Library

2015
1st Place
Author:
Rachel & Sean Qitsualik-Tinsley

Skraelings is set in the ancient Arctic, but told by an inquisitive and entertaining contemporary narrator—a wandering Inuit hunter named Kannujaq, who happens upon a camp in grave peril. The inhabitants of the camp are Tuniit, a race of ancient Inuit ancestors known for their shyness and strength. The tranquility of this Tuniit camp has been shaken by a group of murderous, pale, bearded strangers who have arrived on a huge boat shaped like a loon. Unbeknownst to Kannujaq, he has stumbled upon a battle between the Tuniit and a group of Viking warriors, but as the camp prepares to defend itself against the approaching newcomers, Kannujaq discovers that the Vikings may have motivations other than murder and warfare at the heart of their quest. This lush historical fiction is steeped in Inuit traditional knowledge and concepts of ancient Inuit magic. (Source: Inhabit Media Inc.)

Authors: Born in an Arctic wilderness camp and of Inuit ancestry, Rachel Qitsualik-Tinsley is a scholar specializing in world religions and cultures. Her numerous articles and books concerning Inuit magic and lore have earned her a Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal.

Of Scottish-Mohawk ancestry, Sean Qitsualik-Tinsley is a folklorist and fantasist, specializing in mythology, magic, and Inuit lore. He has won an award for writing short science-fiction (“Green Angel”), but his focus is on fiction and non-fiction for a young audience.

Publisher:
Inhabit Media
2015
2nd Place
Author:
Frank Christopher Busch

The Grey Eyes use their magic to maintain harmony and keep evil at bay. With only one elderly Grey-Eye left in the village of the Nehiyawak, the birth of a new Grey-Eyed boy promises a renewed line of defence against their only foe: the menacing Red-Eyes, whose name is rarely spoken but whose presence is ever felt. While the birth of the Grey-Eyed boy offers the clan much-needed protection, it also initiates a struggle for power that threatens to rip the clan apart, leaving them defenceless against the their sworn ememy. The responsibility of restoring balance and harmony, the only way to keep the Nehiyawak safe, is thrust upon a boy’s slender shoulders. What powers will he have, and can he protect the clan from the evil of the Red Eyes? (Source: Fernwood Publishing)

Author: Frank Christopher Busch is a member of the Nisichawayasihk Cree Nation and grew up in northern Manitoba. He has spent his professional life working with First Nations businesses, non-profits and governments at the band, regional tribal council, provincial, national and international levels. He lives in Westbank First Nation, British Columbia. An Aboriginal Father, Husband, Warrior, Author, Businessman, Entrepreneur and Philanthropist. He is a practitioner of the Traditional Aboriginal Spirituality.

Publisher:
Fernwood Publishing
2015
3rd Place
Author:
Aaron Paquette

Lightfinder is a Young Adult fantasy novel about Aisling, a young Cree woman who sets out into the wilderness with her Kokum (grandmother), Aunty and two young men she barely knows.

They have to find and rescue her runaway younger brother, Eric. Along the way she learns that the legends of her people might be real and that she has a growing power of her own. The story follows the paths of Aisling and Eric, siblings unwittingly thrust into a millennia old struggle for the future of life on earth. It deals with growing up, love and loss, and the choices life puts in our path. Love and confusion are in store, as are loss and pain. Things are not always what they seem and danger surrounds them at every turn. Will Raven's mysterious purposes prevail? With darkness closing in how will they find the light to guide them? Will Aisling find Eric in time? (Source: Kegedonce Press)

Author: As an artist, Aaron Paquette’s work has gone around the world. As a speaker he is in great demand for his powerful messages. Aaron is First Nations/Métis, and he lives in Edmonton, Alberta, with his wife and children. Lightfinder is Aaron’s debut novel.

Publisher:
Kegedonce Press
2014
1st Place
Author:
Elizabeth Kabui

Eavesdropping on his parents, James Kirika, a fifteen-year-old teenager, hears a conversation that suggests that he is not the biological son of the man he calls 'Father'. This realization sends him into a tortured search for the man who brought him into this world. Things get complicated when the chief source of information, his old and hallucinating grandmother, gives him a fuzzy lead. Does he ever find out the truth? This is an absolute page-turner; it reads like a parable on the eternal quest of our true identity, a quest that teenage readers will undoubtedly identify with.

As a young girl, Elizabeth Kabui loved reading storybooks. After studying Literature at Kenyatta University, this love for reading grew into a passion for writing stories for young people. She has written books for children and young adults including The Dump Site Puzzle, Bizarre Bazaar,  and The Turning Point. Her book, The Prize won the Jomo Kenyatta Prize for Literature in the children's books category in 2009. Elizabeth has taught Children's Literature at Moi Univeristy and now teaches Creative Writing at St. Paul's University.

Publisher:
Longhorn Publishers
2014
1st Place
Author:
Monique Gray Smith

Tilly, a Story of Hope and Resilience is a revealing, important work of creative non-fiction loosely based on author Monique Gray Smith’s own life that tells the story of a young Indigenous woman coming of age in Canada in the 1980s. With compassion, insight and humour, Gray Smith illuminates the 20th-century history of Canada’s First Peoples — forced displacement, residen­tial schools, tuberculosis hospitals, the Sixties Scoop. In a spirit of hope, this unique story captures the irrepressible resilience of Tilly, and of Indigenous peoples everywhere.

