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Mary Beth Leatherdale

Mary Beth Leatherdale writes, edits, and consults who on books, magazines and digital resources for children and youth. She is the author of Stormy Seas: Stories of Young Boat Refugees, a Quill & Quire Book of the Year, a Booklist Editor's Choice, and a Silver Birch Award, Honour Book among other honours. Recently, Mary Beth co-edited #NotYourPrincess: Voices of Native American Women, an anthology that showcases the strength, diversity, and talent of Indigenous girls and women across North America. Among other honours, it received the American Indian Library Associations' Youth Literature Award, was honoured as an Amelia Bloomer Project List Top Ten title, named a Book of the Year by Quill & Quire, an Excellence in Non-fiction for Young People Finalist, YALSA and a Indigenous Literature Finalist, First Nations Communities READ.

Mary Beth's work as a Publishing and Editorial Consultant for clients has provided rich opportunities for writing, editing, and literacy research in Canada and the United States. As well, she has managed editorial projects like the McGraw-Hill iLit Digital Collection for high school students, acquiring original material by contemporary Aboriginal and regional authors such as Lisa Moore, David Groulx and Marina Nemat.

Mary Beth was the Editorial Director for Owlkids’ magazine and book divisions and the editor of beloved magazines Chirp and OWL

Mary Beth grew up on a farm in southwestern Ontario. Her interest in Native culture developed while attending Howard Harwich Moravian Public School (now the Naahi Ridge Public School) with students from the Delaware Nation. After completing her Honours BA in Visual Arts at The University of Western Ontario, she went on to pursue a Master of Education in the Sociology of Education from the Ontario Institute of Studies in Education (OISE), where her research focused on the delivery of anti-racist curricula.

 Mary Beth is the President of IBBY Canada, a non-profit organization founded in recognition of the power of children's books to bridge cultures and promote peace. IBBY Canada works to support the right of every child to become a reader through access to high quality books and to promote Canadian authors, artists, storytellers and scholars in Canada and internationally.

Mary Beth lives in Toronto with her family and her dog Champ.

Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous;
Grade Levels: 8; 9; 10; 11; 12; University/College;

Native women demand to be heard in this stunning anthology.

Whether looking back to a troubled past or welcoming a hopeful future, the powerful voices of Indigenous girls and women across North America resound in this book. In the same visual style as the bestselling Dreaming in Indian, #NotYourPrincess presents an eclectic collection of poems, essays, interviews, and art that combine to express the experience of being a Native woman. Stories of abuse, intergenerational trauma, and stereotyping are countered by the voices of passionate women demanding change and realizing their dreams. Sometimes outraged, often reflective, but always strong, the women in this book will give teen readers insight into the lives of women who, for so long, have had their history hidden and whose modern lives have been virtually invisible.

“A stunning anthology of creative writing and art . . . All YA collections will want this."— Alicia Abdul, School Library Journal

Educator Information
Themes: First Nations; Native Peoples; Indigenous; girls and women; biography; multicultural; stereotyping; acceptance; community; prejudice; self-esteem; tolerance

Interest Age 14+ | Grade 9+

The Canadian Indigenous Books for Schools list recommends this resource for Grades 8-12 for these subjects: English Language Arts, Social Justice, Social Studies.

Additional Information
8.5 x 11 | 112 Pages

Authentic Canadian Content
Authentic Indigenous Text

Dreaming in Indian: Contemporary Native American Voices
Format: Hardcover
Text Content Territories: Indigenous American; Indigenous Canadian;
Grade Levels: 7; 8; 9; 10; 11; 12;

A powerful and visually stunning anthology from some of the most groundbreaking Native artists working in North America today.

Truly universal in its themes, Dreaming In Indian will shatter commonly held stereotypes and challenge readers to rethink their own place in the world. Divided into four sections, ‘Roots,’ ‘Battles,’ ‘Medicines,’ and ‘Dreamcatchers,’ this book offers readers a unique insight into a community often misunderstood and misrepresented by the mainstream media.

