It’s the most wonderful time of the year – the Canadian Children’s Book Centre award nominees have been revealed, and the 2019 Forest of Reading lists will be close behind. I am happy to announce this year’s nominees for the Sylvan-sponsored Amy Mathers Teen Book Award are: The Agony of Bun O’Keefe by Heather Smith, Everything Beautiful is not Ruined by Danielle Younge-Ullman, The Marrow Thieves by Cherie Dimaline, Munro vs. the Coyote by Darren Groth, and The Way Back Home by Allan Stratton!
For the past few years, kidlit author, founder of Raising Readers, and Giller Prize marketing manager Michelle Kadarusman has been inviting me to Between the Pages: An Evening with the Scotiabank Giller Prize Finalists. It’s an evening filled with readings and powerful discussion about writing processes and ideas, as well as the creative muse. Every year it inspires me, and every year since the beginning I’ve thought how awesome it would be to have a similar discussion with my favourite people – teen authors.
So this year, we did! I can still hardly believe it, but as I’ve learned since I started volunteering at the CCBC, the Canadian kidlit community is unfailingly generous. We coordinated five different schedules and three different time zones to get together in person, through Skype, Facetime and a long-distance phone line to include authors all the way from British Columbia to the United Kingdom. All to talk about teen books. It was like a dream – except it was real.
I hope you enjoy the results – sadly, we lost Cherie Dimaline about halfway through and had to keep going without her – but a good time was had by all. Special thanks go to Emma Hunter and Robin Smith for their technical assistance with recording and sound editing – I could not have done it without them.
While I am looking forward to finding out the winner at the TD Book Awards on October 29th, I am reminded of Allan Stratton’s insight during our podcast – that while awards pick out a few books to showcase, their main purpose is to highlight the category. The book nominees are exceptional this year and I highly recommend them, but are also just a small representation of the excellence 2017 had to offer in Canadian teen fiction.
Until next month, Happy Reading!
*Any beliefs expressed in this podcast do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Canadian Children’s Book Centre.