Trillium Book Awards Author Reading 2015

writing for young readers

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One of the benefits of writing for young people is getting letters from kids who are enthusiastic readers, and who have very strong opinions about where a story has gone wrong and where they think it should go. I received a packet in the mail yesterday from the grade 6 class at St. Michael's School in Victoria. They had all read I Am A Taxi, and sent me the next chapters they had written in Diego's story. I was really impressed by the quality of their writing, and by their imaginations and their grasp of the situation Diego was having to deal with. We do tend to remember the books we read when we were young - the phrases and the characters become ingrained in our brains - so its a real honour to be a part of kids' lives through books.

A friend of mine is trying to set up a women's centre in Jordan for Iraqi refugees. Her project is called The Collateral Repair Project (since refugees and civilian casualties are considered mere collateral damage by the Pentagon). She's an American working in coalition with Iraqi women in exile. Progress is slow, but steady. One of the things they are hoping to house in the centre is a library, a place where kids and women, and men, too, can go and study and find some sort of escape and refuge from the difficulties of their lives. More information on this project can be found by googling The Collateral Repair Project.

The views expressed in the Writer-in-Residence blogs are those held by the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of Open Book: Toronto.

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Deborah Ellis

Deborah Ellis is the acclaimed author of over 18 books and the recipient of numerous literary awards, including the Vicky Metcalfe Award for a body of work, the Governor General’s Award, the Africana Book Award, the Canadian Library Association Book of the Year Honour, and the Red Cedar Award. She has traveled the world to meet with and hear the stories of children marginalized by war, illness, and poverty, and has recorded their stories for others to read and learn from.

Go to Deborah Ellis’s Author Page