I see that Canadian writers are being featured on many blogs today. Since I have a number I admire greatly, I’m in!
Sarah Ellis is someone I’ve long admired because of her superb writing, speaking, and smarts. Last year I wrote the following after she won the TD Canadian Children’s Literature Award for her warm and delightful novel, Odd Man Out.
I got to know Sarah at the now-no-more Children’s Literature New England summer institutes. I learned to wait with bated breath for her talks as they were always witty, thought-provoking, and engrossing. Her books are like that too. If you haven’t encountered them, go thee now to find a few! Odd Man Out is wonderful as are her earlier books for children, not to mention those on literature, and her articles. (Roger notes that she has been writing quite a few for his little journal.) I’m partial to From Reader to Writer: Writing Through Classic Children’s Books as she includes many of my favorites.
Tim Wynne-Jones is another CLNE pal. His speeches there are legendary. I will never forget when he and Gregory Maguire spoke about His Dark Materials in Toronto in 2001. They ended the talk with music and a darkened room. It was stunning. Extroardinary. But reading him is wonderful too. A Thief in the House of Memory is an amazing mood piece, thriller, and brilliant coming-of-age story. More recently he has penned the justifiably lauded Rex Zero and the End of the World; the sequel, Rex Zero, King of Nothing is out any day.
Then there is Mélanie Watt. I first discovered her with the charming Augustine, but most know her as the creator of the wonderful Scaredy Squirrel (of which there are several sequels), and the egotistical Chester. I was privileged to have lunch with her last January and she was a total delight. Can’t wait to see what she does next!