Sunday, 25 November 2012

Ottawa Book Awards: 2012 English Fiction winner

Ottawa Book Awards / Prix du livre d’Ottawa

The Ottawa Book Awards/Prix du livre d’Ottawa recognize the top English and French books published in the previous year. Both awards have separate categories for fiction and non-fiction. All shortlisted finalists receive $1,000 and each winner receives a prize of $7,500.

The finalists for the 2012 awards were announced in late September and the winners presented by Mayor Watson at a ceremony hosted by Charlotte Gray, award-winning biographer and historian, and Martin Vanasse, Cultural Reporter with Radio-Canada on October 24, 2012 at the Shenkman Arts Centre.

For more information, including the complete list of finalists, visit the new Ottawa Book Awards/Prix du livre d’Ottawa website at

The English Fiction category is awarded to an outstanding published work of fiction including novels, short stories, children’s literature and poetry published in the previous year.   In the English Fiction category, two of the five nominees were books for young adults. They were

• Tilt
by Alan Cumyn
Groundwood Books

• The Summer of Permanent Wants 
by Jamieson Findlay
Doubleday Canada

The other nominees for this award were:
  • Alone in the Classroom by Elizabeth Hay (McClelland & Stewart)
  • REQUIEM by Frances Itani (HarperCollins Publishers) 
  • Err by Shane Rhodes (Nightwood Editions)
Congratulations to the winner of this award:

The Summer of Permanent Wants
by Jamieson Findlay
Doubleday Canada
241 pp.
Ages 10-14

"After losing her powers of speech due to a mysterious illness, eleven-year-old Emmeline joins her Gran on a journey along the Rideau Canal system in a boat (Permanent Wants) that is also a bookstore. Picardy Bob, Consolata LeGrand and a carnival of other characters appear around every bend in this poignant ode to the redemptive powers of story-telling."
Description from the Ottawa Book Awards website 

Thursday, 22 November 2012

2012 TD Canadian Children's Literature Awards: Winners Announced!

Last night, the Canadian Children's Book Centre and TD Bank Group presented the 2012 TD CANADIAN CHILDREN'S LITERATURE AWARDS at the Ritz-Carlton in Toronto. A spectacular reception preceded the awards ceremony at which six awards were presented. (Le Prix TD de littérature canadienne pour l’enfance et la jeunesse was presented earlier in Montreal.)
Hosted by CBC's Garvia Bailey, the program began with addresses by Tim Hockey, President and CEO of TD Canada Trust and Todd Kylie, President, Board of Directors of the Canadian Children's Book Centre.
The selection for this year's TD Grade One Book Giveaway, a free book for all Canadian Grade 1 students, was announced to be I've Lost My Cat by author and illustrator Philippe Beha who delighted the audience with his anecdotes about his book.

Congratulations to the following winners of these auspicious children's book awards. 

TD Canadian Children’s Literature Award
  • $30,000 Award
  • Sponsored by TD Bank Group
  • Presented by Tim Hockey, President and CEO of TD Canada Trust

   Prix TD de littérature canadienne pour l’enfance et la jeunesse 
  • $25,000 Award
  • Sponsored by TD Bank Group

     Marilyn Baillie Picture Book Award     

  • $20,000 Award
  • Sponsored by A. Charles Baillie
  • Presented by Marilyn Baillie

Norma Fleck Award For Canadian Children's Non-Fiction

  • $10,000 Award
  • Sponsored by the Fleck Family Foundation
  • Presented by Quinn Fleck and David Fleck


Geoffrey Bilson Award for Historical Fiction for Young People

  • $5,000 Award
  • Sponsored by the Canadian Children’s Book Centre’s Bilson Endowment Fund
  • Presented by  Todd Kylie

John Spray Mystery Award

  • $5,000 Award 
  • Sponsored by John Spray, President, Mantis Investigation Agency
  • Presented by John Spray

Monica Hughes Award for Science Fiction and Fantasy

  • $5,000 Award  
  • Sponsored by HarperCollins Canada
  • Presented by Adrienne Hughes

