Susin Nielsen wins the Red Maple award!!

Red Maple Award Ceremony 

Yesterday, I had the pleasure of watching the red maple award ceremony and meeting the authors of 2014's red maple book award nominations. I went with lots of friends. 

In this blog post I'll talk about what the red maple award is, how it is chosen, as well as information on this year's nominated titles and authors. I will also briefly talk about my favorite book in it (Loki's wolves) and the winner, Susin Nielsen. 

The red maple award is given once a year to a book for grades 7-9 students. Of course, there are 10 nominations each year, but only 1 wins. Echo, one of my friends, does a good job explaining the importance of this award "One of the biggest achievements as a Canadian author is to be nominated for a Forest of Reading competition" she says (the red maple award is part of the forest of reading, which includes other book awards such as silver birch, blue spruce, etc. depending on the age group of the book). All authors chosen for the forest of reading are Canadian as it an exclusively Canadian award. However, people all over the world still respect this award as it is very difficult to get.

Every year, forest of reading volunteers read 100s of latest Canadian books by bestselling authors. Eventually, 10 are picked by them. Then, students like me read these books and vote for the best one. 

The title I voted for was Loki's Wolves by Kelly Armstrong and M.A Marr. 

This poster shows all the book covers of the 10 nominated titles of 2014:

Also, here's a list of the books and authors as well as a photo of all the authors on stage:

All the nominated authors on stage.The reluctant journal of Henry K. Larsen by Susin Nielsen won.
The nominated authors were:
>Susin Nielsen for the reluctant journal of henry k. larsen
>Kenneth Opel (OMG I LUV HIS BOOKS) for such wicked intent (BUT HE WASN'T THERE  )
> small medium at large by Joanne Levy 
> Oak island revenge by Cynthia d'entremont
> My name is Parvana by Deborah Ellis (OMG YES DEBORAH ELLIS, THE AUTHOR OF THE BREADWINNER SERIES.) But she wasn't there 
> Jump cut by ted staunton (part of the 7 series)
> Sigmound Brouwer Devil's pass
> Valeria sherrard counting back from 9 (great poetry)
> ERIC WALTERS. YES YES YES YES YES. FOR BETWEEN HEAVEN AND EARTH. Honestly though, Eric walters has written a LOT of good books.

Time to talk about the book I voted for: Loki's Wolves, first book of the Blackwell Pages series. It was written by Kelly Armstrong and M.A Marr and its awesome. The second book in the series was released two days ago and it's called Odin's Ravens. The third and last book of the Blackwell Pages shall be Thor's serpents. As you can tell by these titles, the book was about Norse mythology.

 It's beautiful. 

Here is a summary of the book that I wrote in January. Read it if you want to know what the book was about:

The book 'Loki's Wolves' was an amazing first book of the Blackwell pages series. It had a lightning fast pace, engaging plot, and characters that were absolutely terrific. The book's setting was in Blackwell, a small town in south Dakota. Even though it is an American town, the people there recognize a Nordic heritage and consider themselves to be descendants of the Norse gods Loki and Thor, gods who were like 'frenemies' sometimes friends, sometimes enemies in the ancient Viking legends. The descendants were identified by their last names. Descendants of Loki carried the last name 'Brekke' while descendants of Thor were 'Thorsens'. Thorsens had the most control in Blackwell and the main character Matt Thorsen was a Thorsen. Matt's life changes when he realizes that he must defeat the Midgard serpent, a giant serpent who wants to cause Ragnarök (the end of the world). He unites with other 'descendants of the north' as they are called. They are Matt himself (descendant of Thor), a boy named Fen and his cousin Laurie (Brekkes of Loki), the twins Rey and Reyna (descendants of the Norse gods Frey and Freya)- Freya is also spelled 'Freyja' with the 'j' silent, Baldwin the descendant of Balder, and there was no direct descendant of Odin so Astrid (Odin's girlfriend) filled in that place. As you can see it had fabulous characters. These descendants of the north went through many obstacles to stop Ragnarök.
One of my favorite parts of the story was when Fen, Laurie, and Matt (the main people in the group) were battling trolls at mount Rushmore. The trolls were named Leaf, Sun, and Aerik. Put those names in the right order and you have Leaf-Aerik-Sun (Leif Ericson, the name of the famous viking explorer. I guess I was the only one who got that joke that the authors made). What's even better was that as the descendants of the north were fighting the trolls, they kind of messed up mount Rushmore's faces. The mountain was sacred to the Lakota natives of South Dakota who felt that mount Rushmore's faces were sacrilege (so I got very excited at that part). A group of people trying to stop the end of the world with connections to an ancient culture is the best plot for a book. I'm so glad to have found this book this month. It is one of my favorites and I hope many people will read it.


