Heading with Gabby back to the Rainforest

Winston Stilwell is the incredible publicist at Fitzhenry & Whiteside. He put together this great box of Gabby goodies. The kids will love them!

Winston Stilwell is the incredible publicist at Fitzhenry & Whiteside. He put together this great box of Gabby goodies. The kids will love them! Photo: Cheryl Chen.

One of the best things about reading is getting to share the joy with kids who don’t have many resources.

That’s the case in Montserrat, where storybooks are scarce and a class visit from an author–well, that doesn’t happen much, to say the least.

Illustrator Jan Dolby and I are flying to Montserrat next week, thanks to One World Schoolhouse Foundation’s Rainforest of Reading program. We can’t wait to meet all of the lovely children. We’re bringing Gabby bookmarks, teacher’s guides–and copies of the second Gabby book, Gabby: Drama Queen.

To find out more about the OneWorld Schoolhouse Foundation or to volunteer or donate, visit http://www.oneworldschoolhouse.org/.

This blog post explains more about the Rainforest festival we participated in last year. So incredible!

Cover reveal!

tagged out coverI can finally reveal the cover of my debut novel, Tagged Out. Ta-da!

Tagged Out is a middle-grade (grade 6-8) novel for reluctant readers. It’s set in Christie Pits in Toronto.

Here’s the back-cover blurb:

The inner-city Toronto Blues baseball team is having a lousy year. Shortstop Gnash and the Blues can’t seem to win. They especially hate losing to their arch-rivals, the snooty Parkhill Pirates. When all-star player Jock joins the team, it looks like the Blues might be able to turn the season around. The only problem? When the Pirates find out that Jock is gay, they ambush Gnash and Jock, and Gnash has to decide whether he wants to stick with his old ways–or become the person he really wants to be.

You can pre-order a copy of Tagged Out, on Amazon.

Packaging Your Imagination, One-to-One Author Website Critiques

PYI box ad

PYI box ad

I’ll be at CANSCAIP’s fabulous annual Packaging Your Imagination conference on
Saturday, November 14, 2015. Along with digital expert and author Angela Misri, I’ll be conducting assessments of author websites and social media.

If you’re a kidlit author–or aspire to be one–this is the conference for you.

Our Author Website Critiques are sold out, but you can sign up for one from us after the conference at the Plot Goes Viral, here.

Hope to see you on Saturday at PYI:
Humber College Lakeshore Campus, L Building, 21 Colonel Samuel Smith Park Drive, Toronto

Fightin’ Words

Librarians got this. Check out the literary trash talk going on this week between the Toronto Public Library and the Kansas City Missouri Public Library. Their two cities are embroiled in an exciting playoff baseball series.

It’s all in good fun, but man, ya don’t wanna mess with a librarian!
Follow @TorontoLibrary and @KCLibrary.

library wars

Cool Baseball Facts

Photo by Kris Robinson licensed CC BY-NC 2.0

Photo by Kris Robinson, CC BY-NC 2.0

CBC Kids posted a terrific article of cool things you might not know about the World Series.

For instance:
* the Curse of the Billy Goat
* how one player wanted to trade his World Series ring for an engraved shotgun, and
* the name of the only team in the “World” Series that isn’t from the United States.

Check it out here.


Author? Illustrator? Want to be?

Packaging Your Imagination, CANSCAIP’S premier kidlit writing conference,
Sat. Nov. 14, 2015

Will you be at PYI this year? If you’re an author or illustrator–or want to be one, you should definitely be at this conference. It’s held each year at the Humber Lakeshore campus and it’s the best way to get information about the craft.

This year, digital expert Angela Misri and I are giving one-to-one critiques on your author website. SOLD OUT! But the good news is you can still get a one-on-one author website critique from us–just click here

Click here for more info about PYI and to register for the conference.


Writing in a treehouse

treehouse mediumtreehouse laptopSometimes, writers have to go looking for inspiration.

This time, it was in the middle of a forest in southern Ontario.

I’m working on a new novel, set in medieval Scotland and my characters are about to go on a long trek. I needed natural beauty, trees, birds, a cool breeze and the sounds of the country.

And I found them all in this treehouse.

For more on my new book, click here.

treehouse feet