Books

The finalists for the 2022 Governor General's Literary Award for young people's literature — text

The $25,000 prizes recognize the best Canadian books of the year.

The $25,000 prizes recognize the best Canadian books of the year

The 2022 Governor General's Literary Awards for young people's literature, text, finalists. (Canada Council for the Arts/CBC)

Here are the finalists for the 2022 Governor General's Literary Award for young people's literature — text.

The Governor General's Literary Awards are one of Canada's oldest and most prestigious literary prizes. 

The prizes, administered by the Canada Council for the Arts, are awarded in seven English-language categories: fictionnonfictionpoetryyoung people's literature — textyoung people's literature — illustrationdrama and French-to-English translation. Seven French-language awards are also given out in the same categories.

The Canada Council for the Arts is a partner of the CBC Literary Prizes. The 2023 CBC Short Story Prize is currently open for submissions.

Each winner will receive $25,000. The winners will be announced on Nov. 16, 2022.

The young people's literature — text category was assessed by Michael Hutchinson, Sharon Jennings and Wesley King.

You can see the finalists in all seven categories here.

Get to know the young people's literature — text finalists below.

A Boy Is Not a Ghost by Edeet Ravel

A Boy Is Not a Ghost is a middle-grade book by Edeet Ravel. (Groundwood Books, Agatha Lesnik)

In A Boy Is Not a Ghost, Natt is torn from his home in Eastern Europe. He finds himself stranded with other deportees in a schoolyard in Novosibirsk. And he is about to discover that life can get worse than the horrific two months he and his mother have spent on a bug-infested livestock train. When his mother is falsely arrested for stealing potatoes, Natt must learn how to live the life of an exile on his own. 

A Boy Is Not a Ghost is for ages 9 to 12.

Edeet Ravel is a novelist born in Israel and raised in Montreal. She is the author of the novel A Wall of Light, which was a finalist for the 2005 Giller Prize.

Sorry For Your Loss by Joanne Levy

So Sorry for Your Loss is a middle-grade book by Joanne Levy. (Orca Book Publishers, Tania Grashowitz)

In Sorry For Your Loss, Evie Walman is not obsessed with death. She does think about it a lot, though, but only because her family runs a Jewish funeral home. When her parents ask her to help with Oren, a boy who was in a horrific car accident that killed both his parents, Oren refuses to speak and Evie is determined to find a way to help him deal with his loss.

Sorry For Your Loss is for ages 9 to 12.

Joanne Levy is an Ontario author of books for young people, including Double Trouble and Fish Out of Water. She is also the author of the middle-grade novels The Sun Will Come Out, Crushing It and Small Medium At Large.

Step by Deborah Ellis

Step is a book by Deborah Ellis. (Groundwood Books)

Step is a short story collection featuring children who are all about to turn 11-years old — and how that event changes them. The series of stories are about children from all over the world and feature magical and mysterious themes.

Step is for ages 9 to 11.

Deborah Ellis is a Canadian writer of children's books, including the classic The Breadwinner. She is also the author of the adventure novel Looking for X, which won the Governor General's Literary Award for young people's literature — text in 2000. Her other books include the children's short story collection Sit and nonfiction book Kids of Kabul. She is a member of the Order of Canada.

The Summer of Bitter and Sweet by Jen Ferguson

The Summer of Bitter and Sweet is a book by Jen Ferguson. (Heartdrum, Mel Shea)

The Summer of Bitter and Sweet is a YA novel about a young Métis girl living on the Canadian prairies. Lou is spending the summer working at her family's failing frozen treats business with her newly ex-boyfriend. When an old friend unexpectedly comes back to town after three years away — and her biological father sends her a letter wanting to reconnect — Lou is suddenly faced with more challenges than she might be able to handle. 

The Summer of Bitter and Sweet is for ages 13 and up.

Jen Ferguson is a Los Angeles-based author, activist and academic of Michif/Métis and Canadian settler heritage based in Los Angeles. Ferguson has a PhD in English and creative writing. Her work includes the 2016 novel Border Markers and her essay Off Balance was featured in Best Canadian Essays 2020. The Summer of Bitter and Sweet is her debut YA novel. 

Urchin by Kate Story

Urchin is a YA novel by Kate Story. (Running the Goat)

Urchin is a YA novel set in 1900s St. John's and is about a potential family curse that threatens the life of a teen girl named Dor. When she disguises herself as a boy and gets involved in a secret mission involving brand-new radio technology, Dor's family is put in danger and her mother is kidnapped. Dor must find the strength and courage to save her mother and solve an old mystery.

Urchin is for ages 14 and up.

Kate Story is an Ontario-based writer and theatre artist who was born and raised in St. John's.

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