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Award-Winning Books

English Titles

The Sheila A. Egoff Children's Prize
(The West Coast Book Prize Society)
For the best book by a British Columbia author.
1995 winner:
The Old Brown Suitcase: A Teenager's Story of War and Peace
Lillian Boraks-Nemetz
Brentwood Bay, B.C.: Ben-Simon Publications, 1994, 148 p.
ISBN 0914539108
Ages 11 to 16

Cover reproduced by permission of Ben-Simon Publications.

Slava, a Jewish refugee in Canada after World War II, recalls her wartime experiences in episodic flashbacks throughout this autobiographical novel. Life in Canada is not easy: she must use her middle name (Elizabeth seems so much more Canadian than Slava), cut her braids, learn a new language, and adjust to a new culture. At the same time she must deal with residual feelings of loss, abandonment, fear, and guilt related to the war. The old brown suitcase, which her father gave to her before the war and which contains important mementos, is a symbol of her search for self-acceptance and inner peace.

1996 winner:
How Smudge Came
Nan Gregory
Illustrations: Ron Lightburn
Red Deer, Alta: Red Deer College Press, 1995, 32 p.
(Northern Lights Books for Children)
ISBN 0889951438
Ages 4 to 8 (and older)
Cover reproduced by permission of Red Deer College Press.

When a young woman with Down's syndrome finds a stray puppy one windy, rainy afternoon on her way back to her group home, she knows she will never be allowed to keep him. She knows, also, that she can't bear to part with "her dog". Nan Gregory's simple, uncomplicated text and Ron Lightburn's quiet coloured-pencil illustrations coalesce perfectly and poignantly, on many levels, to find a satisfactory solution and, not incidentally, to show how important it is to love and be loved. A very special story to warm the hearts of all, young and old alike, who read or listen to it.

Silver Birch Award
(Ontario Library Association)
For the best Canadian children's book, as chosen by Ontario students, grades 4 to 6.
Polar, the Titanic Bear
Daisy Corning Stone Spedden
Illustrations: Laurie McGaw
Toronto: A Madison Press Book produced for Little, Brown and Company, 1994, 64 p.
ISBN 0316806250
Ages 9 and up
Cover reproduced by permission of Little, Brown and Company Canada.

In this true story, Polar, a little white teddy bear, becomes the much-loved friend of a wealthy American couple's only child. As Douglas Spedden's constant and closest companion, Polar experiences a life of luxury and adventure, participating in all family holiday celebrations and various world travels. Polar is very excited when he learns the family is to sail across the Atlantic on the first voyage of the Titanic, the world's largest ocean liner. But will they survive this tragic voyage? Originally written in 1913 for Douglas by his mother, Daisy Spedden, Polar's story has been reproduced for present-day readers with the addition of beautiful watercolour illustrations, old photographs and postcards.

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

Sarah Ellis

Photo reproduced by permission of Sarah Ellis.

In her adult life Sarah Ellis has been a librarian, book reviewer, columnist, storyteller, teacher of children's literature and an award-winning children's author. As a quiet child growing up in Vancouver she and her family loved to share stories and read books. Although she didn't think about becoming a writer, her love of books led her to the University of British Columbia and Simmons College in Boston where she studied librarianship and children's literature. Some of her books include: The Baby Project (winner of the Sheila A. Egoff Children's Prize), Next-Door Neighbours, Putting Up with Mitchell, Pick-Up Sticks (winner of the Governor General's Literary Award, Children's Literature), and Out of the Blue (winner of a Mr. Christie's Book Award and the National Chapter of Canada IODE Violet Downey Book Award).

Adam and Eve and Pinch-MeYoung Adult Canadian Book Award
(Canadian Library Association)
For best book.
Adam and Eve and Pinch-Me
Julie Johnston
Toronto: Lester Publishing, 1994, 180 p.
ISBN 1895555620 (bound), 0773758399 (paperback)
Ages 12 to 14
Cover reproduced by permission of Stoddart Kids, 34 Lesmill Road, North York ON, Canada, M3B 2T6.

"If you don't want your heart broken, don't 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, Sara's only conversations are with her computer. Just as Sara begins to respond to the remarkable Huddleston family, the responsibilities of two part-time jobs, and a tentative friendship with a neighbour's son, her real mother arrives determined to find her. A superbly written story about the dawning of self-knowledge.

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

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