The OLA Annual Forest of Reading Program

Thousands of schools and libraries across Ontario are ready to register for the OLA Annual Forest of Reading Program. More than 250,000 children and teenagers will then start reading and considering their vote for best books. The hotly anticipated lists of Canadian books are now available on the OLA web site at:

The Forest of Reading is a children's choice award program, run by the Ontario Library Association, in which Ontario students read at least five books selected for their age range. They then vote for their favourites on the official voting day in April. A committee of librarians and teacher librarians from public and school libraries choose the titles.

"The program is all about kids enjoying reading," stated Lisa Weaver, Chair, and Forest of Reading. "And the voting part stimulates a lot of conversation with the young readers about why they like certain books."

The reading programs and categories are the Blue SpruceTM Award (kindergarten to grade 3), the Silver Birch® Awards (fiction and non-fiction for grades 4 to 6), the Red MapleTM Award (grades 7 and 8), and the White PineTM Award (high school), New for the 2009 festival will be the addition of Le Prix TamarackTM award (French language books for grades 4 to 6).

Two programs are also available for adult readers; the Golden OakTM Award (adults learning to read) and the Evergreen Award (adult library patrons). The program annually culminates in the Festival of Trees, two action-packed days of award ceremonies, workshops, and entertainment. The event will take place May 13-14, 2009 at the Harbourfront Centre for its third year in a row.