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Manitoba Book Award Winners

Sunday, Apr 29, 2012 at 11:49am

Congratulations to all the winners and nominees of the 2012 Manitoba Book Awards. More than 200 people attended the ceremony last night. The 24th annual gala, presented by the Manitoba Writers' Guild with the Association of Manitoba Book Publishers was held at the Centre culturel franco-manitobain.

  • McNally Robinson Book of the Year: Not Being on a Boat by Esmé Claire Keith (Freehand Books/Broadview Press)
  • McNally Robinson Book for Young People Award, younger category: S is for Scientists: A Discovery Alphabet by Larry Verstraete (Sleeping Bear Press)
  • McNally Robinson Book for Young People Award, older category: Tori by Design by Colleen Nelson (Great Plains Teen Fiction)
  • Aqua Books Lansdowne Prize for Poetry: Poème Pierre Prière, by J.R. Léveillé (Les Éditions du Blé)
  • Best Illustrated Book of the Year: David's Trip to Paraguay: The Land of Amazing Colours, by Miriam Rudolph (CMU Press)
  • Manuela Dias Book Design of the Year: Poème Pierre Prière by J.R. Léveillé, designed by Bernard Léveillé (Les Éditions du Blé)
  • Eileen McTavish Sykes Award for Best First Book: A Large Harmonium by Sue Sorensen (Coteau Books)
  • Carol Shields Winnipeg Book Award: Ravenscraig by Sandi Krawchenko Altner (Heartland Associates)
  • Michael Van Rooy Award for Genre Fiction: The Thirteen by Susie Moloney (Random House Canada)
  • Margaret Laurence Award for Fiction: The Girl in the Wall by Alison Preston (Signature Editions)
  • Alexander Kennedy Isbister Award for Non-Fiction: King: William Lyon MacKenzie King: A Life Guided by the Hand of Destiny by Allan Levine (Douglas and McIntyre)
  • John Hirsch Award for Most Promising Manitoba Writer: Jennifer Still
  • Mary Scorer Award for Best Book by a Manitoba Publisher: Butterfly Winter by W.P. Kinsella (Enfield and Wizenty/Great Plains Publications)

Categories: Awards, Winnipeg

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Not Being on a Boat

- Esme Claire Keith

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Winner of the 2012 McNally Robinson Book of the Year. Rutledge, an aging, divorced man, has treated himself to a Cruise on the Mariola. The Cruise is not just any cruise. It's the whole shebang. It's around the world. It's a lifestyle change: G & Ts and tuxedos and cigars and cognac galore. The service is top-rate. And Rutledge's steward, Raoul, is a good kid. But then a day trip to a Caribbean port ends in commotion. Some people don't make it back onto the ship. Rutledge, nonplussed, makes use of the vacant machines in the Fitness Room and the unoccupied loungers on deck. But soon, crew members seem few and far between, and the menu in the Captain's Mess significantly diminished. Rutledge gets the feeling that something is amiss. And that's just unacceptable. Welcome aboard Esme Keith's debut dystopic novel, a cunning parody of modern day luxury and the coveted all-inclusive vacation, from the refreshingly blunt point of view of a man unable to see beyond his own needs, with hilarious results.

S is for Scientists

- Larry Verstraete , David Geister

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What clutter-busting need was behind the invention of the World Wide Web? Which stain-fighting chemical got its start when a lab assistant dropped a beaker on a lab floor? In S is for Scientists: A Discovery Alphabet, the origins behind some of the most important scientific discoveries are explored. Budding young scientists will learn what Galileo witnessed in a church that led to his theory of measurement; how biologist Rachel Carson's book, Silent Spring, helped to spur the first call to action in the environmental movement; and why Ivan Pavlov's study of a drooling dog laid the foundations for a new branch of psychology. From discoveries that fundamentally changed scientific methods to everyday inventions that are now taken for granted, S is for Scientists sheds light on the events and people who have shaped our lives today. A former teacher, Larry Verstraete now spends his time writing, visiting schools and libraries, and presenting at conferences and festivals. S is for Scientists: A Discovery Alphabet is his second picture book with Sleeping Bear Press. He lives in Winnipeg. David Geister's fascination with American history is celebrated in his work, and his paintings have been featured in The Saturday Evening Post. Dave's books for Sleeping Bear Press include B is for Battle Cry: A Civil War Alphabet and Riding to Washington. He lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Tori By Design

- Colleen Nelson

Young adult softcover $14.95 - Add to Cart
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Winner of the 2012 McNally Robinson Book for Young People Award, older category. Can difficult choices be made without bias…tape? Tori Edwards jumps at the chance to move from Winnipeg to New York City with her family. After all, NYC is the place to be for an aspiring fashion designer, and her new high school has access to a placement program with FIT—the Fashion Institute of Technology. Life is fuller and more chaotic than she imagined, but she hangs on between boy-troubles, portfolio-building, and struggling to find perfect accessories. Then, just as it looks like Tori might achieve all she has dreamed, shocking news from her parents unravels her carefully designed plans and she is forced to look beyond the pages of a fashion magazine for answers. About the Author: Colleen Nelson wrote one chapter of this book as an assignment for a writing class. Four years and numerous drafts later, her first book has been published. The mother of two young boys and a junior high teacher, Colleen has lived in Japan and New York City, but currently resides with her husband in Winnipeg.

