Go ahead. Judge these books by their covers.

Secrets Orca Vicki GrantThe Unquiet PastMarthe Jocelyn Vicki GrantStones on a graveMy life before meTeresa Toten Shattered GlassInnocent Eric Walters

Because that’s all I can show you at the moment. You ask me, Orca’s Art Director Teresa Bubela did a fabulous job designing all seven Secrets novels.

The Secrets will be out September 2015. I’m looking forward to participating in the launch (launches!) with my friends Kelley Armstrong, Marthe Jocelyn, Kathy Kacer, Norah McClintock, Teresa Toten and Eric Walters.

The Secret isn’t out yet – but it is done.

Orca Secrets Vicki GrantI just realized that it’s been months since I posted anything.

Well, no wonder. Since I last appeared in this space, I’ve been working feverishly to finish Small Bones, my contribution to Orca Secrets.

Don’t know what Secrets is? Here’s a teaser:

It’s 1964 and life is about to change for seven orphan girls. On their own for the first time in their lives, the girls each embark on journeys of discovery, aching for the families they never had and experiencing the world in ways they never imagined.

Authors Kelley ArmstrongNorah McClintockVicki GrantMarthe JocelynKathy KacerTeresa Toten and Eric Walters team up in this brand new series of linked YA novels that will be published simultaneously.

Look for Secrets in September 2015.

Pigboy: starring Zachary Gordon and Megan Fox

Pigboy Movie posterOne of my favourite things about doing school visits is seeing examples of what I humbly refer to as ‘fan art’. (Click here to see another amazing example.)

I was back at Bible Hill Junior High this week and was given – okay, that’s not quite right. I was back at BHJH and begged to be given this Pigboy: The Movie poster created by one of the Grade 8 boys. (Pigboy – the book, that is – is a funny-scary or maybe scary-funny quick-read about a kid named Dan Hogg who goes on the worst field trip ever.)

I love the drawing. I love the stencilling. I love the casting. Zachary Gordon as Dan Hogg and Stanley Tucci as Mr. Benvie? Brilliant!

But my favourite is Megan Fox as Ms. Creaser. I named the character after an old friend of mine and a real teacher. Sue is going to be very flattered.

And P.S. Thanks to Mr. Greg Reid, teacher extraordinaire for inviting me back again this year. (What is it now, Greg? Five? Six times?

And P.P.S. Thanks to Halifax Learning Centre for sponsoring my visit – and their continuing work with struggling readers.

Spell Read and Me

School Visits, Halifax Learning CentreI’ve always had a special place in my heart for ‘reluctant readers’ – kids who for whatever reason don’t like to read, have trouble reading or are struggling with English as a second language. That’s why I write so many books for Orca’s excellent Sounding and Currents series. (Well, that and because they’re fun to write too. Their short format makes them an excellent playground to try out new writing styles and genres.)

Halifax Learning Centre has long been using books like Pigboy, Dead-End Job, I.D. and Not Suitable for Family Viewing as part of their remarkable Spell Read Literacy Program. Now I’m thrilled to announce that HLC is once again sponsoring my visits to schools throughout Nova Scotia. This November, I’ll be meeting with hundreds of kids in Grade s 5 through 12 to talk about my books and writing life as part of Halifax Learning Centre’s Celebration of Literacy.

Thanks, Halifax Learning Centre, for this wonderful endorsement.

Coming soon to Toronto!

Vicki Grant PresentationCan I go to school with you?

I’ll be in the GTA October 14, 15 and 16 and would love to visit your class or library. I do my best to make my presentations entertaining and, when I can get away with it, educational. If that sounds like something your students would enjoy, please get in touch with me here.

“Down-to-earth, funny and informative” – Dan Rolo, Monsieur Uyen Catholic School

“A motivating and heartfelt presentation” – Darlene Charron, Immaculata High School

“Vicki is an absolute delight!” – Linda Arsenault, Pictou-Antigonish Regional Library

 

“Vicki Grant is funny and endearing.”

Vicki Grant, Christmas, snowAnd I’ve got that on good authority. Amy Mathers said so. (Click her name if you don’t believe me.)

Amy has begun a journey “across the Canadian landscape of teen fiction” through her Marathon of Books. Her quest is to open “readers up to new perspectives and inspire book lovers to fund a teen book award.” She’s reading a book a day on a literary cross-country tour. She began in Nova Scotia with some of my oeuvre and that of my dear buddy, Don Aker. She hopes to get $100,000 in pledges to go towards the award.