Emerging and established Native artists, including acclaimed author Joseph Boyden, renowned visual artist Bunky Echo Hawk, and stand-up comedian Ryan McMahon, contribute thoughtful and heartfelt pieces on their experiences growing up Indigenous, expressing them through such mediums as art, food, the written word, sport, dance, and fashion. Renowned chef Aaron Bear Robe, for example, explains how he introduces restaurant customers to his culture by reinventing traditional dishes. And in a dramatic photo spread, model Ashley Callingbull and photographer Thosh Collins reappropriate the trend of wearing ‘Native’ clothing.

Whether addressing the effects of residential schools, calling out bullies through personal manifestos, or simply citing hopes for the future, Dreaming In Indian refuses to shy away from difficult topics. Insightful, thought-provoking, and beautifully honest, this book will to appeal to young adult readers. An innovative and captivating design enhances each contribution and makes for a truly unique reading experience.

“It’s hard to imagine a middle- or high-school classroom that wouldn’t benefit from having this.” —Booklist, 02/15

“Belongs in every middle school, high school and public library.” —CM Reviews, 05/22/15

"For some time now, I've been waiting for Dreaming in Indian: Contemporary Native American Voices... It was getting buzz in Native networks on social media. I've read it, now, and highly recommend it... Dreaming in Indian has a vibrancy I've not seen in anything else. A vibrancy that, perhaps, is characteristic of a generation at ease with technology and its tools... I want to pore over the art, studying it, thinking about it, marveling at it. I can imagine a lot of people dismissing this work because it doesn't conform to their stereotypical ideas of dead or stoic Indians. But I can also imagine a lot of others holding it dear because it reflects who we are... You'll also have a solid introduction to the artists and writers, their lives, what drives them... Gritty and real, their live stories are inspiring... There's a lot to ponder in Dreaming In Indian. It'll challenge readers, in good ways, and that is a good thing. Check it out." — Debbie Reese, American Indians in Children's Literature, September 2014

Educator Information
Recommended Ages: 11-18

Themes: First Nations; native peoples; Indigenous; biography; multicultural; stereotyping; acceptance; community; prejudice; self-esteem; tolerance.

Fountas & Pinnell Reading Level: Z+

Authentic First Peoples resource K-9.

Recommended English First Peoples resource.

Additional Information
128 pages | 8.50" x 11.00" | full-color illustrations and photographs throughout, foreword, introduction

Authentic Canadian Content
Authentic Indigenous Text
Authentic Indigenous Artwork

Urban Tribes: Native Americans in the City
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; Indigenous American;
Grade Levels: 7; 8; 9; 10; 11; 12;

The majority of Natives in North America live "off the rez." How do they stay rooted to their culture? How do they connect with their community?

Urban Tribes offers unique insight into this growing and often misperceived group. This anthology profiles young urban Natives and how they connect with Native culture and values in their contemporary lives.

Their stories are as diverse as they are. From a young Dene woman pursuing an MBA at Stanford University to a Pima photographer in Phoenix to a Mohawk actress in New York City, these urban Natives share their unique insight to bridge the divide between their past and their future, their cultural home, and their adopted cities.

Unflinchingly honest and deeply moving, the contributors explore a wide range of topics: from the trials and tribulations of dating in the city to the alienating experience of leaving a remote reserve to attend high school in the city, from the mainstream success of the Electric Pow Wow music genre to the humiliation of racist school mascots.

Each of the personal perspectives helps to illuminate larger political issues. An innovative and highly visual design offers a dynamic reading experience.

Educator Information
Recommended Ages: 11 - 18.

Recommended Authentic First Peoples resource.

Recommended English First Peoples resource.

Additional Information
136 pages | 6.75" x 9.50" | colour illustrations and photographs, foreward, introduction, bibliography

Authentic Indigenous Text


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