Canadian Children’s Book Centre Awards Announced

By Lena Coakley

Five prestigious Canadian children’s book awards were announced last night with prizes totalling $65,000—and next year there will be one more!

There was much excitement in Toronto last night as attendees of the Canadian Children’s Book Centre’s annual gala gathered to hear the announcement of five prestigious children’s book awards, including Canada’s most lucrative, The TD Children’s Literature Award, worth $25,000.

By Monica Hughes

The evening held another surprise, however. HarperCollins Canada editor Hadley Dyer stepped to the podium to announce another major children’s book award that will be administered by the CCBC.

The Monica Hughes Award will honour excellence in the children’s science fiction and fantasy genre and comes with a $5,000 cash prize which will be awarded annually beginning in October 2012.

The award is sponsored by HarperCollins Canada in memory of the late Monica Hughes, the author of over forty books, many of them works of science fiction and fantasy for young readers.

Many congratulations to last night’s winners:

TD Canadian Children’s Literature Award ($25,000): Plain Kate by Erin Bow (Scholastic Canada);

Marilyn Baillie Picture Book Award ($20,000): I Know Here by Laurel Croza, illustrated by Matt James (Groundwood);

Norma Fleck Award for Canadian Children’s Non-Fiction ($10,000): Case Closed! Nine Mysteries Unlocked by Modern Science by Susan Hughes, illustrated by Michael Wandelmaier (Kids Can);

Geoffrey Bilson Award for Historical Fiction for Young People ($5,000): The Glory Wind by Valerie Sherrard (Fitzhenry & Whiteside);

John Spray Mystery Award ($5,000): A Spy in the House (The Agency) by Y.S. Lee (Candlewick).

For more information, see the Canadian Children’s Book Centre’s website.

Cynsational Notes

Lena Coakley was born in Milford, Connecticut and grew up on Long Island. In high school, creative writing was the only class she ever failed (nothing was ever good enough to hand in!), but, undeterred, she went on to study writing at Sarah Lawrence College.

She got interested in young adult literature when she moved to Toronto, Canada, and began working for CANSCAIP, the Canadian Society of Children’s Authors, Illustrators and Performers, where she eventually became the Administrative Director.

She is now a full-time writer living in Toronto. Witchlanders is her debut novel.

Lena contributes news and interviews from the children’s-YA creative, literature and publishing community in Canada.