I am a Canadian author who writes both fiction and non-fiction for young readers. My newest books – The Vegetable Museum (fiction) and Home Sweet Neighbourhood: Transforming Cities One Block at a Time (non-fiction) – hit the shelves on March 26, 2019. You can order the books below or at any bookstore. For signed, personalised books, please contact me directly. Or if you’d like to buy an ebook, please click firstname.lastname@example.org
* Shortlisted for the Red Cedar Children’s Book Award 2021 and the IODE Violet Downey Book Award 2020; selected for Canadian Children’s Book Centre’s Best Books for Kids and Teens 2019 (starred selection), OLA Best Bets Top Ten (2019), and New York Public Library Best Books
Thirteen-year-old Chloë left her whole life back in Montreal, including her mom and her best friend. Now she’s stuck in Victoria with her dad and her estranged grandfather, Uli, who recently had a stroke. When Chloë agrees to help Uli look after his garden, she’s determined to find out why he and her dad didn’t speak to each other for years.
For decades Uli has collected seeds from people in the community, distinct varieties that have been handed down through generations. The result is a garden full of unusual and endangered produce, from pink broccoli to blue kale to purple potatoes.
But Chloë learns that the garden will soon be destroyed to make way for a new apartment complex. And the seed collection is missing! Chloë must somehow find a way to save her grandfather’s legacy.read more
* shortlisted for the Red Cedar Children’s Book Award 2021 and the Rocky Mountain Book Award 2021; a Green Earth Book Award 2020 Honor Book; a Junior Library Guild selection (2019); and selected for Canadian Children’s Book Centre’s Best Books for Kids and Teens 2019
Picture a busy avenue. Now plant trees along the boulevard, paint a mural by the empty lot, and add a community garden. Set up benches along the sidewalks and make space for kids’ chalk drawings, and you’ve set the scene for a thriving community. Placemaking—personalizing public and semi-private spaces like front yards—is a growing trend in cities and suburbs around the world, drawing people out of their homes and into conversation with one another.
Kids are natural placemakers, building tree forts, drawing on sidewalks and setting up lemonade stands, but people of all ages can enjoy creative placemaking activities. From Dutch families who drag couches and tables onto sidewalks for outdoor suppers to Canadians who build little lending libraries to share books with neighbors, people can do things that make life more fun and strengthen neighborhoods. Home Sweet Neighborhood combines upbeat text, fun facts and colorful photos to intrigue and inspire readers.read more
Going wild. We don’t see it as a good thing. And why would we? For most of our time on earth, humanity has been running from lions and other wilderness dangers. We’ve worked hard to make our local landscapes as safe and convenient as possible. Sometimes that’s meant paving over areas that might burst into weeds. Other times, we’ve dammed rivers for electricity or irrigation. But now pollution, climate change and disruptions to the water cycle are affecting the world in ways we never anticipated. What if the new key to making our lives safer (and even healthier) is to allow the wilderness back into our cities?read more
* a Junior Library Guild selection, the children’s non-fiction honor winner for the 2017 Green Earth Book Awards, shortlisted for the Silver Birch Non-fiction Award 2018, and selected for Canadian Children’s Book Centre’s Best Books for Kids and Teens 2017 (starred selection)
Around the world, people are questioning consumerism and leaning toward more sustainable lifestyles. What if you could meet all your needs while getting to know your neighbours and protecting the environment at the same time? Find out how growing a tiny cabbage can fight poverty, how a few dollars can help ten families start their own businesses and how running errands for a neighbour can help you learn to become a bike mechanic – for free!read more
* shortlisted for the Red Cedar Non-fiction Book Award 2017, the Canadian Library Association’s 2016 Book of the Year For Children Award, the Silver Birch Non-fiction Award 2016, a Hackmatack Children’s Choice Award 2017, and the Green Earth Book Award 2016; nominated for the Children’s Literature Roundtables of Canada Information Book Award 2015
Waste not, want not.
Humans have always generated garbage, whether it’s a chewed-on bone or a broken cell phone. Our landfills are overflowing, but with some creative thinking, stuff we once threw away can become a collection of valuable resources just waiting to be harvested. Trash Talk digs deep into the history of garbage, from Minoan trash pits to the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, and uncovers some of the many innovative ways people all over the world are dealing with waste.read more
* shortlisted for the Green Earth Book Award 2015, the Red Cedar Award 2015, and the Silver Birch Non-fiction Award 2014; and selected for Canadian Children’s Book Centre’s Best Books for Kids and Teens 2014 (starred selection)
In the developed world, if you want a drink of water you just turn on a tap or open a bottle. But for millions of families worldwide, finding clean water is a daily challenge, and kids are often the ones responsible for carrying water to their homes. Every Last Drop looks at why the world’s water resources are at risk and how communities around the world are finding innovative ways to quench their thirst and water their crops. Maybe you’re not ready to drink fog, as they do in Chile, or use water made from treated sewage, but you can get a low-flush toilet, plant a tree, protect a wetland or just take shorter showers. Every last drop counts!read more
How can pond scum power a car? What is the carbon cycle? How does a wave-energy converter work? Where were the first windmills built? Did you know that cars can run on french-fry grease or that human poop can be used to provide power to classrooms? Kids in Mexico help light up their houses by playing soccer, and in the Philippines, pop-bottle skylights are improving the quality of life for thousands of families. Brilliant! is about what happens when you harness the power of imagination and innovation: the world changes for the better! Full of examples of unusual (and often peculiar) power sources, Brilliant! encourages kids to look around for new and sustainable ways to light up the world.read more
* winner of the Children’s Literature Roundtables of Canada Information Book Award 2014; shortlisted for a Hackmatack Children’s Choice Award 2015 and a Rocky Mountain Book Award 2015; and selected for Bank Street College of Education Best Children’s Books of the Year 2014, Canadian Children’s Book Centre’s Best Books for Kids and Teens 2013 (starred selection), Ontario Library Association’s Best Bets 2013 and Resource Links “The Year’s Best” 2013
Are bicycles always made of metal? Who invented the bicycle? How many parts does a bicycle have? What is a bicimaquina?
