The Canadian Library Association has announced the shortlist for its 2014 Book of the Year for Children Award. Among the top ten is Nova Scotia writer Philip Roy’s Me & Mr. Bell, published by Cape Breton University Press.
This respected award honours a book published by a Canadian author in 2013 that appeals to readers aged 12 and younger. Mike Hunter, Editor-in-Chief at CBU Press, says being on the shortlist for such an award is well-deserved for Philip Roy, and of course for the book and CBU Press, which began publishing novels for young readers in 2012.
“Philip’s gift for using historical settings for interesting and thoughtful fiction for young readers is a great fit for CBU Press,” says Hunter. “We are grateful for this national recognition of one of our books and encouraged to see that we are making good choices.”
CBU Press published Roy’s historical fiction Blood Brothers in Louisbourg in 2012. Me & Mr. Bell is set in early 20th-century Baddeck. It’s the story of ten-year-old Eddie MacDonald, who is befriended and mentored by Alexander Graham Bell. Whereas Bell is renowned by many for being the smartest man in the world, Eddie is just a local farm boy who struggles to learn to read and write. After a few chance encounters, the elderly Bell befriends the young boy, and takes an interest in his struggle – encouraging Eddie to celebrate his successes and never give up.
Nearly 200 books were submitted for the award, which will be presented at the CLA national conference and trade show in Victoria, BC, on May 29.
The Canadian Library Association is Canada’s largest national and broad-based library association, representing the interests of public, academic, school and special libraries, and all those concerned with enhancing the quality of life of Canadians through information and literacy.