2021 Canadian Children’s Book Centre Books Awards Finalists

Every year, the Canadian Children’s Book Centre celebrates the best work by Canadian creators with the CCBC Book Awards.  Congratulations to all our nominated authors and illustrators!

Amy Mathers Teen Book Award

Followers
By Raziel Reid
336 Pages | Ages 14+ | Hardcover
ISBN 9780735263802 | Penguin Teen Canada
After a disastrous date results in her arrest, sixteen-year-old Lily Rhode is horrified to discover her mugshot is leaked on a gossip website. Lily is the niece of Whitney Paley, a Hollywood housewife and star of reality show Platinum Triangle, a soap-opera-style docu-series in the vein of Real Housewives of Beverly Hills and The Hills, revolving around several glamorous families living in the Beverly Hills, Bel Air and Holmby Hills neighborhoods of Los Angeles. When Lily’s mom kicks her out of their trailer home in the Valley, Whitney (Lily’s mom’s estranged sister) invites her to live with her, her movie-star husband, Patrick, and their daughter, Hailey. Lily is set up in the pool house and thrust into the company of reality-star offspring – kids who are born with silver spoon emojis on their feed. Lily’s cousin Hailey and the other teens have lived their entire lives on camera and are masters of deception, with Hailey leading the pack. As Lily learns from the Paleys how to navigate her newfound fame, she finds herself ensnared in the unfolding storylines. What Lily doesn’t know is that she’s just a pawn being used on the show to make the Paleys look sympathetic to viewers while distracting from on-set sexual misconduct rumors surrounding super hero dad Patrick Paley . . . Is Lily safe under Patrick’s roof? Or will Lily be Patrick’s downfall? If she isn’t destroyed by Hailey first. When Lily catches the eye of Hailey’s designated leading man Joel Strom – it’s war!

He Must Like You
By Danielle Younge-Ullman
336 Pages | Ages 14+ | Hardcover
ISBN 9780735265691 | Penguin Teen Canada
Libby’s having a rough senior year. Her older brother absconded with his college money and is bartending on a Greek island. Her dad just told her she’s got to pay for college herself, and he’s evicting her when she graduates so he can AirBnB her room. A drunken hook-up with her coworker Kyle has left her upset and confused. So when Perry Ackerman, serial harasser and the most handsy customer at The Goat where she waitresses, pushes her over the edge, she can hardly be blamed for dumping a pitcher of sangria on his head. Unfortunately, Perry is a local industry hero, the restaurant’s most important customer and Libby’s mom’s boss. Now Libby has to navigate the fallout of her outburst, find an apartment and deal with her increasing rage at the guys who’ve screwed up her life–and her increasing crush on the one guy who truly gets her. As timely as it is timeless, He Must Like You is a story about consent, rage, and revenge, and the potential we all have to be better people.

Geoffrey Bilson Award for Historical Fiction for Young People

Barry Squires, Full Tilt
By Heather T. Smith
232 Pages | Ages 12+ | Hardcover
ISBN 9780735267466 | Penguin Teen Canada
It’s 1995. When the Full Tilt Dancers give an inspiring performance at the opening of the new bingo hall, twelve-year-old Finbar (Barry) Squires wants desperately to join the troupe. Led by Father O’Flaherty, the Full Tilt Irish Step Dancers are the most sought-after act in St. John’s, Newfoundland (closely followed by popular bagpiper, Alfie Bragg and his Agony Bag). Having watched Riverdance twice, Barry figures he’ll nail the audition. And good thing too — it’d be nice to be known for something other than the port wine stain on his cheek. With questionable talent and an unpredictable temper, Barry’s journey to stardom is jeopardized by his parents’ refusal to take his dreams seriously. Thankfully, Barry has the support of a lively cast of characters: his ever-present grandmother, Nanny Squires; his adorable baby brother, Gord; an old British rocker named Uneven Steven; a group of geriatrics from the One Step Closer to God Nursing Home; and Saibal, a friend with whom Barry gets up to no good.

Marilyn Baillie Picture Book Award

The Barnabus ProjectThe Barnabus Project
By The Fan Brothers
72 Pages | Ages 5-9 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780735263260 | Tundra Books
Deep underground beneath Perfect Pets, where children can buy genetically engineered “perfect” creatures, there is a secret lab. Barnabus and his friends live in this lab, but none of them is perfect. They are all Failed Projects. Barnabus has never been outside his tiny bell jar, yet he dreams of one day seeing the world above ground that his pal Pip the cockroach has told him about: a world with green hills and trees, and buildings that reach all the way to the sky, lit with their own stars. But Barnabus may have to reach the outside world sooner than he thought, because the Green Rubber Suits are about to recycle all Failed Projects . . . and Barnabus doesn’t want to be made into a fluffier pet with bigger eyes. He just wants to be himself. So he decides it’s time for he and the others to escape. With his little trunk and a lot of cooperation and courage, Barnabus sets out to find freedom – and a place where he and his friends can finally be accepted for who they are. This suspenseful, poignant and magical story about following your dreams and finding where you truly belong will draw readers into a surreal, lushly detailed world in which perfection really means being true to yourself and your friends.

TD Canadian Children’s Literature Award

The Barnabus ProjectThe Barnabus Project
By The Fan Brothers
72 Pages | Ages 5-9 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780735263260 | Tundra Books
Deep underground beneath Perfect Pets, where children can buy genetically engineered “perfect” creatures, there is a secret lab. Barnabus and his friends live in this lab, but none of them is perfect. They are all Failed Projects. Barnabus has never been outside his tiny bell jar, yet he dreams of one day seeing the world above ground that his pal Pip the cockroach has told him about: a world with green hills and trees, and buildings that reach all the way to the sky, lit with their own stars. But Barnabus may have to reach the outside world sooner than he thought, because the Green Rubber Suits are about to recycle all Failed Projects . . . and Barnabus doesn’t want to be made into a fluffier pet with bigger eyes. He just wants to be himself. So he decides it’s time for he and the others to escape. With his little trunk and a lot of cooperation and courage, Barnabus sets out to find freedom – and a place where he and his friends can finally be accepted for who they are. This suspenseful, poignant and magical story about following your dreams and finding where you truly belong will draw readers into a surreal, lushly detailed world in which perfection really means being true to yourself and your friends.

The Barren Grounds: The Misewa Saga #1
By David A. Robertson
256 Pages | Ages 10+ | Hardcover
ISBN 9780735266100 | Puffin Canada
Morgan and Eli, two Indigenous children forced away from their families and communities, are brought together in a foster home in Winnipeg, Manitoba. They each feel disconnected, from their culture and each other, and struggle to fit in at school and at their new home – until they find a secret place, walled off in an unfinished attic bedroom. A portal opens to another reality, Askí, bringing them onto frozen, barren grounds, where they meet Ochek (Fisher). The only hunter supporting his starving community, Misewa, Ochek welcomes the human children, teaching them traditional ways to survive. But as the need for food becomes desperate, they embark on a dangerous mission. Accompanied by Arik, a sassy Squirrel they catch stealing from the trapline, they try to save Misewa before the icy grip of winter freezes everything – including them.

When Emily Was SmallWhen Emily Was Small
By Lauren Soloy
44 Pages | Ages 4-8 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780735266063 | Tundra Books
Emily feels small. Small when her mother tells her not to get her dress dirty, small when she’s told to sit up straight, small when she has to sit still in school. But when she’s in the garden, she becomes Small: a wild, fearless, curious, and passionate soul, communing with nature and feeling one with herself. She knows there are secrets to be unlocked in nature, and she yearns to discover the mysteries before she has to go back to being small . . . for now. When Emily Was Small is at once a celebration of freedom, a playful romp through the garden and a contemplation of the mysteries of nature.

Finalists for the 2014 Canadian Children’s Book Centre Awards

The Canadian Children’s Book Centre (CCBC) has announced the finalists for its seven major children’s book awards – the TD Canadian Children’s Literature Award, Prix TD de littérature canadienne pour l’enfance et la jeunesse, Marilyn Baillie Picture Book Award, Norma Fleck Award for Canadian Children’s Non-Fiction, Geoffrey Bilson Award for Historical Fiction for Young People, John Spray Mystery Award, and the Monica Hughes Award for Science Fiction and Fantasy.

The nominated books exemplify some of the best work by Canadian authors and illustrators. The following Tundra titles have been chosen:

MARILYN BAILLIE PICTURE BOOK AWARD

My Name Is BlessingMy Name Is Blessing
Written by Eric Walters
Illustrated by Eugenie Fernandes
Hardcover | 32 pages
ISBN: 978-1-77049-301-8
“This story of an African boy plagued by disability, poverty and prejudice, and ultimately saved by love, is unfailingly respectful… Every child can be enriched by the unsentimental, honest and enlightening text and be carried away by the beautifully realized art suffused with the burnt orange tones of the African Savannah… The turn of phrase reflected in the title is highly poignant.” – Jury Comments

Where Do You LookWhere Do You Look?
Written by Marthe Jocelyn and Nell Jocelyn
Hardcover | 32 pages
ISBN: 978-1-77049-376-6
“A series of wonderful double-entendres that introduce language concepts in a playful way, this book contains few words but hours of fun… The playful joys and puzzles of language are presented with exuberant high spirits, in cleverly chosen words and brilliantly patterned collage illustrations reminiscent of folk art… This mother-daughter team brings artful layers to a seemingly simple concept.” – Jury Comments

Congratulations to the other finalists in this category: Fox and Squirrel by Ruth Ohi, How To by Julie Morstad, and The Man with the Violin by Kathy Stinson and illustrated by Dušan Petričić.

