Katherena Vermette's The Break among finalists for 2017 Burt Award
Katherena Vermette's debut novel The Break has garnered yet another accolade: the book is one of three nominated for the Burt Award for First Nations, Inuit and Métis Young Adult Literature.
The Burt Award is an annual $12,000 prize that recognizes literature by First Nations, Inuit and Métis creators.
The winner of the grand prize will be announced on Nov. 23, 2017 in Edmonton, Alta., at an event hosted by novelist and artist Aaron Paquette and Shelagh Rogers, host of CBC Radio's The Next Chapter.
Over 2,000 copies of the winning book will be purchased and distributed to school libraries, Friendship Centres and other organizations across Canada.
The two books that aren't selected will be named honour books and will each receive $2,000.
The Break by Katherena Vermette
What it's about: A young Indigenous girl is violently attacked in a small Winnipeg neighbourhood. Voices from the traumatized community — a witness to the crime, the victim's family members, a police officer and a neighbourhood girl — take turns narrating the aftermath as past pains are unearthed by the event and justice is sought.
From the judges: "Katherena Vemette's beautifully and powerfully written book captures the love and struggles between family members in a modern Indigenous community."
The Mask That Sang by Susan Currie
What it's about: The only family Cass, a young girl, has ever known is her mother. But when a grandmother she never met dies and her mother inherits a house she refuses to live in, Cass' curiosity about her extended family is piqued. Her questions lead her to an unusual mask, which seems to have answers about her heritage.
From the judges: "Susan Currie weaves themes of class, race, culture, family and friendship into an outstanding story."
Those Who Run in the Sky by Aviaq Johnston
What it's about: After a terrible blizzard, a young shaman named Pitu finds himself transported to the world of spirits without his dog team or any weapons. While dodging deadly creatures, Pitu runs into a powerful shaman who is also trapped in the spirit world. Pitu works to master his shamanic powers in order to find a way home.
From the judges: "Aviaq Johnston takes us on a young Inuit hero's journey to spiritual and physical strength as he makes his way through the Arctic wilderness."