Winners Announced for the 2014 Canadian Children’s Book Centre Awards

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$135,000 in prize money awarded to Canadian children’s authors and illustrators

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Toronto (November 7, 2014) – The Canadian Children’s Book Centre (CCBC) is thrilled to announce the winners of its six English-language children’s book awards. The TD Canadian Children’s Literature Award was given to author Kathy Stinson and illustrator Dušan Petricic, who took home the $30,000 prize for their picture book, The Man with the Violin (Annick Press); an additional $12,500 was divided between the winning book’s publisher and the other four nominees. Five other awards were given out:

  • How To by Julie Morstad won the Marilyn Baillie Picture Book Award ($20,000)
  • The Last Train: A Holocaust Story by Rona Arato won the Norma Fleck Award for Canadian Children’s Non-Fiction ($10,000)
  • Graffiti Knight by Karen Bass won the Geoffrey Bilson Award for Historical Fiction For Young People ($5,000)
  • Who I’m Not by Ted Staunton won the John Spray Mystery Award ($5,000)
  • Sorrow’s Knot by Erin Bow won the Monica Hughes Award for Science Fiction and Fantasy ($5,000)

The winners were announced last night at a gala event, hosted by the CBC’s Shelagh Rogers, at The Carlu in Toronto. The event marked the 10th anniversary of the TD Canadian Children’s Literature Awards, and a total of $92,500 was given out. At a gala event in Montreal last week, the CCBC also awarded the $30,000 Prix TD de littérature canadienne pour l’enfance et la jeunesse toAndrée Poulin for La plus grosse poutine du monde (Bayard Canada), with another $12,500 divided between Poulin’s publisher and four other nominees. (Click here for more information.)

For the second year, TD Bank Group partnered with CBC Books to present the CBC Fan Choice Award. Young readers were asked to pick their favourite book from the shortlisted TD Award titles in an online poll. One lucky entrant, Jaxen Hartwig of Mitchell, Ontario, won a trip to Toronto to see the $5,000 CBC Fan Choice Award presented to Andrew Larsen and Dušan Petricic for their picture book, In the Tree House.

The gala also brought a long-awaited announcement from CCBC President Daryl Novak. In 2015, the CCBC will launch the Amy Mathers Teen Book Award, after a year-long fundraising campaign by volunteer Amy Mathers, who has been reading and reviewing a teen book every day since January. The new award will present $5,000 to the most distinguished Canadian teen book of the year.

Below is the full list of prizes presented, with comments from the jurors. Click here for the shortlist.

For more information, please contact:

Camilia Kahrizi
Marketing and Website Coordinator
The Canadian Children’s Book Centre
416.975.0010 ext. 221 |

Sponsored by TD Bank Group

The Man with the ViolinThe Man with the Violin
Written by Kathy Stinson (Rockwood, ON)
Illustrated by Dušan Petricic (Toronto, ON)
Annick Press
for ages 5 and up

“Text and illustration dance together in this beautiful story which celebrates the importance of seeing the wonder that surrounds us each day… In an age when people are bombarded with noise and distraction from every angle, one small child finds joy and inspiration in the music of a street corner violinist… Dušan Petricic’s stylish illustrations, highlighted with bursts of colour, are a perfect complement to Kathy Stinson’s narrative… I could almost hear the music in my head as the colours were swirling around… A story for all ages… A perfect picture book!”

The shortlisted books were:

  • Branded by the Pink Triangle, written by Ken Setterington (Second Story Press)
  • In the Tree House, written by Andrew Larsen and illustrated by Dušan Petricic (Kids Can Press)
  • Once Upon a Northern Night, written by Jean E. Pendziwol and illustrated by Isabelle Arsenault (Groundwood Books)
  • The Unlikely Hero of Room 13B, written by Teresa Toten (Doubleday Canada)

The finalists received $2,500 each.

JURY MEMBERS: Shannon Babcock, Project Coordinator for Quebec Reading Connection, Quebec Chair for Best Books for Kids & Teens and President, IBBY Canada; 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, 2012); Maria Martella, owner of Tinlids Inc., a wholesaler of children’s and teen books for schools and libraries; Carol McDougall, writer, Director of Read to Me! Nova Scotia Early Literacy Program, former CCBC librarian and Regional Officer.

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Sponsored by A. Charles Baillie

The Man with the ViolinHow To
Written and illustrated by Julie Morstad (Vancouver, BC)
Simply Read Books
for ages 4-8

“With grace and true genius, this book offers children gemlike insights into themselves and into their world at each turn of the page… Julie Morstad’s superb vision allows readers to crystallize their ephemeral emotions — to capture feelings and sensations that permeate their experiences of the world and of themselves… The elegant and warmly expressive art and simple yet powerful text come together to celebrate childhood itself.”

