Here are three things you might not know about Margriet:
• she raised baby chimpanzees in a primate centre
• she once hosted Queen Elizabeth and
• she hiked the Chilkoot Pass in Alaska – on her bare feet!
Margriet Ruurs writes children’s and educational materials. She has a Master’s Degree in Education from Simon Fraser University and has studied the use of technology in teaching reading and writing to children. “I love to use my imagination and to dream up stories” says this creator of many books for children.
Margriet started writing when she was about nine years old. Before immigrating to Canada, she had her first book published in The Netherlands, while working in a primate centre. When her own children were growing up, in the Yukon, Canada, she told them stories including one about a purple cat called Fireweed. It became her first book in English.
Margriet loves to work in schools – to tell children about being a writer and to share her love of playing with language. She loves writing poetry because it is such a powerful way to express yourself. She enjoys writing nonfiction because researching a topic in which you are interested can be so much fun! Margriet’s books also include historical fiction, fictional picture books and books on writing for educators. Margriet received a Honorary Fellowship from Okanagan University College for the creation of Kidswwwrite online magazine. This site was used for 18 years to encourage children to write stories and poems. She was also awarded the Presidential Award for Reading & Technology of the International Reading Association.
Being bilingual, Margriet also translates books, like Nut & Bolt.
Margriet, her husband and two sons have lived in many places – including California, Oregon, Alberta, British Columbia and the Yukon. They like hiking and camping in the mountains and traveling. Once they traveled for a whole year!
Margriet conducts author visits to international schools around the world. She has been to 60 countries and spoken to students in China, Mongolia, Laos, Myanmar, Saudi Arabia, Kazakstan, Turkey and many other places. She recently visited schools in Venezuela, Kenya and Egypt.
But she also loves to stay home to write new books. When she is not traveling Margriet lives on Salt Spring Island, B.C.
Special thanks to Nord Anglia Education and filmmaker Brette Little for the use of these videos as classroom resources:
• The Making of Stepping Stones:
• Finding Inspiration for Stories:
• The Importance of Research when writing stories:
• My favourite video is a student produced account of my author visit to their international school in Switzerland: https://youtu.be/CIioJ-o-EfU
• Listen to an Interview with Margriet and Teaching Books: https://www.teachingbooks.net/book_reading.cgi?a=1&id=17583
Honorary Fellow Speech 2014 – Okanagan College
Watch a short interview and clip of Margriet in action during a school presentation
Used with permission from Vancouver International Writers Festival