Pajama Press

Posts Tagged ‘canadian-kidlit-heroes’

The OLA Forest of Reading

Posted on January 28th, 2013 by pajamapress

ForestofReadingWith the Ontario Library Association Super Conference fast approaching, it seems appropriate to acknowledge another OLA program that is engaging children across the province right now: the OLA Forest of Reading.

Every October the Forest of Reading committees, which are made up of public and school library practitioners, select shortlists of nominated titles for the following categories:

The Blue Spruce Award—ages 4–7

The Silver Birch Award—ages 8–12

The Red Maple Award—ages 12–13

The White Pine Award—high school and teen readers

The Evergreen Award—adults of all ages

The Golden Oak Award—new adult readers

Le Prix Tamarac—french language fiction and non-fiction

Le Prix Peuplier—french language books read aloud to participants

In the months between the announcement of the nominees and the awards ceremony in June*, participants read or are read books from the shortlists in their age category and vote for their favourite. The awards are presented at the Festival of Trees in Toronto, where hundreds of eager school children meet and cheer on their favourite authors.

With more than 250,000 readers participating each year through their school or public library, the Forest of Reading is the largest program of its kind in Canada. To learn more, visit the Ontario Library Association website.

Not a resident of Ontario? Many other provinces and regions in Canada have readers’ choice awards. We have already featured the Manitoba Young Readers’ Choice Award and British Columbia’s Chocolate Lily Book Award. We look forward to featuring more!

*The Evergreen Award and the Golden Oak Award are presented at different times.



The Chocolate Lily Book Awards

Posted on January 18th, 2013 by pajamapress

HeroesChocolateLilyEvery year BC students from kindergarten to grade six read and vote on a list of picture books and novels published in the last year. With resources for teachers and librarians, the program encourages book clubs, letter-writing to authors and illustrators, and activities that foster critical thinking. An annual gala event celebrates the award winners.

For more information about the Chocolate Lily Book Awards, please visit

chocolatelilylogo-150x150The chocolate lily is a native British Columbia flower that grows nowhere else in Canada. The Chocolate Lily Book Awards program is one that celebrates the unique literary offerings of British Columbia authors and illustrators. Founded by teacher-librarian Karen Ehrenholz, the Chocolate Lily Book Awards have been encouraging children to read for over ten years.

Manitoba Young Reader’s Choice Award

Posted on January 7th, 2013 by pajamapress

Lately there has been a good deal of pessimism about the future of the publishing industry. Many of us involved with children’s books would like to refute that. Canada is home to a vibrant community of writers, publishers, librarians, booksellers, teachers, young people, and children’s book advocates of all kinds. Pajama Party would like to highlight those invaluable programs and people that are promoting reading among Canadian kids today. Today’s featured program is the Manitoba Young Readers’ Choice Award.

HeroesMYRCAThe Manitoba Young Readers’ Choice Award, or MYRCA, was begun in 1990 by the Manitoba School Library Association to promote reading among an age group that too often loses interest in books. Each year 15–18 Canadian titles are chosen to appeal to children in grades 5–8. The program is promoted across the province, and in April any student who has read at least 3 of the titles may vote for his or her favourite. An award ceremony in the fall welcomes hundreds of students to celebrate the winner and two honour books.

Students across Manitoba are busily reading MYRCA-nominated titles right now. The 2013 shortlist includes:

Screen shot 2012-12-27 at 10.17.45 AMAgainst all Odds (Natale Ghent),  The Bedmas Conspiracy (Deborah Sherman), Blood Red Road (Moira Young), Box of Shocks (Chris McMahen), The Case of the Missing Deed (Ellen Schwartz), Dragon Seer’s Gift (Janet McNaughton), The Dragon Turn (Shane Peacock), Encore Edie (Annabel Lyon), End of Days (Eric Walters), Fly Boy (Eric Walters), Ice Storm (Penny Draper), Peter Nimble and his Fantastic Eyes (Jonathan Auxier), This Dark Endeavour (Kenneth Oppel), The Tiffin (Mahtab Narsimhan), Timber Wolf (Caroline Pignat), True Blue (Deborah Ellis), Undergrounders (David Skuy), Witchlanders (Lena Coakley).

To learn more about the Manitoba Young Readers’ Choice Awards, visit