2014 Winners & Finalists

The West Coast Book Prize Society is thrilled to announce the finalists for the 2014 BC Book Prizes. Congratulations to the authors, illustrators, and publishers! The winner of the 2014 Lieutenant Governor’s Award for Literary Excellence was announced on Wednesday, April 23.

Winners were announced Saturday, May 3, 2014 | Renaissance Vancouver Harbourside Hotel

» Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize
» Hubert Evans Non-Fiction Prize
» Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize
» Roderick Haig-Brown Regional Prize
» Sheila A. Egoff Children’s Literature Prize
» Christie Harris Illustrated Children’s Literature Prize
» Bill Duthie Booksellers’ Choice Award
» Lieutenant Governor’s Award for Literary Excellence

Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize

Supported by Friesens and Webcom
Judges: Steven Price, Mary Schendlinger, Kate Walker

Anatomy of a Girl Gang
by Ashley Little
Publisher: Arsenal Pulp Press

A sharp and gritty novel told in multiple voices, Anatomy of a Girl Gang is the powerful story of a gang of teenage girls in Vancouver called the Black Roses, a.k.a. “the city’s worst nightmare”: Mac, the self-appointed leader and mastermind; Mercy, the Punjabi princess with a skill for theft; Kayos, a high-school dropout who gave birth to a daughter at age thirteen; Sly Girl, who fled her First Nations reserve for a better life, only to find depravity and addiction; and Z, a sixteen-year-old graffiti artist. Cast out by mainstream society, the Black Roses rob ATMs, cook crack on stoves, and savagely beat down anyone who dares to harm them. Brutal and broken, they claw at the knot of darkness and violence that tightens around their lives.

Ashley Little’s debut novel Prick: Confessions of a Tattoo Artist was shortlisted for a ReLit Award and has been optioned for a film. Ashley lives in the Okanagan Valley, BC.

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Clear Skies, No Wind, 100% Visibility
by Théodora Armstrong
Publisher: House of Anansi Press

Set against the divergent landscape of British Columbia—from the splendours of nature to its immense dangers, from urban grease and grit to dry, desert towns—Clear Skies, No Wind, 100% Visibility examines human beings and their many frailties with breathtaking insight and accuracy. Théodora Armstrong peoples her stories with characters as richly various—and as compelling—as her settings. A soon-to-be father and haute cuisine chef mercilessly berates his staff while facing his lack of preparedness for parenthood. A young girl revels in the dark drama of the murder of a girl from her neighbourhood. A novice air-traffic specialist must come to terms with his first loss—the death of a pilot—on his watch. And the dangers of deep canyons and powerful currents spur on the reckless behaviour of teenagers as they test the limits of bravery, friendship, and sex.

Théodora Armstrong is a fiction writer and poet. She lives in Vancouver, BC.

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by Kathryn Para
Publisher: Mother Tongue Publishing

Lucky is an unflinching novel set in the Middle East and Canada. It tells the story of Anika Lund, an ambitious Canadian freelance war photographer seeking to photograph an infamous terrorist, and her best friend and translator, Viva, whose husband disappeared in Syria. In the fall of 2004, they gain access to Iraqi resistance fighters and entrance to the broken city of Fallujah, igniting a series of terrifying events. When Anika comes face to face with Zayid, the charismatic and violent Al-Qaeda extremist she’s been seeking, things turn tragic. Once freed and back home in Vancouver, Anika suffers the effects of post-traumatic stress and wrestles with lingering questions about what really happened. Lucky explores the ideas of war as news entertainment for the West, the price paid by journalists and the moral dilemmas of love and conflict.

Kathryn Para is the 2013 winner of Mother Tongue Publishing’s Search for the Great BC Novel Contest. She lives in Gibsons, BC.

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Red Girl Rat Boy
by Cynthia Flood
Publisher: Biblioasis

Women. Young women, old women. The hair-obsessed, the politically driven, the sure-footed, the bonybutted, the awkward, and compulsive and alone. Sleep-deprived and testy. Exhausted and accepting. Among the innumerable wives, husbands, sisters, and in-laws vexed by short temper and insecurity throughout the collection, Cynthia Flood’s protagonists stand out as masters of a reality that the rest of the world will only partially understand. New from the Journey Prizewinning author, Red Girl Rat Boy is a collection of astonishing range and assured technique, whose voices—gothic, peculiar, domestic, and strange—remain as passionate and complex as ever.

