The Canadian Children’s Book Centre Announces the Winners of the 2013 Canadian Children’s Literature Awards

$87,500 in prize money awarded to Canadian children’s authors and illustrators

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Toronto (October 23, 2013) – The Canadian Children’s Book Centre (CCBC) is thrilled to announce the winners of its six major Canadian children’s book awards:

  • TD Canadian Children’s Literature Award ($30,000)
  • Marilyn Baillie Picture Book Award ($20,000)
  • Norma Fleck Award for Canadian Children’s Non-Fiction ($10,000)
  • Geoffrey Bilson Award for Historical Fiction for Young People ($5,000)
  • John Spray Mystery Award ($5,000)
  • Monica Hughes Award for Science Fiction and Fantasy ($5,000)

The winners were announced last night at a gala event at The Carlu in Toronto. The winner of the Prix TD de littérature canadienne pour l’enfance et la jeunesse will be announced on October 29th at a gala event at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts.

This year, TD Bank Group, sponsor of the TD Canadian Children’s Literature Award, partnered with CBC Books to present the TD Canadian Children’s Literature Fan Choice Award. Young readers were asked to pick their favourite book from the shortlisted TD Award titles in an online poll. One lucky entrant would win a trip to Toronto to present the award at the gala. Annaka Leib of Fort Qu’Appelle, Saskatchewan, was in attendance last night to present the TD Canadian Children’s Literature Fan Choice Award to Polly Horvath for her novel, One Year in Coal Harbour.

Each of these award-winning books (listed below) was chosen because they exemplify the best work in the Canadian author and illustrator community. Adult and child readers alike are sure to be captivated by these engaging stories, and it is certain that they will soon become Canadian classics that will adorn bookshelves across the country.

The Canadian Children’s Book Centre is proud to share these titles with you. For a list of the shortlisted books for each award, please click here.

TD Canadian Children’s Literature Award ($30,000)
Sponsored by TD Bank Group

One Year in Coal Harbour
One Year in Coal Harbour
Written by Polly Horvath (Victoria, BC)
Groundwood Books
for ages 9-13
“Horvath returns with a valuable contribution to the Canadian canon of children’s literature… One Year in Coal Harbour is a timeless story of life in a charming Vancouver Island fishing village… Filled with quirky characters and infused with both humour and astute commentary on human nature, this delightful book is destined to become a Canadian classic… There is an honesty to the writing which doesn’t shy away from difficult issues, but navigates them with a gentle optimism… This book is everything that we want and believe children’s literature should be.”

JURY MEMBERS: Shannon Babcock, Project Coordinator, Quebec Reading Connection and Quebec Chair, Best Books for Kids & Teens; Gail Hamilton, Manitoba Chair, Best Books for Kids & Teens and former CCBC Regional Officer, teacher-librarian and Library Learning Resources Consultant, Manitoba Department of Education; Maria Martella, owner of Tinlids Inc., a wholesaler of children’s and teen books for schools and libraries; Carol McDougall, writer, Director of Read to Me! Nova Scotia Early Literacy Program, former CCBC librarian and Regional Officer; Michelle Superle, English instructor, University of the Fraser Valley and author of Contemporary, English-language Indian Children’s Literature and Black Dog, Dream Dog.

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Marilyn Baillie Picture Book Award ($20,000)
Sponsored by A. Charles Baillie

Mr. Zinger's Hat
Mr. Zinger’s Hat

Written by Cary Fagan (Toronto, ON)
Illustrated by Dušan Petričić (Toronto, ON)
Tundra Books
for ages 4-8
“A charming, marvelous tale surrounding the art of creating and telling stories, Mr. Zinger’s Hat celebrates the budding friendship between an elderly writer and a young boy who discovers a storyteller within… Fagan’s writing is beautifully crafted. The exchanges between his protagonists are so vivid that one feels as if one is eavesdropping in on a real conversation… Petričić’s engaging artwork deftly juxtaposes two distinct styles which portray a real-life setting and an imaginary world… The illustrations vividly depict the storyteller’s wry humour and the boy’s wide-eyed innocence.”

JURY MEMBERS: Lorraine Filyer, former Literature Officer, Ontario Arts Council; Todd Kyle, CEO, Newmarket Public Library and President, Board of Directors, Canadian Children’s Book Centre; Senta Ross, children’s book reviewer and former elementary teacher and teacher-librarian.

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Norma Fleck Award for Canadian Children’s Non-Fiction ($10,000)
Sponsored by the Fleck Family Foundation

Kids of Kabul
Kids of Kabul: Living Bravely Through a Never-Ending War

Written by Deborah Ellis (Simcoe, ON)
Groundwood Books
for ages 11 and up
“With a candour that is utterly winning, young Afghans tell us about their lives, dreams and hopes… Ellis has superbly compiled these stories in a way that will engage readers of all ages… Fundamentally, this is a book about bravery and hope. But make no mistake, it is an emotionally difficult book to read. The words and circumstances of these young people will grab your heart and linger long after the words have been read.”

JURY MEMBERS: Hugh Brewster, editor, publisher and author of 15 books for children and adults, including At Vimy Ridge, winner of the 2008 Norma Fleck Award; Barbara Greenwood, award-winning author, teacher of creative writing and editor; and Nancy Rawlinson, teacher, Toronto District School Board.

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Geoffrey Bilson Award for Historical Fiction for Young People ($5,000)
Sponsored by the Canadian Children’s Book Centre’s Bilson Endowment Fund

The Lynching of Louie Sam
The Lynching of Louie Sam
Written by Elizbeth Stewart (Vancouver, BC)
Annick Press
for ages 12 and up
“An excellent piece of literature… The Lynching of Louie Sam tells the tale of a terrible injustice committed in 1884… This is a poignant and powerful story that brings to light the prejudices of the time and provides a true-to-life depiction of small town life in the late 1800s… A well-written, powerful and horrifically engaging read… Explores important themes regarding prejudice, injustice and mob behaviour… Especially important book for BC and for the Stó:lo people.”

JURY MEMBERS: Janet Clarke, teacher-librarian, Vanier Catholic Secondary School; Lisa Doucet, Co-Manager, Woozles Children’s Bookstore; Jo-Anne Naslund, Instructional Programs Librarian, Education Library, University of British Columbia; Gail de Vos (chair), storyteller and Professor, School of Library and Information Studies, University of Alberta.

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John Spray Mystery Award ($5,000)
Sponsored by John Spray

The Lynching of Louie Sam
The Lynching of Louie Sam
Written by Elizbeth Stewart (Vancouver, BC)
Annick Press
for ages 12 and up
“The Lynching of Louie Sam is unforgettable, a true gem… [the book] brings together strong characters and a rich historical setting to tell the true story of how racial and cross-border tensions in late 19th century North America led to the lynching of a young Stó:lo boy… Stewart writes with confidence and literary flair… It’s a heart wrenching tale from the first sentence to the last… In Stewart’s assured hands, the historical setting comes to life and the characters leap off the page.”

JURY MEMBERS: Sheila Koffman, owner of Another Story Bookshop and Vice President, Educational Library Booksellers of Ontario; Peggy Perdue, curator of the Arthur Conan Doyle Collection, Toronto Public Library; Joel Sutherland, author of Be a Writing Superstar, Information Assistant, Ajax Public Library (MLIS, Aberystwyth University), and ‘The Barbarian Librarian’ on TV’s Wipeout Canada.

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Monica Hughes Award for Science Fiction and Fantasy ($5,000)
Sponsored by HarperCollins Canada in memory of the late Monica Hughes

Seraphina
Seraphina
Written by Rachel Hartman (Vancouver, BC)
Doubleday Canada
for ages 14 and up
“In Seraphina, Hartman unfolds a dynamic and fully realized world that captivates and constantly surprises with its richness, intelligence, and sensitivity… Gorgeously written, with an enthralling heroine, this story about accepting yourself and discovering your place in society lingers with the reader long after the last page is turned… Seraphina is compelling, thought-provoking fantasy at its best.”

JURY MEMBERS: Deirdre Baker, writer, Toronto Star children’s book reviewer and Assistant Professor, Children’s Literature, University of Toronto; Melanie Fishbane, writer, reviewer, and Online Merchandiser for Kids and Teens, Indigo Books and Music; Michael Johnstone, Lecturer, Science Fiction and Fantasy, Department of English, University of Toronto.

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ABOUT THE CCBC BOOK AWARDS:

TD Canadian Children’s Literature Award
The TD Canadian Children’s Literature Award was established in 2005 to honour the most distinguished book of the year for children aged one to 12. Entries are judged on the quality of the text and illustrations and the book’s overall contribution to literature. All books for children, in any genre, written by a Canadian, are eligible for the award. The winning book receives $30,000 and an additional $10,000 is divided amongst the honour books. The publisher of the winning book receives $2,500 for promotional purposes.

Marilyn Baillie Picture Book Award
The Marilyn Baillie Picture Book Award honours excellence in the illustrated picture book format, for children aged 3 to 8. Charles Baillie, retired Chairman and CEO of TD Bank Group, is delighted to give the prize in his wife Marilyn’s name. As an award-winning children’s book author and an early learning specialist, Marilyn is involved in and passionate about children’s literature. The winning book receives $20,000.

Norma Fleck Award for Canadian Children’s Non-Fiction
The Norma Fleck Award for Canadian Children’s Non-Fiction was established by the Fleck Family Foundation in 1999 to recognize Canada’s exceptional non-fiction books for young people. The award honours Norma Fleck (1906-1998), who inspired a deep love of reading in her children and grandchildren. Dr. James Fleck, who initiated the award, is the son of Norma Fleck. The winning book receives $10,000.

Geoffrey Bilson Award for Historical Fiction for Young People
The Geoffrey Bilson Award was established in 1988 in memory of the respected historian and children’s author, Geoffrey Bilson. The $5,000 prize is awarded annually to the Canadian author of an outstanding work of historical fiction for young people. In 2005, the Bilson Endowment Fund was created to support this award. If you wish to contribute to this fund, please contact the Canadian Children’s Book Centre.

John Spray Mystery Award
The John Spray Mystery Award was established in 2011 to honour excellence in the mystery book genre. John Spray, President of the Mantis Investigation Agency, is delighted to sponsor the prize, noting that mystery books made him a passionate reader at an early age and helped him find his chosen career. The $5,000 prize is awarded annually to a Canadian author of an outstanding work of mystery writing for young people.

Monica Hughes Award for Science Fiction and Fantasy
Established in 2011, the Monica Hughes Award for Science Fiction and Fantasy honours excellence in the science fiction and fantasy genre. Sponsored by HarperCollins Canada, in memory of the late Monica Hughes, the $5,000 prize is awarded annually to a Canadian author of an outstanding work of speculative fiction for young people.

About the Canadian Children’s Book Centre
The Canadian Children’s Book Centre is a national, not-for-profit organization and registered charity founded in 1976 to promote, support and encourage the reading, writing and illustrating of Canadian books for children and teens. With book collections and extensive resources in five cities across Canada, the CCBC is a treasure-trove for anyone interested in Canadian books for young readers. For more information, please visit www.bookcentre.ca.

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For more information, please contact:

Charlotte Teeple
Executive Director
The Canadian Children’s Book Centre
Tel: 416.975.0010 ext. 226
charlotte@bookcentre.ca