Raziel Reid is the 2014 Governor General's Literary Award winner for children’s literature (in the text category) for his debut novel When Everything Feels Like The Movies, and he is the youngest winner in the award’s history. When Everything Feels Like The Movies is a moving and skillfully told story about a gay teen named Jude who counters the bullying and isolation he experiences in his daily life with an alternate imaginative life in which he is the glamourous star of his own Hollywood production.
In addition to winning the Governor General’s Award, When Everything Feels Like The Movies is one of the five finalists in this year’s CBC Canada Reads program and, worth noting, the first YA book ever to be a finalist. At the same time, there is now a petition to revoke Raziel’s Governor General’s Award which calls the book vulgar. I believe Jude’s voice is intentionally provocative, and it is key to understanding his coming-of-age. His voice is distinctive, vivid, and authentically youthful and will resonate with teens.
Raziel graciously participated in a short Q&A in which he answered questions about his book and gave writing advice.