WCA Authors stand tall in Forest of Reading

By October 16, 2014News

The nominations for the Forest of Reading Awards have just been announced, and several WCA authors have been nominated.

Blue Spruce Award ~

The Highest Number In The World

Roy Macgregor, Genevieve Despres

Tundra Books

9-year-old Gabe (Gabriella) Murray lives and breathes hockey. She’s the youngest player on her new team, she has a nifty move that her teammates call “the Gabe,” and she shares a lucky number with her hero, Hayley Wickenheiser: number 22. But when her coach hands out the team jerseys, Gabe is stuck with number 9. Crushed, Gabe wants to give up hockey altogether. How can she play without her lucky number? Gabe’s grandmother soon sets her straight, though–from her own connection to the number 9 in her hockey-playing days to all the greats she cheered for who wore it, she soon convinces Gabe that this new number might not be so bad after all.

A lovely intergenerational tale and a history of the storied number 9 in hockey, The Highest Number in the World is a must-have for any hockey fan.

Silver Birch Award ~

The Creature Department

Robert Paul Weston


It’s a tentacled, inventive, gooey, world in there. . . .

Elliot Von Doppler and his friend Leslie think nothing ever happens in Bickleburgh, except inside the gleaming headquarters of DENKi-3000—the world’s eighth-largest electronics factory. Beneath the glass towers and glittering skywalks, there’s a rambling old mansion from which all the company’s amazing inventions spring forth. And no one except Uncle Archie knows what’s behind the second-to-last door at the end of the hall.

Until Elliot and Leslie are invited to take a glimpse inside. They find stooped, troll-like creatures with jutting jaws and broken teeth. Tiny winged things that sparkle as they fly. And huge, hulking, hairy nonhumans (with horns). It is unlike anything they’ve ever seen. But when Chuck Brickweather threatens to shut down the DENKi-3000 factory if a new product isn’t presented soon, the creatures know they are in danger. And when Uncle Archie vanishes, it’s up to Elliot, Leslie, and every one of the unusual, er, “employees” to create an invention so astonishing it will save the Creature Department.

From There To Here

Laurel Croza, Matt James

Groundwood Books

A little girl and her family have just moved across the country by train. Their new neighborhood in the city of Toronto is very different from their home in the Saskatchewan bush, and at first everything about “there” seems better than “here.”

The little girl’s dad has just finished building a dam across the Saskatchewan River, and his new project is to build a highway through Toronto. In Saskatchewan, he would come home for lunch every day, but now he doesn’t come until supper. The family used to love to look at the stars, and the northern lights dancing in the night sky. But in the city, all they can see is the glare from the streetlights. All the kids used to run and play together, but now older brother Doug has his own friends.

Then one day there is a knock on the door. It is Anne, who lives kitty-corner and is also eight, going on nine, and suddenly living in Toronto takes on a whole new light.
Laurel Croza and Matt James have beautifully captured the voice and intense feelings of a young child who, in the midst of upheaval, finds hope in her new surroundings.

Red Maple Award ~


Richard Scrimger

Harper Collins Canada

From the imagination of one of Canada’s funniest writers for young readers comes the story of a creepy young zombie named Imre Lazar, who, in spite of a few special challenges, is integrated into a regular classroom at Dresden Public School in Ontario. No one is less sure about the school board’s decision than narrator Bob, but his fearless best friend, Evil-O, is Imre’s greatest defender. Clashes and heroics ensue as the community’s tolerance for difference—and Bob’s tolerance for an undead rival—are pushed to the limit in this hilarious, exciting and surprisingly touching novel.

White Pine Award ~


Gail Gallant

Random House

Being able to see ghosts and teaming up with a local historian and his son, allows Amelia to piece together what really happened the night her best friend apparently committed suicide. The last time Amelia Mackenzie saw her best friend Matthew alive, he broke her heart. When he is found the next day an apparent suicide, Amelia’s world comes crashing down.  And then she sees him again. Because Amelia has a secret: sometimes, she sees ghosts. A local history columnist named Morris Dyson contacts Amelia after the funeral and tells her that he thinks the barn Matthew died in is haunted. With Amelia’s gift for seeing ghosts, Morris’s radical theories on the supernatural, and a bit of help from Morris’s son Kip a mystery unfolds. Apparition is a fast-paced supernatural mystery about memory and obsession, love and loss.


Darren Hynes

Penguin Books

Wayne Pumphrey is routinely the object of bullying until one day an unlikely source comes to his rescue and a friendship is born. Will Wayne’s new friendship survive the bully’s new plans? Fifteen-year old Wayne Pumphrey wishes he had the courage to actually send the letters he writes to friends and family. He also wishes his father would stop drinking, his mother would stop packing her bags to leave, and that his sister would stop listening to Nickleback. But what Wayne wishes for most, is that Pete “The Meat” would let him walk to school in peace. Then one morning, faced with Pete, his posse, and the inevitable eating of yellow snow, Marjorie rescues Wayne and an unlikely friendship is born. If only Pete didn’t have plans for them both…

Winners will be announced at the Festival of Trees next May.  You can find the complete shortlists at: https://www.accessola.org/web/OLAWEB/Forest_of_Reading/Current_Program_Year.aspx