APPLY NOW

Touring In: Quebec

Craft: Author

Genre: Picture Books, Middle Grade, YA

Ideal Audience Size: 1-90

Maximum Audience Size: 3 classes is maximum to ensure the students’ participation

Grades: Kindergarten – Grade 12 (grouped accordingly K-1; 2-3; 4-5; 6-8; 9 – 12)

Special Equipment:

  1. flip-chart, blackboard, or whiteboard
  2. computer, data projector and screen (I will just bring a flash drive)

Website: www.beverleybrenna.com

 

Winner of the 2013 Printz Honor Book Award

 

Presentation Information

General Presentation Description

Storytelling/reading sessions (30 – 60 minutes) are offered to a variety of audience sizes and age groups K – Grade 12, bringing Bev’s passion for writing as well as her heartfelt desire to support literacy in young people. For younger children, combinations of puppets and props make popular folktales come alive, along with explorations of Bev’s published picture books. For older students, readings from published junior, middle-grade and young-adult novels, as well as presentations about Bev’s evolution as a writer, can be tailored to individual schools’ needs.

 

Kindergarten – Grade 1/ Grades 2 – 3: Interactive Storytelling in “Best Loved Tales,” featuring folktales delivered with puppets and props. Short readings will also be included from Bev’s published books Daddy Longlegs at Birch Lane (a narrative non-fiction picture book), The Bug House Family Restaurant (poetry about eating bugs!) and Bev’s newest title The Girl with the Cat (a picture book sharing the true story of a little girl whose advocacy saved a statue for a Canadian Gallery).

 

Grades 3 – 4 and 5 – 6: “A Writer’s Secrets”, featuring storytelling as well as readings from Bev’s published books that may include Spider Summer (available as a free pdf from Bev’s website), Keeper of the Trees, The Moon Children, and The Bug House Family Restaurant, delivered with power point images of Bev’s earliest childhood writing. Focus could be on Bev’s newest title, Sapphire the Great and the Meaning of Life, a novel told in alternating chapters from the perspectives of nine-year-old Jeannie, dealing with a family break-up, and her pet hamster, Sapphire (AKA Sapphire the Great).

 

Grades 6 – 8: “Let’s Talk About Writing” begins with readings from Bev’s published books including Falling for Henry and the Wild Orchid series as well as Bev’s recent title Fox Magic (with school permission as this book contains serious themes). Power point slides are included to focus on writing development.

Falling for Henry is a historical time-slip fantasy, set in Tudor Times, involving a relationship between the young Prince Henry and Kate, a New York teen who uses Tudor Times to temporarily escape contemporary challenges including an anxiety disorder.

Wild Orchid, Waiting for No One, and The White Bicycle combine as a series about a teen with autism. Taylor Jane has a unique perspective on life and her coming-of-age story takes her through a quest for independence that begins with the requirement of finding a boyfriend, extends into a search for her first job and post-secondary studies, and finally spotlights her relationship with her mother. Wild Orchid is listed on CBC’s “100 Young Adult Books That Make You Proud to Be Canadian”; Waiting for No One received the international Dolly Gray Award; The White Bicycle was shortlisted for a 2015 Governor General’s Award and earned a Printz Honor.

Fox Magic deals with guilt, grief and loss as 12 year old Chance Devlin deals with the aftermath of a suicide pact that killed her two best friends. A connection to a mysterious red fox named Janet Johnson helps her come to terms with the past, illuminating the meaning of courage and the power of dreams. For ages 11 and up. An Afterword written by Tim Claypool PhD, R.D. Psych. offers current resources about suicide prevention for adults and youth. All author royalties on this book are donated to Canadian non-profit organizations supporting youth.

 

Grades 9 – 12: “Bev Brenna Canadian author” explores the development of Bev’s body of work including readings from the “Wild Orchid” series about a teen with autism (with options for exploring Bev’s playscript version of the first novel in the series) and diverse short stories from her YA collection Something To Hang On To. Power point slides are included to illuminate various writing processes; participation of young writers optional in a workshop add-on.

Wild Orchid, Waiting for No One, and The White Bicycle combine as a series about a teen with autism. Taylor Jane has a unique perspective on life and her coming-of-age story takes her through a quest for independence that begins with the requirement of finding a boyfriend, extends into a search for her first job and post-secondary studies, and finally spotlights her relationship with her mother. Wild Orchid is listed on CBC’s “100 Young Adult Books That Make You Proud to Be Canadian”; Waiting for No One received the international Dolly Gray Award; The White Bicycle was shortlisted for a 2015 Governor General’s Award and earned a Printz Honor.

Bev’s background as a classroom teacher and special education consultant have inspired various portrayals of characters with special needs, as well as explorations of contemporary societal themes, and her writing often explores issues and topics from diverse viewpoints.

