Finalists Announced for the 2015 Canadian Children’s Book Centre Awards

The Canadian Children’s Book Centre (CCBC) is excited to announce the finalists for its eight major children’s book awards:

The winners will be announced at the TD Canadian Children’s Literature Awards and Prix TD de littérature canadienne pour l’enfance et la jeunesse – two invitation-only gala events in Toronto on November 18 and Montreal on November 10. Overall, $135,000 in prize monies will be awarded.

The nominated books exemplify some of the very best work by Canadian authors and illustrators. The Canadian Children’s Book Centre is proud to share these titles and the juries’ notes with you. The finalists for each award are listed below.

For more information, please contact: 416.975.0010 ext. 221 or camilia@bookcentre.ca
 


TD Canadian Children’s Literature Award ($30,000)

Sponsored by TD Bank Group

Any Questions?
Written and illustrated by Marie-Louise Gay (Montreal, QC)
Groundwood Books
for ages 4-8
Marie-Louise Gay, in her signature style, fuses illustration and multiple narratives into one cohesive, child-friendly exploration of the book writing process… The colourful illustrations and highly-imaginative text invite repeated readings by readers young and old… This genre-bending picture book is as informative as it is imaginative.”

A Brush Full of Colour: The World of Ted Harrison
Written by Margriet Ruurs (Salt Spring Island, BC) and Katherine Gibson (Courtenay, BC)
Pajama Press
for ages 6 and up
“An interesting and informative biography of Canadian artist Ted Harrison… A Brush Full of Colour is truly stunning as an information book… The reproductions of Harrison’s work are rendered in full colour, emphasizing the bold colours of his later work, and mapping the evolution of his style over many years… Harrison’s life is a remarkable one, and this book is a fitting tribute to his unique style and depictions of life up North.”

From Vimy to Victory: Canada’s Fight to the Finish in World War I
Written by Hugh Brewster (Toronto, ON)
Scholastic Canada
for ages 10-14
“From Vimy to Victory stands out as a unique and comprehensive look at one of Canada’s most remarkable contributions to World War I… Presented with a mix of photographs, paintings and maps, this book is sure to inform and engage Canadian readers regardless of their age… Brewster’s research is impeccable and his writing is clear and approachable; this book is an impressive addition to the canon of non-fiction texts about war.

Morris Micklewhite and the Tangerine Dress
Written by Christine Baldacchino (Toronto, ON)
Illustrated by Isabelle Malenfant (Montreal, QC)
Groundwood Books
for ages 3-8
Morris Micklewhite’s story is an important one, and one which Baldacchino and Malenfant pull off beautifully with a combination of evocative text and poignant illustrations… Perhaps the star of the show, the tangerine dress, is both a symbol of difference and empowerment, imagined through a stunning use of colour, and unconstrained by any solid outline… Morris’s dress and his determination will inspire and delight both young readers and their parents.”

The Night Gardener
Written by Jonathan Auxier (Pittsburgh, PA)
Puffin Canada
for ages 10-14
“The Night Gardener is written in a manner that echoes loudly with elements of a traditional fairy tale… The tone is deliciously sinister, and yet Auxier manages to pepper the text with pitch-perfect humour when necessary… The context that Auxier has created is truly mesmerizing and entirely and incredibly imaginative… Readers will want to keep turning the pages to find out how the chilling story reaches its conclusion.”

 
JURY MEMBERS: Robert Bittner, PhD Candidate, Simon Fraser University, avid reader and advocate for gender and sexual diversity in books for teens and children, member of the 2016 Michael L. Printz Award jury; Dr. Gregory Bryan, children’s literature professor, Faculty of Education, University of Manitoba and co-author of Children’s Literature, Briefly (Pearson, 2016); Gigi Nadeau, Librarian Consultant, Riverside School Board and CCBC Patron; Barbara Kissick, former children’s librarian, Confederation Centre Public Library; Shelley Stagg Peterson, Professor, Department of Curriculum, Teaching and Learning, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, and former member of the jury of the Notable Books for a Global Society of the International Literacy Association.

