Orange for the Sunsets by Tina Athaide (Katherine Tegen Books), won the Geoffrey Bilson Award for Historical Fiction for Young People:

“The expulsion of Indians from Idi Amin’s Uganda is the time and setting for this tale of race, friendship, nationalism and empathy. The well-developed characters, Asha and Yesofu, must decide what will happen to their friendship in a time and place torn by ethnic nationalism. The alternating narration, rich description, use of language and vocabulary make this difficult and disturbing tension and conflict accessible to young readers in Canada. The inclusion of photographs, bibliography and resources for additional interest offer further clarification and background… A powerful, thought-provoking and moving text.”

Tina Athaide was born in Uganda and grew up in London and Canada. While her family left Entebbe just prior to the expulsion, she has memories of refugee family and friends staying with them in their London home. The stories and conversations she listened to through the years became the inspiration for her book Orange for the Sunsets. Tina now lives in California with her husband, Ron, and their daughter, Isabella. Tina is represented by Andrea Cascardi.

In the Key of Nira Ghani by Natasha Deen (Running Press Teens), won the Amy Mathers Teen Book Award:

“Natasha Deen invites readers into the warm embrace of the community she so charmingly depicts in In the Key of Nira Ghani… In this contemporary coming-of-age story, Deen shines a light on the struggles of conforming to your parents’ expectations while trying to forge your own path… Poignant and full of love, this is a story of family, friendship, and finding the courage to make your voice heard… A heartwarming story that will steal your heart.” 

Award-winning author Natasha Deen spent the first part of her life in Guyana, then her family moved to Calgary, Alberta, which she found terribly exciting until her first minus-forty-degree winter day, at which point she began to question the sanity of the grown-ups around her. She currently lives in Edmonton, Alberta with her husband, dogs, and cats, and regularly entices the muses to her office with offers of cupcakes and tea. Natasha is represented by Amy Tompkins. 

The CCBC Book Awards recognize excellence in children’s literature by Canadian authors. See the full list of winners here: