writer’s Blog

The Library of Ever

The Library of Ever

The Library of Ever by Zeno Alexander As soon as I spotted this novel for young readers in my local bookstore, I knew I had to own it. And it was a wise choice. As I read, I met Lenora ...
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Don't Stand So Close To Me

Don’t Stand So Close To Me

Eric Walters is one of the hardest working authors I know. He has written over a hundred books, gives presentations in schools day after day. He tirelessly helps and supports other writers. He spearheaded the #IReadCanadian campaign and has taken ...
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Books for Booklovers

Books for Booklovers

Every once in a while you pick up a book that - like an arrow - goes straight to your heart. Here are two books that recently did that for me. The first one is a brand-new book. A monument ...
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Happy Easter Books to share at home!

Happy Easter Books to share at home!

Emma was growing up... from a dandelion chick to a feathery, white hen. But what to do with all those beautiful eggs she was now laying? She decided to make her eggs the way people seemed to want them: from ...
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Creative Resources for Being Home Alone

Creative Resources for Being Home Alone

Now that everyone is staying home in isolation, what to do - alone or with kids? You don't want to spend the entire time online so here are options to print colouring sheets, crafts, create treasure hunts, and much more ...
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Ghost of the Mill House

Ghost of the Mill House

  Ghost of the Mill House Written by Margriet Ruurs Illustrated by Claudia Davila ISBN: 9781459820357 Price: $7.95, Orca Book Publishers Just when Josh starts to think his break from school is going to be all chores and no cheer, ...
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Books + Travel = The Best!

Books + Travel = The Best!

A while ago I started a post about to amazing books I find as I travel. You can read about those earlier titles here: https://www.margrietruurs.com/books-as-windows-to-the-world/ I keep finding fabulous books as I travel, books that help me to learn more about ...
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Books to Share in February

Books to Share in February

These books are always good but particularly fun to share in February. They focus on friendship (Valentine), time and just plain fun. I also try to list lesser known books rather than all the well known titles. (P) = picturebook ...
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Books About Books

Books About Books

As a writer, I love books about books, libraries and reading. One of my all-time favourites is Jeremiah Learns To Read by Jo Ellen Bogart, as is The Wednesday Surprise by Eve Bunting - both are beautiful picture books about ...
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January Books!

January Books!

Any book can be read at any time. But some books are particularly suited for a certain time of year. Here are my recommendations, both picturebooks (P) and novels (N), for January. For my selections I focused on the weather, ...
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Book to Read (Aloud) during December

Book to Read (Aloud) during December

Books are wonderful to share aloud any time. But these books are especially fun to read in December. In this list, I didn't include well known classics like The Polar Express or The Grinch Who Stole Christmas by tried to ...
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Powerful (true) Novels

Powerful (true) Novels

Here are some powerful novels I enjoyed reading. Hope you (or your (pre)teen readers) will, too. The 2004 Asian tsunami lead Canadian author Eric Walters to write his novel Wave (Doubleday Canada, ISBN 978-0-385-66443-1), a juvenile fiction novel. Sam and ...
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Books With International Appeal

Books With International Appeal

While conducting author visits to international schools around the world, I often come across amazing books, titles that children in many countries will enjoy. Here are some of my favorites to share with students in different cultures: GIFTS, a picture ...
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Let Me Tell You My Story...

Let Me Tell You My Story…

Let Me Tell You My Story, Refugee Stories of Hope, Courage and Humanity Compiled by ‘Their Story is Our Story’ If you have enjoyed reading and using my book Stepping Stones, A Refugee Family's Journey, you will appreciate this gorgeous ...
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The Power of a Library

The Power of a Library

I read THE BOY WHO HARNESSED THE WIND thinking it would be a story of inventory and innovation. It was. But it also was much more. William Kamkwamba grew up in a very poor, but loving, family and village in ...
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I Live In The North

I Live In The North

This picture book is only available through Scholastic Education as part of a Comprehensive Literacy Resource package: https://education.scholastic.ca/product/9780779161621 I Live in the North is a rhythmic, poetry picture book showing how children in Canada's Arctic live, play, go to school, ...
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Books As Windows to the World

Books As Windows to the World

Whenever I leave on a trip, taking a good book with me is of utmost importance. I need to read on a plane, in an airport, in a hotel room. But which book to take? I still like ‘real’ books ...
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Picture book Biographies

Picture book Biographies

They can be boring, text book-like books. But, if done well, a biography can also be a fascinating, stimulating read for kids. Not only does it depend on the person whose life is being described, but much of it depends ...
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The Boy Who Painted Nature

The Boy Who Painted Nature

The Boy Who Painted Nature Written by Margriet Ruurs Artwork by Robert Bateman Celebrated artist Robert Bateman is renowned internationally for bringing the natural ?world to life on the canvas. A naturalist and painter from his youth, Robert has for ...
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Bus to the Badlands

Bus to the Badlands

Bus to the Badlands Written by Margriet Ruurs Illustrated by Claudia Davila ISBN: 9781459816701 Price: $6.95, Orca Book Publishers In this illustrated chapter book, a group of grade schoolers fundraise to go on a trip to the dinosaur museum in ...
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Birthdays Around the World

Birthdays Around the World

Birthdays Around the World Written by Margriet Ruurs Illustrated by Ashley Barron Series: Around the World Kids Can Press, 2017 ISBN-13: 978-1-77138-624-1 List Price: USD $18.99, CAD $19.99 4-color 9 x 12 40 pages Grades: PreSchool To 2 / Ages: ...
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Families Around the World

Families Around the World

Families Around the World Written by Margriet Ruurs Illustrated by Jessica Rae Gordon Kids Can Press, Hardcover 40 pages, 2014 ISBN-13: 978-1894786577 This colorful cross-section of families introduces readers to fourteen real children from around the world and the people ...
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School Days Around the World

School Days Around the World

School Days Around the World Written by Margriet Ruurs Illustrated by Alice Feagan Series: Around the World Kids Can Press, 2015 Hardcover or Ebook ISBN 978-1-77138-047-8 List Price: USD $18.95, CAD $19.95 4-color 9 x 12 40 pages Grades: PreSchool ...
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A Brush Full of Colour

A Brush Full of Colour

A Brush Full of Colour: The World of Ted Harrison Written by Margriet Ruurs and Katherine Gibson Art by Ted Harrison Panama Press, 40 pages, Hardcover ISBN: 978-1-927485-63-7 How did a boy who grew up in a drab mining town ...
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A Mountain Alphabet

A Mountain Alphabet

A Mountain Alphabet Written By Margriet Ruurs Illustrated by Andrew Kiss Tundra Books, 1996 ISBN 0-88776-374X A picturebook highlighting the wonders and beauty of the mountains. Lyrical text combined with Andrew Kiss' breathtaking oil paintings make this a book for ...
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A Pacific Alphabet

A Pacific Alphabet

A Pacific Alphabet Written by Margriet Ruurs Illustrated by Dianna Bonder Whitecap Books, ISBN 1-55285-264-4 A zany, playful alphabet book celebrating the coast of the Pacific Ocean. From the top of Alaska to the tip of Mexico, the Pacific Coast ...
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Amazing Animals

Amazing Animals

Amazing Animals Written by Margriet Ruurs Illustrated by W. Allan Hancock Tundra Books, 2011, Harcdcover, 32 pages ISBN: 978-0-88776-973-3 (0-88776-973-X) CDN Price: $19.99 / US Price: $17.95 Did you know that the oldest insect lived more than 350 million years ...
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The Elephant Keeper

The Elephant Keeper

The Elephant Keeper: Caring for Orphaned Elephants in Zambia Written by Margriet Ruurs Illustrated by Pedro Covo Kids Can Press, Series: CitizenKid 978-1-77138-561-9 | Oct 3, 2017 List Price: USD $18.99, CAD $19.99 4-color 8 x 10 48 pages Grades: ...
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Emma's Eggs

Emma’s Eggs

Written by Margriet Ruurs Illustrated by Barbara Spurll Fitzhenry & Whiteside, 1996 ISBN 0-7737-2972-0 The hilarious tale of a very confused chicken. Barbara Spurll's comical images of Emma and her barnyard companions are a delight for all ages. Awards Storytellers ...
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Emma and the Coyote

Emma and the Coyote

Emma and the Coyote Written by Margriet Ruurs Illustrated by Barbara Spurll Fitzhenry & Whiteside, ISBN 0-7737-3140-7 Emma returns in this hilarious tale. She struts boldly where no chicken should go! Most chickens have enough sense to run when a ...
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Emma at the Fair

Emma at the Fair

Emma at the Fair Written by Margriet Ruurs Illustrated by Barbara Spurll Fitzhenry & Whiteside, date___ ISBN 1550051261 Emma the plucky chicken is back in this fourth title in the Emma series. This time, the farmer's children take her to ...
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Emma's Cold Day

Emma’s Cold Day

Emma's Cold Day Written by Margriet Ruurs Illustrated by Barbara Spurll Fitzhenry & Whiteside, ISBN: 0-7737-33140 Emma, the plucky but foolish cluck, is back and about to demonstrate one more time that being a chicken is not all it's cracked ...
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In My Back Yard

In My Back Yard

In My Back Yard Written by Margriet Ruurs Paper sculptures by Ron Broda Published by Tundra Books, 2007 ISBN 978-88776-775-3 Awards 2008 Silver Medal winner of the Moonbeam Awards - Environmental Issues Shortlisted for the 2008 Blue Spruce Award, Ontario's ...
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Logan's Lake

