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Janet Wilson

Janet Wilson

Photo: Chris Wilson

Janet Wilson is an award winning author of non-fiction and creative non-fiction books for children. She has illustrated over fifty picture books in her thirty-five year career. She welcomes the opportunity to give inspirational talks on the power of young activists.


Eden Mills near Guelph


Our Future: How Kids are Taking Action . Second Story Press, 2019
Our Heroes: How Kids are Making a Difference. Second Story Press, 2014
Our Rights: How Kids are Changing the World. Second Story Press, 2011
Our Earth: How Kids are Saving the Planet . Second Story Press, 2010
One Peace: True Stories of Young Activists . Orca Book Publisher, 2008
Shannen and the Dream for a School. Second Story Press, Kids Power Series, 2011
Severn and the Day She Silenced the World. . Second Story Press, Kids Power Series, 2015
In Flanders Fields. Fitzhenry and Whitesides
Eligible for National Public Readings Program:


Presentation Description

"Janet’s passion for social, environmental, and First Nations justice issues, as well as art, makes her a versatile and inspiring speaker."

The key to the success of my talks is in stories— let extraordinary young activists deliver their hopeful and helpful messages in their own video-taped voices, or through their poetry, art, and music, to inspire the activist in all of us. By example, they show that by working together and making positive choices, even small efforts can make the world better and kinder. Their actions will empower and motivate students to feel deeply, act responsibly, and to learn and think critically. Designed to support your curriculum needs, my talks encompass a broad range of equity and rights issues, particularly social, environmental, and indigenous justice. It is an hour-long emotional roller coaster ride that will remain with you and your students long after my visit. And with all those sparks flying, who knows what fire will be lit.

Presentation Themes:
Choose from the themes below that are relevant to your school's priorities and values. They are designed to support Curriculum Expectations and are suitable for special days, including Remembrance Day, Earth Day, Aboriginal Day, and Pink Day.

Inspiring Young Hearts and Minds:
This general presentation combines all of the themes.
           *Climate Justice
           *First Nations philosophy and values
           *Equity, fairness and justice, economic disparity
           *Child rights
           *Character: compassion & kindness, bullying
           *Peace and non-violence

Our Future: How Kids are Taking Action:
Hope and optimism is the antidote to the fear and worry young people are experiencing over disturbing news: the climate crisis, gun violence, racism, cyber-bullying, and animal extinctions, and on and on. Empowered child activists have taken action against injustice, inequity, and environmental degradation, and in doing so have made changes to improve their future. Children want to be part of the solution to the world’s problems. Our Future offers indigenous perspectives and simple suggestions to inspire the activist in all of us.

First Nations Truth and Reconciliation:
Shannen Koostachin’s grade 8 class launched a national campaign for the right to a decent school in Attawapiskat First Nation—and won! This important true story raises awareness of contemporary FN issues such as inequality in education and services, true Aboriginal history and treaty rights, and the impact of residential schools. Shannen and the Dream for a School

Environmental Justice:
Eco-activists, such as water-watcher Autumn Peltier and climate striker Greta Thunberg raise awareness of, endangered species, and social and economic inequity. It liberally features First Nations philosophy and values. Severn and the Day She Silenced the World. Our Earth: How Kids are Saving the Planet Our Future: How Kids are Taking Action

The Hero Within:
True heroes don’t need capes or radio-active rodent bites. They just need big hearts and the courage to take action against unfairness and injustice. Our Heroes: How Kids are Making a Difference provides the compassionate role models who have made a difference in the world.

The Power of One: Peace and Child Rights:
As Malala says, “Global Peace education is the only solution to reach Peace in the world”. Young activists show kids how they can be leaders, solve problems, and create a more equitable world. One Peace: True Stories of Young Activists &  Our Rights: How Kids are Changing the World.

Drawing, art, and the creative process:
Step-by-step I show the progress of an illustration from concept to finished art.  I give basic instruction and encouragement to improve drawing, ending with a portrait demonstration and donate the sketch to your school. Workshops sizes are limited.

Professional Development Workshops and Keynotes:
Janet has thirty years of experience in speaking to teachers, librarians, and a variety of service organizations and faith groups on a variety of subjects.

Presentation Length:
1 hour
creative nonfiction and picture book fiction and nonfiction
Audience Size: