Young Readers Encouraged to join Hackmatack Program

hackmatackChildren in Grades 4 through 6 are being invited by the New Brunswick Public Library Service to join a Hackmatack book club at their local library and to participate in the Hackmatack Children’s Choice Book Awards.

“The Hackmatack program is a fun and educational way to introduce children to the joy of reading,” said Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour Minister Francine Landry, “Programs like this empower our youth and help them gain literacy skills that will benefit them for the rest of their lives.”

Hackmatack Children’s Choice Book Awards is an Atlantic Canadian co-operative initiative involving libraries, schools and book stores.

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

Public libraries host Hackmatack book clubs and work with some New Brunswick public school teachers to offer the program. Participants have until December 31st to join a book club.

“Our libraries are engaging young readers by giving them the opportunity to read the nominated books, discuss them at meetings and participate in fun activities that help them explore themes from the books,” said Landry.

The program runs through the school year and concludes in the spring. Participating children have the opportunity to vote for their favourite books in each category. Awards are given in four categories: English Fiction, English Nonfiction, French Fiction and French Nonfiction.

The awards ceremony will be held in Moncton on April 29th and will provide book clubs from across Atlantic Canada with the opportunity to celebrate reading and writing with the nominated authors.

This is the seventeenth year for the book awards. Each year, the project attracts about 350 reading groups from communities in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador and Prince Edward Island. An estimated 7,500 children participate.

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