2019 BC Book Prizes Shortlist Nominees Announced

The West Coast Book Prize Society has announced the finalists for the 2019 BC Book Prizes. Congratulations to the authors, illustrators, and publishers!

Winners will be announced at the BC Book Prizes Gala on Saturday the 11th of May, 2019, at the Pinnacle Hotel Harbourfront in Vancouver.

Belong are all of the books for young people among the nominees. See the complete list here.

Sheila A. Egoff Children’s Literature Prize

Learning to Breathe
by Janice Lynn Mather
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Canada

Indira Ferguson has done her best to live by her Grammy’s rules. But it hasn’t always been easy, especially living in her mother’s shadow. When Indy is sent to stay in Nassau, she must hide an unwanted pregnancy from her aunt. Completely broke, Indy desperately looks for a safe space to call home. After stumbling upon a yoga retreat, she wonders if she’s found that place. But Indy is about to discover that home is much bigger than just four walls and a roof—it’s about the people she chooses to share it with. 

Janice Lynn Mather is a Bahamian writer with an MFA from the University of British Columbia. She has been a collector of interesting jobs: journalist, conversationalist, performance poet, and professional finger-wagger 

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The Journey Forward, A Novella on Reconciliation: When We Play Our Drums, They Sing! / Lucy and Lola
by Monique Gray Smith and Richard Van Camp
Publisher: McKellar and Martin Publishing Group Ltd.

When We Play Our Drums, They Sing! This the story of 12-year-old Dene Cho, who is angry that his people are losing their language, traditions, and ways of being. Elder Snowbird is there to answer some of Dene Cho’s questions, and to share their history including the impact Residential schools continue to have on their people.

Lucy and Lola are 11-year-old twins who are heading to Gabriola Island, BC, to spend the summer with their Kookum (grandmother) while their mother studies for the bar exam. During their time with Kookum, the girls begin to learn about her experiences in being sent — and having to send their mother — to Residential school.

Monique Gray Smith is an award-winning author, international speaker, and sought-after consultant. Her first published novel, Tilly: A Story of Hope and Resilience, won the 2014 Burt Award for First Nation, Métis, and Inuit Literature. Her other titles include My Heart Fills with Happiness, winner of the 2017 Christie Harris BC Book Award for Children’s Literature, Speaking our Truth: A Journey of Reconciliation, and You Hold Me Up. 

Richard Van Camp is the author of two children’s picture book: A Man Called Raven and What’s the Most Beautiful Thing You Know About Horses? Richard is also the author of four board books for babies and young childrenHis award-winning novel, The Lesser Blessed, is now a feature film with First Generation Films, and his latest novel, Whistle, is about mental health and asking for forgiveness. 

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Nice Try, Jane Sinner
by Lianne Oelke
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

After her expulsion from high school, Jane Sinner is going nowhere fast. Jane’s well-meaning parents push her to attend a high school completion program at the nearby community college, and she agrees, on one condition: she gets to move out. Jane tackles her housing problem by signing up for House of Orange, a student-run reality showAs House of Orange grows from a low-budget web series to a local TV show with fans and shoddy T-shirts, Jane finally has the chance to let her cynical, competitive nature thrive.

Lianne Oelke has a degree in philosophy and works in the film industry—which may explain a lot about her debut novel, Nice Try, Jane Sinner. Or not. She lives, camps, and thinks about cats in Vancouver. 

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No Fixed Address
by Susin Nielsen
Publisher: Penguin Random House Canada Young Readers

Felix Knuttson, twelve, is an endearing kid with an incredible brain for trivia. His mom Astrid is loving but unreliable; she can’t hold onto a job, or a home. When they lose their apartment in Vancouver, they move into a camper van. Felix must keep “home” a secretWhen he gets to compete on a national quiz show, Felix is determined to win — the cash prize will bring them a home. But what happens is not at all what Felix expected. 

Susin Nielsen is a Canadian author for children, adolescent and young adults. She received a Governor General’s Award and the 2013 Canadian Library Association Book of the Year for Children Award for her young adult novel The Reluctant Journal of Henry K. Larsen.

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Very Rich
by Polly Horvath 
Publisher: Penguin Random House Canada Young Readers

Rupert lives with his family in the poorest section of Steelville, Ohio. When he spends Christmas with his classmate Turgid Rivers, he is offered the opportunity to win wonderful prizes in the family games—prizes he hopes to take home so he can share his bounty. After he loses everything, Rupert resigns himself to going home empty handed. Feeling guilty, the Rivers family try to make it up to him by taking Rupert on one unlikely adventure after another. 

Polly Horvath’s books include The Canning Season (National Book Award winner and YA Canadian Book of the Year), Everything on a Waffle (Newbery Honor Book), and My One Hundred Adventures (School Library Journal Best Book of the Year, Booklist Editors’ Choice, and Kirkus Reviews Best Children’s Book of the Year).

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Christie Harris Illustrated Children’s Literature Prize

The Nameless City: The Divided Earth
by Faith Erin Hicks
Publisher: First Second

The Nameless City—held by the rogue Dao prince Erzi—is under siege by a coalition of Dao and Yisun forces who are determined to end the war for the Nameless City once and for all. The people of the city—the “Named”—are caught in between. The third and final installment in the Nameless City trilogy, it features deft world-building, frantic battle scenes, and a gentle and moving friendship at its heart.

