Reading 2019 GG Books

Of this year’s 35 nominations for Governor General’s Literary Awards, I have so far read three — all of them, coincidentally, connected to my work at CNIB.

Late Breaking by K.D. Miller - Fiction 

K.D. Miller was on staff in the CNIB Recording Studio during most of my almost sixteen years there. Alex Colville paintings served as prompts for the ten brilliant stories in this collection. The GG is not the first major prize this book has been up for. If you don’t know Kathleen’s work, her All Saints is definitely worth a read too.

2019 GG Awards nominee Late Breaking by K.D. Miller - Fiction 

Girl of the Southern Sea by Michelle Kadarusman - Young People’s Literature Text

The story of Nia, a girl in a Jakarta slum selling banana fritters at the market as she longs to continue her education and become a writer. A wonderful combination of gritty reality and fanciful story-telling, this is the second book by Michelle Kadarusman that I’ve had the pleasure to narrate.

2019 GG Awards nominee Girl of the Southern Sea by Michelle Kadarusman

Stand on the Sky by Erin Bow - Young People’s Literature Text

The story of a girl in Mongolia training to become an eagle hunter, with much more at stake for her family than her love of eagles. A beautifully written page-turner for readers younger than those for Erin’s previous books, it will be a fun book to narrate when I’ve finished Girl of the Southern Sea.

2019 GG Awards nominee Stand on the Sky by Erin Bow

Which books on this year’s GG list have you read? Please feel free to suggest what you think I should read next!


  1. Gillian O'Reilly on October 9, 2019 at 10:15 am

    Break in Case of Emergency by Brian Francis. Just finished this (for the second time) and have taken it back to the library for the 39 people who are waiting for it. All the characters seem so fully realized and the situations so real. It reads as if Francis has been eavesdropping on teens — and maybe drag queens too — for the past seven years.

    • Kathy on October 9, 2019 at 12:28 pm

      Your recommendation for Break in Case of Emergency is irresistible, Gillian. I will definitely look for it!

  2. mitchellcatherine on October 9, 2019 at 10:19 am

    Kathy, how nice to come across your review of ‘Girl of the Souther Sea’. I will forward to Pajama and Michelle. She will be thrilled.

    Hope you are well. I am nearing the end of teaching at Ryerson and the ‘Children’s Publishing Overview’ course. You have been mentioned several times, and I took a screen grab of your seeing red in photography to show the class. They are a great bunch, excellent writers all, I am very impressed.

    • Kathy on October 9, 2019 at 12:31 pm

      Catherine, thanks for passing along the review, albeit brief. I’m pleased to know that you felt the “red” photo from an earlier post was worth showing to your class, and that they’re proving such a satisfying bunch to work with.

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