Cynthia Flood’s stories have won numerous awards, including The Journey Prize and a National Magazine award, and have been widely anthologized. Her novel Making A Stone Of The Heart was nominated for the City of Vancouver Book Prize in 2002. She lives on Vancouver’s West End.

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Three Souls
by Janie Chang
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers Ltd.

Civil war China is fractured by social and political change. Behind the magnificent gates of the Song family estate, however, none of this upheaval has touched Leiyin, a spoiled and idealistic teenager. But when Leiyin meets the captivating left-wing poet Hanchin, she defies her father and learns a harsh reality: that her father has the power to dictate her fate. Leiyin’s punishment for disobedience leads to exile from her family, an unwanted marriage and ultimately a lover’s betrayal—followed by her untimely death. Now a ghost, Leiyin must make amends to earn entry to the afterlife. But when her young daughter faces a dangerous future, Leiyin has to make a heart-wrenching choice.

Born in Taiwan, Janie Chang spent parts of her childhood in the Philippines, Iran, and Thailand before ultimately settling in Canada. Three Souls is her first novel.

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Hubert Evans Non-Fiction Prize

Supported by AbeBooks
Judges: Rod Mickleburgh, Ian Milgrew, Lynne van Luven

Arthur Erickson: An Architect’s Life
by David Stouck
Publisher: Douglas & McIntyre

Arthur Erickson, Canada’s pre-eminent philosopher-architect, was renowned for his innovative approach to landscape, his genius for spatial composition, and his epic vision of architecture for people. Erickson worked chiefly in concrete, which he called “the marble of our times,” and wherever they appear, his buildings move the spirit with their poetic freshness and their mission to inspire. But he was also a controversial figure, more than once attracting the ire of his fellow architects, and leading a complicated personal life that resulted in a series of bankruptcies. This first full biography of Erickson, who died in 2009 at the age of 84, traces his life from its modest origins to his emergence on the world stage.

David Stouck is a professor and biographer whose works include Ethel Wilson: A Critical Biography, shortlisted for the VanCity Book Prize, and Collecting Stamps Would Have Been More Fun: The Correspondence of Sinclair Ross 1933-86, a finalist for the Alberta Book Prize.

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Everything Rustles
by Jane Silcott
Publisher: Anvil Press

In this debut collection of personal essays, Silcott looks at the tangle of midlife, the long look back, the shorter look forward, and the moments right now that shimmer and rustle around her. Here is love, grief, uncertainty, longing, joy, desire, fury, and fear. Also wandering bears, marauding llamas, light, and laundry rooms.

Jane Silcott is a writer, editor, and teacher. Her work has been published widely in Canadian literary magazines and anthologies and recognized by the CBC Literary Awards, the National and Western Magazine Awards, and the Creative Nonfiction Collective of Canada. She has an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of British Columbia. She lives in Vancouver with her family and teaches for the Writing Centre at UBC and the Southbank Writing Program at SFU.

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The Oil Man and the Sea: Navigating the Northern Gateway
by Arno Kopecky
Publisher: Douglas & McIntyre

The Oil Man and the Sea takes readers to BC’s Great Bear Rainforest, an amphibious labyrinth of fjords, straits, and evergreen islands—and the heart of Enbridge Inc.’s Northern Gateway pipeline project. If approved, supertankers loaded with two million barrels of bitumen each may soon join herring, humpbacks, and salmon on their annual migration through the tumultuous waters off BC’s Central Coast—a place no oil tanker has been before. The project has pitted local First Nations and environmental groups against an international consortium led by Enbridge and backed by the federal government. Arno Kopecky sails into this controversy aboard a 41-foot cutter and soon discovers the politics of Big Oil and First Nations can be every bit as treacherous to navigate as the shifting currents and hidden reefs for which the Northern Gateway tanker route is known.

Arno Kopecky is a journalist and travel writer. He has covered civil uprisings in Mexico, cyclones in Burma, Zimbabwe’s 30-year dictatorship, and election violence in Kenya. He lives in Squamish, BC.

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The Once and Future World: Nature As It Was, As It Is, As It Could Be
by J.B. MacKinnon
Publisher: Random House of Canada

The Once and Future World began in the moment J.B. MacKinnon realized the grassland he grew up on was not the pristine wilderness he had always believed it to be. Instead, his home prairie was the outcome of a long history of transformation, from the disappearance of the grizzly bear to the introduction of cattle. What remains today is an illusion of the wild—an illusion that has in many ways created our world. In 3 beautifully drawn parts, MacKinnon revisits a globe exuberant with life, where lions roam North America and 20 times more whales swim in the sea. He traces how humans destroyed that reality, out of rapaciousness, yes, but also through a great forgetting. Finally, he calls for an “age of restoration,” not only to revisit that richer and more awe-filled world, but to reconnect with our truest human nature.

