The Governor General's Children's Text Winners

View all Canadian Children's Awards book lists; This list was last updated on 10/8/2014
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The Governor General's Literary Awards – known affectionately as “the GGs” – were first awarded in 1936. The GGs were initiated by Governor General Lord Tweedsmuir (John Buchan), a prolific writer himself who published more than 100 works in his lifetime. Each year, the Governor General's Literary Awards honour the best in Canadian literature. As Canada's national literary awards, the GGs represent the rich diversity of Canadian literature. Some 1,600 books are submitted each year from English and French-language publishers representing authors, translators and illustrators from across Canada, in seven categories: Fiction, Poetry, Drama, 

For more book recommendations, please check out New York Times® Best Sellers, Children's Book Recommendations or the complete list of Featured Book Lists and Award Winners

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1 - 25 of 25 results
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Galahad Schwartz
Young Galahad lives in the South American jungle, where he plays with snakes and crocodiles. His parents are adventurers and Nobel Prize-winning authors. But when they fail to return from an expedition in their hot-air balloon Galahad must leave the jungle to live with his grandfather in a North American slum. In this alien and fascinating world he encounters both evil and magic. Join Galahad and the other main characters - his street-musician grandfather; blind and wheelchair-bound Wheels; Slim, who owns a tattoo parlour - as they confront the power-hungry exterminator, Creetch, who has invented a spray that makes people disappear. Boo the city's mayor, who would rather juggle on television than face the threat of Creetch. Cheer for the unlikely army of cockroaches, flies and pigeons who fight for our hero in his darkest hour. "In this warm and graceful story, the author achieves an artful blend of the mythological and the earthly." From the citation for the Governor General's Literary Awards (Canada)
release date: Mar 31, 1989
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The Third Magic
Fifteen-year-old Morgan Lefevre is mistaken for one of her ancestors while visiting Tintagel, King Arthur's birthplace in England. In this vivid and innovative interpretation of the King Arthur legend, she is summoned through time to the alien world of Nwm. With her only companion, the boy Arduu, she is caught between the opposing cruelties of the two Magics, the Circle, and the Line, who have been fighting one another over the centuries and across many worlds. When Morgan and Arduu gain possession of an ancient sword of the Third Magic, Earth itself is drawn into the struggle. Times and worlds merge as Morgan is brought face to face with her own destiny. The Third Magic will appeal to young readers of fantasy and mythology. An exciting new cover rejuvenates the earlier edition.
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Bad Boy
A.J. Brandiosa becomes the bad boy of the Cyclone hockey team, and learns that his best friend is gay, as he tries to cope with his own sexuality during his senior year in high school.
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Redwork
Certain that the apartment he and his mother have rented is haunted, Cass discovers that Mr. Magnus, the landlord, who is the object of much fear in the neighborhood, is hiding a dark evil. Reprint. AB.
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Pick-Up Sticks
Thirteen-year-old Polly loves life — with her single-parent mom (a stained-glass artist), her quirky best friend Vanessa (who has a crush on their English teacher), and her endearing neighbor Ernie Protheroe (who collects postal codes and TV theme songs). But when the house they live in is sold, Polly's perfect life seems to vanish overnight. Her mom doesn't have much luck finding them an affordable place to live. And Polly is beginning to think that having a father — and a conventional lifestyle — wouldn't be such a bad idea. As an interim solution, Polly goes to stay with her affluent relatives. But Uncle Roger turns out to be crass and chilly, his wife is self-indulgent, and their daughter, Polly's teenage cousin, is on a shoplifting spree. With humor and compassion, Sarah Ellis portrays adolescent enlightenment, as Polly discovers that like the child's game of pick-up sticks, each part of life touches every other and cannot be disturbed without affecting the whole.
release date: Sep 09, 2003
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Hero of Lesser Causes
World War II has just been won, and everything seems possible to young Keely Connor. She sees herself as a hero on a white charger, able to conquer the world, even though in reality her charger is Lola, the placid horse that lives in the field behind her house.

One fateful summer day her brother Patrick is stricken with polio. Here is an enemy Keely cannot conquer. With all the will in the world, she cannot pass on to Patrick her zest or her energy or her own good health. Keely's battle to save Patrick has become one of the classics of Canadian children's literature and, in translations, around the world. This beautifully redesigned edition will capture the hearts of a whole new generation of readers.
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Some of the Kinder Planets
Cluny wants to publish a magazine for people with funny names, while Fletcher pastes the names of all the places he wants to visit on his body, in this funny collection of nine wacky short stories. Reprint. SLJ. AB. H.
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Adam and Eve and Pinch-Me
“If you don't want your heart broken, don't let on you have one.”

Sara Moone is an expert on broken hearts. She is a foster child who has been bounced from home to home, but now she is almost sixteen and can not live in the system forever. She vows that she will live in a cold, white place where nobody can hurt her again.

But there is one more placement in store for Sara. She is sent to live with the Huddlestons on their sheep farm. There, despite herself, Sara learns that there is no escape from love. It has a way of catching you off guard, even when you try to turn your back.

When it was published in 1994, Adam and Eve and Pinch-Me won every major children's book award in Canada. Since then it has appeared in countries around the world. Its story of love and longing strikes a universal chord.
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The Maestro
A Grand piano dangling from a helicopter over the desolate wilderness:to Burl Crow, on the run from his father, it offers a glimps of something rich and strange, a sign of a world beyond his own.

Burl finds himself following the piano's trajectory until, cold, wet and starving, he emerges from the bush onto an isolated lake to hear music -- piano music, unlike any he's ever heard.

It's here he meets Nathaniel Orlando Gow, the Maestro, standing on the deck of a remote cabin, conducting as if he were surrounded by an orchestra rather than a forest and lake. In just one day his eccentric genius changes Burl's life forever -- opening him up to a world her never imagined, one he will fight to keep, even if it means telling the biggest lie of his life.
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Ghost Train
Left behind in China by her father, who has gone to North America to find work, Choon-yi has made her living by selling her paintings in the market. When her father writes one day and asks her to join him, she joyously sets off, only to discover that he has been killed. Choon-yi sees the railway and the giant train engines that her father died for, and she is filled with an urge to paint them. But her work disappoints her until a ghostly presence beckons her to board the train where she meets the ghosts of the men who died building the railway. Will Choon-yi find a way to make peace with her father's death? Ghostly, magical, and redeeming, this masterful tale is superbly illustrated by Harvey Chan.
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Awake and Dreaming
Theo and her young, irresponsible mother seem trapped in their miserable, poverty-stricken life. Theo dreams of belonging to a “real” family, and her dream seems to come true when she is mysteriously adopted by the large, warm Kaldor family.

But as time passes, the magic of Theo's new life begins to fade, and soon she finds herself back with her mother. Were the Kaldors real or just a dream? And who is the shadowy figure who haunts Theo's thoughts?


 

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The Hollow Tree
It is 1777, and Phoebe is thrown headlong into the turmoil of war when her beloved cousin is hanged as a British spy. When she finds his secret message to the British general, she decides to deliver it herself to Fort Ticonderoga. She has never been away from her small village, and knows nothing about survival in the wilderness, or dealing with warring Patriots and Tories. She's going to need help to survive . . . but whose?

"A tense, atmospheric story . . . Brings to life this important chapter in American history." (Booklist )
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A Screaming Kind Of Day
Winner of the 1999 Governor General's Literary Award for Children's Literature - Text

"This wonderful book is a carefully composed collection of moments during one of those days when parents experience exasperation. Rachna Gilmore, a talented author,magically captures a child's overbrimming love of life and irrepressible spirit of mischief and rebellion. This is not abook with a message; rather, it is a sweet story told in exquisite fashion. A Screaming Kind of Day is an engaging, "singing in the rain" book which children will love to read."
Jury Statement, 1999 Governor General's Literary Awards, Children's Literature Text.

