for Cynthia Leitich Smith's Cynsations
This week, the largest children’s literary event in Canada, the Forest of Reading, Festival of Trees, returned for two days of award ceremonies, workshops, author signings, and other exciting activities that celebrate the shared experience of reading. The highlight of the festivities was the announcement of the Canadian children’s books chosen for the Forest of Reading Awards.
Child readers from participating schools across the province of Ontario chose the winning books. The awards in each age category are named for a different Canadian tree. And the winners are:
The Blue Spruce Award (grades K-2)
Giraffe and Bird by Rebecca Bender (Dancing Cat Books)
The Silver Birch Fiction Award (grades 4-6)
Undergrounders by David Skuy (Scholastic Canada)
The Silver Birch Non-Fiction Award (grades 4-6)
Don’t Touch That Toad & Other Strange Things Adults Tell You by Catherine Rondina and Kevin Sylvester (Kids Can Press)
The Silver Birch Express Award (grades 3-4)
When Apples Grew Noses and White Horses Flew by Jan Andrews, illustrated by Dušan Petričić (Groundwood Books)
The Red Maple Fiction Award (grades 7-8)
Half Brother by Kenneth Oppel (HarperCollins Publishers)
The White Pine Fiction Award (young adult)
The Gathering by Kelley Armstrong (Doubleday Canada)
|The Blue Spruce Award|
The Book of Awesome by Neil Pasricha (G.P. Putnam’s Sons)
Le Prix Tamarac (grade 4-6; French-language)
Secrets de Famille by Sylvie Marcoux (Éditions du Phoenix)
Le Prix Tamarac Express (grades 4-6; French-language)
Les Dragouilles: Les Rouges de Tokyo by Karine Gottot and Maxim Cyr (Éditions Michel Quintin)
Slideshow: Festival of Trees draws thousands of kids to Toronto’s Harbourfront from Quill & Quire.
Lena Coakley was born in Milford, Connecticut and grew up on Long Island. In high school, creative writing was the only class she ever failed (nothing was ever good enough to hand in!), but, undeterred, she went on to study writing at Sarah Lawrence College.
She became interested in young adult literature when she moved to Toronto, Canada, and began working for CANSCAIP, the Canadian Society of Children’s Authors, Illustrators and Performers, where she eventually became the Administrative Director. She is now a full-time writer living in Toronto.
Witchlanders, her debut novel, was called “a stunning teen debut” by Kirkus Reviews. It is a Junior Library Guild selection and an ABC new voices selection.
See also New Voice: Lena Coakley on Witchlanders and Author Lena Coakley Interviews Editor Hadley Dyer of HarperCollins Canada, both from Cynsations.