Author: Monique Gray Smith is a mixed-heritage woman of Cree, Lakota and Scottish ancestry and a proud mom of young twins. Under the umbrella of her own business, Little Drum Consulting, Monique is an accomplished consultant, writer and international speaker. She is well known for her warmth, spirit of generosity and focus on resilience. Monique has been sober and involved in her healing journey for over 20 years. She and her family are blessed to live on Coast Salish territory in Victoria, British Columbia.

Publisher:
Sono Nis Press
2014
1st Place
Author:
Nahida Esmail

Bakari and Omari live on the island of Zanzibar and are the best of friends. It is the beginning of a long holiday and they are excited about what adventures are in store. Bakari's beloved grandmother comes to visit the family, bringing with her many gifts - including a new friend for the boys! One day while exploring the boys discover hidden treasure. The boys, nicknamed 'The Detectives of Shangani', embark on a quest to discover the secrets of what they have found. They travel around the Spice Islands and meet strange characters, all to discover the mystery of the lost rubies!

Nahida Esmail has crafted an exciting adventure tale with memorable characters. Young readers and adults alike will enjoy this award-winning novel and the mysteries they unvocer! 

Publisher:
Mkuki Na Nyota
2014
1st Place
Author:
Elshadai Tesfaye

Adonai is a high school girl who lost her eyes in an accident and no longer sees the point of living. Her life crumbled to pieces after she lost her eyes. Grief, bitterness and apathy engulfed her. Sent - rather banished as she saw it - by her parents to recuperate in the home of an elderly psychiatrist, Dr. Yasin, she resists all hopes of happiness and what life has to offer. Yet the psychiatrist, with the help of his cheerful nephew, helps her gain new perspectives. In a reality that seems to be adamantly against her, she undertakes a journey of courage and love and tries to heal.

Elshadai Tesfaye is an aspiring teenage writer. Born and raised in Addis Ababa, she has been writing short stories and essays since the fifth grade. She loves reading romance and other types of novels. Elshadai hopes to pursue her writing passion and work on her dream of becoming an accomplished author.

Publisher:
CODE-Ethiopia
2014
1st Place
Author:
Ruby Yayra Goka

Yayra Amenyo's life is no longer perfect. These are the reasons why:

  • She killed her father.
  • Her mother acts like everything is normal when it isn't.
  • Her boyfriend is on 'a break' with her.
  • She looks like a freak.
  • She's moved to a town far away from anyone she knows.
  • She has to repeat Form Two in SHS.

Could things get any worse? Will she ever get her life to be as perfect as it once was?

Ruby Yayra Goka is a dentist and a writer. Three of her books for young adults - The Mystery of the Haunted House, The Lost Royal Treasure and When the Shackles Fall have won prizes in previous editions of the Bill Burt Award for African Literature competition.

Publisher:
Techmate Publishers Ltd
2014
2nd Place
Author:
Hussein Tuwa

This is a suspenseful and heart touching story of betrayal, fear and hope. Kidani is too young to face the challenges of being marreid and therefore escapes from home to avoid the decision her father made. She goes to live with her mother in another village hoping to find peace and acceptance, only to encounter a stepfather's amorous advances. Her stepfather wants to have a sexual relationship with her. She reports the matter to her mother, but meets her wrath, accusations and rejection. One day a terrible fire erupts and consumes their entire house. Kidani miraculously escapes the ordeal. What happened to her mother and stepfather? Who started the fire? How did the mother get saved from the merciless claws of death? Where does Kidani go? Will she be able to escape the hand of the law?

Publisher:
Aidan Publishers
2014
2nd Place
Author:
Kebere Mala

She knelt down and pinched the insides of his thighs so hard that he pleaded, "Etiye, why are you so cruel? Please forgive me..." She pushed him and shouted, "Get to your feet, you bastard!" Tello stood sobbing and blowing his nose.

"You've become the rudest boy in town. You insulted your teacher in the rudest possible way. You bit the hand that fed you. What can I say? You embarrassed me again. I am ashamed of you!" She fidgeted back and forth absentmindedly.

Tello felt guilty. His tears dried on his thin face and he wanted to say something to appease his mother.

His mother stopped fidgeting abruptly and firmly said, "Do you know that I'll leave you in this wide world alone in a year's time with nothing but bad behaviour? And what will you be? Tell me what will you be?"

"Tello, I am going to where your father lives."

"My father?" he said confused. "You told me that he died a day before I was born."

"That's true. And I am going to die next year."

Kebere Mala holds the national record of winning the Burth Award for African Literature Competition in Ethiopia by winning two of the four rounds of the BAAL. The 27-year-old won his first award in 2012 for the captivating story entitled "One Night in the Street". Kebere repeated the feat in this round by producing "Pashke on Deathbed", a beautifully crafted work for young adult readers. The setting of both works is a small town called Selamber, where Kebere Mala was born. He later studied English Language and Literature in Arba Minch University where he engrossed himself in diverse works of literature. Pursuing his education further, the young writer secured a Master's degree in Teaching English as a Foreign Language from Addis Ababa University. Kebere is currently a lecturer at Semera University.

