The first review of my brand-new book From Vimy to Victory is in, and it's a good one. Megan Moore Burns in Quill & Quire, the journal of the Canadian book trade, writes in a starred review: "Veteran author Hugh Brewster has perfected the art of engaging young readers with history. In his latest...Brewster vividly describes our country's significant contribution to the last hundred days of the First World War." She concludes her review by saying: "From Vimy to Victory is accessible and engrossing, a wonderful combination." Thank you, Megan and Quill & Quire!
It was both a surprise and a thrill when I heard my name read out as the winner of the 2012 Hackmatack Children’s Choice Award for English Fiction on April 27th in Moncton, New Brunswick. SincePrisoner of Dieppe is my first novel I was particularly happy and doubly pleased that it was a book that kids had chosen as their favourite. It was a great way to wrap up my reading tour of PEI and Nova Scotia. I Am Canada: Deadly Voyage is nominated for Hackmatack ’13 so I’m hoping to be asked back!
Dieppe: Canada’s Darkest Day of World War II has been nominated for the 2010-11 Children’s Literature Roundtables of Canada Information Book Award. On Juno Beach won this award in 2005 and both At Vimy Ridge and Carnation, Lily, Lily, Rose have been Honour Books so I’m very honoured to be on the nomination list once again for this prestigious award.
“Gee, you don’t ask for much!” was my reaction when I was contacted by the Forest of Reading Awards about making a video for their website. I’m delighted that my book DIEPPE: Canada’s Darkest Day of World War II has been nominated for the 2010 Silver Birch Award and am enjoying giving talks in schools that participate in this amazing reading program. But I’m a bit of a techno-peasant and had never made a YouTube video before. I asked my young nephew about this and he said: “It’s no big deal, you can do it with your MacBook.” He showed me how to do it and then wrote out instructions for me. I then spent a morning working on it and managed to succesfully upload it to YouTube.
View the video below:
I was thrilled to hear that BREAKOUT DINOSAURS: Canada’s Coolest, Scariest Ancient Creatures –Return! has been nominated for the 2010 Hackmatack Award. This marks the third of Canada’s ‘tree’ awards for which this book has been nominated. These hugely successful reading awards programs select a list of Canadian books for young readers and students are encouraged to read as many of them as possible and then vote on their favourites.Breakout Dinosaurs was nominated for the Silver Birch Express Award in Ontario last year, is up for the Red Cedar Award in British Columbia this year and is now nominated for Atlantic Canada’s Hackmatack Award for which the winner will be announced next spring. While it’s nice to win one of these awards, being nominated makes you a winner already since the schools and libraries purchase copies of your book and you receive fan mail from lots of young readers.
DIEPPE: Canada’s Darkest Day of World War II has been nominated as one the the non-fiction selections for the Silver Birch Award 09/10. It’s always exciting to be selected for one of the provincial ‘Tree’ Awards and Ontario’s Forest of Reading is the biggest award program of all. Sponsored by the Ontario Library Association, the Forest of Reading is an amazing reading motivator where kids vote for their favorite books. Being nominated means that the schools and libraries buy your book and frequently invite authors in to give talks. It’s capped off with a big awards ceremony in May where hundreds of kids attend to cheer for their favorite books.
Here’s a selection:
“Brewster’s attention to detail and his ability to present the material in a student-friendly manner, complete with compelling illustrations and facts that have been overlooked or hidden for decades provides for a memorable, informative and essential point of reference for all Canadians…” —London Free Press, Aug.15, ’09
“As in his earlier books, Hugh Brewster gives a clear, thoughtful and moving account of this tragic time in Canadian military history.” —Deakin Newsletter, Summer ’09
“Brewster is a master craftsman of history, his research impeccable and deep, his storytelling as fine as any bestseller of fiction. Kids should learn history and learn it’s not boring. Brewster’s books will do that.” —Halifax Chroncile-Herald, July 26, ’09
Just when I was beginning to despair about publishing a book in August, DIEPPE: Canada’s Darkest Day of World War II receives its first revew and it’s a rave! Toronto Globe & Mail children’s book reviewer, Susan Perren, wrote of DIEPPE on August 1st, 2009:
“[DIEPPE] can be described quite simply as superb. It is superb in the way it sets out the context for the raid on Dieppe…Superb, too, in the way Brewster, using archival photographs, first-person accounts from surviving combatants or memoirs, and the connective tissue of his beautifully crafted text to tell a story that is equal parts horror and valour.”
One couldn’t ask for a better review! Thank you Susan Perren! Don’t ever believe that in the age of blogs and Amazon reader reviews that real, thoughtful reviews in real newspapers don’t matter.