Shelley Tanaka wears many hats in the children’s book field. She is the author of two dozen children’s books, including seven titles in the award-winning I Was There series. She has won the Mr. Christie’s Award, the Silver Birch Award, the Science in Society Children’s Book Award and the Information Book Award. Her most recent book, Amelia Earhart: Legend of the Lost Aviator, has just been named winner of the Orbis Pictus Award, presented by the US National Council of Teachers of English for outstanding nonfiction for children, and just in time for this fall’s release of the film Amelia, starring Hilary Swank and Richard Gere.
Shelley has been fiction editor at Groundwood Books, Canada’s foremost children’s book publisher, for almost thirty years. She has edited thirteen Governor General’s Award-winning titles and worked with many of the country’s finest children’s writers, including Martha Brooks, Deborah Ellis, Maureen Garvie, Mariko Tamaki and Tim Wynne-Jones.
Born and raised in Toronto, Shelley is a Queen’s graduate who couldn’t stay away from Kingston and finally moved back ten years ago. She teaches in the Writing for Children and Young Adults MFA program at Vermont College.
Photo credit: Jessica Abraham