Robin Stevenson’s Pride shortlisted for Information Book Award!

Robin's Stevenson's non-fiction book, Pride: Celebrating Diversity and Community, is a finalist for the 2017 Children’s Literature Roundtables of Canada’s
Information Book Award! Robin will be in Toronto Jan. 28- Feb 4, and would
love to visit your school or library.

Click on the the link above for more information and to access Robin's contact form.

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Arthur Slade November 14th!

Of course you know who Arthur Slade is--winner of numerous awards, including the GG and TD. But did you know that he does all of his writing on a treadmill desk? Or that he's so busy creating he hardly ever has a chance to visit Ontario?

EXCEPT - yes, it's true - he's coming this November. AND he's got November 14th open for bookings! Click on his name above for more details and to access his contact form. And hurry!!

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Amanda West Lewis (Perth, ON)

Booking Nov 7 to 9, 2017. Writer’s Union member. Writer of YA, Middle Grade, Poetry, Picture Books, Plays, Fiction & Non-Fiction.

Amanda’s rate is $300 for 1 workshop/presentation, $500 for 2, $750 for 3, plus HST. Travel costs from Perth. Travel and accommodation costs negotiable for multiple day residencies.

Amanda combines careers as a writer, theatre director and calligrapher. Over the course of 30 years, she has combined these skills to present workshops and readings to children, youth and adults in schools and libraries across Ontario.


Readings/Presentations: Grades 5 – 12. Audience up to 300. 50 – 60 minutes.

Workshops: Grades 1 – 12. Participants up to 30 per session. 1 – 2 hours.


 “War From Both Sides” tells the story behind the story, revealing the true events and people that inspired the novels September 17 and The Pact. Slides show the children from England and Germany that are represented in the books, illustrating the challenges faced during wartime. The focus is on an empathetic understanding of World War 2 from a child’s perspective view. Topic discussed include propaganda, indoctrination, racism, and survival. Readings from both books are followed by a Q & A.

“Jazz and The Tempest” explores the creation of a novel in verse and prose. Manuscript examples explore how sound and rhythm can reflect character and pace. Slides show historical influences and aid a discussion on research. A reading from a work-in-progress, These Are Not the Words, is followed by a Q&A.

Equipment And Other Requirements: A projector compatible with a MAC or a computer for a memory stick.


“The Look and Sound of Words”: Working with sound and visual clues, and drawing on aspects of theatre improvisation, the workshop moves participants into character creation, point of view and dialogue. The workshop focuses on playing with words as the basic building blocks of writing.

“Illuminated Letters”: The workshop starts with writing exercises to create simple poems based on participants’ names. Participants are then shown how to draw Versal letters in the style of 15th Century Books of Hours. Small accordion fold books are created using the poems as text, starting each with an illuminated letter. The workshop helps to develop a love and passion for letters, combining writing skills with artwork.

“The Story Behind the Picture”: A picture can tell you a lot about a person. But it’s the writer who discovers who that person is and how they fit into a story. This workshop will use photographs and pictures to get participants creating characters and inventing unique and vibrant stories.

Workshop Equipment And Other Requirements: Students require paper and pencil/pen. Amanda will bring markers, coloured pencils, additional paper and handouts as appropriate.

Contact Amanda West Lewis:

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Olivia Longo – Ontario Planetarium (Toronto)

Olivia Longo. Toronto. K to 12.

Mobile Planetarium Shows:

$500 for one for up to 30 students, $650 for 2, $750 for 3, $885 for unlimited number (20-45 min sess). + HST.


Olivia is an accomplished outdoor stargazing and planetarium presenter with a universe of experience hosting thousands of people under the stars.
Olivia has worked at the flagship facility, The Jasper Planetarium in the Alberta Rockies, presenting popular astronomy content to visitors to Jasper Dark Sky preserve in a variety of locales (mountain tops, canyons, etc…)

An accomplished world traveler, Olivia holds an honours degree in Cognitive Science from Carleton University (which she sometimes puts to use when asked questions about our perception of the night sky and the universe overall.)

To contact Olivia Longo.

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[booking Olivia Longo]

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Our Great Prime Ministers – Celebrate Canada with Helaine Becker!

DK Publishing celebrates this month’s publication of Our Great Prime Ministers with a school book tour by award-winning Canadian author Helaine Becker.

Helaine is now accepting bookings for October and November. Our Great Prime Ministers is suitable for children ages 10 and up and explains Canada's system of government and the people who have led it using profiles of 12 of Canada's best-known Prime Ministers.

Click on the link above for more information about Helaine, and to access her contact form for bookings.


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Mireille Messier’s Moroccan Mystery – in English and French!

Mireille Messier is pleased to announce the release of Fatima and the Clementine Thieves, the story of a young girl's struggle to help save her family's clementine orchard from mysterious thieves. Based in Morocco, this fable of collaboration and non-violence was inspired by an African proverb and is now available both in French and in English.

For details about Mireille’s presentation of this and other stories, and to book her, click her name above. Subsidies for fall and spring bookings are now available!

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A Wee bit of Gossip about Hélène Boudreau!

Thanks to TL Colleen McCarthy for sending us feedback on a two school event with Hélène Boudreau!

Selecting a Friday in June to have children sit and listen to an author talk was not very insightful on my part. I was also a little worried that an author presenting about a single book might not be entertaining. What happened with two negatives?? A positive charge!!

Hélène was excellent!! She pumped them up when they were too quiet, and reeled them in when they got a little too loud. Hélène brought along appropriate props and used them to include the children in the story and entertain them with her demonstrations.

I had many teachers at both schools comment to me afterwards about how excellent her presentation was... on a Friday afternoon in June.

To book Hélène for your school, click on her name above and use the contact form. And remember, you can now apply for a subsidy for the Sept. 2017 - March 2018 period. Just ask us for details.

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Robert Priest in support of Shannen’s Dream

Subsidies from The Writers’ Union of Canada are now available for Writers in the Schools bookings beginning this September. Poet, songwriter and novelist Robert Priest will donate $50.00 from his fee to the “Shannen's Dream Campaign” for the first 2 schools to book him through this program. Help support equal education for all.

Click on Robert's name above to access his contact form.

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David Poulsen October Opportunity

Award winning Alberta author, David A. Poulsen, will be in the GTA during the second week of October and still has openings for Tuesday, October 10th, morning and afternoon. David has books for all ages/grades and the high energy, often hilarious presentation that follows his journey to becoming a writer is suitable for all--although his most recent books target junior and senior high readers.

This author's schedule fills FAST, so don't delay. Click on the name above to access David's full page and contact form.

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Adrienne Kress (Toronto)

Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Writers’ Union Member.Middle Grade, YA.Winner Heart of Hawick Award (UK). Adrienne Kress’s The Explorers has been optioned by Walt Disney Film Studios.

$300+HST for a single session; $500+HST for two sessions; $900+HST for a full day. Prices for larger groups, workshops, panels, etc., to be negotiated*. Outside the Toronto area, add kilometrage and accommodation as necessary.

Adrienne Kress is a Toronto-born actor and author with six novels to her credit, as well as essays, plays and short stories. She has spoken to children and adults in a large variety of circumstances, from school assemblies and classroom workshops to writers’ associations and conference panels. Her presentations have taken her across Canada, the United Kingdom and the US. Adrienne is a dynamic, skillful speaker, insightful, knowledgeable and fun to be with.


Readings based on middle grade books are geared towards children in grades 4, 5, 6 and 7.  They are 45 minutes to 11⁄2 hours in length depending on needs.  The preferred group size is up to 60 children, and the preferred site is the library, but Adrienne can speak to larger groups in other venues.  She has spoken to small groups in a cozy huddle on the floor in a library and to large groups of a couple of hundred in gyms and auditoriums.

As a passionate author, professional actor and teacher, Adrienne brings a large array of skills to her readings.  She starts with a short talk about “how a book gets published” and “working with your editors is like working with your teacher,” continues with a dramatic reading from one of the books and ends with a question period and a book signing opportunity. When her session arises from one of her more swashbuckling books, Adrienne is happy to add a fencing lesson.


Presentations can be geared to any audience, for example, Writer’s Craft classes, writers’ groups, book clubs.   The length of the presentation varies according to the needs of the group, but is most often 1 to 11⁄2 hours in length.  The content can be individualized to suit the interests of the group, but usually covers topics like the trials and tribulations of getting published (including how to get a literary agent), the writing process, working with an editor, identifying your audience, trends in modern literature and the importance of studying past works and authors.


Workshops can be geared to any audience, for example, elementary school students, Writer’s Craft classes, writers’ groups, book clubs. The length of the presentation varies according to the needs of the group but is most often 11⁄2 hours to 3 hours in length, though it can be expanded.  The content usually covers topics like honing your writing skills, creating your own voice, creating a “world” for your writing, the use of dialogue, humour – its types and where to use it­­– identifying your audience, etc.


Shortlisted for Red Cedar (BC), Audie (US audio book awards), Manitoba Young Readers Choice Awards, The Quill Awards. Winner of The Heart of Hawick Children’s Book Award (UK)


Middle Grade Novels:

The Explorers – The Door in the Alley (Delcourte Random House) (optioned by Disney)

Hatter Madigan – Ghost in the H.A.T.B.O.X. (Automatic Publishing, with Frank Beddor)

Timothy and the Dragon’s Gate(Scholastic)

Alex and the Ironic Gentleman(Scholastic)

Young Adult Novels:

Outcast (Diversion Books, Paranormal Romance)

The Friday Society (Dial Penguin, Steampunk)

Short Stories: In Wow! 366 (UK) and Corsets and Clockwork(USA/UK)

 Essays: Collected in The Girl Who Was On Fire,The Secret Loves of GeekGirls, and CompleteGuide to Writing for Young Adults

 Plays: Sleepy Hollow (Solar Stage Children’s Theatre)  A Weekend in the Country (Adult – TorontoSummerworksFestival  and Edinburgh Festival Fringe)

To book Adrienne, contact Cynthia Kress:

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Special Offer from Shane Peacock!

Shane Peacock -- No Travel Charges! Governor-General Award nominee and current Blue Spruce Award candidate, Shane Peacock, who can speak to all and any grades from 1 to 12, still has some dates available for school visits from late April through June. No travel charges, regardless of distance within southern Ontario.

Visit Shane's page today for more information and to access his contact form.

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Cary Fagan Back in Action!

It has been a while since we have seen a new book from Cary Fagan, but this season he has THREE! These books will engage and delight kids from kindergarten to the age of chapter books.

Wolfie and Fly, the first chapter book in a new series, has already received a starred review from Publisher's Weekly. City Parent lauds "this classic story of imagination, friendship and adventure told by a master." It'll be sure to get your own kids' imaginations going!

Little Blue Chair, a picture book for younger listeners, has also been praised by Publisher's Weekly: "This is, at heart, a romantic story, one that makes a lovely case for finding value and utility in secondhand items, and for sharing them when they are no longer needed."

Later in spring comes A Cage in Search of a Bird, a simple tale with sophisticated ideas for older picture book readers that was inspired by a line from Franz Kafka.

Cary loves interacting with kids, often using music for the younger grades. His goal is to encourage them to discover books they love and find ways to tell their own stories.

For more information and to access his contact form, visit Cary's page!

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Karen Bass had some Explaining to do!!

Karen Bass
Karen Bass

Teaching Books has created a short audio track of Karen Bass explaining her inspiration for her Bilson Award winning book, Uncertain Soldier.

Red Maple Nominee & two-time Bilson Award winner, Karen Bass is booking visits within 60-90 minutes of Toronto with no travel costs. Schools that book will receive their choice of two of Karen's novels. She is available January 31 & February 1st, May 10-11, 15, & 17-19.
To book Karen, click on her name above and use the contact form at the bottom of her page.
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Guess Who’s Coming to Your Area!

 Touring Authors

Elly MacKay is available in Toronto Jan 24 and 26. She is also clustering visits in other parts of the province - contact her today to ask about your location.

Adventure writer Pam Withers will be in Toronto Feb 1 - 5. A great choice for middle grade students.

Acclaimed environmental author and illustrator Celia Godkin will be available for bookings in the GTA February 21, 23 and 24, 2017.

Diane Carmel Leger will be in the province and is available for bookings in both official languages, May 15 - 19.

Sharon McKay is available in Burlington and the GTA from now until March!

Forest of Reading Nominee availability

Blue Spruce Nominee Hazel Hutchins will be available in the Toronto area in mid-May.

