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Award-winning Books

Three Books on Shelf

English Titles

* Denotes an award-winning book with a science fiction or fantasy theme.


Amelia Frances Howard-Gibbon Award
(Canadian Library Association)
For best illustrations.

Last Leaf First Snowflake to Fall Last Leaf First Snowflake to Fall


Leo Yerxa
Illustrations: Leo Yerxa

Toronto: A Groundwood Book, Douglas & McIntyre, 1993, 32 p.
ISBN 0888991835
Ages 8 to 12

As light winds scatter the leaves and sunlight steals through the trees, the winds begin to grow colder and the sky grows darker. The poetry of this story speaks of peaceful surroundings and oneness with nature as parent and child journey and autumn passes into the first snowfall of winter. The spirit of the wilderness is evoked with the strong images brought out by the text. Native artist Leo Yerxa has created beautiful collage illustrations painted on tissue paper in acrylic, ink and watercolour. The blending of colours is stunning. The use of typography is very interesting -- the first letter on each page has been stylized incorporating a design element.


Ann Connor-Brimer Award
(The Nova Scotia Library Association)
For best book by an Atlantic author.

Good Idea Gone Bad Good Idea Gone Bad


Lesley Choyce

Halifax, N.S.: Formac, 1993, 137 p.
ISBN 0887802397
Ages 12 to 14

"Youíre a bigot, youíre a racist, youíre a sexist pig and youíre a complete idiot who canít tolerate anybody whoís different." Keyboard player, singer and songwriter Dariana has Mick pegged. Mick, a would-be drummer, spends his time with cronies Lanker, Dave and Roach picking on and beating up the weak. When Dariana and Alex, a top student and guitarist, invite Mick to join their Halifax-based alternative music group, Good Idea Gone Bad, Mick is forced to re-examine his fears, intolerance and hatred: a bad idea goes good. In an afterword, Choyce defends his choice of subject and language.


Book of the Year for Children Award
(Canadian Library Association)
For best text.

Some of the Kinder Planets Some of the Kinder Planets


Tim Wynne-Jones
Toronto: A Groundwood Book, Douglas & McIntyre, 1993, 136 p.
ISBN 0888991924
Ages 10 to 14

This collection of nine stories looks at the world from the point of view of kids -- children like Harriet who is worried about her science-fiction project and Tobias, who has to write a very special essay. Then thereís Cluny who has started a magazine for people with unusual names and Sloane whose little brother Todd re-lives an adventure from Sloaneís past. It also offers a little Canadian history in a story about an 1867 discovery.


Elizabeth Mrazik-Cleaver Picture Book Award
(International Board on Books for Young People-Canadian Section)
For best illustrations.

Last Leaf First Snowflake to Fall Last Leaf First Snowflake to Fall


Leo Yerxa

Illustrations: Leo Yerxa
Toronto: A Groundwood Book, Douglas & McIntyre, 1993, 32 p.
ISBN 0888991835
Ages 8 to 12

As light winds scatter the leaves and sunlight steals through the trees, the winds begin to grow colder and the sky grows darker. The poetry of this story speaks of peaceful surroundings and oneness with nature as parent and child journey and autumn passes into the first snowfall of winter. The spirit of the wilderness is evoked with the strong images brought out by the text. Native artist Leo Yerxa has created beautiful collage illustrations painted on tissue paper in acrylic, ink and watercolour. The blending of colours is stunning. The use of typography is very interesting -- the first letter on each page has been stylized incorporating a design element.

Geoffrey Bilson Award for Historical Fiction for Young People
(Canadian Childrenís Book Centre)
Best historical fiction book.

The Lights Go on Again The Lights Go on Again


Kit Pearson

Toronto: Penguin, 1994, ©1993, 201p.
ISBN 0140364129
Ages 10 to 13

Available in French: Le Chant de la lumière (Saint-Laurent, Québec: Éditions P. Tisseyre, 1995).

As the end of World War II approaches, Norah Stoakes has been a "guest" in Canada for five years and can hardly wait to go home. Her younger brother, by contrast, can hardly remember his British family and dreads the anticipated reunion. Although Gavin doesnít want to leave his Canadian family and friends (or dog!) neither does he want to hurt Norah or Grandad. The resolution of his dilemma hinges on a surprise encounter with the missing "Creature", his stuffed animal, which since the first book in this wartime trilogy has acted as a reminder of ties with Britain and which, in this instance, forces a decision that brings the trilogy to a fitting and sensitive conclusion.


Governor Generalís Literary Award/Childrenís Literature
(The Canada Council)
For best text.

Adam and Eve and Pinch-me Adam and Eve and Pinch-me


Julie Johnston
Toronto: Lester Publishing, 1994, 180 p.
ISBN 1895555620 (bound), 1895555647 (paperback)
Ages 12 to 14

"If you donít want your heart broken, donít let on you have one." Plucked up, plunked down, shuffled and redealt too many times to remember, 15-year-old Sara Moone dreams of her 16th birthday when she can legally drop out of schools and foster homes. When her social worker, Ruth Petrie, delivers her to the Huddleston farm near Ambrose, Ontario, Saraís only conversations are with her computer. Just as Sara begins to respond to the remarkable Huddleston family (Hud, Ma, foster brothers Nick and Josh), the responsibility of two part-time jobs, and a tentative friendship with a neighbourís son, her real mother arrives determined to find her. A superbly written story about the dawning of self-knowledge.


Governor Generalís Literary Award/Childrenís Literature
(The Canada Council)
For best illustrations.

Josepha: A Prairie Boy's Story Josepha: A Prairie Boy's Story

©Murray Kimber. Used by permission of Red Deer College Press.

Jim McGugan
Illustrations: Murray Kimber
Red Deer, Alta.: Red Deer College Press, 1994, 32 p.
ISBN 0889951012
Ages 9 and up

A special story of friendship between two boys of differing backgrounds and ages. Josepha, a newcomer to Canada who doesnít speak English, sits in the primary row at his prairie school though heís over 14 years old. Josepha is a caring boy -- he wonít stand for anyone bullying the young ones, he walks through snow with feet wrapped only in burlap sacking to deliver a poultice for his friendís aching ear, he carves gifts for the young ones and his teacher with his pocketknife. It is hard to keep a boy like Jospha in school when he can earn a dollar a day for bagging grain at threshing time. When Jospha gives his friend his pocketknife as a parting gift, the young boy gives Josepha his most treasured possession -- his boots, so precious theyíre only worn for very special occasions. Rich yellows, golds, oranges and blues, reminiscent of wheat fields and prairie sky predominate the award-winning illustrations, painted in oil, and provide strong images of the vastness of the Prairies.


Information Book Award
(The Childrenís Literature Roundtables of Canada)
For best non-fiction books.

On the Shuttle: Eight Days in Space * On the Shuttle: Eight Days in Space


Barbara Bondar; with
Roberta Bondar

Toronto: Greey de Pencier Books, 1993, 64 p.
ISBN 1895688124 (bound), 1895688108 (paperback)
Ages 9 and up

Astronaut Roberta Bondarís voyage on board the Space Shuttle Discovery in January 1992 is expertly described in this attractive book written by her sister, author and educator Barbara Bondar. The book begins with a look at the astronauts assigned to the mission, the shuttle equipment, preparations for the flight and lift-off. It then settles into an examination of the diverse in-flight activities in the Spacelab and on mid-deck at the food lockers, sleep stations and washrooms. By touchdown, the reader has a real sense of the excitement and activity on board a space craft and of the importance of the work that astronauts do. The text, which is indexed, is accompanied by many colourful photos and diagrams.


Cowboy: A Kidís Album Cowboy: A Kidís Album


Linda Granfield
Toronto: Douglas & McIntyre, 1993, 96 p.
ISBN 1550542303
Ages 9 and up

The portrayal of the traditional cowboy eking out a harsh existence in dangerous circumstances and putting in long hours of backbreaking work for low rates of pay is contrasted with the glamorous mythology which developed after the closing of the American West in the 1880s. A wealth of information is provided here: details about horses, saddles, lassos, round ups, branding, cattle drives, clothing, chow time, language and, also, about the dime novels, fictionalized autobiographies, Wild West shows and movies which fostered the romantic view of cowboys in the twentieth century. The last section highlights the contemporary Canadian scene. This is a sumptuous publication featuring over 100 photographs and archival illustrations which will appeal to children and adults of all ages.


