December 17, 2014

Into the Wasteland


by Lesley Choyce
Red Deer Press
978-0-88995-522-6
174 pp.
Ages 14-17
October, 2014

I'm done. Through. Finished. I'm on the edge of something and I don't know what it is. I just know that everything and everybody is holding me back. (pg. 7)
Dixon Carter is angry and he’s taking himself off his prescription meds.  And though the name of Dixon’s illness is never identified (I don't like those labels, but once they are sewn into your shirt, it's hard to get rid of them; pg. 48), Dixon is far too complex for a simple mental illness label.  He is insightful, expressive, and appreciative of his parents, his brilliant girlfriend Sylvia, his best friend Zeke and Fairweather Dave, a former surf champion and surfing magnate who gave it all up.  Dixon delves into poetry, including a tome of T.S.Eliot's that includes the poem The Waste Land.  He thinks about illusions, rules, paradoxes and Einstein.  

But, by stopping his meds, Dixon is preparing for a trip down that dark path into the wasteland, and he’s sharing it with readers via his manifesto a.k.a. a journal.  Using his thoughts and his interactions for guidance, Dixon tries to sort out who he is, what he wants and how to go about it.
I'm trying to sort out my ideas, my thoughts, my so-called illness, and my condition.  I am, alas, a product of my culture, of my time, of my ancestry, and I'd prefer to step outside of all that. (pg. 31)
Then the unforeseen happens.  Tragedy.  Everything, everything changes.  (Oh how I wish I could share the details but that would truly be a spoiler.) How Dixon deals is just as unforeseen.

Into the Wasteland is so real.  It’s about being labelled with a mental illness and enduring the multitude of treatments in the hopes of achieving a normal life.  It’s about wanting to be a regular teen, to hang out with friends and your girlfriend, and think about a future that doesn’t include regular transgressions into a dangerous darkness.  And then the impending dark path seems like a walk in the park.  An overlay of grief essentially immobilizes Dixon: no way forward or back.  

I can’t imagine how Lesley Choyce is able to convey the twisted negative thinking of a young person with depression or the glorious euphoria of his manic episodes without an intimate knowledge of the complexities of his thought processes.   Think about this as you read Into the Wasteland and attempt to make your way through Dixon’s tortuous reasonings, which he presents as his philosophy.  He is convinced his thinking is clear but, though it is thoughtful and insightful, it is distorted and confusing, as are his writings in the manifesto.  Lesley Choyce persuasively depicts Dixon Carter as a sympathetic character though his argumentative nature and irritability could have precluded that.  Instead, what Into the Wasteland shares is that a person with a mental illness is never just well or unwell but as complex as any being trying to survive in a less than hospitable environment, whether it be internal or external.  

December 12, 2014

Fishermen Through & Through

by Colleen Sydor
Illustrated by Brooke Kerrigan
Red Deer Press
978-0-88995-517-2
32 pp.
Ages 4+
November 2014
There once lived three fishermen: Peter, Santiago, and Ahab. They were tough. They were as salty as the bottom of a pretzel bag. They were as weathered as a twisted stick of driftwood. (pg. 3)
These three men are the titular fisherman, a companionable trio whose lives on the sea do not preclude their ability to dream. Peter dreams of camel travel across a desert of sand,  Santiago imagines balloon travel on the wide expanse of sky, and Ahab is enamoured with the vision of endless fields of coloured tulips. But, as Fishermen Through & Through, they continue to fish, until one day, blow me down, a beautiful, white lobster becomes entangled in their nets.

Not wishing to be selfish, the three take their catch to the Fisherman's Net, a local restaurant, to be honoured by placement in a grand seawater tank, for all to enjoy.  News of the albino lobster spreads and everyone, from reporters to biologists and photographers, come to visit and witness the splendour of the lobster.  But, when the fishermen are offered a great deal of money for the lobster, they find themselves considering their dreams, the lobster and life on the sea to help them make the right decision.

