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OLA announces 2018 Forest of Reading nominees

Cherie Dimaline is among the 2018 Forest of Reading nominees for her YA novel The Marrow Thieves

The Ontario Library Association has announced the nominees for the 2018 edition of its Forest of Reading initiative, which aims to promote recreational reading and raise the profile of Canadian authors and publishing houses. Each year, library professionals encourage hundreds of thousands of participating readers to read and vote on books across a number of categories based on reading level and age group. Readers can vote for their favourite books in April, and the winning authors will receive an award at a Festival of Trees ceremony in May.

The English-language nominees are:

Blue Spruce Award (picture books for JKGrade 2)

  • Roselynn Akulukjuk and Amanda Sandland, ill., The Owl and the Lemming (Inhabit Media)
  • Shelly Becker and Eda Kaban, ill., Even Superheroes Have Bad Days (Sterling Publishing)
  • Bree Galbraith and Josée Bisaillon, ill., Milo and Georgie (Owlkids Books)
  • Glen Gretzky and Lauri Holomis; Kevin Sylvester, ill., Great (Puffin Canada)
  • Jess Keating and Marta Alvarez Magueys, ill., Shark Lady: The True Story of How Eugenie Clark Became the Ocean’s Most Fearless Scientist (Sourcebooks)
  • Andrew Larsen and Mike Lowery, ill., A Squiggly Story (Kids Can Press)
  • Mireille Messier and Pierre Pratt, ill., The Branch (Kids Can)
  • Carolyn Huizinga Mills and Brooke Kerrigan, ill., The Little Boy Who Lived Down the Drain (Fitzhenry & Whiteside)
  • Kari-Lynn Winters and François Thisdale, ill., French Toast (Pajama Press)

Silver Birch Award (Grades 36)


  • Laura Best, Cammie Takes Flight (Nimbus Publishing)
  • Heather Camlot, Clutch (Red Deer Press)
  • Becky Citra, The Griffin of Darkwood (Coteau Books)
  • Marina Cohen, The Doll’s Eye (Roaring Brook Press)
  • Svetlana Chmakova, Brave (Yes Press)
  • Shari Green, Macy McMillan and the Rainbow Goddess (Pajama)
  • Faith Erin Hicks, The Stone Heart: Nameless City 2 (First Second Press)
  • Gordon Korman, Restart (Scholastic Canada)
  • Miriam Körner, Yellow Dog (Red Deer)
  • Alex Lyttle, From Ant to Eagle (Central Avenue Publishing)



  • Sara Cassidy, A Boy Named Queen (Groundwood Books)
  • Joanne George, Smiley: A Journey of Love (Fitzhenry & Whiteside)
  • Kallie George and Stephanie Graegin, ill., Heartwood Hotel: A True Home (HarperCollins)
  • Linda Granfield and Brian Deines, ill., The Vimy Oaks: A Journey to Peace (Scholastic)
  • Chris Hadfield and the Fan Brothers, ill., The Darkest Dark (Tundra Books)
  • Jenny Kay Dupuis and Kathy Kacer; Gillian Newland, ill., I Am Not a Number (Second Story Press)
  • Anita Miettunen, Big Blue Forever: The Story of the Largest Blue Whale Skeleton (Red Deer Press)
  • Liam O’Donnell and Mike Deas, ill., Tank & Fizz: The Case of the Missing Mage (Orca)
  • Andrée Poulin and Isabelle Malenfant, ill., Pablo Finds a Treasure (Annick)
  • Nicholas Read and Ian McAllister, ill., Wolf Island (Orca)
  • Katie Smith Milway and Shane W. Evans, ill., The Banana-Leaf Ball: How Play Can Change the World (Kids Can)

Red Maple Award for Fiction (Grades 7–8, with a non-fiction award also offered in alternating years)

White Pine Award (fiction, Grades 9–12)

Golden Oak Award (fiction and non-fiction, ESL adults)

  • Katherine Ashenburg and Cupucine Mazille, ill., All the Dirt: A History of Getting Clean (Annick)
  • Melodie Campbell, The Bootlegger’s Granddaughter: A Gina Gallo Mystery (Orca)
  • Brenda Chapman, No Trace (Grass Roots Press)
  • Vicki Delaney, Blood and Belonging (Orca)
  • Marsha Forchuk Skrypuch with Tuan Ho; Brian Deines, ill., Adrift at Sea: A Vietnamese Boy’s Story of Survival (Pajama)
  • Susan Raby-Dunne, John McCrae: Beyond Flanders Fields (Heritage House Press)
  • Laura Scandiffio, Fight to Learn (Annick)
  • Joanne Schwartz and Sydney Smith, ill., Town is by the Sea (Groundwood)

For the first time, all nominated titles for school-aged readers will be available in alternate formats provided by the Centre for Equitable Library Access and Alternative Education Resources of Ontario.