Our reviewers are current and past students of the UBC Creative Writing Program and Master of Arts in Children’s Literature Program.
Emily is a graduate of UBC’s Master of Arts in Children’s Literature program and holds a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature. Reading picture books is her favourite thing to do. You can find more of her reviews at her YouTube channel, Page Turns.
- Alma and the Beast by Esmé Shapiro
- King Mouse by Cary Fagan, Illus. by Dena Seiferling
- You’re in Good Paws by Maureen Fergus, Illus. by Kathryn Durst
Juhyun Tony Bae
Juhyun Tony Bae is a Korean-Canadian writer currently studying at UBC. He’s been working on a dystopian YA novel that he says will be completed between the next one to fifty years. His work has been published in Grain, FreeFall, and Wax Poetry and Art. You can follow him on twitter @jTonyBae.
- Scythe by Neal Shusterman
- Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up With Me by Mariko Tamaki, Illus. by Rosemary Valero-O’Connell
- Teen Titans: Raven by Kami Garcia, Illus. by Gabriel Picolo
- King of King Court by Travis Dandro
- The Starlight Claim by Tim Wynne-Jones
- Just Jaime by Terri Libenson
- Revenant March by Strandline Games
Louise Brecht is a Creative Writing and English Literature student at the University of British Columbia. An avid reader and aspiring author, Louise has published works of non-fiction, fiction and poetry in nineteenquestions, Pearls, Collage, and Sweatink.
- Confessions of a Teenage Leper by Ashley Little
- The Bone Charmer by Breeana Shields
- The Grey Sisters by Jo Treggiari
- 5 Questions for Jo Treggiari
- My Long List of Impossible Things by Michelle Barker
- Belly Up by Eva Darrows
- The Upside of Falling by Alex Light
- The Beauty of the Moment by Tanaz Bhathena
- The Bone Thief by Breeana Shields
- The Enigma Game by Elizabeth Wein
- Playlist: The Rebels and Revolutionaries of Sound by James Rhodes, Illus. by Martin O’Neill
- Munro vs. the Coyote by Darren Groth
- Sink or Swim by Tash McAdam
Kaitlyn Chan is a current student at UBC, studying English Literature and Creative Writing. Fulfilling the typical stereotypes of English majors, Kaitlyn enjoys reading, writing, and tea. She spends her free time training for triathlons, singing songs in her bedroom, and trying not to buy more books.
- The Grave Thief by Dee Hahn
- Sulfur Heart by Brooke Carter
- Hat Cat by Troy Wilson, illus. Eve Coy
- Make Your Mark Gallery: A Colouring Book-ish by Peter H. Reynolds
Jade Courchesne is currently working towards an MA in Cinema and Media Studies at UBC. Her SSHRC-funded research considers identity formation and performativity within the Canadian-Chinese diaspora, especially looking at code-switching and language practices of multiracial individuals on screen. Her published work (Ricepaper Magazine, Film Matters Mag and others) contributes to the expanding body of anti-racist literary media through discussions on ‘good’ representation and ‘performing’ race.
Valeria De La Vega
Valeria De La Vega holds a Masters degree in Children’s Literature from the University of British Columbia. She is a Colombian living in Canada who is interested in stories that encourage empathy. She is drawn to narratives of immigrants, being Latin American, and stories she can relate to her country’s history.
- The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon
- It Began With a Page: How Gyo Fujikawa Drew the Way by Kyo Maclear, Illus. by Julie Morstad
- 5 Questions for Kyo Maclear
Jane Diokpo is a UBC Media Studies undergraduate who loves films, graphic design, reading, and writing. She also loves petting cute dogs from time to time.
A graduate of UBC with a degree in German and Creative Writing, Annalise writes things, knits, and plays video games while trying to figure out what to be when she grows up.
Sara Francoeur lives with her family in a beachy neighbourhood just outside of Vancouver, B.C. With a degree in comparative religion and a background in fashion, Sara now studies creative writing at UBC.