Publisher:
CODE-Ethiopia
2014
2nd Place
Author:
Nanayaa Amankwah

Ossie and his brother Nana Yaw become destitute when tragedy strikes their family. Ossie refuses to work as a farm labourer and runs away. Six year old Nana Yaw is taken away to live as a househelp in the city. Later, Ossie finds himself on the streets of Accra. He strives to fulfill a promise he made long ago against the odds.

Nanayaa Prempeh Amankwah was born in Kumasi, Ghana. She was educated at the Wesley Girls' High School in Cape Coast, Ghana and later at Brunel College in Bristol, UK. She moved to the United States and studied Nursing at the Medical Learning Centre in Arlington, Virginia, USA. Nanayaa started writing and compiling stories at a young age and later made it her favourite pastime. She would read some of her stories to her children's classmates during 'show and tell' - a classroom programme for elementary level school children in the United States. In addition to writing fiction, she loves to write poems, two of which can be found in this book. Nanayaa is married with four grown children. She resides in Ghana with her family.

Publisher:
Step Publishers
2014
2nd Place
Author:
Anthony Mugo

In Ask the Stars, Titus Mutuiria remebers how at the age of ten he seemed to lead a normal life of sibling rivalry with Njorua, Antonnina and Sarah until some events from their past threaten to rewrite his life. Njorua and Antonnina learn that Mutumia Mutana, the mother they had always known, is not their biological mother while Titus learns that Muthuri Mukaru is not the biological father of himself and Sarah. What follows is a gripping story of jealousy, fear, loyalty, friendship and love as the siblings grow and confront an array of challenges and as the family forge solutions to the troubles that beset them. The story of young love between Titus and Joan and the actions of a lurking rapist in the village bring added dimensions to the story, showing that things are not always what they seem. Eventually the teenagers and their parents must nurture a love that strenghtens their family and that also brings sanity to the village.

Anthony Mugo graduated from Moi University in 2001 with B.A. in Economics. His novel Never say Never, published by Longhorn Publishers, won the Burt Away first prize in 2012. His two stories entitled Too Innocent to Die and Not A Drop won the National Book Development Council of Kenya (NBDCK) Prize for Budding Writers in 2009 and 2010 respectively. He lives in Nairobi with his wife and two children.

Publisher:
Longhorn Publishers
2014
2nd Place
Author:
Thomas King

The Inconvenient Indian: A Curious Account of Native People in North America is at once a “history” and the complete subversion of a history — in short, a critical and personal meditation that the remarkable Thomas King has conducted over the past 50 years about what it means to be “Indian” in North America. 

Author: Thomas King is one of Canada’s premier Native public intellectuals.For the past five decades, he has worked as an activist for Native causes,as an administrator in Native programs, and has taught Native literature and history at universities in the U.S. and Canada. King was the first Aboriginal person to deliver the prestigious Massey Lectures, and is also the bestselling, award-winning author of five novels and two collections of short stories.

Publisher:
Doubleday Canada
2014
3rd Place
Author:
Daniel Getachew

Adane wondered why his brothers did not pity him. He thought they were unfair. He even believed God was unfair, and, sometimes, he wished he had died. However, when he thought about killing himself, he would be terrified. 'Why do I want to be dead and I am afraid of dying at the same time?' he would ask himself. He would then recall his sheep running away at the sight of a creeping wolf: 'Maybe we all are created to fear death,' he concluded.

Adane's elder brother, Shimelis, had told him that he did not belong to the family. "There lived a slave who was bought a long time ago," Shimelis said. "She gave birth to you, and since she was too poor to raise you, she wrapped you with cow skin, went to the gorge and put you near the river. You were very fortunate that my father found you before you were dead or eaten by a hyena, and he brought you home. That is why you have the darkest skin." That story sometimes crept into his head like a dark cloud.

Born and raised in the countryside, Daniel Getachew portrays an interesting life of a boy in an elaborate picturesque background of rural Ethiopia. The author studied Electrical Engineering in Arba Minch University and pursued his education further at the Netherlands' Eindhoven University of Technology from where he secured a Master's degree. Daniel is currently a lecturer at Wollo University.

Publisher:
CODE-Ethiopia
2014
3rd Place
Author:
Bev Sellars

They Called Me Number One: Secrets and Survival at an Indian Residential School is the first full-length memoir to be published out of St. Joseph’s Mission at Williams Lake, BC. In it, Cheif Bev Sellars tells of three generations of women who attended the school, interweaving the personal histories of her grandmother and her mother with her own. She tells of hunger, forced labour, and physical beatings, often with a leather strap, and also of the demand for conformity in a culturally alien institution where children were confined and denigrated for failure to be White and Roman Catholic.

Author: Bev Sellars is chief of the Xat’sull (Soda Creek) First Nation in Williams Lake, British Columbia. She returned to the First Nations community of Soda Creek after an extended period of “visiting other territories.” While she was away, she earned a degree in history from the University of Victoria and a law degree from the University of British Columbia, and she served as adviser for the B.C. Treaty Commission. She was first elected chief in 1987 and has spoken out on behalf of her community on racism and residential schools and on the environmental and social threats of mineral resource exploitation in her region. Her first book, They Called Me Number One, spent 52 weeks on the B.C. best seller list while winning the 2014 George Ryga Award for Social Awareness in Literature and being shortlisted for the 2014 Hubert Evans Non-Fiction Prize (B.C. Book Prizes) along the way.

