Iain Lawrence's The Skeleton Tree receives the most votes in Fan Choice Contest

More than 4,000 young readers participated in Fan Choice Contest voting, celebrating their favourite books nominated for the TD Canadian Children's Literature Award.
Iain Lawrence's The Skeleton Tree tells the story of two improbable friends and their quest to survive the Alaskan wilderness. (TD Canadian Children's Literature Award)

Throughout Nov. 2017, readers between the ages of five and 12 participated in the CBC Books Fan Choice Contest by voting for their favourite book from among the nominees for the 2017 TD Canadian Children's Literature Award. More than 4,000 votes were cast, and Iain Lawrence's YA novel The Skeleton Tree came out on top, winning the $5,000 prize. 

Delta, B.C. seven-year-old Monica Yu was randomly selected from among participating voters to receive $500 spending money, a classroom visit from one of the nominated authors and copies of that author's book for all her classmates! The library at her school — Cougar Canyon Elementary — will also receive a $2,000 donation. 

The $30,000 TD Canadian Children's Literature Award is the largest prize for children's literature in Canada. The 2017 prize was awarded to Jan Thornhill for her illustrated nonfiction book The Tragic Tale of the Great Auk. The finalists were:

A Day of Signs and Wonders by Kit Pearson is a middle-grade novel that draws from the childhood of artist Emily Carr, telling the story of two young girls and one magical day spent on a beach in Victoria, B.C. in 1881.

The middle-grade novel The Skeleton Tree by Iain Lawrence is tale of endurance and friendship. It takes place in the harsh Alaskan wilderness, where two boys who dislike each other intensely find themselves the only survivors after a tragic boat accident.

Tokyo Digs a Garden is a picture book written by Jon-Erik Lappano and illustrated by Kellen Hatanaka. It is about a young boy named Tokyo, who is given seeds with the promise they will grow into whatever he desires. One day he wakes up to see his city has been overtaken by forest.

Jan Thornhill's nonfiction picture book The Tragic Tale of the Great Auk describes how the great auk, a North Atlantic bird that lived for hundreds of thousands of years, became extinct in 1844 and how its disappearance contributed to the creation of the conservation movement.

When We Were Alonea picture book written by David Alexander Robertson and illustrated by Julie Flett, is about a girl who asks her grandmother about why she wears her hair in a long braid and why she speaks in another language. Her grandmother responds by describing her childhood, growing up in a residential school.

Students at Leo Nickerson Elementary School in St. Albert, Alta., celebrate their 2016 Fan Choice classroom visit. (CBC)

The 2016 Fan Choice Contest winner Livia Kilburn chose That Squeak — written by Carolyn Beck and illustrated by François Thisdale — as her favourite book from among the finalists for last year's TD Canadian Children's Literature Award. Her Grade 5 class at Leo Nickerson Elementary School in St. Albert, Alta., was awarded with a visit from Carolyn Beck, copies of That Squeak and a donation to their school library.