Jonathan Auxier wins 2015 TD Canadian Children's Literature Award


Jonathan Auxier, author of The Night Gardener, took home the 2015 TD Canadian Children's Literature Award, the richest prize in the country for children's literature at $30,000. He also won the $5,000 Monica Hughes Award for Science Fiction and Fantasy at Wednesday night's gala for the same book.

Auxier was among eight authors and illustrators honoured at the Canadian Children's Book Centre's annual event, where $97,500 in awards were given out.

Written for middle-grade students, Auxier's The Night Gardener is a chilling novel about a pair of Irish orphans named Molly and Kip who become servants in a haunted mansion. Earlier this year, Auxier spoke to the CBC's Mary Ito on Fresh Air.

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The Night Gardener beat out finalists Any Questions? by Marie-Louise Gay, From Vimy to Victory: Canada's Fight to the Finish in World War I by Hugh Brewster, Morris Micklewhite and the Tangerine Dress by Christine Baldacchino and A Brush Full of Colour: The World of Ted Harrison by Margriet Ruurs and Katherine Gibson.

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Cybèle Young won the second biggest prize of the night: the $20,000 Marilyn Baillie Picture Book Award for her book Nancy Knows.

Writer Kira Vermond and illustrator Julie McLaughlin won the Norma Fleck Award for Canadian Children's Non-Fiction - worth $10,000 - for their collaboration, Why We Live Where We Live.

Marie-Louise Gay was selected as the CBC Fan Choice Award winner, the result of an online poll in which young readers voted for their favourite TD Canadian Children's Literature Award finalists. Seven-year-old voter Nora Vukadinovic of Calgary won a trip to Toronto to see Gay accept the award, worth $5,000.

Vukadinovic said she chose Any Questions? as her favourite "[b]ecause... I have lots of questions, too... We laughed EVERY time we saw Caramba the Cat try to fly... We were excited to see Roslyn Rutabaga on p.18 (we have that book!)... My little brother, Robby, loved the spider hanging from the giant's hair on p.42."

mlg-nora-v.jpgNora Vukadinovic, 7, awarded the CBC Fan Choice Award to Marie-Louise Gay for her book Any Questions? (Sannah Choi/CBC News)

The other winners at Wednesday night's event included:

  • Dance of the Banished by Marsha Forchuk Skrypuch, which won the $5,000 Geoffrey Bilson Award for Historical Fiction for Young People
  • Julian by William Bell, which won the $5,000 John Spray Mystery Award
  • What We Hide by Marthe Jocelyn, which won the inaugural $5,000 Amy Mathers Teen Book Award
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