Did you know that bikes can power computers, sharpen knives, perform lab tests and light a building, as well as get a sick person to a hospital or a letter across a big city – fast? Pedal It! celebrates the humble bicycle – from the very first boneshakers to the sleek racing bikes of today, from handlebars to spokes to gear sprockets – and shows you why and how bikes like yours can make the world a better place.read more
Dian has been coming to the Dominican Republic with her doctor parents for years. Now that she’s thirteen, she had wanted to stay home in Canada, but instead she is helping her parents set up their clinic and looking forward to hanging out with her Dominican friend Aracely. When fourteen-year-old Aracely makes a shocking announcement – she is engaged to be married – Dian struggles to accept that Aracely has the right to choose her own destiny, even if it is very different from what Dian would choose for her.read more
* selected for Canadian Children’s Book Centre’s Best Books for Kids and Teens 2012, Bank Street College of Education Best Children’s Books of the Year 2012, and Vancouver Magazine‘s 7th Annual Summer Recommended Reading List; nominated for a 2011 Cybil Award; and shortlisted for a 2013 Rocky Mountain Book Award
Life goes smoothly for Ellie if she keeps her opinions to herself, gets good grades and tiptoes around her parents’ moods. So she’s more than happy to spend the summer with her aunt in another city. In the process of clearing out her aunt’s basement, she unearths an instrument from Argentina called a bandoneón, which fans the flames of her passion for tango music. When she goes searching for the bandoneón’s original owner, she discovers a story of political intrigue and family secrets that helps her start to figure out what’s gone wrong in her own family.read more
* selected for the Canadian Children’s Book Centre’s Best Books for Kids and Teens 2011,and shortlisted for the 2010 Bolen Book Children’s Book Prize, and the 2011 Chocolate Lily Awards and Rocky Mountain Book Award
Ten-year-old Rosario Ramirez and her family are political refugees from Mexico, trying to make a new life in Canada. After being teased at school, Rosario vows not to speak English again until she can speak with an accent that’s one hundred percent Canadian. Since she and her parents plan to spend the whole summer working on BC fruit farms, she will be surrounded by Spanish speakers again. But when her family’s closest friend Jose gets terribly sick, Rosario’s plans start to unravel. Neither Jose nor Rosario’s parents speak English well enough to get him the help he needs. Like it or not, Rosario must face her fears about letting her voice be heard.read more
Yeny and her friends decide to fight against the violence in Colombia. Their weapon? A vote for peace! Yeny’s family has escaped from the violence in their mountain village in Colombia to live with cousins in the city. Yeny knows all too well that Colombia is one of the most dangerous countries in the world. Determined to make a change, she and her friends decide to promote peace by organizing carnivals, parades, and parties for kids in the city. Before long, the peace movement has attracted children from right across the country, and when children gather together to celebrate peace, who knows what might happen?read more
* Also available in French as Maggie et la guerre du chocolat, Les Éditions Hurtubise (2009)
Maggie has been saving her delivery-job money for weeks to buy her best friend, Jo, a chocolate bar for her birthday. It’s 1947, and while the war is over and ration tickets are gone, food prices are going up. Then it is announced that the price of chocolate is going up too—now Maggie can never afford to buy a chocolate bar! And neither can the other kids. Maggie and her friends leap into action and wage a strike against the price hike. But what can a bunch of kids do? More than you think!read more
Illustrated by Yolanda Poplawska
TOOT TOOT! It’s Theodore Too’s birthday, and all his friends are gathering for a party. There’s Macdonald Bridge, George Lighthouse, and Guy Seagull. Cruise Ship Gerta sailed all the way from Germany for the birthday celebrations. Then she went right to sleep, and now she’s taking a too-long nap. Theodore Too and friends have to wake her up—or she’ll miss the party!read more
Illustrated by Yolanda Poplawska
It’s a beautiful day in Halifax Harbour, and Theodore Too and Lucy Tug decide to visit the Shipwreck School. But when the tugboats reach the ship, there’s no sign of the fish. Where are they? Could they be in trouble? Theodore Too and Lucy Tug work together to save the day.read more
Illustrated by Yolanda Poplawska
* selected for the TD Summer Reading Club
Theodore Too and Lucy Tug have a mystery to solve! A special guest is coming to Halifax Harbour, but who could it be? With the clues from their friends, the tugboats set out to discover who the mystery guest is before she arrives. And when they meet the beautiful Bluenose II, they make a brand new friend and learn just why everyone loves her.read more
Illustrated by Yolanda Poplawska When Theodore Too, Lucy Tug, and Guy Seagull see a splash in Halifax Harbour, Guy is sure it’s a monster … until the splash says “excuse me” and Guy thinks he’s met an excuse-me monster! But the splash is another kind of creature, who quickly wins over Theodore Too and his friends.read more