Most distinguished book of the year, One Year in Coal Harbour wins TD Canadian Children's Literature Award

Oct 23, 2013, 08:00 ET from TD Bank Group

Author Polly Horvath receives $30,000 award for excellence in children's literature, the largest prize in Canadian children's literature

TORONTO, Oct. 23, 2013 /CNW/ - TD Bank Group and the Canadian Children's Book Centre are pleased to announce One Year in Coal Harbour by Polly Horvath as the winner of this year's TD Canadian Children's Literature Award.  Horvath received the $30,000 award at a gala ceremony in Toronto last night. The TD Canadian Children's Literature Award recognizes the finest in Canadian children's literature, written by a Canadian and published in Canada.

"Canada produces some of the world's finest children's literature and the books in this year's competition are a testament to this," says Frank McKenna, Deputy Chair, TD Bank Group and TD's Literacy Advocate. "Polly Horvath has crafted an intimate, engaging story confronting issues that many young readers can relate to in an articulate and compelling piece.  We're thrilled to award her this honour."

In One Year in Coal Harbour, Horvath captures the essence of adventure while at the same time, creating a loveable and adventurous heroine, through bold and colourful description and details. Young readers follow Primrose Squarp as she embarks on a journey to reunite with her parents and make new friends. Horvath creates a whimsical and mysterious world, where the relatable heroine worries about how new developments will impact her town and the world she knows and loves.

The other distinguished 2013 finalists for the TD Canadian Children's Literature Award were: Kids of Kabul, by Deborah Ellis; Virginia Wolf, by Kyo Maclear (with illustrations by Isabelle Arsenault); The Reluctant Journal of Henry K. Larsen, by Susin Nielsen; and The Stamp Collector, by Jennifer Lanthier (with illustrations by François Thisdale). Recognized for their exceptional quality of literature, TD awarded a $10,000 prize to be shared among the remaining honourees.

This year, for the first time, young readers were able to vote for their favourite book online from the finalists selected for the inaugural TD Canadian Children's Literature Fan Choice Award. Being a big night for Horvath, her book, One Year in Coal Harbour was also selected as this year's Fan Choice Award winner which was also announced at the ceremony.

"The five finalists for this year's TD Canadian Children's Literature Award are all very different in terms of their subject matter, but they all have one characteristic in common and that is that they are all beautifully written with powerful and complex stories simply told and with the ability to captivate young readers' imaginations," said Charlotte Teeple, Executive Director, Canadian Children's Book Centre.

About Polly Horvath

Polly Horvath grew up in Kalamazoo, Michigan. She went to college at the Canadian College of Dance in Toronto, studying with the Royal Academy of Dance and later becoming an R.A.D. teacher. After graduation, she lived in New York City and Montreal before settling in Metchosin, British Columbia, with her husband, Arnie Keller, and their two daughters, Emily and Rebecca. They have a dog, Andrew, and a horse, Zayda. They live on a hilltop with an assortment of deer, rabbits, two ducks who visit their pond daily—and the occasional cougar and bear.

Polly Horvath has written many books for children that have won awards in both the United States and Canada including a Newbery Honor, National Book Award and the Vicky Metcalf Award for her body of work. Her books have been picks of both Rosie O'Donnell and Oprah and have been translated into over twenty-five languages.

TD Community Giving
TD Bank Group invests in communities to make a positive impact where it does business and where our customers, clients and employees live and work. In 2012, TD Bank Group donated over $65 million to support community organizations in Canada, the United States and the United Kingdom. In Canada, we focus on Education and Financial Literacy, Creating Opportunities for Young People, and the Environment. For more information, visit

About The Canadian Children's Book Centre
The Canadian Children's Book Centre is a national, not-for-profit organization and registered charity founded in 1976 to promote, support and encourage the reading, writing and illustrating of Canadian books for children and teens. With book collections, programs and services and extensive resources in five cities across Canada, the CCBC is a treasure-trove for anyone interested in Canadian books for young readers. For more information, please visit

SOURCE TD Bank Group

Image with caption: "Annaka Leib celebrates the 2013 TD Canadian Children's Literature Award winner - One Year in Coal Harbour written by Polly Horvath with Frank McKenna, Deputy Chair, TD Bank Group and TD's Literacy Advocate (CNW Group/TD Bank Group)". Image available at: