Sunday, November 6, 2011

2011 Canadian Children's Literature Awards

The winners of the annual TD Canadian Children’s Literature Award, Marilyn Baillie Picture Book Award, Norma Fleck Award for Canadian Children’s Non-Fiction, Geoffrey Bilson Award for Historical Fiction for Young People, Prix TD de litterature canadienne pour l'enfance et la jeunesse and the John Spray Mystery Award were announced in October and unfortunately, I never got a chance to mention these award winners on my blog until now.  I always like to promote Canadian literature on my blog and support Canadian authors, and having read a couple of these award winners as well as some of the honourable mentions, I'm sure readers will be as enthralled with the stories as I was. 

TD Canadian Children's Literature Award ($25,000)

Plain Kate
by Erin Bow
2010 Arthur A. Levine Books
ISBN: 9780545166645

2010 Cybils Award Nominee for Young Adult Fantasy & Science Fiction
2011 YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults
Book of the Year for Teens: Canadian Library Association short list

Plain Kate lives in a world of superstitions and curses, where a song can heal a wound and a shadow can work deep magic. As the wood-carver's daughter, Kate held a carving knife before a spoon, and her wooden talismans are so fine that some even call her “witch-blade”: a dangerous nickname in a country where witches are hunted and burned in the square.

For Kate and her village have fallen on hard times. Kate’s father has died, leaving her alone in the world. And a mysterious fog now covers the countryside, ruining crops and spreading fear of hunger and sickness. The townspeople are looking for someone to blame, and their eyes have fallen on Kate.

Enter Linay, a stranger with a proposition: In exchange for her shadow, he’ll give Kate the means to escape the angry town, and what’s more, he’ll grant her heart’s wish. It’s a chance for her to start over, to find a home, a family, a place to belong. But Kate soon realizes she can't live shadowless forever -- and that Linay's designs are darker than she ever dreamed.

Marilyn Baillie Picture Book Award ($20,000)

I Know Here
By Laurel Croza (Author); Matt James (Illustrator)
2010 Groundwood Books
ISBN: 9780888999238

2011 Ezra Jack Keats Book Award for New Writer

The little girl in this story lives in a trailer near a forest where her father is building a dam. Everything in her world is familiar and precious to her. But the dam is nearly finished and the family is moving to the city, which the little girl knows only as a place marked by a big red star on the map at school. Have the city people seen what I have seen, she wonders? The teacher suggests that she draw something that she wants to remember to take away with her when she leaves, and the little girl decides to draw what she knows — her road and everything her world contains — so that she can keep it with her always.

Norma Fleck Award for Canadian Children's Non-Fiction ($10,000)

Case Closed: Nine Mysteries Unlocked by Modern Science
by Susan Hughes (Author); Michael Wandelmaier (Illustrator)
2010 Kids Can Press
ISBN: 9781554533626

Egypt's first female pharaoh disappears around 1457 BCE — was she murdered? Find out how DNA closes the case. The ancient Arabian Peninsula city of Ubar vanishes, seemingly without trace. Find out how old maps and modern space shuttles help solve the mystery. Sir John Franklin's 1845 expedition to find the Northwest Passage is never heard from again. Find out how spectroscopy points to some probable explanations. Case Closed? examines these and six other mysteries from ancient and modern times. Accompanied by photos, maps, diagrams and illustrations, this book reveals how modern science sheds new light on people, vessels and entire civilizations throughout history that simply vanished. In some cases, the mystery has been solved. In other cases, readers can examine the latest evidence and decide for themselves.

Geoffrey Bilson Award for Historical Fiction for Young People ($5,000)

The Glory Wind
by Valerie Sherrard
2010 Fitzhenry & Whiteside
ISBN: 9781554551705

A young boy must come to terms with the moral prejudices of his small town in rural 1950s Ontario when he befriends the daughter of a young widow who moves in next door. Gracie is unlike anyone Luke has ever met – fun, charming, imaginative and full of life. But when the townsfolk discover that her mother’s past is less than completely honourable, they set out to isolate both mother and daughter. This striking new novel from Valerie Sherrard explores themes of friendship, loyalty, hypocrisy, and forgiveness.

John Spray Mystery Award ($5,000)

A Spy in the House (The Agency, Book #1)
by Y.S. Lee
2010 Candlewick Press
ISBN: 9780763640675

Rescued from the gallows in 1850s London, young orphan (and thief) Mary Quinn is surprised to be offered a singular education, instruction in fine manners — and an unusual vocation. Miss Scrimshaw’s Academy for Girls is a cover for an all-female investigative unit called The Agency, and at seventeen, Mary is about to put her training to the test. Assuming the guise of a lady’s companion, she must infiltrate a rich merchant’s home in hopes of tracing his missing cargo ships. But the household is full of dangerous deceptions, and there is no one to trust — or is there? Packed with action and suspense, banter and romance, and evoking the gritty backstreets of Victorian London, this breezy mystery debuts a daring young detective who lives by her wits while uncovering secrets — including those of her own past.

Prix TD de litterature canadienne pour l'enfance et la jeunesse ($25,000)

La fille d'en face
by Linda Amyot
2010 Lemeac
ISBN: 9782760942127

Élaine se rend quotidiennement à l'hôpital auprès de son amie Lena qui se trouve dans le coma. Elle lui parle, sachant qu'elle ne l'entend pas. Elle se révèle, se met à nue.

Cette absence de pudeur qui s'installe dépeint avec justesse la douleur que peut parfois prendre l'amitié, surtout lors de cette période de questionnements qu'est l'adolescence. La vérité sort-elle mieux quand on ne peut être entendu?

For more information about the awards and the jury members, please visit The Canadian Children's Book Centre.  You can also find the complete list of finalists here.


  1. I've read the Agency (not a bad book at all) and Plain Kate (totally awesome book!), but I haven't read the others.

  2. Sad to say, I haven't heard of any of these books or authors, but a lot of these sound like awesome reads. Might have to go check a few of these out. Thanks for the recs!