Logan’s Lake

Logan's Lake Written by Margriet Ruurs Illustrated by Robin LeDrew Hodgepog Books, ISBN ISBN 0-9686899-8-1, 60 pages $5.95 Gr 2-5 An early-readers novel about environmental awareness. Logan tries to save the secluded lake he lives on from development as a ...
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Me and Martha Black

Me and Martha Black

Me and Martha Black Written by Margriet Ruurs Cover art by Ted Harrison Penumbra Press, ISBN 1894131878 | Softcover | $ 14.95 Novel for ages 10 and up Melanie White likes history but she certainly doesn't believe in ghosts. However, ...
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Ms. Bee's Magical Bookcase

Ms. Bee’s Magical Bookcase

Ms. Bee's Magical Bookcase Written by Margriet Ruurs Illustrated by Andrew Gooderham Published by Chestnut, $8.95 US - $10.95 Canadian ISBN 1-894601-10-6 At first the children would stare at the glasses on the tip of her nose or at her ...
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My Librarian is a Camel

My Librarian is a Camel

My Librarian is a Camel: How Books are Brought to Children Around the World Written by Margriet Ruurs Boyds Mills Press, 2005, Hardcover ISBN 1-59078-093-0 Do you get books from a public library in your town or even in your ...
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My School in the Rain Forest

My School in the Rain Forest

My School in the Rain Forest: How Children Attend School Around the World Written by Margriet Ruurs Boyds Mills Press, ISBN 978-1-59078-601-7 An engaging look at some of the world's most unusual schools. At a school that sits on the ...
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No Dogs Allowed

No Dogs Allowed

No Dogs Allowed Written by Margriet Ruurs Illustrated by Marc Houde Chestnut Publishing Group, Paperback, $8.95 ISBN 1-894601-34-3 Based on a true story, Sam's owner has to give him away when she moves to a senior's home where no dogs ...
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On the Write Track!

On the Write Track!

On the Write Track! Written by Margriet Ruurs Pacific Educational Press, Raincoast Distributing ISBN 0-88865-086-8 A classroom resource book, introducing intermediate students to the writing process. Complete with student masters for photocopying. Available through all bookstores or email info@margrietruurs.com ...
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The Power of Poems

The Power of Poems

The Power of Poems Teaching The Joy of Writing Poetry Written by Margriet Ruurs Maupin House, 2000 ISBN 0-929895-44-4 "A book that empowers teachers to tackle poetry in the classroom. Filled with wonderful suggestions for helping youngsters create their own ...
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Spectacular Spiders

Spectacular Spiders

Spectacular Spiders Integrated Activities for Primary Classrooms Written by Margriet Ruurs Pacific Edge Publishing, date _____ ISBN 1-895110-20-3 To order this book, email order@PacificEdgePublishing.com Available through all bookstores or email: info@margrietruurs.com More: http://pacificedgepublishing.com/muse/spectacular-spiders.html ...
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Stepping Stones

Stepping Stones

Stepping Stones: A Refugee Family's Journey Written by Margriet Ruurs Artwork by Nizar Ali Badr Orca Book Publishers, 2016 ISBN 9781459814905 This unique picture book was inspired by the stone artwork of Syrian artist Nizar Ali Badr, discovered by chance ...
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Virtual Maniac

Virtual Maniac

Virtual Maniac: Silly & Serious Poems for Kids Written by Margriet Ruurs Maupin House, date _____ ISBN 0-929895-43-6 Reviews This book touches the heart and funnybone of all kids! A great, lyrical book of poems! - Gary Dulabaum, performer A ...
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Wake up, Henry Rooster!

Wake up, Henry Rooster!

Wake up, Henry Rooster! Written by Margriet Ruurs Illustrated by Sean Cassidy Fitzhenry & Whiteside, ISBN 1550419528 He's no morning rooster! Henry's a young rooster who loves to have fun. He plays cards with the goats, listens to moosic with ...
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Big Little Dog

Big Little Dog

Big Little Dog Written by Margriet Ruurs Illustrated by Marc Houde Penumbra Press, ISBN 0-921254-46-6 An easy-read novel for 8 - 12 year olds about a boy and his dog in Canada's North. Jimmy and Denali enter the famous One-dog ...
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When We Go Camping

When We Go Camping

When We Go Camping Written by Margriet Ruurs Paintings by Andrew Kiss Tundra Books, ISBN 0-88776-476-2 US $14.95 / CAN $17.99 What could be more fun than a day of camping? There's wood to chop for the campfire and fish ...
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Wild Babies

Wild Babies

Wild Babies Written by Margriet Ruurs Illustrated by Andrew Kiss Tundra Books, ISBN 0-88776-627-7 A gorgeous introduction to wildlife families that features breath-taking art full of hidden surprises for young readers. The lively alliterative text in Wild Babies describes raccoon ...
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The ABC of Poetry Books

The ABC of Poetry Books

Poetry is one of my favourite genres.Poetry can be rhyming but it doesn't need to be! Alliteration is one of the oldest forms of poetry and gives stories and songs its rhythmic flow. Poetry is perhaps the best form of ...
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The ABC's of Picture Books

The ABC’s of Picture Books

Having written several alphabet books, I love to play with language.I wanted to share a list of some of my favourite picture books with you and decided to do that in alphabet format. The hardest part was leaving some of ...
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Special Books About Special Kids - novels about learning difficulties

Special Books About Special Kids – novels about learning difficulties

I’ve read some powerful books about children who are different; kids who face more challenges than most people.Wonder by R.J. Palacio is one of the most recent ones and received a lot of attention, also thanks to the movie with ...
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Flat Stanley Inspired Travels

Flat Stanley Inspired Travels

Do you know the Flat Stanley books? (see: https://www.scholastic.com/teachers/books/flat-stanley-by-jeff-brown/)These fictional books are fun stories about Stanley, who was a regular boy until he got flattened by a bulletin board that fell on his bed. Since then he’s had amazing adventures ...
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Fun Books for (grown-up) Reading

Fun Books for (grown-up) Reading

Usually I share children's books with you here.This time, I'd like to bring your attention to some books that I have really enjoyed reading for myself. If you are looking for fun reads during spring break or for summer holidays, ...
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Around The World - in 80 Children's Books

Around The World – in 80 Children’s Books

It took me almost a year to compile this list since I wanted to use many different countries, my favourite books, a combination of classics, brand-new titles and everything in between. But here, finally, is my 2018 gift to you: ...
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Books - Free Christmas Fun from your Local Library!

Books – Free Christmas Fun from your Local Library!

So what is it about some of these Christmas songs that we happily belt out each year?While Thomas' Snowsuit (Robert Munsch) gets banned because the kid says no-no-no to his teacher, we keep cheering on those two-faced reindeer who exclude ...
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The Elephant Keeper

The Elephant Keeper

I am happy to share a new book with you that has been long in the making.In 2014 I was lucky enough to travel to Zambia. There, I visited an elephant orphanage and learned much about how hard people work ...
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150 Canadian Books for Children

150 Canadian Books for Children

July 1, 2017.Canada Day. 150 years. My Canada Birthday gift to you is this list of Canadian books for children.It is not a scientific collection. These are simply books about Canada or greatbooks by Canadian creators, books that I have ...
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The Forest Lover by Susan Vreeland

The Forest Lover by Susan Vreeland

I knew Susan Vreeland as the author of Girl in Hyacinth Blue, which I really enjoyed. So when I saw this title, I grabbed it.I took the book with me on a trip to Haida Gwaii in northern BC, which ...
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Inside Out & Back Again by Thanhha Lai

Inside Out & Back Again by Thanhha Lai

June 20 is World Refugee Day.If you have read my book Stepping Stones (illustrated by Nizar Ali Badr and published by Orca Book Publishers), you might enjoy a novel with a similar theme.Inside Out & Back Again is a beautifully ...
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Two great books to learn from.

Two great books to learn from.

I'd like to share two books with you that are great for teachers, parents or anyone who wants to learn something new.The first one is a great book for those wanting to learn more about writing for children. Whether you ...
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The Girl Who Writes

The Girl Who Writes

The Girl Who Writes, a picture book by Richard Cole and K. Jane Watt.My new favourite picture book is a delicate, powerful story of a girl who uses her imagination.She reads every book she can get her hands on but ...
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My exciting new book: Stepping Stones

My exciting new book: Stepping Stones

Only a few months ago did I spot the amazing art work of Nizar Ali Badr. Nizar lives in Syria and posted photos of his art on his Facebook page. Somehow I glanced at one image and fell in love."This ...
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14 Cows For America - My new favourite picture book!