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Publisher:
Talonbooks
2014
3rd Place
Author:
Manu Herbstein

On 13 June, 1873 British forces bombarded Elmina Town and destroyed it. It was never rebuilt. Later that same year, using seaborne artillery, the British flattened ten coastal towns and villages - including Axim, Takoradi and Sekondi. On 6 February, 1874, after looting the Asantehene's palace in Kumasi, British troops blew up the stone building and set the city on fire, razing it to the ground. 15-year old Kofi Gyan witnesses these events and records them in his diary. This novel, first published soon after the 140th anniversary of the sack of Kumase, tells his story.

Ghanaian/South African author Manu Herbstein has written four novels, including Ama: A Story of the Atlantic Slave Trade, which won the 2002 Commonwealth Writers Prize for the Best First Book.

Publisher:
Techmate Publishers Ltd
2014
3rd Place
Author:
Moraa Gitaa

Young Kadzo, Kenga and Issa are locked in a habit which doubles as their 'job'. They find the business to be fulfilling and enriching. A strong tide blows off the nest and Kadzo becomes victim of a shark attack in the deep sea while working for Big Man. Kadzo ends up losing a leg. The agile three have to make a decision. Will they rise above the tide and realise that they have been risking their health, life and freedom to make Big Man, the drug baron, richer and richer? Will Kadzo allow Big Man to escape with his deeds? The Shark Attack is a moving account of drug abuse and trafficking. The story draws attention to how the habit is nurtured by corruption and greed. It is told in a realistic and relatable voice of a teenage vitcim.

Moraa Gitaa is an alumna fo the Aga Khan High School and the Coast College of Commerce where she studied Administration and IT. She was born and raised in Mombasa. Currently, she works for the British Council in Nairobi as an Arts Manager. Moraa Gitaa started writing at a tender age. She has written several novels, among them Shifting Sands, Crucible for Silver & Furnace for Gold and Indecent Proposal. Her short stories have also appeared in several international anthologies. Moraa won First Prize in the 2008 National Book Development Council of Kenya Literary Book Week Awards for Adult Fiction and was also a nominee for the 2010 Pneguin Prize for African Writing.

Publisher:
Moran Publishers
2014
3rd Place
Author:
Mwamgwirani J. Mwakimatu

Mria is a good student who excels in science and maths. She dreams of skyscrapers and one day becoming an engineer. However, her father has different ideas, he would rather see her become a lawyer, believing that science is not a domain for girls. With the support of her best friend Sipe and teachers at school, Mria finds a way to show her father her talents and importance of following her dreams. 

Mwamgwirani J. Mwakimatu has crafted memorable characters with real-life dilemmas in this touching and entertaining, award-winning novel. Young reads and adults alike will enjoy this tale which shows the importance of following your dreams and believing in yourself. 

Publisher:
Mkuki Na Nyota
2013
1st Place
Author:
Richard Wagamese

Indian Horse is about the journey Saul Indian Horse, a northern Ontario Ojibway man, takes back through his life, as he is dying. For Saul, taken forcibly from the land and his family, to residential school, salvation comes through his incredible gifts as a hockey player. But in 1960s Canada, he battles racism and the spirit-destroying effects of cultural alienation and displacement.

Author: Richard Wagamese is one of Canada's foremost Native authors and storytellers. He has been working as a professional writer since 1979. He's been a newspaper columnist and reporter, radio and television broadcaster, documentary producer and the author of thirteen books.

Publisher: Douglas and McIntyre

"Richard Wagamese has seamlessly woven an accessible sports novel into the fabric of an Indigenous story of battles against history, substance abuse, and the often unrealistic expectations placed on our most gifted and talented youth." — Jury, Burt Award for First Nations, Métis and Inuit Literature  

Publisher:
Douglas and McIntyre
2013
1st Place
Author:
Richard Mabala

Rehema and Clara are friends, but the class differences between their families, engineered by Clara's father, draws them apart. Rehema, who father is a mason, has a loving family but she has to struggle hard to get education. Clara and her brother Patrick are well provided for in all their education needs, but their father's desire for them to succeed does not bring them happiness. The thorn in the lives of the two girls is the cut throat competition for the National Championships. Baba Clara is determined to make Clara win by all means at her disposal. Clara has been well prepared and is set to win. Rehema, who runs free on village roads, is driven by her love of running since she was a child. Who between them will win the National Championships?

Run Free is a story of what extreme ambition can do to people and to others around them. It is also a story of love, strength and its capacity to empower those who work hard and yet are able to share whatever they have with others.

Publisher:
Vision Publishing
2013
1st Place
Author:
Argwings Otieno

Rando adores pop music star Dee Zasta so much that he is ready to do anything to be like this celebrity. During a young musicians' concert, Rando sings like Dee Zasta. The music star, who is present, is so impressed by the boy's performance that he suggests they do a collabo during the forthcoming concert for the distinguished musicians. In the week before the duo's performance, the fourteen-year-old boy is able to interact with his idol and to learn some unsavoury truths about fame.

A Taste of Fame takes us to the flashy world of celebrities. Disregarding his father's advice and insight, Rando on his own learns that having a role model and mentor is not enough: he needs to cultivate his own individuality and creativity. This book is not only a must read for those who love a well-told story, but also for the youth in search of values to live by.

The author is an English Language lecturer at Pwani University. He holds a D.Phil. in Language Education and has also taught at secondary school and teacher training college levels. His love for story telling was nurtured at the annual Kenya School and Colleges Drama Festival in which he participated for many years as a script-writer and adjudicator. Although born at Oyugis, South Nyanza over four decades ago, he was brought up at Landi Mawe, in Nairobi's Eastlands, and educated at Pumwani Secondary School, also in the city. This probably explains why most of his stories have a modern urban setting. He has written a number of children's books which include, The Head WIthout a Body, Looking for a New King, Alone in a Storm, The Winning Story, Jabali and Scola's Mistake.

Publisher:
Kenya Literature Bureau
2013
1st Place
Author:
A-dZiko Gegele

This Caribbean story of the growing awareness of a young adolescent gets to your heart. It is written with humour and

sometimes pathos in a clear and compelling voice. The writer’s spirited style and skillful manipulation of language takes the reader into the imagination of an unforgettable protagonist. Its fast-paced, interesting plot, written in a totally convincing narrative voice, makes this special book a must-read! All Over Again appeals to readers of all ages, gender and culture.

Author: A-dZiko Gegele is a dynamic and prize-winning poet, playwright and novelist of Jamaican and Nigerian parentage. She completed a residency at the prestigious Yaddo Artists’ Retreat and participated in the Cropper Residency and Calabash Writers Workshops. Her work has been published in numerous international anthologies.

Publisher:
Blouse and Skirts Books
2013
2nd Place
Author:
Joanne Hillhouse
Musical Youth is a beautifully crafted novel with the leitmotiv of music running throughout it. This is a powerful and credible story of young love between two likeable heroes. The characters’ gradual exploration and growing knowledge of each other is reminiscent of the way a novice would learn how to play a new musical instrument and slowly get better at it with practice. The use of musical images and the regular musical rhythm that reverberates throughout the text will delight young adult readers.
 

Author: Joanne Hillhouse is an Antiguan and Barbudan writer. She has won fellowships to Breadloaf, Callalloo, and the Caribbean Fiction Writers Summer Institute and has been awarded a UNESCO prize as well as the David Hough Literary Prize. She runs the Wadadli Pen Writing Programme to nurture and showcase creative works by young writers in Antigua and Barbuda. She’s published one adult novel entitled Oh Gad as well as two novellas for young readers and one children’s picture book.

Publisher:
CaribbeanReads Publishing
2013
2nd Place
Author:
Erick Livumbazi Ngoda

"So, young man," he started. "How do you feel about joining Greenpines?"

How did he feel? Actually, none of all the words Mollusk knew could describe what he felt! It was all so much better than the sweetest dreams he had ever had.

"I feel great sir," he managed to say. "I am very grateful for your kindness, and I promise to do my very best..."

"Your best!" Mr. Ganze exclaimed. "I guess that will be good enough for me! For us at Greenpines, that is all we requried from our students. Their very best."

Mollusk has landed a scholarship at a high-cost private school. Just when he thinks everything has fallen into place and he could never be happier, a series of events occur once more that send his entire life into disarray...

Erick Livumbazi Ngoda describes his affinity to and strong liking for books as "a lifelong passioante love affair". He started reading at a very early age. Born and raised in Mbale, Vihiga County, Erick attended Kakamega High School and the Kenya School of Professional Studies (Inoorero University) where he pursued Library and Information Studies. He published his first book, Begwani the Beggar, in 1999 with Phoenix Publishers.

Publisher:
Phoenix Publishers
2013
2nd Place
Author:
Mkama Mwijarubi

Kiss will soon turn twelve. She has taken the train from Mbeya with her grandmother to celebrate her birthday with her mother, father and brother Kiddo. Kiss hasn't seen them in three years! She is very excited, and looks forward to a happy reunion. However, she doesn't understand why her father has refused to stay in the house with them and neither parent is forthcoming with her questions. Tension increases as the birthday grows closer. What will happen once everybody is gathered for the big day? Will she receive what she most desired for her birthday gift?

Mkama Mwijarubi has crafted memorable characters with real-life dilemmas in this touching and entertaining award-winning novel. Young readers and adults alike will enjoy this tale which teachers the redemptive power of forgiveness.

Publisher:
Mkuki Na Nyota
2013
2nd Place
Author:
Tara Lee Morin

As I Remember It tells the story of the author’s own childhood and adolescence. She gives first-person insight into the issues and struggles faced by foster children and teens. She draws the reader in, with her unblinking portrait of a young girl who triumphs over rejection and abuse, thanks to her indomitable spirit and the efforts of a pair of unique foster parents.

Author: Born in Northern Manitoba, and a foster child, Tara Lee Morin lives in a small town in northern B.C. She is currently writing a sequel to her memoir As I Remember It, as well as an illustrated children’s book about children entering foster care. 

