Tuesday, May 29, 2012

2012 Red Maple and White Pine Awards Festivities!!!!

On May 15, 2012, I had the honour of hosting the Ontario Library Association's Red Maple and White Pine Awards at Harbourfront in Toronto.   

Over 8000 enthusiastic readers were present for the day, which is part of the OLA’sForest of Reading program, involving a staggering QUARTER MILLION YOUNG READERS across Ontario!

The crowd at the Red Maple Awards.

Last year, when my novel TheMonkeyface Chronicles won the 2011 White Pine Award, I don’t think I have ever felt more like a rock star in my entire life.   

This year’s rock stars, as chosen by the readers themselves, were:

Kenneth Oppel - 
Winner of the Red Maple Award (grades 7-8) for Half Brother

Neil Pasricha - 
Winner of the White Pine Non-Fiction Award for The Book of Awesome

Kelley Armstrong - 
Winner of the White Pine Fiction Award for The Gathering

During my opening remarks to the huge audiences of teens and tweens, I had this to say about their participation in choosing the winners of these awards:

“Two of the cornerstones of any great civilization are literacy and democracy.  You have proven that you are literate by reading the great books that were nominated for this year’s White Pine Awards, and you have participated in democracy by carefully considering each nominated book, and voting for the books that you believed most deserved your vote.  

So, congratulations to YOU, for being literate and democratic.  The future of our society is in the hands of those who are cultured, who are informed, and who participate in democracy.  And from where I stand right now, the future looks bright indeed.”

Now I can officially say that I have been MC to Maestro Fresh Wes.
Look kids!  It's me and Survivorman!