Manitoba Young Readerís Choice Award
(Manitoba School Library Audio Visual Association)
For the favourite Canadian book of Manitobaís young readers.

Looking at the Moon Looking at the Moon


Kit Pearson

Toronto: Puffin Books, 1993, ©1991, 212 p.
ISBN 0140348522
Ages 10 to 13

Available in French: Au clair de líamour (Saint-Laurent, Québec: Éditions P. Tisseyre, 1994).

The setting of Kit Pearsonís second novel about British wartime evacuees, Norah and Gavin Stoakes, is an idyllic and peaceful lakeside summer home bathed in sunshine and surrounded by gleaming water. The story focuses on Norah and her relationships with her Canadian "relatives" and, in particular, with the handsome and sensitive cousin Andrew. Even in this setting the warís influence is evident: Norah is disappointed when Andrew, who believes that fighting is wrong, enlists; she must struggle to ensure that Gavin remembers his real family in war-torn Britain. At the novelís end, Norahís questions about the future tantalize the reader with the possibility of a third volume about the Stoakes children.


Mr. Christieís Book Award
(Christie Brown & Co.)
For the best English book age 7 and under.

Thor Thor



W.D. Valgardson
Illustrations: Ange Zhang

Toronto: A Groundwood Book, Douglas & McIntyre, 1994, 40 p.
ISBN 0888992092
Ages 5 to 9

Thor grudgingly gives up his Saturday morning cartoons to help his grandfather set fishing lines on the frozen expanse of Lake Winnipeg late in December. His experiences -- tracking the jigger which takes the nets under the ice for forty fathoms, pulling fish out of nets set two days previously, and helping to save a snowmobiler who went through the ice -- show Thor that you donít have to be a superhero or Aquaman to complete a good job or to accomplish good deeds. The heart-warming theme of this story is contrasted effectively and emphatically, in the pictures and the text, with the bone-chilling setting of a prairie winter. Details about the cold permeate every aspect of the story, but never distract the reader from finding out about Thor.


Mr. Christieís Book Award
(Christie Brown & Co.)
For best English book age 8 to 11.

A Pioneer Story: The Daily Life of a Canadian Family in 1840 A Pioneer Story: The Daily Life of a Canadian Family in 1840


Barbara Greenwood
Illustrations: Heather Collins
Toronto: Kids Can Press, 1994, 240 p.
ISBN 155074237X (bound), 1550741284 (paperback)
Ages 9 and up

Stepping into the pages of this celebration of pioneer life in nineteenth-century Ontario is like being invited to spend a year with the Robertson family on their remote and isolated backwoods farm. Along with 10-year-old Sarah, the reader delights in the coming of spring and learns about maple sugaring, sheep shearing, broody hens, planting seeds, and finding honey trees. Nine-year-old Willy defends a weakling in the one-room schoolhouse, builds a shelter against the cold and wild animals when lost in the woods, and helps the men with "real work" during the harvesting and house raising. Over the course of the year the family is visited by a pedlar, receives mail from loved ones far away, shops at the general store, and takes part in a corn-husking bee and Christmas and New Yearís festivities. The minutia of day-to-day life is made real and developed into a grand picture of life long ago in this award-winning book through the clever use of fact, fiction, illustration, and hands-on-activities.


Mr. Christieís Book Award
(Christie Brown & Co.)
For best English book age 12 and older.

Out of the Blue Out of the Blue


Sarah Ellis
Toronto: A Groundwood Book, Douglas & McIntyre, 1994, 120 p.
ISBN 0888992157
Ages 11 to 14

Meganís world is not without its problems, but it is as close to "megaperfect" as it can get. When she is allowed to paddle to Pig Island by herself on her 12th birthday, Megan feels at one with the world: independent, in control, safe and free. Her motherís surprising announcement later that same day, that she has been reunited with a daughter given up for adoption 24 years earlier, changes everything. How Megan deals with her overwhelming feelings of anger, hurt, jealousy and rejection forms the crux of this sensitively written, and often funny novel.


