FREDERICTON (GNB) – Children in grades 4 through 6 are invited to join a Hackmatack book club at their local public library and participate in the Hackmatack Children's Choice Book Award. The deadline to join a book club is Dec. 31.
"Fostering literacy and lifelong learning in our children is one of our highest priorities," said Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour Minister Jody Carr. "In addition to the literacy skills that the program helps develop, children become more socially aware and community-minded by discussing issues raised in the books and participating in activities."

Hackmatack Children's Choice Book Awards is co-operative initiative involving libraries, schools and bookstores in all four Atlantic provinces. Awards are presented in four categories: English fiction, English non-fiction, French fiction and French non-fiction.

Each year, Hackmatack selection committees composed of library staff from New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia, nominate 40 Canadian books as candidates for the Hackmatack Children's Choice Book Awards. The nominated books are available in New Brunswick public libraries.  

Public libraries host Hackmatack book clubs and work with some New Brunswick public school teachers to offer the program. It runs through the school year and concludes in the spring.

By joining, children in New Brunswick read the nominated books, discuss the books they have read at book club meetings at the library, post their reviews of the books in the New Brunswick Public Library Service catalogue, and vote for their favourite book.

"Encouraging children to read and recognizing the works of Canadian authors are two worthy goals of the Hackmatack program," said Carr. "The holiday school break provides a perfect opportunity for children to read some great books and participate in this engaging literary award – where they get to choose the winner."

This is the 15th year of the Hackmatack Children's Choice Book Award. Each year, the project attracts about 350 reading groups from New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland and Labrador. About 7,500 children participate.


●    New Brunswick Public Library Service