Category Archives: YA News

CLASY’s going to Halifax!

Canadian Libraries Are Serving Youth (CLASY) is hosting a pre-conference event May 25th at the CLA national conference in Halifax. For details please see the CLA Pre-conference page on the CLASY blog or visit the CLA conference site.  

Hope to see you there!

Mysterious Book Awards

The Mystery Writers of America have announced the Edgar Awards nominees for 2011. The following titles are shortlisted in the Young Adult category:

  • The River by Mary Jane Beaufrand
  • Please Ignore Vera Dietz by A.S. King
  • 7 Souls by Barnabas Miller and Jordan Orlando
  • The Interrogation of Gabriel James by Charlie Price
  • Dust City by Robert Paul Weston

    Speaking of mystery writing prizes, this week the Canadian Children’s Book Centre announced a new children’s book award. The John Spray Mystery Award will honour excellence in the children’s mystery book format and comes with a $5,000 cash prize. Eligible books must be original works in English, aimed at readers ages eight to sixteen, and written by Canadian authors. For more information about John Spray Mystery Award, visit the Canadian Children’s Book Centre.

    I love a good mystery, don’t you?

    2010 Canadian Children’s Book Award Winners

    The annual Canadian Children’s Book Awards celebration was probably my favourite event when I worked in publishing. I was thrilled when my former colleague, who now works at the Canadian Children’s Book Centre, invited me to this year’s gala. I really, really wanted to attend, but, *sigh* I wasn’t able to trade my Tuesday night shift at the library with any of my co-workers due to a host of scheduling complications.

    By all accounts it was a fabulous evening and waaaaay better than that other Canlit fête happening that night.  You know, this one (or well, that one).  The following books and authors were announced as this year’s award winners:

    TD Canadian Children’s Literature Award:

    The Hunchback AssignmentsThe Hunchback Assignments
    by Arthur Slade

    What the jury said: “Arthur Slade’s foray into the steampunk genre is of world-class quality and makes The Hunchback Assignments a fresh and unexpected addition to Canadian children’s literature… A mystery thriller, the novel’s tone is grippingly suspenseful… Literary allusions to characters and plots, from the Hunchback of Notre Dame to Robert Louis Stevenson’s Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, enrich the subtext of reality and illusion.”

    Marilyn Baillie Picture Book Award

    Timmerman Was HereTimmerman Was Here
    by Colleen Sydor; illustrated by Nicolas Debon
    Tundra Books

    What the jury said: “This is a sublimely humanistic and memorable story about the way we discover the difference between truth and appearances… Dramatic pictures equally involve the reader, while the artistic use of dark and light further affect our emotional response… This intriguing tale with a twist delves exceptionally well into values and perceptions, the rational and the irrational, achieving a conclusion that is profoundly self-affirming for the child… This emotionally rich and suspenseful story is capped by an uplifting ending that will stir hearts from 8 to 80… A perfect pairing of text and illustration.”

    Norma Fleck Award for Canadian Children’s Non-Fiction

    Adventures on the Ancient Silk RoadAdventures on the Ancient Silk Road
    by Priscilla Galloway with Dawn Hunter
    Annick Press

    What the jury said: “A gripping account of three remarkable historic journeys; cultural, spiritual and commercial, enable the reader to imagine this fabled ancient route taken by the adventurous of long, long ago. Galloway’s excellent research, clear text, stunning photographs, art and maps updates this history for our times. A wonderful resource for research and reports.”

    Geoffrey Bilson Award for Historical Fiction for Young People

    Vanishing GirlVanishing Girl
    (The Boy Sherlock Holmes, Book 3)
    by Shane Peacock
    Tundra Books

    What the jury said: “Peacock delves into the young mind of one of the best-known characters in literature, creating a story that is well-plotted, with plenty of action, adventure and plot twists… Beautifully written and fast-paced… Peacock’s writing has a distinctive voice and tone that is perfectly suited to the story being told.”

    I happen to have a copy of The Hunchback Assignments sitting in my To-Be-Read pile right now. Hmmm, perhaps I should move it to the top of the heap in honour of its taking home the top prize?

    I have my fingers crossed that I’ll be able to attend next year’s awards gala. And you can too, if you become a member of the Canadian Children’s Book Centre! Giller Schmiller. (Really, I have nothing against the Giller or the Giller Light.  I would have liked to be at the Giller Light party, too. Next year, let’s try not to hold all of the major Canadian Book Award ceremonies on the same night. Okay?)

    2011 Forest of Reading Award Nominees Announced

    The Forest of Reading nominees were announced yesterday!

