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Press Release

For Immediate Release

Canadian Library Association Announces 2009 Young Adult Book Award Winner and Honour Books

(Ottawa, April 8, 2009) - The Young Adult Services Interest Group of the Canadian Library Association/Association canadienne des bibliothèques is pleased to announce the 2009 Young Adult Canadian Book Award winner and Honour Books for books published in 2008. The award is generously sponsored by

Chanda’s Wars by Allan Stratton, published by HarperCollins, is the winner.  The Honour Books are Would You by Marthe Jocelyn, published by Tundra Books, and The Apprentice’s Masterpiece by Melanie Little, published by Annick Press.

In Chanda’s Wars, Chanda struggles to raise younger siblings in the shadow of her mother’s death from AIDS. Looking to heal old wounds, Chanda reaches out to her estranged relatives, only to find their willingness to reconcile comes at a high cost. Set against the backdrop of this unfolding drama, a civil war is threatening to tear her family apart in ways Chanda could never have imagined. Allan Stratton has created an epic sequel to Chanda’s Secrets (2004).

In Marthe Jocelyn’s Would You, Natalie and her older sister Claire have one last summer together before Claire heads off to college. But one night changes everything, and Natalie is left with the realization that things will never be the same. Would You is a moving portrait of coping with grief.

Melanie Little’s The Apprentice’s Masterpiece takes place in Medieval Spain during the Spanish Inquisition. Ramon is a converted Jew, and Amir, a Muslim slave to Ramon's family. Both can feel the forces of oppression closing in and must take action. Written in verse, The Apprentice’s Masterpiece is a fascinating story of survival.

A complete list of the 2009 finalists, as well as information on past winners, is available on the CLA web site, 

The Young Adult Book Award was established by the Young Adult Caucus of the Saskatchewan Library Association in 1980 and was subsequently transferred to the Young Adult Services Interest Group (YASIG) of the CLA/ACB. The award recognizes an author of an outstanding Canadian English-language work of fiction (novel or collection of short stories) that appeals to young adults between the ages of 13 and 18. Previous winners include Martha Brooks, William Bell, Shyam Selvadurai, Miriam Toews, and Polly Horvath.

The award will be presented at this year’s Book Awards reception, on May 30, 2009, in Montréal, Québec, during the CLA/ACB 2009 National Conference & Trade Show.

The Canadian Library Association/Association canadienne des bibliothèques is Canada’s largest national and broad-based library association, representing the interests of public, academic, school and special libraries, professional librarians and library workers, and all those concerned about enhancing the quality of life of Canadians through information and literacy.  

Respectfully submitted on behalf of the 2009 CLA/ACB Young Adult Book Award Committee:

Thomas Long, Vancouver Public Library, Chair
Elsa Ngan, Toronto Public Library
Lisa Doucet, Woozles Children’s Book Store, Halifax
Carol Rigby, Contract Cataloguer, Iqaluit, Nunavut
Barb Janicek, Cambridge Libraries

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Media Contact:  Thomas Long, 604-257-8781