J.B. MacKinnon has won numerous national and international awards for journalism.

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They Called Me Number One: Secrets and Survival at an Indian Residential School
by Bev Sellars
Publisher: Talonbooks

The first full-length memoir to be published out of St. Joseph’s Mission at Williams Lake, BC, Sellars tells of three generations of women who attended the school, interweaving the personal histories of her grandmother and her mother with her own. She tells of hunger, forced labour, and physical beatings, and also of the demand for conformity in a culturally alien institution where children were confined and denigrated for failure to be White and Roman Catholic. In this frank and poignant memoir, Sellars breaks her silence about the institution’s lasting effects and eloquently articulates her own path to healing.

Bev Sellars is chief of the Xat’sull (Soda Creek) First Nation in Williams Lake, BC. She has spoken out on behalf of her community on racism and residential schools and on the environmental and social threats of mineral resource exploitation in her region.

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Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize

Supported by the BC Teachers’ Federation and Rebus Creative
Judges: Kate Braid, Sarah de Leeuw, Rob Taylor

The Place of Scraps
by Jordan Abel
Publisher: Talonbooks

Drawing inspiration from Marius Barbeau’s canonical book Totem Poles, Jordan Abel explores the complicated relationship between First Nations cultures and ethnography. His poems simultaneously illuminate Barbeau’s intentions and navigate the repercussions of the anthropologist’s actions. Through the use of erasure techniques, Abel carves out new understandings of Barbeau’s writing—each layer reveals a fresh perspective, each word takes on a different connotation, each letter plays a different role, and each punctuation mark rises to the surface in an unexpected way. As Abel writes his way ever deeper into Barbeau’s words, he begins to understand that he is much more connected to Barbeau than he originally suspected.

Jordan Abel is a First Nations writer who lives in Vancouver. Abel is an editor for Poetry Is Dead magazine and the former poetry editor for PRISM international.

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Birds, Metals, Stones and Rain
by Russell Thornton
Publisher: Harbour Publishing

Russell Thornton’s latest collection of poems, Birds, Metals, Stones and Rain, explores powerful, primary human relationships through images of two worlds: the natural and the urban industrial. Simple grass is the iron of an invisible forging within nature that involves the human creative consciousness. A scavenger alley crow is the universal creative spirit in brutal primordial disguise. A murderously violent father and son are integrated into a single new man who walks “bright as a song in the air.” A young daughter flings up her arms to seagulls that “collect up the world, opening it like a door.” An infant son fights the “anger in him … the death … with the heaven in living flailing hands.” Intensely personal, Birds, Metals, Stones and Rain reveals how essential human identity reinitiates human consciousness in a participatory universe.

Russell Thornton won the League of Canadian Poets National Contest in 2000 and The Fiddlehead’s Ralph Gustafson Poetry Prize in 2009.

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children of air india: un/authorized exhibits and interjections
by Renée Sarojini Saklikar
Publisher: Nightwood Editions

children of air india is a series of elegiac sequences exploring the nature of individual loss, situated within public trauma. The work is animated by a proposition: that violence, both personal and collective, produces continuing sonar, an echolocation that finds us, even when we choose to be unaware or indifferent. This collection breaks new ground in its approach to the saga that is Canada/Air India, an event and its aftermath that is both over-reported and under-represented in our national psyche. Why does 9/11 resonate more strongly with Canadians than June 23, 1985? The poems in this book search out answers in the “everything/ness and nothing/ness” of an act and its aftermath, revealing a voice that re-defines and re-visions.

Renée Sarojini Saklikar writes thecanadaproject, a life-long poem chronicle about her life from India to Canada, from coast to coast. Renée is married to Adrian Dix, Leader of the Official Opposition in British Columbia.

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The Lost Letters
by Catherine Greenwood
Publisher: Brick Books

At the centre of The Lost Letters is a sequence of radically diverse poems based on the story of Heloise and Abelard, who were truly lovers in a dangerous time—the twelfth century. The raw material is heavy; tension between flesh and spirit being the serious issue carried forward from the twelfth century into the twenty-first. But Greenwood’s deft and delicate handling of scenarios of love requited but balked becomes a perceptive reading—extraordinarily inventive and constantly surprising—of contemporary secular society. The Lost Letters creates a world of wonder tinged with sadness on behalf of so much that goes unnoticed, whether it’s a bin of severed sows’ ears, a lizard tethered by its tail who severs it by self-amputation, or a down-and-out old schoolmate.

