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Pat Hancock

Pat Hancock


Pat Hancock was the eldest of four children born into a typical Steel Town family – dad working shifts at Stelco in Hamilton, mom staying at home taking care of everyone and everything on a very tight budget and taking on odd jobs when strike threats loomed, and both parents always emphasizing the importance of getting a good education. Pat absolutely loved school, reading, and riding her bike, and even back then, liked writing stories. But she never dreamed she would end up doing that for a living.

Pat saved enough from summer jobs as a waitress and a playground leader that, with a few loans and bursaries, she was able to head off to university right after Grade 13. She completed two years of the Household Science program at Guelph before deciding her financial situation might look a little brighter if she went to teacher’s college and got a job two years sooner than she had planned. She moved back home and did that, and then began teaching science at her old high school, Cathedral Girls’ High. While working there, she completed a BA at McMaster University, and then added English courses to her teaching load that, over time, also included Physics and Biology.

Pat retired from teaching in 1973 to become a full-time parent. Reading to her children sparked her interest in writing for children, and taking a course called “Stretch What You Know and Write for Children” at the YWCA got her started.
Since 1981, several of Pat’s short stories and articles have appeared in language arts readers and social studies texts, and in magazines intended for teachers and/or students. In 1987, she began writing teacher's guides for many of Scholastic's Big Books, and in 1988 became a contributing editor for Scholastic Canada's teachers' magazine, Classroom. She was also project consultant for HarperCollins' Whole Language Discovery Boxes.

Her first book, a sticker book about unicorns, was published in 1988, and she’s been writing non-fiction regularly since then. She loves doing that because she’s always learning something new when doing her research, especially research about Canadian history. She has also taught “Writing for Children” continuing education courses at both the University of Toronto and Ryerson, and continues to do freelance writing, editing and fact-checking for the children's market. She’s been an active member of CANSCAIP since shortly after it was founded, and served as its President from 1991 to 1993.



One-A-Day Facts and Fun: Activities for Every Day of the Year. Toronto: Scholastic Canada, 1997.
1986, The Year I Was Born: A Daily Record of Events. illus. Bill Slavin. Toronto: Kids Can Press, 1997.
1985, The Year I Was Born. Toronto: Kids Can Press,, 1996.
Strange and Eerie Stories. New York: Scholastic, 1994.
Ghosts and Other Scary Stories. co-author, Allan Gould. New York: Scholastic, 1993.
Lieux hantés 3 : histories véridiques d’ici. Éditions Scholastic, 2007
Haunted Canada 3: More True Ghost Stories. Scholastic Canada, 2007
Grim and Ghostly Stories: A Haunted Canada Book (with Allan Gould, revised edition). Scholastic Canada, 2006
Lieux hantés 2: histories véridiques d’ici. Éditions Scholastic, 2005
Strange and Spooky Stories: A Haunted Canada Book (revised edition ). Scholastic Canada, 2005
Haunted Canada 2: True Tales of Terror. Scholastic Canada, 2005
Crazy Canadian Trivia 2. Scholastic Canada, 2005
Scholastic Canada Book of Lists by James Buckley Jr. and Robert Stremme with Pat Hancock. Scholastic Canada, 2005
The Kids Book of Canadian Primer Ministers (revised edition). Kids Can Press, 2005
Le grande livre des premiers ministres du Canada. Héritage jeunesse, 2005
Lieux hantés: histories véridiques d’ici. Éditions Scholastic, 2004
150 faits abracadrants du Canada. Les editions Héritage, 2002
Brain Quest Canada: New Edition with Linda Granfield. Thomas Allen & Son/ Workman, 2001
Crazy Canadian Trivia. Scholastic Canada, 2000
The Penguin Book of Canadian Biography for Young Readers: Early Canada. Penguin Canada, 1999
Knights in Rusty Armour. Scholastic Canada, 1999
The Kids Book of Canadian Prime Ministers. Kids Can Press, 1998
Unicorns. Scholastic Canada, 1998
Brain Quest Canada with Linda Granfield. Thomas Allen & Son/ Workman, 1998


Saskatchewan Library Association’s Silver Willow Award for Haunted Canada: True Ghost Stories, 2004
Ontario Library Association’s Silver Birch Award nominee for The Kids Book of Canadian Prime Ministers, 1999
Eligible for National Public Readings Program:


Presentation Length:
about 1 hour
non-fiction, short stories
Audience Size: