It has some non-surprises, too. I was expecting [easyazon-link asin=”0385350732″ locale=”us”]The Orenda[/easyazon-link] by Joseph Boyden and [easyazon-link asin=”1250012708″ locale=”us”]Half-Blood Blues[/easyazon-link] by Esi Edudgyan to make the cut because they are buzzed-about (The Orenda tells the story of a Jesuit priest, a captured Iroquois girl and a Huron chief, and is exactly the sort of book the awards people salivate over here). I was expecting the ever-green Michael Ondaatje and Margaret Atwood to advance to round 2 as well.
But there were two books I had hoped for, but not counted on—[easyazon-link asin=”0765323117″ locale=”us”]Little Brother[/easyazon-link] by indie darling Cory Doctorow, and [easyazon-link asin=”080217082X” locale=”us”]Annabel[/easyazon-link] by the much-under-rated Kathleen Winter. The former is a high-tech urban adventure of a teenaged hacker in a post-911 world; the latter the coming-of-age of an intersexed child growing up in Labrador. I can’t think of two more different stories for the Canada Reads audiences to consider!
The next step? On November 27, CBC will release the identities of their chosen panelists for this year’s contest. Each panelist will then choose one of the books to champion, until the ‘winner’ is finally unveiled in March.