NORMA FLECK AWARD FOR CANADIAN CHILDREN’S NON-FICTION

My Name Is BlessingMy Name Is Blessing
Written by Eric Walters
Illustrated by Eugenie Fernandes
Hardcover | 32 pages
ISBN: 978-1-77049-301-8
“This picture book explores the universal feelings of fear of rejection and joy of acceptance… Based upon a true story, My Name Is Blessing details the plight of a young boy in Kenya living with a physical disability and challenging living circumstances… Eugenie Fernandes’ colourful renditions of the young boy’s family and changing circumstances compliment Eric Walters’ direct narrative with an understated grace.” – Jury Comments

Congratulations to the other finalists in this category: Branded by the Pink Triangle by Ken Setterington, A History of Just About Everything: 180 Events, People and Inventions That Changed the World by Elizabeth MacLeod and Frieda Wishinsky and illustrated by Qin Leng, The Last Train: A Holocaust Story by Rona Arato, and Looks Like Daylight: Voices of Indigenous Kids by Deborah Ellis.

GEOFFREY BILSON AWARD FOR HISTORICAL FICTION FOR YOUNG PEOPLE

Little Red LiesLittle Red Lies
Written by Julie Johnston
Hardcover | 352 pages
ISBN: 978-1-77049-313-1
eBook: 978-1-77049-314-8
“Set in the aftermath of World War II, Little Red Lies includes many elements that contribute to the theme of hiding secrets… Unflinchingly honest, Julie Johnston’s story of a 13-year-old girl living in post-World War II Canada will resonate with young adult readers… On the surface, the novel is about a soldier’s return from war, but under the layers of work, school and relationships linger the extraordinary truths held by Johnston’s characters…” – Jury Comments

Congratulations to the other finalists in this category: Brothers at War by Don Cummer, Graffiti Knight by Karen Bass, The Manager by Caroline Stellings, and Me & Mr. Bell by Philip Roy.

Thank you to the judges for their considerations and again, congratulations to our authors, illustrators, and our hardworking publishing team! The winners will be announced at the TD Canadian Children’s Literature Awards Gala on Thursday, November 6, 2014.

2009 Canadian Children’s Book Centre Awards

The finalists for the 2009 Canadian Children’s Book Centre Awards has been announced. Congratulations to Nicolas Debon, Cary Fagan, Jack Mitchell, Susin Nielsen, and Shane Peacock! The winners will be announced on November 3, 2009.

SHORT-LISTED FOR THE TD CANADIAN CHILDREN’S LITERATURE AWARD:

Death in the AirDeath in the Air: The Boy Sherlock Holmes, His Second Case
Written by Shane Peacock
ISBN 978-0-88776-851-4
Ages 10-14

“This second installment of ‘The Boy Sherlock Holmes’ series maintains tension from beginning to end… Pacing is superb, great character development, breath-taking from beginning to end.” – The Canadian Children’s Book Centre (CCBC)

Thing-ThingThing-Thing
Written by Cary Fagan
Illustrated by Nicolas Debon
ISBN 978-0-88776-839-2
Ages 4-7

“A fresh and charming book about a spoiled child and an unloved toy thrown out the window… The quirky gouache and collage illustrations offer a sense of speed and uncanny stories on each floor… A book to fall for.” – The Canadian Children’s Book Centre (CCBC)

Word NerdWord Nerd
Written by Susin Nielsen
ISBN 978-0-88776-875-0
Ages 9+

“A humourous and cleverly written novel with likeable, unusual characters from the wrong side of the tracks… An original novel about regaining self confidence and trust.” – The Canadian Children’s Book Centre (CCBC)

SHORT-LISTED FOR THE MARILYN BAILLIE PICTURE BOOK AWARD:

Thing-ThingThing-Thing
Written by Cary Fagan
Illustrated by Nicolas Debon
ISBN 978-0-88776-839-2
Ages 4-7

“This unique story of Thing-Thing’s fall from the sixth floor of the Excelsior Hotel becomes a slow-motion vehicle for a touching and funny contemplation of life and love from a host of characters inspired by his fleeting image.” – The Canadian Children’s Book Centre (CCBC)

SHORT-LISTED FOR THE GEOFFREY BILSON AWARD FOR HISTORICAL FICTION FOR YOUNG PEOPLE:

The Ancient Ocean BluesThe Ancient Ocean Blues
Written by Jack Mitchell
ISBN 978-0-88776-832-3
Ages 10-13

“A fast-paced spoof on Greek tales… Laugh-out-loud funny with great characters… A new take on the old classics… This book is original, delightful and engaging.” – The Canadian Children’s Book Centre (CCBC)