    This Ontario program is one of Canada’s largest recreational reading programs with more than 250,000 young people participating each year through their school or public library. Kids who participate in the registered program and read a minimum of five of
    the ten books in their reading category get to cast a vote the week of April 23, 2011. The nominated authors are honoured at a  ceremony in May, and the winning author presented with their award.

    I’m always curious to see what books are nominated in all of the six categories, but I pay special attention to Red Maple and White Pine categories as those are where the YA titles are represented.

    The Red Maple Award is for grades 7 & 8 and is split into two sub-categories, fiction and non-fiction. This year’s fiction selections are:

    • The Agency: A Spy in the House by Y. S. Lee (Random House)
    • Ghost Ride by Marina Cohen (Dundurn)
    • Haunted by Barbara Haworth-Attard (HarperCollinsCanada)
    • My Name Is Henry Bibb by Afua Cooper (Kids Can Press)
    • Nieve by Terry Griggs (Biblioasis)
    • Not Suitable for Family Viewing by Vicki Grant (HarperCollinsCanada)
    • Only in the Movies by William Bell (Random House)
    • POP by Gordon Korman (Scholastic Canada, Ltd.)
    • The Summoning by Kelley Armstrong (Random House)
    • Wounded by Eric Walters (Penguin Group Canada)

    The White Pine award is for high school-aged teens. This year’s selections are:

    • Borderline by Allan Stratton (HarperCollinsCanada)
    • Fear the Worst by Linwood Barclay (Random House)
    • Fishtailing by Wendy Phillips (Coteau Books)
    • Gravity Brings Me Down by Natale Ghent (Random House)
    • Hearts at Stake by Alyxandra Harvey (Penguin Group Canada)
    • The Monkeyface Chronicles by Richard Scarsbrook (Thistledown Press)
    • The Second Trial by Rosemarie Boll (Second Story Press)
    • Some Girls Are by Courtney Summers (HB Fenn)
    • Swim the Fly by Don Calame (Random House)
    • The Worst Thing She Ever Did by Alice Kuipers (HarperCollinsCanada)

    I’m thrilled to be participating on the White Pine steering committee again this year.  Looks like I have some serious reading to do! I’ve read many of the Red Maple selections, but only one of the White Pines.

    For more information about the Forest of Reading program, including the complete list of nominated titles, go to:

    Let the reading begin!

    Finalists for the 2010 Governor General’s Literary Awards Announced

    This year, the titles shortlisted in the “Children’s Literature” category are all for young adults. I guess this is a testament to how much great writing for teens Canadian authors are producing these days! I can’t help but wonder if YA should have its own category…

    The finalists are:

    Children’s Literature — Text

    Me, Myself and IkeMe, Myself and Ike by K.L. Denman (Orca Book Publishers)

    What the committee said: “Me, Myself and Ike is a gripping novel full of surprises. K.L. Denman’s masterfully-crafted first-person narrative on schizophrenia sweeps the reader along as Kit Latimer descends into a terrifying world where the real and imagined have no discernible divide. Denman manages to portray Kit in a way that is both realistic and sympathetic.”

    TyrannyTyranny by Lesley Fairfield (Tundra Books)

    What the committee said:Tyranny is a powerful piece of writing crafted as a graphic novel. Lesley Fairfield convincingly delves deep into the psyche of a young woman suffering from anorexia. The strength of the book lies in its simplicity, which carries the reader along on Anna’s horrifying journey to wellness.”


    Free as a Bird Free as a Bird by Gina McMurchy-Barber (Dundurn Press)

    What the committee said: Free as a Bird is a poignant journey through the life of Ruby Jean Sharp, a child living with Down syndrome. In this compelling tale of perseverance, trust and hope, Gina McMurchy-Barber takes the reader from the isolation and abuse of an institution, to the warmth and opportunity of a home, to the danger and camaraderie of the streets.”

    FishtailingFishtailing by Wendy Phillips (Coteau Books)

    What the committee said: Fishtailing is the story of four teenagers, four lives intertwined in the complex world of relationships and power struggles. In passionate poetic language that both chills and caresses, Wendy Phillips breathes life into these unforgettable characters whose stories offer insight, warning and endless possibilities. This compellingly-crafted poem is impossible to put down.”

    ScarsScars by Cheryl Rainfield (WestSide Books)

    What the committee said: “Cheryl Rainfield’s Scars asks: When hurt is deeply buried, how do you bring it to the surface? For Kendra, the possibilities lie between self-destruction and the redemptive powers of creativity. Teetering between these polarities until the very end, she is a memorable character whose struggle captivates.”

