The Canada Council for the Arts announces the 2013 Governor General’s Literary Award winners

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: (November 13, 2013) – Your ggreat books of 2013 have been revealed. The 14 winners of the Governor General’s Literary Awards were announced today by the Canada Council for the Arts. The Council funds and administers the GGs, the most significant literary award program in Canada, providing close to $ 450,000 in prize money. They are awarded in both English and French in seven categories: fiction, poetry, drama, non-fiction, children’s literature (text and illustration) and translation. The children’s winners are listed below.

“International attention has been particularly keen this year in praising and celebrating Canadian literary talent,” said Robert Sirman, Director and CEO of the Canada Council. “The GG Literary Awards do the same thing right here at home, illuminating the depth and diversity of Canadian writing, and the 2013 GG winners give us 14 more reasons to celebrate.”

Children’s Literature — English-language Text

The Unlikely Hero of Room 13BThe Unlikely Hero of Room 13B
Written by Teresa Toten (Toronto)
Doubleday Canada
The Unlikely Hero of Room 13B by Teresa Toten is a transformative, high-energy novel that vibrates with the creativity of both the writer and main character. Adam struggles with OCD (obsessive‑compulsive disorder) and a troubled family life. His group therapy becomes an unlikely source of love and friendship. A powerful story with brilliant language and unexpected moments of humour. Ages 14+

JURY: Deirdre F. Kessler (Charlottetown), Mahtab Narsimhan (Toronto), Arthur Slade (Saskatoon)

Children’s Literature — English-language Illustration

Northwest PassageNorthwest Passage
Illustrated by Matt James (Toronto)
Written by Stan Rogers)
Groundwood Books
Matt James’s unique illustrations set our imaginations soaring as they steer us through Stan Rogers’ famous ballad, Northwest Passage. The ink and acrylic paintings explode with raw effects and vivid colour, sometimes settling to small ice-blue vignettes. Each page is descriptive of the search that obsessed much of the world for hundreds of years. Ages 6+

JURY: Kady MacDonald Denton (Peterborough, Ont.), Maritza Miari (Dartmouth, NS), Scot Ritchie (Vancouver)

Children’s Literature — French-language Text

À l’ombre de la grande maisonÀ l’ombre de la grande maison
Written by Geneviève Mativat (Laval)
Les éditions Pierre Tisseyre
With À l’ombre de la grande maison, Geneviève Mativat gives us a novel about slavery, in an America that has yet to wage its true revolution – that of liberty and equality for all. In sober and effective prose, the author reveals her strong talents as a storyteller. Ages 12-17

JURY: Marie-Célie Agnant (Montreal), Alain Beaulieu (Quebec), Aurélie Resch (Toronto)

Children’s Literature — French-language Illustration

Jane, le renard & moiJane, le renard & moi
Illustrated by Isabelle Arsenault (Montreal)
Written by Fanny Britt (Montreal)
Les éditions de la Pastèque
With sensitive and subtle images, Isabelle Arsenault succeeds magnificently in depicting the overwhelming universe of a young girl. With admirable restraint, the sober illustrations and quiet colours strike a responsive chord as they broach the sensitive subject of bullying. Ages 11+

JURY: Édith Bourget (Saint-Jacques, NB), France Brassard (Cowansville, Que.), Jean-Paul Eid (Montreal)

Additional information
Each winner will receive a specially-bound copy of the winning book, created by Montreal bookbinder Lise Dubois, in addition to the $25,000 prize. The publisher of each winning book receives $3,000 to support promotional activities. Non-winning finalists receive $1,000 in recognition of their selection as finalists, bringing the total value of the awards to approximately $450,000.

Awards presentation at Rideau Hall
His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada, will present the 2013 GG Literary Awards on Thursday, November 28 at 6 pm at Rideau Hall, in Ottawa. Media representatives wishing to cover the awards presentation should contact Mélanie Villeneuve at the Rideau Hall Press Office, 613-998-7280 or

Canada Council media contacts:

Mireille Allaire
(613) 566-4414 or 1-800-263-5588, ext. 4523 | E-mail:

Heather McAfee
(613) 566-4414 or 1-800-263-5588, ext. 4166 | E-mail:

To book interviews with authors, illustrators and translators:

Diane Hargrave Public Relations
416-467-9954, ext. 104 |

Chris DiRaddo Communications
514-806-5087 |

Christine Langlois
Hillbrooke Group
613-620-0332 |