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Prix TD de littérature canadienne pour l’enfance et la jeunesse ($30,000)

Sponsored by TD Bank Group
Pour ces informations en français, cliquez ici.

L’autobus
Written and illustrated by Marianne Dubuc (Montreal, QC)
Comme des géants
for ages 3 and up

If L’autobus stops in front of you, get on board and follow Clara on her first solo trip to visit her grandmother. She’s not really alone, however, as on her way, she meets a cast of animal characters as animated as they are diverse. Marianne Dubuc, with her usual skill, transports us once more into a universe where each page is full of discoveries and winks to her audience. Her simple narrative style, in complete harmony with the illustrations, brilliantly completes this picture book.”

Pablo trouve un trésor
Written by Andrée Poulin (Gatineau, QC)
Illustrated by Isabelle Malenfant (Montreal, QC)
Éditions Les 400 coups
for ages 9 and up

“In this picture book, Andrée Poulin delivers a sensitive story about children forced to earn a living in order to eat. The accuracy of the tone and a sober narrative avoid a sense of gloom and defeatism. The hard-hitting power of the narrative is combined with striking illustrations by Isabelle Malenfant, who captures the sense of affection between the two main characters despite the deprivation in which they live. This picture book proves that it is possible, through a transcendent quality of writing and illustration, to introduce readers to a story of harsh reality.”

Papillons de l’ombre
Written by Agnès Grimaud (Montreal, QC)
Dominique et compagnie
for ages 10 and up

“A novel in which adventure and fantasy genres meld in a background of incomparable natural landscapes, Papillons de l’ombre will appeal to both boys and girls… Through clear language, accessible vocabulary and evocative metaphors, Grimaux unfolds a coherent universe, in which credible and complex characters evolve, whether human or butterflies… In this fascinating work, Grimaux reveals her passion for nature through writing that doesn’t adhere to any formulas or to the expected.”

Quand j’écris avec mon cœur
Written and illustrated by Mireille Levert (Montreal, QC)
Éditions de la Bagnole
for ages 4 and up

“This book of poetry, illustrated and written by Mireille Levert, is a breath of joy. It addresses questions such as, “Who turns stars on and off every night?” or “What do hibernating bears dream of?” The answers in free verse address subjects as varied as the meaning of life, the art of writing and illustrating, daily life and the quest for individuality… The large format of Quand j’écris avec mon cœur is ideal for introducing poetry to children within the classroom or library. It can also be enjoyed at home, a few pages at a time, sitting on a parent’s lap.”

Le voleur de sandwichs
Written by André Marois (Montreal, QC)
Illustrated by Patrick Doyon (Montreal, QC)
Éditions de la Pastèque
for ages 10 and up

“In Le voleur de sandwichs author André Marois masters the mystery genre and illustrator Patrick Doyon enriches the experience of the reader. A playful tone, a strong mystery, great illustrations and a varied layout bring an undeniable energy. Overall it offers a pleasant reading experience. Fans of detective novels and comics will enjoy this full-colour graphic novel.”

 
JURY MEMBERS: Raymond Bertin, cultural journalist; Rachel DeRoy-Ringuette, children’s literature consultant and doctoral student in education; Félix Guénette, school librarian; France Lapierre, educational consultant; Josiane Polidori, Senior Project Manager, Library and Archives Canada.

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Marilyn Baillie Picture Book Award ($20,000)

Sponsored by A. Charles Baillie

Dolphin SOS
Written by Roy Miki (Vancouver, BC) and Slavia Miki (Vancouver, BC)
Illustrated by Julie Flett (Vancouver, BC)
Tradewind Books
for ages 4-8

“This moving story, based on the remarkable rescue of dolphins trapped in ice off the coast of Newfoundland in 2009, is beautifully told from a young girl’s point of view. Readers follow Nicole through the crisis sharing her feelings of anxiety, despair, growing hope and, finally, relief and joy when all ends well… This picture book treasure demonstrates how words and image work side by side to tell an important story about nature and the environment… The seemingly simple illustrations add depth to this timely tale that highlights the interconnectedness of living things.”

