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Winners Announced for 2008 Canadian Children's Book Centre Awards

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Winners Announced for 2008 Canadian Children's Book Centre Awards

The Canadian Children’s Book Centre (CCBC) has announced the winners of the four children’s book awards that it administers. The winners were announced at a gala event at The Carlu in Toronto on November 6. From the CCBC press release:

Christopher Paul Curtis took home two of the four awards for his internationally acclaimed novel, Elijah of Buxton. Hugh Brewster and author-illustrator team Frieda Wishinsky and Marie-Louise Gay were also awarded prizes. Another big winner for the evening was Scholastic Canada whose books were honoured with three of the four awards.

This year’s winning titles will captivate the hearts and imaginations of children and adults everywhere. Readers will be introduced to 11-year-old Elijah, the first African Canadian child to be born into freedom in Buxton, Ontario, a settlement for runaway slaves; told the true story of the Battle of Vimy Ridge—the battle that helped young Canada discover its national pride; and meet Louise, the little sister who pesters her older brother so much so that he wishes she would just disappear… and she does!

These books exemplify some of the best work by Canadian authors and illustrators. The Canadian Children’s Book Centre is proud to share these titles with you. For a complete shortlist for each award, please visit www.bookcentre.ca.
. . . .

TD CANADIAN CHILDREN’S LITERATURE AWARD ($20,000)
Sponsored by TD Bank Financial Group

GEOFFREY BILSON AWARD FOR HISTORICAL FICTION FOR YOUNG PEOPLE ($5,000)
Sponsored by the Canadian Children’s Book Centre’s Bilson Endowment Fund

Elijah of Buxton
Written by Christopher Paul Curtis of Windsor, Ontario
Scholastic Canada

“Christopher Paul Curtis's genius is his ability to inject humour while he writes about serious subjects. Elijah of Buxton, a book about escaped slaves, slavery and its effects on people, is no exception. He is a master storyteller who weaves a tale of compassionate characters swept along on a page-turning journey. This story has the heart and soul of a classic.”

TD JURY MEMBERS: Maya Munro Byers, owner, Livres Babar Books, Montreal; Theo Heras, Children’s Literature Resource Collection Specialist, Lillian H. Smith Library, Toronto Public Library; Dr. Dave Jenkinson, Professor Emeritus, Faculty of Education, University of Manitoba; Dr. Ron Jobe, Professor Emeritus, Faculty of Education, University of British Columbia; and Norene Smiley, author, Pugwash, Nova Scotia.

“In this deceptively hard-hitting novel, Christopher Paul Curtis tells the unique and powerful coming-of-age story of Elijah, the first child to be born into freedom in Buxton, Ontario, a settlement of freed slaves. A masterful storyteller, Curtis, through Elijah's eyes and dialect, introduces readers to a group of escaped slaves. This story inevitably allows readers to truly understand and appreciate the meaning of freedom.”

BILSON JURY MEMBERS: Albert Fowler, author and storyteller; Merle Harris, author and storyteller; Arlene Lipkewich, teacher-librarian; and Gail de Vos (chair), storyteller and professor, School of Library and Information Studies, University of Alberta.
. . . .

NORMA FLECK AWARD FOR CANADIAN CHILDREN’S NON-FICTION ($10,000)
Sponsored by the Fleck Family Foundation

At Vimy Ridge: Canada's Greatest World War I Victory
Written by Hugh Brewster of Toronto, Ontario
Scholastic Canada

“It's hard to get to the ‘heart’ of a war story through non-fiction, but this book does it perfectly. We feel the pain, the pathos and the triumphs and we are aware throughout that war is ultimately about people's lives. Filled with valuable resources about this important event in Canadian history, readers of all ages will be drawn into this immensely powerful book.”

FLECK JURY MEMBERS: Mala Dayal, teacher-librarian, Peel District School Board; Polly Fleck, Governor General’s Award-nominated poet and member of the Fleck family; Todd Kyle, branch manager, Churchill Meadows Library, Mississauga Library System; Rachel Steen, selection manager at S&B Books; and Frieda Wishinsky, author.
. . . .

MARILYN BAILLIE PICTURE BOOK AWARD ($10,000)
Sponsored by A. Charles Baillie

Please, Louise!
Written by Frieda Wishinsky of Toronto, Ontario
Illustrated by Marie-Louise Gay of Montreal, Quebec
Groundwood Books

“This warm, witty exploration of an older brother-little sister relationship unfolds in a lyrical dance of words and watercolour by two of Canada’s best creators of children’s books. Gay’s tender, whimsical illustrations are the perfect match for Wishinsky’s trademark insight and humour… Two professionals at the top of their game!”

BAILLIE JURY MEMBERS: Brenda Halliday, librarian, book reviewer and sessional lecturer, Faculty of Information, University of Toronto; Judi McCallum, training coordinator, Markham Public Libraries; and Joanne Schwartz, children's librarian, Lillian H. Smith Library, Toronto Public Library.

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