FOLD KIDS BOOK FEST 2021
November 4 - 7

All Access Pass $14

Festival Tracks

ELEMENTARY

Events designed for elementary students include entertaining and interactive portions delivered in shorter segments to enjoy live or on-demand, depending on the needs of the students.

MIDDLE GRADE

From workshops to interactive, high-energy battles, the festival’s middle grade events will engage students by offering a variety of events that will spark new insight on the incredible power of storytelling.

TEENS

The festival’s teen events feature some of the most exciting names in children's literature. These events also provide opportunities for teens to consider important questions regarding their personal journey and career path.

FAMILY/ALL AGES

Enjoy incredible events together! FOLD Kids Book Fest family events are designed to spark creativity and conversation. From story time events to kid-led panels, our all ages events have something for everyone.

EDUCATORS

In addition to sessions and activities designed for classes, educators can take advantage of workshops and panel discussions to support their professional development.

WRITERS

This year’s festival includes workshops designed for writers of kid lit. While there are events for budding writers, there are also panels and workshops specifically designed for adult writers who are navigating the kid lit publishing industry.

November 3

8:00 PM - 9:15 PM ET

1. Crisis in the Classroom

In this preview event designed for parents and educators, authors Tash McAdam, Khodi Dill and David A. Robertson discuss how the pandemic and contemporary conversations are affecting classrooms and kids. From the perspective of mentors, educators, and authors, these three incredible storytellers discuss the importance of books and the critical role of reading to navigate the ever-evolving challenges of today.


David A. Robertson
Tash McAdam
Khodi Dill
Rabia Khokhar

November 4

9:30 AM - 10:30 AM ET

2. We Move Together

In this two-part event for young readers, the creators behind We Move Together read from their picture book before leading a discussion on the different ways people in our community move through spaces. After a short body break, the creators will show kids how to advocate for more accessible spaces in their neighbourhood through a fun craft-based exercise. Educators and attendees may choose to attend the entire event live or to attend all or part of the event on-demand once the event is complete. Age 4+. 60 minutes (2 x 25 minutes with 5 minute body break).


Kelly Fritsch
Anne McGuire
Eduardo Trejos

11:00 AM - 11:45 AM ET

3. Fashion Forward: Christian Allaire on the Power of Style

As a fashion-obsessed Ojibwe teen, Christian Allaire didn't see himself in magazines but as the Fashion and Style writer for Vogue magazine, he's trying to change that. In a session designed just for teens, the author of The Power of Style: How Fashion and Beauty Are Being Used to Reclaim Cultures discusses his career path and his journey as a journalist. Hosted by Jael RIchardson, this event will also include engaging and interactive pop-culture debates and discussions alongside important career conversations that will be useful for students regardless of their chosen career path. Age 13+. 45 minutes.

Christian Allaire

1:30 PM - 2:30 PM ET

4. The Illustrator Battle

Back by popular demand, the Illustrator Battle returns with a new crop of artists who will take up their drawing tools and battle it out live from their drawing tables. This not-to-be missed hilarious and interactive event includes live voting and complex challenges and features Canadian illustrators Ken Daley, Rosena Fung and Bridget George, with the FOLD's very own Kids Coordinator, Ardo Omer, returning as its host. Age 8+. 60 minutes.

Rosena Fung
Bridget George
Ken Daley
Ardo Omer

6:00 PM - 6:45 PM ET

5. Creating Comics with Rosena Fung

Boom! Kapow! Glup? Living with Viola creator Rosena Fung breaks down how comics work in a practical workshop that will teach budding artists how to create their own comics to convey incredible stories. Attendees should have drawing paper and tools ready to go for this workshop. Age 8+. 45 minutes.

Rosena Fung

8:00 PM - 9:15 PM ET

6. Alternate Pasts and Magical Futures in Young Adult Fiction

Speculative fiction is the genre of possibilities. Setting your story in Victorian London with a character who can't be killed? Done. Want to put some witches into the near future? Done. How about a story in ancient China with giant robot suits? That sounds like a great time! In this panel discussion, moderated by Kerry C. Byrne, young adult authors Xiran Jay Zhao, Sarah Raughley and Liselle Sambury discuss building new worlds, being inspired by the past, and imagining incredible futures. Age 13+. 60 minutes.

Sarah Raughley
Liselle Sambury
Xiran Jay Zhao
Kerry C. Byrne

November 5

9:30 AM - 10:15 AM ET

7. Storytelling with Njacko Backo – FRENCH LEARNING EVENT

In the Bamiléké tribe of Cameroon, grandparents and elders use stories to inspire children to learn values that will shape a better tomorrow. In this French-language event, kids will enjoy Njacko’s unique story-telling style which he uses to convey incredible stories that celebrate resilient people and communities. Children will learn new vocabulary while gaining incredible insight on the power of African storytelling traditions in a way that is transformative, entertaining, and educational. Ages 6+. 45 mins.