Publisher: Theytus Books

"Tara Lee Morin unflinchingly and unapologetically recounts the harrowing experiences of her young life, and in doing so gives voice to the many marginalized members of Canada’s Indigenous communities. As I Remember It, like In Search of April Raintree, Halfbreed, and Thunder Through My Veins, has the potential to save lives." — Jury, Burt Award for First Nations, Métis and Inuit Literature

Publisher:
Theytus Books
2013
3rd Place
Author:
Tony Mochama

The year is 1990. Tommy Omtita, a year out of school, is waiting to go to campus. Fifteen-year old Bonnie Omtita is trying to become both his secondary school's goalkeeper, and top poet, while keeping out of the way of the estate bully, Obash Kamwaro. Throw in their playfeul domestic help, Nandwa, their mad mongrel, Shiva, and the daft estate gatekeeper 'Kill Pat' and we are left gasping for breath as the mad mix of characters leave us roaring in laughter, or in fits of giggles, sometimes with hands held over our mounths.

Tony Mochama is a lawyer-turned-journalist for The Standard newspaper, a poet and essayist who has participated in creative writing workshops in Kenya, Italy, Portugal, Russia and Canada. He has published three books, What If I'm a Literary Gangsta? (poetry), The Road to Eldoret (short stories), the 'Leap Frog Award' wrinning Princess Adhis and the Naija Coca Broda.

Publisher:
Phoenix Publishers
2013
3rd Place
Author:
Colleen Smith-Dennis
Inner City Girl presents the story of a girl’s resolve in spite of tough socio-economic challenges. The author’s powers of description make the harsh and brutal life, culture and behaviour in the inner city real to the readers and underscore the challenges that the heroine must confront in her effort to make a better life. The protagonist is strong, courageous and believable. This realistic presentation of prejudice engages the reader’s emotions and makes it easy to identify with the self-determined heroine. A gripping story with multiple plot lines, Inner City Girl is definitely a page-turner.
 

Author: Colleen Smith-Dennis is a Jamaican writer who currently works as a High School English teacher. She is the author of three books.

Publisher:
LMH Publishing
2013
3rd Place
Author:
James Bartleman

As Long as the Rivers Flow follows one girl, Martha, from the Cat Lake First Nation in Northern Ontario who is "stolen" from her family at the age of six and flown far away to residential school. Ten long years later, Martha finds her way home again, barely able to speak her native tongue. The memories of abuse at the residential school are so strong that she tries to drown her feelings in drink, and when she gives birth to her beloved son, Spider, he is taken away by Children's Aid to Toronto. In time, she has a baby girl, Raven, whom she decides to leave in the care of her mother while she braves the bewildering strangeness of the big city to find her son and bring him home. 

Author: James Bartleman rose from humble circumstances in Port Carling, Ontario, to become Foreign Policy Advisor to the right PM Chrétien in 1994. After a distinguished career of more than thirty-five years in the Canadian foreign service, in 2002 he became the first Native Lieutenant-Governor of Ontario. He is the author of the prize-winning memoir Out of Muskoka.

Publisher: Random House of Canada Ltd.

"James Bartleman honours the resiliency of the Indigenous spirit, despite the legacies of residential schools. There is truth and hope here. As Long as the Rivers Flow should be mandatory reading for everyone." — Jury, Burt Award for First Nations, Métis and Inuit Literature 

Publisher:
Random House of Canada Ltd.
2013
3rd Place
Author:
Israel Yohana

Mzee Gobore lost his two daughters. He is so painfully eager to know the person or persons who took the precious lives of his young daughters! He decides to consult the famous witch doctor, Profesa Kulakula, who reveals the killer to him.

Who is the killer of his beloved daughters? Mzee Gobore is so determined to take revenge. He makes a plan that will enable him to fulfill his heart's desire. He is ready to incur any costs to make sure that he succeeds in his plans for revenge. Will he succeed? Will he carry out the plans alone?

Take a journey with the author to find out what happens to Mzee Gobore's plan in this suspenseful narrative

Publisher:
AIDAN Publishers
2012
1st Place
Author:
Tune S. Salim

Close Calls is the story about Bahati - a disciplined, obedient and hardworking girl. Things begin to change when she gets involved with bad company. Her new friend, Sophia thinks that life is about enjoyment and uses her charms and looks to find men, who are older and have money to spend on her.
Bahati’s life becomes a big mess and results in great consequences in her life including getting pregnant, losing her father and being infected with HIV.
This story talks about how peer pressure can have an impact on the lives of the young people. It also shows how rigid strictness and less communication between parents and children can a ect the lives of the children. The disadvantages of contemporary communication such as mobile phones and Internet has been clearly portrayed in this story.

Author:  Tune S. Salim has published several textbooks for Primary School Children in Tanzania. Close Calls is her first novel. She lives in Dar es Salaam with her lovely children.

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
2012
1st Place
Author:
Anthony Mugo

Anthony Mugo's Never Say Never is a compelling story of a teenager's quest for education under the most difficult conditions. Daniel Muthini Njoki, the son of a poor, single mother, is arrested and taken to a remand home in Murang'a, then to Getathuru Reception Centre. He is subsequently transferred to other approved schools: Kericho, Othaya, and finally Kabete, where he sits and passes the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education. The doors to a university are now open. Although he is an innocent inmate, and although textual evidence points in the direction of the mother, the question of who engineered his arrest is part of what makes this work so unputdownable. The sum total is a superlatively well-written novel about the difficulties, the challenges, and the hopes of getting an education in Kenya.