14 Cows For America – My new favourite picture book!

Kids often ask me "What your favourite book?"I always tell them I don't have just ONE favourite book - there are so many and all books are so different.However, right now I do have a new favourite and I want ...
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Book Week 2016

Book Week 2016

I feel very fortunate to have been selected to tour for Canadian Children's Book Week this year. Book Week is an amazing event whereby 29 (this year) authors and illustrators travel across the country, reading and sharing their work with ...
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Author Visits in Kelowna BC

Author Visits in Kelowna BC

Had fun talking about books, reading, writing and the whole publishing process to nearly 2,000 students in 10 schools over 5 days in Kelowna BC.Very nice to receive teachers' comments like this one:Thank you so much for visiting Glenrosa Elementary ...
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Author Visits

Author Visits

As a writer of books for children there is nothing more fun than to share my books with kids. Author visits are popular at schools across North America, but also at international schools. I have been lucky enough to travel ...
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Me, Jane by Patrick McDonnell

Me, Jane by Patrick McDonnell

This is simply the very best biography I have ever read.Try writing a biography of a famous person who has led a long life, rich in a wide variety experiences. Chances are this will turn into a lengthy book.But you ...
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The Other Side of the Sky

The Story of My Life: An Afghan Girl on the Other Side of the Sky by Farah Ahmedi, Tamim Ansary

The Story of My Life: An Afghan Girl on the Other Side of the Sky by Farah Ahmedi, Tamim Ansary"I was late to school, and that's all I could think about. I started across the field. And then suddenly a ...
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Book Review: The Night Gardener by Jonathan Auxier

Book Review: The Night Gardener by Jonathan Auxier

The Night Gardener by Jonathan AuxierAs a child I adored scary fairy tales. Even the ones where the witch’s head got chopped off did not keep me awake at night. Tales in which horrid characters met a gruesome end, where ...
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A Brush Full of Excitement!

A Brush Full of Excitement!

One of my latest books is the biography of Canadian artist Ted Harrison. This book is proving to be a welcome addition in homes and schools everywhere and has been shortlisted for almost every possible children's book award in Canada ...
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Rebel Queen by Michelle Moran

Rebel Queen by Michelle Moran

When I picked up Rebel Queen, I found the cover intriguing but the woman's thigh and her sword did not exactly made me want to read this book. Although I liked the title.Once I read the short content I really ...
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International School Visits

International School Visits

This article was written for the newsletter of African International Schools. I am posting it below for those interested in reading it.Have Books, Will Travel - Author Visits to International Schools in AfricaAs the author of many books for children, ...
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Two Weeks With The Queen by Morris Gleitzman

Two Weeks With The Queen by Morris Gleitzman

Remember to 1] support your local bookseller, but 2] you can order from www.betterworldbooks.com"Dear Your Majesty the Queen,I need to speak to you urgently about my brother Luke. He's got cancer and the doctors in Australia are being really slack ...
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One Year Off by David Elliot Cohen

One Year Off by David Elliot Cohen

I don't know how this book ended up on my shelf. But, looking for a book to take along on my next trip, it seemed like a fitting title.After one chapter I knew that this was not a book that ...
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Charles and Emma, The Darwins' Leap of Faith by Deborah Heiligman

Charles and Emma, The Darwins’ Leap of Faith by Deborah Heiligman

I recently spotted this hardcover and bought it at a literacy conference. I had seen reviews of it and the title appealed to me. I was curious. I have never read The Origin of Species but wanted to learn more ...
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Adventures on the Ancient Silk Road by Priscilla Galloway, Dawn Hunter

Adventures on the Ancient Silk Road by Priscilla Galloway, Dawn Hunter

Adventures on the Ancient Silk Roadby Priscilla Galloway, Dawn HunterThis is a gripping account of three dramatic journeys that changed the course of history.The fabled Silk Road conjures up sights, smells and sounds of faraway lands. But traveling the Silk ...
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Mr. Pip by Lloyd Jones

Mr. Pip by Lloyd Jones

For years I kept coming across a scrap of paper on my desk, or in a drawer. The title of a book recommended by someone, I can’t even remember who recommended it.‘Mr. Pip - the story of a teacher in ...
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Walking Home, by Eric Walters

Walking Home, by Eric Walters

Walking HomeAge Range: 10 and up Grade Level: 5 and upPaperback: 304 pagesPublisher: Doubleday Canada; 1St Edition edition (September 23, 2014)Language: EnglishISBN-10: 0385681577ISBN-13: 978-0385681575Eric Walters has written over 90 books for children, many of them award winning titles. I have ...
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Better World Books - a good place to order books

Better World Books – a good place to order books

Do you ever order books online?If so, you need to know that with Amazon more books does not mean more publishers or authors. It means less payment to publishers and authors, more monopoly and less choice. With the threat of ...
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Sister Anne's Hands by Marybeth Lorbiecki

Sister Anne’s Hands by Marybeth Lorbiecki

Sister Anne’s HandsMarybeth Lorbiecki (Author), Wendy Popp, Ill.This is a beautiful, timeless picture book about acceptance, about equality and about racism.Set in the 1960's, Anna hears her parents talking about the new, 'colored' teacher who is coming to the local ...
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How I Select Books to Read

How I Select Books to Read

Never judge a book by its cover... We know we shouldn't but we likely all do.One of the reasons I enjoy being part of a YA book club, is that it makes me read books I might not select otherwise ...
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Below Stairs by Margaret Powell

Below Stairs by Margaret Powell

Below Stairs by Margaret PowellI don't always like reading 'adult' books and usually prefer YA novels. But this nonfiction novel is such a pleasant read, and has inspired such a popular TV series that I want to make sure you ...
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Shadow Spinner by Susan Fletcher

Shadow Spinner by Susan Fletcher

Shadow Spinnerby Susan FletcherI have already used Susan Fletcher's book Alphabet of Dreams in this review blog. If you haven't read it yet, treat yourself, this Christmas season, to reading this exquisite Christmas story! An amazing novel.In this equally well ...
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Canadian Teacher Magazine

Canadian Teacher Magazine

For each issue of Canadian Teacher Magazine, I contribute a column called Can Write. The column features a Canadian writer or illustrator of children's books.I love the opportunity to interview, and learn more about, writers from across the country and ...
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A New Book!!

A New Book!!

If you are in the Vancouver area, come join me on November 6, 7 PM atVancouver Kidsbooks for the launch ofA Brush Full of Colour: ...
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Something from Nothing, Phoebe Gilman

Something from Nothing, Phoebe Gilman

Something from Nothing, Phoebe GilmanWhen Joseph was a baby, his grandfather made him a shimmering blue blanket adorned with the moon and stars.As the boy grows and the blanket wears out, the old tailor recycles it, in succession fashioning a ...
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Petey, by Ben Mikaelsen

Petey, by Ben Mikaelsen

Petey, by Ben MikaelsenPetey is a touching story of friendship, discovery, and the uplifting power of the human spirit.In 1922, at the age of two, Petey's distraught parents commit him to the state's insane asylum, unaware that their son is ...
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Where Is Walrus? by Stephen Savage

Where Is Walrus? by Stephen Savage

Hardcover: 32 pagesPublisher: Scholastic Press (Feb. 1 2011)Language: EnglishISBN-10: 0439700493ISBN-13: 978-0439700498I admit that, when I first got a copy of this wordless picture book, I did not expect it to hold my (and my grandsons') interest for long. Very simple, ...
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Where The Heart Is by Billie Letts

Where The Heart Is by Billie Letts

Do you have this too?Sometimes I'm searching for a new book to start reading, and I'll scan one; read the jacket flaps of another... But they don't quite appeal. Then suddenly you see one and you just know that's the ...
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Ordinary Days: Family Life in a Farmhouse by Dorcas Smucker

Ordinary Days: Family Life in a Farmhouse by Dorcas Smucker

Ordinary Days: Family Life in a Farmhouse by Dorcas SmuckerThe title of this book, a kind of a diary, may include the word 'ordinary' but the story is anything but. I first 'discovered' Dorcas Smucker when living in rural Oregon ...
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Book Review: Bloomability by Sharon Creech

Book Review: Bloomability by Sharon Creech

Bloomability by Sharon CreechOne of those lovely books to curl-up with, this is the story of coming-of-age of a girl attending an international school in Switzerland.After having been "kidnapped" by an aunt,Dinnie Doone discovers all the "bloomabilities" that life has ...
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Walking for Zambia's Book Bus!

Walking for Zambia’s Book Bus!

http://www.justgiving.com/Margriet-Ruurs1I was raised on books. I treasure my public library and all the access to books I have. I read books with my little grandsons daily. So I am thrilled to have the opportunity to help Zambia's Book Bus. I ...
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Book Review: The Other Author Arthur

Book Review: The Other Author Arthur

The Other Author Arthur, by Sheree FitchIt might be because I love word play that I like this early reader so much. How brilliant is it to come up with this idea: an author named Arthur is about to visit ...
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Interviews with Canadian Authors and Illustrators

Interviews with Canadian Authors and Illustrators

If you are a librarian, classroom teacher, or just any booklover, you might be int erested in reading the interviews I conduct for each issue of Canadian Teacher Magazine.The magazine is send to each school in the country but also ...
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Book Review: Lydia, Queen of Palestine by Uri Orlev

Book Review: Lydia, Queen of Palestine by Uri Orlev

Lydia, Queen of Palestine by Uri OrlevLydia, a typical but highly spirited child, must face her parents' divorce as well as the growing hostility toward Romania's Jewish population. Lydia's mother sends her to live in a kibbutz in Palestine during ...
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Book Review Opportunity for Students!

Book Review Opportunity for Students!