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Looking for X
Smart and independent, 11-year-old Khyber lives with her mom, Tammy, a former stripper, and her autistic twin brothers in a poor Toronto neighborhood. Though she doesn't have a lot in common with her classmates, Khyber does have wonderfully eccentric friends: Valerie, Toronto's meanest waitress, and X, a homeless woman in hiding from “the secret police.” Despite having to deal with pompous social workers who make her mother cry and ignorant kids who make remarks about her brothers, Khyber manages to enjoy herself, poring over atlases, planning exotic journeys, and taking peanut butter sandwiches to X. But when Tammy decides to move her sons to a group home for proper care, Khyber's world starts to crumble. She fights with her mom and then gets expelled from school. To make matters worse, X suddenly disappears. Khyber sets out to find her in a wild all-night odyssey of self-discovery.
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Dust
SEVEN-YEAR-OLD MATTHEW DISAPPEARS one day on a walk into Horshoe, a dust bowl farm town in Depression-era Saskatchewan. Other children go missing just as a strange man named Abram Harsich appears in town. He dazzles the townspeople with the promises of a rainmaking machine. Only Matthew's older brother Robert seems to be able to resist Abram's spell, and to discover what happened to Matthew and the others.

“A remarkably effective sense of atmosphere.”—Kirkus Reviews, Starred

“Choose it for science-fiction fans who are ready for something a little different.”—School Library Journal, Starred

“Beautifully written novel . . . strong character development, an authentic setting, and some genuinely spooky moments.”—VOYA, Starred

A Governor General's Award for Children's Literature

An ALA Best Books for Young Adults



From the Hardcover edition.
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True Confessions of a Heartless Girl

It would have been the easiest and the best thing, Noreen thought, to just get back in the truck and take off. But she couldn't think of where to go. In fact, she couldn't think at all.

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Stitches
Travis lives in a trailer park outside a small prairie town with his aunt, uncle, and a pack of rowdy little cousins. His mother, a country-and-western singer, is on the road a lot; his father is long gone. When things get crazy at his place he can always go visit his best friend, Chantelle, a smart disabled girl. Travis doesn't mind being poor and having strange relatives. But he knows he's different from his junior high classmates in other ways, too. He loves to sew and play with puppets. He wants to become a professional puppeteer. These interests make Travis a ripe target for Shon and his friends, the school bullies. As ninth grade graduation approaches and Travis and his friends (including Shon's girlfriend) create a puppet production of A Midsummer Night's Dream, the taunts and schoolyard ambushes escalate until Shon's anger, jealousy, and prejudice erupt in violence.

This touching story of the trials and tribulations of adolescence resonates with young adult readers.
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Airborn
FOR USE IN SCHOOLS AND LIBRARIES ONLY. Matt, a young cabin boy aboard an airship, and Kate, a wealthy young girl traveling with her chaperone, team up to search for the existence of mysterious winged creatures reportedly living hundreds of feet above the Earth's surface.
release date: Jan 01, 2005
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The Crazy Man
It is 1965, and 12-year-old Emaline, living on a wheat farm, must deal with a family that is falling apart. When her dog, Prince, chases a hare into the path of the tractor, she chases after him, and her father accidentally runs over her leg, leaving her with a long convalescence and a permanent disability. Even worse, from Emaline's point of view, is that in his grief and guilt, her father shoots Prince and leaves Emaline and her mother on their own.

Despite the neighbors' disapproval, Emaline's mother hires Angus, a patient from the local mental hospital, to work their fields. Angus is a red-haired giant whom the local children tease and call "the gorilla." Though the small town's prejudice creates a cloud of suspicion around Angus that nearly results in tragedy, he just may hold the key to Emaline's coming to grips with her injury and the loss of her father.
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Pirate's Passage
Off the coast of Nova Scotia in 1952, fierce winds force a small boat into port. The boat's pilot, the eccentric Captain Charles Johnson, takes up residence at the small inn run by Jim and his mother. With each day, the captain's presence becomes more valuable to the family as they struggle to keep the inn open for business—and his background becomes more mysterious as Jim discovers how much he knows about the lives and battles of the old-time pirates.

Who is this man whose compelling stories bring to life in such detail the day-to-day experience of sailing on a pirate ship? And how can he possibly know so much about how it feels to grow up among the Vikings; about how Francis Drake and Queen Elizabeth plotted their victories; about the loves of Grace O'Malley, the pirate queen of Ireland?
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The Landing
Will Ben ever escape the Landing? The hardscrabble farm on the shores of Lake Muskoka can't generate a living, so Ben's Uncle Henry sells goods and gas to cottagers from the dock known as Cooks Landing. It had never been much of a living and since the Depression hit, it's even less.