From There to Here
Written by Laurel Croza (Toronto, ON)
Illustrated by Matt James (Toronto, ON)
Groundwood Books
for ages 5-8

“This story of contrasts, simply told and superbly illustrated in near childlike fashion, compares a young girl’s life in rural Saskatchewan (“there”) with downtown Toronto (“here”)…The contrast of quiet life offered by a small town to topsy-turvy city life is evident via James’s vibrant illustrations and Croza’s unadorned text… As the pages turn, the mood moves gradually from wistful to wonderful with the arrival of a new friend. Suddenly, differences give way to shared commonalities. The world is a better place with friends — a message every child can relate to.“

Hope Springs
Written by Eric Walters (Mississauga, ON)
Illustrated by Eugenie Fernandes (Lakehurst, ON)
Tundra Books
for ages 6 and up

Hope Springs is based on the real life struggles of a young boy living in drought-stricken rural Kenya… Walters deftly engages readers from the first line of the first page and Fernandes’s vibrant illustrations happily carry us along as the story unfolds. The result is a multi-layered tale that not only enlightens readers about the need for access to fresh water, but also conveys a meaningful message about compassion, kindness and sharing… Perhaps most importantly, the book offers inspiration to young readers about the power of one person, even a young child, to make a difference.”

Morris Micklewhite and the Tangerine Dress
Written by Christine Baldacchino (Toronto, ON)
Illustrated by Isabelle Malenfant (Montreal, QC)
Groundwood Books
for ages 3-8

“Morris dares to be different and embraces his uniqueness in such a wonderful way that readers will be inspired to follow his lead… This is a nuanced story with complementary illustrations that invite close inspection… The author and illustrator tackle a challenging subject with candour, care and a little comic relief. The result is a book that is both enjoyable and enlightening… From Morris, young readers can learn about courage, creativity and the joys and challenges of belonging.”

The Most Magnificent Thing
Written and illustrated by Ashley Spires (Delta, BC)
Kids Can Press
for ages 3-8

“A creative little girl and her trusty dog sidekick lead readers through a process of innovation and discovery in this book that offers a refreshing perspective and a meaningful message… The text is as inviting as the illustrations, both punctuated with humour and detail that enhance repeat readings… We learn that the path from idea to invention isn’t always easy, that patience and persistence can pay off, and that even failure can lead to something ‘magnificent.’”

Nancy Knows
Written and illustrated by Cybèle Young (Toronto, ON)
Tundra Books
for ages 3-7

“A simple storyline, sparse text and ingenious illustrations come together beautifully in this delightful picture book… Readers follow Nancy, a charming little elephant, as she struggles to remember something very important. As readers ponder what that might be, they encounter on each page a new assortment of tiny treasures to explore, cleverly constructed paper sculptures that bring Nancy’s thoughts to life… This is a book to be read and enjoyed over and over again.”

 
JURY MEMBERS: Janis Nostbakken, Children’s Media Specialist; Sara Spencer, Junior School Librarian, The York School; Larry Swartz, Instructor, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education and Brock University, and author of This Is a Great Book! (Pembroke Publishers).

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Norma Fleck Award for Canadian Children’s Non-Fiction ($10,000)

Sponsored by the Fleck Family Foundation

From Vimy to Victory: Canada’s Fight to the Finish in World War I
Written by Hugh Brewster (Toronto, ON)
Scholastic Canada
for ages 10-14

From Vimy to Victory is an outstanding addition to the recorded history of Canada’s involvement in World War I… Brewster is a master of presenting the horrors of war to young readers without overwhelming them….The combination of personal stories and historical context put a human face to a war that is likely considered ancient history to young readers… From Vimy to Victory honours and acknowledges the men and women who sacrificed so much in their efforts to defend their country and the freedom of others, without glorifying violence or war in any way. This is war history at its best.”

If: A Mind-Bending New Way of Looking at Big Ideas and Numbers
Written by David J. Smith (North Vancouver, BC)
Illustrated by Steve Adams (Montreal, QC)
Kids Can Press
for ages 8-14

“Big ideas and numbers are put into thought-provoking perspective by meaningfully relating large concepts to things that are more familiar… Smith’s entertaining text and Adams’s visuals work hand-in-hand to make nearly incomprehensible notions meaningful to young readers, allowing them to grasp the vastness of the world outside of their own small borders… Adams pulls the creative infographic visuals together with beautiful palettes and textures that alone would make this book stand out as exceptional among non-fiction titles… Entertaining, insightful and visually enticing, Smith and Adams have a book that does more than inform — it engages on every level.”

