|Katie Smith Milway||The Banana-Leaf Ball: How Play Can Change the World||Katie Smith Milway, winner of the 2009 Massachusetts Best Book for Children Award and 2009 Children’s Africana Book Award, for One Hen: How One Small Loan Made a Big Difference, is on a quest to bring world issues to elementary and middle school children. One Hen, set in Ghana introduces kids to microfinance and the power of social entrepreneurship and gave rise to a curriculum – One Hen Academy (www.onehen.org) – used by educators around the world to teach youth entrepreneurship and giving back.|
Her 2010 book, The Good Garden: How One Family Went from Hunger to Having Enough, is set in the Honduran hillsides and introduces kids to the concept of food security and how, at any age, we can combat global hunger (www.thegoodgarden.org). Her 2012 book, Mimi’s Village and How Basic Health Care Transformed It, set in Kenya, connects kids’ actions for global health to results in Africa (www.mimisvillage.org). And her latest book, The Banana-Leaf Ball: How Play Can Change the World, shows the value of sport and play for social and emotional learning in a refugee camp in Tanzania – and on any playground where kids may feel unwelcome or excluded.
Katie has worked for 25 years in developing countries with organizations including Food for the Hungry, World Vision and The Bridgespan Group.
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|Sara Cassidy||A Boy Named Queen||Sara Cassidy started writing stories when she was seven. The biggest thing she has learned is that writing doesn’t just happen at a desk. It is about listening carefully, watching studiously, feeling with every sense, and thinking things over all day long.||Kinsmen Arena - Floor|
|Kathy Kacer||I Am Not a Number||Kathy Kacer is a children’s author whose focus is historical fiction and true stories about difficult times in history. Her main focus has been stories about the Second World War and the Holocaust. She is dedicated to writing about these tragic times in a way that is sensitive to the age and stage of development of a young reader. A winner of the Silver Birch, Red Maple, Hackmatack and Jewish Book Awards, and a finalist for the Geoffrey Bilson, Norma Fleck, and Marilyn Bailey Awards.||Kinsmen Arena - Floor|
|Heather Camlot||Clutch||Heather grew up in Montreal and was raised on Expos baseball and Canadiens hockey. Oddly, she was never a sporty child. She preferred reading, drawing and dreaming, and spent endless hours in her bedroom doing just that.|
After interviewing her favourite band for her university radio station, she decided there could be no cooler job, so she went to journalism school. She has written, edited and translated for a whole bunch of magazines and newspapers, including Quill & Quire, Owl, Canadian Children’s Book News, Canadian Living and Style at Home.
A few years ago, Heather submitted the first two chapters of a work-in-progress to the 17th annual Writing for Children Competition as a short story called The Boys of Summer – and it won. That gave her the encouragement to keep writing and that work-in-progress is now her debut novel, Clutch.
Heather lives in Toronto with her husband and two kids, but she still calls Montreal home. (And she continues to root for her home teams -even though she’s still not sporty.)
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|Shari Green||Macy McMillan and the Rainbow Goddess||Shari Green writes Middle Grade and Young Adult fiction. She’s in love with stories and the sea, and can often be found curled up with a good book and a cup of tea, or happily wandering along the beach near her home. In her non-writing life, Shari works as a Licensed Practical Nurse. She lives in Campbell River, British Columbia, with her husband, kids, and the worst watchdog ever.||Kinsmen Arena - Floor|
|Anne Innis Dagg||5 Giraffes||Dr. Anne Innis Dagg loves giraffe. She saw her first giraffe while visiting a zoo when she was just a kid – and it was love at first sight. When she was about 10 years old, she made it her life’s goal to study giraffe in Africa. She worked very hard for many years to do that.|
After high school and university, she was able to arrange a trip to Africa. Her dream come true! People back then thought women should stay home and so Anne used just her initials with her last name when she made plans with a rancher to stay at his place in Africa. He didn’t know she was a woman. It was going to be a surprise.
It took 3 weeks to get to the giraffe. Anne went by ship and drove 1,000 miles in an old car to reach the ranch and the giraffe. She documented the behaviour of 95 giraffe for 6 months.
