September 16, 2020

2020 Canadian Children's Book Centre Book Awards: Finalists announced

Yesterday, the Canadian Children's Book Centre, our nationally-renowned authority on all things related to youngCanLit, announced the finalists for the 2020 Canadian Children's Book Centre Awards. (See their website announcement here with pdf here and video of shortlists here.)

The eight major children's book awards, which will be awarded later this fall, include:
  • TD Canadian Children’s Literature Award ($50,000) Sponsored by TD Bank Group;
  • Le Prix TD de littérature canadienne pour l’enfance et la jeunesse ($50,000) Sponsored by TD Bank Group;
  • Marilyn Baillie Picture Book Award ($20,000) Sponsored by A. Charles Baillie;
  • Norma Fleck Award For Canadian Children's Non-Fiction ($10,000) Sponsored by the Fleck Family Foundation;
  • Geoffrey Bilson Award for Historical Fiction for Young People ($5,000) Sponsored by the Canadian Children’s Book Centre’s Bilson Endowment Fund;
  • John Spray Mystery Award ($5,000) Sponsored by John Spray of Mantis Investigation Agency;
  • Amy Mathers Teen Book Award ($5,000) Sponsored by Amy Mathers' Marathon of Books; and
  • Le Prix Harry Black de l’album jeunesse ($5,000) Sponsored by Mary Macchiusi

Here are the short lists for each award category, as announced by the Canadian Children's Book Centre:

TD Canadian Children's Literature Award


Written and illustrated by Julie Flett
Greystone Kids

Broken Strings
Written by Eric Walters and Kathy Kacer
Puffin Canada

It Began With a Page: How Gyo Fujikawa Drew the Way

Written by Kyo Maclear
Illustrated by Julie Morstad
Tundra Books
Small in the City
Written and illustrated by Sydney Smith
Groundwood Books
Reviewed here

Stand on the Sky
Written by Erin Bow
Scholastic Canada

Le Prix TD de littérature pour l'enfance et la jeunesse canadienne

Les étoiles

Written and illustrated by Jacques Goldstyn
Éditions de la Pastèque

Le grain de sable : Olivier Le Jeune, premier esclave au Canada

Written by Webster
Illustrated by ValMo
Éditions Septentrion

Mon ami Pierrot

Written by Annie Gravel
Illustrated by Enzo
Éditions Planète rebelle


Written by Amélie Dumoulin
Illustrated by Todd Stewart
Éditions Québec Amérique

Quand le vent souffle

Written and illustrated by Todd Stewart
Translated by Nadine Robert
Comme des géants

Marilyn Baillie Picture Book Award


Written and illustrated by Julie Flett
Greystone Kids

King Mouse

Written by Cary Fagan
Illustrated by Dena Seiferling
Tundra Books

My Winter City

Written by James Gladstone
Illustrated by Gary Clement
Groundwood Books

The Phone Booth in Mr. Hirota’s Garden

Written by Heather Smith
Illustrated by Rachel Wada
Orca Book Publishers

Small in the City

Written by Sydney Smith
Groundwood Books
Reviewed here

Norma Fleck Award For Canadian Children's Non-Fiction

Beastly Puzzles: A Brain-Boggling Animal Guessing Game

Written by Rachel Poliquin
Illustrated by Byron Eggenschwiler
Kids Can Press
Reviewed here 

Cells: An Owner's Handbook

Written and illustrated by Carolyn Fisher
Beach Lane Books

Fairy Science
(Fairy Science, Book 1)
Written and illustrated by Ashley Spires
Tundra Books

Killer Style: How Fashion Has Injured, Maimed, & Murdered Through History

Written by Serah-Marie McMahon and Alison Matthews David
Illustrated by Gillian Wilson
Owlkids Books

Picking Up the Pieces: Residential School Memories and the Making of the Witness Blanket

Written by Carey Newman and Kirstie Hudson
Orca Book Publishers

Geoffrey Bilson Award for Historical Fiction for Young People 

Among the Fallen

Written by Virginia Frances Schwartz
Holiday House

Be My Love

Written by Kit Pearson
HarperTrophy Canada

The Big Dig

Written by Lisa Harrington
Nimbus Publishing

City on Strike

Written by Harriet Zaidman
Red Deer Press

Orange for the Sunsets

Written by Tina Athaide
Katherine Tegen Books

Room for One More 
Written by Monique Polak 
Kar-Ben Publishing 

John Spray Mystery Award

The Athena Protocol
Written by Shamim Sarif
304 pp.
Ages 13+

Keep This to Yourself
Written by Tom Ryan
Albert Whitman & Co.
320 pp.
Ages 13+

The Mystery of Black Hollow Lane
Written by Julia Nobel
320 pp.
Ages 8-12
Reviewed here

Songs from the Deep
Written by Kelly Powell
Margaret McElderry
320 pp.
Ages 12+

The Starlight Claim
Written by Tim Wynne-Jones
240 pp.
Ages 13+
Reviewed here

Amy Mathers Teen Book Award

All Our Broken Pieces

Written by L.D. Crichton

The Candle and the Flame

Written by Nafiza Azad
Scholastic Press

In the Key of Nira Ghani

Written by Natasha Deen
Running Press Teens

Keep This to Yourself
Written by Tom Ryan
Albert Whitman & Company

Love from A to Z

Written by S.K. Ali
Salaam Reads


Prix Harry Black de l'album jeunesse

La case 144

Written by Nadine Poirier
Illustrated by Geneviève Després
Éditions D'eux

La corde à linge

Written and illustrated by Orbie
Éditions les 400 coups

Des couleurs sur la Grave

Written by Marie-Andrée Arsenault
Illustrated by Dominique Leroux
Éditions la Morue verte

Laurent, c'est moi!

Written by Stéphanie Deslauriers
Illustrated by Geneviève Després
Éditions Fonfon

Le poisson et l'oiseau

Written by Kim Thúy
Illustrated by Rogé
Éditions de la Bagnole

The winners of the English-language awards will be announced at a small, socially distanced event, co-hosted by the Toronto International Festival of Authors (TIFA). There will be a free live stream of the event available on the Canadian Children's Book Centre's YouTube channel, Bibliovideo, afterwards. Leading up to the event, the CCBC and TIFA will host free panel discussions with some of the nominated creators. More event information will be available at on September 22.

The French-language awards will be celebrated as a part of Salon du livre Montreal, hosted by Communication-Jeunesse, with a virtual event announcing winners of Prix TD and Prix Harry Black in mid-November.


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