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Press Release

For Immediate Release

Watching Jimmy wins CLA's Book of the Year for Children Award

(Ottawa , April 15, 2010) - From a superb collection of children's literature produced by Canadian authors and publishers in 2009, the Canadian Library Association / Association canadienne des bibliothèques (CLA/ACB) has selected its 2010 winning title for the Book of the Year for Children Award. This year's winner is Watching Jimmy by Nancy Hartry, published by Tundra Books.


Jimmy by Nancy Hartry

Eleven-year-old Carolyn takes on the responsibility of Watching Jimmy after witnessing the incident that leaves her best friend brain-damaged and unable to communicate. Although Aunt Jean, Jimmy's mother, ostensibly acts as babysitter while Carolyn's mother works factory shifts, it is Carolyn who becomes a caregiver, protecting Jimmy from further harm, particularly on "Ted-days", the days when Aunt Jean's brother comes to visit.

"Though frugal with her words," commended Helen Kubiw, Chair of the Book of the Year for Children Award Committee, "Nancy Hartry packs much intensity into them, superbly depicting the hardships of her characters' lives without demanding sympathy from her readers." Taking place in post-war 1958, Watching Jimmy exposes the vulnerabilities of those with secrets and the vulnerabilities of a society reconciling itself to war-time losses and the necessity for establishing social support programs, such as medi-care.

Vanishing Girl by Shane Peacock

The CLA's Book of the Year for Children Award has also selected two Honour Books this year: Vanishing Girl by Shane Peacock (published by Tundra Books) and Faery Rebels: Spell Hunter by R. J. Anderson (published by HarperCollins).

Vanishing Girl is Shane Peacock's third book in The Boy Sherlock Holmes series. Preceded by Eye of the Crow (2007) and Death in the Air (2008), the fabulously well-paced Vanishing Girl finds a young Sherlock attempting to help locate the missing 14-year-old daughter of Lord and Lady Rathbone. Still under the tutelage of Sigerson Bell, the apothecary, Sherlock continues to develop his amazing skills of detection. But, brilliantly advanced by Peacock, it is Sherlock's exploration of his motivations, particularly those revolving around the lovely Irene Doyle, nasty Malefactor and the pompous policeman, Lestrade, that help him solve the mystery.

Faery Rebels: Spell Hunter by R.J. Anderson

Faery Rebels: Spell Hunter is the first in a series by newcomer R. J. Anderson. Anderson's rich tale, spiked with humour and flavourful language, tells of the faeries of the Oak who, for fear of death or losing their powers, rarely leave, except as dictated by their queen. Knife, who as a girl, left the Oak and was seen by a human boy, has become the Queen's Hunter and now freely leaves the Oak regularly. Knife becomes reacquainted with the boy, Paul, now a young man in a wheelchair. With Paul's help and a number of diaries, Knife learns the truth of the "Sundering", the event that cost the faeries their magic.

The CLA award committee salutes the efforts and accomplishments of all Canadian writers of children's literature and their publishers for providing our children with an exceptional collection of quality books that easily meets the interests and reading abilities of all children.

The CLA Children's Book of the Year Award has been presented annually since its inception in 1947 to recognize excellence in children's books written and published in Canada during the preceding year. This year's award, generously sponsored by Library Services Centre of Kitchener, Ontario, will be presented to Nancy Hartry for Watching Jimmy on June 3, 2010during the CLA National Conference and Tradeshow in Edmonton.

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 with enhancing the quality of life of Canadians through information and literacy.

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Media contacts:
Helen Kubiw
Chair, Book of the Year for Children Award Committee

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