Whether Colleen Sydor's three fishermen represent Saint Peter, Hemingway's old fisherman from The Old Man and the Sea, and Moby Dick's captain Ahab is irrelevant–though fitting–they are a credit to their vocation, fishermen through and through.  And their respect for the ocean, and what it gives and takes, is uncompromising.  With Brooke Kerrigan creating the graphics, the pencil illustrations are beautifully awash in soft watercolours, bringing the gentle waters and straightforward characters to complement the positive text.  Illustrator of Wellington's Rainy Day (Beck, 2011) and award-winning Kiss Me! (I'm a Prince) (McLeod, 2011) Brooke Kerrigan doesn't just add the pictures; she creates the spirit of Colleen Sydor's story through line and colour. Fishermen Through & Through is a complete story, through and through.

December 10, 2014

Blue Mountain

by Martine Leavitt
Groundwood Books
978-1-55498-423-7
165 pp.
Ages 8-12
November, 2014

The struggle for survival may bring readers of adventure stories regularly to the brink of their seats, anticipating the worst and hopeful for the best outcome but always calmed by the fictional nature of the story.  But, though a fictionalized account of a herd of bighorn sheep in the Rocky Mountains, Blue Mountain reads as authentic and harrowing as any biography of an explorer or a leader making life-and-death decisions for others.  Blue Mountain may be about bighorn sheep but the story of Tuk and his herd mates is a heart-rending tale of life on the edge, an account of the struggle to survive in both the natural and man-made worlds.

The story of Tuk, a male lamb, begins on the lambing cliffs with the other new lambs– Ovis, Rim, Nai, Mouf, Sto and Dall–learning the story about the mountain's gifts to the animals.  Lord Denu, the first bighorn, was gifted with tricky feet, strong jaws, and powerful horns, providing his descendants with the moniker of peaceable, since they did not fight but rather stayed in herds that helped protect their numbers.  When the lambs and their mothers return to the main herd at the summer range, meeting the yearlings and the barren ewes, Kenir the matriarch declares that Tuk is reminiscent of the strong lambs of many years ago and has been gifted to them by the mountain to help keep the herd from dying.  This is corroborated by his vision of a great blue mountain, so rarely seen that it is called story mountain.

This is a heavy responsibility placed on Tuk and, though he suffers ridicule from a yearling named Balus and others, one that he does not take lightly or is convinced belongs to him, especially after he fails to save a lamb from an eagle.  But when a mother puma and her kitten put the herd at risk, Tuk uses his lamb horns to bat the kitten off a ledge, resulting in its death and its mother's vow of revenge.  Ultimately, the king of the rams instructs Tuk,
"You must find a way west from the winter valley to blue mountain before she hunts again."..."Son, it is the only way to save the herd." (pg. 38)
And so begin Tuk's journeys, the first being one of personal growth and learning so that he might lead the second one, a trek through inhospitable territories to one where the herd might thrive.  Enduring food shortages, threats from wolves, men with shotguns, monster machines, and unusual altercations with a wolverine, a bear and an otter, Tuk brings them to a place where
Tuk saw that the herd would always be, and that he had been part of the always. (pg. 159)
He couldn't have asked for a better legacy.

Martine Leavitt tells of her father, James Webster, and his love for the natural world and particularly the Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep that he studied.  Blue Mountain is her own story based on his notes of observations of these majestic animals through the seasons and years.
My story became a very different thing than his beautiful and perfectly accurate rendering, but we tell the stories we can. (pg. 164)
As Tuk succeeds so nobly after questioning his own leadership as a bighorn sheep, I believe Martine Leavitt has honoured her father's research and reconfigured it into a splendidly beautiful and accurate saga.  I'm sure he couldn't have dreamed of a finer gift.

December 07, 2014

Rain Shadow

by Valerie Sherrard
Fitzhenry & Whiteside
978-1-55455-341-9
150 pp.
Ages 10+
November 2014

Yes, the book cover is beautiful.  And the beauty of Rain Shadow's cover is only surpassed by Valerie Sherrard's story within.

Valerie Sherrard takes the reader back to Junction, Manitoba, the setting for her multi-award-winning book, The Glory Wind (Fitzhenry & Whiteside, 2010), a poetic tale of friendship and tragedy.  Two years after The Glory Wind's events, twelve-year-old Bethany Anderson still only knows that something happened to Gracie, though her only memory involves a half penny she never was able to return to her schoolmate before she was gone.  Bethany has never shared that with anyone and certainly not her fourteen-year-old sister Mira who calls Bethany a "Retard" and tells her about scary places for children like Bethany "who have parts that do not work correctly." (pg. 19) Bethany may have difficulties learning, and cannot read, and takes things too literally, but she has the biggest heart and blames herself too readily for things that are never in her control. 
"But I did do wrong things lots of other days.  Mostly, I did not know they were wrong until after I did them.  That made me wish I knew how to write more words.  Then I could have made a list of things I should not do so I would not forget them and keep upsetting Mother.  At bedtime, I said the ones I could remember over and over in my head." (pg. 81)
Perhaps her gravest error, in her mind, was answering the door to a man and his family whose son later died of polio. Of course, no one knew he had polio at the time, and Bethany didn't invite them in or tell Mira to join them and Mother in the house; Mother did that.  But when Mira contracts polio and dies, Mother's grief lashes out at Bethany.
"That made me feel like something black and scary was inside me." (pg. 83)
Surprisingly, school becomes Bethany's salvation.  Without Mira around, the other students are generally kinder to her, and her efforts are recognized, and there is always someone to chastize those who might be mean to her.  So while Bethany might feel unwanted and inconvenient at home, a stone to Mira's jewel, at school she feels exactly like the others.  And it's only through the efforts of others in the community that Bethany is encouraged to see how strong and brave she has always been.

The polio epidemics of the 1940's and 1950's were all the more frightening for the lack of understanding and the tragic prognoses. But the loss of a favourite and "perfect"child to polio is obviously too much for Bethany's mother to bear. Already flawed, as indicated by her treatment of Bethany, Mother could do nothing less than destroy her relationship with her only surviving daughter. That doesn't excuse her.  But, by continuing to perpetuate the placement of her youngest daughter in Mira's (rain) shadow, her mother has actually nudged Bethany to explore everything she can be.

Valerie Sherrard is so adept at telling a story that could be anyone's tale.  At its foundation, Rain Shadow is just the story of a girl with challenges whose family doesn't know how to meet her needs, especially after a great tragedy engulfs all of them.  Though set in 1949, Rain Shadow encompasses the story lines of our lives: tragedy, relationships with siblings and parents, school life, the kindness of strangers, love, and self-awareness.  But, conceived and written by Valerie Sherrard, Rain Shadow becomes a triumph of the human spirit to weather life's challenges and to even transcend them.  It's a beautiful story amidst despairing circumstances.

December 03, 2014

Gathering Darkness: Falling Kingdoms, Book 3

by Morgan Rhodes
Razorbill
978-1-59514-705-9
432 pp.
Ages 12+
For release December 9, 2014

(1) Map of Mytica
I am so glad that Falling Kingdoms is not a trilogy, for three books would not be sufficient to house the complexity of the relationships within and between the three kingdoms of Mytica–Auranos, Limeros and Paelsia– and their people, given the richness and depth that Morgan Rhodes has woven into the plot.

When Falling Kingdoms, Book 1 (Razorbill, 2012) ended, King Gaius of Limeros had violently and successfully seized the castle and throne of Auranos, with some magical help from his daughter Lucia who is a powerful, albeit novice, sorceress.  Princess Cleiona, the only remaining Auranian royal, is determined to regain her family's rightful place, perhaps with the help of Jonas Agallon, the rebel who wants to take down the King of Blood.

