The 2019 OLA Forest of Reading® Winners and Honour Books

The 2019 Forest of Reading awards were announced last week and we are so thrilled that eight of our titles were honoured at the Festival of Trees. Congratulations to our authors and illustrators!

Blue Spruce Award
#2 Honour Book
The Magician's SecretThe Magician’s Secret
Written by Zachary Hyman
Illustrated by Joe Bluhm
Hardcover
Published by Tundra Books
“The conversational tone draws the reader through the story. The remarkable art work by Joe Bluhm showcases the relationship between Charlie and his grandpa and transports the reader into each adventure, providing glimpses of how the imagination can make a dream a reality . . . this book is best shared as a read-aloud. Any adult will be equally thrilled by the story, its rich language and the wonderful illustrations.” – CM Magazine

Silver Birch Fiction Award
Winner
Chase - paperbackChase
Written by Linwood Barclay
Published by Puffin Canada
Paperback
“The action in Chase begins on the first page and doesn’t let up in this new thriller from Linwood Barclay  . . . readers will enjoy the twists and turns of the action and will relate to all three main characters.” – CM Magazine

#1 Honour Book
Elephant SecretElephant Secret
Written by Eric Walters
Published by Puffin Canada
Hardcover
“Walters interweaves his beautiful family story with a thorough description of elephant behavior—their intellect, compassion, and loyalty—and factual scientific possibilities of cloning an extinct species…A must-read for anyone with an interest in elephants and their welfare.” – Booklist

Red Maple Non-Fiction Award
#2 Honour Book
Innovation NationInnovation Nation: How Canadian Innovators Made the World Smarter, Smaller, Kinder, Safer, Healthier, Wealthier, Happier
Written by David Johnston and Tom Jenkins
Illustrated by Josh Holinaty
Hardcover
Published by Tundra Books
“[R]eminds us just how ingenious Canadians are, despite our golly-gosh-shucks tendency to downplay our accomplishments… Bright illustrations by Josh Holinaty swirl around each page of text to evoke the brilliance of fun and curiosity.” – Quill & Quire

Red Maple Fiction Award
#2 Honour Book
Fourth DimensionFourth Dimension
Written by Eric Walters
Hardcover
Published by Penguin Teen Canada
“I recommend Fourth Dimension to fans of The Rule of 3 series as well as those readers who enjoy action/adventure, realistic, or post-apocalyptic stories. Emma and her mother are strong female characters who are great role models for teenage girls. . . . Recommended.” – CM Magazine

White Pine Award
Winner
The Agony of Bun O'KeefeThe Agony of Bun O’Keefe
Written by Heather T. Smith
Hardcover
Published by Penguin Teen Canada
“Although Bun is 14, she possesses the endearing naiveté and honesty of a child, but her first-person narration isn’t sappy or immature. . . . Bun O’Keefe will settle comfortably at home in readers’ hearts.” – Starred Review, Kirkus Reviews

The Forest of Reading is Canada’s largest recreational reading program. This initiative of the Ontario Library Association (OLA) offers seven reading programs to encourage a love of reading in people of all ages. The Forest helps celebrate Canadian books, publishers, authors and illustrators. More than 270,000 readers participate annually from their School and/or Public Library. All Canadians are invited to participate via their local public library, school library, or individually.

Putting the YA in FRIYAY: Chicken Girl Blog Tour Recap

This week, we’ve been running a blog tour for Heather Smith’s poignant coming-of-age novel, Chicken Girl, and now all the reviews are in!

Monday, February 25

Vicky @ Vicky Who Reads gave us a guest post from Heather, as well as five reasons to read Chicken Girl
Lisa @ Remarkably Lisa loves Poppy’s gay twin brother, Cam
Jaaron @ Worn Pages and Ink called it one of the best YA novels she’s read in a long time

Tuesday, February 26

Malanie @ malanie loves fiction thinks a lot of people will enjoy it despite the heavy topics
Chelsea @ Twirling Pages wrote a love letter to the book, saying that she saw herself in almost every character
Alexa @ Like Literally Literary is especially fond of Poppy’s new friend, Miracle

Wednesday, February 27

Kaitlyn @ Midsummer Night’s Read really connected with Poppy’s character
Wendy @ A Cupcake and A Latte loves Heather’s “touching and emotionally uplifting writing”

Thursday, February 28

Summer @ Butter My Books is hoping for a sequel about Lewis (or Cam!)
Christine @ Padfoot’s Library posted a short piece about writing from Heather
Olivia @ The Candid Cover thinks the book has a great message about respect – both online and IRL

Friday, March 1

Kate @ Snarky Yet Satisfying fell in love with Poppy and her friends on the first page
Zuhra @ Venus Reads couldn’t put it down

Thanks so much to all the bloggers who participated – we hope they convince the rest of you that you need this book in your life. Look for it on shelves next week!

