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Retired astronaut Col. Chris Hadfield is a finalist for the $20,000 Marilyn Baillie Picture Book award alongside illustrators Eric Fan and Terry Fan.David Rossiter/The Canadian Press

The finalists for the Canadian Children's Book Centre Awards, which celebrate the best writing for young readers, were announced on Thursday.

The shortlist for the $30,000 TD Canadian Children's Literature Award features David Alexander Robertson and Juliet Flett for When We Were Alone; Kit Pearson for A Day of Signs and Wonders; Iain Lawrence for The Skeleton Tree; Jon-Erik Lappano and Kellen Hatanaka for Tokyo Digs a Garden; and Jan Thornhill for The Tragic Tale of the Great Auk. (There is also a $30,000 French-language prize.)

The finalists for the $20,000 Marilyn Baillie Picture Book Award are Shane Peacock and Sophie Casson for The Artist and Me; astronaut Chris Hadfield and illustrators Eric Fan and Terry Fan for The Darkest Dark; Jenny Kay Dupuis, Kathy Kacer and Gillian Newland for I Am Not a Number; Jennifer McGrath and Josée Bisaillon for The Snow Knows; and Jon Klassen for We Found a Hat, the conclusion of his award-winning and critically-acclaimed hat trilogy.

Other prizes include the Norma Fleck Award for Canadian Children's Non-Fiction, the Geoffrey Bilson Award for Historical Fiction for Young People, the John Spray Mystery Award, the Amy Mathers Teen Book Award and the Prix Harry Black de l'album jeunesse.

In total, $135,000 in prize money will be awarded.

The winners of the two French-language prizes will be announced November 8 in Montreal, while winners of the English-language awards will be announced November 21 in Toronto.

Actor and author Chris Colfer says he held onto the film rights to his fantasy series The Land of Stories until he was sure it would be “done right.” The former Glee star is set to write and direct a movie adaptation.

The Canadian Press

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