But, in the second book of the series, Rebel Spring, (Razorbill, 2013), the rebels and Cleo have accomplished seemingly little to halt King Gaius’s plans.  Gaius is having a road constructed to link the three kingdoms of Mytica, through the Wildlands and Forbidden Mountains, destroying much of Paelsia while enslaving its people.  He has also arranged for the marriage of his son, Magnus, to Cleiona, which takes place regardless of an attack arranged by Cleo and Jonas to prevent it.

Now Gathering Darkness returns the story to Auranos where King Gaius continues to rule with fear, hopeful of securing the Kindred, the four crystals that hold the elemental magic: amber for fire, moonstone for air, aquamarine for water, and obsidian for earth.  But the Kindred is a very desirable commodity, and not everyone understands its significance or danger.

In addition to Magnus and Cleo, who have returned from their wedding tour, more perplexed about their feelings for each other, there are others who have appeared in Auranos whose motives are probably linked to securing the Kindred for themselves.  Alexius, the immortal Watcher from Sanctuary who had discovered Lucia’s power as a sorceress, has been banished to the mortal realm, ostensibly to be with Lucia, but claiming the Kindred must be returned to Sanctuary to help save the world from destruction.  And Prince Ashur and his sister Princess Amara from the far-off kingdom of Kraeshia have maneuvered themselves into honoured guests of King Gaius, easily manipulating everyone to their wishes, inevitably to garner the Kindred for their father, Emperor Cortas.

It is essentially a race to find the Kindred.  Many are willing to have others find the crystals and then steal them, but Cleo is more proactive, becoming a cherished friend to Lucia, who is frightened by her erratic powers and helping her, with Alexius’ guidance, to focus her magic, hopefully to locate and claim the Kindred.  And, through a secret messenger within the castle, Cleo is able to share this information with Jonas.

Meanwhile, Jonas has been joined by another rebel, the charismatic Felix, and is determined to save Lysandra and the other rebels who are being held in the King's dungeons and awaiting execution.  But what are Felix’s motivations?  Even Jonas’ motives are less transparent, especially as he is confused by his feelings for Cleo and Lysandra.

As in the earlier books in the series, Gathering Darkness is both plot- and character-driven, relentless in its ability to startle, to gratify, and to crush, engulfing the reader in more emotions than the heart can normally endure within a scant 432 pages.  The elemental disasters–fire, tornado, earthquake–are nothing compared to the cataclysmic breaches in the essential relationships within Gathering Darkness: between Magnus and Cleo, Cleo and Jonas, Jonas and Lysandra, Nick and Ashur, Amara and Ashur, Felix and Jonas, Lucia and Alexius, and everyone in between.

Morgan Rhodes wastes neither words nor characters, definitively giving everything and everyone substance.  The words she gives her characters are prophetic and powerful.  For example, Felix tells Jonas that,
“There are no guarantees in this life, only strong possibilities.” (pg.16) 
whereas Cleo reassures Lucia to
“believe in things other people think are impossible, and it makes you strong enough to face whatever comes next.” (pg. 76)
Forgive me for not sharing the gut-wrenching words of spellbound lovers or cutting comments by the wicked. Those are all there too. But, after the intense read that is Gathering Darkness (and that darkness is certainly gathering), I need to hold onto the crystals of tenderness that Morgan Rhodes embeds, helping us to see that it’s not all darkness. In fact, I must thank her for seven simple words on page 397 that carried me through the wickedness revealed in the last chapter and forward to await the next Falling Kingdoms book.  Thank you, Morgan Rhodes, for that gift and for taking Gathering Darkness into new realms of wickedly magical splendour.



(1) Map of Mytica: Retrieved from http://www.fallingkingdoms.com/extras.html on January 16, 2014.

December 02, 2014

Guest review: Morven and the Horse Clan

by Luanne Armstrong
Great Plains Teen Fiction
978-1-926531-74-8 
173 pp.
Ages 11-16
2013

Morven and the Horse Clan, by Luanne Armstrong, is the account of young Morven, the girl whose independence and passion for animals set her apart from her people. Morven was raised as a member of her mother’s clan, but has never felt obligated to the chores and work required of most young women in her tribe. Instead, Morven relishes time alone, where only her beloved animals are company in the great wilderness.

As an incredible drought pushes her tribe deeper and deeper into the untamed Kazakhstan wilds, Morven continues to feel unaccepted by her people, until they make camp in a small mountain oasis, where she hopes to find refuge. There, she discovers a band of wild, frightened horses that are just as desperate to survive as her own people are. Gradually, Morven begins to tame the creatures, earning their trust and learning to understand their hidden ways. Though her people are at first skeptical, she soon brings them to understand the value in her newly-found friends, and slowly they begin to appreciate the horses in the way she has come to love them.

Not all people can accept the new creatures so easily, however. As Morven’s tribe travels farther into the dry wasteland they had once called home, they encounter new civilizations and cultures that are groping for survival as the land around them withers. While one is curious and hospitable, the other has adopted strange, possessive ways that are frightening for Morven’s people. It isn’t long before they, too, desire to have power over horses, but it is clear that their ambition is not only to survive, but to conquer. Morven is placed in a leadership role as this new, power-hungry civilization becomes more aggressive, and she is forced to make a decision that will determine the fate of her people: protect her horses, or protect her friends.

Morven and the Horse Clan is a unique and intriguing story, filled with turmoil and themes of isolation, survival, and ultimately, love. The transition Morven endures from a lone castoff to a respected leader truly gives this novel depth, and kept me reading for a conclusion. I enjoyed the element of battle that occurred within Morven, between her feelings, rather than between physical enemies, as it was a more unique read than a typical action novel. The depth and culture within this story have earned it, in my own opinion, seven stars out of ten, and I would recommend it to any vigorous reader that enjoys books full of symbolism and change.

Thank you to Luanne Armstrong for her wonderful book!

Niki F.

November 26, 2014

Authors' Booking Service: Helping readers connect with youngCanLit authors and illustrators

Schools, libraries, book festivals and other literary functions that endeavour to enlist Canadian authors and illustrators are fortunate to have the Authors' Booking Service to help connect readers with those who produce our rich collection of youngCanLit. For those who have ever been interested in booking an author or illustrator, Marsha Forchuk Skrypuch and Valerie Sherrard, youngCanLit authors in their own right (write?), created this service in 2006, and share details about it here.




HK:  What is the Authors' Booking Service?

ABS:  Since 2006, Authors' Booking Service has been assisting educators and librarians with finding young adult and children's book creators who are qualified and willing to present at schools and libraries.

We currently represent more than 100 high-profile Canadian children’s authors and illustrators who produce fiction and non-fiction in all genres of work and for all ages. Our creators range from budding writers to multiple award winners. We represent six of the original Seven series authors, a poet-songwriter, an astronomer who brings his own planetarium to visits, an artist who donates an original sketch to schools she gives workshops for, and a singer-songwriter who can workshop how to craft your own school anthem. Our creators entertain, inspire, educate and, most of all, promote literacy and creativity, each in their own unique way.

In recent years, we have partnered with the OLA Forest of Reading program to help current nominees with their bookings. This is particularly important for out of province nominees, because without a critical mass of bookings, many could not afford the trip to their own award ceremonies.

We represent seasoned creators and brand new authors. The one thing that all of our creators have in common is that they love doing school and library presentations and they're good at it!

An impressive group of youngCanLit authors, including Janet Wilson, Rona Arato, Loris Lesynski and Marsha Skrypuch (just to name a few) met with teacher-librarians in Dufferin-Peel.

HK:  Why did you start this service?

ABS:  We saw the need for a booking service that would provide educators and librarians with up-to-date information on children's and young adult authors who were willing and qualified to do school and library presentations and writing workshops. From a creator’s point of view, there was a huge need for a service that could connect with educators and librarians in a systematic way to manage creator presentations and to ease communication challenges.

We recognized that many smaller schools and libraries could not afford an author visit. We know that staff is stretched to the limit, often managing more than one library or having other roles in addition to the library. They do not have time to co-ordinate an author visit with area schools and libraries in order to minimize the cost.

We also realized that many schools and libraries were not aware of funding programs available to offset some of the costs of an author presentation. As well, many authors did not know how to access funding programs.

We knew that crises happen. What if an author or illustrator is sick or has a family emergency and cannot visit at the appointed time? For the author, it would be near-impossible for them find their own replacement at the last minute. And it is a daunting prospect for a school or library to find a last-minute replacement.

Sometimes funding approval comes so close to the deadline that a school or library is left scrambling for an appropriate author or illustrator to come in before the money disappears. Similarly, sometimes an author is in a particular city or town, their travel has already been paid for, but they’ve only been booked for part of the day. They’re biding their time in a coffee shop, waiting until the train arrives when what they’d really like to be doing is one more presentation.

We also knew how difficult it was for authors and illustrators to manage their own bookings. It takes a LOT of time to write or illustrate a book and so figuring out a way to cluster school and library presentations in a way that doesn’t interfere with the creative process (and deadlines) was essential.


HK:  Who uses your services?

ABS:  Mostly children’s librarians, and school library staff, although we’ve also helped line up presenters for government functions, clubs and cultural groups. We focus on Ontario, but we’ve also satisfied requests from across Canada and even from the US.


HK:  What are the advantages to using the Authors' Booking Service?

ABS:  When you try to book an author on your own, you’re starting from scratch. You might have a particular author in mind, but you have no idea whether you can afford them or whether they’re available. You can email them and may never hear back – it could be because of board email filters or it could be because the email you have for the author is no longer valid. Whatever the reason, it is a frustrating exercise.

We keep track of our authors’ availability. We can inform you right up front about the author’s pricing, dates available and whether they’d be a good fit for your needs. We can also recommend alternatives. Every single ABS author has an author page which lists key information like presentation costs, travel fees, recent books and awards, presentation details and audience parameters.

We also send out a weekly email newsletter with news of interest, including availability details for our members’ upcoming tours. We can help you share an author with neighbouring schools in order to minimize costs. We can let you know when there are subsidies available.

If you have an urgent need – we can get things done quickly. For example, your scheduled author comes down with chicken pox two days before the visit. We can find you a replacement – and not just any replacement but a fab one. We’ve managed situations like a municipality wanting four energetic YA authors for a noon-time gig in a busy shopping mall, and oh, the event is on Friday.


HK:  Is there a charge for schools, libraries or other venues who want your help to book an author or illustrator?

ABS:  No. The service is free for schools and libraries. However, if you use our website as a resource, we ask that you book through us rather than emailing the author directly. This helps us track our bookings.

Middle-grade and YA author Sylvia McNicoll

HK:  What fee do authors/illustrators pay to use your service?

ABS:  For every presentation we book, our authors are charged a small flat fee, which goes towards maintaining the website, paying for our mailing list subscription and paper brochures. What’s left over is split between Valerie and myself.


HK:  What kinds of authors do you book through ABS?

ABS:  We’ve learned over the years what sorts of presenters are most in demand. Just writing or illustrating a great book is not enough, they must also be able to wow an audience.

We make a point of filling niches, so our presenters have specialty topics that fit in with
the curriculum. We also have speakers who can talk about the Franklin Expedition, hockey, the War of 1812, swimming across Lake Ontario and running a 100 mile marathon. Many of our authors have overcome great personal challenges and they can inspire your students to do the same.

Picture book author Lisa Dalrymple
The bulk of our authors (http://authorsbooking.com/2043.html) live in Ontario and are usually available throughout the school year.

We also represent out of province authors (http://authorsbooking.com/131811.html) who come to Ontario once or twice a year and need a clustering of bookings to make the trip viable.

And we provide special representation for those authors and illustrators who are current nominees for the Ontario Library Association's Forest of Reading (http://authorsbooking.com/2064.html).


HK:  Are there any authors that you do not work with e.g., those who live in the US?

ABS:  In order to keep our numbers manageable and still meet the needs of those using our service, it is necessary for us to be somewhat selective. We tend not to represent authors who are brand new unless they’ve garnered a significant number of awards or nominations. We have represented authors who live in the US when they’ve been shortlisted for the Forest of Reading Awards.


HK:  How do you recommend someone get in touch with you to use your services?

ABS:  Email us at abs@authorsbooking.com or visit our website at www.authorsbooking.com  We would love to hear from you!

You can also subscribe to our newsletter. Email us and ask to be added, or simply enter your email address on the subscribe button that’s in the top left portion of every ABS author’s page.


Read what those who've used the Authors' Booking Service say about its service:
David Carroll came to St. George's Junior School this morning and enthralled the students (gr. 3-5) with his Ultra marathon stories. He has great messages to share with the students through his stories...ie "we all have super powers" and "nothing is impossible". David kept the audience engaged with his slides, music, reading, story telling and chatting with the kids. Very personable, fun and easy going. Highly recommended! - Juli Belliveau
I saw the "Your Turn" section and had to thank you for recommending Sigmund Brouwer to us here in Sault Ste. Marie Ontario in June 2014. What a fantastic author! He shared his high energy, enthusiastic, informative and inspirational Rock and Roll Literacy Event with 6 of our schools in June then returned to visit 9 more in November. Being able to have this author has impacted our students' enthusiasm for reading, writing and improving library interest. I whole heartedly recommend inviting Sigmund Brouwer to any school, any time and be ready to have your world Rocked! - Roberta Chiarello, System Teacher-Librarian, Huron-Superior Catholic District School Board
About Marsha Skrypuch: "The feedback I have received from our students has been awesome. Everyone LOVED your presentations and are so inspired to read, and read more of your books. Bombs for Hitler copies were all gone by 8:40 a.m! There were so many inspired and motivated students." - Marla Cook
I am so grateful for Authors Booking Service. You have made the process of arranging author and illustrator visits so straightforward. The authors that we have hosted this year have been phenomenal! - Andrea Wesson
Thank you for helping me arrange Rebecca Bender's visit to our school. It was a smashing success! - Tom Holmes
Quotes from authors:
"I love the way ABS connects me with teachers, librarians and readers, without whom I'm not sure what I'd be doing." - Allan Stratton, author of Curse of the Dream Witch
Living on Prince Edward Island is a dream come true but Authors’ Booking Service makes it possible to come home again."Sharon E. McKay, author of War Brothers and Charlie Wilcox
"Authors' Booking Service has been ideal for both promotion of my services and to smooth out the booking process: it allows a one-stop shopping for bookings, thus facilitating what to me is the less thrilling part of my work as an author. Marsha and Valerie are energizer bunnies in this regard, and have done great work in promoting school visits, and authors, and literacy, and thus all the good things that happen as result." - Bill Swan, Red Maple award-winning author of Real Justice: Fourteen and Sentenced to Death: The Steven Truscott Story
Picture book author/illustrator Mireille Messier
"Thanks to ABS I’ve been able to reach out and present my French picture books to immersion schools students that I would otherwise never have had a chance to meet."Mireille Messier, author of Fatima et les voleurs de clĂ©mentines
"I love the way you guys tell a school that I am a 'wise choice' as a presenter. No one in my whole life has called me wise. It makes me feel grown-up and Gandalf-y -- neither of which is my natural state." - Richard Scrimger, author of Ink Me and Zomboy
"Not only do this powerhouse duo walk on water, but they patiently lead their authors to that water. What did we do without them?”Teresa Toten, author of Governor General award-winning The Unlikely Hero of Room 13B



Please note: CanLit for LittleCanadians has received no remuneration for promoting the Authors' Booking Service.  As always, I promote youngCanLit, and its authors and illustrators, because I love it.  Without promotion, we could sadly lose the wealth of youngCanLit gracing our bookshelves.