Ben's thinking a lot these days, and it's making him miserable. He's thinking about how unfair it is that his uncle only cares about work. He's thinking about what he really wants to do: play the violin. These days, he's lucky to snatch the odd bit of practice between chores, playing to the chickens in the henhouse.

A new job fixing up the grand old cottage on nearby Pine Island seems at first to be just one more thing to keep Ben away from his violin. After he meets the island's owner, Ben changes his mind. Ruth Chapman is a cultured and wealthy woman from New York who introduces Ben to an unfamiliar, liberating world. After Ben plays violin for Ruth and her admiring friends, it only makes him more desperate to flee. Then, during a stormy night on Lake Muskoka, everything changes.
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Greener Grass
Governor General's Literary Award winner 2009

CLA Children's Book of the Year Award shortlist, 2009

Geoffrey Bilson Award for Historical Fiction for Young People 2009 finalist

Manitoba Young Readers' Choice Awards shortlist, 2010

Canadian Children's Book Centre Our Choice, 2009"Starred Choice

Pennsylvania School Library Association Top 40 Fiction, 2009

Red Maple Book Award nominee 2010

Rocky Mountain Book Award Shortlist, 2011

Kit Byrne's family is a strong one, but their strength and unity are being severely tested, as life becomes more and more desperate in 19th century rural Ireland. Lord Fraser is the wealthy landowner, from which the Byrne's and many other families rent their lands. When the potato blight hits, the farmers can no longer make their payments much less produce food for themselves, and the cruel system has no mercy as Lord Fraser wields an iron fist, driving families from their homes and burning their cottages.

Kit's dreams are now dashed as her family experiences a series of tragedies, and as she undergoes a daunting event that tears her away from her family. With her father dead, she must fight for survival and help her ailing mother and siblings escape Ireland for good.

This story is a glimpse into the tragic events of the Great Hunger, the famine that devastated Ireland, forcing thousands of impoverished families to seek better livelihoods outside of their homeland.

release date: Oct 01, 2010
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Fishtailing
Teen violence, bullying and the burning quest to fit in are presented in the poems of four unforgettable high school students: Natalie, Kyle, Tricia, Miguel. Their stories unfold in this explosive new book told in free verse. A story of teen angst like no other, it is based on fictional characters but is rooted in the realities of the teen experience.

When Natalie moves to a new high school she befriends three unwitting victims into her spider-web of manipulations, lies and deceit. Through the poetry and assignments of an English class we glimpse the world of the four teens. Natalie, whose alcoholic parents, years of neglect and ultimate rape by her father's friend has shaped her into a cruel and manipulative teen; Tricia, dealing with her blended family, is drawn into Natalies' forbidden world of partying and rebellion; Kyle, a would-be musician is in love with Tricia and Miguel who lusts for Natalie while hiding the secrets of his family.

The story weaves us through their poetry, their lives and culminates at a party where the four lives fishtail out of control. English class will never be the same.

release date: Mar 22, 2011
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From Then to Now
Just 50,000 years ago, our hunter-gatherer ancestors ventured off the African savannah and into the wider world. Now, our technology reaches far out into the cosmos. How did we get to where we are today?

With lively text and colorful illustrations, From Then to Now explains how individual societies struggled to find their own paths, despite war, disease, slavery, natural disasters, and the relentless growth of human knowledge. From Hammurabi to Henry Ford, from Incan couriers to the Internet, from the Taj Mahal to the Eiffel Tower, from Marco Polo to Martin Luther King, from Cleopatra to Catherine the Great, from boiled haggis to fried tarantulas – this is no less than the story of humanity. It's the story of how we grew apart over all those years of migration and division, and how – as we recognize our common heritage and our often mixed ancestry – we can come together.

An index, maps, and notes make this a must-have reference, as well as a delight to read and to discuss. From Then to Now is bound to create a generation of history buffs!
release date: Sep 11, 2012
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The Reluctant Journal of Henry K. Larsen

Darker than her previous novels, Susin peoples this novel about the ultimate cost of bullying with a cast of fabulous characters, dark humour, and a lovable, difficult protagonist struggling to come to terms with the horrible crime his brother has committed.

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