Finalists announced for the BC Book Prizes

The West Coast Book Prize Society has announced the finalists for the 2010 BC Book Prizes. The winners will be announced at the annual Gala on April 24, 2010 at Government House in Victoria. The finalists for the Sheila A. Egoff Children’s Literature Prize and the Christie Harris Illustrated Children’s Literature Prize are listed below.

Sheila A. Egoff Children’s Literature Prize

Supported by the BC Library Association
Judges: Lois Brymer, John Burns, Ann Walsh

Counting on Hope
Written by Sylvia Olsen
(Sono Nis Press)

Counting on Hope Set against the backdrop of the confusing events surrounding the English colonization of British Columbia, and an 1863 naval assault on Kuper Island, Counting on Hope tells the story of two girls whose lives are profoundly changed when their two cultures collide. Alternating between free verse and prose, Sylvia Olsen follows the girl’s individual storylines before, during and after their meeting. She captures the wonder and joy with which Hope and Letia develop their friendship and describes the tragic events, suspicion, fear and confusion that characterize so many early encounters between Europeans and the First Peoples. This sensitively drawn depiction of innocence lost and wisdom hard won follows Hope and Letia out of childhood, off their island paradise and into the complex realities of an adult world. Married into the Tsartlip First Nation at 17, Sylvia Olsen is a historian specializing in Native/White relations in Canada, and the author of seven books. She lives in Victoria.

The Gryphon Project
Written by Carrie Mac
(Puffin Canada)

The Gryphon Project Phoenix envies her brother Gryphon. The daredevil and sports hero has all of his recons left: three more chances at life. But she is left with only one, and learns that her beloved brother is responsible for one of her deaths. When Gryphon himself has an accident, the governing body Chrysalis refuses to recon him, deeming his death to be a suicide. His friends’ code of silence makes it difficult to find out what happened, but Phoenix is determined to unravel the mystery and save her brother. Carrie Mac is the author of nine novels including Charmed, Crush, the Triskelia series and Pain & Wastings. Her novel The Beckoners won the Arthur Ellis YA Award, is a CLA Honour book, and has been optioned for film. She was raised in small-town British Columbia and now lives in Vancouver.

Written by Robin Stevenson
(Orca Book Publishers)

Inferno Dante thinks high school is an earthly version of hell. She hates her new home in the suburbs, her best friend has moved away, her homeroom teacher mocks her and her mother is making her attend a social skills group for teenage girls. When a stranger shows up at school and hands Dante a flyer that reads: Woof, woof. You are not a dog. Why are you going to obedience school?, Dante thinks she’s found a soul mate and is ready for a change…but some changes are more dangerous than others. Robin Stevenson is the author of several novels for teens, including Dead in the Water, Out of Order and Big Guy. Her previous novel, A Thousand Shades of Blue, was a finalist for the 2009 Sheila A. Egoff Children’s Literature Prize. A former social worker, counselor and university instructor, Stevenson lives in Victoria.

Return to Bone Tree Hill
Written by Kristin Butcher
(Thistledown Press)

Return to Bone Tree Hill Did Jessica murder one of her playmates, a troubled boy named Charlie when she was twelve years old? A recurring dream forces her to ask that question. Disturbed by the vision and needing to clear her conscience, Jessica returns to Victoria, her hometown and the site of the possible crime. There she catches up with her best friend, Jilly, who confirms that Charlie did in fact go missing the week that Jessica’s family relocated to Australia. But a memory-erasing bout of meningitis at the time of the incident means Jessica doesn’t recall the questioning police officers, the extensive ground search, or being the last person to see Charlie alive. Will Jessica be able to acquit herself of murder or will her memory of Charlie’s death remain a fear she must learn to live with? Kristin Butcher is the author of fifteen books including The Gramma War, Chat Room and Zee’s Way. She lives in Campbell River.

The Ship of Lost Souls
Written by Rachelle Delaney

The Ship of Lost Souls Legend has it there’s a treasure in the Islands. Everyone’s after it, including Jem Fitzgerald and his explorer uncle, Finn, the Islanders, and pirates. Even the infamous crew known as the Lost Souls—rumoured to be ghosts—has set their spyglasses on it. Only Uncle Finn holds the map to the treasure but when he’s kidnapped by the pirates, he quickly hands off the precious map to Jem, who is rescued by the Lost Souls. It’s the fright of his life until he discovers that the so-called ghosts are actually children, led by the daring young captain Scarlet McCray! But can Scarlet convince Jem to give up the map? Can she quiet the mutinous rumblings of her crew or will the reign of the Lost Souls end with her? Rachelle Delaney has received the Grant MacEwan Young Writers’ Scolarship, the Larry Turner Award and the Bissenden Scholarship for creative writing. She lives in Vancouver.

