Canadian Children’s-YA Literature Awards

By Melanie J. Fishbane

This fall a number of awards were given out to the best of Canadian children and young adult books.

Here’s the rundown of who won, the shortlist and more.

The 2017 Canadian Children’s Book Centre Awards

Every November, in a gala event at The Carlu in downtown Toronto, the Canadian Children’s Book Centre (CCBC), in partnership with TD Bank and other donors, gives out $145,000 in prizes to the best in Canadian children’s writing and illustration.

A similar award ceremony occurs in Montreal, Quebec distributing French language awards.

English Awards:

TD Canadian Children’s Literature Award ($30,000) Winner:

The Tragic Tale of the Great Auk by Jan Thornhill (Groundwood Books, 2016)

Finalists ($2,500):

Marilyn Baillie Picture Book Award ($20,000) (Sponsored by A Charles Baillie):

The Snow Knows by Jennifer McGrath, illustrated by Josée Bisaillon (Nimbus Publishing)

Normal Fleck Award for Canadian Children’s Non-Fiction ($10,000) (Sponsored by the Fleck Family Foundation):

Canada Year by Year by Elizabeth MacLeod, illustrated by Sydney Smith (Kids Can Press)

Geoffrey Bilson Award for Historical Fiction for Young People ($5,000) (Sponsored by the Canadian Children’s Book Centre’s Bilson Endowment Fund):

Blackthorn Key, Book 2: The Mark of the Plague by Kevin Sands (Aladdin)

John Spray Mystery Award ($5000) (Sponsored by John Spray):

Shooter by Caroline Pignat (Razorbill Canada)

Amy Mathers Teen Book Award ($5000) (Sponsored by Sylvan Learning):

Exit, Pursued by a Bear by E.K. Johnston (Dutton Books)

See the full list of finalists and comments from the jurors.

French Awards

Prix TD de littérature canadienne pour l’enfance et la jeunesse ($30,000):

Même pas vrai by Larry Trembly, illustrated by Guillaume Perreualt (Éditions de la Bagnole)

Prix Harry Black d l’album jeunesse ($5000) (first time awarded):

Au-delà de la forêt by Nadine Robert and illustrated by Gérard DuBois (Comme des géants)

Governor General’s Awards

Every fall the Canada Council for the Arts gives the prestigious Governor General’s Literary Awards, which recognizes the best in Canadian English and French books.

Winner Young People’s Literature – Text (English):

The Marrow Thieves by Cherie Demaline (Dancing Cat Books)

Shortlist Young People’s Literature – Text (English)

Winner Young People’s Literature – Illustrated Books (English):

When We Were Alone by David A. Robertson, illustrated by Julie Fleet (Highwater Press)

Shortlist Young People’s Literature – Illustrated Books (English):

Winner Young People’s Literature Text (French):

L’Importance de Mathilde Poisson by Véronique Drouin (Bayard Canada)

Shortlist Young People’s Literature Text (French):

Winner Young People’s Illustrated Book (French):

Azadah by Jacques Goldstyn (Les Éditions de la Pastèque)

Shortlist Young People’s Illustrated Book (French):

Cynsational Notes

Cynsations reporter Melanie J. Fishbane covers children’s-YA writing, illustration, publishing and other book news originating in Canada.
Photo by Ayelet Tsabari

Melanie holds an M.F.A. in Writing for Children and Young Adults from the Vermont College of Fine Arts and an M.A. in History from Concordia University.

With over seventeen years’ experience in children’s publishing, she lectures internationally on children’s literature. A freelance writer and social media consultant, her work can be found in magazines, such as The Quill & Quire
Melanie also loves writing essays and her first one, “My Pen Shall Heal, Not Hurt”: Writing as Therapy in L.M. Montgomery’s Rilla of Ingleside and The Blythes Are Quoted,” is included in L.M. Montgomery’s Rainbow Valleys: The Ontario Years 1911-1942 (McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2015). And, her short story, “The New Girl,” was published in the Zoetic NonBinary Review. 
Her first YA novel, Maud: A Novel Inspired by the Life of L.M. Montgomery, was published by Penguin Teen in 2017.
The novel was featured on the Huffington Post’s Summer Reading List, a top pick for the Ontario Library Association’s Forest of Reading Kids Summer Reading pick and winner of Hamilton Public Library’s Next Top Novel.
Melanie lives in Toronto with her partner and their very entertaining cat, Merlin.