    The winners will be announced on Tuesday, November 16 in Montreal.

    For information on the finalists in the other categories, read the Canada Council’s press release.

    2010 Saskatchewan Book Award shortlist

    The shortlists for the 2010 Saskatchewan Book Awards have been announced. Winners will be revealed at a gala ceremony in Regina on November 27.

    The nominees in the Young Adult category are:

    • Arthur Slade, The Hunchback Assignments (HarperCollins Canada)
    • Arthur Slade, The Dark Deeps: The Hunchback Assignments II (HarperCollins Canada)
    • Alice Kuipers, The Worst Thing She Ever Did (HarperCollins Canada)
    • Beverley Brenna, Something To Hang On To (Thistledown Press)

    Starting in 2010, the awards for Young Adult and Children’s Literature will alternate from year to year.

    To be eligible for a Saskatchewan Book Award, authors must be Saskatchewan residents.

    To find out the nominees in the other categories, go to the Saskatchewan Book Awards website.

    The Cybils are here!

    Is there a children’s or YA book published in the last year that rocked your socks? Do you have a favourite new book that you think deserves some attention?

    Starting TODAY (October 1st), nominations are being accepted for the 2010 Cybils, a.k.a. the  Children’s and Young Adult Literary blogger awards.

    Head over to the Cybils Awards site to nominate your favourites of the year (but first, read these very simple nomination rules.)  Don’t worry if you’re not a children’s lit expert/librarian/teacher/book blogger, etc. ANYONE can nominate titles for consideration (one of the many things I love about the Cybils).

    Not sure if your book has already been nominated? From the Cybils Awards site, you can access an up-to-the-minute list of nominated titles in each category.

    The nomination period closes October 15th.

    Half World wins 2010 Sunburst Award

    Half World (Penguin Canada) by Hiromi Goto has been named the winner of the 2010 Sunburst Award for Canadian Literature of the Fantastic in the young adult category.

    The other shortlisted works for the 2010 young adult award were:

    • Give Up the Ghost by Megan Crewe
    • Amy By Any Other Name by Maureen Garvie
    • Wondrous Strange by Lesley Livingston
    • The Hunchback Assignment by Arthur Slade

    Indigo Teen Read Awards—The Winners!

    Last night, the inaugural Indigo Teen Read Awards were handed out at a bash held at Toronto’s Six Degrees nightclub. I was terribly jealous of the group of teens I met on the subway who were headed to the Big Event. This was a ticketed teens-only fête. Earlier this month, teens from all over the province lined up to get tickets at Indigo Yorkdale (Check out this cute video Indigo put together).

    By all accounts, the evening was wildly successful. Hosted by Dan Levy and Jessi Cruickshank (of MTV fame), the  festivities included a red carpet pre-show, entertainment from musical acts like Canadian pop singer Alex Lacasse,  “crazy awesome” swag bags, fabulous food, and—of course—appearances by YA authors such as  Ally Carter, Kelley Armstrong, Kami Garcia, Lesley Livingston and many more.

    I experienced it vicariously from home by following @TeenReadAwards and the #TRA and #teenreadawards hashtags on Twitter, though I really wish I’d been there to witness it in person. A nightclub full of teens chanting their favourite authors’ names = AMAZING!  (How can the library get in on that action? Also, note to self: find a teen to accompany to next year’s event.)

    I would love to see this celebration take place in a different Canadian city next year, or perhaps smaller satellite parties could be held in other cities across the country. I understand why it has to be held in Toronto, but I would love for teens living in other parts of the country to have the opportunity to participate in such an awesome event.

    The Winners!

    Do you agree with the results? What categories would you like to see for next year’s awards? I think there needs to be a category for humour as well as non-fiction. I also think it would be great if there were a category honouring adult books with teen appeal.

    More Mockingjay

    There’s a fairly lengthy piece over at Publishers’ Weekly on “Marketing Mockingjay.” Scholastic’s marketing team sure has been busy! I’m really enjoying the 13-District blog tour. There’s a great variety of YA bloggers taking part. Today the tour stops at one my favourite YA book blogs, GreenBeanTeenQueen, representing District 4.

    The hype around Mockingjay was also mentioned in a New York Times piece the other day about the rising number of adults reading YA books. According to the article, “47 percent of 18- to 24-year-old women and 24 percent of same-aged men say most of the books they buy are classified as young adult. The percentage of female Y.A. fans between the ages of 25 and 44 has nearly doubled in the past four years. Today, nearly one in five 35- to 44-year-olds say they most frequently buy Y.A. books. For themselves.”