Who We Are

Staff

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BookWarsPortraitsYash

I’m Yash and I do like being known by just my first name. 
I hold an MA in Children’s Literature and a BA in Interdisciplinary Arts (English Literature, Asian Studies, and Women’s Studies), both from The University of British Columbia. The interdisciplinary nature of both my degrees have allowed me to explore that odd space created when popular culture and academia collide, and now this blog keeps me venturing forth. I haven’t grown tired of it yet; it’s an interesting and ever-changing space.

To browse my reviews and ramblings at The Book Wars, click here. To check out my contributions at Book Riot, go here.

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white

My name is Nafiza. It’s not that difficult to pronounce. Na-Fee-Zah! (The exclamation point is purely optional but I’d like it if you used it.) Some things you may not want to know about me but I will tell you anyway:
– I love pineapple.
– I am running a separate book review blog and have been doing so for the past three years and plan to continue doing so for however long I can. Clearly, I’m crazy. (That’s another thing you should know.)
– I wrote a YA high fantasy novel as my thesis. I am rep’d by Katelyn Detweiler of the Jill Grinberg Literary Agency. Fingers crossed!
– I like fantasy novels a lot but I read almost everything. Even dystopian. The only thing I won’t read are romance novels and westerns.
– I’m sensitive to issues of gender expression, feminism and cultural appropriation in the books I read.
– I speak Fiji-Hindi, Urdu (which is rather similar to Fiji-Hindi) and Korean. I can read Arabic, know some Punjabi, smatterings of Latin and Spanish.
– I am from Fiji and honestly, I know next to nothing about North American pop culture. I’m the one with the blank face while people sing along to old pop songs or talk about old trends. I wouldn’t know. I lived on a small island in the middle of the South Pacific.

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BookWarsPortraitsJanet

Hi! I’m Janet. I’m interested in all things fairy tale and folklore-related, from picturebooks to middle reader books to young adult novels and just about everything in between. Fantasy and quest stories and historical fiction are right where it’s at! The list of authors I love keeps growing, as does my tbr pile. Like Yash, Steph, and Nafiza, I have a MA in Children’s Literature, and spend a lot of time reading. And baking. And singing. And drinking tea. I love being surprised by new and skillfully written stories.

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Jane_illustration_comission

Hi, I’m Jane! Here are a few things you might want to know about me:

  • I’m a children’s librarian with the third largest public library system in Canada.
  • I’m obsessed with picture books.
  •  I have a BA and an MLIS from the University of British Columbia, but I would never consider myself an academic.
  • I live for story times.
  • Preschoolers and kindergarteners make my heart happy and remind me not to take life too seriously.
  • I drink a lot of tea, preferably Earl Grey, hot.
  •  I can’t get enough picture books, and regularly write about them on my personal blog.
  • I belong to several book clubs. I’m cool that way.
  • Like all good librarians I adore cats but I happen to be highly allergic. Life can be cruel sometimes.
  • I have a ridiculously massive cardigan collection.
  • Did I mention I’m rather fond of picture books?
P.S. My profile picture is by the fantastic Dawn Lo.

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Yuriy profile pic

Hello there, friend! My name is Yuriy. I was born in Siberia and raised myself on a steady diet of North American movies. I have a strong passion for collaborative storytelling, which made me particularly drawn to comics and cinema. My dream is for someone to create the “Tiniest Wrists in the Universe” contest so that I can effortlessly win it.

I can usually be found at home, reading comics, drinking iced tea, and dreaming of having a cat.

I sometimes write about cool things I find in comics on my own little blog.

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Contributors

leah-cl-headshotLeah CL’s mother used to say the world could end around her while she was reading and she wouldn’t even notice. She loves children’s lit, particularly middle grade fiction, and is sure she’ll get around to writing her own … one of these days. Leah has a degree in journalism and a degree in music, so logically she is currently working as a bookseller. She lives in Vancouver but considers herself a Maritimer for life.

 

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Laura MacDonald

Laura MacDonald is an avid reader, writer, glasses wearer, dog lover, and donut eater. She enjoys reading most genres, but particularly loves stories featuring strong female characters. Although she loves female empowerment in children’s – okay, all – literature, she kind of hates the phrase “strong female characters” due to its implication that “strong” and “female” are not inherently linked, and welcomes suggested alternatives.

She holds a Master of Arts in Children’s Literature from The University of British Columbia in Vancouver, BC, and a Bachelor of Arts in Honours English from Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Ontario.

For more from Laura, check out her personal blog here.

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Chris Owen

Christopher Owen is a Master of Arts in Children’s Literature candidate at The University of British Columbia. Winner of the Joseph-Armand Bombardier Canada Graduate Scholarship, Christopher’s research focuses on the systemic power and oppression of the Secondary-Worlds of portal-quest fantasy children’s literature. But research isn’t the only thing Christopher does, he also enjoys dancing like nobody’s watching, cheering on drag queens, praying in big empty cathedrals, and daydreaming epic battle scenes to write into his novel. Christopher is the co-chair and treasurer of The Biannual University of British Columbia Graduate Student Research Conference in Children’s Literature, Media and Culture, “I Will Be Myself:” Identity in Children’s and Young Adult Literature, Media and Culture – to which you should seriously consider submitting an abstract for! Learn more at: blogs.ubc.ca/iwillbemyself

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Guest Bloggers

Jaquelin Elliott is a PhD student at the University of Florida where she enjoys the balmy weather of her home state, especially after coping with long, snowy winters as she earned her BA at the University of Michigan. She is currently sub-concentrating in Victorian Studies and Children’s Literature and spends an awful lot of time talking about monsters and fairy tales. As an undergraduate, she earned a couple awards for her paper “The Leviathan and The Cyborg”, an analysis of the influence of Moby-Dick on sci-fi films, as well as a Roy W. Cowden Memorial Fellowship for creative writing. Her academic interests include Neo-Victorianism, horror, postcolonial theory, queer theory, and crying about Remus Lupin.

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Russell Hirsch lives in Vancouver and loves reading and writing YA fantasy fiction. He is currently in the MA Children’s Literature Program at the University of British Columbia where he mainly studies creative writing, story structure, and archetypal theories. He also enjoys making pizza boxes talk and aspires to write the world’s first Klingon picture book. You can learn more about Russell at his website: russellfhirsch.com!

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Lacey Hall is a B.A. graduate of the University of the Fraser Valley and a current Master’s of Children’s Literature student at UBC. She is always seen with her nose in a children’s book and aspires to one day finish the children’s novel she has been working on for what seems like an eternity. Lacey lives in Vancouver, B.C. with her boyfriend and three cats, and is certain her Hogwarts letter got lost in the mail years ago.