April 15, 2016, Ottawa: Drawing from an outstanding collection of children’s literature produced by Canadian authors and publishers in 2015, the Canadian Library Association/Association canadienne des bibliothèques (CLA/ACB) is pleased to announce its winning title for the 2016 Book of the Year for Children Award: The Nest by Kenneth Oppel, illustrated by Jon Klassen, published by HarperCollins Canada. The CLA Book of the Year for Children Award is generously sponsored by Library Services Centre.

Summer should be a time of fun and relaxation but for Steve it is full of anxiety and worries: worries about his baby brother who is fighting to live, worries about his parents who are consumed by their own worries for their sick newborn, and worries about the wasp nest on their house that seems to grow larger with every day.

Then Steve starts dreaming of angels who live in the wasp nest and are going to fix the baby. Everything is going to be fine, they just need Steve to do a few things for them first. Kenneth Oppel has written an eerie, suspenseful tale about the desire for perfection, acceptance, and love. The gothic atmosphere of the tale is perfectly complemented by Klassen’s evocative illustrations. It’s a creepy and thrilling story that will stay with readers long after they put it down.

The CLA Book of the Year for Children Award Jury also selected two Honour Books this year:

  • MiNRS by Kevin Sylvester (Margaret K. McElderry Books) and;
  • Young Man with Camera by Emil Sher, illustrated by David Wyman (Arthur A. Levine Books)

For Christopher Nichols and Elena Rosales life at the Perses mining colony is so normal it’s almost boring. That why they’re going to spice things up with a blackout party to celebrate the start of the communication blackout with earth. Just as the party is in full swing, the unthinkable happens, the colony is attacked and the kids are forced into the underground mines while their parents try to fight off the attackers.

Underground, in the dark, with no way to communicate, this small group of kids must find a way to survive until they can contact Earth for help. But they’re going to have to do more than hide because when the attackers leave, they are going to leave nothing behind. Kevin Sylvester has written an imaginative, exciting adventure with as many twists as the mining tunnels he evocatively describes. Reader’s hearts will race along with the kids as they try to outrun, outwit, and outlast the Landers. A picture is worth a thousand words which is maybe why T– lets his camera do the talking for him. T– is a quiet, lonely middle grade student who has disfiguring scars thanks to a kitchen accident when he was very young. IT is through his camera and photos that T– develops a relationship to Lucy, a local homeless woman. T–’s tormenters, three boys he calls “Joined at the Hip”, start hurting Lucy and T– gets it all on film. The bullies know T– has the photos and they will do anything to keep T– and his photos silent.

Young Man with a Camera by Emil Sher is just like one of the historical photographs described in the story: dramatic, provoking, and emotional. It addresses issues of bullying, friendship, and justice in a sensitive but unconventional way. Sher’s writing is fluid making the story quick to read, but it will leave readers thinking long after finishing the last page.

The CLA Book of the Year for Children Award Jury salutes all Canadian writers of children’s literature and their publishers for providing an exceptional collection of quality books for children with varied interests and reading abilities. Since its inception in 1947, the CLA Book of the Year Award for Children has been presented annually in recognition of excellence in children’s books written and published in Canada during the preceding year. This year’s award will be presented to Kenneth Oppel, author of The Nest, in June at the CLA Book Awards Luncheon (click here to buy your tickets now!) during the CLA National Forum in Ottawa. The Book Award Luncheon is generously sponsored by TD Bank Group. The award is sponsored by Library Services Centre.

The members of this year’s jury were:

  • Reta Pyke, Librarian, Surrey Libraries, Vancouver, BC
  • Rachel Seigel, Sales & Selection Strategist, EduCan Media, Toronto, ON
  • Jaclyn McLean, Librarian, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, SK
  • Marilyn Willis, Retired Library Coordinator, Georgetown, ON
  • Lynn Amann, Children’s Librarian, Rossland Public Library, Rossland, BC

Media Contact: Reta Pyke Chair, Book of the Year for Children Award Jury

– 30 –

About CLA:
The Canadian Library Association is Canada’s largest national and broad-based library association, representing the interests of public, academic, school and special libraries, professional librarians and library workers, and all those concerned about enhancing the quality of life of Canadians through information and literacy. For more information please visit:

For more information on the CLA Book Awards, contact:
Agnieszka Arkuszewski
Office Manager and Executive Assistant
Email: info (at)   

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *