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This week in CanKidLit: awards, residencies, and an Indigenous peoples atlas from Canadian Geographic

    • The winners of this year’s Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz Children’s Book Awards are Melanie Florence and Gabrielle Grimard for their picture book Stolen Words (Second Story Press) and Heather T. Smith for the YA novel The Agony of Bun O’Keefe. The awards (administered by the Ontario Arts Foundation) come with a $6,000 cash prize and were voted on by  a jury of grade 3 and 4 students (who selected the recipient of the Children’s Picture Book Award), and a jury of grade 8 students (who selected the recipient of the Young Adult/Middle Reader Award).
    • Montreal’s Nahid Kazemi has been named the IBBY 2018 Joanne Fitzgerald Illustrator in Residence. She’ll work out of the Northern District Branch of Toronto Public Library for the month of October, presenting art activities, workshops and portfolio reviews for school children, teens, and adults. Kazemi, who studied at the Art University of Tehran, and taught at the University of Sooreh in Iran, has illustrated 60 books for children and adults.
    • Slug Days, Sara Leach and illustrator Rebecca Bender’s middle grade novel about autism (published by Pajama Press), has been given an honourable mention at the INDIES Book of the Year Awards in the juvenile fiction category. The winners are chosen by Foreword Reviews, a U.S. book review journal that recognizes the best independently published works.
    • Kids Can Press will distribute the Canadian Geographic Indigenous Peoples Atlas of Canada. This fully bilingual four-volume educational resource was inspired the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s call to action. It explores the perspectives and histories of the First Nations, Inuit, and Métis people of Canada. For ages 12 and up, the atlas set will be released in August.