Norma Fleck Award for Canadian Children's Non-Fiction

View all Canadian Children's Awards book lists; This list was last updated on 2/11/2013
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Canada's non-fiction books for young people are internationally renowned for the superb quality of their text, illustration and design. The Norma Fleck Award for Canadian Children's Non-Fiction was established by the Fleck Family Foundation and the Canadian Children's Book Centre on May 17, 1999 to recognize and raise the profile of these exceptional non-fiction books.

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 - 14 of 14 results
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By Truck to the North
"A bone-chilling silence filled the truck. We were north of the Arctic Circle on a road made of ice -- not pavement or gravel like a regular road, just a bumpy surface of frozen water. Under the ice flowed dangerous waters, deep enough to drown in -- if the shocking cold didn't kill you first. I glanced out the window and shivered..."

Adventure is just around the corner when you climb aboard an 18-wheeler and join Andy Turnbull on his eye-opening trip to the Arctic. You're along for the ride as he befriends a trucker's dog, views the Northern Lights, gets caught in a whiteout, and explores the ice roads of the Far North. Short sidebars of information that accompany Andy's story reveal what's inside a truck's cab, why camels once carried goods through this part of North America, what kids love about live in the Arctic, and much more. Colourful maps (essential traveler's tools) help you follow Andy's route chapter by chapter!

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Shaman's Nephew

Governor General's Award for Children's Literature - Text nominee, 2000

2000 Norma Fleck Award

2000 Parent's Choice Silver Honour Winner

2000 The Parent's Council, Select Title

2002 Red Cedar Award, Non-Fiction Nominee

When Jewish author/storyteller Sheldon Oberman met Inuit artist/hunter Simon Tookoome, he knew the encounter was special. Still, he had no idea their meeting would result in an amazing collaboration that would span a decade.

Through the use of many tape recordings and translations, Sheldon has painstakingly woven the threads of a remarkable man's life into a book for all to treasure.

With Tookoome's drawings to enhance the text, Oberman has managed to express the
cadence and voice of one of the last of the Inuit to live the traditional nomadic life in the Arctic. The Shaman's Nephew magically transports readers to a cold climate that warms and grows more familiar with every turn of the page.

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Heart and Soul
In Florence Nightingale's day, if a person was sick – and lucky – he or she was nursed at home with caring family members tending the bedside. Hospitals were horrible places from which few emerged alive. The nurses were often drunks and prostitutes. Doctors had rudimentary skills.

Thus the privileged Nightingale family was appalled when Florence, who had done her share of household nursing, announced that she wanted to train to work in a hospital. After all, her role was cut out for her: she was to be a decorative, witty lady. A career, much less nursing, was out of the question.

It took many years, but Florence found her calling in Crimea. More English soldiers died of sickness there than died in battle. If they were wounded they were almost sure to suffer in misery, lying on pallets caked with old blood, hungry and thirsty, without anyone to offer them so much as a sip of water. Florence caused a revolution in her insistence for cleanliness, wholesome food, and kind treatment of men, who were considered to be nothing more than cannon fodder.

Florence's campaign resulted in reforms to health care for millions of people. Although she was in frail health for much of her life, her sense of outrage and her extraordinary stamina in the face of prejudice and almost criminal ignorance make her story one of the most inspiring in history.

Dozens of photographs, posters, and cartoons bring the past to life in this memorable biography.


From the Hardcover edition.
release date: Mar 01, 2002
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The Man Who Ran Faster Than Everyone
Tom Longboat was a hero. A member of the Onondaga Nation, he was born on the Six Nations reserve in Oshwegen, near Brantford, Ontario. Despite poverty, poor training, and prejudice, Longboat went on to become one of the world's best runners. In 1907, at the height of his fame, he won the Boston Marathon and ran in the 1908 Olympic Marathon. Longboat was one of the best-known people of his day, and certainly the most prominent member of the Six Nations. Throughout his career he had to race against opponents, as well as rumors of illegal running activities. Nevertheless, he maintained his dignity, and his achievements still inspire people who understand the great pleasure of running, and running fast.
release date: Oct 12, 2005
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As Long as the Rivers Flow
Starting in the 1800s and continuing into the 20th century, First Nations children were forcibly taken to government-sponsored residential schools to erase their traditional languages and cultures. This moving book tells of one such child, author Larry Loyie, and his last summer with his Cree tribe. It is a time of learning and adventure. He cares for an abandoned baby owl, watches his grandmother make winter moccasins, and sees her kill a huge grizzly with one shot. The sensitive text and Heather Holmlund's expressive illustrations beautifully capture the joy and drama of a First Nations family's last summer together.
release date: Aug 01, 2007
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Transformed
CDs start out as sand. Blackboard chalk comes from tiny sea creatures. The objects all around us --- every single product in the world --- is made from elements found in nature. Discover how nature is transformed into more than 60 things we eat, drink, play with, wear or use every day.