Njacko Backo

11:00 AM - 12:00 PM ET

8. Magic and Marvel in Indigenous Fantasy

This fall, Canada Reads finalist Cherie Dimaline followed up her young adult bestseller, The Marrow Thieves, with a new novel, Hunting by Stars, while author David A. Robertson released The Great Bear -- a follow-up to his middle grade phenomenon, The Barren Grounds. The two authors return to the FOLD stage to discuss their much-anticipated sequels, which imagine new worlds rooted in magic and marvel. Following short readings, the two will discuss the challenges and triumphs of sequel-writing, while answering live questions from the audience. Ages 10+. 60 minutes.

Cherie Dimaline
David A. Robertson

1:30 PM - 2:30 PM ET

9. Making Memories in Middle Grade Fiction

From transforming colourful neighbourhoods, to making new friends, to embarking on an epic road trip, middle grade authors Angela Ahn (Peter Lee's Notes from the Field), Marty Chan (Kylie the Magnificent), Chad Lucas (Thanks A Lot, Universe) and Karleen Pendleton Jiménez (The Street Belong to Us) discuss their new novels and the lessons they have learned about themselves and about writing, followed by live questions from the audience. Age 10+. 60 minutes.

Angela Ahn
Marty Chan
Chad Lucas
Karleen Pendleton Jiménez

5:00 PM - 5:30 PM ET

10. ASL Storytime with Gaitrie Persaud

In this event, Deaf artist and actress Gaitrie “Natasha” Persaud presents the incredible children’s book A Sari for PMmi in PMerican Sign Language (ASL), sharing and revealing the incredible ways ASL stories are conveyed. Suitable for children and families of all agaes, this ASL storytelling event will provide learning and fun for adults and children. Oral translation will be provided by ASL interpreter Rogue Benjamin. Age 4+ 30 mins.

Gaitrie Persaud

7:00 PM - 8:00 PM ET

11. Come Read With Me: Pajama Party

Put on your PJs and snuggle up tight with your favourite blanket or stuffed animal as special guests read aloud from a wide range of picture books -- showing each turn of the page with beautiful colours and illustrations. This event includes seven readings of all seven picture books featured at this year's festival and is suitable for readers of all ages. Enjoy it in one sitting or spread it out over a few classes or evenings on-demand. All Ages. 60 minutes.

We Move Together
Welcome to the Cypher
The Doll
It's A Mitig!
Jayden's Impossible Garden
C is for Carnival
Margot and the Moon Landing

November 6

10:00 AM - 10:45 AM ET

12. An Urban Ecology Field Trip with Dr. Cylita Guy

Dr. Cylita Guy will take readers on an urban ecology virtual field trip through a local park. Inspired by her book, Chasing Bats and Tracking Rats: Urban Ecology, Community Science, and How We Share Our Cities, she'll share how social issues impact outdoor spaces and how to engage with nature in your very own neighbourhood. Following the field trip, Dr. Guy will answer questions about bats, rats, and other creatures for those attending live. Ages 6+. 45 minutes.

Dr. Cylita Guy

12:00 PM - 12:45 PM ET

13. Writing Rhymes with Khodi Dill: A Rap Workshop

In this engaging workshop, Khodi Dill, author of Welcome to the Cypher, teaches kids how to write, rap and rhyme like a pro. Grab you writing materials and get comfortable at a good writing surface for an exciting and interactive lesson. Ages 8+. 45 mins.

Khodi Dill

2:00 PM - 3:00 PM ET

14. Growing Up Trans

In this powerful panel discussion moderated by mentor Tash McAdam, contributors from Growing Up Trans -- an anthology of stories, essays, art and poetry written by trans youth aged 11 to 18 -- read from their work and discuss their writing journey. Alongside editor Dr. Lindsay Herriot, contributors discuss what understanding, acceptance and support for the trans community should look like for youth today. Family Event. 60 mins.

Maisie Bodrug
Dr. Lindsay Herriot
Tash McAdam
Wynter

4:00 PM - 5:00 PM ET

15. Mixed Bag Mayhem: A Ripple Foundation Writing Workshop

Brought to you by the Ripple Foundation, the Mixed Bag Mayhem workshop focuses on the importance of characters and character development. Developed by a certified grade school teacher with over 20 years of teaching experience, this workshop is geared towards young writers and is designed to help writers who want to improve their creative writing skills find their literary voice and gain confidence in their writing choices. Ripple Foundation workshop facilitators will lead participants through an activity sheet and will use breakout rooms to facilitate interactive engagement. Age 10+. 60 mins.

The Ripple Foundation

8:00 PM - 9:00 PM ET

16. A Whole New World: Stories of Borders and Belonging

Three powerful books create the framework for an important conversation about immigration and the stories that are carried and told along the way. Designed for young people, parents and educators, this panel discussion will highlight a picture book inspired by the real life of author Nhung N. Tran-Davies, a nonfiction book for middle grade readers on the history of human migration by Jen Sookfong Lee, and a young adult novel on the struggles of a young teen of undocumented parents by Daniel Aleman. Moderated by author Danny Ramadan, this session will thoughtfully examine the journey of relocation and belonging.

