Vikki VanSickle, Danielle Younge-Ullman among 2018 Forest of Reading winners

Over 164,000 young readers voted for the winners over six categories of children's literature.
Vikki VanSickle (left) and Danielle Younge-Ullman are among the 2018 Forest of Reading winners. (Mischa Bartkow/

The 2018 Forest of Reading, an annual province-wide program where Ontario kids read and vote for their favourite books, have announced the six books that have won their awards. Over 164,000 readers cast their votes this year.

The Red Maple Fiction Award, given to the best novel for Grades 7 and 8 students, went to The Winnowing by Vikki VanSickle. Set in an ominous small town, two young girls investigate a mysterious rite of passage called "the winnowing" that all residents must experience, but immediately forget afterwards.

The White Pine Award, given to the best novel for Grades 9 to 12 students, was won by Everything Beautiful is Not Ruined by Danielle Younge-Ullman. The book follows a teenager named Ingrid, who longs for the time she spent travelling to glamorous cities with her opera star mother. Since her mother's career ended, Ingrid has been on a downward spiral and finds herself at a wilderness survival camp for at-risk youth.

The Blue Spruce Award, given to the best picture book for J.K. to Grade 2 students, was given to Shark Lady: The True Story of How Eugenie Clark Became the Ocean's Most Fearless Scientist by Jess Keating, illustrated by Marta Álvarez Miguéns. The book is about how American Eugenie Clark broke barriers as a woman in science, as well as the countless discoveries she made about shark behaviour.

The Silver Birch Fiction Award, for the best novel for Grades 3 to 6 readers, went to From Ant to Eagle by Alex Lyttle. The book follows 11-year-old Cal Sinclair, who is struggling to deal with his little brother's cancer diagnosis.

The Silver Birch Non-Fiction Award, for the best nonfiction book for Grades 3 to 6 readers, was won by Top Dogs: True Stories of Canines That Made History by Elizabeth MacLeod.

Finally, the Silver Birch Express Award, for books geared toward reluctant readers, was given to Smiley: A Journey of Love by Joanne George. This nonfiction book shares how George, author and veterinarian, rescued a dog without eyes at a puppy mill and created a loving home for him.

The winners were announced on May 15 and 16, 2018 at the annual Festival of Trees in Toronto.


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