Are you a (Canadian) teacher of Grade 4, 5 or 6 students?Do your students love to read?Here is a unique opportunity for you and your class.For Kidswwwrite ezine, my online magazine in which we publish writing by children from around ...
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Entertaining an Elephant by Bill McBride

Entertaining an Elephant by Bill McBride

Why is it, that so often the most powerful books are tiny, thin volumes. Think of Stone Fox. Think of Sarah Plain and Tall. Think of Tuesdays with Morrie. All little books with a tremendous impact and a huge message.Entertaining ...
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Counting By 7's by Holly Goldberg Sloan

Counting By 7’s by Holly Goldberg Sloan

You know those books that allow you to crawl inside the main character's head and allow you to dwell there for a while? Those comfortable, even if disturbing, books that are so real. Those books that are like a lollipop ...
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Stone Fox by John Reynolds Gardiner

Stone Fox by John Reynolds Gardiner

Stone Fox by John Reynolds GardinerThis book is a classic by now. How did such a thin little book become both a classic bestseller as well as a major motion picture?Because it is a good story! A heart string pulling, ...
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The London Jungle Book by Bhajju Shyam

The London Jungle Book by Bhajju Shyam

The London Jungle Book by Bhajju ShyamI felt very lucky when I 'discovered' this unique book, several years ago. It's one of those gorgeous books, and story, that makes a fascinating read for adults, a coffeetable art book AND a ...
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The World Needs Your Kid: Raising Children Who Care and Contribute' by Marc Kielburger, Craig Kielburger, and Shelley Page

The World Needs Your Kid: Raising Children Who Care and Contribute’ by Marc Kielburger, Craig Kielburger, and Shelley Page

If you want to give someone a gift that will make a huge difference in their life, here is a book you should give to every parents, grandparent or educator you know!!You probably already know Free The Children (ISBN-10: 0978437500) ...
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I Stood Upon A Mountain by Aileen Fisher

I Stood Upon A Mountain by Aileen Fisher

I Stood Upon A Mountain, a picture book by Aileen FisherThis relatively unknown book is one of my all-time favorites. It's older, and may not be readily available anymore - but you can still find it online. And it's worth ...
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Edward the Emu, by Sheena Knowles, Ill by Rod Clement

Edward the Emu, by Sheena Knowles, Ill by Rod Clement

"Edward the emu was sick of the zoo,There was nowhere to go, there was nothing to do,And compared to the seals that lived right next door,Well being an emu was frankly a bore...."Tired of his life as an emu, Edward ...
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Global Bookmark Exchange

Global Bookmark Exchange

If you are a teacher and would like to participate in the global bookmark exchange, please contact Susan Hughes to register: susanhughes@sympatico.caSusan will now be running the program.It's easy: tell her how many students you have, where you are and ...
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Pippi Longstocking  by Astrid Lindgren

Pippi Longstocking by Astrid Lindgren

Pippi Longstocking by Astrid LindgrenTommy and his sister Annika have a new neighbor, and her name is Pippi Longstocking. She has crazy red pigtails, no parents to tell her what to do, a horse that lives on her porch, and ...
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The Underneath

The Underneat by Kathi Appelt

The Underneath, Kathi Appelt.Simon & Schuster, ISBN 978-1-84738-311-2This book.What a book it is.Not poetry really, but such a story.Woven around some kittens and a hound.This story is dark, heavy, gripping. Yet light as a feather. I couldn't put it down ...
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A new, local book for sailors with pooches

A new, local book for sailors with pooches

South Islander, Memoirs of a Cruising Dog by Amanda Spottiswoode If you sail the waters around the Gulf Island AND have a dog, here's a fun new book for you: South Islander, Memoirs of a Cruising Dog by Amanda Spottiswoode ...
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Book Lists Galore!

Book Lists Galore!

http://www.npr.org/2013/08/05/207315023/the-ultimate-backseat-bookshelf-100-must-reads-for-kids-9-14?utm_source&utm_medium=facebook&utm_campaign=20130802Looking for some good books to put into the hands of a young reader, or your own for that matter? Better yet, read these books aloud with them!Add some Canadian books from this site:http://www.bookcentre.ca/publications/best_books_for_kids_and_teensThen check out some international books from ...
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On Writing by Stephen King

On Writing by Stephen King

On Writing, Stephen KingLet me beginning with confessing that I am not a fan of Stephen King's novels. I'm not 'into' horror at all, even though they are, undoubtedly, well written horror stories.However, horrible as the writing life can sometimes ...
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Pick One and Finish the Story

Pick One and Finish the Story

Pick one of these story starters and finish writing the story!• 'Jason knew he shouldn’t be waiting for Greg. He knew that the bell was about to ring. Mrs. Jackson would be mad if he came in late. But he ...
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Listen, Observe, and Steal!

Listen, Observe, and Steal!

Listening in on people's conversations is not acceptable. Except if you are a writer and studying the way people express themselves.Next time you are in a coffee shop, listen and observe: how do people interact? How do people of the ...
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Lose the Rhyme!

Lose the Rhyme!

Take your poem from a few days ago.Retell the story in short, poetic sentences but lose the rhyme!Don't worry about find words that rhyme but do see if you can use some aliteration.Use humor.Use short, snappy lines.Which format tells a ...
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Find a Poem!

Find a Poem!

From my book: The Power of Poems, Maupin HouseJust as you can find things that become treasures, you can find words that, put together, make a poem. Here is a piece of (prose) writing:“When I was little, Grandma’s button box ...
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Feature Movie: Library of the Early Mind

Feature Movie: Library of the Early Mind

This documentary film explores children's literature! Hooray for the creators, and those authors and illustrators interviewed.OK, it's very much American. Too bad they did not include some Canadian, or more international authors of children's literature to give the study a ...
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Free Fall Writing

Free Fall Writing

Today, take a sheet of paper and a pen to a comfortable spot: the table, your desk, a lawn chair, anywhere.Then spend FIVE minutes writing free fall.This means ANYTHING that comes up in your head. Just write for the sake ...
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Rhyme for a Reason

Rhyme for a Reason

Read several books of great poems for kids:• any title by Jack Prelutsky• Owl Moon by Jane Yolen• a Dr. Seuss book. Look up poetry books by Bruce Lansky, David Greenberg, Kenn Nesbitt (http://www.poetry4kids.com/)• Read poetry books by Sheree Fitch ...
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Yak-a-dee-yak

Yak-a-dee-yak

Use dialogue to create a believable character.An adult sounds different from a four year old. A teen speaks different from a senior. And a trucker may sound different from a lady selling yarns. Select one of the following dialogue exercises, ...
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Paint Pictures

Paint Pictures

Several of my picturebooks won children's choice awards selected by blind kids. That helped me enormously to realize that text has to work without art. As writers we have to paint pictures in the reader's head with words.Describe an object ...
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Show me what it FEELS like.

Show me what it FEELS like.

Show, don't tell. Here's a writing activity to help you do that in a children's story:• Don't tell me that Nathan is angry. Show me.• Don't say "Madeleine is sad." Show me.• Justin is supposed to be sleeping but he ...
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All the Write Moves...

All the Write Moves…

Having just spent an intense week at the Oregon Coast Children's Book Writers' Workshop (http://www.occbww.com/), I decided to write some posts aimed at helping (beginning) writers. Most of my blog has been aimed at fellow booklovers and reading. However, many ...
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The Great Kapok Tree: A Tale of the Amazon Rain Forest by Lynne Cherry

The Great Kapok Tree: A Tale of the Amazon Rain Forest by Lynne Cherry

The Great Kapok Tree: A Tale of the Amazon Rain Forest by Lynne CherryThe rain forest is full of amazing animals, trees, vines and flowers. But one day a man enters the forest and the animals hold their breath. He ...
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Radical Reflections: Passionate Opinions on Teaching, Learning, and Living - by Mem Fox

Radical Reflections: Passionate Opinions on Teaching, Learning, and Living – by Mem Fox

Radical Reflections: Passionate Opinions on Teaching, Learning, and Living by Mem FoxMem Fox, internationally acclaimed children's book writer and educator offers insights into the learning process, language education, and the pleasure, growth, and power that reading and writing can bring ...
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Out of the Dust by Karen Hesse

Out of the Dust by Karen Hesse

Out of the Dust by Karen HesseWhen Billie Jo is just fourteen she endures heart-wrenching ordeals that no child should have to face. The quiet strength she displays while dealing with unspeakable loss is as surprising as it is inspiring.Written ...
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Something Else by Kathryn Cave, illustrated by  Chris Riddell

Something Else by Kathryn Cave, illustrated by Chris Riddell

Something Else by Kathryn Cave, illustrated by Chris RiddellSometimes a book is based on such a simple yet brilliant idea, that you think 'why didn't I think of that?!'.Something Else is like that.Have you ever told a kid that he ...
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Special picture books: GIFT DAYS  and  ONE HEN and MIMI'S VILLAGE

Special picture books: GIFT DAYS and ONE HEN and MIMI’S VILLAGE

One Hen, the story of micro lending and Mimi’s Village, And How Basic Health Care Transformed It, both by Katie Smith Milway. These large, hardcover picture books for middle school share important global issues such as health care, micro loans ...
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The One and Only Ivan, by Katherine Applegate

The One and Only Ivan, by Katherine Applegate

The One and Only Ivan, by Katherine ApplegateSometimes I am not sure what motivated a Newbery jury in selecting a particular book. Daunting as their task must be, Newbery novels have been all over the map for me - from ...
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The Paperbag Princess by Robert N. Munsch

The Paperbag Princess by Robert N. Munsch

The Paperbag Princess by Robert N. MunschRobert Munsch is probably Canada's most well known children's book writer. What child did not grow up on Thomas' Snowsuit or Jonathan Heard A Noise...But the Paperbag Princess, Munsch's very first picture book, has ...
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Window by Jeannie Baker

Window by Jeannie Baker

Window by Jeannie Baker It is said that a picture is worth a thousand words. In that case, the picture book Window equals a thick novel! A wordless picture book with story telling possibilities for all ages, this is a ...
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Spine Poetry

Spine Poetry

Here's a fun idea for librarians and teachers.Well.. maybe messing up the order of books on shelves does not work for librarians. But it will sure get kids to notice titles!Arrange titles to create stories, free verse poems... Have fun! ...
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Where River Turns to Sky

Where River Turns to Sky

Where River Turns to Sky, a novel by Gregg Kleiner, HarperCollinsWeaving a tale of immense power in his magical voice, Kleiner tells the story of a man determined to realize an improbable dream after the death of his best friend ...
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Product Details

Books for Earth Day!