Technology changes constantly, but the stages raw materials go through to become finished objects remain much the same. On every page of this big book, these processes are described and illustrated step by step. The text and artwork combine playfulness with encyclopedic attention to detail.

This unique and fascinating book will inform and entertain every step of the way. Includes a glossary, index and further resources to help children, parents and teachers.
release date: Sep 08, 2009
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The Road to There
Winner of the 2004 Norma Fleck Award for Canadian children's non-fiction

Honor Book for the Society of School Librarians International's Best Book Award – Social Studies, Grades 7-12


Shortlisted for the Children's Literature Roundtable Information Book of the Year

2003 winner of the Mr. Christie's Book Award Seal

Shortlisted for the 2004 Norma Fleck Award for Canadian Children's Non-fiction

Included on VOYA's ninth annual Nonfiction Honor List


Selected for inclusion in CCBC Choices 2004: the best-of-the-year list published by the Cooperative Children's Book center of the School of Education at the University of Wisconsin-Madison

Named Notable Book by the International Reading Association's Children's Book Award in the intermediate nonfiction category


Road maps; sailor's charts; quilts; songlines; gilded parchment covered with jewel-like colors; computer printouts – to guide us through the strange, vast, beautiful, and mysterious frontiers of the world of maps, Val Ross presents the men and women who made them.

Here are some of the unexpected stories of history's great mapmakers: the fraud artists who deliberately distorted maps for political gain, Captain Cook, the slaves on the run who found their way thanks to specially-pieced quilts, the woman who mapped London's streets, princes, doctors, and warriors. These are the people who helped us chart our way in the world, under the sea, and on to the stars.

With reproductions of some of the most important maps in history, this extraordinary book, packed with information, is as fascinating and suspenseful as a novel.


From the Hardcover edition.
release date: Jan 01, 2004
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In Your Face

"In our factory, we make lipstick; in our advertising, we sell hope."
- Charles Revson, founder of Revlon Cosmetics

More money is spent on beauty products in the United States annually than on education: over $6 billion on makeup alone.

From bedtime fairytales and blockbuster movies to magazine advertisements and reality TV, we absorb the lesson early -- being beautiful is the answer to our dreams. For pre-teens and teens, the pursuit of fitting in and measuring up feels like an essential survival strategy. Never before have so many messages offered so many unattainable ideals.

With In Your Face, Shari Graydon encourages readers to look critically at the culture of beauty of both past and present. Whether it's the different standards for guys versus girls, the assumptions we all have about models and celebrities, or the message that the right makeup can make you a better person, Graydon's look into the realities of our ideals will help kids face up to the culture of beauty and the beauty industry hype.

Accompanied by lively visuals, including sharp comic-style vignettes and photos from our beauty culture, this book will captivate readers.

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I Found a Dead Bird: The Kids' Guide to the Cycle of Life and Death
The death of a bird is the jumping-off point for this intelligent, wide-ranging look at the cycle of life. From life spans to how things die, from what happens after death to how people cope with the loss of a loved one, Jan Thornhill guides young readers through difficult territory with grace, sensitivity, and touches of humor. She tackles the subject head on, never shirking from reality, but with a life-affirming perspective that connects death to the world around us as part of the natural, never-ending cycle of life. The book's lively design and color photographs reinforce Thornhill's pragmatic, positive tone.
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At Vimy Ridge
April 9, 2007 marks the 90th anniversary of the pivotal World War I battle — one that many historians view as the battle that defined Canada as a nation.

