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2019 Forest of Reading Children's Literary Award Winners, Chosen by Ontario Students

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The Giller Prize of the children's lit world, the Ontario Library Association's beloved Forest of Reading Awards honour the best fiction and nonfiction writing for young people in Ontario each year.

Today and yesterday, thousands gathered at the annual Festival of Trees, where the winners of the 2019 Forest of Reading program are announced. 

The 2019 Forest of Reading Award winners:

  • Blue Spruce Award™ Winner: Barnaby Never Forgets by Pierre Collet-Derby (Candlewick Press)
  • Red Maple Fiction Award™ Winner: A World Below by Wesley King (Paula Wiseman Books)
  • Red Maple Non-Fiction Award™ Winner: Every Falling Star: The True Story of How I Survived and Escaped North Korea by Sungju Lee and Susan McClelland (Abrams Amulet)
  • White Pine Award™ Winner: The Agony of Bun O’Keefe by Heather Smith (Penguin Teen Canada)
  • Silver Birch Non-Fiction Award® Winner: Carey Price: How a First Nations Kid Became a Superstar Goaltender by Catherine Rondina (James Lorimer & Company Ltd.)
  • Silver Birch Fiction Award® Winner: Chase by Linwood Barclay (Penguin Random House Canada Young Readers)
  • Silver Birch Express Award® Winner: Meet Viola Desmond by Elizabeth MacLeod and Mike Deas (Scholastic Canada Ltd.)

The awards are unique, as the winners are determined by young readers across the province. Over 250,000 children across Ontario read the nominated books, and almost 170,000 voted in the 2019 program.

The Forest of Reading allows readers of all ages to cultivate a love of reading through Canadian picture books, young adult books, novels, and French-language titles. The program consists of seven award programs distinguished by age group and reading level: Blue Spruce, Silver Birch, Red Maple, White Pine, Peuplier, Tamarac, and Evergreen. Together, there are 110 nominated titles with ten books for each program.

For more information, including the French-language winners, please visit the OLA website

Congratulations to the winners and the book loving young readers who chose them!