Residential Schools, With the Words and Images of Survivors: A National History
Written by Larry Loyie (Edmonton, AB) with Wayne K. Spear (Toronto, ON) and Constance Brissenden (Edmonton, AB)
Indigenous Education Press
for ages 14 and up

“The gut-wrenching story of residential schools is, unfortunately, unfamiliar to many Canadians and especially young Canadians. This book presents a thoughtful overview and approach to a difficult and painful reality… Each chapter details important aspects of the residential school experience in a concrete way that allows today’s young people to begin to fully understand the broad impact of this dark story in Canadian history… Though timely in its publication, this comprehensive resource is easily accessible and will enlighten many for years to come.”

Starting from Scratch: What You Should Know about Food and Cooking
Written by Sarah Elton (Toronto, ON)
Illustrated by Jeff Kulak (Montreal, QC)
Owlkids Books
for ages 10 and up

“From picky eaters to amateur gourmands, there is something for everyone in Elton’s informative introduction to food… The book’s thoughtful progression and conversational tone, aided by Kulak’s fun infographics and illustrations, will make it easy for readers to learn about nutrition, global cuisine and the science of cooking, while also raising their awareness of issues including sustainability, food waste and the impact of the changing environment on global food supplies… Spare, sophisticated illustrations add to the text without overwhelming it. Peppered with tips and tricks, this book will certainly satisfy!”

Why We Live Where We Live
Written by Kira Vermond (Guelph, ON)
Illustrated by Julie McLaughlin (Vancouver, BC)
Owlkids Books
for ages 8-12

“Have you ever wondered why you live where you live? This appealing book addresses this seemingly simple question… Vermond and McLaughlin take readers beyond past answers to show them the wider picture of how human habitation has developed and why, in an intuitive and accessible manner… McLaughlin’s bright, inviting illustrations showcase cultural diversity and add visual understanding to Vermond’s informative text… This is a book that will open children’s eyes to everything from agriculture to linguistics to climate change and beyond, and spur countless opportunities for discussions and further exploration.”

 
JURY MEMBERS: Dory Cerny, Books for Young People Editor, Quill & Quire; Heather Kuipers, Owner, Ella Minnow Children’s Bookstore; Tara Stadius, Services Specialist, Children & Youth, Toronto Public Library.

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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

Arrow Through the Axes
(Odyssey of a Slave, Book 3)
Written by Patrick Bowman (Toronto, ON)
Ronsdale Press
for ages 10-15

“In his conclusion to the trilogy, Bowman has sustained reader interest and brought us home with Odysseus… Bowman’s research is impeccable, and the connections he creates between the original narrative and the story of his Trojan slave, Alexis, are seamless… The message that there are no winners in war is clear; the learning of that lesson is all the richer, more vivid and poignant, for being told through the eyes and insight of the young narrator… As a conclusion to a trilogy, it functions brilliantly to tie everything together and leave the reader with a complete understanding of Homer’s story.”

Dance of the Banished
Written by Marsha Forchuk Skrypuch (Brantford, ON)
Pajama Press
for ages 12 and up

“The narrator Ali immigrates to Canada along with his married brother and they, along with many others, are declared Turkish enemy aliens in 1914 and sent to internment camps in Canada… This novel presents a little-known, but important history, from a number of sides of the issue… The two main narratives weave together well to construct a story little-by-little as it unfolds… The political and religious conflicts inherent in the situation are dealt with compassionately and fairly, and we really feel the pathos of the different characters’ realities, not just those of the protagonists.”

