The winners of the 2011 Canadian Children's Book Awards were announced on Tuesday October 4 at a gala event in Toronto. Erin Bow took the TD Canadian Children's Literature Award for Plain Kate, a novel about a girl whose wood-carving skills mark her as a witch, and which the judges proclaimed "a triumph of imagination."
The Marilyn Baillie Picture Book Award went to I Know Here by Laurel Crozer and Matt James, (and which was one of the books that Andrew Larsen read on his summer vacation). Of I Know Here, the judges noted: "The centre of this child’s universe is a trailer camp in the northern wilderness, rendered in all its details with brilliant harmony between Croza’s affecting, naturalistic words and James's evocative, childlike paintings."
Case Closed? Nine Mysteries Unlocked by Modern Science was winner of the Norma Fleck Award for Canadian Children's Non-fiction. The book, written by Susan Hughes and illustrated by Michael Wandelmeier, was proclaimed by the judges to be a "perfect combination of science, story and history, compellingly presented..."
The Geoffrey Bilson Award for Historical Fiction was awarded to The Glory Wind by Valerie Sherrard, which was also on Andrew Larsen's list. (Larsen, apparently, chose his books especially well this summer.) From the judges' comments: "The Glory Wind effectively depicts life during the 1940s, but still manages to be a modern story that resonates with contemporary readers… It did everything for me that a good novel should do – it made me smile, it made me angry, it brought me to tears.”
And finally, The Spy in the House by Y.S. Lee won the John Spray mystery award. The judges remarked, "“In A Spy in the House Lee has got Victorian London right; this is what Dickens’ world really smelled like, literally and morally..."
Check out the Canadian Children's Book Centre's Award Nominees Book List for some more great recommendations.