Here are four books that are perfect to celebrate Earth Day with your students or family:MAKE A SPLASH! by Cathryn Berger Kaye and Philippe Cousteau.This colorful book starts with an introduction to Philippe Cousteau's famous grandfather Jacques and his groundbreaking ...
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ZOOM to your library!

ZOOM to your library!

Zoom by Istvan BanyaiHere is a picturebook that is for almost all ages! The book is wordless and takes you onto an amazing journey: from farm to ship to city streets to a desert island. You will go by any ...
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The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

The Hunger Games (The Hunger Games #1) by Suzanne CollinsOne of the advantages of being in a book club, I find, is that it sometimes makes me read books I might not select on my own. The Hunger Games is ...
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Clementine, Sara Pennypacker

Clementine, Sara Pennypacker

Clementine by Sara PennypackerIn this first book of the series, Clementine tries to help out her friend Margaret, but ends up in a lot of trouble for it. Things get worse each day of the week, until finally she's worried ...
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Review: The Reluctant Journal of Henry K. Larsen by Susin Nielsen

Review: The Reluctant Journal of Henry K. Larsen by Susin Nielsen

The Reluctant Journal of Henry K. LarsenI have enjoyed Susin Nielsen's previous books (Word Nerd and Dear George Clooney Please Marry My Mom). But this Governor General's award winning title blows you right of the water.If you have ever watched ...
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An interview by the Styling Librarian!

An interview by the Styling Librarian!

How fun to be able to post this link to an interview Debbie Alvarez, the Styling Librarian, conducted with me.Enjoy!http://thestylinglibrarian.com/2013/03/06/styling-librarian-author-interview-with-margriet-ruurs/ ...
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Global Books

Global Books

If you are a teacher or parent, interested in sharing meaningful books with children, here is a website you will enjoy:http://www.citizenkidcentral.com/Citizen Kid features books that deal with global awareness and topics such as micro lending and preservation. The website allows ...
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A Day No Pigs Would Die by Robert Newton Peck

A Day No Pigs Would Die by Robert Newton Peck

A Day No Pigs Would Die, Robert Newton PeckA beautiful, tender, rough and haunting tale - this American classic is the story of a 13 year old Shaker boy growing up on a Vermont farm. The seasons pass, life and ...
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The Corn Grows Ripe by Dorothy Rhoads

The Corn Grows Ripe by Dorothy Rhoads

The Corn Grows Ripe by Dorothy Rhoads (Viking) In 1957, when Old Yeller won the Newbery Medal, this small book was awarded an honor title. I had bought a copy of some used book sale and had it on my ...
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I'll Be There, Holly Goldberg Sloan

I’ll Be There, Holly Goldberg Sloan

I'll Be There by Holly Goldberg SloanISBN 978-0-316-13038-7I was given a review copy of this book at a literacy conference. Finally had a chance to read the 393 page novel.Sloan writes movie scripts, including Made in America and The Big ...
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Jeremiah Learns To Read by Jo Ellen Bogart

Jeremiah Learns To Read by Jo Ellen Bogart

Jeremiah Learns To Read by Jo Ellen Bogart, Laura Fernandez (Illustrator), Rick Jacobson (Illustrator)Jeremiah is has always worked hard his whole life. He knows how to build a split-rail fence and make buttermilk pancakes, but he doesn't know how to ...
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Interview with author Iain Lawrence

Interview with author Iain Lawrence

Recently I interviewed Canadian YA author Iain Lawrence. His books include Winter Pony, The Wreckers and many others. The interview appears in the current issue of Canadian Teacher Magazine, follow the link and click on the interview: http://www.canadianteachermagazine.com/currentissue.shtml Happy Reading! ...
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Sticks by Joan Bauer

Sticks by Joan Bauer

Sticks, Joan BauerWhile I have enjoyed most of Joan Bauer's books (Hope Was Here, Looking for Alaska, Almost Famous and more) I wasn't sure when someone recently gave me a copy of Sticks.Cover? Not that great...Short content? Said it was ...
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Liebster Award

Liebster Award

How fun to discover that teacher Kemble Flynn has nominated my Book Blog for the Liebster Award. Liebster means 'favorite' so I am flattered that Kemble likes my book reviews!Check out her blog here:http://primaryflynn.blogspot.ca/2013/01/liebster-award.htmlAnd the rules are:1. Post 11 random ...
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Ida B: . . . and Her Plans to Maximize Fun, Avoid Disaster, and (Possibly) Save the World by Katherine Hannigan

Ida B: . . . and Her Plans to Maximize Fun, Avoid Disaster, and (Possibly) Save the World by Katherine Hannigan

Ida B: . . . and Her Plans to Maximize Fun, Avoid Disaster, and (Possibly) Save the World by Katherine Hannigan.I just finished reading this book and very much enjoyed it. Right off the bat I had to get over ...
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Habibi by Naomi Shihab Nye

Habibi by Naomi Shihab Nye

Habibi by Naomi Shihab NyeThis is my choice for the first day of a new year: a book filled with the hope for peace.Fourteen-year-old Liyana Abboud loves to hear her father call her habibi - Arabic for "darling". But she's ...
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Go and Come Back

Go and Come Back

Go and Come Back by Joan AbeloveOne of the reasons I love being part of a YA book group, is that it sometimes makes me read a book I would not necessarily choose myself. Go and Come Back is the ...
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YA Book Blogging

YA Book Blogging

Here are some other blogs featuring YA books: http://yabookblogdirectory.blogspot.com/ http://bookbloggerdirectory.wordpress.com/ ...
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Interview with Ron Lightburn, illustrator

Interview with Ron Lightburn, illustrator

http://www.canadianteachermagazine.com/currentissue.shtmlCheck out the current issue of Canadian Teacher Magazine for my interview with award winning illustrator Ron Lightburn ...
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Tales of a Female Nomad by Rita Golden Gelman

Tales of a Female Nomad by Rita Golden Gelman

Tales of a Female Nomad by Rita Golden GelmanHere's rare review of an adult book. I generally prefer kids' books but this is one of my all time favourite travel reads.“I move throughout the world without a plan, guided by ...
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The Freedom of Jenny by Julie Burtinshaw

The Freedom of Jenny by Julie Burtinshaw

The Freedom of Jenny by Julie Burtinshaw When I first read this book, I was entralled. Not only by the story of an African American family who buy their own freedom and travel west on the pioneer trail. But specifically ...
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Lone Wolf by Kristine L. Franklin

Lone Wolf by Kristine L. Franklin

This book was published by Scholastic in 1997 but I had not read it earlier. Picked it up this week and couldn't put it down.Lone Wolf is one of those wonderfully written stories that draw you in and invite you ...
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Hooway for Wodney Wat by Helen Lester

Hooway for Wodney Wat by Helen Lester

Hooway for Wodney Wat by Helen Lester, Lynn Munsinger (Illustrator)This is my favorite picture book about bullying. Great to use with students of all ages.Poor Rodney Rat can't pronounce his R's and the other rodents tease him mercilessly. Wodney is ...
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Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine

Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine

Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson LevineI am in awe of the fact that a writer, Gail Carson Levine, can take a well known, ancient fairy tale, and give it a life of its own. Who knew that Cinderella, the shallow ...
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The Paperbag Princess by Robert N. Munsch

The Paperbag Princess by Robert N. Munsch

The Paperbag Princess by Robert N. MunschElizabeth is a beautiful princess who lives in a castle and wears fancy clothes. She is about to marry Prince Ronald when a dragon smashes her castle, burns her clothes with his fiery breath, ...
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Clementine by Sara Pennypacker

Clementine by Sara Pennypacker

Clementine, Sara PennypackerThis time a lighthearted, lovely book. This is a great book to read aloud at night, a chapter before your kids go to sleep. But also a book young readers will love. And, once they do, there are ...
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Anne Frank's Diary

Anne Frank’s Diary

How could I not include a book written by a 13 year old girl who lived in The Netherlands during the war? She had a passion for reading and kept a diary. A wonderful, human diary full of quirky anecdotes, ...
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First Day Jitters by Julie Danneberg

First Day Jitters by Julie Danneberg

First Day Jitters by Julie Dannebergremains one of my favorite picture books ever. It's one of those books I wished I had thought of and written! :-)We all have had those first day jitters as the first day of school ...
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The Fabulous Song, Don Gillmor