Faith Erin Hicks is a writer and artist in Vancouver, British Columbia. Her graphic novels include the Nameless City trilogy, Friends with Boys, Nothing Can Possibly Go Wrong (with Prudence Shen), and the Eisner Award–winning The Adventures of Superhero Girl.

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Robert Bateman: The Boy Who Painted nature
by Margriet Ruurs
Illustrated by Robert Bateman
Publisher: Orca Book Publishers

Robert Bateman: The Boy Who Painted Nature is the story of how a young child achieved his dream of painting the world around him and became one of Canada’s most famous artists. Using Robert’s own personal photographs, sketches and artwork, Margriet Ruurs weaves a simple story of inspiration and encouragement. 

Margriet Ruurs is the author of many award-winning books for children. She enjoys speaking about reading and writing to students at schools around the world. Margriet was born in the Netherlands but has been a Canadian for most of her life. She lives with her family on Salt Spring Island, British Columbia.

Robert Bateman, a naturalist and painter, developed a painting style that has been internationally lauded, and his work has been exhibited around the world. In 1999 the Audubon Society named him one of the top 100 environmental proponents of the twentieth century. Robert was made an Officer of the Order of Canada in 1984 and a Member of the Order of British Columbia in 2001. He lives on Salt Spring Island, British Columbia.

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Sir Simon: Super Scarer
by Cale Atkinson
Publisher: Penguin Random House Young Readers

Meet Sir Simon, Super Scarer. He’s a professional ghost who has been transferred to his first house, occupied by an old lady — they’re the easiest to haunt! But things don’t go as planned when it turns out a KID comes with this old lady. A delightful, funny story of friendship, ghost chores, a spooky house and a professional haunter.

Cale Atkinson is an illustrator and animator living lakeside with his family in Kelowna, British Columbia. His work can be found in children’s books, including To the Sea, which he wrote and illustrated, animated shorts, television and games. If he had to choose, Cale would probably want a hippogriff as a pet, to go on adventures and solve mysteries with. Or maybe just a goldfish…

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by Ian Boothby
Illustrated by Nina Matsumoto
Publisher: Scholastic Canada

August is a brilliant inventor who is afraid of the outside. Charlie is a crack pilot who isn’t afraid of anything. Together these pals save lives every day. They also happen to be cats who pilot a powerful, mechanical dog suit! Always eager to leap into danger, this feline duo have their work cut out for them as they try to thwart Princess, an evil alien bent on enslaving mankind. When Princess enacts a brilliant and dastardly plan to conquer Earth, August and Charlie pull out all the stops to save the day.  

Ian Boothby has written comic books for The Simpsons, Futurama, Mars Attacks, Scooby-Doo, The Powerpuff Girls and The Flash. Ian has also won an Eisner Award for Best Short Story along with the artist Nina Matsumoto. Sparks is his first graphic novel for children.

Nina Matsumoto is a Japanese-Canadian cartoonist, also known as “space coyote”, and most known for creating the comic book series Yōkaiden for Del Rey Manga. She created the webcomic Saturnalia, and has worked as a penciller on Simpsons Comics and The Last Airbender: Prequel: Zuko’s Story graphic novel.

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Sterling, Best Dog Ever
by Aidan Cassie
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Sterling the dog has always wanted a home. But no home has ever wanted him. So when Sterling sees a sign on the side of the Butlery Cutlery Company advertising free “shipping to homes around the world,” he is determined to become the most terrific fork ever! For what home doesn’t need flatware? Sterling is delivered on time and undamaged to the Gilbert family. He is not, however, what they ordered… but he may be exactly what they need. 

Aidan Cassie studied animation and earned a media arts degree at the Emily Carr University of Art and Design as well as Edinburgh College of Art. Sterling, Best Dog Ever is her first picture book. She lives on a small island in the Salish Sea of British Columbia.

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Bill Duthie Booksellers’ Choice Award

One Eagle Soaring
by Robert Budd and Roy Henry Vickers (Illustrator)
Publisher: Harbour Publishing

One Eagle Soaring, a “first numbers” book, explores counting and numbers with the help of West Coast animals—from a single eagle aloft, to a trio of swimming whales, as well as leaping frogs, honey-hungry bears and a group of ten dozing owls. Combining vivid illustrations, a glossy tactile finish and a simple yet catchy text, this sturdy board book introduces babies and toddlers to the spectacular scenery and wildlife of British Columbia. 

Robert (Lucky) Budd is the co-author of the Northwest Coast Legends series and the author of Voices of British Columbia, which was shortlisted for the 2011 Bill Duthie Booksellers’ Choice Award, and its sequel, Echoes of British Columbia, which won second prize in the BC Historical Federation’s writing competition in 2014. 

Roy Henry Vickers is a renowned carver, painter and printmaker. He is the co-author of the popular children’s Northwest Coast Legends series, all of which were shortlisted for the Bill Duthie Booksellers’ Choice Award: Raven Brings the Light in 2014, Cloudwalker in 2015, Orca Chief in 2016 and Peace Dancer in 2017.

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