Don’t forget to add Chicken Girl to Goodreads!

The 2019 OLA Forest of Reading® Nominees

2019ForestOfReading
The Forest of Reading® is Canada’s largest recreational reading program. This initiative of the Ontario Library Association offers seven reading programs to encourage a love of reading in people of all ages. The Forest helps celebrate Canadian books, publishers, authors, and illustrators. More than 270,000 readers participate annually from their school and/or public library! Here at Penguin Random House Canada Young Readers, we’d like to congratulate our nominated authors and illustrators.

2019 Blue Spruce Award™ Nominees:

The Magician's SecretThe Magician’s Secret
Written by Zachary Hyman
Illustrated by Joe Bluhm
Hardcover
Published by Tundra Books
“The conversational tone draws the reader through the story. The remarkable art work by Joe Bluhm showcases the relationship between Charlie and his grandpa and transports the reader into each adventure, providing glimpses of how the imagination can make a dream a reality . . . this book is best shared as a read-aloud. Any adult will be equally thrilled by the story, its rich language and the wonderful illustrations.” – CM Magazine

Where Oliver FitsWhere Oliver Fits
Written and illustrated by Cale Atkinson
Hardcover
Published by Tundra Books
“Find room on the shelves for this picture book, because feeling like you don’t belong is universal. . . . A solid choice for discussion, and one-on-one or small group sharing.” – School Library Journal

2019 Silver Birch Award® Fiction Nominees:

Chase - paperbackChase
Written by Linwood Barclay
Published by Puffin Canada
Paperback
“The action in Chase begins on the first page and doesn’t let up in this new thriller from Linwood Barclay  . . . readers will enjoy the twists and turns of the action and will relate to all three main characters.” – CM Magazine

Elephant SecretElephant Secret
Written by Eric Walters
Published by Puffin Canada
Hardcover
“Walters interweaves his beautiful family story with a thorough description of elephant behavior—their intellect, compassion, and loyalty—and factual scientific possibilities of cloning an extinct species…A must-read for anyone with an interest in elephants and their welfare.” – Booklist

2019 Silver Birch Award® Express Nominees:

BloomBloom: A Story of Fashion Designer Elsa Schiaparelli
Written by Kyo Maclear
Illustrated by Julie Morstad
Hardcover
Published by Tundra Books
“Julie Morstad’s delicate art brings the vibrancy of flowers and 1920s and 1930s frock fashions alive. . . . Bloom takes a contemplative step back from the purely biographical and becomes a gentle ode to self-expression.” – Starred Review, Quill & Quire

2019 Red Maple Award™ Fiction Nominees:

Fourth DimensionFourth Dimension
Written by Eric Walters
Hardcover
Published by Penguin Teen Canada
“I recommend Fourth Dimension to fans of The Rule of 3 series as well as those readers who enjoy action/adventure, realistic, or post-apocalyptic stories. Emma and her mother are strong female characters who are great role models for teenage girls. . . . Recommended.” – CM Magazine

The Strange and Deadly Portraits of Bryony GrayThe Strange and Deadly Portraits of Bryony Gray
Written by E. Latimer
Hardcover
Published by Tundra Books
“An action-packed adventure that is lightly laced with horror, there is a little something for everyone in this middle grade debut. Recommended.” – CM Magazine

2019 Red Maple Award™ Non-Fiction Nominees:

Innovation NationInnovation Nation: How Canadian Innovators Made the World Smarter, Smaller, Kinder, Safer, Healthier, Wealthier, Happier
Written by David Johnston and Tom Jenkins
Illustrated by Josh Holinaty
Hardcover
Published by Tundra Books
“[R]eminds us just how ingenious Canadians are, despite our golly-gosh-shucks tendency to downplay our accomplishments… Bright illustrations by Josh Holinaty swirl around each page of text to evoke the brilliance of fun and curiosity.” – Quill & Quire

