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BRIEF BIO

Mary Beth Leatherdale writes, edits, and consults who on books, magazines and digital resources for children and youth. She is the author of Stormy Seas: Stories of Young Boat Refugees, a Quill & Quire Book of the Year, a Booklist Editor's Choice, and a Silver Birch Award, Honour Book among other honours. Recently, Mary Beth co-edited #NotYourPrincess: Voices of Native American Women, an anthology that showcases the strength, diversity, and talent of Indigenous girls and women across North America. Among other honours, it received the American Indian Library Associations' Youth Literature Award, was honoured as an Amelia Bloomer Project List Top Ten title, named a Book of the Year by Quill & Quire, an Excellence in Non-fiction for Young People Finalist, YALSA and a Indigenous Literature Finalist, First Nations Communities READ.

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Mary Beth's work as a Publishing and Editorial Consultant for clients has provided rich opportunities for writing, editing, and literacy research in Canada and the United States. As well, she has managed editorial projects like the McGraw-Hill iLit Digital Collection for high school students, acquiring original material by contemporary Aboriginal and regional authors such as Lisa Moore, David Groulx and Marina Nemat.

Mary Beth was the Editorial Director for Owlkids’ magazine and book divisions and the editor of beloved magazines Chirp and OWL

Mary Beth grew up on a farm in southwestern Ontario. Her interest in Native culture developed while attending Howard Harwich Moravian Public School (now the Naahi Ridge Public School) with students from the Delaware Nation. After completing her Honours BA in Visual Arts at The University of Western Ontario, she went on to pursue a Master of Education in the Sociology of Education from the Ontario Institute of Studies in Education (OISE), where her research focused on the delivery of anti-racist curricula.

 Mary Beth is the President of IBBY Canada, a non-profit organization founded in recognition of the power of children's books to bridge cultures and promote peace. IBBY Canada works to support the right of every child to become a reader through access to high quality books and to promote Canadian authors, artists, storytellers and scholars in Canada and internationally.

Mary Beth lives in Toronto with her family and her dog Champ.

Notable Achievements

• Authored middle grade non-fiction honoured with EUREKA! Nonfiction Children’s Book Awards,  Silver Birch Non-Fiction Award Honor Book, Best Books for Kids & Teens Canadian Children’s Book Centre, Chicago Public Library’s Best Books List, Booklist Editors’ Choice List, Quill & Quire Books of the Year,  Booklist Top 10 Diverse Nonfiction for Older and Middle Readers, Top Ten Best Bet Ontario Library Association, Notable Books for a Global Society and VOYA Nonfiction Honor List.

• Co-edited anthologies with Lisa Charleyboy on contemporary Indigenous experience recognized with honours such as Amelia Bloomer Project List, Top Ten American Indian Library Association’s Youth Literature Award, The Year’s Best List Resource Links, Kirkus Reviews Best Books List, School Library Journal Best Books List, Quill & Quire Books of the Year, Top Ten Best Bet Ontario Library Association, Notable Books for a Global Society, Best Books for Kids & Teens, *starred selection, Canadian Children’s Book Centre, The List 2018, Toronto Public Library, 2018 Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults Award finalist, YALSA and Indigenous Literature Award finalist, First Nation Communities READ.

• Provided editorial direction for numerous books and magazine projects honoured with awards such as Amelia Frances Howard Gibbon Illustrator’s Award, Association of Educational Publishers Distinguished Achievement Awards, Blue Spruce, Brain Pickings Best Children’s Illustrated and Picture Books, Green Earth Book Award, Norma Fleck Award for Canadian Non-fiction, Parent’s Choice, YABC Choice Awards, Moonbean, IRA Notable Books for a Global Society.

• Member of the development team for Chirp, Canada’s first pre-school magazine. Editor in its first season when it was named Winner of National Magazine Award honour Best New Magazine in 1997.