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Deborah Kerbel

Deborah Kerbel

Photo: Adrian Fiebig

Deborah Kerbel is the critically-acclaimed, award-winning author of books for young adult, midde grade, and primary readers. Her novels have been shortlisted for the Governor General’s Literary Award, the Canadian Library Association’s YA Book of the Year Award and Manitoba Young Reader’s Choice Award, and the Vine Award for Canadian Jewish Literature. She’s also the recipient of the City of Vaughan’s 2011 R.A.V.E. Award for her work with youth as a Literary Arts Educator and Mentor. She has been a guest speaker at both national and international literary festivals across Canada including Wordfest, Word on the Street, and Luminato as well as judge and juror for provincial book awards and national youth writing competitions.

Deborah’s young adult novels are Under the Moon (2012), Lure (2010), Girl on the Other Side (2009), and Mackenzie, Lost and Found (2008). Her middle-grade titles include, Bye-Bye, Evil Eye (2014), Feathered (2016), and My Deal with the Universe (2018). Deborah’s picture books are Sun Dog (2018), Before You Were Born (2019) and When Molly Drew Dogs (2019). Deborah is also the co-author of Money Savvy Kids (Penguin, 2013) and the holiday series Quizmas, Family Quizmas, and Quizmas Carols, published by Penguin Canada and Plume U.S.  

In 1993, she graduated from the University of Western Ontario with a degree in English literature. Prior to her career as a children's author, Deborah was a writer, editor and researcher specializing in financial and consumer issues. She has appeared on several television and radio programs as an expert in this area and her articles on retail and spending have appeared in both The Globe and Mail and The Toronto Star.

Born in London, England, and raised in Toronto, Deborah currently lives and writes in Thornhill, Ontario, Canada with her husband, two teenage children, and a rescue Schnoodle named Fred.



When Molly Drew Dogs. OwlKids Books, 2019
Before You Were Born. Pajama Press, 2019
My Deal With the Universe. Scholastic Canada, 2018
Sun Dog. Pajama Press, 2018
Feathered. Kids Can Press, 2016
Bye-Bye, Evil Eye. Dancing Cat Books/Cormorant Books, 2014
Under the Moon. Dancing Cat Books/Cormorant Books, 2012
Lure. Dundurn Press, 2010
Girl on the Other Side. Dundurn Press, 2009
Mackenzie, Lost and Found. Dundurn Press, 2008
Family Quizmas. Penguin Canada, Plume U.S.A., 2006


Shortlisted: IODE Jean Throop Book Award for Sun Dog, 2019
Shortlisted: Blue Spruce Forest of Reading Award for Sun Dog, 2019
Finalist: Vine Award for Canadian Jewish Literature for Feathered, 2017
Finalist: Manitoba Young Reader's Choice Award for Bye-Bye, Evil Eye, 2015-2016
Finalist: Governor General's Literary Award for Under the Moon, 2012
Finalist: Manitoba Young Reader's Choice Award for Lure, 2011-2012
City of Vaughan R.A.V.E. Award for Literary Arts Educator and Mentor, 2011
Shortlisted: 'YA Book of the Year' by The Canadian Library Association for Girl on the Other Side, 2010
Eligible for National Public Readings Program:


Presentation Description

Deborah Kerbel was born in London, England, but moved to Canada before she was old enough to cultivate a posh accent or a love of marmalade. She is the author of six acclaimed novels for kids and teens. From school groups to large events and international festivals, she’s an experienced presenter and enthusiastic speaker who uses humour and an interactive style to engage her audience. Deborah loves visiting schools and meeting readers and writers of all ages. Based in Thornhill, Ontario, she’s the proud mom of two book-loving children, both of whom continue to inspire many of her story ideas.


Deborah’s 60 min presentation consists of:

-details about her Middle Grade and/or Young Adult novels (depending on ages present)

-motivation, rejection, determination, and the rocky road to publication

-interactive PowerPoint quiz about famous children’s authors

-discussion about where ideas come from

-personal anecdotes about writing

-reading and Q&A session

-each student receives a signed bookmark

Presentation Length:
1 hour
YA and Middle Grade
Audience Size:
up to 100
Workshop Description:

Deborah enjoys mentoring emerging writers through workshops, library visits, and story competitions. Her interactive workshop is designed to help emerging writers take their craft to the next level. Participants can expect to come away with a variety of creative new ideas and material for their writing as well as the tools to implement them. During the final part of the workshop, participants will take several minutes to write a scene using some of the character traits, setting ideas, and action scenes that were collectively brainstormed within the group. 

Maximum Workshop Size: 15