Annal: 2011 Governor General's Literary Award for Children's Literature – Text

Results of the Governor General's Literary Award in the year 2011.

Book:From Then to Now: A Short History of the World

From Then to Now: A Short History of the World

Christopher Moore, Andrej Krystoforski

Just 50,000 years ago, our hunter-gatherer ancestors ventured off the African savannah and into the wider world. Now, our technology reaches far out into the cosmos. How did we get to where we are today?

With lively text and colorful illustrations, From Then to Now explains how individual societies struggled to find their own paths, despite war, disease, slavery, natural disasters, and the relentless growth of human knowledge. From Hammurabi to Henry Ford, from Incan couriers to the Internet, from the Taj Mahal to the Eiffel Tower, from Marco Polo to Martin Luther King, from Cleopatra to Catherine the Great, from boiled haggis to fried tarantulas—this is no less than the story of humanity. It’s the story of how we grew apart over all those years of migration and division, and how—as we recognize our common heritage and our often mixed ancestry—we can come together.

An index, maps, and notes make this a must-have reference, as well as a delight to read and to discuss. From Then to Now is bound to create a generation of history buffs!

Book:Blink & Caution

Blink & Caution

Tim Wynne-Jones

Boy, did Blink get off on the wrong floor. All he wanted was to steal some breakfast for his empty belly, but instead he stumbled upon a fake kidnapping and a cell phone dropped by an “abducted” CEO, giving Blink a link to his perfect blonde daughter. Now Blink is on the run, but it’s OK as long as he s smart enough to stay in the game and keep Captain Panic locked in his hold.

Enter a girl named Caution. As in “Caution: Toxic.” As in “Caution: Watch Your Step.” She’s also on the run, from a skeezy drug-dealer boyfriend and from a nightmare in her past that won’t let her go. When she spies Blink at the train station, Caution can see he’s an easy mark. But there’s something about this naïve, skinny street punk, whom she only wanted to rob, that tugs at her heart, a heart she thought deserved not to feel. …[more]

Book:A Hare in the Elephant's Trunk

A Hare in the Elephant's Trunk

Jan L. Coates

In the little village of Duk Padiet in southern Sudan, a boy named Jacob Deng thrives on the love of his mother, the companionship of his sisters, the excitement of learning how to look after his uncle’s herds of cattle. The year is 1987, and suddenly in the night soldiers from the north invade the village, looting, burning, and killing. The war has arrived, and the life of Jacob will never be the same.

This novel is based on the real life experiences of a Sudanese boy who, with thousands of other boys from the region, fled for his life and spent seven years walking through deserts, grasslands and forests, crossing crocodile-infested rivers, surviving life in massive refugee camps. The so-called Lost Boys of Sudan—as they were called by an American aid organization—numbered as many as 27,000, and while many died—from starvation, attacks by wild animals, drowning, or through the brutality of the military—many…[more]

Book:No Ordinary Day

No Ordinary Day

Deborah Ellis

Even though Valli spends her days picking coal and fighting with her cousins, life in the coal town of Jharia, India, is the only life she knows. The only sight that fills her with terror is the monsters who live on the other side of the train tracks—the lepers. When Valli discovers that that her “aunt” is a stranger who was paid money to take Valli off her own family’s hands, she leaves Jharia and begins a series of adventures that takes her to Kolkata, the city of the gods. Valli finds that she really doesn’t need much to live and is very resourceful. But a chance encounter with a doctor reveals that she has leprosy. Unable to bear the thought that she is one of the monsters she has always feared, Valli rejects help and begins an uncertain life on the street.

Book:This Dark Endeavor

This Dark Endeavor: The Apprenticeship of Victor Frankenstein

Kenneth Oppel

Victor and Konrad are the twin brothers Frankenstein. They are nearly inseparable. Growing up, their lives are filled with imaginary adventures…until the day their adventures turn all too real.

They stumble upon The Dark Library, and secret books of alchemy and ancient remedies are discovered. Father forbids that they ever enter the room again, but this only peaks Victor’s curiosity more. When Konrad falls gravely ill, Victor is not be satisfied with the various doctors his parents have called in to help. He is drawn back to The Dark Library where he uncovers an ancient formula for the Elixir of Life. Elizabeth, Henry, and Victor immediately set out to find assistance in a man who was once known for his alchemical works to help create the formula.

Determination and the unthinkable outcome of losing his brother spur Victor on in the quest for the three ingredients that will save Konrads life. After scaling the highest trees in the Strumwald, diving into the deepest lake caves, and sacrificing one’s own body part, the three fearless friends risk their lives to save another.

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