Newfoundland author (and Q&Q reviewer) Charis Cotter has received the 2015 IODE Canada Violet Downey Book Award for Children’s Literature for her middle-grade novel The Swallow: A Ghost Story (Tundra Books).
Established in 1984 by the non-profit women’s charitable organization (which focuses on education, community services, and citizenship programs), the $5,000 award is given every year to the best English-language book of 500 words or longer written by a Canadian author for readers under the age of 13.
“I am completely delighted and honoured to receive this award,” Cotter told Q&Q. “[It] comes with some very practical applications: members buy my book and take it to libraries and schools across Canada, getting it into the hands of children who might otherwise never discover it.”
The Swallow, which was a Q&Q book of the year selection for 2014, tells the story of two girls growing up in 1960s Toronto, each of whom thinks the other is a ghost upon their first meeting. In her starred review, writer Grace O’Connell called the book a “fantastic addition to Toronto literature, with all the makings of a classic.” It has already been shortlisted or nominated for several awards, including the CLA Book of the Year for Children Award, the Hackmatack Children’s Choice Award, and a Diamond Willow Award.