- Half Life by Lillian Clark
- Pine Island Home by Polly Horvath
- Parked by Danielle Svetcov
- Goodnight Astronaut by Scott Kelly, illus. Izzy Burton
- Comics Will Break Your Heart by Faith Erin Hicks
- Will You Be My Friend? by Sam McBratney, illus. Anita Jeram
Kaileigh Funnell is a non-binary student at the University of British Columbia studying theatre design and production with a minor in Creative Writing. They grew up in Clarenville, Newfoundland, and are now based out of Vancouver, BC. They have a passion for writing, specifically young adult novels and comics.
Katie Gaston is a Canadian writer. She is passionate about expression and studies English literature and music at the University of British Columbia. When she is not composing bad love songs on the piano, she is attempting to write the next great Canadian novel and is drinking too many iced matcha lattes.
Jocelyne Gregory is a UBC MFA creative writing candidate and a graduate of SFU’s The Writer’s Studio. She’s an author and editor and has provided manuscript consultations with the Sechelt Public Library and the Writer’s Studio. A lifelong gamer and fan of comics, she lives on the Sunshine Coast of British Columbia, Canada.
- Super Sons: The PolarShield Project by Ridley Pearson, illus. by Ile Gonzalez
- Teddy Bear of the Year by Vikki VanSickle, Illus. by Sydney Hanson
- The Bug Girl (a true story) by Sophia Spencer and Margaret McNamara, Illus. by Kerascoët
- Making Comics by Lynda Barry
- I Like The Me I See! by Jessica “Culture Queen” Herbon, Illus. Solomia Kovalchuk
- It Happened on Sweet Street by Caroline Adderson, Illus. by Stéphane Jorisch
- The Bat by Elise Gravel
- The Cockroach by Elise Gravel
- 5 Questions for Vikki VanSickle
- Butterflies Are Pretty … Gross! by Rosemary Mosco, illus. by Jacob Souva
- How to Promenade with a Python (and Not Get Eaten) by by Rachel Poliquin, illus. by Kathryn Durst
- Mr. Mole Moves In by Lesley-Ann Green
- Anonymouse by Vikki VanSickle, illus. Anna Piroli
- Simon and Chester: Super Detectives by Cale Atkinson
- Whose Poo? by Daisy Bird, illus. Marianna Coppo
Lauren holds an M.A. in Children’s Literature from the University of British Columbia and a B.A. in English from Fordham University. She regularly reviews children’s books for School Library Journal and loves sharing books with her eight nieces and nephews back home in Arizona.
- Saints and Misfits by S.K. Ali
- What’s Up, Maloo? by Geneviève Godbout
- Where’s Baby by Anne Hunter
- Story Boat by Kyo Maclear, Illus. by Rashin Kheiriyeh
- Ray by Marianna Coppo
- Maud and Grand-Maud by Sara O’Leary, Illustrated by Kenard Pak
Laura Anne Harris
Laura Anne Harris is a writer/performer/director/reviewer, born and raised in Victoria, B.C. She currently is pursuing her MFA in Creative Writing at the University of British Columbia. Since 2016, she has contributed reviews and interviews with the online magazines: The Seventh Row, My Entertainment World, and Prism International.
Jennifer Irvine is currently working towards a BFA in Creative Writing at UBC where she writes fiction, YA and is even dabbling in graphic novel writing. She has been published in York University’s Existere Magazine and UBC’s online Garden Statuary Magazine.
- The Vanishing Stair by Maureen Johnson
- The Mystery of Black Hollow Lane by Julia Nobel
- The Storm Keeper’s Island by Catherine Doyle
- Much Ado About Mean Girls by Ian Doescher
- Mya’s Strategy to Save the World by Tanya Lloyd Kyi
- Aggie Morton, Mystery Queen, Book 1: The Body Under the Piano by Marthe Jocelyn
- Let Me Hear a Rhyme by Tiffany D. Jackson
- Spin by Lamar Giles
Ciara Javier is a Political Science and Creative Writing undergraduate student at the University of British Columbia. She thinks television and books are ridiculously addictive and drinks should always be cold.
Faire Jarvis is an undergraduate student studying English at the University of British Columbia who
enjoys writing and editing essays, and dancing on the weekends.
