So, October 15 was a very good day. In a spot of amazing news, The Dead Kid Detective Agency was announced as a nominee for the Silver Birch Award, one of the biggest awards in the world of Canadian Book Publishing!
For the uninitiated, the Forest of Reading is Canada’s largest recreational reading program, made up of seven reading awards programs and run by the Ontario Library Association (OLA). Nominees are announced in the fall, and a series of children’s reading programs follow, leading up to the Festival of Trees, a massive literary event co-run with Authors at Harbourfront, with an audience of thousands of children. (Terrifying!)
Committees of public and school library practitioners select nominated titles each year. (Thank you, Silver Birch committee!) The Silver Birch® program is intended for readers aged 8 to 12, from Grades 3-6, with the Fiction nominees focusing on the Grade 5 and 6 readers.
My esteemed fellow nominees are the following talented authors:
- Cat Found – Ingrid Lee (Chicken House / Scholastic)
- Dragon Seer’s Gift – Janet McNaughton (HarperCollins)
- The Grave Robber’s Apprentice – Allan Stratton (HarperCollins)
- Making Bombs For Hitler – Marsha Skrypuch (Scholastic)
- The Mighty Miss Malone – Christopher Paul Curtis (Wendy Lamb Books / Random House)
- Missing – Becky Citra (Orca)
- Neil Flambe and the Crusader’s Curse – Kevin Sylvester (Simon & Schuster)
- Sinking Deeper or My Questionable (Possibly Heroic ) Decision to Invent a Sea Monster – Steve Vernon (Nimbus)
- A Tinfoil Sky – Cyndi Sand-Eveland (Tundra)
Those are some heavy-hitters! I don’t stand a chance! (Nobody’s making bombs for Hitler in my book.)
But in all seriousness, this news is amazing. For a first-time author of children’s fiction, being nominated for the Silver Birch Award is a shot of incredible, unbelievable encouragement. I still don’t entirely believe it’s real. And I have to thank the amazing team at ECW Press for submitting the book (and doing so many amazing things for my little book)! If you look carefully, ECW and Nimbus are really the only independent Canadian presses on that list.
Stay tuned, as there will be many other Forest of Reading updates to come throughout fall and into spring of 2013. The full list of Forest of Reading nominees for 2013 can be found here. (And if you’re wondering, the second Dead Kid book is on the way!)