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Wendy Orr, Cherie Demaline, and Monique Gray Smith 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. Not surprisingly, Town is By the Sea, by Joanne Schwartz and illustrator Sydney Smith, and The Marrow Thieves, by Cherie Demaline, are nominated. Both books have already won multiple awards in Canada and internationally and were named Quill & Quire books of the year.

Adding to the excitement for this year’s awards is the news that TD Canada has raised the value of their sponsored awards – TD Canadian Children’s Literature Award prize and le Prix TD de littérature pour l’enfance et la jeunesse – from the already significant amount of $30,000 to $50,000.

At two separate galas – in Toronto on Oct. 29 and in Montreal on Nov. 19 – 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
Dragonfly SongWendy Orr (Pajama Press)
Picture the SkyBarbara Reid (North Winds Press/Scholastic Canada)
Speaking Our Truth: A Journey of ReconciliationMonique Gray Smith (Orca Book Publishers)
Town is by The Sea, Joanne Schwartz and Sydney Smith, ill. (Groundwood Books)
When the Moon ComesPaul Harbridge and Matt James, ill. (Tundra Books)

Marilyn Baillie Picture Book Award ($20,000)
Sponsored by A. Charles Baillie
Little Blue Chair, Cary Fagan and Madeline Kloepper (Tundra Books)
My Beautiful Birds, Suzanne Del Rizzo (Pajama Press)
Sam & Eva, Debbie Ridpath Ohi (Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers)
Stolen Words, Melanie Florence and Gabrielle Grimard, ill. (Second Story Press)
When the Moon Comes, Paul Harbridge and Matt James, ill. (Tundra Books)
You Hold Me Up, Monique Gray Smith and Danielle Daniel, ill. (Orca Book Publishers)

Norma Fleck Award for Canadian Children’s Non-Fiction ($10,000)
Sponsored by the Fleck Family Foundation
#NotYourPrincess: Voices of Native American WomenLisa Charleyboy and Mary Beth Leatherdale, eds. (Annick Press)
Meatless? A Fresh Look at What You Eat, Sarah Elton and Julie McLaughlin (Owlkids Books)
The Sockeye Mother, Hetxw’ms Gyetxw (Brett D. Huson) and Natasha Donovan (HighWater Press)
Rewilding: Giving Nature a Second Chance, Jane Drake and Ann Love (Annick Press)
When Planet Earth Was New, James Gladstone and Katherine Diemert (Owlkids Books)

Geoffrey Bilson Award for Historical Fiction for Young People ($5,000)
Sponsored by the Canadian Children’s Book Centre’s Bilson Endowment Fund
The Agony of Bun O’Keefe, Heather Smith (Penguin Teen Canada)
The Assassin’s Curse (The Blackthorn Key, Book 3), Kevin Sands (Aladdin)
A Blinding Light, Julie Lawson (Nimbus Publishing)
Clutch, Heather Camlot (Red Deer Press)
Step Up to the Plate, Maria Singh, Uma Krishnaswami (Tu Books/Lee & Low)

John Spray Mystery Award ($5,000)
Sponsored by John Spray
The Assassin’s Curse (The Blackthorn Key, Book 3), Kevin Sands (Aladdin)
Blood on the Beach, Sarah N. Harvey and Robin Stevenson (Orca Book Publishers)
The Hanging Girl, Eileen Cook (Houghlin Mifflin Harcourt)
Recipe for Hate, Warren Kinsella (Dundurn)
The Case of the Missing Mage (Tank & Fizz, Book 3), Liam O’Donnell and Mike Deas, ill. (Orca)

Amy Mathers Teen Book Award ($5,000)
Sponsored by Sylvan Learning
The Agony of Bun O’Keefe, Heather Smith (Penguin Teen Canada)
Everything Beautiful is Not Ruined, Danielle Younge-Ullman (Razorbill Canada)
The Marrow Thieves, Cherie Dimaline (DCB)
Munro vs. the Coyote, Darren Groth (Orca)
The Way Back Home, Allan Stratton (Scholastic Canada)