 

Book List

The Girl with the Cat by Beverley Brenna, illustrated by Brooke Kerrigan (Red Deer Press/Fitzhenry & Whiteside, April, 2019)

 

Sapphire the Great and the Meaning of Life by Beverley Brenna (Pajama Press, February, 2019)

 

Fox Magic by Beverley Brenna (Red Deer Press/Fitzhenry & Whiteside, 2018)

 

The Bug House Family Restaurant by Beverley Brenna, illustrated by Marc Mongeau (Tradewind Books, 2013)

 

The White Bicycle by Beverley Brenna (Red Deer Press/Fitzhenry & Whiteside, 2012)

 

Falling for Henry by Beverley Brenna (Red Deer Press/Fitzhenry & Whiteside, 2011)

 

Waiting for No One by Beverley Brenna (Red Deer Press/Fitzhenry & Whiteside, 2010

 

Something To Hang On To by Beverley Brenna (Thistledown Press, 2009)

 

The Moon Children by Beverley Brenna (Red Deer Press/Fitzhenry & Whiteside, 2007)

 

Wild Orchid by Beverley Brenna (Red Deer Press/Fitzhenry & Whiteside, 2005)

 

The Keeper of the Trees by Beverley Brenna (Ronsdale Press, 1999)

 

Stories for Every Classroom: Canadian Fiction Portraying Characters with Disabilities by Beverley Brenna (Canadian Scholars’ Press, 2015)

 

Teacher’s Guides

Fox Magic

The Bug House Family Restaurant

 

Biography

Bev is an energetic writer and storyteller who champions children’s reading, writing, and self-confidence. She truly believes that Stories Can Change the World!

After spending many years as an elementary classroom and special education teacher, she is now a Professor in Curriculum Studies at the College of Education, University of Saskatchewan where she focuses on literacy, Canadian children’s literature, supports for students with exceptionalities, and drama in education.

Many of Bev’s published children’s books illuminate family stories with contemporary themes, warmth and humor. Bev’s series of young adult novels about a teen with autism, beginning with Wild Orchid, has earned many awards including a Printz Honor book award and a shortlisting for the 2013 Canadian Governor General’s Award as well as an international Dolly Gray Award. Wild Orchid is currently listed on CBC’s 100 Young Adult Books That Make You Proud To Be Canadian and Bev has recently completed an adaptation of the novel for the stage. Bev’s diverse collection of young adult short stories, Something to Hang On To, is often studied in high schools across the country.

Much of Bev’s work is for middle-grade audiences, and her new title Sapphire the Great and the Meaning of Life (Pajama Press, February, 2019) is a zany combination of two perspectives, told through the voices of Jeannie, a nine-year old girl, and Sapphire, her existentialist pet hamster. A more serious title, Fox Magic, gently presents an opportunity for discussions about suicide prevention in younger grades.

As well as working with older students, Bev loves meeting primary grade audiences, and in addition to sharing her picture books and poetry (selecting poems to share from The Bug House Family Restaurant, a collection about eating bugs), Bev presents folktales from around the world, seeking to build language, a sense of story, and children’s confidence as storytellers. When working with youngsters, Bev promises to entertain as well as educate—both goals are important

Bev’s textbook Stories for Every Classroom: Canadian Fiction Portraying Characters with Disabilities (Canadian Scholars’ Press, 2015) combines discussions of current titles with detailed annotated bibliographies intended for teachers and librarians.

Bev lives in a tall yellow house in Saskatoon and enjoys spending time with husband Dwayne and their three adult sons. Over time they have had a variety of pets including a beautiful golden retriever/collie named Buddy, crazy cats, rabbits, reptiles, and Herbie, a pet tarantula of 18 years.

 

Awards

Fox Magic

  • Recommended Title, The Canadian Children’s Book News, 2017

 

The White Bicycle

  • Winner of the 2013 Printz Honor Book Award
  • Shortlisted for the 2013 Governor General’s Awards

 

Waiting for No One

  • Winner of the 2012 Dolly Gray Award
  • Shortlisted for the 2012 Canadian Library Association Young Adult Book of the Year

 

Something to Hang On To

  • Shortlisted for the 2009 Saskatchewan Book Award

 

The Moon Children

  • Shortlisted for the 2007 Saskatchewan Book Award
  • Shortlisted for the 2007 Silver Birch Award
  • Longlisted for the 2007 Book of the Year by the Canadian Library Association

 

Wild Orchid

  • Currently on CBC’s List of Young Adult Titles That Make You Proud To Be Canadian
  • Shortlisted for the 2005 Canadian Library Association’s Young Adult Book Award
  • Shortlisted for the 2005 Manitoba Readers’ Choice Award
  • Shortlisted for the 2005 Saskatchewan Willow Award
  • Shortlisted for the 2005 White Pine Award

 

The Keeper of the Trees

  • Shortlisted for the 1999 Saskatchewan Book Award

 

Praise

“Clearly a thirteen-year-old and a six-year-old live in very different literary worlds and yet Beverley was able to reach both demographics and hold them spell bound and motivated through her four sessions.”

—Neil Wilson, Ottawa Writers Festival

 

“Beverley was incredible to work with…the kids absolutely loved her presentation and were enthralled by her performance. Beverley has a gift for making reading fun and accessible for everyone and her presentations are great for inspiring a lifelong love of reading.”

—Sarah Siminson, Saskatchewan Festival of Words

 

“I just wanted to express a huge ‘thank you’ on behalf of Glen Ogilvie Public School and the School Council for allowing Beverley to come to our school! The children enjoyed her wonderful presentation and all the teachers remarked on the quality of her presentation. Several also mentioned that they could tell that she had worked with children because she had great techniques for keeping the children’s interest and attention.”

—Lisa Lovric, GOSC