Books

Students across Canada chose these 9 books as the 2022 Forest of Reading Award winners

The Forest of Reading program curates a selection of Canadian titles for children to read and vote for their favourite. The virtual award ceremonies took place from May 17 to 19. The awards were broadcast on CBC Books. Find out about all the winners now!

Forest of Reading curates a selection of Canadian titles for children to read and vote for their favourite

Forest of Reading curates a wide selection of Canadian titles for school-aged children to read and vote for their favourite. (Ontario Library Association, CBC)

The 2022 Forest of Reading Awards, divided by age group and reading level, have been announced through a virtual celebration.

Forest of Reading is Canada's largest annual recreational reading program where children and young adults pick their favourite authors and illustrators.

The 10 finalists in each category are chosen by a committee of library practitioners. The Forest of Reading program is organized by the Ontario Library Association.

Young readers across Canada vote on their favourite to determine the winner.

The 2022 winners are:

The virtual award ceremonies took place from May 17 to 19. Those with a subscription can watch the replays through Curio, CBC's educational service. The awards were also broadcast on CBC Books and you can see the replay videos here:

Get to know the winning titles for the English-language categories below.

Blue Spruce Award: Harley the Hero by Peggy Collins

Harley the Hero is a picture book by Peggy Collins. (Pajama Press )

The Blue Spruce Award is picture books for readers in kindergarten to Grade 2.

Based on a true story, Harley the Hero is about a classroom service dog named Harley and the normalization of neurodivergence. Harley the Hero honours service animals by telling a story about Harley, his human Ms. Prichard and a situation calling for quick thinking. 

Peggy Collins is a graphic designer and children's book author-illustrator with more than 35 titles to her name, including Harley the HeroHungry for Math: Poems to Munch On and In the Snow.

Red Maple Award: The King of Jam Sandwiches by Eric Walters

Eric Walters is a prolific author of books for children. (Orca Books, Kristina Laukkanen)

The Red Maple Award is for fiction for readers in Grades 7-8.

The King of Jam Sandwiches is about a unique father-son relationship. Rob is 13 and his father isn't like the other kid's dads. Robbie's dad sometimes wakes him up in the middle of the night to talk about dying. Other times, his dad disappears for days, even a week at a time. When Robbie encounters Harmony, the new girl at school, he comes to realize the value of truth and friendship.

The King of Jam Sandwiches won the 2020 Governor General's Literary Prize for young people's literature — text.

Eric Walters has penned over 100 books and is one of Canada's most prolific writers for young people. He's won the Red Maple Award for his books ReboundSafe as HousesWe All Fall Down and The Rule of Three. 

White Pine Award: What Unbreakable Looks Like by Kate McLaughlin

What Unbreakable Looks Like is a book by Kate McLaughlin. (Kate McLaughlin, Wednesday Books)

The White Pine Award is for fiction for readers in high school.

What Unbreakable Looks Like is the story of a girl named Lex who moves in with her aunt and uncle after surviving being trafficked. After her new sense of safety is shattered by a sexual assault, she decides to confront her past and use what happened to her to help others.

Kate McLaughlin is an author from Nova Scotia currently based in Connecticut. Her other books include the Steampunk Chronicles series and the upcoming YA novel Daughter.

Yellow Cedar Award: Wild Outside by Les Stroud, illustrated by Andrew P. Barr

Les Stroud is a Canadian survival expert, filmmaker and musician. (Laura Bombier, Annick Press)

The Yellow Cedar Award is for nonfiction for readers in Grades 4-8.

Wild Outside  is a middle-grade adventure book that offers kid-friendly activities and tips about how safely observe wildlife. Les Stroud uses his decades of wilderness adventures and facts about nature to pass on practical advice about spending time outdoors to young readers.

Les Stroud is a Canadian survival expert, filmmaker and musician best known as the creator, writer, producer, director, cameraman and host of the television series Survivorman.

Andrew P. Barr is a graphic designer and illustrator based in Toronto. His other books include Monstars: Bootleg Horrors from Hollywood and Bride of Monstars.

Silver Birch Fiction Award: Deadman's Castle by Iain Lawrence

Deadman's Castle is a book by Iain Lawrence. (Margaret Ferguson Books, Donald Lawrence)

The Silver Birch Fiction Award is for fiction for readers in Grades 3-6.

Deadman's Castle is a middle-grade novel about a boy named Igor who has been on the run with his family for as long as he can remember. He's followed his father's strict rules all his life but when Igor starts testing those boundaries, strange things start happening and he begins to wonder if the "Lizard Man" has finally caught up with them.

Iain Lawrence is a bestselling author of books for children of all ages. The B.C.-based writer won the 2007 Governor General's Literary Award for children's literature — text for the novel Gemini Summer.

Silver Birch Express Award: Mellybean and the Giant Monster by Mike White

Mellybean and the Giant Monster is a book by Mike White. (mellypup.com, Razorbill)

The Silver Birch Express Award is for fiction or nonfiction for readers in Grades 3-4.

Mellybean and the Giant Monster is a picture book that follows the adventures of a puppy named Mellybean. After being tricked into burying a shoe in the backyard by her feline friends, Melly ends up magically transported to a world of knights and monsters. Now she has to help her new friends and find a way home.

Mike White is a Canadian American author, illustrator and animator living in San Francisco. Mellybean and the Giant Monster is part of the Mellybean graphic novel series, which also includes Mellybean and the Wicked Wizard.

To see the French winners and finalists, click here

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