Late off the mark…

Way back in November, I attended the 2016 Canadian Children’s Book Centre Awards in Toronto, as one of the jurors for the Geoffrey Bilson Award for Historical Fiction for Young People. Even though it is posted online, and the news is rather old at this point, here is the list of finalists and winners (from the Children’s Book Centre website):

  • TD Canadian Children’s Literature Award ($30,000)
    Missing Nimâmâ
    , written by Melanie Florence and illustrated by François Thisdale
    Other finalists:
    The Nest, by Kenneth Oppel
    That Squeak, written by Carolyn Beck and illustrated by François Thisdale
    The Wolf-Birds, written and illustrated by Willow Dawson
    A Year of Borrowed Men, written by Michelle Barker and illustrated by Renné Benoit
  • Marilyn Baillie Picture Book Award ($20,000)
    Sometimes I Feel Like a Fox
    , written and illustrated by Danielle Daniel
    Other finalists:
    In a Cloud of Dust, written by Alma Fullerton and illustrated by Brian Deines
    InvisiBill, written by Maureen Fergus and illustrated by Dušan Petričić
    Sidewalk Flowers: storyline by JonArno Lawson; illustrated by Sydney Smith
    The Wolf-Birds, written and illustrated by Willow Dawson
  • Norma Fleck Award for Canadian Children’s Non-Fiction ($10,000)
    Sex Is a Funny Word: A Book About Bodies, Feelings, and You
    , written by Cory Silverberg and illustrated by Fiona Smyth
    Other finalists:
    The Art of the Possible: An Everyday Guide to Politics, written by Edward Keenan and illustrated by Julie McLaughlin
    A Beginner’s Guide to Immortality: From Alchemy to Avatars, written by Maria Birmingham and illustrated by Josh Holinaty
    Child Soldier: When Boys and Girls Are Used in War (CitizenKid), written by Jessica Dee Humphreys and Michel Chikwanine, and illustrated by Claudia Dávila
    Foodprints: The Story of What We Eat, by Paula Ayer
  • Geoffrey Bilson Award for Historical Fiction For Young People ($5,000)
    Uncertain Soldier, by Karen Bass
    Other finalists:
    Avis Dolphin, written by Frieda Wishinsky and illustrated by Willow Dawson
    The Farmerettes, by Gisela Tobien Sherman
    Mad Miss Mimic, by Sarah Henstra
    The Unquiet Past (Secrets), by Kelley Armstrong
  • John Spray Mystery Award ($5,000)
    The Blackthorn Key,
    by Kevin Sands
    Other finalists:
    The Case of the Missing Moonstone (The Wollstonecraft Detective Agency), by Jordan Stratford
    Delusion Road, by Don Aker
    The Masked Truth, by Kelley Armstrong
    Masterminds, by Gordon Korman
  • Monica Hughes Award for Science Fiction and Fantasy ($5,000)
    The Scorpion Rules
    , by Erin Bow
    Other finalists:
    Clover’s Luck (Magical Animal Adoption Agency), by Kallie George
    The Nest, by Kenneth Oppel
    A Thousand Nights, by E.K. Johnston
    The Unquiet, by Mikaela Everett
  • Amy Mathers Teen Book Award ($5,000)
    The Truth Commission, by Susan Juby
    Other finalists:
    5 to 1, by Holly Bodger
    The Scorpion Rules (Prisoners of Peace), by Erin Bow
    Trouble is a Friend of Mine, by Stephanie Tromly
    Young Man With Camera, by Emil Sher

The weekend of the awards, having met so many wonderful authors I did not previously know (or in some cases know about), I made myself a promise to read and review all of the winners, at least, and as many of the nominees as I could get to. In terms of the winners, having (not surprisingly) already reviewed the winner of the Bilson award, Uncertain Soldier (for this blog), as well as Missing Nimâmâ and The Truth Commission (for Resource Links magazine), I decided to start with the John Spray Mystery Award, for which I had read none of the finalists. I have reviewed The Case of the Missing Moonstone (which I just happened to get my hands on first) and have now read The Blackthorn Key, and will post that review soon. As I review the books, I will update the links above.

(I have to say that both The Blackthorn Key and The Case of the Missing Moonstone should have been entered as contenders for the Bilson award, as well. Publishers take note: if you don’t enter, your authors can’t win, and The Blackthorn Key would certainly have made my short-list of nominations this year.)

In addition to adding these excellent titles to the list of books I want to review, and the “to review” pile of already-read novels by my desk, right beside the older pile of “to read then review” novels, I was sent a few books by authors I met at the gala and really enjoyed talking with. So I have my work cut out for me for the next few years, even without the increasing number of really great books for young adults and children being written by Canadian authors. I’d better get on this…


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