David's Trip to Paraguay

- Miriam Rudolph

Children's hardcover $22.00 - Add to Cart
Reader Reward Price: $19.80
Illustrated Edition

Winner of the 2012 Best Illustrated Book of the Year Award. This is a gorgeous book by exciting young artist, inspired by the extraordinary journey made by her grandfather from Canada to Paraguay in the late 1920s. David, a farm boy from Southern Manitoba, is excited when his family, in search of a new home, decides to leave wintry and white Canada behind to start a long journey by train, ship, and oxcart to South America. Along the way he takes in colourful impressions of New York’s skyscrapers, the ocean, flying fish, crocodiles, foreign cities, and many more exciting things that let him know he is going the right way. This is an exceptional children’s book, but also a beautiful art work for all ages. In addition, the dual-language text (English and German) adds a valuable educational dimension.

The Thirteen

- Susie Moloney

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The Witches of Eastwick meets Desperate Housewives in Susie Moloney's The Thirteen, a Globe and Mail Best Book.

Haven Woods is suburban heaven, a great place to raise a family. It's close to the city, quiet, with great schools and its own hospital right up the road. Property values are climbing. The streets are clean, people keep their yards really nicely. It's fairly pet friendly, though barking dogs are not welcomed. The crime rate is practically non-existent, unless you count the odd human sacrifice, dismemberment, animal attack, demon rape and blood atonement. When Paula Wittmore goes home to Haven Woods to care for a suddenly ailing mother, she brings her daughter and a pile of emotional baggage. She also brings the last chance for twelve of her mother's closest frenemies, who like to keep their numbers at thirteen. And her daughter, young, innocent, is a worthy gift to the darkness.

A circle of friends will support you through bad times. A circle of witches can drag you through hell.

Girl in the Wall, The

- Alison Preston

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Reader Reward Price: $15.26

Winner of the 2012 Margaret Laurence Award for Fiction. Former Inspector Frank Foote has left the Winnipeg Police force and gone into home renovations, but after tearing down a wall on a job one day and finding the skeleton of a small female who has been imprisoned there, he finds himself following the leads to a photographer who specialized in taking photos of the recently deceased for their families.


- Jennifer Still

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Jennifer Still is the winner of the 2012 John Hirsch Award for Most Promising Manitoba Writer. In GIRLWOOD, Jennifer Still's second collection, her poems come of age: they take the dare; they cross out of sapling and into maturity's thicket. But the poems don't leave the girl behind, they bring her along: as sylph, as raconteur, as witness, as pure, unstoppable bravado. These songs of liberation and confinement arise from the rich and mysterious connection between mother and daughter. Here, the mother figure is as vulnerable as the daughter, caged by domestic duty, by the fear that snakes through sexuality, the longing and the repulsion that accompany mortal desire. The daughter is at once compassionate and defiant. This is the paradox at the heart of this collection. "Mother, divine me," Jennifer Still writes, and later, "Mother, spare me." Between these two phrases, which are both plea and command, we experience all the tangled pathways between mother and daughter, the cries of devotion and the congested laments.

Butterfly Winter

- W P Kinsella

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Reader Reward Price: $26.96

Butterfly Winter, Kinsella's first novel in 13 years, is the story of Julio and Esteban Pimental, twins whose divine destiny for baseball begins with games of catch in the womb. They mature quickly and by the age of ten they leave their home in the fictional Caribbean country of Courteguay for the American major leagues. Julio is a winning pitcher who will only throw to his catcher brother, much to the chagrin of the team that employs him, which must keep mediocre Esteban on the roster. Events in the brothers' homeland, including regular coups and the outlawing of baseball, continue to shape their lives. They are monitored by the wizard, a mysterious figure who travels by hot air balloon and controls events behind the scenes. In his last years he tells the story of the twins and their family to a skeptical journalist. Butterfly Winter is entertaining, funny and magical, and includes a diabolical chiropractor, a great love blessed by butterflies and a deep political undercurrent that unites the wealthy north with the baseball-loving and oppressed south.