Catherine Greenwood’s first book, The Pearl King and Other Poems, was a Kiriyama Prize notable book. She works for British Columbia’s Ministry of Justice in Victoria, where she lives with her husband, the writer Steve Noyes.

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by Jennica Harper
Publisher: Anvil Press

Wood is a pop-culture meditation on parenthood and all its complexities and complications. In her third collection, Harper deftly inhabits the lives of sons and daughters, fathers and mothers—the real, the mythical, the dreamed-up, and the surrogate. Pinocchio tries to make his father proud in a tempting world of sex and vice. A young caregiver to a special needs child ponders her romantic future alongside the true meaning of Crimson & Clover. Bess Houdini, married to the world’s greatest magician, conjures the children she’ll never have. Mad Men’s Sally Draper, daughter of a philandering genius, grows up desperately trying to both defy her father and become him. The poems in Wood are playful, surprising, tender, and brave…and universal in their emotional resonance.

Jennica Harper’s poems have been awarded a Silver National Magazine Award. She lives in Vancouver, where she also writes for film and television.

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Roderick Haig-Brown Regional Prize

Supported by Marquis, Victoria Bindery, and First Choice Books
Judges: Celia Duthie, Richard Hopkins, Scott Steedman

Arthur Erickson: An Architect’s Life
by David Stouck
Publisher: Douglas & McIntyre

Arthur Erickson, Canada’s pre-eminent philosopher-architect, was renowned for his innovative approach to landscape, his genius for spatial composition, and his epic vision of architecture for people. Erickson worked chiefly in concrete, which he called “the marble of our times,” and wherever they appear, his buildings move the spirit with their poetic freshness and their mission to inspire. But he was also a controversial figure, more than once attracting the ire of his fellow architects, and leading a complicated personal life that resulted in a series of bankruptcies. This first full biography of Erickson, who died in 2009 at the age of 84, traces his life from its modest origins to his emergence on the world stage.

David Stouck is a professor and biographer whose works include Ethel Wilson: A Critical Biography, shortlisted for the VanCity Book Prize, and Collecting Stamps Would Have Been More Fun: The Correspondence of Sinclair Ross 1933-86, a finalist for the Alberta Book Prize.

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Charles Edenshaw
by Robin K. Wright and Daina Augaitis (editors), with Haida Advisors Robert Davidson and James Hart
Publisher: Vancouver Art Gallery and Black Dog Publishing

Charles Edenshaw brings together the largest number of Edenshaw’s works ever assembled and offers a rare opportunity to view his legacy. Working in the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries, Edenshaw was an exceptional carver of wood, silver, and argillite, imbuing traditional Haida design with an innovative and elegant personal style. Recognised in his time as an outstanding carver, his work continues to be a great inspiration to those who visit the many prominent museums around the world that hold his acclaimed artworks in their collections. Not only do these remarkable objects tell us much about Haida culture, but they are truly sophisticated in their aesthetic achievement. Charles Edenshaw provides a useful context to the Haida tradition and explores Edenshaw’s Haida roots, including interviews with his descendants still based in the region. Packed with lavish illustrations and beautiful colour photography of Edenshaw’s work, this title is essential for anyone with an interest in Northwest Coast art.

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Inventing Stanley Park: An Environmental History
by Sean Kheraj
Publisher: University of British Columbia Press

In the early hours of December 15, 2006, a windstorm of a ferocity not known for more than forty years ripped through Vancouver. In the crisp light of dawn, the city’s residents awoke to discover that Stanley Park, their city’s most treasured park, had been transformed into a tangle of splintered and uprooted trees. In the weeks that followed, people toured Stanley Park by car and by foot like a procession of mourners at a funeral. Their anguish revealed more than just an attachment to the memory of a park—it marked the end of a romanticized vision of timeless natural space. In Inventing Stanley Park, environmental historian Sean Kheraj examines how this tension between popular expectations of idealized wilderness and the volatility of complex ecosystems helped shape one of the world’s most famous urban parks.

Sean Kheraj is an assistant professor in the Department of History at York University.

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Svend Robinson: A Life in Politics
by Graeme Truelove
Publisher: New Star Books

Few politicians have enraged opponents, frustrated colleagues, and polarized Canadians like Svend Robinson—but few embraced the causes he did. Over his twenty–five years as a New Democrat MP, Robinson was imprisoned for blocking loggers from clear–cutting in Clayoquot Sound, assaulted by police while protesting at the 2001 Summit of the Americas, expelled from foreign countries for defending human rights, and harassed after coming out as Canada’s first openly gay MP. Robinson always took his ideals to the front lines, helping to define the Canadian left. Though his brash tactics dominated headlines, Robinson’s full story has not yet been told. In this in–depth biography, Graeme Truelove explores an accomplished life and career.

Graeme Truelove, who grew up in Delta, BC, has worked for the House of Commons and the Library of Parliament in a variety of professional capacities since 2001 and was an intern in Svend Robinson’s Ottawa office from 2002 to 2004. He lives in Ottawa.

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Voyage Through the Past Century
by Rolf Knight
Publisher: New Star Books

In Voyage Through the Past Century, we have Knight’s autobiographical account of his far–from–ordinary past: A journey from his early years as the only child at Musketeer Mine, through his move to northeast Vancouver where he attended school and entered university. Earning a PhD in anthropology and subsequent fieldwork in Northern Quebec constitute his formal schooling, but it was Knight’s travels––upcoast as a youth, trips to Berlin, Nigeria, New York, and Colombia––that shaped his politics and views. Clear–eyed and written with the verve and passion of a working–class activist, Voyage Through the Past Century is an engaging record of a fascinating life, and an indispensable account of a time and place that has marked our age, even as the events that shaped it fade into the past.

Rolf Knight is the author of numerous important books about BC history. In 1992 he received the Canadian Historical Association’s award for his contributions to regional history. He lives in Burnaby, BC.

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Sheila A. Egoff Children’s Literature Prize

Supported by Kidsbooks and Tourism Vancouver
Judges: Norma Charles, Pamela Porter, John Wilson

The New Normal
by Ashley Little
Publisher: Orca Book Publishers

Tamar Robinson knows a lot about loss—more than any teenager should. Her younger sisters are dead, her parents are adrift in a sea of grief, and now Tamar is losing her hair. Nevertheless, she navigates her rocky life as best she can, not always with grace, but with her own brand of twisted humour. She joins the chess club with her friend Roy, earns a part in the school production of The Wizard of Oz, buys an awesome wig, lands a crappy job, gets invited to the prom (by three different guys!), and helps her parents re-enter the land of the living. What Tamar lacks in tact (and hair), she makes up for in sheer tenacity.

Ashley Little completed a BFA in creative writing at the University of Victoria. She teaches yoga and writes fiction in Alberta’s badlands. The New Normal is her first novel for teens.

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If Only
by Becky Citra
Publisher: Orca Book Publishers

Fifteen-year-old Pam is assaulted when she and her twin brother Danny are walking home through the woods. Danny is frozen with fear and does nothing; luckily, Pam is rescued by a woman out walking her dog. Pam deals with the trauma by isolating herself while Danny struggles with the shame of not protecting his sister. His shame is compounded by their father’s contempt, and Danny decides to redeem himself by finding Pam’s attacker. In the process, he discovers a family secret, and Pam connects with new friends who help her regain her confidence.

Becky Citra is the author of more than a dozen books for young readers. When Becky is not writing, she gardens, hikes, skis, and reads. Becky lives with her husband and daughter on a ranch where she has ridden and trained horses for thirty years in Bridge Lake, BC.

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The Path of Names
by Ari Goelman
Publisher: Scholastic Canada

Within minutes of arriving at Jewish summer camp, Dahlia Shulman realizes that it might not be as bad as she’d feared. First she sees two little girls walk right through the walls of her cabin. Then come the dreams—frighteningly detailed visions of a young man being pursued through 1930s New York City. How are the dreams and the girls related? Why is Dahlia the only one who can see any of them? And what’s up with the overgrown, strangely shaped hedge maze that none of the campers are allowed to touch? Dahlia’s increasingly dangerous quest for answers will lead her right to the centre of the maze—but it will take all her courage, smarts, and sleight-of-hand skills to get her back out again.

Ari Goelman has published many science-fiction/fantasy short stories, and his academic work has been covered by the Brookings Institution and the New York Times. Originally from Pennsylvania, Ari currently lives in Vancouver, BC, with his family.

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Record Breaker
by Robin Stevenson
Publisher: Orca Book Publishers

It’s 1963, and Jack’s family is still reeling from the SIDS death of his baby sister. Adrift in his own life, Jack is convinced that setting a world record will bring his father back to his senses and his mother back to life. But world events, including President Kennedy’s assassination, threaten to overshadow any record Jack tries to beat—from sausage eating to face slapping. Nothing works, and Jack is about to give up when a new friend suggests a different approach that involves listening to, not breaking, records.

Robin Stevenson is the author of more than a dozen books for children and teens. She has always loved reading and still finds it almost impossible to walk past a library or bookstore without going inside. Robin spends most of her time writing, hanging out with her homeschooled son, and teaching creative writing to adults, teens, and kids. She lives in Victoria, BC, with her family.

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by Silvana Goldemberg, translated by Emilie Smith
Publisher: Tradewind Books

After losing her parents, 14-year-old Victoria and her young twin brothers move in with their aunt. But shortly afterward, her aunt’s boyfriend attempts to assault her, and she runs away and learns to survive on the dangerous streets of Paraná, Argentina. Encountering a world of street kids, gangs, and drug dealers, Victoria overcomes deprivation and great hardship. With the help of newly found friends and her single-minded determination to survive, she carves out a new life for herself and her little brothers.

Silvana Goldemberg was born and raised in Argentina. Her books and magazines have been published in Spanish and English throughout the Americas. She moved from Argentina in 2003 and now lives in Richmond, BC, with her husband and their two daughters. Emilie Smith was born in Argentina, and raised in Nelson, BC. She now lives in New Westminster where she works as an Anglican minister at St. Barnabas’ Church in New Westminster.

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Christie Harris Illustrated Children’s Literature Prize

Supported by Kate Walker
Judges: Linda Bailey, Dr. Margo Filipenko, Alan Woo

How To
by Julie Morstad
Illustrated by Julie Morstad
Publisher: Simply Read Books

This imaginative ‘how to’ book explores whimsical ways of doing a host of different tasks, including ‘how to wonder,’ ‘how to see the breeze,’ and ‘how to be brave.’ With text and images by award-winning illustrator Julie Morstad, this book will be beloved by all ages. How to read this book? That is up to you!

Julie Morstad divides her creative energy between drawing, illustration, animation, and design. Her work is exhibited at Atelier Gallery and she is the illustrator of the award-winning picture book, When You Were Small, and its sequels Where You Came From and When I Was Small published by Simply Read Books. Her picture book How To has received starred reviews from School Library Journal and Kirkus.

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The Great Bear Sea: Exploring the Marine Life of a Pacific Paradise
by Ian McAllister, Nicholas Read
Illustrated by Ian McAllister
Publisher: Orca Book Publishers

Following up the success of their first two books about the Great Bear Rainforest, The Salmon Bears and The Sea Wolves, Ian McAllister and Nicholas Read take readers on an expedition into the wondrous and mysterious underwater world of the Great Bear Sea. This amazing part of the northeast Pacific Ocean is home to some of the planet’s mightiest and most beloved residents: whales, sea lions, dolphins, orcas, sea otters, and wild salmon. Filled with spectacular images of this largely unknown part of the world, the book also explores the uncertain future of the Great Bear Sea in this age of climate change, overfishing, pipelines, and oil tankers.

Ian McAllister, a founding director of both the Raincoast Conservation Society and Pacific Wild, is an award-winning photographer and filmmaker. Nicholas Read, a lifelong lover of animals, has written on animal issues for the Vancouver Sun and on other issues for The Globe and MailToronto Star, and other publications.

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Not Your Typical Dragon
by Dan Bar-el
Illustrated by Tim Bowers
Publisher: Viking Children’s Books

Everybody knows your typical dragon breathes fire. But when Crispin tries to breathe fire on his seventh birthday, fire doesn’t come out—only whipped cream! Each time Crispin tries to breathe fire, he ends up with Band-Aids? Marshmallows? Teddy bears? Crispin wonders if he’ll ever find his inner fire. But when a family emergency breaks out, it takes a little dragon with not-so-typical abilities to save the day. With wry humor and whimsical illustrations, Not Your Typical Dragon is the perfect story for any child who can’t help feeling a little bit different.

Dan Bar-el is an award-winning children’s author, educator, and storyteller. He lives in Vancouver, BC with his wife, artist and goldsmith, Dominique Bréchault. Tim Bowers has illustrated over thirty books. His books have received numerous state and national awards and have been chosen as Junior Library Guild selections. His artwork has been exhibited in the prestigious Original Art Exhibition, celebrating the fine art of children’s book illustration.