The Fabulous Song, Don Gillmor

The Fabulous Song, Don GillmorThe next installment in my 'Bucket Book List" is a picture book that I just love. Not being terribly musical, I was given the only speaking part in a musical when I was a child. Maybe ...
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Chanda's Secrets by Allan Stratton

Chanda’s Secrets by Allan Stratton

Chanda's Secrets by Allan Stratton This powerful story set amid the African HIV/AIDS pandemic. Chanda, a 16-year-old, astonishingly perceptive girl living in the small city of Bonang in Africa, must confront the undercurrents of shame and stigma associated with HIV/AIDS.Through ...
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The Face on the Milk Carton, by Caroline B. Cooney

The Face on the Milk Carton, by Caroline B. Cooney

The Face on the Milk Carton, by Caroline B. CooneyI read the short content of this book on the back cover:"No one ever really paid close attention to the faces of the missing children on the milk cartons. But as ...
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Shadow Bear by Joan Hiatt Harlow

Shadow Bear by Joan Hiatt Harlow

Shadow Bear by Joan Hiatt Harlow (author), Jim Arnosky (illustrator) I love this gentle story of an Eskimo boy and a polar bear cub. Written as parallel tales, the boy's mother warns him about the large, dangerous bear while the ...
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Catherine, Called Birdy by Karen Cushman

Catherine, Called Birdy by Karen Cushman

Catherine, Called Birdy by Karen Cushman"Corpus Bones! I utterly loathe my life."Catherine's father is determined to marry her off to a rich man -- any rich man, no matter how awful. Even though she's only a young teenager, because the ...
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The Bookstore Mouse by Peggy Christian

The Bookstore Mouse by Peggy Christian

Remember that wonderfully strange book The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster? I just discovered an equally wonderful read based on literature, with word play and language at the core of the story: The Bookstore Mouse by Peggy Christian. A fun ...
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Centennial, James Michener

Centennial, James Michener

Centennial, James MichenerThis epic tale has long been one of my favorite books ever. I marvel at how James Michener started with dinosaurs and ends up with generations of people, all tied together by a place in America's western frontier.A ...
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Armageddon Summer, Jane Yolen & Bruce Coville

Armageddon Summer, Jane Yolen & Bruce Coville

Armageddon Summer, Jane Yolen and Bruce CovilleThe main criterion for my selection of my 52 favorite books ever, is "how long did this book stay with me after reading it, and how did it change me?"Armageddon Summer is an intriguing ...
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Wilfrid Gordon McDonald Partridge

Wilfrid Gordon McDonald Partridge

Wilfrid Gordon McDonald Partridge by Mem Fox, Julie Vivas (Illustrator)Wilfred Gordon McDonald Partridge lives next door to a nursing home where several of his good friends reside. Of course, his favorite is Miss Nancy Alison Delacourt Cooper, because she has ...
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WAITING FOR THE WHALES - Picture book

WAITING FOR THE WHALES – Picture book

Waiting for the Whales by Sheryl McFarlane, Ron Lightburn (Illustrator) This is a "classic" that should be on every child's bookshelf as well as be read by all adults. A beautifully crafted, heart string story with depth. This timeless story ...
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Hey Canada! Travel through pages from coast to coast!

Hey Canada! Travel through pages from coast to coast!

Hey Canada!Author: Vivien BowersIllustrations: Milan PavlovicPublisher: Tundra Books, a division of Random HousePages: 72Format: HardcoverAges: Children 7-10 yearsGenre: Children's books/non-fiction/historyISBN 978-1-77049-255-4Release date: May 8, 2012I am writing this review of Hey Canada! on a small island on the west coast ...
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Gifts - the perfect book gift

Gifts – the perfect book gift

Gifts by Jo Ellen Bogart, Barbara Reid (Illustrator)One of my all time favourite picture books. I give this book as a gift to new babies, to grandmothers, to friends who like to travel, and to any child in need of ...
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The Devil's Arithmetic by Jane Yolen

The Devil’s Arithmetic by Jane Yolen

The Devil's Arithmetic, by Jane Yolen Hannah is twelve and tired of always visiting the same old family members, always listening to the same old stories. But this Passover is different. When she opens the door, this time, Hannah 'becomes' ...
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Throwaway Daughter by Ting-xing Ye

Throwaway Daughter by Ting-xing Ye

This dramatic and moving YA novel has been written by Ting-xing Ye, internationally acclaimed author of A Leaf in the Bitter Wind, working together with her husband, William Bell, author of the award-winning novels for young adults Forbidden City, Zack, ...
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The Empty Pot, by Demi

The Empty Pot, by Demi

This powerful tale, told in sparse words, stayed with me for a long time. The gorgeous art work adds to the Oriental setting and allows for many classroom activities that can be based on this picturebook. Ping is a Chinese ...
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SKYPE Author Visit!

SKYPE Author Visit!

If you are a teacher and interested in bringing me into your classroom, you might enjoy this article I wrote about using SKYPE. Hope to see you soon! ...
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Canadian Teacher Magazine

Canadian Teacher Magazine

Click on this link to read a copy of the current issue of Canadian Teacher Magazine with my article on 'What Canadian Writers Are Reading' as well as an interview with illustrator Dianna Bonder: http://www.canadianteachermagazine.com/currentissue.shtml ...
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Nightjohn by Gary Paulsen

Nightjohn by Gary Paulsen

Week # 5 in my 52 week Bucket Book List! So many amazing books come in small packages. Like Stone Fox, or Sara Plain and Tall, Night John is the powerful story of a slave and the importance of literacy ...
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Married to a Bedouin by Marguerite Van Geldermalsen

Married to a Bedouin by Marguerite Van Geldermalsen

I 'discovered' this nonfiction novel while visiting the Middle East. It is a good, interesting read. But mostly the story stayed with me because of its uniqueness. How many of us travel when we are first out of school and ...
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The Boy in the Striped Pajamas by John Boyne

The Boy in the Striped Pajamas by John Boyne

This small novel touched me more than perhaps any other book I can think of. Wow. It grabbed me and took me for a spin. I don't particularly enjoy wartime stories. Having grown up in Europe shortly after the war, ...
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Alphabet of Dreams

Alphabet of Dreams

Alphabet of Dreams by Susan Fletcher One of the oldest and best known stories in the world is that of three wise men traveling to Bethlehem. They ride camels and follow a star. A census is taking place and many ...
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Bucket list of Books

Bucket list of Books

I will be posting one book each week for the next 52 weeks. The books on this list are books that I like and admire. I have selected these titles because they stayed with me, changed me, touched me somehow ...
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Canadian Teacher Magazine

Canadian Teacher Magazine

My interview with author Frieda Wishinsky is now online in Canadian Teacher magazine. Click here and download the current issue: http://www.canadianteachermagazine.com/currentissue.shtml ...
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Coming soon: Bucket Books!

Coming soon: Bucket Books!

Stayed tuned! Soon I will be featuring something new and exciting on my blog! BUCKETBOOKS: 365 books, one book a day to keep boredom away! A list of the best books I've read. I will keep you posted ...
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Canadian Teacher Magazine

Canadian Teacher Magazine

Check out my interview with children's author Chris McMahen, in the current issue of Canadian Teacher Magazine: My new interview in Canadian Teacher Magazine with Canadian children's author Chris McMahen is now online: http://www.canadianteachermagazine.com/currentissue.shtml ...
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The boy in the Striped Pyjamas by John Boyne

The boy in the Striped Pyjamas by John Boyne

Wow. I just finished reading THE BOY IN THE STRIPED PYJAMAS by John Boyne. What a story. Told from the viewpoint of a 9 year old, it is the story of Auschwitz through the eyes of an innocent child. Whose ...
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Wonder Struck

Wonder Struck

Is it a graphic novel? Is it an illustrated novel?I'm not sure but I do know that it is an amazing book. Author Brian Selznick has invented his very own genre in WONDER STRUCK, the book he wrote after his ...
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The importance of school libraries

The importance of school libraries

If only politicians will read this:http://www.schoollibraryjournal.com/slj/home/891612-312/something_to_shout_about_new.html.csp#.TnpqanRnQ3x.facebook ...
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International Literacy Day

International Literacy Day

September 8 is INTERNATIONAL LITERACY DAY! What will you do to share books with someone?Here are some suggestions:• read to a child• buy a book• visit the library• sign up to help a child or adult learn to read• read ...
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Book News

Book News

Good News from Bozeman, Montana: Press Release – Bozeman Schools Foundation The Bozeman School Foundation’s Links to Literacy Program On Friday, September 9th Bozeman Public School First Grade Students will receive a copy of When We Go Camping by Margriet ...
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A Good Read

A Good Read

I must have had the book on my shelf for three or four years. But for some reason I hadn't read it yet and I recently picked it up: Tales of a Female Nomad.It's an engaging read, makes you feel ...
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(no title)

If you are a teacher/librarian you might like to follow this link for a new study on the impact of school libraries on children's learning:http://library.mansfield.edu/impact.asp ...
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School Visits

School Visits

I just returned from school visits to Surrey and Kelowna. Spoke to some 4,000 kids during 9 days. Tomorrow I'll be in a Victoria school to speak to 8th graders about MY LIBRARIAN IS A CAMEL and MY SCHOOL IN ...
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Book Reviews

Book Reviews

INTERNATIONAL BOOK REVIEWS by Margriet Ruurs, as published in THE INTERNATIONAL EDUCATORThe devastating tsunami that hit SoutheastAsia in 2004 was the source of many sad events. However, it also broughtforth a heartwarming story. A baby hippo was separated from its ...
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A Mayan Library

A Mayan Library

In south-east Mexico is a small Mayan village. 137 children attend a, very poor, school here. It has no electricity and no running water. But the children are keen on learning. A group of US and Canadian volunteers has spent ...
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W. Allan Hancock

W. Allan Hancock

Today I met Allan Hancock, the illustrator of Amazing Animals. He is a very nice guy. He and his family came to Salt Spring for our book launch. His paintings are now on display at Art Spring. It was a ...
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Amazing Animals - an amazing book!

