Transatlantic is proud to note that nine of our authors have been shortlisted for the 2023 OLA Forest of Reading!

Organized by the Ontario Library Association, the Forest of Reading Awards are the largest recreational reading program in Canada. The nominated titles are chosen by school and library staff, and since October 2019, over 270,000 children have read nominated books, which include Canadian fiction and non-fiction books by English and French-language authors.

MEENA’S MINDFUL MOMENT by Tina Athaide (Page Street Kids) was shortlisted for the Blue Spruce Award, which recognizes English language fiction for ages 4 -7. 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. 

THE STRANGEST THING IN THE SEA: AND OTHER CURIOUS CREATURES OF THE DEEP by Rachel Poliquin and illustrated by Byron Eggenschwiler (Kids Can Press) was shortlisted for the Silver Birch Express, which recognizes English language fiction for grades 3-4. Rachel Poliquin grew up in the country collecting curious bits of nature. She once wrote a small book about seahorses, but she lost it. She has a PhD in the history of science and a background in visual arts, museums studies and natural history. She writes about animals, mostly. She is the author of Beastly Puzzles: A Brain-Boggling Animal Guessing Game, The Superpower Field Guides (about unexpected animal heroes), and the Polite Predator series (containing very good advice on how not to get eaten by hungry snakes and hyenas). She lives in Vancouver with her husband and three children.

WHO’S LOOKING? HOW ANIMALS SEE THE WORLD by Carol Matas and illustrated by Cornelia Li (Orca Books) was shortlisted for the Silver Birch Express Award, which recognizes English language fiction and nonfiction for grades 3-4. Carol Matas is an internationally acclaimed author of more than 45 books for children and young adults. Her best-selling work, which includes three award-winning series, has been translated into over a dozen languages including Spanish, Catalan, Japanese, Taiwanese, Turkish, Dutch, Danish, Swedish, Finnish, Norwegian, German, French, Indonesian, Bulgarian and Russian. She has adapted some of her books into plays and has had productions in Tel Aviv, Montreal, Toronto and Winnipeg.

FOREVER BIRCHWOOD by Danielle Daniel (Harper Trophy Canada) was shortlisted for the Silver Birch Award, which recognizes English language fiction for grades 5-6. Danielle Daniel is a writer, an award-winning children’s book author and an illustrator. Like many Francophones with origins in Quebec, she shares an ancestral link to the people who inspired Daughters of the Deer, a first novel that springs from the story of what happened to the daughter of an Algonquin woman and a soldier/settler from France. Her picture books include Sometimes I Feel Like a Fox (winner of the Marilyn Baillie Picture Book Award and a Best 100 title at the New York Public Library) and You Hold Me Up, shortlisted for the 2018 Marilyn Baillie Award, among other honours. She holds an MFA in creative writing from the University of British Columbia and lives in the traditional territory of the Atikameksheng Anishnawbek (Sudbury, Ontario).

MERANDA AND THE LEGEND OF THE LAKE by Meagan Mahoney (Owlkids Books) was shortlisted for the Silver Birch Award, which recognizes English language fiction for grades 5-6. Debut author Meagan Mahoney balances her rediscovered love of writing with her work as a pediatric intensive care doctor in Calgary, Alberta. The rest of her time is spent exploring and enjoying the mountains with her husband and three children. 

SNOOZEFEST: THE SURPRISING SCIENCE OF SLEEP by Tanya Lloyd Kyi and illustrated by Valéry Goulet (Kids Can Press) was shortlisted for the Yellow Cedar Award, which recognizes English language nonfiction for grades 4-8. Tanya Lloyd Kyi is the author of more than 25 books for children and adults, including This Is Your Brain on Stereotypes, Under Pressure and Mya’s Strategy to Save the World. Tanya lives with her husband and two teenagers in Vancouver, British Columbia. 

EIGHT DAYS by Teresa Toten (Scholastic Canada) was shortlisted for the Silver Birch Express Award, which recognizes English language fiction for ages 12-14.  Teresa Toten won the Governor General’s Literary Award in Canada for The Unlikely Hero of Room 13B, which also won the American Library Association’s Schneider Family Book Award, and was chosen by the International Board on Books for Young People as one of its Outstanding Books for Young People With Disabilities in 2015. She is the author of the international bestseller Beware that Girl and the acclaimed Blondes series, as well as The Game, The Onlyhouse, and, with Eric Walters, The Taming. Teresa lives in Toronto, Ontario.

ON THE LINE by Paul Coccia and Eric Walters was shortlisted for the Red Maple Award, which recognizes English language fiction for ages 12-14. 

Paul Coccia is the author of the award-winning Cub, The Player, the upcoming I Got You Babe, as well as co-author of On The Line with Eric Walters. He has a specialist in English Literature and an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of British Columbia. He is often found baking in his Toronto kitchen with his nephew, three dogs and a parrot that has recently taken to whistling the Jurassic Park theme.

Eric Walters is the author of over 100 books for young readers, including the popular Rule of Three post-apocalyptic adventure series. His recent middle grade novel The King of Jam Sandwiches won the 2020 Governor General’s Award for a children’s novel. He was nominated twice for the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award, and his books have been published in fourteen languages. 

Tina is represented by Andrea Cascardi. Rachel, Carol, and Tanya are represented by Amy Tompkins. Danielle and Teresa are represented by Samantha Haywood. Meagan Mahoney is represented by Elizabeth Bennett.

To see the full list of nominees, please visit: