Posts Tagged ‘Home Truths’

Saskatoon Literacy Conference



L4L-website-headerI’m just back from the tenth annual Saskatoon Literacy Conference, held at the University of Saskatchewan in  cooperation with Saskatoon Public Schools. I was one of ten presenters, who included illustrators, authors, and a storyteller – a pleasure to be with such an interesting group.

There was a banquet with a thousand guests, then we each did eight presentations, four per day, and finished with book signing at the local Indigo. The conference was hosted by Florence and John Barton – such a terrific job of organizing such a huge event (2000 students were involved), and such warm and hospitable people. Thanks!

Check out the website at

home_truths-cover-2012If you click on Student Author Connections, and follow Jill MacLean, you’ll come across two trailers for “Home Truths,” my 2010 YA novel told from the point of view of 14 year-old Brick MacAvoy, who is a bully.

Thank you to Alex and David, two grade 8 students who made the video, and to the actors and photographers – I feel you really “got” the theme of the book.

For the grades 6 to 8, I did a writing exercise around the theme of bullying, that led – so I was told – to some interesting discussions. Heartening to see how that book still has an impact.


The lakes were frozen in Saskatchewan and no green grass visible – I’ve stopped complaining about our late Maritime spring!


For the banquet, grade one students were given the photos of the presenters from their websites and asked to draw portraits – then we had to pick out our own.  No problem with mine – I was the only grey-haired woman!

photo 1 photo 2


Then a grade 8 student did a painting for each of us, and we were given these later on at the banquet. Mine is based largely on “The Present Tense of Prinny Murphy” – and I love it! Thank you, Sarah.


photo 3

Jill is on TV!!

Watch for me on the Morning Show on Global TV on Monday morning February 17th at 6:45 a.m. (yes, that’s a.m.) with Crystal Garrett, the Anchor and Co-Host of the Morning News.

We’ll be talking about all five of my books.


Ferry Trip to Fogo Island

After Gambo, I drive west and north, take the ferry to Fogo Island and book into the B&B in Tilting, a heritage community on the northeast shore of Fogo.
Old houses, fish stages and flakes, fences, a small harbour sheltered from ocean storms by Pigeon Island. I walk to the old Irish cemetery (Tilting was settled by Irish Catholic immigrants in the 1720s), then hike to Lighthouse Point and along the coast to the beach at Sandy Cove. Small Arctic flowers on the barrens. Terns swooping overhead.

There’s a wonderful artists’ retreat along the shore just out of sight of Tilting, designed by local architect Todd Saunders. It looks for all the world like another iceberg. And any angle you look at it, it looks tilted. An architect with a sense of humour.

The sun shines the whole day.

The Ottawa Festival of Trees

The Ottawa Festival of Trees was held at Carleton University, with 500 students bussed in, and was another outstanding success. Only worry? That the stage was a little cramped. However, no one fell off.

Lots of screaming again, some great questions for my Q&A session, and so many wonderful fans. Again, thank you to everyone (including all the red-jacketed volunteers in Ottawa and Toronto) who helped make these events happen.

A reception at City Hall, then what was left of me taxied to the airport and flew home.

My Adventures in Toronto for the Red Maple Celebration

I spent the weekend with friends in Toronto before the Red Maple celebrations started.
We ate out in wonderful little restaurants.
We went to Wychwood Market, housed in a lovely old brick Toronto Transit building, where I treated myself to a fabulous brownie.
I went to a CD store in Yorkville and did my bit for the Ontario economy.
We went to a play at Tarragon theatre, saw the Picasso exhibition at the Art Gallery of Ontario, and heard the world-famous pianist Emmanuel Ax play at the Royal Conservatory.
We took the street car, the bus, the subway.
I love the little neighbourhoods that are scattered everywhere in Toronto. The lilacs in bloom, the cherry trees and violets. Such an enormous and enormously busy city, says the gal from Halifax.

Check out Jill's Blog!
The Hidden Agenda of Sigrid Sugden
Jill MacLean's latest book The Hidden Agenda of Sigrid Sugden , published by Fitzhenry & Whiteside and is available in bookstores and on-line!

This book is the completion of the Newfoundland trilogy which started with The Nine Lives of Travis Keating, followed by The Present Tense of Prinny Murphy.

Pick up your copy today!
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School Visits with Jill
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Nix Minus One

Jill MacLean's book Nix Minus One , published by Pajama Press and now available in bookstores!

Nix Minus One is geared for readers in Grade 7-8 and up.
Published February 15, 2013


Jill MacLean's books on Goodreads

Home Truths
Home Truths

reviews: 34

ratings: 143 (avg rating 4.20)

The Present Tense of Prinny Murphy
The Present Tense of Prinny Murphy

reviews: 14

ratings: 69 (avg rating 4.19)

The Nine Lives of Travis Keating
The Nine Lives of Travis Keating

reviews: 26

ratings: 91 (avg rating 4.16)

Nix Minus One
Nix Minus One

reviews: 6

ratings: 13 (avg rating 4.15)

Brevity of Red, The
Brevity of Red, The

ratings: 1 (avg rating 3.00)