The Forest of Reading® is Canada’s largest recreational reading program with over 270,000 participants every year. Our goal: to develop a lifelong love of reading. We have programs for each young reader of any age, connecting them with stellar Canadian literature and giving them the opportunity to vote for their favourite book. This initiative by the Ontario Library Association (OLA) offers seven reading programs to encourage a love of reading in people of all ages. The Forest helps celebrate Canadian books, publishers, authors and illustrators.
Voting takes place in April. We will have a voting station set up in the library, in addition, if your school would like to participate, please let us know and we can bring the voting station to you. Readers must read a minimum of 5 of 10 books for all school-aged programs, with the exception of Blue Spruce readers, who must read or be read all 10 to qualify to vote.
The Blue Spruce Award™
For many children, this is their first introduction to the world of books! This program helps children in Kindergarten through to Grade 2 develop the skill of evaluating a picture book based on the story and the pictures. Children vote to determine the winning book of the Blue Spruce Award after they have read or have been read to all the titles!
The Silver Birch Express Award®
This list of nominated titles is aimed at children in Grades 3 to 4, and provides books with many different reading levels. ESL students, reluctant readers, special needs students, and other readers will find this mixed list of fiction and non-fiction exactly to their liking.
The Silver Birch Fiction Award®
Silver Birch has been thrilling readers for over 20 years. This program is geared toward readers in Grade 5 and 6. From fantastical to serious tales, the program provides a wide range of stories for readers to enjoy!
The Silver Birch Non-Fiction Award®
The non-fiction titles in this program appeal to readers in Grades 5 to 6, and have been enlightening readers for over 20 years! In this program, children will learn about real life stories and facts ranging from history to hockey – these books are definitely conversation starters
The Red Maple Fiction Award™
This program is for students in Grades 7 and 8, and encourages Canadian writing and authors. Readers will get swept into these exciting fictional stories by Canadian authors while improving their reading skills!
The Red Maple Non-Fiction Award™
This program is for students in Grades 7 and 8. Readers will learn about the world through these amazing true stories by Canadian authors while improving their reading skills! The Non-Fiction Award is held every other year.
The White Pine Award™
This program offers teenagers the opportunity to read the best of Canada’s recent young adult fiction titles. With this exciting list of nominations, teens will devour these books instantly. On voting day, students have a voice in choosing their favourite in the list of 10 nominated titles!
Voting takes place in September, with the award winner announced during Ontario Public Library Week, the third week of October. Readers must read at least 1 title from the official selection to qualify to vote.
The Evergreen Award™
The Evergreen Award™ is designed for adults of any age and the lists are comprised of Canadian fiction and non-Fiction titles. A group of experienced library staff have come together to share their favourite reading with adult readers.
Please visit the Forest of Reading website for full details!