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Cherie Dimaline wins the $50,000 Kirkus Prize for YA lit

It’s been quite the celebratory week for Métis author and editor Cherie Dimaline, who has won the prestigious Kirkus Prize for her dystopian YA novel The Marrow Thieves (Dancing Cat Books). She is the first Indigenous Canadian to win the award. On Nov. 1, Dimaline also took home the $25,000 Governor General’s Literary Award for young people’s literature. She was also recently nominated for the Ontario Library Association’s White Pine Award (fiction, Grades 9–12). The reader-voted winner will be announced in May.

Kirkus, a U.S. literary publication, annually awards three $50,000 prizes in the categories of fiction, non-fiction, and young readers’ literature. All titles that receive a starred review from Kirkus are automatically nominated, with the winner selected by a jury of authors, booksellers, librarians, and critics. Two other Canadian titles made the shortlist: Owlkids’s picture book Me Tall, You Small, written by German author-illustrator Lilli L’Arronge and translated by Québécois professor Madeleine Stratford, and Groundwood Books’s Walk With Me, a picture book collaboration between Mexican author Jairo Buitrago, Colombian illustrator Rafael Yockteng, and Toronto-based translator Elisa Amado.