JURY MEMBERS: Todd Kyle, CEO, Newmarket Public Library and Member, Board of Directors, Canadian Children’s Book Centre;Sheba Meland, Children’s Publishing and Editorial Consultant; Sara Spencer, Junior School Librarian, The York School.

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Sponsored by the Fleck Family Foundation

The Man with the ViolinThe Last Train: A Holocaust Story
Written by Rona Arato (Toronto, ON)
Owlkids Books
for ages 9 and up

“This elegantly written account of how one family survived the horrors of the Holocaust is both gripping and authentic… The Last Train is as readable a non-fiction story as any plot-driven fiction narrative…Rona Arato tells the tale of her husband’s Holocaust story with the deft style of the seasoned author that she is… A haunting, unforgettable book that shines a light on one of history’s darkest chapters.”

JURY MEMBERS: Hugh Brewster, editor, publisher and author of 16 books for children and adults, including At Vimy Ridge, winner of the 2008 Norma Fleck Award; Nancy Rawlinson, teacher, Toronto District School Board, and recipient of the 2014 OTIP Award for Provincial Teaching Excellence; Tara Stadius, Services Specialist, Children & Youth, Toronto Public Library.

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Sponsored by the Canadian Children’s Book Centre’s Bilson Endowment Fund

Graffiti KnightGraffiti Knight
Written by Karen Bass (Hythe, AB)
Pajama Press
for ages 12 and up

“Based on Karen Bass’ exhaustive research, Graffiti Knight reveals that heroism in World War II was not restricted to the battlefields but, with courage and compassion, it could be found anywhere and anytime… The clash between the Soviet victors and the German people after World War II is masterfully captured in this exciting story of a teen in Berlin who deals with uncertainty at home and school by challenging his city’s new social order… A well written and intriguing book possessing strong plot, characters and themes within a historical context.”

JURY MEMBERS: Janet Clarke, teacher-librarian, Vanier Catholic Secondary School; Helen Kubiw, teacher-librarian and blogger atCanLit for LittleCanadians; Jo-Anne Naslund, Instructional Programs Librarian, Education Library, University of British Columbia;Gail de Vos (chair), storyteller and Professor, School of Library and Information Studies, University of Alberta.

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Sponsored by John Spray

Who I’m NotWho I’m Not
Written by Ted Staunton (Port Hope, ON)
Orca Book Publishers
for ages 12 and up

Who I’m Not is the literary equivalent of a high-wire act, and Ted Staunton walks the tightrope with nary a misstep. This riveting tale of a boy who assumes a missing teen’s identity and the family that welcomes him back could have been too far-fetched to believe, but instead it is written with authority, heart and a great deal of psychological tension… Readers are bound to join the rest of the book’s characters as they fall prey to the charms of the strangely likeable conman protagonist… An instant classic that will be read and enjoyed for years to come.”

JURY MEMBERS: Mary Anne Cree, Junior School Librarian, The Bishop Strachan School; Peggy Perdue, curator of the Arthur Conan Doyle Collection, Toronto Public Library; Joel Sutherland, author of Be a Writing Superstar and Haunted Canada 4: More True Tales of Terror, Information Assistant, Ajax Public Library (MLIS, Aberystwyth University), and ‘The Barbarian Librarian’ on TV’sWipeout Canada.

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Sponsored by HarperCollins Canada in memory of the late Monica Hughes

Sorrow’s KnotSorrow’s Knot
Written by Erin Bow (Kitchener, ON)
Arthur A. Levine Books/Scholastic Inc.
for ages 12 and up

“In Sorrow’s Knot, Erin Bow crafts a powerful story about loss, change and love… The languid pace and high stakes of a village trapped by evil are enthralling…. Drawing from Native North American culture and mythology, the language is lyrical and atmospheric… Erin Bow weaves highly evocative descriptions and gorgeous emotional depth through this magical Native inspired fable… Enthralling, beautifully poetic, and very wise, Sorrow’s Knot is fantasy of the highest order.”

JURY MEMBERS: Michael Johnstone, Lecturer, Science Fiction and Fantasy, Department of English, University of Toronto; Kate Newman, Category Manager for Kids & Teen Books, Indigo Books; Rachel Seigel, Sales & Selection Strategist, EduCan Media.

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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. Entries are judged on the quality of the text and illustrations and the book’s overall contribution to literature. All books for children, in any genre, written by a Canadian, are eligible for the award. The winning book receives $30,000 and an additional $10,000 is divided amongst the honour books. The publisher of the winning book receives $2,500 for promotional purposes.

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.

About 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

For more information, please contact:

Camilia Kahrizi
Marketing and Website Coordinator
The Canadian Children’s Book Centre
Tel: 416.975.0010 ext. 221