Congratulations to JEAN LITTLE, Winner of the 2012 Matt Cohen Award: In Celebration of a Writing Life!
Jean Little is one of Canada’s most beloved and distinguished authors. She has written fifty books which have been translated into twenty languages. Among them are some of Canada’s best-loved works for children, such as Mama’s Going to Buy You a Mockingbird, Mine for Keeps and From Anna. Jean began writing as a child and has never stopped, despite the challenge of her blindness. She has received numerous national and international awards and has been made a member of the Order of Canada for her outstanding contribution to Canadian children’s literature.
Jean’s first book for the Dear Canada series, Orphan at My Door, won the CLA Book of the Year for Children Award, Her second, Brothers Far from Home, is a CLA Honour Book. Her most recent Dear Canada, Exiles from the War, has been shortlisted for the Geoffrey Bilson Award for Historical Fiction for Young People. Dancing Through the Snow was shortlisted for many awards and has been a great international success.
Jean lives in Guelph, Ontario with her sister, great-nephew, four dogs and two cats.
Dear Canada books by Jean Little:
Before I embarked on writing one of the first books in the Dear Canada series, I thought of Canadian history without much interest. I did not stop to think that when my grandparents took in and raised a Barnardo boy, when my uncle was killed in World War I, when my 16-year-old mother went to medical school, and when I went to school with a British War Guest in 1941, we were all helping to make Canada’s story. Once I started to write about Victoria Cope’s family welcoming a Barnardo child into their household, I found myself fascinated by working out how Victoria’s thoughts and feelings were altered by the experiences she had sharing in Marianna and Jasper’s trials and triumphs. The past, which had been presented to us in such a dry-as-dust manner during my childhood, came alive and made me laugh aloud and cry sometimes. I am deeply grateful that Scholastic decided to bring out this series and let me in on it from the start. You know what? Canadian history is not dull at all.
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