The Gospel Truth
Written by Caroline Pignat (Kanata, ON)
Red Deer Press
for ages 12 and up

“While stories of slavery are plentiful, this story of enslavement is unique in its voice, structure and storylines… Phoebe, a young black woman on a Virginian tobacco plantation in 1858, may be attuned to the birds’ songs of hope and freedom, but she keeps her own song quiet, having stopped speaking since her mother Ruthie was sold by Master Arnold Duncan ten years earlier…The characters are well rounded and actualized and the story told in free verse in alternative points of view is brought vividly to life through Pignat’s pen… Phoebe’s story resonates strongly throughout this well-researched and captivating poetic and sparse telling.”

Underground Soldier
Written by Marsha Forchuk Skrypuch (Brantford, ON)
Scholastic Canada
for ages 11-15

“This is a story that has not often been told, particularly for young readers, and one that is highly engaging and rewarding… In this sobering tale of a people wedged between two evils with no “winning” possible, Luka Barukovich, an ally of Lida’s from Making Bombs for Hitler, escapes from a camp hospital to return to Kyiv and reconnect with his father who was taken to Siberia by the Soviets… There is no happy ending for any of war’s victims, but by providing clarifying details and authentic experiences of those whose stories are embedded here, Skrypuch honours both the past and the future of Ukrainians and other victims of World War II everywhere.”

Unspeakable
Written by Caroline Pignat (Kanata, ON)
Razorbill Canada
for ages 12 and up

“Pignat weaves the different narrative threads about the sinking of the Empress of Ireland together extremely well… holding back details from the reader, doling them out at exactly the right moments, keeping us constantly engaged and unable to tell where we would be taken…The story resonates with strong character development employing first person narration and the reflection of memories brought forth from journal entries.”

 
JURY MEMBERS: Karyn Huenemann, reviewer for Resource Links Magazine, university instructor and blogger at There Will Be Books; Helen Kubiw, teacher-librarian and blogger at CanLit for LittleCanadians; Sandra Stockall, Subject Coordinator K-5, Anglophone East School District (Moncton); Gail de Vos, author, 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

About That Night
Written by Norah McClintock (Toronto, ON)
Orca Book Publishers
for ages 13 and up

About That Night is a well-crafted and compelling tale of relationships and rivalry… Everyone’s life is filled with mysteries and secrets. McClintock keeps the readers guessing at every step. Who are the good ones? Who’s the hidden killer?… The story in About that Night is like a spider web. Each path leads to unexpected places, and uncovers dark secrets… As the clues, and the bodies, pile up, the dark underbelly of the peaceful Canadian town is slowly revealed.”

Dead Man’s Switch
Written by Sigmund Brouwer (Red Deer, AB)
Harvest House Publishers
for ages 12 and up

“At the high-security island prison off the coast of Seattle, strange things are happening. King and his best friend, Johnson, discover high-security secrets that threaten the whole community… It is a heart-pounding, page-turning chase to save a missing friend and expose the high-stakes game behind the threat… Brouwer uses computers, software, gaming and code-breaking to lead the readers on an action-packed adventure… Brouwer’s novel has brains and heart — a great combination.”

Julian
Written by William Bell (Orillia, ON)
Doubleday Canada
for ages 12 and up

“Bell’s exquisite writing takes us deep into the heart of Julian and the sweet, sad Ninon… Everyone wants to disappear, to start a new life. Julian gets the chance, and it’s great…. until Julian finds out that even a new life can have problems. And when that new life begins to turn dangerous, where can a young kid turn to for help?… An amazing portrayal of growing up, learning to love others, and asking the right questions.”

The Show to End All Shows
(Master Melville’s Medicine Show, Book 2)
Written by Cary Fagan (Toronto, ON)
Puffin Canada
for ages 8-11

The Show to End All Shows is a dazzling three-ring circus starring resourceful kidnapped kids, dastardly villains and pure-hearted heroes… Sympathetic, well-developed characters populate the slightly off-kilter, kid-friendly world in this sequel to The Boy in the Box… Kidnapped kids have to use their heads, and showbiz moxie, to help foil a mystery with roots deep in the past. Along the way, they discover that they all have hidden talents… A fun book with a gentle lesson about being the best you can be.”

The Voice Inside My Head
Written by S.J. Laidlaw (Vietnam)
Tundra Books
for ages 14 and up

“A gripping portrayal of jealousy, mystery and the strength of family bonds… Losing a sibling is horrible. Not knowing how she died, or why, makes it even worse. Luke hears his sister Pat’s voice, urging him to catch her killer. Along the way, Luke finds out his sister was a bit of a mystery herself… The exotic setting of Utila, a small island off the coast of Honduras, drives this excellent, well-paced story… A gripping adventure story and a sensitive exploration of the power of family ties – The Voice Inside My Head will satisfy readers who seek both thrills and insights.”

 
JURY MEMBERS: Gail Bowen, author; Mary Anne Cree, Junior School Librarian, The Bishop Strachan School; Kevin Sylvester, author and illustrator of the Neil Flambé Capers and the new series, MiNRs.

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Monica Hughes Award for Science Fiction and Fantasy ($5,000)

Sponsored by HarperCollins Canada

The Boundless
Written by Kenneth Oppel (Toronto, ON)
HarperCollins Publishers
for ages 10-14

“The gorgeous, vivid writing and excellent characters that live on the pages of The Boundless will pull readers right into the world of the longest and most adventurous train ride. Oppel has written a wild and creative concept with something for every reader… be it action, adventure, mystery, fantasy, science fiction or a dash of steampunk… What sets it apart from other adventure stories, however, is its giddy mix of Canadian history and fantasy, weaving sasquatches and bog hags into our country’s tapestry… The Boundless never slows nor falters as it barrels towards its action-packed climax like a runaway train.”

The Nethergrim
Written by Matthew Jobin (East Palo Alto, CA)
Philomel Books
for ages 11-14

“With an underdog protagonist to root for, a richly imagined world to sink into and a villainous creature in the mountains to dread, Jobin’s The Nethergrim is a promising start to a new fantasy series… This take on the classic epic journey of three young children who set off to save their town is full of charm, likeable realistic characters, mystery and scary villains… Filled with terrifying creatures and plenty of action, young readers will be propelled into this exciting adventure.”

The Night Gardener
Written by Jonathan Auxier (Pittsburgh, PA)
Puffin Canada
for ages 10-14

In The Night Gardener, Auxier spins and builds evocative writing into a sinister Victorian allegory about the power of storytelling and lies, greed, family and loyalty… With an atmospheric English manor setting, an enchanting cast of characters, and a terrifying villain, readers are sure to find themselves lost in this creepy world… Young Molly and her brother Kip are endearing protagonists and the dramatic climax and powerful message will haunt readers long after the final page.”

Sea of Shadows
Written by Kelley Armstrong (Aylmer, ON)
Doubleday Canada
for ages 12 and up

A rich fantasy world awaits readers on the pages of Sea of ShadowsArmstrong brings a thread of horror to this fast-paced story of twin sisters who find themselves in the midst of a terrifying upheaval… Glorious monsters, wild twists and turns of the plot, plenty of intrigue, politics and mystery make this fantasy stand out… The action is intense, the writing is crisp and clean, and the author doesn’t shy away from the dark corners of human nature… Sea of Shadows is a book that begs to be read by the dying light of a flickering candle, late at night when the shadows grow long.”

The Story of Owen: Dragon Slayer of Trondheim
Written by E.K. Johnston (Kitchener, ON)
Carolrhoda Books
for ages 12 and up

The Story of Owen is a smart, quirky and wry dragon epic in modern day Canada that will keep readers smiling, thinking and turning the pages… Dragons are woven into Canadian history and current events so seamlessly that it’s easy to forget that they don’t truly exist. That’s a sign of a dazzlingly talented author, and the details in this alternative history don’t bog it down; rather, they set fire to its plot…Clever, witty and fast-paced, the story celebrates family, courage and loyalty, as well as making a subtle statement about the environment and the Carbon Footprint we leave behind… Wholly original and endlessly inventive, The Story of Owen is a story that soars.”

 
JURY MEMBERS: Kate Newman, Category Manager for Kids & Teen Books, Indigo Books; Rachel Seigel, Sales & Selection Strategist, EduCan Media; Joel Sutherland, author of Haunted Canada 5: Terrifying True Stories and Children’s & Youth Services Librarian, Georgina Public Library (MLIS, Aberystwyth University).

