Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Bilson Prize: Shane Peacock

Down last night to the Toronto book award you really want to be at.  Giller gets all the publicity, but the Canadian Children's Book Awards at the Carlu is the one to enjoy.  "Imagine a kid's book award this elegant," newcomers keep saying to each other.  But because it is kids' book people it's pretty relaxed and friendly too. I must say most of the winners (details and shortlists should be up at the Canadian Children's Book Centre site soon) were more articulate than dear Johanna Skribsrud at the Giller. And we were home in time to catch that on tv -- see how comfortable the kids' event is.

The point for historians is that a lot of kids start getting their historical education, well, as kids. And despite all the crap you hear about history being boring and all, there is an enormous audience among young readers for both historical nonfiction and historical fiction.

The Bilson Prize for historical fiction last night went to Shane Peacock for The Vanishing Girl.

The Fleck Prize for nonfiction went to Priscilla Galloway for Adventures on the Ancient Silk Road.

The Bilson Prize is named for (and originally endowed by) the late Geoffrey Bilson, history professor and novelist from Saskatchewan.  I was a juror for Bilson Prize this year.

Coincidentally, England's Dr. Beachcoming, generally rather de haut en bas about things historical, has also been discovering the value of children's "information books."
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