Kaila Johnson is a creative writing BFA student and has contributed to UBC’s student newspaper The Ubyssey for the past three years. She loves creating stories centred around identity and community. When they’re not writing, she can be found painting, watching reality television, or saying hello to an animal nearby.
- See the Cat by David LaRochelle, illus. Mike Wohnoutka
- Child of the Dream: A Memoir of 1963 by Sharon Robinson
Rachel Jung is a fourth-year Korean Canadian undergraduate student majoring in History and minoring in Creative Writing at the University of British Columbia. She enjoys writing and playing relaxing games like Stardew Valley in her free time!
Micah Killjoy is a Creative Writing BFA student at UBC. They like reading and writing about history and daydreaming about decolonization, bad poetry and having manageable hair.
- Girl Under a Red Moon by Da Chen
- Juliet Takes a Breath by Gabby Rivera
- Gold Rush Girl by Avi
- The Calvin and Hobbes Tenth Anniversary Book by Bill Watterson
Shanleigh Klassen hails from the frozen metropolis of Winnipeg, MB, pursuing an M.A. in Children’s Literature at UBC. She is a bookseller at heart and a scholar in practice. Shanleigh loves anything with a fairy tale spin, some dark magic for flavour, and an anti-hero at the centre, but she’s not picky.
- Stepsister by Jennifer Donnelly
- The Collected Works of Gretchen Oyster by Cary Fagan
- In the Hall with the Knife by Diana Peterfreund
Avery Lau is a 2nd year university student in the Faculty of Arts at the University of British Columbia. She hopes to become a teacher after graduation.
Charmaine Lee is a Computer Science major and Creative Writing minor at the University of British Columbia. She enjoys writing for children and thinking critically about the impact of digital media. Visit her at www.charmaineklee.com and @charmaine_klee on twitter.
Jieun Lee is a graduate student in UBC’s MA in Children’s Literature. She doodles and scribbles as much as she can and aims to tell stories of children’s experiences in immigrant families and the magical effects of food.
- Permanent Record by Mary H.K. Choi
- Ayesha at Last by Uzma Jalaluddin
- My Summer of Love and Misfortune by Lindsay Wong
- 5 Questions for Uzma Jalaluddin
- Why Are You So Quiet? by Jaclyn Desforges, Illustrated by Risa Hugo
- 5 Questions for Jaclyn Desforges
Lonnes Leloup (she/her) is a trans, Jewish, French-Canadian young adult writer and a creative writing student at The University of British Columbia in Vancouver.
Elizabeth Leung is a recent graduate of the Master of Arts in Children’s Literature Program at UBC. When not editing for Young Adulting, she can be found reading, dancing, or writing her middle grade space opera. In the fall, she’ll be starting her PhD at the University of Cambridge. Follow her on twitter @ezlabeth.
- Sharon, Lois & Bram’s Skinnamarink by Sharon Hampson, Lois Lilienstein and Bram Morrison with Randi Hampson, Illus. by Qin Leng
- Fairy Science by Ashley Spiers
- Unicorns 101 by Cale Atkinson
- Frankie’s Favorite Food by Kelsey Garrity-Riley
- The Barnabus Project by The Fan Brothers with Devin Fan
- The Disability Experience: Working Toward Belonging by Hannalora Leavitt, illus. Belle Wuthrich
Carolina Leyton is a current MA student in the Children’s Literature program. She completed her BA Honours in UBC Okanagan. From the age of 9, she has been an avid reader and writer, and now hopes to become an author of critical, important, and unique YA novels.
Tze Liew is a Malaysian Chinese dodo who is graduating with a BFA in Creative Writing. She grew up on fantasy YA and Studio Ghibli, loves music, squawking, and dancing like a sea slug. Currently growing her wings to become a singer, composer and writer.
Keh Liu is in the Master of Arts in Children’s Literature program at UBC. He is also a television writer based in Vancouver and Toronto. When he’s not writing scripts or researching fairytales, Keh likes to do Maggie Smith impersonations when no one is around. He is doing one right now.
Lauren Maguire recently completed her master’s degree in Children’s Literature at the University of British Columbia. She currently works as a tutor and writing mentor for middle school and high school students.
