2018 CCBC Book Awards Winners

The 2018 Canadian Children’s Book Centre Book Awards were given out at two seperate private ceremonies in Toronto in Montreal. Congratulations to all of the winners and finalists and thank you to all of our amazing sponsors for making these awards possible.

Sponsored by TD Bank Group

Town Is by the Sea
Written by Joanne Schwartz (Toronto, ON)
Illustrated by Sydney Smith (Toronto, ON)
Groundwood Books
for ages 5-9

Town Is by the Sea is a remarkable picture book, telling the story of a young boy growing up in mid-century Cape Breton… Schwartz’s spare text and Smith’s illustrations beautifully capture life in a coal-mining community, creating a strong sense of the rhythm and comforting pattern of daily routine with an understated acknowledgement of dangers lurking underground… The beautiful illustrations make tremendous use of light and shadow throughout, emphasizing the contrast between the dazzling beauty of the sea-side town on a bright, sunny day with the ominous darkness of the mine waiting below…”

The Honour Books listed below will share $10,000.

  • Dragonfly Song, written by Wendy Orr (Pajama Press)
  • Picture the Sky, written and illustrated by Barbara Reid (North Winds Press/Scholastic Canada)
  • Speaking Our Truth: A Journey of Reconciliation, written by Monique Gray Smith (Orca Book Publishers)
  • When the Moon Comes, written by Paul Harbridge and illustrated by Matt James (Tundra Books)

JURY MEMBERS: Deirdre Baker, Assistant Professor, University of Toronto, Toronto Star children’s books reviewer, and author; Betsy Fraser, Selector, Calgary Public Library; Dr. Vivian Howard, Associate Professor/Associate Dean (Academic), School of Information Management, Faculty of Management, Dalhousie University; Michael Pellegrin, teacher and English Language Arts Specialist, English Montreal School Board; Arwen Rudolph, Rural Branch Supervisor, Palliser Regional Library.

Prix TD de littérature canadienne pour l’enfance et la jeunesse ($50,000)
Sponsored by TD Bank Group

Le chemin de la montagne
Written and illustrated by Marianne Dubuc
Comme des géants
for ages 4 and up
“A sweet allegory of intergenerational friendship and an ode to the happiness of simple things… Lulu’s perception of the world is transformed by her relationship with Madame Blaireau… and she learns to appreciate the beauties of the world… The tenderness of the subject is echoed in the illustrations.”

The Honour Books listed below will share $10,000.

  • ABCMTL, written by Jeanne Painchaud, photos by Bruno Ricca (Éditions Les 400 coups)
  • Bleu, written and illustrated by Philippe Béha (Éditions de l’Isatis)
  • Gilles, written and illustrated by Mathieu Lavoie (Comme des géants)
  • Pow Pow, t’es mort!, written by Marie-Francine Hébert, illustrated by Jean-Luc Trudel (Éditions Les 400 coups)

JURY MEMBERS: Noë Crospal, facilitator of children’s literature; Joël-Vincent Cyr, librarian; Marie-France Genest, librarian; Sophie Kurler, librarian; Sophie Michaud, lecturer, Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières.

Sponsored by A. Charles Baillie

When the Moon Comes
Written by Paul Harbridge (Toronto, ON)
Illustrated by Matt James (Toronto, ON)
Tundra Books
for ages 4-9

“A remarkable book in every respect…. The quietly told tale is beautifully enhanced by James’ stunning artwork. Even the wordless spreads speak volumes… This nostalgia filled adventure with friends will resonate with those who love the moon, nature and hockey… There’s a bit of mystery and magic, too, captured on these pages… An outstanding book worthy of many readings.”

JURY MEMBERS: Nancy Davidson, Founder, Kids’ Lit Quiz Canada; Janis Nostbakken, children’s media specialist; Itah Sadu, author, storyteller and owner, A Different Booklist.

Sponsored by the Fleck Family Foundation

#NotYourPrincess: Voices of Native American Women
Edited by Lisa Charleyboy and Mary Beth Leatherdale (Winnipeg, MB/Toronto, ON)
Annick Press
for ages 14 and up

#NotYourPrincess celebrates the talents and accomplishments of Indigenous women and dispels stereotypes… A rich collection that acknowledges the Indigenous experiences as we move towards recognition and positive change…. It empowers individuals to be proud of who they are and to demand change so that all voices are heard.”

JURY MEMBERS: Fatma Faraj, Junior School Teacher-Librarian, Branksome Hall; Emily Moretti, educator, Toronto Catholic District School Board; Sara Spencer, Junior School Librarian, The York School.

