Canada’s Forest of Reading Winners

By Lena Coakley

This week 6000 people attended Canada’s largest children’s literature event, the Forest of Reading, Festival of Trees—two days of award ceremonies, writing workshops, author signings, and other exciting activities that celebrate the shared experience of reading.

Child readers from participating schools across the province of Ontario chose the winning books. The awards in each age category are named for a different Canadian tree, and the winner plaques feature original art by a child reader.

Blue Spruce award winner Martin Springett

2013 Blue Spruce™ Award Winner (K-grade 2): Kate and Pippin by Martin Springett and Isobel Springett (Puffin Canada/Penguin Group)

2013 Silver Birch® Express Award Winner (grades 3-4): Margaret and the Moth Tree by Brit Trogen and Kari Trogen (Kids Can Press)

2013 Silver Birch® Fiction Award Winner (grades 5-6): Making Bombs for Hitler by Marsha Forchuk Skrypuch (Scholastic Canada)

2013 Silver Birch® Non-Fiction Award Winner (grades 3-6): No Shelter Here: Making the World a Kinder Place for Dogs by Rob Laidlaw (Pajama Press)

2013 Red Maple™ Fiction Award Winner (grades 7-8): The Vindico by Wesley King (G.P. Putnam’s Sons/ Penguin Group)

Red Maple Non Fiction winner Bill Swan

2013 Red Maple™ Non-Fiction Award Winner (grades 7-8): Real Justice: Fourteen and Sentenced to Death by Bill Swan (James Lorimer & Company)

 White Pine winner Jeyn Roberts and nominee Lena Coakley

2013 White Pine™ Award Winner (grades 9-12): Dark Inside by Jeyn Roberts (Simon & Schuster BFYR)

Le Prix Tamarac 2013 (French language fiction, grades 5-6): Le mystère des jumelles Barnes by Carole Tremblay (Bayard Canada Livres)

Le Prix Tamarac Express 2013 (French language fiction, grades 3-4): Billy Stuart: 1. Les Zintrépides by Alain M. Bergeron and Sampar (Éditions Michel Quintin)

Le Prix Peuplier 2013 (French language fiction, grades K-2): Le zoo de Yayaho by Geneviève Lemieux and Bruno St-Aubin (Bayard Canada Livres)

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 became 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, her debut novel, was called “a stunning teen debut” by Kirkus Reviews. It is a Junior Library Guild selection and an ABC new voices selection.

See also New Voice: Lena Coakley on Witchlanders.