Daniel Aleman
Nhung N. Tran-Davies
Danny Ramadan
Jen Sookfong Lee

November 7

10:00 AM - 11:15 AM ET

17. Making a Picture Book: Self-Publishing vs. Traditional Publishing

This FOLD Kids workshop will provide writers with insight into some of the key questions and considerations involved in creating and publishing picture books in Canada. Led by Yolanda T. Marshall – an author with experience self-publishing and traditionally publishing picture books, the workshop will explore the advantages and disadvantages of the various publishing options that are available to kid lit authors. The workshop will offer guidelines based on first-hand experiences and will inspire new and established authors to approach publishing their next picture book with confidence.

Yolanda T. Marshall

12:00 PM - 1:15 PM ET

18. Teaching Disability Justice

In this session for K-12 educators, the creators of We Move Together will introduce participants to sample activities and lessons found in the book’s accompanying learning guide, which includes 60+ pages of curriculum and printable templates aimed to support conversations about disability, accessibility, community building, and disability justice in the classroom. While this picture book and its accompanying educational materials are geared towards K-4, the creators will provide frameworks and activities that can be easily adapted for older elementary and high school students.

Kelly Fritsch
Anne McGuire
Eduardo Trejos

2:00 PM - 3:15 PM ET

19. Writing Great Fantasy with Sarah Raughley

Whether your story idea is set in a secondary world high fantasy or a contemporary fantasy, creating believable settings requires a lot of research and dedicated attention. Join young adult fantasy writer Sarah Raughley as she goes through incredible tricks and tips for building phenomenal worlds. By the end of this workshop, wrtiers will have plenty of helpful resources to begin building their very own worlds.

Sarah Raughley

4:00 PM - 5:15 PM ET

20. Teaching STEM through Storytelling

Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics are all around us but STEM materials can often be difficult to navigate for students, especially for students with alternative learning styles. In this workshop, educators will gain insight on how to use storytelling to explore STEM with an emphasis on contemporary Canadian picture books.

AC Fitzpatrick

6:00 PM - 7:15 PM ET

21. Tackling Problems in Publishing

In this closing event, authors SK Ali, Marty Chan and Sarah Raughley discuss the realities of publishing children's and young adult literature in Canada. In an honest and candid discussion with Executive Director, Jael Richardson, these established writers will discuss problems and solutions for navigating the industry. Ages 14+. 60 minutes.

SK Ali
Marty Chan
Sarah Raughley
Jael Richardson

November 4

9:30 AM - 10:30 AM ET

2. We Move Together

In this two-part event for young readers, the creators behind We Move Together read from their picture book before leading a discussion on the different ways people in our community move through spaces. After a short body break, the creators will show kids how to advocate for more accessible spaces in their neighbourhood through a fun craft-based exercise. Educators and attendees may choose to attend the entire event live or to attend all or part of the event on-demand once the event is complete. Age 4+. 60 minutes (2 x 25 minutes with 5 minute body break).


Kelly Fritsch
Anne McGuire
Eduardo Trejos

November 5

9:30 AM - 10:15 AM ET

7. Storytelling with Njacko Backo – FRENCH LEARNING EVENT

In the Bamiléké tribe of Cameroon, grandparents and elders use stories to inspire children to learn values that will shape a better tomorrow. In this French-language event, kids will enjoy Njacko’s unique story-telling style which he uses to convey incredible stories that celebrate resilient people and communities. Children will learn new vocabulary while gaining incredible insight on the power of African storytelling traditions in a way that is transformative, entertaining, and educational. Ages 6+. 45 mins.


Njacko Backo

5:00 PM - 5:30 PM ET

10. ASL Storytime with Gaitrie Persaud

In this event, Deaf artist and actress Gaitrie “Natasha” Persaud presents the incredible children’s book A Sari for PMmi in PMerican Sign Language (ASL), sharing and revealing the incredible ways ASL stories are conveyed. Suitable for children and families of all agaes, this ASL storytelling event will provide learning and fun for adults and children. Oral translation will be provided by ASL interpreter Rogue Benjamin. Age 4+ 30 mins.

Gaitrie Persaud

November 6

10:00 AM - 10:45 AM ET

12. An Urban Ecology Field Trip with Dr. Cylita Guy

Dr. Cylita Guy will take readers on an urban ecology virtual field trip through a local park. Inspired by her book, Chasing Bats and Tracking Rats: Urban Ecology, Community Science, and How We Share Our Cities, she'll share how social issues impact outdoor spaces and how to engage with nature in your very own neighbourhood. Following the field trip, Dr. Guy will answer questions about bats, rats, and other creatures for those attending live. Ages 6+. 45 minutes.

Dr. Cylita Guy

November 4

1:30 PM - 2:30 PM ET

4. The Illustrator Battle

Back by popular demand, the Illustrator Battle returns with a new crop of artists who will take up their drawing tools and battle it out live from their drawing tables. This not-to-be missed hilarious and interactive event includes live voting and complex challenges and features Canadian illustrators Ken Daley, Rosena Fung and Bridget George, with the FOLD's very own Kids Coordinator, Ardo Omer, returning as its host. Age 8+. 60 minutes.

Rosena Fung
Bridget George
Ken Daley
Ardo Omer

6:00 PM - 6:45 PM ET

5. Creating Comics with Rosena Fung

Boom! Kapow! Glup? Living with Viola creator Rosena Fung breaks down how comics work in a practical workshop that will teach budding artists how to create their own comics to convey incredible stories. Attendees should have drawing paper and tools ready to go for this workshop. Age 8+. 45 minutes.

