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'Birdsong' by Julie Flett wins $50K children's literature award


TORONTO — "Birdsong" by Julie Flett has won the $50,000 TD Canadian Children’s Literature Award.

Published by Greystone Kids, the book is about a girl who befriends an elderly neighbour after moving to a new town. The two bond over their mutual love of arts.

The award was announced Friday at a virtual event hosted by the Canadian Children's Book Centre for the organization's English-language awards.

A total of six awards and $107,500 were handed out. 

Another big winner was "Small in the City" by Sydney Smith (Groundwood Books), about a boy wandering through downtown, which scored the $20,000 Marilyn Baillie Picture Book Award.

Other winners include:

• "Killer Style: How Fashion Has Injured, Maimed, & Murdered Through History," written by Serah-Marie McMahon and Alison Matthews David, illustrated by Gillian Wilson (Owlkids Books), won the $10,000 Norma Fleck Award for Canadian Children’s Non‐Fiction

• "Orange for the Sunsets" by Tina Athaide (Katherine Tegen Books), won the $5,000 Geoffrey Bilson Award for Historical Fiction for Young People 

• "The Starlight Claim by Tim Wynne-Jones" (Candlewick Press), won the $5,000 John Spray Mystery Award 

• "In the Key of Nira Ghani" by Natasha Deen (Running Press Teens), won the $5,000 Amy Mathers Teen Book Award 

The four finalists of the main award split an additional $10,000, and the winning publisher receives $2,500 for promotional purposes.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 30, 2020.

The Canadian Press