Atlantic Canada's Hackmatack Children's Choice Awards announce this year's winners

The winners for the 2024 Hackmatack Awards. (Snickerdoodle Photography - image credit)
The winners for the 2024 Hackmatack Awards. (Snickerdoodle Photography - image credit)

The 2024 winners of the Hackmatack Children's Choice Awards were announced at an awards ceremony in Halifax on May 31.

The winning titles are chosen by more than 1,000 students in Grades 4 to 6 over the course of the school year. They read the 40 shortlisted titles (20 French and 20 English) and voted for their favourite in each category. Many of the shortlisted books are available in accessible formats provided by the Centre of Equitable Library Access.

The prizes are based in Atlantic Canada, but readers across the country can participate in the program.

The English-language book winners are How to High Tea with a Hyena (And Not Get Eaten) by Rachel Poliquin, illustrated by Kathryn Durst for English nonfiction and AWOL by Marla Lesage for English fiction.

(Orca Book Publishers)

How to High Tea with a Hyena (And Not Get Eaten) is the second book in a series of illustrated chapter books. It features cockroach Celeste who tries to make it through high tea with Ruby the hyena without getting eaten. Offering a range of tips and tricks all based on real scientific behaviour, How to High Tea with a Hyena (And Not Get Eaten) is both funny and educational.

AWOL is a graphic novel about eleven-year-old Leah. She's a military child, so she moves a lot. This summer, her best friend's family is reassigned, leaving her all alone. Things get tricky when her mother is sent away for training and she is left with her father, who suffers from PTSD. When a new girl moves to the neighbourhood, Leah tries to make a new friend as she avoids her father's unpredictable mood swings. AWOL aims to give insight into the reality of PTSD from a child's perspective.

The French-language nonfiction winners are Raconte-moi : Nick Suzuki by Joanie Godin and L'histoire du cinéma en BD : L'apogée du mime by Philippe Lemieux, illustrated by Garry. The French fiction winners are La fin du monde est pour demain by André Marois, Un bisou coquelicot by Marie-France Comeau, illustrated by Jean-Luc Trudel and Le mystère de la tarte aux pommes by Laïla Heloua et Corinne De Vailly, illustrated by Sabrina Gendron.

The shortlists for the 2024-2025 reading program are now available on the Hackmatack website.