Celebrate Canadian Teen Fiction with Amy Mathers
Toronto (September 18, 2023) — The Canadian Children’s Book Centre (CCBC) has launched a fall fundraising initiative to support the Amy Mathers Teen Book Award. “Celebrate Canadian Teen Fiction with Amy Mathers” is a nine-week campaign during which Amy will highlight the nominated books/authors from the award’s nine-year history. Every weekday, Amy will feature a finalist or winning book and share it across the CCBC’s social media platforms. Special guests (creators, booksellers and librarians) from the YA community will also pop in on the weekends with their own favourite teen reads or what they’re currently reading. Follow along @kidsbookcentre.
Amy Mathers has been passionate about reading from a very young age. Born with a type of glycogen storage disease, she received a liver transplant at the age of five, a heart transplant when she was 27 and a kidney transplant at age 40. Despite her physical challenges, she has volunteered in various libraries, worked as a bibliotherapist, taken part in a high school reading selection committee and co-written and co-taught a college course called “Assisting Families Dealing with Chronic Illness & Disability.”
The “Celebrate Canadian Teen Fiction with Amy Mathers” campaign will highlight some of the best books across the Canadian landscape of teen fiction, opening readers up to new perspectives.
The Amy Mathers Teen Book Award honours excellence in teen/young adult fiction and offers an annual cash prize of $5,000. The CCBC is dedicated and determined to ensure continuity of the award with support from our community.
Donations can be made at bookcentre.ca/mathers.
“Books can serve many purposes,” says Amy Mathers. “They can be an escape, a way to experience the world despite limitations, and a way to recognize and release the emotions life situations can stir up. Reading has healing powers, especially teen books, because they contain an emotional honesty and freshness of perspective that is often lost when one reaches adulthood.”
The Amy Mathers Teen Book Award is one of nine Canadian children’s literature awards organized and administered by the Canadian Children's Book Centre. The award offers national recognition to the great Canadian authors writing for teen audiences. To date, $40,000 has been awarded to Canadian YA creators to support their writing and to elevate teen fiction in Canada. On October 23, this number will rise to $45,000 with the announcement of the 2023 winner.
“I continue to invest my time in supporting Canadian teen writers because I know firsthand how impactful stories can be especially in a teen's life,” says Mathers. “Living in an age where so many teen books are being deemed ‘inappropriate’ for teen readers, support for this audience and genre is vital. I am so proud the Amy Mathers Teen Book Award is celebrating its decade anniversary next year, continuing the important work of protecting and publicizing Canadian teen literature.”
The Amy Mathers Teen Book Award was presented for the first time in 2015 to Marthe Jocelyn for her novel What We Hide. The award was established after a year-long fundraising effort by Amy, who decided to honour her passion for reading and Canadian teen literature while working around her physical limitations through a campaign called Amy’s Marathon of Books. Mathers read and reviewed a Canadian teen book every day for a year in order to bring more visibility to Canadian authors and to raise funds for the award. Click here to see Amy’s 2014 marathon reading list. The CCBC is currently seeking funding and a possible new partnership that would allow us to present the award for many more years to come.
Help keep this important award alive by donating today!
For more information, please contact:
Marketing and Communications Coordinator
The Canadian Children’s Book Centre
416-975-0010 ext. 2
About the Amy Mathers Teen Book Award
The Amy Mathers Teen Book Award, established in 2014, honours excellence in teen/young adult fiction. The prize is awarded annually with a cash prize of $5,000. To be eligible, the book must be an original work in English, aimed at readers aged 13-18 and written by a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident of Canada.
About the Canadian Children’s Book Centre
The Canadian Children’s Book Centre is a national, not‐for‐profit organization founded in 1976. We are dedicated to encouraging, promoting and supporting the reading, writing and illustrating of Canadian books for young readers. Our programs, publications and resources help teachers, librarians, booksellers and parents select the very best for young readers. For more information, please visit bookcentre.ca.