Rosena Fung

November 5

1:30 PM - 2:30 PM ET

9. Making Memories in Middle Grade Fiction

From transforming colourful neighbourhoods, to making new friends, to embarking on an epic road trip, middle grade authors Angela Ahn (Peter Lee's Notes from the Field), Marty Chan (Kylie the Magnificent), Chad Lucas (Thanks A Lot, Universe) and Karleen Pendleton Jiménez (The Street Belong to Us) discuss their new novels and the lessons they have learned about themselves and about writing, followed by live questions from the audience. Age 10+. 60 minutes.

Angela Ahn
Marty Chan
Chad Lucas
Karleen Pendleton Jiménez

November 6

12:00 PM - 12:45 PM ET

13. Writing Rhymes with Khodi Dill: A Rap Workshop

In this engaging workshop, Khodi Dill, author of Welcome to the Cypher, teaches kids how to write, rap and rhyme like a pro. Grab you writing materials and get comfortable at a good writing surface for an exciting and interactive lesson. Ages 8+. 45 mins.

Khodi Dill

4:00 PM - 5:00 PM ET

15. Mixed Bag Mayhem: A Ripple Foundation Writing Workshop

Brought to you by the Ripple Foundation, the Mixed Bag Mayhem workshop focuses on the importance of characters and character development. Developed by a certified grade school teacher with over 20 years of teaching experience, this workshop is geared towards young writers and is designed to help writers who want to improve their creative writing skills find their literary voice and gain confidence in their writing choices. Ripple Foundation workshop facilitators will lead participants through an activity sheet and will use breakout rooms to facilitate interactive engagement. Age 10+. 60 mins.

The Ripple Foundation

November 4

11:00 AM - 11:45 AM ET

3. Fashion Forward: Christian Allaire on the Power of Style

As a fashion-obsessed Ojibwe teen, Christian Allaire didn't see himself in magazines but as the Fashion and Style writer for Vogue magazine, he's trying to change that. In a session designed just for teens, the author of The Power of Style: How Fashion and Beauty Are Being Used to Reclaim Cultures discusses his career path and his journey as a journalist. Hosted by Jael RIchardson, this event will also include engaging and interactive pop-culture debates and discussions alongside important career conversations that will be useful for students regardless of their chosen career path. Age 13+. 45 minutes.

Christian Allaire

8:00 PM - 9:15 PM ET

6. Alternate Pasts and Magical Futures in Young Adult Fiction

Speculative fiction is the genre of possibilities. Setting your story in Victorian London with a character who can't be killed? Done. Want to put some witches into the near future? Done. How about a story in ancient China with giant robot suits? That sounds like a great time! In this panel discussion, moderated by Kerry C. Byrne, young adult authors Xiran Jay Zhao, Sarah Raughley and Liselle Sambury discuss building new worlds, being inspired by the past, and imagining incredible futures. Age 13+. 60 minutes.

Sarah Raughley
Liselle Sambury
Xiran Jay Zhao
Kerry C. Byrne

November 5

11:00 AM - 12:00 PM ET

8. Magic and Marvel in Indigenous Fantasy

This fall, Canada Reads finalist Cherie Dimaline followed up her young adult bestseller, The Marrow Thieves, with a new novel, Hunting by Stars, while author David A. Robertson released The Great Bear -- a follow-up to his middle grade phenomenon, The Barren Grounds. The two authors return to the FOLD stage to discuss their much-anticipated sequels, which imagine new worlds rooted in magic and marvel. Following short readings, the two will discuss the challenges and triumphs of sequel-writing, while answering live questions from the audience. Ages 10+. 60 minutes.

Cherie Dimaline
David A. Robertson

November 5

7:00 PM - 8:00 PM ET

11. Come Read With Me: Pajama Party

Put on your PJs and snuggle up tight with your favourite blanket or stuffed animal as special guests read aloud from a wide range of picture books -- showing each turn of the page with beautiful colours and illustrations. This event includes seven readings of all seven picture books featured at this year's festival and is suitable for readers of all ages. Enjoy it in one sitting or spread it out over a few classes or evenings on-demand. All Ages. 60 minutes.

We Move Together
Welcome to the Cypher
The Doll
It's A Mitig!
Jayden's Impossible Garden
C is for Carnival
Margot and the Moon Landing

November 6

2:00 PM - 3:00 PM ET

14. Growing Up Trans

In this powerful panel discussion moderated by mentor Tash McAdam, contributors from Growing Up Trans -- an anthology of stories, essays, art and poetry written by trans youth aged 11 to 18 -- read from their work and discuss their writing journey. Alongside editor Dr. Lindsay Herriot, contributors discuss what understanding, acceptance and support for the trans community should look like for youth today. Family Event. 60 mins.

Maisie Bodrug
Dr. Lindsay Herriot
Tash McAdam
Wynter

November 3

8:00 PM - 9:15 PM ET

1. Crisis in the Classroom

In this preview event designed for parents and educators, authors Tash McAdam, Khodi Dill and David A. Robertson discuss how the pandemic and contemporary conversations are affecting classrooms and kids. From the perspective of mentors, educators, and authors, these three incredible storytellers discuss the importance of books and the critical role of reading to navigate the ever-evolving challenges of today.


