Hughes, Susan (Toronto, ON)

Writers Union Member. Canscaip. SCBWI. Fiction & NF, multiple Forest of Reading nominations. Multi awards. Mainly grades K to 6.

Virtual visit: $200 (plus hst) for one session of 40-50 mins; and $150 for each additional session on the same day. Also, $220 (plus hst) for two back-to-back 30 min sessions with Kinders.

Susan is an award-winning author of over 30 children’s books (fiction and non-fiction), including picture books, chapter books, middle-grade novels, and YA novels—and even some graphic narratives (picture books and middle-grade). She runs through the local cemetery, where she glimpses coyotes and foxes; was dog- and horse-crazy as a kid; and no matter what’s she’s doing, would usually rather be reading.

Susan’s books have won and been shortlisted for several awards, including the Silver Birch Express, Silver Birch Non-fiction, Red Maple, Red Cedar Information Book, Hackmatack, Prix des Libraires du Quebec (Jeunesse), Bank Street Best Children’s Books of the Year, TD Canadian Children’s Literature, Diamond Willow). Her books have received starred and recommended reviews from Kirkus, CCBC, CBC Books, Quill & Quire, School Library Journal, Resource Links, The Globe & Mail, CanLit for Little Canadians and CM Magazine.

Susan loves chatting with young readers about her books, the writing and publishing process, and their own writing projects. Susan will read from one or more of her books, discuss the inspiration for her book and the writing, research, and publishing process, and engage in a lively Q and A with young students.  

Readings from her book(s), plus Q&A’s with audience (20-30 mins for kinders; 30-50 mins for gr 1 and up)

Suggestions of picture books for presentations:

Same Here: The Differences We Share (gr 2 – 5)

This MG informational picture book introduces readers to kids from around the world, the lives they lead, and the common needs that unite them. The child-centered narrative and evocative illustrations explore how education, family, free time, and other aspects of daily life look different depending on who you are and where you live.

Themes: common needs, global connections, equality/equity, diversity, education, communication, socio-economic realities, social studies

Walking for Water: How One Boy Stood Up for Gender Equality (gr 2 – 5)

In this inspiring picture book story of individual activism (based on a real boy), Victor recognizes gender inequality when his sister must stop attending school — and decides to do something about it.

Themes: equality, gender, children taking action, Malawi, fiction/ non-fiction, graphic novel, family, diversity, authenticity, experts, Citizen Kids, global connections

Carmen and the House That Gaudi Built (gr 1 – 6)

Carmen Batlló must move to the city, leaving behind her imaginary salamander—but then meets architect Antoni Gaudí. This picture book is inspired by the real Batlló family and the house Gaudí designed for them.

Themes: fiction versus non-fiction, based on, imaginary friends, architecture, home, nature, moving, Antoni Gaudi, change

What Happens Next (gr 2 -6)

This picture book story is told by an unnamed protagonist who, when bullied by a girl at school, confronts the bully in a unique way— helping the bully see the world with a new perspective.

Themes: bullying, emotions, empathy, non-gendered character, point-of-view, differences and similarities, courage

Walking in the City with Jane: A Story of Jane Jacobs (gr 3 – 7)

A fictionalized story of the life of Jane Jacobs, one of the world’s greatest urban thinkers and activists, this picture book is a terrific resource for exploring civic engagement, urban life, and the role of city planning.

Themes: urban activist, ecosystem, grassroots, observer, perseverance, courage, citizenship, initiative, prison, biography, annual Jane Walks

Up! How Families Around the World Carry their Little Ones (K to gr 2)

A celebration of diversity, this non-fiction picture book depicts children being carried in many different ways by various family members in 10 places around the world.

Themes: family, emotions, empathy, rural/urban, diversity, global connections

Off to Class: Incredible and Unusual Schools Around the World  (gr 4 to 7)

In this middle-grade non-fiction book, you’ll travel around the globe to visit some of the world’s most incredible schools (on boats, on train platforms, mobile schools, etc.) and meet the students who attend them.

Themes: education, equality/equity, tough decisions, diversity, initiative, interviews, citizenship, global connections

Virtual meetings can be on Zoom, Google meets, or Skype. Audience size: let’s discuss!

Connect with Susan to book a visit: