The Ontario Library Association has released its much-anticipated list of nominees for the 2019 Forest of Reading program, now in its 26th year. Three authors received two nominations each: Heather Smith (Ebb & Flow; The Agony of Bun O’Keefe), Eric Walters (Fourth Dimension; Elephant Secret), and Kevin Sylvester (Basketballogy: Super Cool Facts You Never Knew; The Almost Epic Squad: Mucus Mayhem). Illustrator Mike Deas is also up for two awards for Meet Viola Desmond, written by Elizabeth MacLeod, and Tank and Fizz: The Case of Firebane’s Folly, written by Liam O’Donnell.
A committee of library practitioners out forward titles in four English-language and three French-language categories, separated into age group and reading level. Over the next few months, 270,000 readers will participate in the program through schools, libraries, literacy centres, and at home. “This program is designed to inspire a love of reading for young people,” says Shelagh Paterson, executive director, Ontario Library Association. “Kids can’t wait to get the list of titles so they can start thinking about what book they will be voting for.” After reading a certain number of titles in a category, participants can vote for their favourite books in April.
The winners will be announced live at the Festival of Trees event, taking place at Harbourfront Centre in Toronto May 14-16, 2019. At the three-day celebration, young readers will have the chance to attend readings, Q&As, and workshops, as well as meet authors and be part of the award ceremonies.
The full list of Forest of Reading nominees in all categories can be found at accessola.com/forest