Lisa Matthewson is a sixth-generation New Zealander and a first-generation Canadian. She teaches Linguistics at the University of British Columbia. She is taking creative writing courses in the hope of one day writing historical fiction for middle-grade readers.
- Brother’s Keeper by Julie Lee
- In Good Hands by Stephanie MacKendrick
- A Wilderness of Stars by Shea Ernshaw
Holly Maurer is a UBC Creative Writing student living in Burnaby, BC. She adores poetry of all sorts, baking confections of her wildest dreams, and being a teething toy for her misguided yet ravenous cat.
RJ McDaniel is a writer.
- A Storyteling of Ravens by Kyle Lukoff
- Too Bright to See by Kyle Lukoff
- We Are One: How the World Adds Up by Susan Hood, illus. Linda Yan
- 5 Questions for Kyle Lukoff
Emily-Anne Mikos is a graduating student from the UBC Creative Writing BFA. She is currently writing her own novel and hopes to continue writing stories about women that don’t involve saviour complexes. She has decidedly abandoned real life for fictional worlds where bees are still thriving. #Savethebees.
- On the Come Up by Angie Thomas
- No One Here Is Lonely by Sarah Everett
- Deposing Nathan by Zack Smedley
- Shout by Laurie Halse Anderson
- Michigan Vs. The Boys by Carrie S. Allen
- We Used To Be Friends by Amy Spalding
- The Athena Protocol by Shamim Sarif
Kelsey Elisabeth Moorhouse
Kelsey Moorhouse is pursuing an MA in Children’s Literature, with a focus on Young Adult fantasy and the magic of creativity, emotion, and art. Her work has been published in NoD Magazine and Contiki 6-2. Having worked as a piano teacher, lifeguard, archival assistant, and barista, she is now dedicating her time to writing her YA novel.
- Seraphina by Rachel Hartman
- A Treason of Thorns by Laura E. Weymouth
- 5 Questions for Rachel Hartman
- Ember and the Ice Dragons by Heather Fawcett
Tessa Mouzourakis is an undergraduate student at the University of British Columbia studying History and Creative Writing. As a massive book worm, Tessa aspires to be a published writer of poems and stories. In the summer, Tessa spends her time in Nashville, Tennessee, writing songs, seeing shows, and avoiding honky-tonks.
Charlotte Mundy completed her undergraduate with a BSc in Nursing. Living with the curse of creativity while working in a scientific field, she has been taking writing courses at UBC to satisfy her appetite for literature. She has always enjoyed reading and writing and hopes to one day become an author.
- Why Humans Work: How Jobs Shape Our Lives and Our Work by Monique Polak, illus. Suharu Ogawa
- Little Pine Cone: Wildfires and the Natural World by Johanna Wagstaffe, illus. by Julie McLaughlin
- My Favorite Color by Aaron Becker
- Star Eaters by Brooke Carter
Logaine Navascués is a Peruvian artist, writer, creative director, teacher and book maker, currently living in Vancouver. She is the proud mother of a beautiful daughter and two artist’s books. You can find her reading, collecting picturebooks and eating chocolate while pursuing her MA in Children’s Literature at UBC.
