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2023 Hackmatack Award Winners Announced

Winners of the 24th Hackmatack Children’s Choice Book Award Announced at Awards Ceremony in Charlottetown, PEI


KJIPUKTUK (Halifax): The winners of the 2023 Hackmatack Children’s Choice Book Award were announced on Friday, June 2 at a lively awards ceremony at the Charlottetown Library Learning Centre. They are:

English Nonfiction

How to Promenade With a Python (And Not Get Eaten), written by Rachel Poliquin and illustrated by Kathryn Durst (Tundra Books, 2021)
In this hilarious non-fiction chapter book series, a savvy cockroach shares wise tips and tricks to surviving an encounter with a charming predator who may (or may not) want to be your friend.

English Fiction

Stealing Home, written by J. Torres and illustrated by David Namisato (Kids Can Press, 2021)
When Sandy Saito struggles after moving to a Japanese internment camp during WWII, baseball shows him another way to approach life.

French Nonfiction

Docteur RIP : C’est mortel ! by Michel Quintin and illustrated by Freg (Michel Quintin, 2021)
Doctor RIP and sidekick Darwin the guinea pig reveal entertaining facts about death.

French Fiction

Am stram gram, by Sophie Labelle (Hurtubise, 2021)
Stephie, a high achieving 12-year old who excels in school, advances to the final rounds of an important spelling bee, tackling fear, stress, and competitiveness along the way.


Le chien d’or de Québec, by Denis Boucher and illustrated by Paul Roux (Bouton d’or Acadie, 2021)
When the Musée de la civilisation receives threats signed ‘Le Chien d’or de Québec’ Gabriel, Ania and Mamadou begin an investigation. Could it be the same golden dog that adorns the portico of a historic building?

Across the Atlantic region, children in grades four to six participated in the Hackmatack program by reading from the shortlist of 40 titles (20 French and 20 English) and voting for their favourite in each category.

Hackmatack was pleased to return to an in-person author tour for the first time since the pandemic. In the weeks leading up to the ceremony, eight authors visited schools and libraries across the Maritimes, presenting to over a thousand young readers. Another six authors gave virtual presentations, allowing us to reach readers in all corners of Atlantic Canada. Getting the chance to meet and learn from a real author was a thrilling and memorable opportunity for students. The author tour was made possible by generous support from the Canada Council for the Arts, the Delmore “Buddy” Daye Learning Institute, the Writers’ Federation of Nova Scotia, the Writers’ Federation of New Brunswick, the Conseil Communautaire du Grand-Havre, and realtor Rosie Porter.

Taking place alongside the author tour, Hackmatack’s third annual Festival of Reading featured public events for authors and illustrators working in children’s literature. Events included a virtual workshop with author Rachel Poliquin called “Finding the Fun in Children’s Nonfiction,” a virtual panel discussion with authors Valerie Sherrard, Edeet Ravel, and Laura Best on “Writing Tough Topics for Young Readers,” and in-person author events with Andre Fenton, Jack Wong, and Kendra Brown. Hackmatack’s public events were supported by Arts Nova Scotia.

Hackmatack is also excited to announce the new shortlists for our 2023/2024 reading program. Visit our website to view the 2023/2024 English and French shortlists.

The Hackmatack Children’s Choice Book Award program is generously sponsored by the Nova Scotia Department of Education, the New Brunswick Public Library Service, the Nova Scotia Provincial Library, the Atlantic Provinces Library Association, the Nova Scotia Library Association, and the Nova Scotia Teachers’ Union, and supported by our partners the Writers’ Federation of Nova Scotia, the Halifax Public Libraries, the Delmore “Buddy” Daye Learning Institute, the Prince Edward Island Public Library, and the Centre for Equitable Library Access. For more information, visit

Media Contact:

Oriana Duinker, Executive Director, Hackmatack Children’s Choice Book Award   
(902) 418-9859