GGBooks 2017 Finalists Revealed

The Canada Council for the Arts has announced the 2017 finalists for the Governor General’s Literary Awards. GGBooks is one of Canada’s longest-standing literary awards, and is among the country’s most diverse awards programs – honouring works in seven categories and two official languages.

“The announcement of the finalists for the Governor General’s Literary Awards is always an enticing and powerful invitation to discovery through reading because the bold choice of topics and literary approaches, together with evocative illustrations and dazzling translations, attract, delight and entrance all kinds of readers,” said Canada Council Director and CEO Simon Brault. “Our culture depends on our literature, which does us proud around the world.”

Founded in 1936, the Governor General’s Literary Awards are one of Canada’s oldest and most prestigious literary awards program with a total value of $450,000. The Canada Council for the Arts has funded, administered and promoted the awards since 1959.

GGBooks finalists are chosen by peer assessment committees per category, per language (7 in English and 7 in French), who consider eligible books published between September 1, 2016 and September 30, 2017 for English-language books and between July 1, 2016 and June 30, 2017 for French-language books.

Each winner receives $25,000. The publisher of each winning book receives $3,000 to support promotional activities. Non-winning finalists each receive $1,000.

Over their 81 years, the Governor General’s Literary Awards have celebrated more than 700 works by over 500 authors, poets, playwrights, translators and illustrators.

Below are the shortlists for the children’s categories:

English-language finalists

Young People’s Literature (Text):

  • Everything Beautiful is Not Ruined – Danielle Younge-Ullman (Toronto)
    Razorbill / Penguin Canada Books
  • Hit the Ground Running – Alison Hughes (Edmonton, Alta.)
    Orca Books Publishers
  • The Marrow Thieves – Cherie Dimaline (Toronto)
    Dancing Cat Books / Cormorant Books
  • The Way Back Home – Allan Stratton (Toronto)
    Scholastic Canada
  • Those Who Run in the Sky – Aviaq Johnston (Iqaluit, Nunavut)
    Inhabit Media

Young People’s Literature (Illustrated Books):

  • Short Stories for Little Monsters – Marie-Louise Gay (Montreal)
    Groundwood Books
  • The Tragic Tale of the Great Auk – Jan Thornhill (Havelock, Ont.)
    Groundwood Books
  • Town Is by the Sea – Joanne Schwartz / Sydney Smith (Toronto / Toronto)
    Groundwood Books
  • When the Moon Comes – Paul Harbridge / Matt James (Toronto /Toronto)
    Tundra Books / Penguin Random House Canada
  • When We Were Alone – David Alexander Robertson / Julie Flett (Winnipeg / Vancouver)
    HighWater Press

French-language finalists

Young People’s Literature (Text):

  • Chroniques post-apocalyptiques d’une enfant sage – Annie Bacon (Montreal)
    Bayard Canada
  • L’élixir du baron Von Rezine – K. Lambert (Montreal)
    Éditions Pierre Tisseyre
  • Les moustiques – Jocelyn Boisvert (Havre-aux-Maisons, Que.)
    Soulières éditeur
  • L’importance de Mathilde Poisson – Véronique Drouin (Sherbrooke, Que.)
    Bayard Canada
  • Moi qui marche à tâtons dans ma jeunesse noire – Roxane Desjardins (Montreal)
    Les Herbes rouges

Young People’s Literature (Illustrated Books):

  • Azadah – Jacques Goldstyn (Montreal)
    Les Éditions de la Pastèque
  • En voiture! L’Amérique en chemin de fer – Pascal Blanchet (Montreal)
    Les Éditions de la Pastèque
  • Fred Petitchatminou – Christiane Duchesne / Marion Arbona (Montreal / Paris, France)
    Les Éditions de la Bagnole
  • La légende de Carcajou – Renée Robitaille / Slavka Kolesar (Montreal / Jaffray, B.C.)
    Planète rebelle
  • Louis parmi les spectres – Fanny Britt / Isabelle Arsenault (Montreal / Montreal)
    Les Éditions de la Pastèque
  • English-language peer assessment committees:

    Young People’s Literature (Text): Cheryl Foggo, Alma Fullerton, Kevin Major
    Young People’s Literature (Illustrated Books): Danielle Daniel, Robert Heidbreder, Brenda Jones

    French-language peer assessment committees:

    Young People’s Literature (Text): Sandra Dussault, Micheline Marchand, Sylvain Meunier
    Young People’s Literature (Illustrated Books): Édith Bourget, Anne-Claire Delisle, Yayo


    • Wednesday, November 1, 6:00 am: The full list of winners will be unveiled at
    • Wednesday, November 29, 6:00 pm, in her first official ceremony with the Canada Council, Her Excellency the Right Honourable Julie Payette, Governor General of Canada, will present the 2017 Governor General’s Literary Awards at Rideau Hall, in Ottawa.
    • Thursday, November 30, 11:45 am – 1:00 pm: Readers are invited to meet the English-language GGBooks winners at a public reading and book signing at the Canada Council, 150 Elgin St., Ottawa (event with French-language winners on Wednesday, November 29, 11:45 am – 1:00 pm).

    For the full list of nominees, including the adult categories, please visit