- The Button Book by Sally Nicholls, Illus. Bethan Woollvin
- Goodnight Songs Treasury, A Collection of Bedtime Poems by Margaret Wise Brown
- Studio, A Place for Art to Start by Emily Arrow, Illus. The Little Friends of Printmaking
- The Invisible Bear by Cécile Metzger
- Ocean Speaks: Marie Tharp and the Map that Moved the Earth by Jess Keating, Illus. by Katie Hickey
- Natsumi’s Song of Summer by Robert Paul Weston, Illus. by Misa Saburi
- When Emily Was Small by Lauren Soloy
- Palimpsest: Documents of a Korean Adoption by Lisa Wool-Rim Sjöblom
- Salma the Syrian Chef by Danny Ramadan, Illustrated by Anna Bron
- The Stone of Sorrow by Brooke Carter
- 5 Questions for Danny Ramadan
- Mañanaland by Pam Muñoz Ryan
- Ten Little Dumplings by Larissa Fan, Illus. by Cindy Wume
- The Boy and the Gorilla by Jackie Azúa Kramer, Illus. by Cindy Derby
- Tough Like Mum by Lana Button, Illus. by Carmen Mok
- The Rock from the Sky by Jon Klassen
- Outside Art by Madeline Kloepper
- Maya’s Big Scene by Isabelle Arsenault
- Julián at the Wedding by Jessica Love
- Olga: Out of Control! by Elise Gravel
- The Aquanaut by Jill Heinerth, illus. Jaime Kim
- Alphamaniacs: Builders of the 26 Wonders of the World by Paul Fleischman, illus. Melissa Sweet
- Over the Shop by JonArno Lawson, illus. Qin Leng
- Gustavo the Shy Ghost by Flavia Z. Drago
Shyamala Parthasarathy is an MA Literature graduate, currently pursuing an MFA in Creative Writing at UBC. Hailing from Chennai, India, she is currently working on a young adult urban fantasy novel, and can be found in her natural habitat: the corner of a room, typing away on her laptop or angrily glaring at it.
- Accessing Austen—a Review of Unmarriageable by Soniah Kamal
- All of Us with Wings by Michelle Ruiz Keil
- Chicken Girl by Heather Smith
- Fan the Flame by Anna Priemaza
- The Spinner of Dreams by K.A. Reynolds
- This Book Betrays My Brother by Kagiso Lesego Molope
- The (Other) F Word ed. Angie Manfredi
- The Henna Wars by Adiba Jaigirdar
Hira Peracha is a Psychology and Creative Writing student at the University of British Columbia. She enjoys reading and writing both fiction and poetry.
- From the Desk of Zoe Washington by Janae Marks
- Don’t Call the Wolf by Aleksandra Ross
- Wilder Girls by Rory Power
- Stranded by Jocelyn Shipley
- Lucy Crisp and the Vanishing House by Janet Hill
- 5 Questions for Janet Hill
- Spirit Sight by Marie Powell
- Skin of the Sea by Natasha Bowen
- Water Sight by Marie Powell
- Echoes and Empires by Morgan Rhodes
Sye Perry (she/her) is a cis, white, pansexual student at the University of British Columbia. Sye typically enjoys reading fantasy, poetry/verse, and romance novels. A good book for her has to either be really pretty with words and descriptions, have an edge-of-your-seat crazy exciting plot, or give happy romantic stomach butterflies.
Joseph Pooley is a vile creature from the depths of the ocean that somehow crawled its way up onto the shores of Vancouver. It now spends its days shambling aimlessly about the University of British Columbia in a perverse mockery of human existence.
Sasa Popovich is an undergrad student at UBC in the English Literature program, focusing primarily on contemporary and children’s literature. He has taken several creative writing classes as electives, and writes long form fantasy and children’s literature.
- The Secret Commonwealth by Philip Pullman
- The Ice Chips and the Invisible Puck by Roy MacGregor and Kerry MacGregor, Illus. by Kim Smith
Ahmad Danny Ramadan
Ahmad Danny Ramadan is an award-winning Syrian-Canadian author. His novel, The Clothesline Swing, continues its success, and is translated to multiple languages. He is currently working on his next novel, The Foghorn Echoes, and a collection of short fiction, The Syrian Survival Notebook. His children book, Salma the Syrian Chef is forthcoming in 2020.
Verena recently graduated from the MA in Children’s Literature at UBC. Before that she did a BA in Visual Communication at the UNAM (National Autonomous University of Mexico). She specialized in illustration and has been working as a graphic designer since 2014. She also works as a freelance illustrator for children’s books and textbooks and occasionally does animation projects.
- Sergeant Billy: The True Story of a Goat Who Went to War by Mireille Messier, Illus. by Kass Reitch
- Encounter by Brittany Luby, Illus. by Michaela Goade
- Ho’onani Hula Warrior by Heather Gale, Illus. by Mika Song
- 5 Questions for Brittany Luby
Britt Runeckles is an English Literature and Creative Writing student at the University of British Columbia, where she writes fiction, non-fiction and screenplays. She is currently working on her first novel and loves writing stories about characters with weird hobbies and intersectional identities.
