I was just thrilled to discover today that The Meaning Of Children made the Top 10 list of the CBC- Scotiabank Giller Prize Readers' Choice Contest!! The top book, Myrna Dey's Extensions went on to a place on the Longlist...
Here's the list:
• Extensions by Myrna Dey (6.9 per cent of total eligible nominations; Congratulations on making the Giller LONGLIST!!!)
• The Canterbury Trail by Angie Abdou (5.6 per cent )
• Everything Was Good-bye by Gurjinder Basran (5.5 per cent)
• Copernicus Avenue by Andrew Borkowski (3.6 per cent)
• Hope Burned by Brent LaPorte (3.5 per cent)
• Echoes from the Other Land by Ava Homa (3 per cent )
• Man & Other Natural Disasters by Nerys Parry (2.6 per cent) *
• Don't Be Afraid by Steven Hayward (2.6 per cent) *
• Incidents in the Life of Markus Paul by David Adams Richards (2.3 per cent)
• The Meaning of Children by Beverly Akerman (2.2 per cent)
Here are the comments made by those who voted for me, people who hail from all over Canada...a huge shout out to you all!!
Johanna from Kelowna: thanks so much for this: "As a social worker in child protection I really appreciated the focus and the insights into the lives of children demonstrated in the work The Meaning of Children by Beverly Akerman. Our children are our future and deserve more attention, love and nurturing. Beverly's book is a method to that purpose; she touched my heart to its core."
Kathe from Montreal: "I have been savouring the stories one by one. I don't want this book to end. She writes so simply but powerfully, and her characters stay with you."
B Maurene: "If the reality of Akerman's skilful weaving of tales that can be all too true of the way parents families and cultures place their hopes and dreams on children hits home to contemporary child bearers, she could be building a better world. Few who embark on the journey of parenting ever realize how great the responsibilities are or how to meet the individual needs of children, particularly those with difficulties. A should read for college and university students, and a must read, among the hundreds of pregnancy and child rearing how-to manuals, for parents attending pre-natal classes."
Marla of Thunder Bay: "Beverly Akerman is an extraordinary writer and I believe she deserves it."
Suzan of Ottawa: "It was an absolute joy to read. I laughed out loud at some stories and wept shamelessly at others, all the while savouring every skilfully handpicked word. One cannot read The Meaning of Children and not be moved in some way by the stories therein. It is a beautiful quilt, made of exquisitely crafted pieces which when taken as a whole is so much more than a sum of its parts."
Eva from Maple Ridge: "The Meaning of Children should win because it is important for the reader to view situation from the child's perspective."
Lynn from Belle River: "Beverly Akerman would be a good candidate. Enlightening and refreshing."
Paula from Cornwall: "In her book The Meaning of Children, Beverly Akerman gives us a snap shot of the reality of childhood in diverse family situations. As and educator, I understand too clearly that the reality that childhood is not always a "Norman Rockwell" moment, but rather is a reflection of the very complex perception of an individual child, whether pleasant or challenging, the question remains, is the individual child free to be themselves or are they encouraged to put on a mask to face their personal circumstances?"
Rusti of Stony Plain: "This collection of short stories was stunning, captivating, wrenching and hopeful. I wanted more when I finished the book."
Ken from Saskatoon: "The author's insight into the minds of children and the lives touched by those around them allow the reader to truly appreciate how impressionable these young minds are, and how the events in our lives can effect how children perceive, and register them. It also reminds me of how important my son is to me, as when I face conflict or stress in my life, all of the problems dissapear intantly when I see him smile at me."
Kayla from Timmins: "This author should make it to this year's Scotiabank Giller Prize because she writes books on life's reality which is a subject that may teach kids like adults about some of life's matters."
Rocio from Mississauga: "I think Beverly Akerman, with The Meaning of Children, should be considered, because throughout her book she shows how children can change our world, with their hearts, dreams and tenderness. They do not even know how much this world changes for the best just because they are part of it, and that is really touching and marvelous."
Pauline from Montreal: "Beverly Akerman's The Meaning of Children takes an eyes-wide-open look at real families. No sentimentality here yet there's a ring of truth to the often quirky situations people find themselves in that made me smile with recognition. A wry smile at times, but Akerman writes pitch-perfect prose. This is Canadian story-telling at its best."
Felicia from Boisseavain (cribbed from Anne Chudobiak):" The book touches on a lot of the biggest parental 'what ifs.' Kidnapping. Hate crime. Death by drowning. Suicide. Even so, it would make a good gift for a new mother. Akerman holds up our greatest fears, not to dwell on them, but to marvel at our commitment to life, especially to passing it on to others. Says one character, looking back, 'Life had been perfect ' but I'd been too busy to notice."
Valerie from Toronto: "As an early childhood educator I feel it really conveys the voices of children and parents in our society."
Frances from Port Coquitlam: "An in depth look at the inner turmoils of a childs life and/or those who care for them and how life experiences can have such an impact on our stories and journies through life. An interesting study on this subject."
Kimberly from Shawnigan Lake: "I believe Beverly Akerman's, The Meaning of Children has amazing insight with it's many stories. I loved them all, Life is what happens in the meantime. Great read and would highly recommend."
Mona from ND Ile Perrot:"I'd like to suggest Beverly Akerman. Her book, The Meaning of Children is written with a refreshing sincerity. Loved it!"
Carrie from Spruce Grove: "I think that it takes a special kind of skill to coordinate short stories into a piece that is well written and thought provoking- without losing one's initial objectives."
Crystal from Nanaimo: "The Meaning of Children is my submission as it is told through the voices of children. What can be better than to hear 14 different stories of growing up and dealing with important issues? Each child tells their stories so vividly and honestly, you feel sorry for them, as if you know them. This book is extremely well written and gripping."
Catherine from Whitby: "Well written, captivating perspectives on life's stages."
Rajini from Canada: "I think that Beverly Akerman should make the long list. Akerman's The Meaning of Children is a dark, thought-provoking read that is certainly worthy of the 2011 Giller Prize."
The Meaning Of Children is available in fine bookstores across Canada and online at Amazon.ca, Chapters, and through Exile Editions.