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Touring In: Manitoba

Craft: Author

Genre: Picture Books, Junior Fiction, YA Fiction

Ideal Audience Size: 40 (for younger grades); 30-500 for older grades)

Maximum Audience Size: 100 (for younger grades); 700 for older grades)

Grades: Grades 1-9

Special Equipment:

Website: vikkivansickle.wordpress.com
 

Winner of the 2017 Rainforest of Reading Reader’s Choice Award
Shortlisted for the 2017 Ruth & Sylvia Schwartz Award
Shortlisted for the 2017 Shining Willow Award
Shortlisted for the 2017 Blue Spruce Award

Presentation Information

Grades 5-9: THE WINNOWING
This presentation focuses on Vikki’s new scifi-adventure novel, The Winnowing and explores the possibilities of Vikki’s two favourite words, WHAT IF? Topics Vikki covers include: How do you build a new world? What does it take to build an alternate history? Also includes a brief introduction to conspiracy theory and alternate histories. Each presentation ends with a story prompt and a Q&A.

Required: projector, surface to project onto, mic for large groups/gym presentations

JK- Grade 3: IF I HAD A GRYPHON
When a kitten sneezes it’s adorable, but when a dragon sneezes it’s a fire hazard! In this presentation, primary students are asked to consider objects from a bag of clues to determine what kind of pets may be in the book. Teachers’ guide and printed activities available as well. A fun introduction to mythological creatures and the perils and pleasure of pet care.

 

Book List

The Winnowing
(Scholastic Canada, 2017)

If I Had a Gryphon
Written by Vikki VanSickle
Illustrated by Cale Atkinson
(Tundra Books, 2016)

Summer Days, Starry Nights
(Scholastic Canada, 2013)

Days That End in Y
(Scholastic Canada, 2013)

Love is a Four-Letter Word
(Scholastic Canada, 2011)

Words That Start With B
(Scholastic Canada, 2010)

 

Biography

Vikki grew up in Woodstock, Ontario. She spent her summers searching for treasures at flea markets and for her next great read at the library. In the winter she could be found at the arena, figure skating, or acting in local theatre. Vikki once added an “e” to her middle name (Lynn) to be more like Anne Shirley and in grade seven she wanted to be Dana Scully (from The X-Files).  She has worked at a golf course, movie theatre, library, bookstore, bakery and at a number of summer camps. Vikki currently lives in Toronto with too many books and her cat, Barb. When not writing, she can be found at Penguin Random House Canada as the marketing and publicity manager for the young readers’ program.

Vikki’s first middle grade novel, Words That Start With B, came out September 2010 from Scholastic Canada, followed by the sequels, Love is a Four-Letter Word  and Days That End in Y. These books follow the misadventures of Clarissa Louise Delaney as she navigates those tricky tween years. She was inspired by her childhood growing up in Woodstock, ON and by the books of Judy Blume.  Summer Days, Starry Nights (nominated for the 2015 Red Maple Award) is a coming of age story set on a summer resort in Northern Ontario in 1962. Think Dirty Dancing without the Dirty.

In 2016 her first picture book If I Had a Gryphon was published, illustrated by the amazing Cale Atkinson. It grew out of an idea Vikki had observing storytime at The Flying Dragon Bookshop and includes hr favourite things: rhyme, humour, and magical pets.

Next up is The Winnowing, Vikki’s first foray into science fiction inspired by her deep love of the TV show The X-Files and books like The Giver, The Girl with the Silver Eyes and Into the Dream.  There are lots of references (also know as Easter eggs) in The Winnowing to other great scifi books and TV shows.

 

Awards

If I Had a Gryphon

  • Winner of the 2017 Rainforest of Reading Reader’s Choice Award
  • Shortlisted for the 2017 Ruth & Sylvia Schwartz Award
  • Shortlisted for the 2017 Shining Willow Award
  • Shortlisted for the 2017 Blue Spruce Award
  • Shortlisted for the 2017 Chocolate Lily Award

Summer Days, Starry Nights

  • Shortlisted for the 2014 Red Maple Award
  • Commended, 2014 OLA Best Bets
  • Commended, 2013 Best Books for Kids and Teens, Canadian Children’s Book Centre

Days That End in Y

  • Commended, 2013 Resource Links, Best of the Year
  • Commended, 2013 Best Books for Kids and Teens, Canadian Children’s Book Centre

Love is a Four-Letter Word

  • Commended, 2012 Best Books for Kids and Teens, Canadian Children’s Book Centre

Words That Start With B

  • Shortlisted for the 2011 CBA Libris Award
  • Commended, 2011 IODE Violet Downey Recommended List
  • Commended, 2011 Best Books for Kids and Teens, Canadian Children’s Book Centre

 

Praise

“It is not easy to engage youth, yet Vikki has a natural ability to interact with youth, and to inspire and empower them with humour and compassion.”

—Darlene Pretty, Head of Youth Services, Woodstock Public Library  

“[Vikki’s] creative approach, and “paper bag guessing game” generated excitement and engagement with our young students…it is clear that Vikki can adjust her presentation techniques to appeal to both older students and younger students, sprinkled with a kind, and easy-going style.I would not hesitate to invite Vikki back for more!!!”

—Kathryn Bennett, Teacher-Librarian, Joshua Creek Public School

“I have had the pleasure of hosting Vikki Van Sickle on three occasions for Forest of Reading. Vikki is a polished presenter. She engages her audience creatively and with humour.  I truly enjoyed her “grab bag” of props!  She not only presented her book but also allowed the students plenty of time to ask questions beyond the scope of the Forest of Reading. Including questions about the writing process and how she got her start. She is patient, thoughtful and age appropriate with her answers. I look forward to hosting Vikki again”

—Lisa Hagan, Children’s Programmer, Hamilton Public Library