Wednesday, March 26, 2008


On this day, bloggers are highlighting Canadian authors.

So here’s to Julie Johnston whose book Hero of Lesser Causes , I discovered a few years back when researching polio for BLUE. Johnston’s book was published in 1992 - long before I knew my hometown had a polio epidemic. And also, before the 50th anniversary of the Salk vaccine inspired a plethora of polio related books.

It's been a few years since I read it, but I remember Hero Of Lesser Causes as a finely crafted young adult novel that explores the after-effects of polio. This is a story about a life changed by disease. It is the account of a family thrown off-kilter when a teen is emotionally and physically paralyzed. It is the tale of a sister’s love for her brother and of her unceasing and often entertaining attempts to reach him. Johnston won Canada's Governor's General Literary Award for this book as well as for Adam and Eve and Pinch-Me. She has written multiple books for young people and also published her first adult novel in 2007.

Can’t sign off without sharing my favorite Canadian moment. Last May, hubby and I drove to Toronto to receive the IRA Children’s Book Award for BLUE. Great trip all around but there was this one shining moment when Ashley Bryan was at the Boyds Mills Press booth to sign copies of How God Fix Jonah.

At an IBBY conference a few years earlier, I'd been the lucky recipient of a private Bryan reading in that wonderful west African dialect. I wanted Chuck (who lived in Nigeria for a few years) to experience it too. So I got all nervy and asked for another. Being the biggest hearted illustrator in the world, Mr. Bryan gave it. And this photo too!

The man is pure gold. Both of them are!

1 comment:

  1. nice visiting your blog every now and then. I just plugged both your books at the SOuth COunty Library here. The librarian who sponsored me was getting ready for her book club; so I suggested your books. HOpefully she'll look them up! SPeaking of should send me some cards so i can give them out!