Soar With the Eagles!
Going into its eighth year in 2011/12, The Golden Eagle Book Award is a literary award that is given annually to an Alberta writer whose book is selected by children in grades four through eight from schools in the southern Alberta communities of Claresholm, Nanton, Stavely, Granum, the Daly Creek Colony, Pincher Creek, Blairmore and Lundbreck.
The award is the brainchild of an organizing committee headed by Claresholm public librarian Kathy Davies and comprising librarians, teachers, parents and Project READ volunteers and the Claresholm Local Press. "We wanted to come up with an idea that would get kids fired up about reading and at the same time be a great promotion for the communities involved," Davies said.
What makes this award so exciting is the fact that the winning book is selected by the very readers children's writers are writing for. Davies noted that although there are other Children's Choice awards across Canada, the Golden Eagle award is unique in that it concentrates on Alberta books and writers. The student judges have been given a list of books selected by a committee of area teachers and librarians. To qualify as a student judge, a student must agree to read a minimum of five of the selected books, then vote for his/her favourite. The final reading point for this year's competition is the end of February, 2012. Author visits and the Final Gala and Awards Ceremony are set for late April, 2012.
The award ceremony will be attended by the three short-listed authors as well as the student judges and their families, and the organizing committee. The winning author receives a framed, hand-crafted Golden Eagle award that is created locally - a much-coveted award in Western Canada's writing community. The competition and organization of the award is a major undertaking that involves acquiring and distributing forty copies of each title for the 800 plus potential student judges, monitoring the voting (by secret ballot), fund-raising, coordinating the author visits in schools and staging the gala. The reading is already underway in order to give students sufficient time to read the required number of books. A grand prize is drawn from among student-judges names.
the Brothers Armfinnigan
(Dave Armstrong) 2011/12
Golden Eagle Book Award Winning Author(s) for