David Alexander Robertson
Tash McAdam
Khodi Dill
Rabia Khokhar

November 6

8:00 PM - 9:00 PM ET

16. A Whole New World: Stories of Borders and Belonging

Three powerful books create the framework for an important conversation about immigration and the stories that are carried and told along the way. Designed for young people, parents and educators, this panel discussion will highlight a picture book inspired by the real life of author Nhung N. Tran-Davies, a nonfiction book for middle grade readers on the history of human migration by Jen Sookfong Lee, and a young adult novel on the struggles of a young teen of undocumented parents by Daniel Aleman. Moderated by author Danny Ramadan, this session will thoughtfully examine the journey of relocation and belonging.

Daniel Aleman
Nhung N. Tran-Davies
Danny Ramadan
Jen Sookfong Lee

November 7

12:00 PM - 1:15 PM ET

18. Teaching Disability Justice

In this session for K-12 educators, the creators of We Move Together will introduce participants to sample activities and lessons found in the book’s accompanying learning guide, which includes 60+ pages of curriculum and printable templates aimed to support conversations about disability, accessibility, community building, and disability justice in the classroom. While this picture book and its accompanying educational materials are geared towards K-4, the creators will provide frameworks and activities that can be easily adapted for older elementary and high school students.

Kelly Fritsch
Anne McGuire
Eduardo Trejos

4:00 PM - 5:15 PM ET

20. Teaching STEM through Storytelling

Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics are all around us but STEM materials can often be difficult to navigate for students, especially for students with alternative learning styles. In this workshop, educators will gain insight on how to use storytelling to explore STEM with an emphasis on contemporary Canadian picture books.

AC Fitzpatrick

November 7

10:00 AM - 11:15 AM ET

17. Making a Picture Book: Self-Publishing vs. Traditional Publishing

This FOLD Kids workshop will provide writers with insight into some of the key questions and considerations involved in creating and publishing picture books in Canada. Led by Yolanda T. Marshall – an author with experience self-publishing and traditionally publishing picture books, the workshop will explore the advantages and disadvantages of the various publishing options that are available to kid lit authors. The workshop will offer guidelines based on first-hand experiences and will inspire new and established authors to approach publishing their next picture book with confidence.

Yolanda T. Marshall

2:00 PM - 3:15 PM ET

19. Writing Great Fantasy with Sarah Raughley

Whether your story idea is set in a secondary world high fantasy or a contemporary fantasy, creating believable settings requires a lot of research and dedicated attention. Join young adult fantasy writer Sarah Raughley as she goes through incredible tricks and tips for building phenomenal worlds. By the end of this workshop, wrtiers will have plenty of helpful resources to begin building their very own worlds.

Sarah Raughley

6:00 PM - 7:15 PM ET

21. Tackling Problems in Publishing

In this closing event, authors SK Ali, Marty Chan and Sarah Raughley discuss the realities of publishing children's and young adult literature in Canada. In an honest and candid discussion with Executive Director, Jael Richardson, these established writers will discuss problems and solutions for navigating the industry. Ages 14+. 60 minutes.

SK Ali
Marty Chan
Sarah Raughley
Jael Richardson

Authors and Presenters

Anna Fitzpatrick

A.C. Fitzpatrick

Anna Fitzpatrick is the author of Margot and the Moon Landing. She previously worked as a children's book columnist at The Globe and Mail and The National Post, and was a bookseller at Mabel's Fables Children's Bookstore. She lives in Toronto.

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Anna Fitzpatrick

Alexandra Yeboah

Alexandra Yeboah is a Black writer, dreamer, creative spirit, and storyteller facilitator living in Brampton, Ontario, Canada. As an avid storyteller and facilitator, Alexandra is keen on sharing about the beauty of storytelling and the PMazing way it can bring communities closer together, build legacies and ultimately change lives.

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Angela Ahn

Angela Ahn

Angela Ahn was born in Seoul, but her family immigrated to Canada before she could walk. Before writing books for kids, she worked for several years as a teacher and a librarian, but lately has been working from home, taking care of her two children, and grudgingly making dinner every night. She lives in Vancouver, BC.

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Anne McGuire

Anne McGuire

Anne McGuire is an associate professor and director of the program for Critical Studies in Equity and Solidarity at the University of Toronto, where she teaches in the areas of critical disability studies and disabled childhoods. She is the co-author of the children’s book We Move Together (AK Press, 2021). Her monograph, War on Autism: On the Cultural Logic of Normative Violence (University of Michigan Press, 2016), was awarded the 2016 Tobin Siebers Prize for Disability Studies in the Humanities.

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Anne McGuire

Ardo Omer

Ardo Omer has written for online platforms as a reviewer and critic for almost a decade. Omer lives in Toronto, Ontario, where she serves as the Kids Coordinator for the Festival of Literary Diversity (FOLD).

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Bridget George

Bridget George

Bridget George is an Anishinaabe Author-Illustrator from Kettle and Stony Point First Nation. Her very first book "It's a Mitig!" is a special rhyming book to help introduce families like hers to the Ojibwe language. She is currently illustrating a new book by Carole Lindstrom about Autumn Peltier and her fight as a Water Warrior protecting mother earth.

