Jean Little

Congratulations to Jean Little — nominated for the 8th time for the prestigious international Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award!

Jean Little, the daughter of medical missionaries, was born in Taiwan but has been living in Canada since the age of seven. Jean began writing as a child and has never stopped, in spite of the challenge of her blindness. Despite limited vision, she attended regular school and graduated in 1955 from the University of Toronto with an Honours Degree in English. She taught special needs children until 1962.

That year, her first book, Mine for Keeps, won the Little Brown Children’s Book Award and since then Jean has written 50 books, including novels, picture books, autobiography, poetry and short stories. Among them are some of Canada’s best-loved works for children, such as Dancing Through the Snow, Mama’s Going to Buy You a Mockingbird, Listen for the Singing, Pippin the Christmas Pig and Wishes. Her books have been translated into a dozen languages and have won many awards, including a Canadian Library Association Book of the Year award (for her Dear Canada title, Orphan at My Door), the Ruth Schwartz Award, the Canada Council Literature Prize, The Vicky Metcalf Award and the Boston Globe Horn-Book Honor Book Award. She has just been nominated for the Astrid Lindgren Award for the eighth time.

Jean writes these award-winning titles by using a talking computer. “My computer reads back what I write letter by letter, or word by word, or whole sentences, or it will even read an entire file aloud if I tell it to. You just have to punch in the right command. It will also read the punctuation, the menus, e-mail letters, etc. It will read Googled things too. I usually have it reading out the letters as I type and then I get it to read back what I have done only in whole words. It is tricky! The most important thing is that it will read back to me what I write,” she explains.

Jean lives in Guelph, Ontario, with her sister, great-nephew and a house full of dogs. In addition to all her awards and nominations, she has received six honorary degrees, is a member of the Order of Canada for her outstanding contribution to Canadian children’s literature, and was she was recently presented with the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal.

In 2012, the fortieth anniversary of From Anna, one of Jean’s most beloved books, she turned eighty and celebrated having written fifty books. Her latest novel Hand in Hand is based on the true story of Helen Keller and the servant girl Martha Washington.

Awards

Dear Canada: All Fall Down, Short-listed, Rocky Mountain Book Award (Alberta Children's Choice), 2015

Wishes, Commended, Today’s Parent, 100 BEST Canadian kids’ books of all time, 2015

Sweetest of All, Commended, Today’s Parent, 100 BEST Canadian kids’ books of all time, 2015

Dear Canada: All Fall Down, Short-listed, Hackmatack Children's Choice Award (Atlantic Canada), 2015

From Anna, Commended, Today’s Parent, 100 BEST Canadian kids’ books of all time, 2015

From Anna, Short-listed, Rocky Mountain Book Award (Alberta Children's Choice), 2014

Sweetest of All, Commended, Best Books for Kids and Teens, Canadian Children's Book Centre, 2014

On a Snowy Night, Short-listed, Shining Willow Award (Saskatchewan Young Readers' Choice), 2014

On a Snowy Night, Commended, Best Books for Kids and Teens, Canadian Children's Book Centre, 2014

Dear Canada: All Fall Down, Commended, Best Books for Kids and Teens, Canadian Children's Book Centre, 2014

Dear Canada: All Fall Down, Commended, Resource Links, Best of the Year, 2014

From Anna, Commended, Best Books for Kids and Teens, Canadian Children's Book Centre, 2013

Wishes, Short-listed, Rainforest of Reading Award, 2013

Wishes, Short-listed, Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz Award, 2013

Wishes, Commended, Best Books for Kids and Teens, Canadian Children's Book Centre, 2013

Wishes, Commended, OLA Best Bets, 2013

On a Snowy Night, Commended, Resource Links, Best of the Year, 2013

From Anna, Commended, Resource Links, Best of the Year, 2013

Dear Canada: Exiles from the War, Short-listed, Red Cedar Award (BC Young Readers' Choice), 2012

Dear Canada: Hoping for Home, Commended, Best Books for Kids and Teens, Canadian Children's Book Centre, 2012

Dear Canada: Exiles from the War, Short-listed, Geoffrey Bilson Award for Historical Fiction for Young People, 2011

Dear Canada: Exiles from the War, Commended, IODE Canada Violet Downey Recommended List, 2011

Dear Canada: Exiles from the War, Commended, Resource Links, Best of the Year, 2011

Dear Canada: If I Die Before I Wake, Short-listed, Red Cedar Award (BC Young Readers' Choice), 2010

Dancing Through the Snow, Short-listed, Diamond Willow Award (Saskatchewan Young Readers' Choice), 2008

Dancing Through the Snow, Short-listed, Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz Award, 2008

Dancing Through the Snow, Commended, OLA Best Bets, 2007

Dancing Through the Snow, Commended, Resource Links, Best of the Year, 2007

Dear Canada: If I Die Before I Wake, Commended, Resource Links, Best of the Year, 2007

Dear Canada: A Season for Miracles, Short-listed, Canadian Library Association Book of the Year For Children, 2005

Dear Canada: A Season for Miracles, Commended, Canadian Children's Book Centre, Our Choice, 2005

Dear Canada: Brothers Far From Home, Short-listed, Geoffrey Bilson Award for Historical Fiction for Young People, 2004

Dear Canada: Brothers Far From Home, Commended, Best Books for Kids and Teens, Canadian Children's Book Centre, Starred Selection, 2004

Dear Canada: Brothers Far From Home, Runner-up, Canadian Library Association Book of the Year For Children, 2004

Dear Canada: Orphan at My Door, Short-listed, Red Cedar Award (BC Young Readers' Choice), 2004

Pippin the Christmas Pig, Winner, Mr. Christie's Book Award, 2004

Pippin the Christmas Pig, Short-listed, Amelia Frances Howard-Gibbon Illustrator's Award, 2004

Pippin the Christmas Pig, Short-listed, Ruth Schwartz Award, 2004

Pippin the Christmas Pig, Commended, Canadian Children's Book Centre, Our Choice, 2004

Dear Canada: Brothers Far From Home, Commended, OLA Best Bets, 2003

Dear Canada: Orphan at My Door, Short-listed, Diamond Willow Award (Saskatchewan Young Readers' Choice), 2003

Dear Canada: Orphan at My Door, Short-listed, Manitoba Young Readers' Choice Award, 2003

Pippin the Christmas Pig, Commended, OLA Best Bets, 2003

Dear Canada: Orphan at My Door, Commended, Canadian Children's Book Centre, Our Choice, 2002

Dear Canada: Orphan at My Door, Winner, Canadian Library Association Book of the Year for Children, 2001

Books

Dancing Through the Snow
Dear Canada: All Fall Down
Dear Canada: Brothers Far From Home
Dear Canada: Exiles from the War
Dear Canada: If I Die Before I Wake
Dear Canada: Orphan at My Door
From Anna
Hand in Hand
Listen, Said the Donkey
On a Snowy Night
Pippin the Christmas Pig
Sweetest of All
The Sweetest One of All
Wishes

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