Finalists announced for the annual TD Canadian Children's Literature Award

- Author of the winning Canadian children's English-language book of the year will be awarded $25,000 prize -

TORONTO, July 15 /CNW/ - The Canadian Children's Book Centre (CCBC) and TD Bank Financial Group are pleased to announce the 2010 finalists for the TD Canadian Children's Literature Award. This annual award recognizes excellence in Canadian children's literature and the author of the winning book will be awarded $25,000 for the most distinguished book of the year.

This year's nominated titles will captivate the hearts and imaginations of children and adults everywhere. These authors introduce readers to a variety of new adventures from dragons, magic and Victorian villains, to a coming-of-age narrative, to the history of piracy from the time of the Vikings to the present day.

"We're excited to celebrate the talents of exceptional Canadian authors and illustrators and their ability to expand the imaginations of children of all ages with the written word," says Frank McKenna, Deputy Chair, TD Bank Financial Group and TD's Literacy Champion. "These authors bring new characters and exciting adventures to pages of books that will touch the lives of many Canadians for years to come."

The English-language authors will be recognized at the invitation-only TD Canadian Children's Literature Awards gala event at the Carlu in Toronto on November 9, 2010. While the winning author will receive $25,000, the publisher of the winning book will receive $2,500 for promotional purposes and the authors of the honour books will share a $10,000 prize.

"The books chosen as finalists for the TD Canadian Children's Literature Awards exemplify some of the best work by Canadian children's authors and illustrators," says Charlotte Teeple, Executive Director, The Canadian Children's Book Centre. "We're very proud of the marvelous talent in today's Canadian publishing for young people.

All books, in any genre, written by a Canadian and for children ages one through 12 are eligible for the award. In the case of a picture book, both the author and the illustrator must be Canadian. Only books first published in Canada are eligible for submission. Entries are judged on the quality of the text and/or illustrations production values and the book's overall contribution to literature.

TD Bank Financial Group invests in community initiatives that make a positive impact on education, children's literacy and financial literacy, creating opportunities for young Canadians to fulfill their potential. In addition to the TD Canadian Children's Literature Awards, initiatives include the TD Scholarships for Community Leadership, the TD Grade One Book Giveaway and Children's Book Week and the TD Summer Reading Club.

The English-language finalists for the 2010 TD Canadian Children's Literature Awards, with jury comments, are as follows:

TD CANADIAN CHILDREN'S LITERATURE AWARD ($25,000)

    
    Dragon Seer
    Written by Janet McNaughton (St. John's, NL)
    HarperCollins Publishers
    for ages 11 and up
    

"A beautifully written, magical fantasy that brings ancient history to life... this Celtic fantasy is imbued with a mythological history mixing Vikings, dragons and dragon seers... with well-drawn characters and page-turning plot, McNaughton delivers a gem rarer than a shining dragon's egg."

    
    Home Free
    Written by Sharon Jennings (Toronto, ON)
    Second Story Press
    for ages 10 - 13
    

"Home Free is a fantastic contribution to Canadian children's literature... Jennings convincingly creates an authentic child's point of view and perceptions in this dramatic coming-of-age narrative imbued with the power of language, words, and emotions."

    
    The Hunchback Assignments
    Written by Arthur Slade (Saskatoon, SK)
    HarperCollins Publishers
    for ages 11 and up
    

"Slade sets this first novel of a fantasy series in the genre of steampunk, a darkly disturbing Victorian parallel universe with a focus on mechanical invention, steam power, and underworld politics and cabals... The novel's characters are grotesque and dramatic... the tone is grippingly suspenseful."

    
    A Thousand Years of Pirates
    Written and illustrated by William Gilkerson (Mahone Bay, NS)
    Tundra Books
    for ages 10 - 14
    

"A beautifully illustrated treasure trove of information... Chronicles the history of piracy from the time of the Vikings to the present day... This clear and compelling cross-over (history) for all ages includes not only biographical and dramatic narratives, but also the rarely-told sordid and sad details of piracy."

    
    Watching Jimmy
    Written by Nancy Hartry (Toronto, ON)
    Tundra Books
    for ages 12 and up
    

"Watching Jimmy is a masterful exploration of the impact a young girl's voice can have when she is supported by adult allies... A suspenseful novel of loyalty, determination and compassion... Hartry creates a memorable portrayal of the secret subculture of childhood... A profound and powerful story."

JURY MEMBERS: Nancy Cohen, Children's Librarian, Moncton Public Library; Dr. Dave Jenkinson, Professor Emeritus, Faculty of Education, University of Manitoba; Josiane Polidori, Head, Children's Literature, Library and Archives Canada; Judith Saltman, Associate Professor, School of Library, Archival and Information Studies, and Chair, Master of Arts in Children's Literature Program, University of British Columbia; Dr. Michelle Superle, Part-time Instructor, Children's Studies Program, York University and Vice President of IBBY Canada.

The finalists for the French-language TD Canadian Children's Literature Awards will also be announced today and they will be recognized at a gala event in Montreal on November 2, 2010.

About The Canadian Children's Book Centre

The Canadian Children's Book Centre is a national, not-for-profit organization and registered charity founded in 1976 to promote, support and encourage the reading, writing and illustrating of Canadian books for children and teens. With book collections and extensive resources in five cities across Canada, the CCBC is a treasure-trove for anyone interested in Canadian books for young readers. For more information, please visit www.bookcentre.ca.

TD Canadian Children's Literature Award

The TD Canadian Children's Literature Award was established in 2005 to honour the most distinguished book of the year for children aged one to 12. Entries are judged on the quality of the text and illustrations and the book's overall contribution to literature. All books for children, in any genre, written by a Canadian, are eligible for the award. The winning book receives $25,000 and an additional $10,000 is divided amongst the honour books. The publisher of the winning book receives $2,500 for promotional purposes.

SOURCE TD Bank Group

For further information: For further information: Charlotte Teeple, The Canadian Children's Book Centre, 416-975-0010, charlotte@bookcentre.ca; Matthew Cram, TD Bank Financial Group, 416-983-1514, matthew.cram@td.com; Carrie Makrigiannis/Ryan Lockhart, Environics Communications, 416-969-2750/416-969-2749, cmakrigiannis@environicspr.com/rlockhart@environicspr.com


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