Municipal Chapter of Toronto IODE Book Award
(Imperial Order of the Daughters of the Empire)
For outstanding achievement by a Toronto-area author and/or illustrator in childrenís literature.

The Dream of Aengus * The Dream of Aengus


Joanne Findon
Illustrations: Ted Nasmith

Toronto: Lester Publishing, 1994, 32 p.
ISBN 1895555728
All ages

Caerís fate, imposed by her father, the powerful sorcerer King Ethal, is to live every other year as a swan on the cold and empty shores of Loch Bel Dracon. At first she doesnít mind. She loves flying and she has 20 handmaidens with her who share her curse. It is only when she falls in love with a handsome young man who happens by the Loch that she yearns for a way to break the spell.... Text and illustrations connect to weave a hauntingly beautiful tale of the power of love in this picture book which will appeal to older children and adults who appreciate fantasy and folklore.


National Chapter of Canada IODE Violet Downey Book Award
(Imperial Order of the Daughters of the Empire)
For best text.

The Lights Go on Again The Lights Go on Again


Kit Pearson

Toronto: Penguin, 1994, ©1993, 201 p.
ISBN 0140364129
Ages 10 to 13

Available in French: Le Chant de la lumière (Saint-Laurent, Québec: Éditions P. Tisseyre, 1995).

As the end of World War II approaches, Norah Stoakes has been a "guest" in Canada for five years and can hardly wait to go home. Her younger brother, by contrast, can hardly remember his British family and dreads the anticipated reunion. Although Gavin doesnít want to leave his Canadian family and friends (or dog!) neither does he want to hurt Norah or Grandad. The resolution of his dilemma hinges on a surprise encounter with the missing "Creature", his stuffed animal, which since the first book in this wartime trilogy has acted as a reminder of Gavinís ties with Britain and which, in this instance, forces a decision that brings the trilogy to a fitting and sensitive conclusion.


R. Ross Annett Juvenile Fiction Award
(Writers Guild of Alberta)
For best book by an Alberta author.

The McIntyre Liar The McIntyre Liar

Courtesy of Tree Frog Press Limited.
David Bly
Edmonton: Tree Frog Press, 1993, 224 p.
ISBN 0889670692
Ages 11 to 15

After totaling the family car, Kevin is "sentenced" to a summer as a ranch hand on a spread three hours (and a hundred years) from Calgary. Kevinís letters to his friend at home and his secret, unpublished newsletter about ranch life, faithfully typed on his trusty computer (the one piece of civilization permitted by his father during his exile) are the means by which this hilarious story unfolds. We get to know his roommate Windy Small, who spent ten years in a mental institution; Big Swede, a Norwegian who is the general fix-it man; Jo Griffin, the foremanís daughter; and others. We learn about baling hay, cleaning pigpens, spitting contests and snipe-hunting. In the end, the letters are really about Kevin for they unobtrusively chronicle a change in attitude toward his job and the people around him over the course of the summer.


Ruth Schwartz Childrenís Book Award
Young Adult/Middle Reader Category
(Canadian Booksellers Association)
For best text.

The Hunterís Moon * The Hunterís Moon


O.R. Melling

Toronto: HarperCollins, 1994, ©1993, 225 p.
ISBN 0006479367
Ages 11 to 16

Sixteen-year-old Findabhair, who lives in Ireland, and her Canadian cousin Gwen (short for Gwenhyvar) share the same name, a deep affection for one another, and an unflinching belief in fairies. When they set out one Irish summer to look for the magical land of fairies, they find more than they bargained for. When Findabhair falls in love with the fairy king, Gwen must enlist the assistance of other believers to bring her back to the land of mortals. This alluring tale, which easily carries the reader back and forth between fantasy and reality, ends with a surprising twist which is sure to please many a young romantic.