Amazing Animals – an amazing book!

YOU ARE INVITED!To the launch of my newest book: Amazing Animals, The Remarkable Things Creatures Do. Published by Tundra and illustrated by W. Allan Hancock.The launch takes place on Saturday March 12, 2 PM at ArtSpring on Salt Spring Island.Join ...
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Bring the World to your Classroom

Bring the World to your Classroom

If you are a teacher or a librarian, you might like to participate in my global bookmark exchange. Simply email me the number of children participating and I will link you to a group elsewhere in the world. Thousands of ...
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School Visits in Shanghai

School Visits in Shanghai

After 3 weeks of author presentations to international schools in Shanghai, I am home again. It was wonderful to see so many keen readers in China. The children and teachers were fabulous. Now I'm looking forward to Christmas on Salt ...
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Skype Author Visits

Skype Author Visits

The current issue of Canadian Teacher magazine has an article in it which I wrote about author visits via Skype. If your school is interested in hosting such a visit, be sure to read it! Go to: http://www.canadianteachermagazine.com/currentissue.shtmlThen scroll down ...
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Eric Walters Creates Hope in Kenya

Eric Walters Creates Hope in Kenya

My colleague Eric Walters has been working very hard to build a place in Kenya for children to live and to learn. Check out his website: www.creationofhope.com to see how your school can help.Here some of the students are using ...
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Japanese edition of My Librarian is a Camel!

Japanese edition of My Librarian is a Camel!

Today I received a Japanese version of my book My Librarian is a Camel! It is fun to see the book in a language I can't read.I hope children in Japan will have fun learning about these unique mobile libraries ...
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My School Book: Highlighted at Smithonian Blog

My School Book: Highlighted at Smithonian Blog

Just got word that the book blog of the Smithonian is highlighting My School in the Rain Forest. Have a look here: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Margriet-Ruurs-Writer/394173124831?ref=ts ...
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Sharing Books in Mongolia

Sharing Books in Mongolia

I just resurfaced after six weeks in Asia working at international schools. I spent 2 weeks in Mongolia. We had an amazing time with my friend and colleague Dashdondog - a renowned Mongolian children's writer. He took us on a ...
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The power of reading

The power of reading

After a fun week of readings and writing workshops in school across Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia I am now in Singapore. Just had a lovely brunch with teacher/librarians in whose school I will be this coming week. Of course we talked ...
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International Schools

International Schools

After a week in schools in South Korea I am now doing author presentations, writing workshops and staff workshops in schools in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. I love the heat and soak it all up. What a privilege to see wonderful ...
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Fan site!

Fan site!

Wow, I now have my own fan page on Facebook! Makes me feel just like the Academy Award winners I just watched. A big thank you to Nicole in Nashville, TN who created my very own fan page. You can ...
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Best Bets for 2009

Best Bets for 2009

I was thrilled to learn today that Ontario Library Asociation (OLA) lists my book My School in the Rain Forest (Boyds Mills Press) as one of the Best Bets, nonfiction, for 2009: "My School in the Rain Forest: How Children ...
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Using Picture Books with Older Students

Using Picture Books with Older Students

I am working on book for teachers of older students, ESL students and more. I'd love to get your feedback if you teach higher grades. Would you use a book showing how to use picture books effectively throughout the curriculum? ...
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Highlights

Highlights

My Highlight this week is the fact that Highlights for Children arrived in the mail with my short story in it. It's a silly joke about a chicken who asks a librarian for a "book-book-book!" Hope you will have a ...
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Listen to J.K. Rowling

Listen to J.K. Rowling

Here is a link to J.K. Rowling's commencement address at Harvard, 2008.It is great for anyone who is a writer, a reader, a parent or simply.. a person!Enjoy listening to it:http://www.ted.com/talks/jk_rowling_the_fringe_benefits_of_failure.html ...
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Related Links

Related Links

Here are some book related websites you might enjoy checking out and using.Check out my favourite books here:http://www.goodreads.com/review/list/1024100?shelf=%23ALL%23Check out Red Room, Where the Writers Are:http://www.redroom.com/author/margriet-ruursFor Skype Author Visits, check out:http://skypeanauthor.wetpaint.com/page/Margriet+Ruurs ...
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Reading Magic

Reading Magic

Mem Fox, in her book Reading Magic says "If parents understood the huge educational benefits and intense happiness brought about by reading aloud to their children, and if every parent - and every adult caring for a child - read ...
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I'm a proud grandmother now!

I’m a proud grandmother now!

On January 26 our first grandchild arrived into the world! Nico weighed in at 7.2 and is 52 cm long.He is, of course,a gorgeous looking baby. We can't wait to have parents and baby safely home again. Imagine all the ...
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Meeting Greg Mortenson

Meeting Greg Mortenson

Last night we listened to Greg Mortenson, author of Three Cups of Tea, as he shared his experiences of building schools in Pakistan and Afghanistan. Did you know that the book is now mandatory reading for high ranking officials in ...
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Time to Write

Time to Write

The November rains are here. It's pouring... But it's nice to be home with a fire going. I made home baked bread and soup and now it's time to write! I'm putting the final touches on a novel on which ...
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Librarians & Teachers Everywhere!

Librarians & Teachers Everywhere!

Hello from Charlotte, North Carolina. I am speaking at the convention of the American School Libraries Association. There are some 2,500 t/l's here and it's fun to see old friends (from Teipei, Atlanta, Oregon and other places) as well as ...
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Write on Salt Spring

Write on Salt Spring

The brilliant fall colours are getting less as golden leaves now line the roads. But.. you don't have to shovel rain! And this past weekend my husband and sons went golfing in the sunshine. I feel pretty lucky to be ...
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Teaching The Story - in North Carolina

Teaching The Story – in North Carolina

In just a few weeks I will be presenting at the American Association of School Libraries annual conference in Charlotte, NC. Fellow writer Carol Baldwin has kindly offered me to stay at her house. Carol has written a wonderful book ...
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Paper Tigers

Paper Tigers

Recently I met Corinne from Paper Tigers, a book related website for educators. Check out the site: http://www.papertigers.org/wordpress/index.phpIt has a wealth of information about multicultural books and how to use them ...
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My Books

My Books

Here is a slideshow of my book covers.You can order any of these titles from Amazon or from your local bookstore.If you have any problems, let me know!Happy reading. Amazon.ca Widgets ...
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10 Questions

10 Questions

I just had an interview posted here: http://www.openbooktoronto.com/news/ten_questions_with_margriet_ruursHope you enjoy reading it! ...
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10 Questions

10 Questions

I just had an interview posted here: http://www.openbooktoronto.com/news/ten_questions_with_margriet_ruursHope you enjoy reading it! ...
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10 Questions

10 Questions

I just had an interview posted here: Hope you enjoy reading it! ...
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You're Invited!

You’re Invited!

If you live in or near the lower mainland, I'd like to invite you to the Fall Book Harvest, a launch of new books by many BC authors and illustrators. I will be sharing my new book MY SCHOOL IN ...
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Kirkus Review for MY SCHOOL IN THE RAIN FOREST

Kirkus Review for MY SCHOOL IN THE RAIN FOREST

My School In The Rain ForestKirkus Review 8/15/2009Beginning with a quote from the UN's "Universal Declaration of Human Rights" that states that everyone has the right to an education, this selection describes an assortment of schools of various types and ...
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Virtual Author Visits Available

Virtual Author Visits Available

In this day and age, when we all face excalating transportation costs and budget cuts, I am pleased to offer you a virtual author visit to your classroom.By simply downloading Skype I can address your students, answer their questions, show ...
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Library Cuts

Library Cuts

If you are a teacher, parent, booklover in B.C. you have probably heard about the pending funding cuts to BC libraries. Not long ago our premier promised "to make BC the most literate province in Canada." Now, however, the government ...
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International School visit

International School visit

I just received this photo from the International School in Teipei, Taiwan I visited earlier this year. They took this photo of me reading to students. It is now hanging, framed, on the wall of their library. A wonderful memento! ...
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A Great Summer Read!

A Great Summer Read!

Who says they don't write books like they used to? I just finished reading a wonderful children's novel. Couldn't put it down! JOURNEY TO THE RIVER SEA by Eva Ibbotson is a blend of Treasure Island, Huckleberry Finn and Pippy ...
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Writers' Workshops

Writers’ Workshops

During the past week I spoke at the Oregon Coast Children's Writing Workshop in Oceanside, Oregon. What a gorgeous setting to spend the week talking about children's writing. There were some 50 participants from across the country as well as ...
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New Book!

New Book!