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When I Was Eight
by Christy Jordan-Fenton, Margaret Pokiak-Fenton
Illustrated by Gabrielle Grimard
Publisher: Annick Press

Olemaun is eight and knows a lot of things. But she does not know how to read. Ignoring her father’s warnings, she travels far from her Arctic home to the outsiders’ school to learn. The nuns at the school call her Margaret. They cut off her long hair and force her to do menial chores, but she remains undaunted. Her tenacity draws the attention of a black-cloaked nun who tries to break her spirit at every turn. But the young girl is more determined than ever to learn how to read. Based on the true story of Margaret Pokiak-Fenton, and complemented by stunning illustrations, When I Was Eight makes the bestselling Fatty Legs accessible to younger readers.

Christy Jordon-Fenton lives with her family in Fort St. John, BC and co-wrote the book with her mother-in-law, Margaret Pokiak-Fenton, who attended a residential school in Inuvialuit. Gabrielle Grimard has illustrated numerous pictures books in the US and Canada.

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Wild Berries
by Julie Flett
Illustrated by Julie Flett
Publisher: Simply Read Books

Tch, tch, sh, sh, tup, tup. Spend the day picking wild blueberries with Clarence and his grandmother. Meet ant, spider, and fox in a beautiful woodland landscape, the ancestral home of author and illustrator Julie Flett. This book is written in both English and Cree, in particular the n-dialect, also known as Swampy Cree from the Cumberland House area.

Julie Flett is a Vancouver-based Metis and Cree artist and illustrator who incorporates photography, drawing, and painting into her practice. She is the recipient of the Christie Harris Illustrated Children’s Literature Prize and nominee for the Governor General’s Award for Children’s Literature for her book for Owls See Clearly at Night(Lii Yiiboo Nayaapiwak lii Swer): A Michif Alphabet (L’alfabet di Michif).

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Bill Duthie Booksellers’ Choice Award

Supported by the BC Booksellers’ Association
Judged by members of the BC Booksellers’ Association

The Lonely End of the Rink: Confessions of a Reluctant Goalie
by Grant Lawrence
Publisher: Douglas & McIntyre

Through Grant’s early life, he struggled with the idea of hockey. He was an undersized child who wore thick glasses and knee-braces, and he understood, first-hand, what it was like to be in the attack zone of the hockey-obsessed jocks at his school. For Grant, bullying and the violent game of hockey seemed to go hand-in-hand. Yet he was also enamoured with the sport, and eventually learned that playing goalie on a hockey team isn’t all that different from playing in a band and that artistically-minded wimps find just as much joy in the game as their meathead counterparts.

Grant Lawrence hosts the popular CBC Radio 3 Podcast with Grant Lawrence, and Grant Lawrence Live on CBC Radio 3 and SiriusXM 152, and can also be heard on various CBC Radio One programs such as DNTO, All Points West and On The Coast. He is married to musician Jill Barber and lives in Vancouver, BC.

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The Cougar: Beautiful, Wild and Dangerous
by Paula Wild
Publisher: Douglas & McIntyre

The Cougar is a skillful blend of natural history, scientific research, First Nations stories, and first person accounts. With her in-depth research, Wild explores the relationship between mountain lions and humans, and provides the most up-to-date information on cougar awareness and defense tactics for those living, working, or travelling in cougar country. Both feared and admired, cougars are rarely seen, but odds are that a big cat has watched you walk through the woods while you’ve been totally unaware of its presence. And that’s part of what makes the cougar an icon of all that is beautiful, wild and dangerous.

Paula Wild is the author of Sointula Island Utopia, winner of a BC Historical Federation Certificate of Merit. Her work has been nominated for National Magazine Awards and she received the John Alexander Media Award for “On a Mission for Life.” She lives in Courtenay, BC.

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The Land of Heart’s Delight: Early Maps and Charts of Vancouver Island
by Michael Layland
Publisher: TouchWood Editions

With 130 maps, dating between 1593 and 1915, this cartographic history tells the story of how Vancouver Island and the surrounding area came to be mapped. The book shows local cartographic milestones, marking progress in our knowledge through the island’s rich—although comparatively short—recorded history. The accompanying text reveals the motives, constraints, agendas, and intrigues that underpin their making. The narrative, roughly chronological, begins before the arrival of Europeans and concludes at the outset of the First World War and includes an introduction on the history and significance of map-making, as well as an afterword summarizing subsequent cartographic developments.

Michael Layland was born and educated in England and trained as an officer and map-maker in the Royal Engineers. His articles on explorers and exploration history have appeared in international encyclopedias, including eight entries in the two-volume The Oxford Companion to World Exploration. He also serves as the current president of the Friends of the BC Archives.

