Thursday, May 19, 2016

Super-Duper Monster Viewer

I use my tablet a LOT to talk to my family. They just live way too far away.

And those chats partly inspired the images from my book Super-Duper Monster Viewer (just out from Groundwood).

So I made a short video thanking the people who designed that amazing tech... even if it can be somewhat "imprecise" at times.

Saturday, May 14, 2016


The Ontario Library Association's Forest of Reading is my fave reading award program.

And this year's festivities got underway yesterday in London, Ontario. 

There's even a cool app that let's you take photos like this!

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Duncan's mission

You may remember this Hallowe'en picture of one of my fans, an awesome kid named Duncan.

He suffered a loss recently when his best friend Connor took his own life.

Since then, Duncan has been raising awareness and funds for Kids Help Phone. 1-800-668-6868

There was a Walk So Kids Can Talk walk in memory of Connor today. You can still donate through the LINK.

Duncan has also been baking these amazing Star Wars cookies to raise some money.

This is a great cause, and something we are often afraid to talk about. Talk about it. 1-800-668-6868

This is the booth Duncan set up at the kids market a few weeks ago to raise money and pass along the phone number. 

I'll leave you with what Duncan wrote me about his friend.

"Connor was a kind and caring person.  He loved reading, Doctor Who, Star Wars, Dungeons and Dragons, board games and art.  He was creative and really smart. He was in the book club at school and used to be a library helper.   He was a grade 8 student and was going to go to a specialized robotics programme for grade 8. Connor took his own life in February.  He had just turned 14."

Friday, April 15, 2016


Just announced.

MINRs is one of TWO Canadian Library Association Honour Books!

And my friends Ken and Jon won for The Nest!

Seems like a good day for a celebration.

I guess I'll open this bottle of wine Simon and Schuster sent me when the book got nominated!

Sunday, April 3, 2016


It is School Library Month right now, so I thought I'd share a part of my school presentations that deals with my favorite part of the school.

I loved my school library (Lewiston-Porter in Western New York). It was where I met George Gershwin (we had an audio room where you could listen to LPs), Beatrix Potter and F. Scott Fitzgerald. It was the one part of the school where I felt that I also had a say in what I learned and how I learned.

It was also the place where I learned I was going to be a writer.

This is the story I tell (right after I instruct the kids to bow down to their own teacher-librarian... which they do).....

I walked into my library around 4th grade. My teacher-librarian had set up a movie screen, which was a little odd (back in the stone age).

She said that this was a movie about writing. She said that I would know, when it was over, if I was going to be a writer.

Then I reenact the movie.

You see a scared young girl running through the forest. You only see her, not what's chasing her. 

She looks back and screams, then trips and falls in a puddle.

She gets up soaking wet, looks back and screams again. She begins running again.

Suddenly, right in front of her, in the middle of the forest, there's a door.

The door opens a crack and a light shines through. She runs through the door, closes it.... and that's the end of the movie.

The kids always groan.

Then I repeat what my librarian said to me... What happens next?

I wanted to know what happened so badly that I went home and wrote four different possible endings.

The kids always have some idea in their own heads too... so I point out that they are writing too.

So, if you are in a school that's lucky enough to have a teacher-librarian, make sure you take some time this month to bow down to them! 

Tuesday, March 22, 2016


I started my SKYPE touring today with a couple great chats - with schools in Maine and Texas.

If you're interested, the details are all on the home page.

Here are some nice pics that Madeline (from St. Thomas Squinas in Dallas) took from today's talk.

Monday, March 7, 2016


Got some great news this week!

MINRS is up for the CLA book of the year!

And its also been nominated in not one, but TWO categories in the TOME Student Literacy Society book awards in Georgia!

And, after an amazing visit to Manitoulin Island this week, I got home and the nice folks at Simon and Schuster sent me a present!

There’s a great study guide that the good folks at Simon and Schuster have set up at the site for the series,

There’s also a silly trailer video I made that’s up on YouTube.

If the kids have any questions, I’d love to answer them. They can tweet me anything. They can also write me, or email me or contact me HERE.