When Anne returned to Canada, she again went to university and wrote many books and articles about giraffe as well as other animals. Many people all around the world learned about giraffes from her work.
Now, a film is being made about Anne’s love of giraffes and all the hard work she did. The name of the film is Smitten by Giraffes.
Anne hopes that children will study giraffe and other animals to make them better known and keep them safe.
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|Mary Beth Leatherdale||Stormy Seas: Stories of Young Boat Refugees||Mary Beth Leatherdale is the writer and editor of many award-winning books and magazines for children and youth including Stormy Seas: Stories of Young Boat Refugees and the critically-acclaimed anthology Dreaming in Indian: Contemporary Native American Voices. She consults on publishing and editorial projects and is the former editorial director at Owlkids.||Kinsmen Arena - Floor|
|Lorna Schultz Nicholson||Bent Not Broken: Madeline and Justin||Lorna Schultz Nicholson has published over thirty books. Her novel, Bent Not Broken: Madeline and Justin, (Clockwise Press, March 2016) is the third book in her One-2-One series and is a YA novel about a teen who has a brain injury. Lorna has a good friend who, like Madeline, fell off her bike and now has a brain injury. She inspired Lorna to write about Madeline. Lorna is excited for the Red Maple nomination because it encourages students to think. By the way, reading is one of Lorna’s favourite things to do. Fragile Bones: Harrison and Anna was nominated in 2016 and Born With: Erika and Gianni in 2017. Lorna is looking forward to hearing from the students about their views on the two new characters featured in Bent Not Broken: Madeline and Justin. Lorna’s books are about diversity and friendships and family and emotions and feelings and… the ups and downs in life. We all have those ups and downs, and we’re all different. Lorna lives in Edmonton with her hubbie and two dogs, a whiny bichon shih tzu, and a naughty puppy she rescued from Mexico. Over the years she has been a television co-host and reporter, radio host and reporter, theatre and murder mystery actor, fitness coordinator and rowing coach. Whew! Thankfully, now she is full-time writer!||Kinsmen Arena - Floor|
|Wesley King||Laura Monster Crusher||Wesley King is an award-winning Canadian author and speaker. He has published seven novels so far, including the Red Maple Award Winner The Vindico, which has been optioned for film and television, and OCDaniel, which won the Edgar Award, Silver Birch Award, and the Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz Award. OCDaniel has also been translated for release around the globe.|
In Spring 2018 he will be releasing A World Below as well as some to-be-announced projects. He loves hearing from readers and speaks actively in schools across North America.
Wesley lives in a century-old saltbox home on the ocean in Ostrea Lake, Nova Scotia.
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|Vicki Grant||Short for Chameleon||Vicki Grant has been called “a superb storyteller” (The Canadian Children’s Book Centre) and “one of the funniest writers working today” (The Vancouver Sun). She began her career creating ads for Chiat/Day and McCann-Erickson then moved on to writing television scripts for Theodore Tugboat, Big Comfy Couch and her own Gemini Award-winning preschool series Scoop & Doozie. Her first middle grade novel, THE PUPPET WRANGLER, was based on her experience in the TV industry. Since then, her novels have won The Red Maple, The Arthur Ellis Award and CBC’s Young Canada Reads as well as been shortlisted for Mystery Writers of America’s Edgar Allan Poe Award, the Canadian Library Association’s Children’s Book of the Year and numerous Forest of Reading awards. SHORT FOR CHAMELEON, Vicki’s Red Maple-nominated comic mystery, has been named a CCBC Best Book for Kids and will soon be published in France. Her latest YA novel, 36 QUESTIONS THAT CHANGED MY MIND ABOUT YOU, has been sold to over 20 territories internationally. Acquiring UK publisher – and editor of six Harry Potter novels – Emma Matthewson said of the book, “It’s been a long time since I’ve read anything so sharp, funny and brave.” Vicki lives in Halifax where she is at work on her 18th novel.||Kinsmen Arena - Floor|
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