Sheree Fitch at the 2018 WordPlay event, which was hosted at Mabel Murple's Book Shoppe and Dreamery. File photo

RIVER JOHN – Author and poet Sheree Fitch has earned a 2020 Atlantic Book Award.

The awards were announced virtually on June 30, with Fitch’s ‘EveryBody’s Different on EveryBody Street’ taking home the Ann Connor Brimer Award for Children’s Literature.

The $2,000 award is named after the late Ann Connor Brimer, a strong advocate for Canadian children’s literature who saw the need to, not only recognize but also encourage Atlantic Canadian children’s writers.

The award is presented to an Atlantic Canadian writer deemed to have made an outstanding contribution to literature for young people.

‘EveryBody’s Different on EveryBody Street’ was first released in 2001, originally written as a poem for the then Nova Scotia Hospital Foundation fundraiser. The book, which was re-released in 2018 with illustrations by Emma Fitzgerald, was written to bring awareness to mental illness and addiction.

The book celebrates people’s gifts, their weaknesses, differences, and sameness.

The jury for the awards said Fitch “has written a love song for the world” with the book and called the book “undoubtedly” a classic.

“Its playful rhymes celebrate the beautiful uniqueness of all people while reminding us there is always more than meets the eye. While we all have hopes and dreams, some of us struggle in ways that aren’t always easy to see. Yes, we are all beautifully and inherently unique, but it is equally true that we are also deeply intrinsically connected.”

For more about the Atlantic Book Awards, or to watch this year’s virtual presentation, visit http://atlanticbookawards.ca/.