Winners of the 2012 Canadian Children’s Literature Awards

The Canadian Children’s Book Centre (CCBC) is thrilled to announce the winners of its six major Canadian children’s book awards – the 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, John Spray Mystery Award and the inaugural Monica Hughes Award for Science Fiction and Fantasy. The winners were announced on November 21st at a gala event at The Ritz-Carlton in Toronto.

TD Canadian Children’s Literature Award ($30,000)
Sponsored by TD Bank Group
Stones for My Father
Written by Trilby Kent (London, UK)
Tundra Books
for ages 11-14
“A riveting book about the Anglo-Boer war at the turn of the last century and Canada’s place in it… Kent draws her characters and the landscape around them in penetrating prose…Today’s children will develop heartfelt admiration and respect for Corlie Rioux. Though this young heroine struggles with the loss of parental love, a special friendship, and her home, she holds steadfast, brave, and true and emerges a survivor… At times raw, but always gripping, this novel packs an emotional punch.”

Marilyn Baillie Picture Book Award ($20,000)
Sponsored by A. Charles Baillie
Without You
Written and illustrated by Geneviève Côté (Montreal, QC)
Kids Can Press
for ages 3-6
“Minimal text speaks volumes about the give and take of friendships and the rewards of togetherness… Rabbit and Pig have distinct personalities that young children can easily relate to… It’s easy to feel affection for the two protagonists who are joyfully portrayed in Côté’s captivating and exuberant illustrations… Loving care and attention to detail in words and pictures add up to a book children will cherish.”

Norma Fleck Award for Canadian Children’s Non-Fiction ($10,000)
Sponsored by the Fleck Family Foundation
Written by Susan Vande Griek (Halifax, NS)
Illustrated by Karen Reczuch (Acton, ON)
Groundwood Books
for ages 4-7
“This impressive picture book offers a compelling up close perspective of the seasonal life cycle of this iconic Canadian bird…The text is a rare seamless mixture of poetry and information – and the illustrations are nothing short of spectacular… This is such a novel approach to non-fiction, seamlessly creating poetry that manages always to be beautiful, evocative and scientifically precise augmented by illustrations that both teach and delight.”

Geoffrey Bilson Award for Historical Fiction for Young People ($5,000)
Sponsored by the Canadian Children’s Book Centre’s Bilson Endowment Fund
The Hangman in the Mirror
Written by Kate Cayley (Toronto, ON)
Annick Press
for ages 13 and up
“A truly captivating piece of historical fiction that brings to life the gritty realities of life in 18th century New France… Cayley’s skills as a playwright are evident in the way the novel reads…The setting is so vivid and Cayley masterfully depicts the extreme disparity between the lives of the rich and the poor… Françoise is a delightfully multi-dimensional and very realistic character and Cayley does a fabulous job of capturing the essence of life at that time… A thoroughly engaging story that keeps readers riveted.”

John Spray Mystery Award ($5,000)
Sponsored by John Spray
Charlie’s Key
Written by Rob Mills (Peterborough, ON)
Orca Book Publishers
for ages 11 and up
“Charlie’s Key is a complex mystery with well-developed characters, good suspense and a wonderful evocation of place… Mills takes us along on a thrilling journey through the troubled history of Charlie’s family and Newfoundland itself… The mystery will have you guessing until the last scene and the writing will have you hoping for more Charlie adventures in the future.”

Monica Hughes Award for Science Fiction and Fantasy ($5,000)
Sponsored by HarperCollins Canada in memory of the late Monica Hughes
What Happened to Serenity?
Written by P.J. Sarah Collins (Vancouver, BC)
Red Deer Press
for ages 12 and up
“An engaging blend of science fiction, Canadian history, adolescent growth and potent regional writing… Collins cleverly combines the strong elements of a good mystery with the frightening possibilities of dystopian YA, and creates a hauntingly beautiful and contrasting worldview of post-apocalypse Canada… Collins’ poetry and prose echo Katherine’s inner conflict with her outer world, giving the reader a thrilling and satisfying read…This is intelligent, compelling, gorgeously written science fiction at its best.”


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