Everything I need to know in life I learned from children’s literature. In addition to writing children’s books, I am also a publishing professional, CBA award-winning bookseller, and reviewer. I have a degree in drama from Queen’s University and a Master of Arts in Children’s Literature from the University of British Columbia. Given the opportunity, I will talk your ear off about kids books.
My first middle grade novel, Words That Start With B, came out September 2010 from Scholastic Canada, followed by the sequels, Love is a Four-Letter Word and Days That End in Y. These books follow the misadventures of Clarissa Louise Delaney as she navigates those tricky tween years. I was inspired by my own childhood growing up in Woodstock, ON and by the books of Judy Blume. Summer Days, Starry Nights (nominated for the 2015 Red Maple Award) is a coming of age story set on a summer resort in Northern Ontario in 1962. Think Dirty Dancing without the Dirty.
In 2016 my first picture book If I Had a Gryphon was published, illustrated by the amazing Cale Atkinson. It grew out of an idea I had observing storytime at The Flying Dragon Bookshop and includes my favourite things: rhyme, humour, and magical pets.
Next up is The Winnowing, my first foray into science fiction inspired by my deep love of the TV show The X-Files and books like The Giver, The Girl with the Silver Eyes and Into the Dream.
I grew up in Woodstock, Ontario. I spent my summers searching for treasures at flea markets and for my next great read at the library. In the winter I could be found at the arena, figure skating, or acting in local theatre. I once added an “e” to my middle name (Lynn) to be more like Anne Shirley and in grade seven I wanted to be Dana Scully (from The X-Files) when I grew up.
I am currently living in Toronto with too many books and my cat, Barb.When not writing, I can be found at Penguin Random House Canada as the marketing and publicity manager for the young readers’ program. On this blog you will find book recommendations, thoughts on children’s literature, and updates on my own books and events.
Vikki VanSickle is a devoted member of the Canadian children’s book industry. She is the author of the acclaimed Clarissa books, including WORDS THAT START WITH B (CBA Libris Awards Children’s Book of the Year Finalist), LOVE IS A FOUR-LETTER WORD (Indigo Kids Best Book of 2011), and DAYS THAT END IN Y (Best Books for Kids and Teens selection). Frequently referred to as “Canada’s Judy Blume,” Vikki’s novel SUMMER DAYS, STARRY NIGHTS, has been called “Summer reading at its best” and was a finalist for the 2015 Red Maple award. IF I HAD A GRYPHON (shortlisted for the Blue Spruce Award and the Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz Award) is her first pitcurebook.
After obtaining an MA in Children’s Literature from UBC, Vikki’s career began in bookselling at The Flying Dragon Bookshop, which earned her the 2011 CBA Young Bookseller of the Year award. She is a popular children’s lit blogger and is frequently called upon to speak about kids’ books for radio panels, conferences, and as Lainey Gossip’s YA mentor! Currently she balances writing with her duties as the Marketing and Publicity Manager for Young Readers at Penguin Random House Canada.