Christie Harris Illustrated Children’s Literature Prize

Supported by Kate Walker and Company
Judges: Rae Maté, Phyllis Simon, Maggie de Vries

Bubble Home and Fish Farts
Written by Fiona Bayrock
Illustrated by Carolyn Conahan
(Charlesbridge Publishing)

Bubble Home and Fish Farts Bubbles are for popping, fishing, talking-and for sailing, keeping warm, and even shooting hoops! Who knew animals used bubbles in so many ways? Learn how the water spider builds an underwater bubble home, how snapping shrimp pop bubbles to scare other animals, and how dolphins play with bubbles as if it’s a game. Whether they are riding, breathing, or making bubbles, one thing is for sure-animals use bubbles in amazing ways. Real-world science meets tongue-in-cheek humor to describe how animals use bubbles. Lighthearted conversational text is accompanied by delightful full-bleed watercolour illustrations. Fiona Bayrock has written fifteen books and numerous articles and stories for children. She lives in Chilliwack. Carolyn Conahan is the staff illustrator for Cricket magazine and lives in Portland, Oregon.

Ella’s Umbrellas
Written by Jennifer Lloyd
Illustrated by Ashley Spires
(Simply Read Books)

Ella’s Umbrellas Ella has every umbrella under the rainbow from aquamarine to jellybean green. Her umbrellas fill up the entire house. Aunt Stella from Katmandu is coming to visit and Ella’s mom demands that Ella get rid of her umbrellas. But Ella wants to keep her precious possessions. Brought to life through rhythmic text and watercolor illustrations, this is the perfect book to cheer anyone up on a drizzly day. Jennifer Lloyd is a kindergarten teacher in Blainville, Quebec, and is the author of One Winter Night and Looking for Loons. Ashley Spires is the illustrator of A Bloom of Friendship: The Story of the Canadian Tulip Festival, which was nominated for the Silver Birch Award, the Hackmatack Children’s Choice Award and the 2007 Red Cedar Award.

Maggie Can’t Wait
Written by Frieda Wishinsky
Illustrated by Dean Griffiths
(Fitzhenry & Whiteside)

Maggie Can’t Wait Maggie can’t wait to show her friends the picture of her soon-to-be adopted sister, but she is mortified by their reaction. Maybe the baby is as ugly as they say. Maybe her parents shouldn’t adopt that baby after all. But could it be that beauty is in the eye of the beholder? A delightful sequel to Give Maggie a Chance, Maggie Can’t Wait again features the little girl with the big imagination as she dreads the arrival of a new adopted sister and learns how easy it is to make up her own mind. Frieda Wishinsky is the author of many children’s books, including Jennifer Jones Won’t Leave Me Alone, The Man Who Made Parks and Nothing Scares Us. In 1999, Frieda was shortlisted for a Governor General’s Award for Each One Special. She lives in Toronto. Dean Griffiths is an illustrator and computer graphics animator from Duncan.

On My Walk
Written by Kari-Lynn Winters
Illustrated by Christina Leist
(Tradewind Books)

On My Walk Mothers and toddlers end up being caught in a summer rainstorm on their walk through Vancouver streets. The simple text, combined with onomatopoeic words and beautiful illustrations, is great for reading aloud. Beautifully illustrated by Christina Leist, this simple story will be a fun bedtime read for everyone. This is Kari-Lynn’s fourth book for young children. Her books have been nominated for the BC Book Prize, the Chocolate Lily Award and Ontario’s Blue Spruce Award. Born and raised in Germany, Christina Leist now lives in Vancouver. Before becoming a full-time illustrator, she worked in advertising as an art director and graphic designer. She is the illustrator of Baad Animals, The Graveyard Hounds and Jack the Bear.

Vanishing Habitats
Written and illustrated by Robert Bateman
(Scholastic Canada)

Vanishing Habitats In Vanishing Habitats, artist and naturalist Robert Bateman shares his love and knowledge of the world’s habitats. Through his paintings and stories, he describes the threats facing all kinds of animals, ranging from Snow Monkeys, Jaguars, and Bison to exotic birds such as Roseate Spoonbills and Burrowing Owls. He explains why these animals and their homes are in danger and describes what steps can be taken to save them. Good science and fine art in the form of Bateman’s iconic paintings of wildlife combine to offer a visually stunning assessment of the fate of deserts, grasslands, boreal, tropical and old-growth forests and the denizens of each. Robert Bateman’s dedication as a naturalist and artist has allowed him to transfer his abilities to children’s books. Vanishing Habitats, Polar Worlds, Birds of Prey and the bestselling Backyard Birds showcase his artistic talent and commitment to nature’s preservation. He lives on Salt Spring Island.

About the Sheila A. Egoff Children’s Literature Prize
Awarded to the author of novels, including chapter books, aimed at juveniles and young adults, as well as non-fiction books for children (including biography) which have not been highly illustrated. The author must be a B.C./Yukon resident or have lived in B.C. or the Yukon for three of the past five years. The book may have been published anywhere.

About the Christie Harris Illustrated Children’s Literature Prize
Awarded to the author and illustrator of picture books, picture story books, and illustrated non-fiction books. The prize is shared by the author and the illustrator. The author and/or illustrator must be a B.C./Yukon resident or have lived in B.C. or the Yukon for three of the past five years. The book may have been published anywhere.

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For more information, please contact:

West Coast Book Prize Society
#901– 207 W. Hastings Street
Vancouver, BC V6B 1H7
Tel (604) 687-2405
Fax (604) 687-2435