It’s a wonderful project (and I’d say that even if she didn’t call me “funny and endearing”. Did I already mention that?) Click here to find out how you can support Amy’s Marathon of Books.

Amy Mathers, reader extraordinaire
Amy Mathers, reader extraordinaire

Everything you ever wanted to know about Vicki Grant (and no doubt more…)

Me looking thoughtfulVivian Howard of Dalhousie University is the driving force behind SeaStacks, a website devoted to children’s and young adult authors of Atlantic Canada. When she asked to interview me for the project, I’m sure she had no idea how much I could talk.

Man, do I go on.

In any event, here are a series of youtube videos that cover my background, my writing process, my approach to research and a lot of other things that just happened to pop into my head at the time.

Click here to watch. Enjoy!

Spot the difference.

A comic adventure novel for 10- to 14-year olds.
A comic adventure novel for 10- to 14-year olds.

I just received a wonderful note from a young woman named Alexia Panakos. She’s now a budding fashion designer but when she was in Grade Six, she read a funny little book called The Puppet Wrangler. It’s about a girl named Telly and a – how shall we say it? – character named Bitsie. (He’s hard to explain.)

Alexia enjoyed the book so much she decided to make a life-size replica of Bitsie.

Even better, she decided that it’s time the little guy came home to Mummy. Alexia is sending Bitsie to me so I can take him on school visits.

Didn’t she do an amazing job?

 

 

 

 

 

Bitsie by Alexia Panakos

Ni Dører?

Nine DoorsAccording to good old Google, that’s how you say “Nine Doors” in Norwegian.

I have no idea if the Scandinavian publisher will keep that title but my comic high/low novel  will soon be available in Norway.

To which all I can say is, “Kjempeflott!”

(Which I hope means “awesome” and not “grilled cheese sandwich” or “orthopedic insoles” – although both, under the correct conditions, can be pretty darn good too.)

In case you’re not familiar with Nine Doors (“What?!), it’s a short Young Adult novel in Orca’s wonderful Currents series.

Here are a few reviews to whet your appetite.

“Vicki Grant has done it again: she’s come up with another great hi-lo teen novel that is almost certain to garner accolades equal to those which her past efforts (all ALA “Quick Picks” books) have earned. NINE DOORSboasts a plot that’s simple yet gripping, pacing that’s tight and rapid-fire, and true-to-life characters that will resonate with readers both young and old…On top of its absorbing storyline and sharply-drawn main characters who undergo believable changes, NINE DOORS even has a splash of romance thrown in – truly a fantastic all-round read that is a sure bet for grabbing the interest of reluctant readers. CM Magazine

“No one creates more likable, fully rounded characters than Vicki Grant’s protagonists and “good guys”. Her central characters are memorable individuals whose comments clearly show their views of the world and the motivations and interconnections between them and their allies.” The Virtual Bookmark

“Realistic action and dialogue, along with a fast-paced plot, will keep reluctant readers turning pages.” School Library Journal

I just squeaked in.

ALA Quick Pick, OLA Best betThe good people at the Ontario Library Association (OLA) had a nice surprise for me. They awarded Hold the Pickles with an honourable mention on its Best Bets List 2012.

Hold the Pickles is a comic adventure for middle grade readers. It tells the continuing story of Dan Hogg, the hero* (sort of) of Pigboy, another Orca Currents young adult novel.

* He’d like that.

Congratulations to all the other authors who made the list!

Adderson, Caroline. Middle of Nowhere. Groundwood Books.
Bourke, Pat. Yesterday’s Dead. Second Story Press.
Curtis, Christoper Paul. The Mighty Miss Malone. Wendy Lamb Books.
Gay, Marie Louise and Homel, David. Summer in the City. Groundwood Books.
Horvath, Polly. Mr. and Mrs. Bunny – Detectives Extraordinaire! Illustrated by Sophie Blackall. Groundwood Books.
Korman, Gordon. Ungifted. Scholastic.
Peterson, Lois. The Paper House. Orca Book Publishers.
Skrypuch, Marsha Forchuk. Making Bombs for Hitler. Scholastic Books.
Stratton, Allan. The Grave Robber’s Apprentice. Harper Collins.

Junior Fiction – Honourables:
Grant, Vicki. Hold the Pickles. Orca Book Publishers.
Trogan, Kari and Brit. Margaret and the Moth Tree. Kids Can.
Wharton, Tomas. The Fathomless Fire. Doubleday.
White, Susan. Ten Thousand Truths. Acorn Press.