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Canadian Children’s Literature Award winners announced

The winners of the 2013 Canadian Children’s Literature Awards, presented by TD Bank Financial Group and the Canadian Children’s Book Centre, were announced Tuesday night at an event in Toronto.

B.C. authors Polly Horvath and Elizabeth Stewart each took home two prizes. Horvath won the inaugural Fan Choice Award, presented by young contest winner Annaka Leib of Fort Qu’Appelle, Saskatchewan, and the $30,000 TD Canadian Children’s Literature Award, the richest prize for Canadian children’s literature. Horvath’s middle-grade novel, One Year in Coal Harbour (Groundwood Books) follows the wise and curious heroine Primrose Squarp, the protagonist of Horvath’s 2002 Newberry Honor winner Everything on a Waffle.

Despite her best efforts, Horvath was unable to attend the event due to poor flying conditions in B.C. However, Groundwood publisher Sheila Berry was on hand to accept the awards on behalf of the author.

For her part, Stewart took home the John Spray Mystery Award and the Geoffrey Bilson Award for Historical Fiction for Young People for The Lynching of Louie Sam, published by Annick Press. The novel was inspired by the true story of a young member of the Stó:lō tribe, “a travesty that happened to a young First Nations boy 130 years ago,” Stewart said. The author was awarded $5,000 for each prize.

The $20,000 Marilyn Baillie Picture Book Award went to author Cary Fagan and illustrator DuÅ¡an Petričić for Mr. Zinger’s Hat, published by Tundra Books. Petričić accepted the award with Fagan’s wife, Rebecca; the author is in B.C. for the Vancouver International Writers Festival.

Deborah Ellis, also a Groundwood author, took home the $10,000 Norma Fleck Award for Canadian Children’s Non-fiction for Kids of Kabul: Living Bravely Through a Never-Ending War. The prize was also accepted by Berry on behalf of the author, who is also attending the VIWF.

The $5,000 Monica Hughes Award for Science Fiction and Fantasy was awarded to another B.C. author, Rachel Hartman, for Seraphina. The debut novel, published by Doubleday Canada, was a Q&Q Book of the Year pick for 2012.

The winner of the Prix TD de littérature canadienne pour l’enfance et la jeunesse will be announced on Oct. 29 at a gala event in Montreal.