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Chad Lucas

Chad Lucas

Chad Lucas has been in love with words since he attempted his first novel on a typewriter in the sixth grade. He has worked as a newspaper reporter, communications advisor, freelance writer, part-time journalism instructor, and parenting columnist. A proud descendant of the historic African Nova Scotian community of Lucasville, he lives with his family in Nova Scotia. In his spare time, he enjoys coaching basketball, and he’s rarely far from a cup of tea. His debut middle-grade novel THANKS A LOT, UNIVERSE (Amulet Books/Abrams Kids) released in May 2021.

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Cherie Dimaline

Cherie Dimaline

Cherie Dimaline's The Marrow Thieves was named one of the Best YA Books of All Time by TIME magazine after winning the Governor General’s Award and the Kirkus Prize. Her novel Empire of Wild, an instant bestseller and Indigo's Best Book of 2019, was featured in The New York Times and the New Yorker. A registered member of the Georgian Bay Metis Community, Cherie lives in her home territory and is writing for television, finishing a new novel, and adapting Empire of Wild for stage and screen. Hunting By Stars, the hotly anticipated sequel to The Marrow Thieves, was released October 2021.

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Cherie Dimaline

Chinmayi Yathiraju

Chinmayi Yathiraju is from a South Asian background, and is passionate about encouraging a love for reading and writing in the younger generation by volunteering with organizations such as Ripple Foundation that aim to support literacy and creativity in children.

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Christian Allaire

Christian Allaire

Christian Allaire is an Indigenous (Ojibwe) writer from Nipissing First Nation. He is currently the Fashion & Style Writer for Vogue and based in Brooklyn.

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Cylita Guy

Cylita Guy

Cylita Guy, PhD is a Toronto based ecologist, data scientist, and science communicator who studies bats. Her first children’s book – Chasing Bats & Tracking Rats: Urban Ecology, Community Science, and How We Share Our Cities – published by Annick Press, is now available for pre-order. In her downtime, you can find your friendly neighbourhood batgirl chasing her next big outdoor adventure.

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Daniel Aleman

Daniel Aleman

Daniel Aleman is the author of INDIVISIBLE, a Junior Library Guild Gold Standard Selection. He was born and raised in Mexico City and is a graduate of McGill University. After spending time in Montreal and the New York City area, he now lives in Toronto, where he is on a never-ending search for the best tacos in the city.

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Daniel Aleman

Danny Ramadan

Danny Ramadan is a Syrian-Canadian author and LGBTQ+ refugees advocate. His debut novel, The Clothesline Swing, won multiple awards. His children's book Salma the Syrian Chef, continues to receive accolades.

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David A. Robertson

David A. Robertson

DAVID A. ROBERTSON is the author of numerous books for young readers including When We Were Alone, which won the 2017 Governor General's Literary Award and was nominated for the TD Canadian Children's Literature Award. The Barren Grounds, book 1 of his middle grade fantasy The Misewa Saga, was a finalist for the 2020 Governor General's Literary Award. David is a member of Norway House Cree Nation and lives in Winnipeg.

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Eduardo Trejos

Eduardo Trejos

Eduardo Trejos is a Costa Rican multi-disciplinary artist. A lover of color, insatiable reader, and parent of two boys, he currently lives in Toronto where he works as a graphic designer.

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Gaitrie Persaud

Gaitrie Persaud

Gaitrie Persaud-Dhumoon is one of Canada’s most accomplished ASL music Deaf performers and actress. Gaitrie’s original ASL musical interpretations and acting performances are featured on social media, live-performances and music videos heard all over the world. Gaitrie was involved in Toronto Creative Music Lab in Toronto and was one of the two Deaf participants involved in the Music lab along with 14 hearing musicians/ composers. In 2014, Gaitrie received an email from Deaf Spectrum to join the LAL music group as ASL music performer. It began a decades long association including Gaitrie consulting their music for LAL and remains her ASL Musical consultant to this day.

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Jen Sookfong Lee

Jael Richardson

Jael Richardson is the author of the bestselling novel Gutter Child, out now with HarperCollins Canada. She lives in Brampton, Ontario, where she founded and serves as the Executive Director for the Festival of Literary Diversity (FOLD).

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Jen Sookfong Lee

Jen Sookfong Lee

Jen Sookfong Lee was born and raised in Vancouver’s East Side, and she now lives with her son in North Burnaby. Her books include The Conjoined, nominated for International Dublin Literary Award and a finalist for the Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize, The Better Mother, a finalist for the City of Vancouver Book Award, The End of East, The Shadow List, and Finding Home. Jen acquires and edits for ECW Press and co-hosts the literary podcast, Can’t Lit.

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Karleen Pendleton Jiménez

Karleen Pendleton Jiménez

Karleen Pendleton Jimenez is the author of the middle grade book The Street Belongs to Us. She also wrote Tomboys and Other Gender and Heroes and Lambda Literary Awards finalist Are You a Boy or a Girl? She was the screenwriter for the award-winning animated film Tomboy, and has been recognized by the PMerican Library Association and the Vice Versa Awards for Excellence in the Gay and Lesbian Press. She teaches education, gender, and social justice at Trent University. Raised in Los Angeles, she lives in Toronto with her partner and daughter.

