The Swallow wins 2015 IODE Violet Downey Book Award

Charis Cotter, author of The Swallow: A Ghost Story, has been awarded The National Chapter of Canada IODE Violet Downey Book Award for 2015. The $5,000 prize was presented at the time of the 115th National Annual Meeting of IODE Canada on May 29, 2015. The Swallow: A Ghost Story, published by Tundra Books, is suitable for children ages nine to 12.

This spooky gothic novel, set in Cabbagetown, Toronto, in 1963, is partially based on the author’s childhood experiences living behind the Necropolis Cemetery. Rose and Polly are two young girls, who upon their first meeting, each believe the other to be a ghost. The two girls of very different life circumstances and personalities become fast friends once they manage to convince each other they are alive.

Charis Cotter is a writer, editor and storyteller living in Western Bay, Newfoundland. She grew up in Cabbagetown and Parkdale in downtown Toronto. In 2005, Charis won the Heritage Toronto Award of Excellence for her book, Toronto Between the Wars: Life in the City 1919-1939. Since then, she has written several critically acclaimed children’s books including a series of biographies about extraordinary children and an illustrated book about international ghosts. Born to Write: The Remarkable Lives of Six Famous Authors was a finalist for the 2010 Norma Fleck Award for Canadian Children’s Non-fiction.

Today, Charis is known for her lively school presentations based on her books. She has toured Canada from coast to coast, entertaining children with her alter egos: Queen Elizabeth II (complete with gown, crown and royal attitude) and the Scottish Silky Ghost, who dusts everything in sight, including children. Her fascination with ghosts has led her to many far corners of Newfoundland, looking for ghost stories.

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