2019 White Pine Award™ Nominees:

The Agony of Bun O'KeefeThe Agony of Bun O’Keefe
Written by Heather T. Smith
Hardcover
Published by Penguin Teen Canada
“Although Bun is 14, she possesses the endearing naiveté and honesty of a child, but her first-person narration isn’t sappy or immature. . . . Bun O’Keefe will settle comfortably at home in readers’ hearts.” – Starred Review, Kirkus Reviews

Finalists for the 2018 Canadian Children’s Book Centre Awards

The Canadian Children’s Book Centre (CCBC) has announced the finalists for the following eight major awards for Canadian children’s books:

  • 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
  • Amy Mathers Teen Book Award
  • Prix Harry Black de l’album jeunesse

The nominated books exemplify some of the best work by Canadian authors and illustrators. The following Penguin Random House Canada Young Reader titles have been chosen:

TD Canadian Children’s Literature Award

When the Moon ComesWhen the Moon Comes
Written by Paul Harbridge
Illustrated by Matt James
Tundra Books for ages 4-8
“When the Moon Comes is an idyllic childhood moment frozen in time… The quiet, expressive text combined with the evocative illustrations draws the reader in to the story until you become one with the children, feeling the biting cold of the night air on your cheeks as you glide effortlessly over ice in the silver light of the moon… The illustrations evoke a strong feeling of nostalgia and community friendships and are a perfect complement the text.”

Marilyn Baillie Picture Book Award

Little Blue ChairLittle Blue Chair
Written by Cary Fagan
Illustrated by Madeline Kloepper
Tundra Books for ages 3-7
“This circular tale takes readers on a whimsical journey from here to there and back again following the travels of an ordinary little chair… Charming illustrations in a soft palette offer just the right amount of detail to draw in children and give them plenty to explore with each re-reading… This gentle story is a testament to the creative power of the imagination…”

When the Moon ComesWhen the Moon Comes
Written by Paul Harbridge
Illustrated by Matt James
Tundra Books for ages 4-9
“This nostalgia filled adventure with friends will resonate with those who love the moon, nature and hockey… The friends’ anticipation and excitement for their nighttime excursion is palpable… James’ strong illustrations emphasize the beauty of winter, the wonder of a dark night, the power of the moon and the fun of an escapade with friends.”

Geoffrey Bilson Award for Historical Fiction for Young People

The Agony of Bun O'KeefeThe Agony of Bun O’Keefe
Written by Heather Smith
Penguin Teen Canada for ages 12 and up
“This sad and beautiful book, rich with soul and heart, gives voice to marginalized characters and addresses weighty topics with sensitivity… I will not forget Bun O’Keefe. She holds a place in my heart as she does in the heart of Busker Boy and will do in the hearts of those who read her story… This is a book that may be a mirror or a window for readers, or a story that builds empathy for the many challenges faced by those not fitting societal expectations.”

Amy Mathers Teen Book Award

The Agony of Bun O'KeefeThe Agony of Bun O’Keefe
Written by Heather Smith
Penguin Teen Canada for ages 12 and up
“A moving and heart-wrenching story about loneliness, innocence and the healing power of finding a family of one’s own… Themes of forgiveness, loyalty, love and healing are woven throughout the story, and combine with humour and unforgettable characters to make a book that will stay with readers long after the last page.”

Everything Beautiful Is Not Ruined - paperbackEverything Beautiful is Not Ruined
Written by Danielle Younge-Ullman
Penguin Teen Canada for ages 14 and up
“An enthralling novel that packs an emotional punch, Everything Beautiful is Not Ruined is the story of one teenaged girl’s personal journey towards forgiveness and self-discovery… Younge-Ullman has crafted a beautiful and compelling story about a mother and daughter, grief and resilience.”

Congratulations to our authors and illustrators!

The winners of the English-language awards will be announced at an invitation-only gala event at Bram and Bluma Appel Salon in Toronto on October 29, 2018. The winners of the French-language awards will be announced at an invitation-only gala event at Scena in Montreal on November 19, 2018.