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The Nova Scotia Library Association presents Ann Conner Brimer Book Award during Canadian Children's Book Week in November to recognize excellence in writing. The $1000 prize is given to the author of a children's book which has made an outstanding contribution to children's literature in Atlantic Canada. The winning author must be alive and residing in Atlantic Canada at time of nomination.

2010 Winner & Shortlist Ann Connor Brimer Award for Children's Literature

Winner! The Present Tense of Prinny Murphy
Jill MacLean
Fitzhenry and Whiteside

An alcoholic mother, a distracted father, a best friend who spends all his time with his new "girlfriend," and three relentless bullies: Prinny's past, present, and future certainly are "tense." But when a kindly substitute teacher introduces her to LaVaughn's inner-city world in the free verse novel, Make Lemonade, Prinny discovers life can be full of possibilities-and poetry. A sequel to the award-winning The Nine Lives of Travis Keating.

Shortly after publication of her poetry collection, The Brevity of Red, Jill MacLean's nine-year-old grandson asked her to write him a book. Five years and several rejections later, The Nine Lives of Travis Keating was published, by which time her grandson was too old for the book. The Nine Lives of Travis Keating won the 2009 Ann Connor Brimer Award, and was shortlisted for the Canadian Library Association 2009 Book of the Year for Children and the Hackmatack and Silver Birch Children's Choice Awards, 2010.

Jill's books are set in Newfoundland, where her son and his family now live. Over the years, she's canoed, kayaked, hiked, and snowmobiled there, travelled the coves by boat, and stayed in the outports. Little did Jill realize at the time that these experiences could all be called "research," or that her love of the province would translate into words. Jill lives in Bedford, Nova Scotia.

Five Minutes More
Darlene Ryan
Orca Book Publishers

D'Arcy's dad is dead. She desperately wants it to have been an accident, but she is not sure. And then she meets Seth. When will things get back to normal? Learning to live without her father while her mother struggles with her own pain, D'Arcy finds an inner strength she wasn't aware of. She also finds that almost anything is tolerable for five minutes more.

Darlene Ryan has been writing for as long as she can remember, although she pursued post-secondary degrees in biology and education. Despite being endlessly fascinated by theories on the origin of the universe, she decided she wasn't cut out to be a scientist and returned to writing. The author of six books--including the teen novels Rules for Life, Saving Grace, and Responsible, the memoir, A Mother's Adoption Journey, and the children's picture book, Kisses, kisses, kisses--Darlene was the 2006 poet recipient of the Dr. Marilyn Trenholme Counsell Early Childhood Literacy Award. As Sofie Kelly she writes Magical Cats of Mayville Heights mystery series. She lives with her family in Fredericton, New Brunswick. More information is available at www.darleneryan.com.

Tumbleweed Skies
Valerie Sherrard
Fitzhenry and Whiteside

While her father takes a temporary job as a traveling salesman, Ellie has no choice but to stay at her grandmother's farm in Saskatchewan. One thing is for sure-her tough and bitter Grandmother Acklebee is the last person in the world Ellie wants to know. And the feeling is mutual.

Born in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan and raised in an air force family who moved around the country and overseas, Valerie Sherrard's ambition to become a writer was kindled when she was in grade six in Lahr, West Germany. Her homeroom teacher praised her writing efforts and instilled in her a lifelong belief in her ability to write. Although nearly three decades would pass before she began to pursue writing seriously, Valerie never forgot her teacher's words. She has written many books for young adult and teen readers as well as picture books. Tumbleweed Skies is her first book for a middle grade audience.

2009 Winner & Shortlist

Winner - The Nine Lives of Travis Keating
Written by Jill MacLean
Fitzhenry & Whiteside

Just 365 days — that's how long Travis has agreed to his dad's experiment of moving to a tiny coastal community in Newfoundland. But in no time he's counting those days. Only a few kids show interest in him: Hector, a strange boy who grunts; and Prinny, a girl as scraggly as her ponytail. And then there's Hud, the school's meanest bully, who's just itching for a fight with the new "townie." But there are worse things than loneliness. When Travis discovers a colony of abandoned cats and attempts to care for them himself, it isn't long before he's in over his head. Who will help him keep the starving animals safe from the likes of Hud and his pals? And how many of his lives will Travis use up in the process?

Jill MacLean is the author of a collection of poetry, The Brevity of Red, which was shortlisted for the Atlantic Poetry Prize and the Acorn-Plantos Award. She has also published a history of Prince Edward Island, Jean Pierre Roma: of the Company of the East of Isle St. Jean. Jill lives in Bedford, Nova Scotia.

Lightning and Blackberries
Written by Joanne Jefferson
Nimbus Publishing

Seventeen-year-old Elizabeth Evans is the privileged and naïve only child of prominent New Englanders, part of a group of Planters who settled in Nova Scotia following the deportation of the Acadian people. As a teenager, she is leading a carefree life in the Annapolis Valley, tending to her cows on the family farm, daydreaming by the brook, and resisting her mother’s attempts to refine her manners and marry her off. She thinks nothing will ever change, but a stranger’s arrival at Evans Hall and a chance meeting with a mysterious Acadian girl in the woods nearby turn Elizabeth’s carefree life upside down. When she learns the truth about the history of the farm she loves so well, she realizes nothing can ever be the same.

Joanne Jefferson was born and raised in Halifax and now makes her home in West LaHave, Nova Scotia. Her poetry, short fiction, and non-fiction writing appear in a variety of Canadian publications. She leads writing workshops for young people at the Tatamagouche Centre and in schools around Nova Scotia. Joanne’s other passions include boating, music, and baseball. Lightning & Blackberries is her first novel.

Submarine Outlaw
Written by Philip Roy
Ronsdale Press

What happens when a fearless young explorer teams up with a junkyard genius and builds a submarine? Going to sea with an unusual crew, a strangely intelligent seagull with attitude and a dog that nobody wanted, Alfred unwittingly becomes the ‘Submarine Outlaw’, discovering that the sea is a busy place. Escaping from the coastguard when he is mistaken for a Russian spy sub, rescuing a family on a sailboat in a storm, and running from thieves who are after the gold coins he has raised from the floor of the Louisburg harbour — Alfred learns that a modern explorer must keep his wits about him as he sails on the high seas, or beneath them.

Philip Francis Roy grew up in Antigonish, Nova Scotia. The ocean was his back yard and now features in many of the stories he writes. His university studies included music and history, but he also knew from an early age that he wanted to write novels. Submarine Outlaw, his first published book, is the result of a lifelong fascination with submarines and a secret desire to build one. “If teens enjoy reading Submarine Outlaw half as much as I enjoyed writing it,” says Philip, “I will feel very rewarded indeed.” Philip has many other stories waiting in dry dock, including an exciting sequel to Submarine Outlaw, on the launch pad soon.

Award Recipients

    Winners 1991 to present
2008 K.V. Johansen Nightwalker: The Warlocks of Talverdin. Victoria: Orca Book Publishers, 2007.
2007 Budge Wilson Friendships. Toronto: Penguin Group (Canada), 2006.
2006 Kevin Major Aunt Olga’s Christmas Postcards. Illustrated by Bruce Roberts. Toronto: Groundwood Books, 2005.
2005 Alice Walsh Pomiuk, Prince of the North. Illustrated by Jerry Whitehead. Vancouver: Beach Holme Publishing, 2004.
2004 Don Aker The First Stone. Toronto: HarperTrophy Canada, 2003.
2003 Lesley Choyce Shoulder the Sky. Toronto: Dundurn Press, 2002.
2002 Frances Wolfe Where I Live. Toronto: Tundra Books, 2001.
2001 Janet McNaughton The Secret Under My Skin. Toronto: HarperCollins Publishers, 2000.
2000 David Weale The True Meaning of Crumbfest. Charlottetown: The Acorn Press, 1999.
1999 Janet McNaughton Make or Break Spring. St. John's: Tuckamore Books, 1998.
1998 Kevin Major The House of Wooden Santas. Red Deer, AB: Red Deer College Press, 1997.
1997 Janet McNaughton To Dance at the Palais Royale. St. John’s: Tuckamore Books, 1996.
1996 Don Aker Of Things Not Seen. Toronto: Stoddart Publishing, 1995.
1995 Sheree Fitch Mabel Murple. Illustrated by Maryann Kovalski. Toronto: Doubleday Canada, 1995.
1994 Lesley Choyce Good Idea Gone Bad. Halifax: Formac Publishing, 1993.
1993 Budge Wilson Oliver's Wars. Toronto: Stoddart Publishing, 1992.
1992 Kevin Major Eating Between The Lines. Toronto: Doubleday Canada, 1991.
1991 Joyce Barkhouse Pit Pony. Toronto: Gage Educational Publishers, 1990.

 

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