Summer is flying by at Between The Covers, our booklovers' B & B. I'm having fun hosting people from all across the world in our Fiction and Poetry room. Good news: my brandnew book is now out! MY SCHOOL IN ...
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Books, Beds and Bedtime Stories

Books, Beds and Bedtime Stories

Time flies when you're having fun. I AM having fun making big breakfasts for our many guests at Between The Covers, sharing stories and books with them. Many of our first guests have been teachers who enjoy our book theme ...
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Booklovers' B & B - Big News!!

Booklovers’ B & B – Big News!!

After months of hard work, renovations, planting, mowing, painting and moving furniture we are now proud to tell you that we have opened BETWEEN THE COVERS, Booklovers' B & B here on Salt Spring Island, B.C.!The place looks gorgeous. We ...
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Award from a reader!

Award from a reader!

Just want to share the wonderful letter I received from Raul in Taiwan. He asks if I ever received an award. And look at the lovely "award" I just received from Linda. It's a win-win situation! ...
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And then it was May!

And then it was May!

The IRA Convention always marks the end of the school year and beginning of summer for me. This year it was my last booking until July, when I will be conducted part of a writing for children course. IRA was ...
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The Big Read

The Big Read

Today is the first day of Global Action Week. Check out this website: http://www.campaignforeducationcanada.org/en/index.phpI hope you will do something special this week to celebrate reading and books! ...
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Earthday!

Earthday!

Hope you were able to do something today that benefits the earth. My family and I planted 15 trees on our new acreage. I bought tomato plants and planted rhubarb. I weeded all day yesterday and today, we tilted the ...
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Happy Easter!

Happy Easter!

Both Emma and Henry wish you a HAPPY EASTER! May it be the start of a lovely Spring,Margriet ...
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Hello from The Philippines!

Hello from The Philippines!

This week I am doing writing workshops with middle school students at Brent International School in The Philippines. A great school with keen writers. It is very hot here, and very humid. Tomorrow the teachers are taking me out for ...
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Emma in Taiwan

Emma in Taiwan

I just spent a lovely week doing author presentations at Taipei American School in Taiwan. Emma was a huge success!The school was lovely: nice students, great teachers and an amazing PTA. I enjoyed dinner with different people each night and ...
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Hello from Myanmar

Hello from Myanmar

I had the privilege of speaking at the International School of Yangon, Myanmar this past week. I loved the country. We traveled to the heart of Burma, saw the Irrawaddy River, visited schools in small villages, met children in monastry ...
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Butterfly Award

Butterfly Award

Today I received a message from Papertigers (http://www.papertigers.org/) with the "Butterfly Award" for my blog!The idea of this award is to pass it on to others. So I'm forwarding it to several amazing writers whose blogs I have admired.One of ...
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Moonbeam Children's Book Award

Moonbeam Children’s Book Award

It started out as a dreary day, on Salt Spring, with snow covering the fields. Not what I want to see now that the bulbs are several inches high already. But this afternoon it turned into a glorious day when ...
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Reading is Contagious!

Reading is Contagious!

I just returned home from IRA, Phoenix. What a wonderful Institute we had on Saturday! Our panel of authors (Deborah Hodge, Linda Bailey, Sara Holbrook and Mary Casanova) and teacher-of-the-year Jan Keese from Iowa, had a great time sharing inside ...
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IRA Convention

IRA Convention

Today I did my first school presentations on Salt Spring Island. Nice school, nice kids, nice teachers, great PAC!It was a sunny spring day but the kids were excited about books and reading.Now I'm packing to go to Phoenix, AZ ...
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Another Good Book to Read!

Another Good Book to Read!

I just finished reading another great book: ALPHABET OF DREAMS by Susan Fletcher.I just couldn't put it down. I loved her book Shadow Spinner and this one also plays in Persia. It's the story of the famous Three Wise Men ...
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2009 Global Action Week on Literacy

2009 Global Action Week on Literacy

Have you heard of this campaign? In April the Global Campaign for Education will celebrate literacy in many innovative ways. Be sure to register your school or library to participate in exciting events!http://www.campaignforeducationcanada.org/en/index.php ...
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Globe & Mail article on writing/publishing

Globe & Mail article on writing/publishing

Interesting article if you are a fellow writer:"Publish, and your book will probably perish"You did your part, you wrote the book. So why are Canadian publishers getting worse at their part - selling it? James Adams reportshttp://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20090207.wxmarket07/EmailBNStory/Entertainment/home ...
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Colorado State Reading Conference

Colorado State Reading Conference

I just returned from Denver where I did presentations at a wonderful elementary school. The school uses 'real' books, the kids read nonstop, the teachers read aloud... What more could you ask for :-)Then I presented several sessions at the ...
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Family Literacy

Family Literacy

Did you celebrate Family Literacy this week? I hope someone read a good book to you. I'm currently reading ALPHABET OF DREAMS by Susan Fletcher, an Oregon author. I'm really getting into it. She wrote Shadow Spinner, one of my ...
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Nashville, Tennessee

Nashville, Tennessee

Last week I visited Covenant School in Nashville, Tennessee. The students were wonderful. It was a treat to briefly visit The Grand Ol' Opry, just to see what it looks like! Emma stood on the steps with me and wished ...
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Salt Spring Connection

Salt Spring Connection

You know how wonderful it is to read a book that takes you into the character's world, to the point where you can't put it down and you dread coming to the end because you can't spend more time with ...
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(no title)

Win an Autographed Book! Just came back from school visits in Victoria, BC. Cordova Bay Elementary had read many of my books and excitement had been building. The students had voted on their favorite stories and also made a large ...
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Reading Good Books

Reading Good Books

It's getting close to the end of November and colder. A good time to curl up with a good book in front of the fireplace. That's just what I have been doing. Tonight I finished reading MRS. FRISBY AND THE ...
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November 10, 2008

November 10, 2008

It's a glorious Fall day on Salt Spring Island. In between editing, writing and researching I try to go outside - to sweep, bring in firewood and fill birdhouses. Just in case you think that writing is hard work, I'd ...
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Ms. Bee's Magical Bookcase

Ms. Bee’s Magical Bookcase

Students at Shannon Lake school in Westbank, BC made wonderful drawings based on my book Ms. Bee's Magical Bookcase. Ms. Bee is a special teacher/librarian who spends much time visiting with fairytale characters. I thought you might enjoy seeing one ...
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Big Compliment from a Little Reader

Big Compliment from a Little Reader

I love reading letters that children write to me. I thought I'd share this one with you:Can you decipher it?!She liked the 'imagination' I put in my books! I love it ...
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Fall - time to read!

Fall – time to read!

I just returned from a week of school visits in Ft St James, Vanderhoof and Burns Lake, B.C. I had forgotten how glorious fall colours can be. The entire area was lit up by the trembling yellow of aspen trees ...
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Children's Book Award Shortlisting!

Children’s Book Award Shortlisting!

News Flash: Wake Up, Henry Rooster (Fitzhenry & Whiteside) has been shortlisted for the 2008 Willow Awards! These are the popular children's choice awards for books in Saskatchewan. You can read more about the awards here: http://www.willowawards.ca/nominated-books/2008Henry's excited! He's staying ...
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International School Visits

International School Visits

I'm working with schools in Taiwan, China and elsewhere in Asia to realize author visits in the spring. Today I received a copy of NewsLinks, the newspaper of International School Services. The Fall issue features my article on author visits ...
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Hello from Salt Spring Island

Hello from Salt Spring Island

I've been here for a few weeks now and still unpacking, reorganizing. This was move #24 and we're never moving again! ☺Yesterday I joined the Salt Spring Public Library. It's housed in a lovely old house with additions, full of ...
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Award Nomination

Award Nomination

I'm thrilled to tell you that MY LIBRARIAN IS A CAMEL has been nominated for Indiana's Young Hoosier Award 2008-2009! Keep your fingers crossed!The photo is of me and my friend Dashdondog from Mongolia. His mobile library is one of ...
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A New School Year!

A New School Year!

Welcome to September - a new school year for most of us. I'm surrounded by boxes and boxes of books, unpacking in our wonderful new location on Salt Spring Island. It's been a hectic few weeks and my back is ...
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Hot Summer News!

Hot Summer News!

I thought I would have a nice, quiet August. Maybe get some writing done... Get ready for school visits starting in September... But things did not turn out that way. My husband, always looking for new challenges and adventures, was ...
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Book Talk

Book Talk

I just finished reading my new favorite book: The Story of My Life: An Afghan Girl on the Other Side of the Sky, by Farah Ahmedi (Author), Tamim Ansary (Author).I loved the book, couldn't put it down. The girl lived ...
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Letter from a school

Letter from a school

I received a wonderful letter and drawing from a child. Thought you might enjoy seeing it! ...
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Summer Reading

Summer Reading

I love summer, especially when I have time to curl up with a good book. You can see what I have read and what I am currently reading here:http://www.goodreads.com/review/list/1024100?shelf=readIt's a fun website where you can start your own list of ...
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Shortlisting for Book Award!

Shortlisting for Book Award!

Since the 'facelift' of my new website, we've been trying to add a blog.Hopefully, this one is going to work and will allow me to add news and updates on a regular basis.My big news for today is that My ...
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Welcome to my blog!

Welcome to my blog!

This will be my very first entry. I just had my website revamped (thanks, Clint!) and hope that this blog will enable me to share news with you on a regular basis.The school year is just coming to an end ...
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