|Creepy & Maud by Dianne Touchell|
|Friday Brown by Vikki Wakefield|
|The Wrong Boy by Suzy Zail|
Whenever I read a book about the concentration camps, it's a jolt to be reminded that Russian soldiers liberated many of the camps - not the stereotypical picture of Stalin's army - I wonder if younger readers realise that in the end, Stalin was no better than Hitler.
The last 50 pages of this book were the most heart wrenching - after liberation, when the main character Hanna had time to consider what had happened to others. Hanna's character survived by being the personal pianist of the commandant - a position that made her hated by other POW's. As always the question is - what would you do to survive?
|The Ink Bridge by Neil Grant|
The story is told in three parts, Omed, Hector and Across the Bridge. I found Omed's part the most interesting and heart wrenching. While the book is aimed at older readers, I strongly suggest the adult in their lives also read it as it's fairly graphic in parts. This, like books about the Holocaust are so important. Apart from explaining the desperation of some of our refugees, it provides a great jumping off point for talking about refugees, the war on terror and the issues surrounding these topics.
|The Shiny Guys - Doug MacLeod|
|Sea Hearts by Margo Lanagan|
It took me awhile to get into the book, but once I did I really enjoyed it. A fable about the dangers of pandering to your own needs and the strength it takes to do what is right. I think this book is borderline YA, it could quite comfortably sit on the adult shelves.
So those are the six shortlisted books. To tell you the truth, I didn't love any of them - not one jumped out as clear winner for me. In the end, it I was ruler of the world, I would have chosen Friday Brown as the winner with Sea Hearts and The Wrong Boy as notables. The CBC gave the top award to Sea Hearts and notables to The Ink Bridge and Friday Brown.