All Good Children wins CLA’s Young Adult Canadian Book Award

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Ottawa (April 16, 2012) – The Canadian Library Association / Association canadienne des bibliothèques is pleased to announce the 2012 Young Adult Book Award winner and honour Books for books published in 2011. The award is generously sponsored by Library Services Centre. All Good Children by Catherine Austen, published by Orca, is the winner. The honour Books are Karma by Cathy Ostlere, published by Penguin Canada, and This Dark Endeavour by Kenneth Oppel, published by HarperCollins.

In the near future of All Good Children, corporate towns proliferate and try to control the lives of everyone who lives in them. In Middleville, a school vaccination program has been instituted that turns girls and boys into compliant and obedient good children. Catherine Austen takes us on a roller-coaster ride of humour and suspense as, through the eyes of teen artist and prankster Maxwell Conner, we experience the resistance of his family and a close friend to the “zombification” program. Austen’s novel explores the nature and value of creativity, individuality, and non-conformity with memorable characters and a gripping plot.

Karma, by Cathy Ostlere, explores the nature of love and religious faith through a series of evocative prose poems in two voices. Maya, an Indo-Canadian teen, is taken back to India by her father after her mother’s suicide, where they are caught up in and separated by the religious riots following the assassination of
Indira Ghandi. Sandeep finds, in the lost and horror-stunned Maya, the love of his life and tries to restore her both to her father and to herself. The historical events of the story are lived through and conveyed in eloquent and vivid but spare language, convincingly portraying both loss and redemption.

Kenneth Oppel’s This Dark Endeavour is an adventurous prequel for Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. Young Victor Frankenstein and his identical twin, Konrad, have all the advantages of life in an aristocratic but socially progressive family, until Konrad falls deathly ill with a blood disease. Victor, with his passionate nature, cannot rest until he has searched out the ingredients for a mysterious Elixir of Life to heal his brother, but in the process discovers that both he and Konrad are in love with Elizabeth, the feisty young woman who has been raised with them as their cousin. Oppel has created engaging characters and a lively plot that will be sure to draw in teen readers.

A complete list of the 2011 finalists, as well as information on past winners, is available on the CLA website.

The Young Adult Book Award was established by the Young Adult Caucus of the Saskatchewan Library Association in 1980. The award recognizes an author of an outstanding Canadian English-language work of fiction (novel or collection of short stories) that appeals to young adults between the ages of 13 and 18. Previous winners include Kenneth Oppel, Lesley Livingston, Allan Stratton, Martha Brooks, William Bell, Shyam Selvadurai, Miriam Toews, and Polly Horvath. The award will be presented at this year’s CLA Book Awards reception, on May 31, 2012, in Ottawa, Ontario, during the CLA 2012 National Conference & Trade Show. The CLA Book Awards reception is generously sponsored by the TD Bank

The Canadian Library Association / Association canadienne des bibliothèques is Canada’s largest national and broad-based library association, representing the interests of public, academic, school and special libraries, professional librarians and library workers, and all those concerned about enhancing the quality of life of Canadians through information and literacy.

Respectfully submitted on behalf of the 2012 CLA Young Adult Book Award Jury: Carol Rigby, Chair, Contract Cataloguer, Maberly, ON / Iqaluit, NU; Barb Janicek, Kitchener Public Library; Kim Hebig, Wheatland Regional Library; Stephanie Vollick, Vernon Branch, Okanagan Regional Library; Carmelita Cousins, Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board

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Media Contact:
Carol Rigby