Arthur Slade wins 2010 TD Canadian Children's Literature Award for The
Hunchback Assignments

Saskatoon author awarded $25,000 for Canadian children's English-language book of the year

TORONTO, Nov. 9 /CNW/ - The Canadian Children's Book Centre (CCBC) and TD Bank Financial Group today awarded Arthur Slade the 2010 TD Canadian Children's Literature Award for his thrilling book, The Hunchback Assignments. Slade received a $25,000 award, one of the largest cash prizes for children's literature at a gala event at The Carlu Tuesday evening in Toronto. In addition, HarperCollins Canada Ltd., the book's publisher, received an additional $2,500 for further promotional purposes.

The Hunchback Assignments is the exciting story of Modo, a hunchbacked infant who is taken in by the eccentric Mr. Socrates, a member of the shadowy spy agency, Permanent Association. Modo is no ordinary infant - he has the unique ability to transform his appearance. Mr. Socrates raises Modo in isolation while training him to become a secret agent. But suddenly, at the age of 14, Modo is abandoned in London's downtown streets to fend for himself. It is here that Modo uncovers a sinister plot taking place in London's sewers and works with the beautiful Octavia Milkweed to stop the mad scientist Dr. Hyde and his associates before they unleash their hideous plans upon innocent Londoners.

"As an exciting spy thriller for young audiences, Arthur Slade's The Hunchback Assignments embodies the creativity and dedication to children's literature we hope to encourage with the TD Canadian Children's Literature Award," says Frank McKenna, Deputy Chair, TD Bank Financial Group and TD's Literacy Champion. "It's well known that developing a love for reading at an early age can help create a lasting relationship with books. The Hunchback Assignments is that electrifying, page-turning story we need to keep our young readers engaged."

The judging panel for the Canadian Children's Literature Award in 2010 included 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.

In addition to the $25,000 winning prize, TD has also awarded a $10,000 honour book prize to be shared among the remaining four finalists: Dragon Seer by Janet McNaughton, Home Free by Sharon Jennings, A Thousand Years of Pirates by William Gilkerson, and Watching Jimmy by Nancy Hartry.

Original English-language Canadian publications across all literary genres for children up to the ages of 12 were eligible for the award. The entries were judged for exceptional quality and their overall contribution to children's literature.

"We are proud to recognize the achievements of our 2010 TD Canadian Children's Literature Award winner and finalists," says Charlotte Teeple, Executive Director, The Canadian Children's Book Centre. "The creative ideas, brilliant illustrations and extraordinary writing showcase some of the best work in Canadian literature and serve as a benchmark upon which future authors and illustrators can set their sights."

The TD Canadian Children's Literature Award for the most distinguished French-language book of the year was presented to author, Mélanie Tellier (Vincelette) and to illustrator, Melinda Josie for their book, Le géranium. The French-language awards gala took place on November 2, 2010 in Montreal.

About Arthur Slade

Arthur Slade was raised in the Cypress Hills of southwest Saskatchewan and began writing at an early age. He received an English Honours degree from the University of Saskatchewan, spent several years writing advertising and now writes fiction full time. He is the author of the Canadian Chills series of books, Dust (which won the Governor General's award), Tribes, and Monsterology. He currently lives in Saskatoon.

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 book winners. The publisher of the winning book receives $2,500 for promotional purposes.

SOURCE Canadian Children's Book Centre

For further information: For further information: Charlotte Teeple, The Canadian Children's Book Centre, 416-975-0010, charlotte@bookcentre.ca; Megan Hooper, TD, 416-982-4725, megan.hooper@td.com; Carrie Makrigiannis, Ryan Lockhart, Environics Communications, 416-969-2750, 416-969-2749, cmakrigiannis@environicspr.com, rlockhart@environicspr.com


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