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Kelly Fritsch

Kelly Fritsch

Kelly Fritsch is a disabled writer, educator, and parent living in Ottawa. She is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at Carleton University and director of the Disability Justice & Crip Culture Collaboratory. As a disability studies scholar, her work mobilizes social and cultural theory, arts-based research, and everyday hacking and tinkering to explore the generative frictions of disability. She is co-author of We Move Together, a children’s book engaging community-based practices of desiring disability, and co-editor of Disability Injustice: Confronting Criminalization in Canada and Keywords for Radicals: The Contested Vocabulary of Late-Capitalist Struggle.

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Kelly Fritsch

Kerry C. Byrne

Kerry C. Byrne is an autistic, queer, and nonbinary writer and award-nominated publisher and editor living in Toronto. They are the Co-Founder and CEO of the Augur Magazine Literary Society, the Co-Director of Augurcon, and the Publisher of Augur Magazine.

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Ken Daley

Ken Daley

Ken Daley was born in Cambridge, Ontario to parents who emigrated from Dominica, West Indies. He has exhibited his artwork within Canada, the United States and the Caribbean, and his work can be found in numerous private and public collections. Ken has illustrated five children’s books, and currently working on three more titles. Ken’s passion lies with creating art that reflect his heritage as the child of immigrants, his connection to the Caribbean, and the richness and expanse of the African Diaspora.

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Khodi Dill

Khodi Dill

Khodi Dill is a Bahamian-Canadian writer of everything from rap songs to children's literature. Author of the picture book Welcome to the Cypher, which introduces young people to the transformative power of hip-hop, Khodi hopes that his writing will engage youth in both social justice and the arts. He is a proud father and partner who lives and writes in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.

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Lindsay Herriot

Lindsay Herriot

Dr. Lindsay Herriot is a special education teacher in the Greater Victoria School District and an adjunct professor in the School of Child and Youth Care and the Faculty of Education at the University of Victoria. Along with Kate Fry, she is the co-founder of the Gender Generations Project.

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Liselle Sambury

Liselle Sambury

Liselle Sambury is a Trinidadian-Canadian author who grew up in Toronto, Ontario, and her brand of writing can be described as “messy Black girls in fantasy situations.” In her free time, she shares helpful tips for upcoming writers and details of her publishing journey through a YouTube channel dedicated to helping demystify the sometimes complicated business of being an author.

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Maisie Bodrug

Maisie Bodrug

Maisie Bodrug (She/Her/Hers) Maisie is a Highschool student in her last year who has been a part of Gender Generations since its debut back when it was known as Trans Tipping Point. She was the winner of the 2018 Outwrite Ezine poetry competition and was published in it and has read her poetry numerous times at the Outcast portion of the Fringe Festival. She also enjoys creating visual art and music. Her favorite thing to do in her spare time is to read and play video games. Maisie is part of the LGBTQ+ community and the Jewish community.

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Marty Chan

Marty Chan

Marty writes books for kids, plays for adults and tweets for fun. His newest novels is Kylie the Magnificent. He works and lives in Edmonton with his wife Michelle and their cat Buddy.

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Nhung N. Tran-Davies

Nhung N. Tran-Davies

Nhung is an author, physician, mother of three, and an advocate for social justice in education. Her family came to Canada as refugees from Vietnam in 1979, and in 2013 Nhung founded the Children of Vietnam Benevolent Foundation. She spoke at the UN's International Organization on Migration in Geneva as part of their "I PM a Migrant" campaign to help reduce hate speech and promote tolerance. She also founded the Kemosa Scholarship for First Nations, Metis and Inuit Mothers Who Write, as well as the Zyp Art Gallery. Her books have been shortlisted for the Alberta Literary Award and the Red Maple Award.

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Njacko Backo

Njacko Backo

Njacko Backo is a storyteller, songwriter, singer, musician and composer who has been performing for children and adults since his childhood in Cameroon. He has a lifetime of practice in capturing the subtlety of storytelling and dance with his music – an essential part of the African performing arts. His programs for children and youth draw on parallels and differences between Canadian and African family life while introducing a passion for the French language.

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Njacko Backo

Oluebube Okafor (Ebube)

identifies as the ‘B’ in BIPOC. They write to continue to push the boundaries of how our culture views Black people and to educate others on the experiences we have and the issues that are specific to our community.

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Rosena Fung

Rabia Khokhar

Rabia Khokhar is a Teacher with the Toronto District School Board and an equity consultant. She is also a PhD student at OISE and a recipient of the Elementary Teacher’s Federation of Ontario’s 2021 Anti-Racist and Equity Activism Award.

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Rosena Fung

Rosena Fung

Rosena Fung is a Toronto-based cartoonist and illustrator. Her first graphic novel Living With Viola is published by Annick Press. Her editorial clients include The Globe and Mail, The Boston Globe, Chronicle Review of Higher Education, CBC Arts, PLANSPONSOR, Maisonneuve, Bust Magazine, Avenue Magazine, Swerve Magazine, and Tridel Corporation. Her works have been featured on CBC Docs and CBC Arts. When she is not drawing, Rosena can be found teaching illustration, vending at zine fairs, and going to the library. Her favourite activities are reading, eating snacks, cats, and learning to play the guitar. Her name is pronounced "Rosanna".