Sponsored by the Canadian Children’s Book Centre’s Bilson Endowment Fund

The Assassin’s Curse
(Blackthorn Key, Book 3)
Written by Kevin Sands (London, ON)
for ages 10-14

“An enduring and entertaining addition to a compelling historical series… The mystery adventure is plotted beautifully and leaves readers with questions, and constantly in search of answers to the mystery presented… Sands’ is a skilled and talented author whose writing style succeeds in engaging readers… Mystery, suspense, murder and codes is a recipe for an entertaining, engaging and intriguing read.”

JURY MEMBERS: Sally Bender, retired teacher-librarian and blogger at Sal’s Fiction Addiction; Roseanne Gauthier, Youth Services Librarian, PEI Public Library Service; Carol-Ann Hoyte, children’s poet and Assistant Librarian, Selwyn House School; Gail de Vos (chair), author, storyteller and Professor, School of Library and Information Studies, University of Alberta.

Sponsored by John Spray

The Hanging Girl
Written by Eileen Cook (Vancouver, BC)
Houghlin Mifflin Harcourt
for ages 12 and up

“When the most popular girl in school goes missing, the class psychic, Skye, conveniently starts to have visions about what might have happened to her… The Hanging Girl is a quick paced thriller with amazing plot twists from beginning to end… It was hard to decide who to root for and who to blame… A great page turner and psychological thriller.”

JURY MEMBERS: Nancy Cooper, First Nations Consultant, Southern Ontario Library Service; Roxanne Deans, Director of Inventory, Outreach & Communications, The Children’s Book Bank; Helen Kubiw, writer, teacher-librarian and blogger at CanLit for Little Canadians.

Sponsored by Sylvan Learning

The Marrow Thieves
Written by Cherie Dimaline (Toronto ON)
for ages 13 and up

“In The Marrow Thieves, Dimaline has woven a complex, timely and poignant story about survival, the will to continue to be, and the power of love and family… Dimaline’s characters are drawn with depth and nuance and her exquisitely lyrical prose is captivating — drawing readers into a dystopian world that is too close to reality for comfort.”

JURY MEMBERS: Penny Chaiko, teacher-librarian, Nantyr Shores Secondary School; Tracey Schindler, reviewer and former teacher; Rachel Seigel, freelance author and Adult Fiction Specialist, Library Services Centre.

Prix Harry Black de l’album jeunesse ($5,000)
Sponsored by Mary Macchiusi

Le chemin de la montagne
Written and illustrated by Marianne Dubuc
Comme des géants
for ages 4 and up
“A story of friendship, life’s lessons and perseverance… Beautifully told through narration and dialogue, Dubuc invites us into the heart of the protagonists’ thoughts… Her illustrations give us a splendid view of the setting and the beauty of the relationship between the characters… A work of great sensitivity!”

JURY MEMBERS: Danièle Courchesne, teacher; e, Editor-in-Chief, Le Pollen; Pascale Grenier, librarian, Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec.

About The Canadian Children’s Book Centre
The Canadian Children’s Book Centre is a national, not-for-profit organization founded in 1976. We are dedicated to encouraging, promoting and supporting the reading, writing and illustrating of Canadian books for young readers. Our programs, publications, and resources help teachers, librarians, booksellers and parents select the very best for young readers. For more information, please visit our website.

About TD Bank Group
The Toronto-Dominion Bank and its subsidiaries are collectively known as TD Bank Group (“TD” or the “Bank”). TD is the sixth largest bank in North America by branches and serves more than 25 million customers in three key businesses operating in a number of locations in financial centres around the globe: Canadian Retail, including TD Canada Trust, TD Auto Finance Canada, TD Wealth (Canada), TD Direct Investing, and TD Insurance; U.S. Retail, including TD Bank, America’s Most Convenient Bank®, TD Auto Finance U.S., TD Wealth (U.S.), and an investment in TD Ameritrade; and Wholesale Banking, including TD Securities. TD also ranks among the world’s leading online financial services firms, with approximately 12 million active online and mobile customers. TD had CDN$1.3 trillion in assets on July 31, 2018. The Toronto-Dominion Bank trades under the symbol “TD” on the Toronto and New York Stock Exchanges.

About TD Global Corporate Citizenship
TD has a long-standing commitment to enriching the lives of its customers, colleagues and communities. In March 2018, TD launched The Ready Commitment, a new multi-year program to help individuals and communities prosper. As part of The Ready Commitment, TD targets CDN $1 billion (US $775 million) in total by 2030 towards community giving in four areas critical to opening doors for an inclusive tomorrow – Financial Security, a more Vibrant Planet, Connected Communities and Better Health. Through The Ready Commitment, TD’s aspiration is to link business, products, services, and community giving to help people feel more confident – not just about their finances, but about their future and their ability to achieve their personal goals in a changing world. For further information, visit td.com/thereadycommitment

For more information about these awards, please visit www.bookcentre.ca/programs/awards/