Canadian Library Month

October is Canadian Library Month, which seems as good a time as any to resurrect this blog. In truth, it has been a busy year. From January to April I was working six days a week at two jobs and had no energy to blog. After that, my reading for the Read Maple selection committee got into high gear, and of course I cannot write about what I am reading. Good news, though: the lists of Forest of Reading nominees for 2014 will be announced in just two weeks on October 15. I can’t wait to see which books the other committees have chosen!

Fall is a busy season for book awards and book-related events. The Canadian Children’s Book Centre will hand out their awards in Toronto October 22 and Montreal October 29. The list of nominated titles is available here. On November 4, the Scotiabank Giller Prize will be awarded. The longlist is available here, and the shortlist will be announced October 8. Finally, the International Festival of Authors gets under way this month. I have actually never attended an IFOA event, but now that I live so close the the Harbourfront Centre perhaps this will be the year I finally go. Hey, it would give me something to blog about, right?


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)

Apocalypse Tour at Indigo

Megan Crewe, Cherly Rainfield, Leah Bobet, Maureen McGowam, and Lesley Livingston

Last week, I attended the Apocalypse Tour at Indigo Yorkdale. The event featured five authors who have recently written dystopian-ish novels: Megan Crewe (The Way We Fall), Cheryl Rainfield (Hunted), Leah Bobet (Above), Maureen McGowan (Deviants), and Lesley Livingston (Starling). I love reading YA and have read three out of the five books, so I decided to go and listen to the authors discuss their craft. The authors discussed their writing process, how they got published, what intrigues them about writing dystopian fiction, and why they love Toronto. Afterward, the authors stuck out to sign books and give out some free swag. This was a great event, and I hope Indigo will continue to host YA authors in the future.