2019 Sunburst Award for Excellence in Canadian Literature of the Fantastic

The Sunburst Award for Excellence in Canadian Literature of the Fantastic has celebrated the best in Canadian fantasy since 2001 and takes its name from the debut novel of Phyllis Gotlieb, one of the first authors to publish contemporary Canadian speculative fiction. We would like to congratulate Rachel Hartman whose novel Tess of the Road won this year’s Young Adult Fiction award.

Tess of the Road
By Rachel Hartman
544 Pages | Ages 12+ | Penguin Teen Canada
ISBN 9780385685887

From the Sunburst Awards jury:

Rachel Hartman’s Tess of the Road is a tour de force, a novel that dives headfirst into its heroine’s complex, messy, morally multifaceted world while never losing sight of the story at its heart. Hartman’s Tess is on a journey whose point is less self-discovery than it is a simple acceptance of self-worth. Her credo, “Walk on,” comes to encompass not just her physical journey but her struggle to accept that she matters and that it is possible for others to find worth in her. Tess’s progress takes place in a richly imagined fantastic landscape where even the deeply alien quigutl are so deftly painted that the unfamiliar becomes known and comforting. The reader is able to journey with Tess into an understanding that the seemingly strictest and most unshakeable beliefs can be based on lack of knowledge or unwillingness to embrace change.

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