The 2014 winner of the IODE Violet Downey Book Award
for Canadian Children’s Literature
An Infidel in Paradise by S.J. Laidlaw
S.J. Laidlaw, first-time author of An Infidel in Paradise, has
been awarded the IODE Violet Downey Book Award. The $5,000 prize was announced at the time of the 114th National Annual Meeting of IODE Canada on 30 May 2014. This is the 30th Anniversary of this award made available to Canadian authors.
The book tells the story of sixteen year-old Emma who is no stranger to moving.
The daughter of a Canadian diplomat, her life has been a series of changing landscapes, cultures and friendships. But when her parents split up and she and her siblings are forced to move to Pakistan with her mother, her feelings of loss and culture shock are overwhelming. Add to that rising political tensions and her attraction to a local boy who has been promised to someone else, Emma’s life very quickly spirals out of control putting herself and those she loves in mortal danger.
Susan Laidlaw has twenty years’ experience as a teacher and counselor in schools and clinical settings around the world. She has published articles on parenting and has led workshops for parents and professional educators on a diverse range of topics related to raising and working with third culture children.
An Infidel in Paradise, published by Tundra Books, “is a very well written evocation of both a tormented teen and the exotic setting she finds herself” (Quill and Quire) and is sure to be enjoyed by teens and adults alike.
Through the generosity of an IODE member, the late Mrs. Violet Downey, IODE Canada established The National Chapter of Canada IODE Violet Downey Book Award in 1984. The first award was presented in 1985.
The award is offered annually for the best English language book containing at least 500 words of text (preferably with Canadian content) in any category, suitable for children aged 13 and under. To be eligible, the book must have been written by a Canadian citizen and must have been published in Canada during the calendar year immediately preceding the National Chapter Annual Meeting held in May. Fairy tales, anthologies and books adapted from another source are not eligible.
A ten-member panel of judges, including IODE members and specialists in the field of children's literature, annually select the award-winning book. Winning authors are presented with The National Chapter of Canada IODE Violet Downey Book Award of $5,000.
All books submitted by publishers become the property of IODE Canada. These books are sorted and shipped to school libraries in Labrador that are part of the Adopt-a-Class Program.
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