 by Tamas Dobozy

Governor General’s Literary Awards (English)

Fiction – The Purchase by Linda Spalding
Non-fiction – Leonardo and the Last Supper by Ross King
Poetry – Monkey Ranch by Julie Bruck
Drama – It Is Solved by Walking by Catherine Banks
Children’s Text – The Reluctant Journal of Henry K. Laresen by Susin Nielsen
Children’s Illustration – Virginia Wolf by Isabelle Arsenault
Translation –  Mai at the Predators’ Ball by Nigel Spencer

Governor General’s Literary Awards (French)

Fiction – Pour Sûr by France Daigle
Poetry – Une drap. Une place by Maude Smith Gagnon
Drama – Contre le temps by Geneviève Billette
Non-fiction – Comment tuer Shakespeare by Normand Chaurette
Children’s Text – Un été d’amour et de cendres by Aline Apostolska
Children’s Illustration – La clé à molette by Élise Gravel
Translation – Glenn Gould by Alain Roy


2012 Canadian Children’s Literature Awards

Last night, I had the privilege of attending the 2012 Canadian Children’s Literature Awards, held at the glamorous Ritz-Carlton hotel in downtown Toronto. How did I score an invite? In addition to being a member of the Canadian Children’s Book Centre, which puts on the annual gala, I also volunteered for the CCBC as part of the Young Adult Jury to choose books for the fall 2012 edition of its publication Best Books for Kids and Teens. I am happy to support the CCBC and all the great work they do throughout the year to promote Canadian children’s authors and illustrators. I had an excellent time at the awards ceremony and would like to thank the CCBC for putting on such a great event. ou can find out more about the CCBC here. As for the awards themselves, the winners were:

TD Canadian Children’s Literature Award

Winner: Stones for My Father by Trilby Kent (Tundra Books)
Short list:

The Dragon Turn by Shane Peacock (Tundra Books)
No Ordinary Day by Deborah Ellis (Groundwood Books)
Off to Class: Incredible and Unusual Schools Around the World by Susan Hughes (Owlkids Books)
Seal Song by Andrea Spalding with illustrations by Pascal Milelli (Orca Books)

Marilyn Baillie Picture Book Award

Winner: Without You, written and illustrated by Geneviève Côté (Kids Can Press)
Short list:
Cinnamon Baby by Nicola Winstanley, with illustrations by Janice Nadeau (Kids Can Press)
Picture a Tree by Barbara Reid (North Wind Press/Scholastic Canada)
Pussycat. Pussycat, Where Have You Been? by Dan Bar-el with illustrations by Rae Maté (Simply Red Books)
Small Saul by Ashley Spires (Kids Can Press)

Norma Fleck Award for Canadian Children’s Non-Fiction

Winner: Loon by Susan Vande Griek with illustrations by Karen Reczuch (Groundwood Books)
Short list:
Beyond Bullets: A Photo Journal of Afghanistan by Rafal Gerszak with Dawn Hunter (Annick Press)
Biomimicry: Inventions Inspired by Nature by Dora Lee with illustrations by Margot Thompson (Kids Can Press)
Off to Class: Incredible and Unusual Schools Around the World by Susan Hughes (Owlkids Books)
Scribbling Women: True Tales from Astonishing Lives by Marthe Jocelyn (Tundra Books)

Geoffrey Bilson Award for Historical Fiction for Young People

Winner: The Hangman in the Mirror by Kate Cayley (Annick Press)
Short list:
I’ll Be Watching by Pamela Porter (Groundwood Books)
Shot at Dawn by John Wilson (Scholastic Canada)
This Dark Endeavour: The Apprenticeship of Victor Frankenstein by Kenneth Oppel (HarperCollins Canada)
The Whole Truth by Kit Pearson (HarperCollins Canada)

John Spray Mystery Award

Winner: Charlie’s Key by Rob Mills (Orca Books)
Short list:
The Case of the Missing Deed by Ellen Schwartz (Tundra Books)
The Dragon Turn by Shane Peacock (Tundra Books)
Held by Edeet Revel (Annick Press)
True Blue by Deborah Ellis (Pajama Press)

Monica Hughes Award for Science Fiction and Fantasy

Winner: What Happened to Serenity? by P.J. Sarah Collins (Red Deer Press)
Short list:
Dreamline by Nicole Luiken (Great Plains Teen Fiction)
Hunted by Cherly Rainfield (WestSide Books)
Peter Nimble and His Fantastic Eyes by Jonathan Auxier (Puffin Canada)
Tempestuous by Lesley Livingston (HarperCollins Canada)