Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Silver Birch Honour Award

I'm thrilled to announce that Zoobots was named a Silver Birch Honour Book at the Forest of Reading Awards ceremony last week. The program reached over 250,000 young people in schools, public libraries and at home, making it one of the largest, if not the largest, children's choice award programs in the world!

You can find the complete list of winners, as well as more information about this wonderful program here.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Sydney Taylor Book Awards

I am verklempt.

My Young Adult novel, Gottika  (Dancing Cat Books) has just been named a 2015 Sydney Taylor Notable Book.

Here is the complete list of winners, honor books and notable books. Congratulations to all!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

And the Shortlists are Out!

One of the highlights of the Canadian kidlit scene is the announcement of the OLA's Forest of Reading Awards shortlists. That was today. And it's sweeter than ever this year because Zoobots has made the Silver Birch Nonfiction Shortlist! Woo hoo Zoo!!!!!

It's an honour to be selected, and to be in such great company with such wonderful friends and colleagues like Frieda Wishinsky, Liz MacLeod, Tanya Lloyd Kyi, Hugh Brewster and Deborah Ellis, among others! I'm also holding up the fist bump for all the great folks - and stellar books -  nominated in all the other categories.

I am so looking forward to meeting kid-fans at the extra school visits the award will generate, and to meeting everyone at all the great Forest of Trees festivities throughout the year! I know how much fun it all is, since I've had the great good fortune to be nominated several times before. (Psst: I've even won a few times! Boredom Blasters and Secret Agent Y.O.U. won in 2006 and 2008; What's the Big Idea? won an Honour Award in 2011.)

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

It's Shaping Up to Be a Busy Fall....

It's shaping up to be a busy fall...with six - yes six! - new books out!

I'll be presenting at a wide variety of festivals etc. Here's a preliminary calendar if you want to come on out and say hi!

SEPTEMBER 14 - Telling Tales Festival

SEPTEMBER 21 - Word on the Street

SEPTEMBER 28 - Vaughan BookFest

OCTOBER 21/22 - Vancouver Writers Festival

NOVEMBER 15 INSPIRE! Toronto International Book Fair

Monday, August 25, 2014

A Bang-Up Review from Kirkus!

It's not out until October, but Orca Books gave a sneak peek of Dirk Daring, Secret Agent to Kirkus. And they liked it :) 
Here's what they said, in part:

"Friendships are strongly tested throughout the novel, which is peppered with imaginative turns of phrase and bursts of energy. The book is an enjoyable and quirky read. The author doesn’t go overboard and turn her characters into swirling cartoons: These are real kids behaving with all the creativity and energy one would expect of them. But beneath all the play and humor is a genuine emotional core, exploring the trials and tribulations all friendships endure when moving from elementary school on to junior high. A stunning last-minute twist pushes the book above and beyond. A clever romp that’s enhanced, not lessened, by its message."You can read the whole review here.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

The National Reading Campaign - a great idea and a great review too!

So yeah. I google myself. Name me one writer who doesn't.

Today's google turned up my dream find - a super review. From the National Reading Campaign!

My newest novel, Gottika, got this review, in part:

"The masked creature with glowing red eyes that crawls over the cover of Helaine Becker’s new novel will fascinate fans of futuristic fantasy. Gottika is a modern retelling of the legend of the Jewish golem, a magical creature created from clay and mud whose very existence challenges how we think about ourselves....Becker’s fantasy stays true to the core of the legend, effortlessly drawing readers into the story... The juxtaposition of text and comics, combined with the talents of Becker and Griggs-Burr, ensure a broad audience for Gottika. Lovers of fantasy, myths and legends, action comics, a hero’s quest, and even Dungeons and Dragons fans will want to keep reading late into the night. And this story will continue to resonate the morning after.

To read the whole review, click here.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Melissa's Recommended Reading!

It was one of those ggggrrrr of a days. You know. Everything. Going. Wrong.

I was in the car, just about to head out of town for an unexpected three hour drive up to my son's camp - followed immediately by the drive back.


Luckily I was listening to CBC's Here and Now. And they were about to talk about children's books - my fave!

Melissa Bourdon-King from Mabel's Fables, the fabulous children's book store right here in Toronto, started sharing her favorites. Naturally I listened with interest. Then with surprise. And  then with utter delight.  Melissa had started talking about my own book, Gottika! Good thing I was already sitting down. And still in a parking lot.

Grrr turned to hoorah! Thanks so much, Melissa, and Mabel, and Here and Now, for taking the time to read my book. And to talk about it too. I'm so glad you liked it! Now if I could only get my own kid to read it....(S'truth...)

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