Skip to content

About the Award

The Vicky Metcalf Award for Literature for Young People is given annually to the author of an exceptional body of work in children's literature. The winner is selected by a three-member, independent judging panel.

2019 Winner

Susin
Nielsen

Jury Citation

In one of her book titles, Susin Nielsen reminds us we are all made of molecules. Deftly, in her writing, she has managed to mould these molecules into unforgettable characters that lead us in and out of the seismic shifts of adolescence in the earthquake zone of Vancouver, where her stories are set. Nielsen celebrates the amazing resilience of young people as well as the adults around them as they face such trials as mental health issues, bullying, homelessness, and the deaths of siblings and parents. Few writing today can match her ability to make even peripheral characters memorable through a wonderful distillation of dialogue and details. A testimony to her talent is that she manages to put everything together with a humour that can only draw us in and keep us laughing even as we reach for a box of tissues. Witty, tender, fearless in the face of tackling big issues, Nielsen has staked out her territory in children’s literature — and it’s a place worth visiting often. — Jury Citation (Glen Huser, Kyo Maclear, and Susan Perren)

Author Page
“There’s nothing like being the author of the first book a kid ever reads or remembers—and all of us remember our favourite children’s book. ”

– Marthe Jocelyn


2009 Vicky Metcalf Award winner