Thursday, October 30, 2014

Kira Vermond publishes her third kids book, Why We Live Where We Live, plus she's up for a top kids’ book award for Growing Up

Guelph-based children’s author Kira Vermond is among 10 finalists for the prestigious Red Maple Non-Fiction Award for 2015, part of the Ontario Library Association Forest of Reading program. 

Kira calls her book, Growing Up, Inside and Out (Owlkids), “a brave choice” for the nominating committee, noting it tackles a top-of-mind subject for the award’s target grade 7 and 8 demographic: puberty.

Although the book discusses how kids’ bodies change, Growing Up takes a more holistic (and humorous) approach to the adolescent years, tackling everything from brain chemistry to cliques and from being a transgender teen to forming healthy sexual relationships.

Kira Vermond
“I’m delighted the book has been nominated as part of the Forest of Reading 2015 program – it’s one of the biggies for kids’ books in Canada,” Kira says. “I’m particularly happy that more kids will get a chance to read it. I know that if I’d had this book as a child, it would have been a life changer.”

Kira is the author of three non-fiction books for children, one for adults and has another children’s book in the works. When Growing Up was published in 2013, it received high praise for being a “straight-talking guide to the roller coaster of puberty,” according to Quill & Quire’s starred review. This is Kira's second nomination for the award.


Meanwhile, Kira recently released her third children’s nonfiction book, Why We Live Where We Live (Owlkids). Kirkus gave it a good review, calling it “unusual” and says it offers a “surprising amount of information”— which were the qualities Kira was shooting for.

The book takes readers, age 8-11, on a sweeping journey through time and space to examine not only the places we call home, but why we want to build a community there in the first place – think Las Vegas, built in the middle of the desert, or Pompei, built at the base of an active volcano.

Kira explores how access to food and water, language, family ties, transportation and even climate change influence our decisions. Humans, smart enough to adapt to the environment and also adapt the environment to their needs, can live nearly anywhere, even in space.

Kira’s first nonfiction book for kids (published in 2012 and also nominated for a Red Maple Award) was The Secret Life of Money: A kids’ guide to cash. At the time, my son was 10 and it was his favourite book of the year, and my daughter who was 14 at the time loved it, too. 

Some of my readers will know Kira from the Wednesday afternoon Intensive class, where she was working on a middle grade novel. – Brian

Growing up, Inside and Out is available from Owlkids here, Why We Live Where We Live is available here, and the Secret Life of Money here.

For information on submitting to Owlkids and Maple Tree press, see here.

For information about creative writing classes starting in the new year, see here

See my whole schedule here, including writing workshops and creative writing courses in Barrie, Brampton, Bolton, Burlington, Caledon, Cambridge, Collingwood, Georgetown, Guelph, Hamilton, Kingston, London, Midland, Mississauga, Newmarket, Niagara on the Lake, Orillia, Oakville, Ottawa, Peterborough, St. Catharines, Stouffville, Sudbury, Toronto, Halton, Kitchener-Waterloo, Muskoka, Peel, Simcoe, York, the GTA, Ontario and beyond.

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