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S. K. Ali

S. K. Ali

S. K. Ali is a New York Times bestselling and award-winning author of several books, including novels named as top ten YA titles of the year by various media including Entertainment Weekly and Kirkus Reviews. Her newest novel, Misfit in Love, is a People magazine best book of summer 2021. Her other books include the critically-acclaimed middle grade anthology Once Upon an Eid and the New York Times bestselling picture book, The Proudest Blue.

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Sarah Raughley

Sarah Raughley

Sarah Raughley is a Young Adult Fantasy Author of the Effigies Series and The Bones of Ruin.

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Tash McAdam

Tash McAdam

Tash is a Welsh-Canadian author and educator. Their publications include 'The Psionics' series (Nine Star Press), and the JLG Gold Standard Selections 'Sink or Swim' and 'Blood Sport' (Orca Books) as well as multiple anthology contributions. They are a recipient of the Shoot for the Moon fund for trans writers, and a founding mentor with the Trans Tipping Point Program.

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Wynter

Wynter

Wynter. (Previously known as alex) is youth activist. Xe love musical theatre, zir chickens, writing poetry, and embroidery. What is important to xem: “Everyone feels loved and included “

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Xiran Jay Zhao

Xiran Jay Zhao

Xiran Jay Zhao is a first-gen immigrant from small-town China who was raised by the Internet​. A recent graduate of Vancouver’s Simon Fraser University, they wrote science fiction and fantasy while they probably should have been studying more about biochemical pathways. You can find them on Twitter for memes, Instagram for cosplays and fancy outfits, TikTok for fun short videos, and YouTube for long videos about Chinese history and culture. Iron Widow is their first novel.

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Yolanda T. Marshall

Yolanda T. Marshall

Yolanda T. Marshall is a Guyanese-born Canadian author of 6 children's books. A world traveller, a jazz lover and a devoted mother, she embodies art and takes her readers on adventurous, cultured journeys. Yolanda lives in Toronto, Canada with her family.

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About the FOLD

The Festival of Literary Diversity (FOLD) expanded to include a book festival exclusively for kids and educators in 2019. The festival includes sessions and workshops for kids, educators, and classes to participate in live from November 4-7 or on-demand until December 7, 2021.

Expanding on the success of the Festival of Literary Diversity — a literary festival which began in 2016 and celebrates a diverse array of authors and stories in Brampton, Ontario, Canada — FOLD Kids Book Fest emerged in 2019 to celebrate authors and illustrators of children’s literature. 

FOLD Kids Book Fest includes a fantastic array of children’s book authors and illustrators appearing at engaging events specifically designed for kids and teens. Alongside events designed to entertain and engage young people, the festival includes panels and workshops for parents and educators. It also includes opportunities for adult writers of children’s literature to develop their craft through writing workshops featuring the festival’s incredible lineup of authors. 

The 2021 festival will take place virtually from November 4-7. All virtual events will be available to passholders until December 7. 

Registration opens on October 14.

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Frequently Asked Questions

FOLD Kids Book Fest events are only available on our interactive festival platform with an all-access pass. The festival pass costs $14 and will give you access to more than twenty live virtual events, an exhibit hall and an auditorium with a live chat feature, and a clubhouse for engaging in discussions on the platform and via social media. Once events have aired live, all events will be available on the platform on-demand until December 7.
Click on the register button above to register for FOLD Kids Book Fest. You can register as an individual or you can bundle up and register as a group of five for a discounted price. We’ve also added an option to Gift a Teacher. Teachers at the Waterloo District School Board and the Upper Grand District School Board should check their board communications for their discount code. An on-going and up-dated list of boards who are making passes available to educators will be appear at the foldcanada.org/register. All registered guests will receive a confirmation email.
FOLD Kids Book Fest will be offered in a unique festival platform that mimics the look of an actual festival, accessible with our all-access festival pass. Once you’ve purchased your pass, passholders can return to this page to login starting November 3 to create their profile and to check out the space. From November 4-7 teachers, can login to watch live events in the auditorium. To include a class, or a group at the local library, simply share your screen. Once an event airs live, teachers, librarians, parents, and educators can also follow this process again and again, selecting an event from our on-demand list to watch and re-watch until December 7. Buy a pass. Show your Class..
If the cost of the pass is prohibitive, please fill out the Patron Pass form, and a pass will be made available.
The festival will be held on an innovative, customized virtual platform. Guests will begin in the lobby and will “enter” a virtual auditorium. By clicking on the screen in the auditorium and selecting the appropriate event, a Zoom-based event will “pop-out” for students and teachers to watch the event.
You can login in to the platform for the first time on November 3. Live events will begin on November 4. For live events, we recommend logging in to the platform 10 mins before the event. The event will go live (meaning you’ll be able to click on the event video) roughly 3 mins before start time to give people time to enter.
Anyone with a pass will be able to watch all of the videos on-demand until December 7, 2021.