Author: Anthony Mugo graduated from Moi University in 2001 with a BA in Economics. His two stories entited Too Innocent to Die and Not a Drop won the National Book Development Council of Kenya (NDBCK) Prize for Budding Writers in 2009 and 2010 respectively. He lives in Nairobi with his wife and two children.

Publisher:
Longhorn Publishers
2012
2nd Place
Author:
Edward Mwangi

The future of Chebet, a teenage girl, and her siblings is at a crossroads. Should she heed her uncle's advice and submit to the demands of her culture? Should she get herself a job or should she just let fate take its course?

Chabet has to make a choice amid trials, tribulations and social stigma. Perhaps it is Chebet's endurance, resilience and hard work that will finally shape her life.

Author: Edward Mwangi attended Kambirwa Primary School and Kangemi High School before proceeding to Christ The King Major Seminary — an affiliate college of the Catholic University of Eastern Africa — where he studied for a Bachelor of Arts degree in Philosophy. Later, he studied Human Resources Management at tge Kenya Polytechnic. Edward developed a great passion for reading and creative writing. He works at Ace Autocentre and Axel Engineering and Manufacturing. He is married with children.

Publisher:
Moran Publishers
2012
2nd Place
Author:
Nahida Esmail

Lessilie - the City Maasai is the story of a young Maasai boy growing up outside his community. His father, a Maasai marries a Kikuyu woman from Kenya, which results in his rejection by his people.
Lessilie’s journey from the city to the world of the Maasai starts when his father passes away. Will he be able to live like the Maasai? Can he prove that he really can be a warrior like his father? His adventure teaches him more about life than he ever imagined. He not only learns to read animal tracks but realizes the great power within himself.
This book touches on aspects of the challenges faced by the Maasai, and the threat from the fading of their culture, in this new era.

Author: Nahida Esmail has published several children’s books titled, Mahmood My Hero, I am Bakari, I am Musa and Living in the Shade, for which she won the 2nd Burt Award. Ahmed and the Monkey and Rina - the grey Rhinoceros are her two other new books to be published by Oxford University Press (T) Ltd.
When not writing, she is busy with her two children and her photography.

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
2012
3rd Place
Author:
Ngumi Kivbera

Dani is gifted in all ways, yet he lives under the shadow of his hero, an old friend and a school dropout. The day he discovers a heap of money and a gun under a trap door in his friend's house, he realises his friend was no longer a mere bully but a member of a dangerous gang wanted for various crimes ranging from smuggling diamonds, carjacking to murders. This becomes the beginning of a nightmare that nearly costs Dani his life as well as that of his other friend, Zack.

Author: Ngumi Kivbera, an accomplished writer, has authored over fifteen titles ranging from children's stories to adult fiction. His short story anthology, The Grapevine Stories, won the Jomo Kenyatta Prize for Literature. Ngumi holds a Masters degree in Business Administration from Minnesota University and has worked for various key companies. He is married with three children.

Publisher:
Longhorn Publishers
2012
3rd Place
Author:
Juma Mwamgwirani Mwakimatu

Mria's heart is longing for David's affection but she doesn’t know how to express her love for him. She doesn't know either the reasons why she loves him and what she is supposed to do with those feelings. David thinks Mria is the most beautiful girl he has ever seen in his life; he feels she is part of him. He wants Mria to be his. The two have different opinions on what love is and what is supposed to be done to show real love. They are in relationship. David is not given the thing his friends and colleagues get from their girlfriends. David becomes impatient, one day he dares to make a request, a request which turn to be catastrophic to their lives. They all find themselves in the biggest challenge to overcome the catastrophe as well as to concentrate on their studies since both of them are still students.
The Choice poses a very fascinating question to young lovers probably many of them never thought about. Is the real duty of love is sorrow? Is that true that the only precious gift can a lover always brings to a partner is sufferings?
The Choice has those answers as almost everyone in adolescence is moving towards or away for what is thought to be love.

Author:  Juma Mwamgwirani Mwakimatu is an emerging young author who is proving to be ‘old’ for his age

Publisher:
Mkuki Na Nyota
2011
1st Place
Author:
W.E.Mkufya

In this fable, Naima and Rahima are twins.  Their father is a poor fisherman in an island on the Indian Ocean.  One day they went to the seashore and discovered a strange coloured fish trapped in a pond after the tide had gone.  The fish popped out of the pond and said, “Please take me back to the ocean.”

The twins shuddered with fear.  But Rahima was courageous.  She took the fist back to the ocean and from then on started their adventure with strange creatures of a small island who wanted the twins to search for a face carved on a rock, which was buried under the sea.  Reading through this fabulous adventure narrated in a simple readable and exciting prose, you will meet a talking parrot, dolphin, mermaid, a wise old tortoise and wise men who, while guiding the twins on how to find the mysteriousface under the sea, also tell them something about what happiness is and the best way to achie3ve it, not only for human beings but for all creatures on earth. 

Author:  W.E.Mkufya.  Mr. Mkufya has written several adult novels and children’s books in Swahili.  This is his third novel in English.

Publisher:
Mangrove Publishers
2011
2nd Place
Author:
Nahida Esmail

Tatu is a young albino girl from the outskirts of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.  Living in a society that is ignorant about albinism, Tatu endures tremendous hardship.  Cultural belief and superstition lead people around Tatu to believe that she has a disease and supernatural powers.  At school, she is treated unfairly and is ignored and shunned by the neighbourhood.

Superstitious beliefs mean that Tatu’s life is in constant danger.  She is oblivious to the gang lurking around, waiting to pounce and kidnap her and other albinos only to be sold to witchdoctors.  This book touches on aspects of the causes of albinism and how educating a society can change people’s mindsets.

Author:  Nahida Esmail.  Ms. Esmail has published three children’s books.  When not writing, she is busy with her 3-year old daughter and her photography.

Publisher:  Oxford University Press, http://oup.co.tz/

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
2011
3rd Place
Author:
Elieshi Lema

Sara came to Dar es Salaam from Same in a spirit of adventure.  She stayed and lived in the streets.  In the Belly of Dar es Salaam is a story of Sara and other dwellers of the streets, Mansa from Kibaha, Ali from Lushoto and Kaleb from Mtwara.  They have all come to Dar es Salaam to escape rural poverty in Dar es Salaam, sleeping on pavements and in crowded dilapidated rooms.  They walk and work on the streets in the hot sun.  They live for one purpose only:  Kutafutta maisha, to survive.  This is a story of their lives and their struggles, their dreams and ambitions. 

Author:  Elieshi Lema.  Elieshi Lema is a author of several books for youth and adults.  She is also the former Executive Secretary of the Children’s Book Project.

 

Publisher:
E & D Vision Publishing
2010
1st Place
Author:
Mkama Mwijarubi

Treeland: the Land of Laughter

August 10, 2009 - CODE anounced the first winners of its inaugural Burt Award for African Literature in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.

1st place - $12,000 CAD to Mkama Mwijarubi for Treeland: the Land of Laughter


Treeland is an imaginary land in an imaginary era.  It is populated by a jolly people that love two things above everything else:  laughter and trees, hence, Treeland: The Land of Laughter.  As Treeland’s warrior King Majabe nears 100 years and despite his smiling and laughing face, he is worried for not having a male heir.  He has a willful, assertive, charming and very beautiful daughter, Princess Zuri, but in Treeland, daughters are not expected to reign.

A struggle of wills and wits ensues between Zuri and her father and the age old patriarchal traditions that he represents.  This tale is at once traditional and current, conventional and unconventional, modern and post-modern, existential but optimistic.  Treeland: The Land of Laughter is a novel intended for young people, but readers of all ages will also enjoy it.

Author:  The author, Mkama Mwijarubi, has been writing stories from an early age.  His first juvenile story, titled Mbulabesi was published in 2001; Treeland is his second story.

Publisher:  Mkuki Na Nyota  www.mkukinanyota.com

Publisher:
Mkuki Na Nyota
2010
2nd Place
Author:
Asungushe B. Kayombo

Daima Mwamba is an orphan girl. She has completed primary school and wants to continue with secondary education, but has no one to pay the school fees for her. Her mother is dead, her father ran away to the city after she was born, and has never returned. Her best friend in the village,a girl called Amanda, who is an albino, advises her to soldier on and never lose hope in spite of her dire straits. When at age fifteen, Daima's uncle decides to marry her off to an old man, she rebels and decides to run away to the city where she knows no one. Daima gets to the city, lives at the bus stand for some days before she is finally picked up by Aunt Dotnata, a hotel owner, to work as a waitress in her hotel. She quits the low-paying job when she is forced to sleep with one of the prominent customers, an MP, and goes to work as a house girl in Mama Penina's household. With the assitance of Mama Penina's family and the headmaster of a nearby school, she finally manages to enter the prestigious Bright Future Academy to continue with secondary education. 

The Best is Yet to Come depicts Daima's travel and travails as she attempts to cope with the harsh realities confronting her in the alien city; her experience in boarding school, her love relationship with Kelvin, a fellow student; her "reunion" with her father and her dear friend Amanda. The story ends with Daima's election as the new president of the student's council. 

Asungushe B. Kayombo works with EDCTP Women's Health Project in Mwanza, Tanzania. This is his first novel. 

Publisher:
E & D Vision Publishing
2010
3rd Place
Author:
Ambani A. Guyi

Following the death of his father Robert Uleo, alias 'Shamra Shamra', has to leave school to fend for the family. He becomes a fisherman, is caught in a tempest, ends up stranded on an isolated island inhabited by monsters. He manages to escape and returns home after a stay in Uganda. This is just one of his adventures in this gripping novel about Uleo who refused to lie down and die despite all fates tricks on him. 

Ambani Guyi teaches Business Communcation at Mzumbe University. For over twenty years he has trained young adults to be pastors, teachers, bankers and accountants in East and Central Africa. He loves philosophy, reading and sports. He lives in Morogoro with his wife Stella. 

Publisher:
Readit Books Ltd