If you've read 'Misplaced', the book that I wrote which you can buy here, you will notice that I am a big fan of stories that have mythology and end of the world stuff in them.

Also, Kelly Armstrong has written 'the gathering' and a lot of other books for people of all ages. M.A Marr has also written a lot and they both love mythology, especially monsters. I got to meet both of them and even talk to them yesterday.

Here is a photo of me with M.A Marr:

I am very excited to read Odin's ravens. It came out very recently though, so I wonder when I'll be able to get my hands on it. I don't think the school library will get a copy for us anytime soon :-/ oh well, I'll find a way, I always do and I have to fangirl.


Now let us speak of THE WIN, the glorious win of Susin Nielsen :D !!!!!!!!!!!! Even though I didn't vote for her, you have to admit, her book: 'the reluctant journal of Henry K. Larsen' was extremely well written. 
 Here's a picture of the award.

You will not BELIEVE how we took that picture. Basically, after it was announced that Susin Nielsen won she became really really happy. After the ceremony she went to the washroom and she was so happy that she cried there :') . My friend, Ge, happened to be IN THE BATHROOM AT THE SAME TIME. They took a pic together and Ge also took a picture of the award.

I'll take a moment to share a summary I wrote of the reluctant journal of henry k. larsen, it was a very sad book but it had a bit of humor too. I know I write terrible summaries.... oh well, whatever:

This was a very sad book about a boy named Henry who had a brother named Jesse. Jesse was bullied and abused by several bullies at his high school in horrible ways. One day he decided to
steal his dad's hunting rifle and shot the main bully in the face. Then Jesse shot himself too. Jesse's brother Henry and all his other family members were discriminated against, saying they were people who had raised a murderer. The media decided to portray Scott Marlin (the bully who was shot by Jesse) as the 'good guy' which was horrible. Henry writes in a journal that his therapist gave him about what he has to deal with. The story is almost like a survival story.

Here is the cover:

Ok so time to end this post with a bit of graffitti made by Dral (Artem), my friend. It has the logo of the blackwell pages on it and it says 'ftw' (for the win!!). Even though Loki's wolves didn't win, he was a big fan of that book just like me.


that's it for this post, folks!! It was the best school trip I've ever been on. IT WAS SUPER AMAZING.

If you are in 7 or 8 and have access to a forest of reading club, please join!! It will be a really fun experience.

thanks everyone!!

To learn more about the crosby heights trip to the red maple awards, please visit the library instagram account:



Books I've Read on Goodreads

Freya's bookshelf: read

Tess of the D'Urbervilles

really liked it

Saddest book I've ever read. I don't know why so many of the other reviews seem to hate the protagonist Tess or are saying she should have known better about Alec. In my opinion, she is an amazing character. She was the most mature, resp...


really liked it

The writing style evoked a lot of emotion. Joseph Boyden was just really good at putting himself in someone else's shoes. That's the only way I can think to describe it. The book is based on the true story of Chanie Wenjack, who died try...


it was amazing

My favourite Shakespeare play so far (I'm going to read all 37 of them eventually). I felt like it wasn't violent enough for a "revenge tragedy" though.

The Boy Who Played Tiger

really liked it

An amazing children's book set in a small village in Myanmar. Very entertaining to read. I highly recommend this to parents who want reading suggestions for their children as I think it's a good idea to start reading about other cultures...