Monday, 29 August 2016

It's 1903 and the ice cream is melting!

Me (in the rocking chair), Shawna Daigle (handing out crayons & art) at the CNE, Aug. 27/16. Photo courtesy CNE staff.

It's 1903 ... and the ice cream is melting! The CNE is the oldest continually running fair in Canada, it started in the late 1880s and has run during the last two weeks of August, ever since. 

Last weekend I was so honoured to read my newest book, Carter and the Curious Maze, (book 3, Weird Stories Gone Wrong), on the KidsWorld Stage there. Above is a photo of my fantastic illustrator, Shawna Daigle (who did all 22 illustrations, including the covers, for the series), and I getting ready. 

Ride the Switchback! (CNE archives, @1903)
The story is set on the CNE fairgrounds, and is about a young boy who travels back in time through a strange and magical maze. He visits three time periods all on the same spot: 1903 at the CNE, then 1813 during the Battle of York, and 1750 at Fort Rouille, a little-known French fur-trading post, which still has a memorial on the CNE grounds.

I read for about 10 minutes, taking kids back to what that very spot would have been like in 1903 ... they seemed pretty entranced. It was a dream come true for me, honestly. I've always loved the CNE, I visited every summer as a child, and took my own kids.
Carter in 1903, by Shawna Daigle

So to sit there and read my book, to those kids, in that place while the ferris wheel and midway rides went on behind me ... well it doesn't get a lot better than that for an author, I don't think.

I also read the book to summer camp kids a few weeks before, at Fort York, also amazing.

All to say, I'm totally lucky, and many, many thanks to the CNE staff, the Fort York staff, the Toronto Pioneer and Historical Society, and to my publisher, Dundurn Press, for helping me make it all happen.

Enjoy last week's blog post about the book and thoughts on Writing Historical Fiction for Kids.

To see more of Shawna's wonderful art, take a look at the Book Trailer.

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