How to Participate

1. Put a reading group together

Who can participate?

  • Grade 4, 5, or 6 class in a school
  • A group formed by staff in a public or school library
  • A group formed by a parent or a community organization

Not part of a group? Ask at your public library for how to participate on your own. Organizers may add children who are either younger or older if they feel that they would benefit from the program.

Group Size?

Although there is no set minimum of readers to form a group, we recommend a minimum of 10 readers. The recommended maximum group size is approximately 30 children (one class).

2. Register

Click here to download our registration form.

3. Download the Project Kit

Project Kit

4. Get the books

Need financial support?

If you need assistance for book purchases or increased access to the nominated books, try asking your Parent-Teacher Association or local business for their support. Your local public libraries are involved with the Hackmatack program and are interested in collaborating with schools to support reading groups.

5. Read

Keep track of what your readers have read

The Project Kit includes log sheets for readers to fill out, as well as group progress charts to keep track of how your group is doing.

6. Vote

How it works

  • Groups can choose to vote for either English or French selections, or both
  • Each reader casts votes for their favourite books in the spring
  • To be eligible to vote, children must be enrolled in a registered reading group or participating through their public library
  • Each reader is entitled to one vote in each category in which they have completed at least 5 titles. Organizers should encourage children to read as many books as they can to make informed decisions. However, organizers may be flexible and exercise their discretion to encourage all readers’ participation.
  • Group coordinators enter the results of their readers’ voting on the official tally sheet and submit this sheet to the Hackmatack office. Votes for each book are counted by the Hackmatack Award Committee and the winner in each category (English Fiction, English Nonfiction, French Fiction, and French Nonfiction) is determined by the number of children’s votes. The winners in all four categories are presented the Hackmatack Award at the annual ceremony in the spring.

7. Host an author (optional)

Nominated Hackmatack authors from across Canada will be visiting schools and libraries in the Atlantic region during the week of May 25 to 28, 2019.

If your Hackmatack group is interested in attending a reading or hosting an author, please send an email to by February 2020 to get details and determine author availability.

The author tours are made possible thanks to the generous assistance of the Canada Council for the Arts, the Nova Scotia Department of Education, and the New Brunswick Public Library Service, as well as with the partnership of a number of regional libraries.

8. Attend the awards ceremony (optional)

The Hackmatack Award ceremony is a celebration of reading and writing shared by the participating children and the nominated authors. Young readers from across the region join the authors of the nominated books to applaud the results of their reading and voting.

Hackmatack is happy to announce that the 2020 Award Ceremony will be held at the Riverview Arts Centre, New Brunswick, on Friday, May 29. The ceremony runs from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. The event is open to the public.

Please call (902) 424-3774 or email for details.

9. Share your success stories!

Many schools and libraries have had great successes with integrating the Hackmatack books into their curriculums and yearly programs. What works best for you? Share your experiences with other groups. Just email and we will post them on our website!