Blue Spruce and Silver Birch Fiction Nominee Linda Bailey has limited availability in the Toronto area on May 18 and 19. Full days (3 sessions) preferred. Please check the link on her name for travel limitations.

R.J. Anderson (Silver Birch Fiction nomineeA Pocket Full of Murder) is available for school and library visits in SW Ontario, the GTA and Niagara on Tuesdays and Thursdays from the week of Feb. 13 to the week of May 8. Some Friday bookings are also available — please inquire.

Sue Irwin, Silver Birch Non-Fiction nominee, is available on Wednesdays from mid-January until May.

Red Maple Nominee  Alberta author Lorna Schultz Nicholson will be available in the Toronto and Niagara regions Jan 3 - Feb 1 and again in May in support of her RM nomination. See special offer above.

Red Maple Nominee  Karen Bass, whose novel, Uncertain Soldier just won the Geoffrey Bilson Award will be in Toronto Jan 30 - Feb 2 and is available in GTA locations accessible by public transit. No travel costs. See our DEALS section for an exciting opportunity from Karen!

White Pine winner 2016 & 2013. Young Adult: ages 12 and up. Jeyn Roberts is located out of Windsor, Ontario for the next four months and will be happy to travel around the province for school and library visits.

Red Maple Nominee Robin Stevenson will be in Toronto January 30- Feb 4 and again in May. She is available either of these times for school and library visits accessible by public transit in the GTA. No travel costs. Her newest title is a non-fiction book called Pride: Celebrating Diversity and Community.

Golden Oak Nominee Michelle Barker 2016 TD Canadian Children’s Literature Award nominee for A Year of Borrowed Men is in the Toronto area early February, 2017, and early June, 2017.

For full information about booking a Forest of Reading Nominee, browse the categories in the menu on the left of this page. Ontario nominees are generally available, while most out-of-province nominees plan to visit in May.

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NEWS from Nikki Tate

deeprootsDeep Roots: How Trees Sustain Our Planet by Nikki Tate has been named one of the best 100 children’s books of 2016 by the New York Public Library. Spanning multiple genres from picture books to graphic novels – the titles selected represent an inclusive list of books published in 2016 that consist of diverse characters, rich storytelling, and the ability to engage and stimulate a life-long love of reading.

Nikki is also a 2017 Silver Birch non-fiction nominee and will be available for school visits in May. Click the link above to access her page and contact form.

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Ella Burakowski (Toronto)

ella-burakowskiwp1aToronto. Writer’s Union Member. Red Maple Honour book. Middle grade. $250 for one session, $450 for two sessions, $650 for three sessions, $800 for four (a full day). (Each session which includes a question and answer period, is approximately 1 hour.) Author of Hidden Gold, A True Story of the Holocaust. Regular columnist for The Canadian Jewish News.

Ella is a second-generation survivor, whose mother and father both suffered through the Holocaust. Ella’s mother died when she was 14 years old, before she could share her story. Ella's uncle David Gold, her mother’s brother, was able to describe their family’s terrifying struggle during the Holocaust. Ella feels that she is a unique link to the past and the future.

Ella's book Hidden Gold won the Ontario Library Association's 2017 honour book award in the Forest of Reading Red Maple Non-Fiction category.

Ella’s presentation includes two parts.

She discusses Hidden Gold by first reviewing the basics of the Holocaust and its historical significance, then segues into how the Holocaust directly affected her family. She also describes how their affliction affected her growing up. Her presentation includes a film, in which Ella’s uncle, David Gold recounts their harrowing story of near misses with death.

The second part of the presentation reviews how Ella went about writing Hidden Gold as narrative non-fiction. She explains the different elements involved in verifying and interlacing her family’s story with historical facts and scientific data. Finally, Ella discusses the emotions of her characters, her family, as they stared death in the face repeatedly.

A question and answer period follows the 40-minute presentation.

The presentation requires audio/visual availability, either by projector, smartboard or television. Ella brings her laptop and has most cabling for connections.

The presentation can be tailored for grades 6 through high school and there is a free Study Guide available on her website, as well as on the Publisher’s website.

Ella has done presentations for children in one classroom, as well as presenting to the entire intermediate division of a school. She does presentations for adults and has spoken at libraries, book clubs, women’s groups and seniors’ residences where other Holocaust survivors were present.

Email to contact Ella Burakowski:

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