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Janet Wilson

Photo: Chris Wilson 2008

Janet Wilson went back to school after her two boys were old enough to
go to school themselves. An Honours grad of OCA as a "mature" student,
more than twenty years after illustrating her first picture
book—Daniel’s Dog— Janet has added writer to her CV. Her first two nonfiction picture books have garnered national awards. Now her first novel treatment is being released, a creative nonfiction book for young readers, Shannen and the Dream for a School. Shannen and the Dream for a School, Second Story Press, Kids Power Series, is a fictionalized account of the true story of Shannen Koostachin,and her grade eight classmates from Attawapiskat First Nation on the shore of James Bay. Their Students-Helping-Students campaign to have their reserve's substandard, contaminated, "temporary" portables replaced by a real school became the largest child rights advocacy movement in Canadian history. Tragically, Shannen died in a car crash at age 15, without seeing a new school. But public support for her dream of equal education for all First Nations communities across the country continues to grow, and has been officially recognized by the Parliament of Canada. It is a compelling story that is inspiring students everywhere who see injustice.

Our Earth: How Kids are Saving the Planet (Second Story Press
2010), tells inspiring true stories of young people around the globe who are not waiting to “grow up” to take positive action in hopes of undoing what the adults have done and are doing to destroy our earth.
 One Peace: True Stories of Young Activists (Orca October 2008), combines Janet's passions for social justice, portraiture, writing and research. Both books are lavishly illustrated collections of inspirational real-life accounts of the power of children enhanced with child artwork, poetry and photographs. to create a better world by "being the change you want to see." She’s taking this powerful message to schools, libraries and conferences with a digital slide presentation.

Janet Wilson is also passionate about helping young people to draw. She believes that there is a crucial stage in the mid-elementary grades when basic instruction and encouragement helps students evolve their drawings from two dimensions into the third. Without this guidance, many frustrated children lacking confidence give up drawing forever.

E-mail: c/o Writers' Union of Canada
Phone number:
519 856 2811


Imagine That. Fitzhenry and Whiteside, 2000
One Peace:True Stories of Young Activists. Orca, Fall 2008
Our Earth: How Kids are Saving the Planet. Second Story Press, 2010
Shannen and the Dream for a School. Second Story Press, Kids Power Series, September 2011


Information Book of the Year Award, Children's Literature Roundtables for One Peace: True Stories of Young Activists, 2009
American Library Association Top 10 Best Environmental Books for Youth for Our Earth:How Kids are Saving the Planet, 2011
Winner: the Science in Society Book Award 2010, Middle School Readers for Our Earth: How KIds are Saving the Planet
Outstanding and Inspiring title of the year list Smithsonian Institute, Washington for One Peace: True Stories of Young Activists, 2009
Best Books of the Year, Banks Street College of Education, NYC for Our Earth:How Kids are Saving the Planet, 2010
Notable book of the year, Smithsonian Institute for Our Earth:How Kids are Saving the Planet, 2010
Silver Birch Express-finalist for Our Earth: How Kids are Saving the Planet, 2012
Golden Oak finalist for Our Earth: How Kids are Saving the Planet, 2012
Eligible for National Public Readings Program :


Presentation Description

Young people today want to be heard. They want to help end the injustices, inequities and destruction on our earth from war and environmental assaults. Janet Wilson’s inspiring presentation shows her audiences how they can be the one to make the change they want to see in their world. Addressing curriculum focuses such as Character Development, Environmental studies, Inspirational programs and
Art studies, Janet Wilson’s PowerPoint presentation is based on  Shannen and the Dream for a School,Our Earth and One Peace. Children wondering how they can deal with their concerns for their planet and the rights of children are inspired by true stories of peers around
the globe who are taking action.Supported by a slide show, Janet embellishes examples of how children went from worrying to developing an action plan. She also talks about her original artwork for the books. The presentation can be tailored to include more about how a creator writes and illustrates a book, or can conclude with an
art lesson involving a portrait sketch of a student from the audience.

Janet is an approved presenter for the Toronto District School Board with a valid Police Record Check.

Presentation Length:
1 hour
nonfiction and picture book
Audience size:
Northern OAC WITS:
One session:
Two sessions:
Three sessions:
Four sessions:
GST applicable