MacKenzie Sewell lives in Coquitlam, BC with her girlfriend and their two cats. Somewhere in between studying creative writing at UBC and working as a barista, MacKenzie loves to read — novels, cereal boxes, you name it.
- All Our Hidden Gifts by Caroline O’Donoghue
- Grave Message by Mary Jennifer Payne
- Castles in Their Bones by Laura Sebastian
- Love from Scratch by Kaitlyn Hill
Shalon Sims is a writer and teacher candidate at UBC. She writes middle grade and young adult science fiction, and hopes to work with those same ages when she becomes a teacher. Visit her at shalonsims.com and learning2grow.org.
Peter Takach is a writer and teacher whose works have surfaced in some of the nation’s finest magazines, literary festivals, and recycling bins. Banished from his hometown for crimes against humanities, he can be found at the University of British Columbia toiling away at his MFA in Creative Writing or perched on driftwood staring out at great Neptune’s ocean.
Elina is earning her MFA in Creative Writing at UBC to accompany her MA in French Literature from U of T. She enjoys books, fanciful thinking, cats, and teatime.
Sophia Thomson lives and writes from North Vancouver. Her focus of study is TV writing and YA fiction at the University of British Columbia School of Creative Writing. She’s currently writing her debut YA novel. Primarily, she writes funny love stories. Find her on Instagram @sophiathomsonreads.
Deborah Vail writes YA, adult fiction, creative non-fiction, book reviews and interviews with notable authors. Her short fiction has appeared in Grain Magazine, The Antigonish Review and The New Quarterly. Her review of Sonja Boon’s memoir, What the Oceans Remember is forthcoming in The Antigonish Review. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of British Columbia.
- Goodbye from Nowhere by Sara Zarr
- Boy by Brent van Staalduinen
- 5 Questions for Brent van Staalduinen
- Nothing but Life by Brent van Staalduinen
Makenna Vanegas is a UBC student, originally from Lake Oswego, Oregon. Between ballet classes, she spends her time creating music, digital art, and perfecting her Flock of Seagulls hairstyle.
Laura Ward finished her undergraduate at UBC with a focus in Gender, Race, Sexuality, and Social Justice and Creative Writing. She hopes she can bridge these two subjects in her writing, especially for younger readers. Laura enjoys going for walks in quiet forests, eating copious amounts of pasta, and watching cartoons, in no particular order.
Claudine Yip is studying Creative Writing with an Art History minor at UBC. She is currently drafting her way through a YA contemporary novel and sporadically blogs about food as an excuse to post all the pictures she takes at bubble tea shops. Visit her at cyieat.wordpress.com and @cyieat on Instagram.
- The Iron Will of Genie Lo by F. C. Yee
- Here in the Real World by Sara Pennypacker
- Flying Paintings: The Zhou Brothers: A Story of Revolution and Art by Amy Alznauer, illus. ShanZhuo Zhou and DaHuang Zhou
- Everything I Thought I Knew by Shannon Takaoka
- Once Upon an Eid: Stories of Hope and Joy from 15 Muslim Voices ed. S.K. Ali and Alisha Saeed
- Idol Gossip by Alexandra Leigh Young
- Luli and the Language of Tea by Andrea Wang, illus. Hyewon Yum
- The Secret Diary of Mona Hasan by Salma Hussain
Ayşe Lara Yildirim
Ayşe Lara Yildirim (she/her/they/them) is a UBC Creative Writing student, studying, working, and living on the traditional, ancestral, and unceded territory of the Musqueam people. They identify as a queer woman & first-generation Turkish immigrant. Her poems have been published in an anthology of student writing at Trent University called Chickenscratch (Coach House Books, 2020 & 2021).
Charis Young is a Creative Writing Undergrad at UBC. Reading and writing have been one of her passions for as long as she can remember. She often has to read passages to her cat who gets interested when she has a big reaction.
Natasha Zippan is a graphic designer and art director who has gone back to school to study psychology, gender and sexuality, and (hopefully) write stereotype-busting stuff for kids and teens. She loves social justice and magical realism, and is currently working on a time-travel YA romance with a gay protagonist.