At Vimy Ridge, Canadian soldiers achieved what more experienced soldiers from Britain and France could not — taking the strategic position of Vimy Ridge from the Germans. It was the battle that helped a young country discover its national pride, as for the first time, Canadians fought as Canadians, and achieved a significant victory.

release date: Sep 12, 2008
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The Bite of the Mango
As a child in a small rural village in Sierra Leone, Mariatu Kamara lived peacefully surrounded by family and friends. Rumors of rebel attacks were no more than a distant worry. But when 12-year-old Mariatu set out for a neighboring village, she never arrived. Heavily armed rebel soldiers, many no older than children themselves, attacked and tortured Mariatu. During this brutal act of senseless violence they cut off both her hands. Stumbling through the countryside, Mariatu miraculously survived. The sweet taste of a mango, her first food after the attack, reaffirmed her desire to live, but the challenge of clutching the fruit in her bloodied arms reinforced the grim new reality that stood before her. With no parents or living adult to support her and living in a refugee camp, she turned to begging in the streets of Freetown. As told to her by Mariatu, journalist Susan McClelland has written the heartbreaking true story of the brutal attack, its aftermath and Mariatu's eventual arrival in Toronto where she began to pull together the pieces of her broken life with courage, astonishing resilience and hope.
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Adventures on the Ancient Silk Road

A gripping account of three dramatic journeys that changed history.

The fabled Silk Road conjures up the sights, smells and sounds of faraway lands. But traveling the Silk Road took years, and those who set out encountered bandits, starvation and treacherous storms.

Adventures on the Ancient Silk Road introduces readers to three great historical figures:

Chinese Buddhist Xuanzang, whose 16-year journey from China to India and back (629-645 AD) is the only source we have for huge chunks of the history and geography of this time. His successful search for Buddhist scriptures changed the course of two great nations.

Genghis Khan, bred from infancy to be a warrior, brought the Mongol clans together. He established the greatest empire the world had seen, which ruled the Silk Road from 1201 to 1227.

Italian merchant Marco Polo journeyed through China from 1271 to 1295. He changed the way Europe saw the world, and his book even inspired Columbus to sail west across the Atlantic Ocean in search of China.

Beautiful photographs and art depicting the ancient routes and peoples bring the stories to life. Maps, sidebars and an afterword that updates the story of the Silk Road are also featured.

release date: Aug 01, 2010
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Case Closed?
Egypt's first female pharaoh disappears around 1457 BCE --- was she murdered? Find out how DNA closes the case. The ancient Arabian Peninsula city of Ubar vanishes, seemingly without trace. Find out how old maps and modern space shuttles help solve the mystery. Sir John Franklin's 1845 expedition to find the Northwest Passage is never heard from again. Find out how spectroscopy points to some probable explanations.

Case Closed? examines these and six other mysteries from ancient and modern times. Accompanied by photos, maps, diagrams and illustrations, this book reveals how modern science sheds new light on people, vessels and entire civilizations throughout history that simply vanished. In some cases, the mystery has been solved. In other cases, readers can examine the latest evidence and decide for themselves.
release date: Aug 16, 2011
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Loon
The haunting call of a loon is quintessential summertime for many people. These majestically beautiful birds breed on northern lakes during the spring and summer, and when fall arrives, they migrate to open coastal waters. Young loons stay on the ocean for three or four years until they mature and their gray feathers molt, turning to the beautiful black-and-white patterned feathers by which they are known. At this point they return to an inland lake to find a mate and have their young.

This gorgeously illustrated prose poem follows two baby chicks through this cycle. We witness their birth, and how they learn to swim, find food and avoid predators such as snapping turtles and big bass, and the possible danger of boaters. In the fall they imitate their parents as they learn to fly and are eventually large and strong enough to make their own migration to the coast.

An afterword supplies other interesting facts about the common loon, which some scientists believe has inhabited lakes and oceans for millions of years. It describes these birds' amazing diving ability, their four different calls, and the different factors that threaten them, such as loss of habitat due to human proximity and environmental problems (acid rain, deadly toxins in lakes, oil spills and global warming), suggesting different ways that we might help to protect them.
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