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Children's Books
by Jeffrey Canton

There's no better way to spend a hot lazy summer afternoon than immersed in the pages of a really good book and we at Books in Canada are certain that you'll find some inviting fare for young readers in the books reviewed in this issue. Award fever continues to excite young CanadiansłThe Canadian Library Association chose Jean Little's Orphan at My Door: The Home Child Diary of Victoria Cope as the Children's Book of the Year, with William Bell's Stones being chosen as winner of the CLA Young Adult Fiction award. Celia Lottridge's The Little Rooster and the Diamond Button, Polly Horvath's Everything on a Waffle and Arthur Slade's Dust were the English-language winners of the Mr. Christie Book Awards.

An exciting crop of new fall books is beginning to find its way into stores across Canadałwatch these pages for such tempting morsels as the sequel to Deborah Ellis' internationally acclaimed The Breadwinner, new fiction from Martha Brooks, Paul Yee, Linda Holman, Beth Goobie and Iain Lawrence as well as some exciting new picture books.

Sadly, Books in Canada would like to mark the passing of storyteller extraordinaire Joan Bodger who died on July 25th. Bodger's books included her classic How the Heather Looks first published in 1965, an account of a rich and joyous family trip to England to find the sources of some of the greatest works of children's literature. Her most recent book, The Crack in the Teacup:The Life of an Old Woman Steeped in Stories stunningly chronicled her own life's journeyła book that is at once rich with memories of Bodger's past, devastatingly heartbreaking in its accounts of the death of her daughter, Lucy, both her husband's and son's battles with schizophrenia, and her abiding love of story as an active agent of transformation. Over the years Bodger has offered readers versions of some of the great stories, stories that she made singularly her own, in her book, The Forest Family, where readers will find her version of her signature story, Sir Gawain and the Loathly Lady. A final offering of her retellings will be published next year by Tundra Books. If it's true that it's the journey, not the arrival, that matters, then Joan Bodger's life was a most singular journey indeed. She touched and transformed many readers, writers and listeners and will be much missed.

Jeffrey Canton
Editor, Children's Book Section, Books in Canada


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