Everything from the hors-d'oeuvres, drink, dinner, company, presentations, champagne, desserts, company, chatting, awards, company, was phenomenal.  Some of the authors and/or illustrators in attendance included: Janet Wilson, Kenneth Oppel, Marina Cohen, Sylvia McNicoll, Gillian Chan, Rebecca Bender, Richard Scrimger, Kevin Sylvester, Natalie Hyde, Hélène Boudreau, Shane Peacock, Susan Hughes, Catherine Rondina, Mahtab Narsimhan, Hugh Brewster, Nancy Hartry, Lesley Livingston, Adrienne Kress, Cheryl Rainfield, Rona Arato, Nancy Runstedler, Deborah Ellis, Dave Whamond, P.J. Sarah Collins, Vikki VanSickle, Cary Fagan, Geneviève Côté, Philippe Beha, Trilby Kent, Deborah Kerbel, Rob Mills, Karen Reczuch, Susan Vande Griek, Frieda Wishinsky, Barbara Reid, Kate Cayley, Andrea Beck, Jo Ellen Bogart, Jean Little - and that small fraction includes only those with whom I spoke, recognized, or remembered.  With 400 persons in attendance, including publishers, publicists, editors, book sellers, literacy specialists and children's lit advocates, the TD Canadian Children's Literature Awards Celebration is an event rich in literati, appreciation, words, camaraderie, and encouragement.  

Thanks to the TD Bank Group and the Canadian Children's Book Centre for hosting such a wonderful Canadian event.

Sunday, 18 November 2012

Rocky Mountain Book Award 2012/2013 nominees

Recently, the twenty books for readers in Grades 4 through 7 were announced for the Rocky Mountain Book Award, Alberta's readers' choice program for young people. The twenty nominees, which must have been published in the last two years in Canada, include both fiction and non-fiction titles which "portray a broad range of family, social, and cultural backgrounds." (Retrieved from on March 27, 2012)

The time-line for this book award is as follows:
  • Shortlist of twenty titles: announced in November;
  • Reading: takes place from November to April;
  • Voting by young readers: takes place from mid-March to mid-April;
  • Winner: announced at the end of April.

The 2012-2013  nominees are listed here (fiction on the right, nonfiction on the left):

The Case of the Missing Deed
by Ellen Schwartz
Tundra Books

Deadly Voyage: R.M.S. Titanic, Jamie Laidlaw, April 14, 1912
by Hugh Brewster
Scholastic Canada

Dragon Seer's Gift
by Janet McNaughton
HarperCollins Canada

Explorers Who Made It...Or Died Trying
by Frieda Wishinsky and Bill Dickson
Scholastic Canada

Harry Houdini: The Legend of the World's Greatest Escape Artist
by Janice Weaver and Chris Lane
Abrams Books for Young Readers/ABRAMS

Kings and Carpenters: One Hundred Bible Land Jobs You Might Have Praised or Panned
by Laurie Coulter and Mary NewBigging
Annick Press

Lizards in the Sky: Animals Where You Least Expect Them
by Claire Eamer
Annick Press

Mathemagic! Number Tricks
by Lynda Colgan and Jane Kirusu
Kids Can Press

No Ordinary Day
by Deborah Ellis
Groundwood Books

Nowhere Else on Earth: Standing Tall for the Great Bear Rainforest
by Caitlyn Vernon
Orca Book Publishers

Out of the Box
by Michelle Mulder
Orca Book Publishers

Saving Arm Pit
by Natalie Hyde
Fitzhenry & Whiteside

Shannen and the Dream for a School
by Janet Wilson
Second Story Press

Ten Birds
by Cybèle Young
Kids Can Press

Timber Wolf
by Caroline Pignat
Red Deer Press

Totally Human: Why We Look and Act the Way We Do
by Cynthia Pratt-Nicholson and Dianne Eastman
Kids Can Press

by David Skuy
Scholastic Canada

Viola Desmond Won't be Budged
by Jody Nyasha Warner and Richard Rudnicki
Groundwood Books

When Apples Grew Noses and White Horses Flew: Tales of Ti-Jean 
by Jan Andrews and Dušan Petričić
Groundwood Books

The Whole Truth
by Kit Pearson
HarperCollins Canada

IBBY Canada's nominees for 2013 Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award

The Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award (named for the beloved author of Pippi Longstocking) is the world's largest prize (SEK 5 million; well over $750 000 US)  for children's and young adult literature.  Even more mind-boggling is the fact that the Swedish government fully funds this award which is administered by the Swedish Arts Council.

On October 11, 2012, the 207 nominees from 67 countries were announced at the International Frankfurt Book Fair.  The 2013 Award recipient(s) will be announced on March 26, 2013 at Vimmerby, Sweden (birthplace of Lindgren) and broadcast at the Bologna Children's Book Fair and at

The 2013 nominees from Canada children's authors are Sarah Ellis and Jean Little.

