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Jillian Tamaki, Jonathan Auxier, and Marie-Louise Gay among CCBC Award finalists

The Canadian Children’s Book Centre has announced the finalists in eight award categories, celebrating the best in Canadian children’s literature. Winners of the 2018 Governor General’s Literary Awards Jillian Tamaki (They Say Blue) and Jonathan Auxier (Sweep: The Story of a Girl and Her Monster) are on the shortlist for the $50,000 TD Canadian Children’s Literature Award, as are kidlit favourites Heather Smith (Ebb & Flow), Marie-Louise Gay (Mustafa), and Merrie‐Ellen Wilcox for her non-fiction book, After Life: Ways We Think About Death.

Nominees were also announced for TD’s French-language prize, and finalists for best picture book, mystery, non-fiction, teen, and historical fiction. CCBC executive director Rose Vespa says in a press release, ““These books take readers to a small community in Nova Scotia in Africville to a dystopian chapter of history in The House of One Thousand Eyes, on a journey through Indigenous history in Go Show the World and into the mind of a curious child in They Say Blue. The CCBC is proud to be able to elevate the original and vibrant books on this year’s shortlist and the authors, illustrators, and publishers who made them a reality.”

At two separate galas – in Toronto on Oct. 15 and in Montreal on Nov. 7 – the CCBC will announce the winners of the English- and French-language awards respectively.

Here are the English-language nominations:

TD Canadian Children’s Literature Award ($50,000)
Sponsored by TD Bank Group
After Life: Ways We Think About Death, Merrie‐Ellen Wilcox (Orca Book Publishers)
Ebb & Flow, Heather Smith (Kids Can Press)
Mustafa, Marie‐Louise Gay (Groundwood Books)
Sweep: The Story of a Girl and Her Monster, Jonathan Auxier (Puffin Canada)
They Say Blue, Jillian Tamaki (Groundwood Books)

Marilyn Baillie Picture Book Award ($20,000)
Sponsored by A. Charles Baillie
Africville, Shauntay Grant and Eva Campbell, ill. (Groundwood Books)
The Funeral, Matt James (Groundwood Books)
Mustafa, Marie‐Louise Gay (Groundwood Books)
Seb and the Sun, Jami Gigot (Ripple Grove Press)
They Say Blue, Jillian Tamaki (Groundwood Books)

Norma Fleck Award for Canadian Children’s Non‐Fiction ($10,000)
Sponsored by the Fleck Family Foundation
After Life: Ways We Think About Death, Merrie‐Ellen Wilcox (Orca Book Publishers)
Bat Citizen: Defending the Ninjas of the Night, Rob Laidlaw (Pajama Press)
Go Show the World: A Celebration of Indigenous Heroes, Wab Kinew and Joe Morse (Tundra Books)
Trash Revolution: Breaking the Waste Cycle, Erica Fyvie and Bill Slavin, ill. (Kids Can Press)
Turtle Pond, James Gladstone andKaren Reczuch, ill. (Groundwood Books)

Geoffrey Bilson Award for Historical Fiction for Young People ($5,000)
Sponsored by the Canadian Children’s Book Centre’s Bilson Endowment Fund
Don’t Tell the Enemy, Marsha Forchuk Skrypuch (Scholastic Canada)
The Journey of Little Charlie, Christopher Paul Curtis (Scholastic Canada)
Miles to Go, Beryl Young (Wandering Fox Books)
Piper, Jacqueline Halsey (Nimbus Publishing)
The Sound of Freedom (Heroes Quartet, Book 1), Kathy Kacer (Annick Press)

John Spray Mystery Award ($5,000)
Sponsored by John Spray
Aftermath, Kelley Armstrong (Penguin Teen Canada)
Call of the Wraith, (The Blackthorn Key, Book 4), Kevin Sands (Aladdin)
The Case of the Firebane Folly (Tank & Fizz, Book 4), Liam O’Donnell and Mike Deas, ill. (Orca Book Publishers)
Sadie, Courtney Summers (St. Martin’s Press)
Wolfe in Shepherd’s Clothing, (A Shepherd & Wolfe Mystery, Book 3), Angie Counios and David Gane (Your Nickel’s Worth Publishing)

Amy Mathers Teen Book Award ($5,000)
Sponsored by Sylvan Learning
Aftermath, by Kelley Armstrong (Penguin Teen Canada)
Easy Prey, Catherine Lo (Amulet Books)
A Girl Like That, Tanaz Bhathena (Farrar, Straus & Giroux Books for Young Readers)
The House of One Thousand Eyes, Michelle Barker (Annick Press)
Learning to Breathe, Janice Lynn Mather (Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers)