By Dominique Demers
Éditions Québec Amérique; distributed by Diffusion Dimedia
Mélodie and Jean-Baptiste are both 17. He has a large family; she lives with her mother. Mélodie is struggling to get over a devastating break-up; Jean-Baptiste is pushing back against an imposed religious education. Her studies mean everything to her; he is fully devoted to his project on ethology, the study of animal behaviours. They coax each other into a friendship under the branches of the large trees on Mount Royal, sharing their discoveries and their resentments throughout the spring.
Dominique Demers’ novel is imbued with passion. Her touching story addresses the realities of two teenagers with sensitivity—he is gifted, she is torn—while successfully exploring universal topics that will win over all readers with their relatability.
“L’albatros et la mésange eloquently translates the existential quandaries of two teenagers throughout a well-paced, intelligent, well-constructed and lucid novel that you can’t put down. With confident and mature style, the novel is an ode to difference, friendship, love—an ode to life, really.”
Peer assessment committee: Marie-Célie Agnant, Jocelyn Boisvert, Karen Olsen
Dominique Demers is a writer, speaker and instructor who has written over 70 fictional works for children, teenagers and adults. She has been a journalist, teacher, literary critic, feature film scriptwriter and storyteller. She has won many journalism and literary awards, as well as the Raymond Plante award and a Eureka award. Demers holds a post-doctoral degree in youth literature and was inducted into the Order of Canada for her engagement. Born in Ontario, she now lives in Montréal.