To narrow that down a little.... Last night was THE big night for kids' lit in Canada tomorrow: The TDs! Swanky party, $140K in prizes, and the chance to see what kids book people look like when all dressed up. I spent it the evening trying not to nibble off my nail polish, as THE SCORPION RULES was shortlisted in both the categories for which it was eligible: The Amy Mathers award for teen novels, and the Monica Hughes award for science fiction and fantasy.
And it WON, guys. It took the Monica Hughes -- which makes me the first two-time winner of the award. (It's five years old.) I'm so thrilled! I read the whole list this year and it was amazing. In fact, I went up to the stage with EK Johnston's speech in my pocket, because Kate -- a good friend -- was in Miami, touring with another book. I was more ready to give her speech than mine.
But I gave mine.
Huge congratulations to the other winners, including Susan Juby for teen fiction, Kevin...
Look! The Globe and Mail (Canada's national newspaper) reviewed The Swan Riders today. And they liked it!
Absolutely about The Swan Riders (including the flap copy) spoils the ending of The Scorpion Rules, and this review is no exception. But here is the spoiler-free beginning and end.
"In the follow-up to last year’s The Scorpion Rules (one of The Globe 100’s Best Books of 2015), Canadian fantasy phenom Erin Bow dives head-first into sci-fi – and it’s just as crazy smart and shocking as the first book. (...) Profound, unnerving and filled with tension, Bow just keeps outdoing herself.
May I say, parenthetically, how good it is to have a smart YA reviewer actually reviewing YA? Shannon Ozirny knows her stuff and would never try to get to you to take one part of YA seriously by dismissing the rest of the field, which is the default of many a major newspaper reviewer. These are at last the reviews YA readers deserve. Thank you, Globe and Mail!
Y'all -- THE SCORPION RULES is officially up for the Forest of Reading's White Pine Award. The Forest awards, run by the Ontario Library Association, are the grandmama of all of Canada's readers' choice awards, which means thousands of high school kids will read these books. (Any teachers finding me here? I live in Kitchener/Waterloo, and I absolutely do school visits all over SW Ontario. I'll go farther afield if we can work something out. Drop me a line.)
I'm honoured to be keeping company with rocking writers and friends E.K. Johnston (she has two titles up!) and Lena Coakley. And Tim Wynne-Jones is one of my writing heros. And you can bet I'll be running through this list alongside the teen readers. I already had Calvin on my pile.
It's a big day here in Canadian Children's Book Land: our shortlists are out. THE SCORPION RULES is up for not one but TWO prizes: The Amy Mathers Award for teen books, and the Monica Hughes Award for science fiction and fantasy.
In other words, the book is now up for both of the prizes its eligible for.
And Simon & Schuster Canada sent me author flowers!
The Monica Hughes jury says:
“Harrowing yet humourous, pulse-pounding yet passionate, Bow’s novel is an exhilarating mix of themes and tones, forever keeping the reader guessing… A fast-paced, tightly-packed, emotional read… Bow deftly propels the story toward a hopeful and poignant culmination… Searingly intelligent, note-perfect in tone and mood, and consistently provocative, The Scorpion Rules is powerful, deeply insightful science fiction.”
The Amy Mathers jury says:
“A dynamically imagined dystopian world, where children are the commodity and artificial intelligence is the highest power… Bow has crafted a novel that is original, c...
It's still early days for The Swan Riders -- the book won't be out till late September. But, I have some early good news. Here's the roundup!
Kirkus gave the book a very generous STARRED review that made me do an undignified little dance. They say: "This is a treatise on humanity and love and the importance of caring—and also a sharp science-fiction novel of a weirdly plausible future. Brilliant and compelling: don’t miss this".
Barnes and Noble listed the book among its most anticipated fall sequels, with Crooked Kingdom and Like A River Glorious, both of which I need now-ish please and thank you.
Kirkus made this list of books to look forward to in August and September. This Savage Song! Obelisk Gate! A new book from the she-is-as-a-god-to-me Connie Willis. And me.
I'm very pleased to find The Scorpion Rules among the nominees for the Manitoba Young Readers' Choice Award. This is one of the awards where school kids actually read and vote -- I adore those.
I was even more pleased when I saw the list of things nominated. I've read and loved several of the other books: R.J. Anderson's sweetly sinister a A Pocket Full of Murder, Kevin Sand's delightfully explosive The Blackthorne Key, Allan Stratton's pyscho-creepy The Dogs, and Susin Nielsen's utterly sad-delightful We Are All Made of Molecules -- it's an amazing list. (This is not to say I didn't like the others, simply that I haven't read them.)
I'm not sure when this award is given, but between now and then: Dear little town somewhere in northern Manitoba that never gets authors -- if you can find a way to get me there and a place to put me I will totally come.
I was extra busy at work. I have a dayjob at the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics, and today the Prime Minister of Canada was here to announce funding and talk up science and give the nation a quick lesson in the quantum computing.
(As one of Perimeter's science writers, I give quick lessons in quantum computing all the time, and I would like to say: JT is pretty darn good!)
Meanwhile, there was an auditorium full of 200 girls (including one of mine) hearing from women scientists on "Inspiring Future Women in Science," and I was trying to write a feature article about that on the fly.
Meanwhile meanwhile, (and this, children, is what's known as "burying the lede") the Canadian Library Association was tweeting. "Book of the Year for Young Adult Award: The Scorpion Rules! Congrats @erinbowbooks." This pushed a notification onto my laptop and made me say "oh my God!" aloud in an inappropriate setting.
Happy news today! The Canadian LIbrary Association has released its shortlists for its various book of the year awards. The finalists for the 2016 CLA Young Adult Book Award, in alphabetical order by author, are:
Delusion Road, by Don Aker (Harper Collins)
The Masked Truth, by Kelley Armstrong (Penguin Random House)
An Inheritance of Ashes, by Leah Bobet (Scholastic Canada)
Scorpion Rules, by Erin Bow (Simon & Schuster)
Mad Miss Mimic, by Sarah Henstra (Penguin Random House)
The Truth Commission, by Susan Juby (Penguin Random House)
The Outside Circle, by Patti LaBoucane-Benson (Groundwood)
Calvin, by Martine Leavitt (Groundwood)
We are All Made of Molecules, by Susin Nielsen (Penguin Random House)
Boo, by Neil Smith (Penguin Random House)
Of these I've read only An Inheritance of Ashes and We Are All Made of Molecules -- they are both terrific. I'm thrilled to be on this list. The award is announced in June....
Happy news! On Friday, the OLA announced their “Best Bets” list, and THE SCORPION RULES was named one of the ten best young adult books in Canada.
I didn’t get to go, but I had informants who were at the announcement: "Erin, they RAVED about your book. In fact, the committee member in the photo was SO enthusiastic about your book that she said something like, “Do you guys mind if I use the s-word? I really need to use the s-word. HOLY S***, this book was SO GOOD!!!”
Dear anonymous librarian: I debated blogging this because I don’t want to embarrass you, but finally I had to. I have never been more flattered by the s-word in my life.