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Raven Brings the Light
by Roy Henry Vickers, Robert Budd
Publisher: Harbour Publishing

In a time when darkness covered the land, a boy named Weget is born who is destined to bring the light. With the gift of a raven’s skin that allows him to fly as well as transform, Weget turns into a bird and journeys from Haida Gwaii into the sky. There he finds the Chief of the Heavens who keeps the light in a box. By transforming himself into a pine needle, clever Weget tricks the Chief and escapes with the daylight back down to Earth. Vividly portrayed through the art of Roy Henry Vickers, Weget’s story has been passed down for generations.

Roy Henry Vickers is a renowned carver, painter, and printmaker. He was appointed to the Order of British Columbia in 1998, and the Order of Canada in 2006. He has received the Queen’s Golden and Diamond Jubilee Medals. Robert “Lucky” Budd is the host of the CBC radio series Voices of BC. His book Voices of British Columbia was shortlisted for the 2011 Bill Duthie Booksellers’ Choice Award.

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This Day in Vancouver
by Jesse Donaldson
Publisher: Anvil Press

The City of Vancouver has been through a lot in its first 127 years. It’s a city that has played host to the likes of Mark Twain, Elvis Presley, Winston Churchill, The Beatles, Expo ’86, and the 2010 Olympic Winter Games. It’s the birthplace of Canada’s first female MLA and the reason for the first nationwide prohibition legislation. It is the site of the West Coast’s first electric light, and the nation’s first female police officers, as well as home to world-renowned actors, twisted serial killers, the founders of Greenpeace, and even the headquarters for the Canadian Ku Klux Klan. It’s a city on a journey. This Day in Vancouver is the story of that 127-year journey, one day at a time.

Jesse Donaldson is an author, journalist, and historian whose work has appeared online and in print. His work has also appeared onstage regionally at The Cultch, Presentation House, and the Shadbolt Centre for the Arts.

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Lieutenant Governor’s Award for Literary Excellence

Supported by The Honourable Lieutenant Governor of BC
2014 Jury: Sarah Ellis, award-winning children’s author and 2013 recipient of the Lieutenant Governor’s Award for Literary Excellence; Sheila Peacock, longtime producer at the CBC; and Jessica Walker, longtime bookseller and a current manager of Munro’s Books.

Kit Pearson

Kit Pearson was born in Edmonton, Alberta in 1947 and grew up there and in Vancouver. She received her B.A. from the University of Alberta, her M.L.S. from the University of British Columbia, and her M.A. from the Simmons College Center for the Study of Children’s Literature in Boston. She worked for ten years as a children’s librarian in Ontario and BC, and is now a full-time writer living in Victoria. Her books have been published in Canada in English and French, in the US, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, the Netherlands, Germany, Great Britain, China, and Korea. She has won many awards for her writing, including the Vicky Metcalf Award for her body of work in 1998.

“In a career spanning three decades, Kit Pearson has demonstrated mastery in that most traditional of genres, the novel for young readers. In both her fantasies and her historical fiction she looks to the past: to Canada’s war guests, to the War of 1812, to Alberta in 1949, and to Mayne Island in the 1930s. She sees children as those residents of the past who are largely overlooked in the story of where we have come from.

“Adults, who decide on things like book prizes, have noticed Kit’s accomplished writing. Adults note her meticulous research, her narrative skill, her imaginative choice of subjects from all across this country, and her clearly crafted prose. She has won the Canadian Library Association Book of the Year for Children Award, the Mr. Christie’s Book Award, the Geoffrey Bilson Award for Historical Fiction, the Governor General’s Literary Award, and a host of other honours.

“Children sometimes vote for awards as well and in casting their votes for Kit in the Red Cedar Book Award, the Manitoba Young Readers’ Choice Awards, and the Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz Children’s Book Awards, they have honoured something much more important in Kit’s work: emotional authenticity. Kit’s characters are never cute, generic, or remote. They are complicated, individual, and flawed. Sometimes they lie. Sometimes they are unkind. Sometimes they are unlikeable. In other words, they are real. Kit’s readers resonate to this honesty with deep enthusiasm.

“Kit is a generous member of the children’s writing community, being one of the co-founders of BC’s children’s writers and illustrators’ organization, CWILL BC, which provides writers and illustrators with a way to connect, support each other, and promote children’s books. She credits reading L.M. Montgomery’s Emily of New Moon as an inspiration for becoming a writer. She passes the tradition along. Who knows what young apprentice writer is reading one of Kit Pearson’s books right at this moment?”

— Lieutenant Governor’s Award for Literary Excellence jury