Available for IN-PERSON visits in: Northwest Territories

Home Location: Edmonton, Alberta

Craft: Author

Genre: Picture Books, Beginning Readers, Early Chapter Books, Middle-Grade Fiction, Non-Fiction

Target Audience: Kindergarten – Grade 12

Cost for School and Public Presentation with CCBC subsidy: $200.00, plus applicable taxes


Presentation/Workshop Information:

You can check out Joan Marie’s demo video here.

Presentation: Pictures in the Sky (K-2) Students learn how to find the North Star, the Big Dipper, and other constellations, and discover myths/legends relating to the night sky. Joan leads a game of “Picture Book: Fact or Fiction,” and offers tips on how to become stronger writers.

Presentation: A Rat, A Rocket, and Science (grades 3-8)

Discover how scientific facts and imagination mix, and what happens when a journal-keeping lab rat starts thinking about colonizing Mars. We’ll talk about research, misinformation, and correcting mistakes—both in writing and friendships—in this lively and informative session based on the STEM-themed middle grade novel: Mortimer: Rat Race to Space (DCB).

Presentation: The Northern Lights (Grades 4-12) Early cultures looked up at the same night sky we see today, seeking connections between what happened on Earth and what occurred overhead. They told stories to explain the shimmering northern lights and other night sky phenomena. Discover the science and legends of the lights, and why dark skies are important. Based on Dot to Dot in the Sky, Stories of the Aurora and Dark Matters: Nature’s Reaction to Light Pollution.

Presentation: Password to Publishing (Grades 7-9) Launched with celestial storytelling, this junior high presentation includes how Joan became a paid writer in grade eight. Joan discusses challenges of the writing life, using personal stories to show how she built her skills and how perseverance benefits anyone pursuing a dream. She also offers tips on writing and revising.

Presentation: Write Your Own Future (Grades 10-12) Expanding on the junior high content described above, Joan discusses writing as a career, noting that most writing in adult life is fact-based. She shares her experience writing in different styles including speechwriting, websites, and radio commercials. Joan delivers the message that good writing is essential in all career fields, particularly with changing technology and competitive environments.

Writing Workshop: Write Like a Rat (grades 3-7) Mortimer, a journal-keeping lab rat on the International Space Station is determined to prove his species is best suited to colonizing Mars. He records the results in his journal, uses a secret code, and creates videos for his YouTube channel. Discover how you too can write like a rat. Based on the STEM-themed middle grade novel: Mortimer: Rat Race to Space (DCB).

Writing Workshop: WordPlay for Teens (grades 8-12) Teens discover how to explore and grow their creative writing abilities by turning everyday events into tales packed with punch. Expect a creativity warm-up, idea-generating activity, and time to write the first draft of an unforgettable story.  

Book List

Cormorant Books (DCB)

Mortimer: Rat Race to Space, September 24, 2022 (middle-grade novel; ISBN: 9781770866539)

Tantor Media

• AUDIO BOOK: Mortimer—Rat Race to Space (in production)

National Geographic Kids

Absolute Expert—Space, 2020 (juvenile nonfiction, ISBN: 9781426336690) 

Solve This! Wild and Wacky Challenges for the Genius Engineer in You, 2018 (juv. nonfiction, ISBN: 1426327323) 

• Cats, 2017 (nonfiction co-reader, ISBN: 1426328842) 

• Erupt! 100 Fun Facts About Volcanoes, 2017 (nonfiction levelled reader, ISBN: 1426329105) 

Rockridge Press

 The Story of Malala Yousafzai, 2020 (juv. nonfiction, ISBN: 9781647396824) 

Scholastic USA

• Stars, 2020 (juv. nonfiction, ISBN: 9780531132197) Red Deer Press, Markham, Ontario

Red Deer Press

Dark Matters, Nature’s Reaction to Light Pollution, 2017 (juv. narrative nonfiction, ISBN: 0889955158) 

Crabtree Publishing Company

• Maker Projects for Kids Who Love Printmaking, 2017 (juv. nonfiction, ISBN: 0778729028)

• Cultural Traditions in Turkey, 2017 (juv. nonfiction, ISBN: 0778781089)

• Cultural Traditions in Ghana, 2017 (juv. nonfiction, ISBN: 0778781038)

Whitecap Books

Dot to Dot in the Sky, Stories in the Clouds, 2018 (The Dot to Dot in the Sky series partners storytelling and sky science. Please note, they are not connect-the-dot books., ISBN: 1770502459) • Dot to Dot in the Sky, Stories of the Aurora, 2016 (ISBN: 1770502106)

Dot to Dot in the Sky, Stories of the Aurora, 2016

• Day Trips From Edmonton, 2013, 2009 (travel guide, ISBN: 1552859851)

• Dot to Dot in the Sky, Stories of the Zodiac, 2007 (ISBN: 1-552858057)

• Dot to Dot in the Sky, Stories of the Moon, 2004

• Dot to Dot in the Sky, Stories of the Planets, 2003

• Dot to Dot in the Sky, Stories in the Stars, 2001


• Branching Out: How Trees are part of Your World, 2014 (juv. nonfiction, ISBN: 1771470828)

Pelican Publishing Company

• Give Yourself a Pep Talk, 2013 (adult, self-improvement, ISBN: 9781455617852)

• The Discovery of Longitude, 2012 (pic. book, historic nonfiction, ISBN: 9781455616374)

Capstone Press

• Black Holes and Supernovas, 2011 (juv. nonfiction, ISBN: 9781429660044)

Scholastic Canada

Literacy Place for the Early Years

• Dr. Bufflehead Explores Energy, 2006 (info-fiction/fantasy; ISBN: 9780779165452)

• Dr. Bufflehead Explores Dirt, 2006 (info-fiction/fantasy; ISBN: 9780779165452)

Parkland Conservation Farm

• My Corner of the Globe, 2006 (educational workbook for students)

Orca Book Publishers

• Too Much Trash: How Litter is Hurting Animals, spring 2023

Upcoming Titles

• Ducks All Around, Bookin, ICM; Shenzhen, China, Fall 2022 (levelled reader)

• Look, Touch, Smell!, Bookin, ICM; Shenzhen, China, Fall 2022 (levelled reader)

• Can You Guess?, Bookin, ICM; Shenzhen, China, Fall 2022 (levelled reader)

• Where Is It?, Bookin, ICM; Shenzhen, China, Fall 2022 (levelled reader)

• Who Is It?, Bookin, ICM; Shenzhen, China, Fall 2022 (levelled reader)

• Untitled (activism), Simon & Schuster, Fall 2023 (juv. nonfiction)

• Road Ecology, Orca, Spring 2024 (juv. nonfiction)


Joan Marie Galat was first published at the age of 12, when she became a weekly newspaper columnist. Today she is the award-winning author of more than 25 books with titles in eight languages. Her newest book—Mortimer: Rat Race to Space (DCB)—tells the story of a journal-keeping lab rat on the International Space Station. Other titles include Solve This! Wild and Wacky Challenges for the Genius Engineer in You (National Geographic Kids) and the Dot to Dot in the Sky series (Whitecap Books). Her title—Stories of the Aurora—won the Crystal Kite Award in Canada. Also a freelance writer and editor, Joan enjoys broadcast, print, and multi-media projects. Writing from the Edmonton area, she shares her office with two noisy budgies who won’t stay off her keyboard.