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Amy Mathers Teen Book Award ($5,000)

Sponsored by Amy’s Marathon of Books

The Art of Getting Stared At
Written by Laura Langston (Victoria, BC)
Razorbill Canada
for ages 13 and up

“From the first chapter, the rich storytelling capability of Langston is evident… The Art of Getting Stared At painfully portrays the self-consciousness of a seemingly strong teenage girl who is faced with a non-life-threatening disease that affects her appearance…This book deals with issues that many teens wrestle with in some way: issues of image and identity, self-acceptance and the judgments that we make about others, as well as ourselves.”

Blues for Zoey
Written by Robert Paul Weston (London, UK)
Razorbill Canada
for ages 14 and up

“A bittersweet coming-of-age story, Blues for Zoey features an immediately likeable, believable protagonist who learns some poignant life lessons about love and truth, music and dreams… Weston has created characters that resonate with the reader long after the turn of the final page… The raw, visceral, weird and delightfully accurate prose make for a thought-provoking and contemplative read… This is a suspenseful thrill ride of a book.”

The Bodies We Wear
Written by Jeyn Roberts (Vancouver, BC)
Knopf Books for Young Readers
for ages 14 and up

“An intense, riveting saga about one girl’s quest for revenge against the men who changed her life forever, this is a book that is intense, dark and dramatic yet ultimately hopeful and redemptive… The Bodies We Wear offers a fascinating insight into the complex nature of human want and need… Faye’s psychological journey is compelling and sometimes heartbreaking, while the world that Roberts’s has created is stark and frightening… This is a poignant tale about the nature of love, hate, redemption and prejudice.”

The Gospel Truth
Written by Caroline Pignat (Kanata, ON)
Red Deer Press
for ages 12 and up

“In poetry that is spare and beautiful, Pignat carefully, exquisitely creates a searing portrait of life on a southern tobacco plantation in the year 1858. Telling the story from multiple points of view, she provides a nuanced, multifaceted perspective on truth and freedom, and a realistic rendering of that time in history… Moving, lyrical and intriguing, this is a story that will captivate readers of all ages.”

What We Hide
Written by Marthe Jocelyn (Stratford, ON)
Tundra Books
for ages 14 and up

“Using a variety of narrative styles, Jocelyn gives us the opportunity to think deeply about the profound role of secrets in our lives – who has them, who keeps them, who does not, and why… Set in the 1970s and told from eight points of view, teenage boarding students’ secrets are revealed to create a layered and nuanced tale of prejudice, assumptions and lies… Letters, scripts and straight narration keep the pace of this character-driven novel moving forward in this thought-provoking meditation on the nature of truth and perspective.”

 
JURY MEMBERS: Melissa Bourdon-King, YA Co-ordinator, Mabel’s Fables Bookstore; Lisa Doucet, Co-Manager, Woozles Children’s Bookstore; Pamela Jeffrey, teacher-librarian, Stayner Collegiate Institute, Simcoe County District School Board.

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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 in both English and French. Entries are judged on the quality of the text and illustrations and the books’ overall contribution to literature. All books for children, in any genre, written by a Canadian, are eligible for the award. The winning books each receive $30,000 and an additional $20,000 is divided amongst the honour books. The publishers of the winning books each receive $2,500 for promotional purposes.

TD is once again partnering with CBC Books to present the TD Canadian Children’s Literature Fan Choice Award. Young people across Canada are encouraged to vote for their favourite book online at CBCBooks.ca from October 1 to 30, 2015. This year, in partnership with Radio-Canada, the Fan Choice Award will also be presented to a French-language title — young readers can vote for their favourite book from September 28 to October 24, 2015 at ici.radio-canada.ca/coinlecture. Two lucky voters will be selected to attend the Montreal and Toronto galas to meet their favourite author/illustrator and present the award.

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.

Amy Mathers Teen Book Award
The Amy Mathers Teen Book Award, established in 2014, honours excellence in teen/young adult fiction. The prize is awarded annually with a cash prize of $5,000 to an original work aimed at readers aged 13-18. The prize was established following the fundraising efforts of Amy Mathers through her Marathon of Books.

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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