29 Tough and Topical

Kathy Stinson Ontario

Kathy Stinson has published more than 30 titles—picture books, young adult novels, historical fiction, short stories, biography and other non- fiction. Her first book, Red is Best, won the Toronto Chapter IODE Award in 1982. Becoming Ruby and 101 Ways to Dance were CLA YA Book of the Year nominees. Her new book is The Man with the Violin. Read more

Teresa Toten Ontario

Teresa Toten is an award-winning writer who was born in Zagreb, Croatia, but left for Canada that same day. She developed her broad taste in reading because of her non-English-speaking mother’s habit of filling shopping bags full of books from wildly different sections of the library. Toten has twice been shortlisted for the Governor General’s Literary Award, for The Game and Me and The Blondes. Her new novel for young adults is The Unlikely Hero of Room 13B. Read more

Eric Walters Ontario

Eric Walters’ young adult novels have won numerous awards, including the Silver Birch, Blue Heron, Red Maple, Snow Willow and Ruth Schwartz Awards, and have received honours from UNESCO’s international award for literature in the service of tolerance. His most recent books are Power Play, My Name is Blessing and Tagged. @EricRWalters Read more

Host: Shannon Ozirny
Thursday, October 24, 2013 - 10:00am - 11:30am
Granville Island Stage
$17 / $8.50 for school groups

The authors at today’s event tackle tough issues head-on to start conversations that lead to understanding. In Eric Walters’ 81st book, Power Play, the tough topic is sexual abuse among young hockey players. Kathy Stinson tackles both sides of the question of mercy killing inWhat Happened to Ivy through the eyes of David, whose sister is severely disabled by cerebral palsy. Teresa Toten takes on obsessive- compulsive disorder in The Unlikely Hero of Room 13B. Says Walters, “Books have the power to change lives, what we think and what we do.” There will be plenty to think about after this morning.

Tickets will be available for purchase at the door.

Suitable for grades 9–12

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View the study guide for this event.

Tough and Topical


Kathy Stinson, What Happened to Ivy
Teresa Toten, The Unlikely Hero of Room 13B
Eric Walters, Power Play

Curriculum Connections:

  • Creative Writing: character development
  • Humanities: ethics, identity and diversity
  • Social Justice


  • Ask students to write a description for a character. Give them 3 minutes.
    They then pass the description on to the next student, who adds to the description. This process helps everyone 'buy into' the characters.
  • After 5-6 turns of writing on the characters, the character sheets are passed back to the first writer who sees what happened to the character.
  • Divide the class into groups of 5-6 students who are told to come up with a story plot and outline using all of the characters that they have. Note: the story does not become plot driven because by now the students have an idea of what the character is like as a person and they know whether the character would act in a certain way or not.
  • After an allotted amount of time, the characters are traded with the another group’s and a new story outline is written.
  • Ask students to present and compare the various plots and outlines.
  • Discuss whether the character's motivations remained true to their identity.