Ruth Schwartz Childrenís Book Award
Picture Book Category
(Canadian Booksellers Association)
For best text.

Northern Lights: The Soccer Trails Northern Lights: The Soccer Trails


Michael Arvaarluk Kusugak
Illustrations: Vladyana Krykorka

Toronto: Annick Press, 1993, 24 p.
ISBN 1550373390 (bound), 1550373382 (paperback)
Ages 5 to 9

The Inuit believe that the spirits of dead loved ones play soccer together and can be seen during the Northern Lights, or Aqsalijaat, "the trail of those playing soccer" as they are known by the Inuit. Kataujaq, a young girl who misses her dead mother, is comforted when her grandmother tells her the story and encourages Kataujaq to look for her mother in the sky. The soft, predominantly blue-toned illustrations are accompanied on opposite pages by photographed decorative beadwork of flowers, hearts and birds.


The Sheila A. Egoff Childrenís Prize
(The West Coast Book Prize Society)
For best book by a British Columbia author.

White Jade Tiger * White Jade Tiger


Julie Lawson

Victoria, B.C.: Beach Holme Publishing, 1993, 164 p.
ISBN 0888783337 (bound),
0888783329 (paperback)
Ages 11 to 14

After her mother dies, Jasmine Steel is troubled by dreams about a mystical Chinese girl named Bright Jade and a perplexing Chinese boy. One day on a trip to Chinatown in downtown Victoria, she steps through a doorway and slips into the violent, noisy, racist world of nineteenth-century British Columbia. Here she meets the boy of her dreams, Keung, who is seeking his father and the white jade amulet which has been in the family since the time of Bright Jade. Through skillful use of dream sequences and time travel, the author explores Jasmineís Chinese heritage and links it to her search for inner peace and acceptance of her motherís death. Along the way, the reader learns a lot about a little-known period in British Columbian history.


Silver Birch Award
(Ontario Library Association)
For the best Canadian childrenís book, as chosen by Ontario students, grades 4 to 6.

Danielís Story Danielís Story


Carol Matas

New York; Toronto: Scholastic, 1993, 136 p.
ISBN 0590465880
Ages 12 to 16

This is a story of the Holocaust and its aftermath seen through the eyes of a child growing up in the turmoil of World War II. Supported by his family, Daniel survives persecution in Frankfurt, the Lodz ghetto in Poland and Auschwitz. While Daniel is a fictitious character, this poignant story is closely based on fact.


Vicky Metcalf Award
(Canadian Authorís Association)
For an authorís body of work (with appeal to children and young adults, 7 to 17 years of age).

Welwyn Wilton Katz

Growing up in London, Ontario, Welwyn Katz loved to read, but really did not consider writing as a career. She studied mathematics at university and taught school for several years before deciding to become a full-time writer. Some of the books she has written include: The Prophecy of Tau Ridoo, False Face (winner of the Max and Greta Ebel Memorial Award for Childrenís Fiction), The Third Magic (winner of the Governor Generalís Literary Award), Whalesinger, Come Like Shadows and Time Ghost.


Young Adult Canadian Book Award
(Canadian Library Association)
For best book.

Nobodyís Son * Nobodyís Son

Sean Stewart
Don Mills, Ont.: Maxwell Macmillan Canada, 1993, 233 p.
ISBN 0029541603 (bound),
0029541816 (paperback)
Ages 14 and up

In the first chapter, Shielderís Mark, a rough-hewn but honest commoner, returns from his successful quest against the evil of the Red Keep, to claim his reward from Swangardís king, his fiercely independent and unconventional third daughter, Princess Gail. The remainder of this evocatively written and haunting story follows Mark on a second and more difficult quest for himself. Together with his companions -- his scholarly friend and mentor, Valerian, his feisty wife Gail, and her poised and politically astute lady-in-waiting Lissa -- Mark seeks God, learns about love and hatred, loyalty and betrayal, faces his own mortality and discovers that worthy heroes can be nobodyís sons. A compelling and humorous fantasy for older readers.

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Date Created: 2001-05-29
Date Modified: 2002-09-25

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