Flett win’s Governor General’s Award
November 02nd, 2017
Vancouver-based Cree/Metis author, visual artist, and illustrator Julie Flett has done it again. She’s won yet another major literary prize — this time it’s a Governor General’s Award for Children’s Literatue for When We Were Alone (HighWater Press / Portage & Main Press) with text by David Alexander Robertson.
When We Were Alone by Flett and Robertson is about a young girl who helps tend to her grandmother’s garden, but begins to notice things about her grandmother that make her curious. Why does her grandmother have long braided hair and wear beautifully coloured clothing? Why does she speak another language and spend so much time with her family? As she asks her grandmother about these things, she is told about life in a residential school a long time ago, where everything was taken away. When We Were Alone is a story ultimately about empowerment and strength.
Flett’s When We Were Alone had already won the McNally Robinson Book for Young People Award; received Honourable Mention for the Alcuin Society Children’s Award; was chosen for CCBC Choices 2017 picture books for school-age children best-of-the-year list by the Cooperative Children’s Book Center; was selected by The Canadian Children’s Book Centre for Best Books for Kids & Teens and signified as a title of exceptional caliber; and as was designated one of Bank Street College of Education Best Children’s Books of the Year.
When We Were Alone is also a finalist for the TD Canadian Children’s Literature Award organized by The Canadian Children’s Book Centre. This annual literary award is worth $30,000. The award will be announced in Toronto on November 21, 2017. Other books nominated by B.C. authors are The Skeleton Tree (Tundra Books) by Gabriola Island’s Iain Lawrence; A Day of Signs and Wonders by Victoria’s Kit Pearson. Also nominated are Tokyo Digs a Garden (Groundwood Books) by Jon-Erik Lappano and Kellen Hatanaka; The Tragic Tale of the Great Auk (Groundwood) by Jan Thornhill.
Julie Flett latest book is Black Bear Red Fox: Colours in Cree Board book (Garfinkel Publications). Black Bear Red Fox is a detailed explanation of how colour words work in Cree, from the Cree Literacy Network.
For more on Julie Flett’s extensive list of other literary prizes she’s won, visit ABCBookWorld.