Sarah Ellis
Her website is at

Though I'm more likely to focus on her varied and wide collection of writing, I do recommend a trip to Sarah Ellis' website to learn that her favourite vacuum attachment is the crevice tool, that she has never liked raisin pie or show-offs, that she loves doodling, and that she has recently welcomed a lovely calico into her home.

Some of her writing for young people includes:

Picture Books:
  • Ben Over Night (Fitzhenry & Whiteside, 2005)
  • Big Ben (Fitzhenry & Whiteside, 2001)
  • Next Stop! (Fitzhenry & Whiteside, 2000)
  • The Queen's Feet (Red Deer Press, 2006)
  • Salmon Forest (Greystone Books, 2003)

  • The Baby Project (Groundwood, 1986)
  • Odd Man Out (Groundwood, 2006)
  • Out of the Blue (Groundwood/Douglas & McIntyre, 1994)
  • Pick-Up Sticks (Groundwood/Douglas & McIntyre, 1991)
  • Several Lives of Orphan Jack (Groundwood, 2003)
  • That Fatal Night: The Titanic Diary of Dorothy Wilton, Halifax, Nova Scotia, 1912 (Scholastic Canada, 2011)

Jean Little
Her website at

Jean Little shares her very poignant autobiography on her website, revealing the trials of her own disability as the impetus for her award-winning collection of writing, in which young people with their own hardships find support and coping strategies to help them persevere.

Her extensive collection of writing includes:

Picture Books:
  • Jess Was the Brave One (Penguin, 1991) 
  • Listen, Said the Donkey (Scholastic Canada, 2006)
  • Pippin the Christmas Pig (Scholastic Canada, 2003)
  • The Sweetest One of All (Scholastic Canada, 2008)
  • Wishes (Scholastic Canada, 2012)

  • The Belonging Place (Penguin, 1997)
  • Dancing Through the Snow (Scholastic Canada, 2007)
  • His Banner Over Me (Penguin, 1995)
  • Home From Afar (Little Brown & Co., 1965)
  • If I Die Before I Wake: The Flu Epidemic Diary of Fiona Macgregor, Toronto, Ontario, 1918 (Scholastic Canada, 2007)
  • Kate (HarperCollins, 1971)
  • Listen for the Singing (Stoddart, 1977)
  • Lost and Found (Penguin, 1985)
  • Mama's Going to Buy You a Mockingbird (Penguin, 1984)
  • Mine for Keeps (Penguin, 1962)
  • Rescue Pup (Orca, 2004)
  • Somebody Else's Summer (Penguin, 2005)
  • Willow and Twig (Penguin, 2000)

We look forward to the announcement on March 26, 2013 though we know Sarah Ellis and Jean Little are already winners in the realm of youngCanLit.  Congratulations on your nominations!

2012 Hamilton Literary Awards: True Blue wins

On the evening of November 12, 2012, the Hamilton Arts Council announced the winners of its 19th annual Hamilton Literary Awards, at Theatre Aquarius' Norman and Louise Haac Studio.  The following seven awards were presented:

  • The Bookworm Award for FICTION BOOK
  • Judy Marsales Real Estate Brokerage Award for NON-FICTION BOOK
  • Bryan Prince Bookseller Award for POETRY BOOK
  • Reliable Life Insurance Award for CHILDREN AND YOUNG ADULT BOOK
  • Line Art Consulting Award for SHORT ARTICLE
  • Epic Books Award for SHORT STORY
  • Seraphim Editions Award for INDIVIDUAL POEM

The nominees for the Reliable Life Insurance Award for Children and Young Adult Book included the following authors and titles: 

Jean Rae Baxter for
Broken Trail
(Ronsdale Press, 2011)

Deborah Ellis for  
True Blue  
(Pajama Press, 2011)

Estelle Salata for  
Tori's Happy Journal
(Starburst Digital Rights International, 2011)

Marsha Forchuk Skrypuch for  
Last Airlift: A Vietnamese Orphan's Rescue from War
(Pajama Press, 2011)

The winner of the Reliable Life Insurance Award for Children and Young Adult Book is

Deborah Ellis


True Blue
Pajama Press
229 pp.
Ages 11-14
Reviewed here at CanLitforLittleCanadians on October 31, 2011

to all worthy nominees and winner 
of the Children and Young Adult Hamilton Literary Award