TIFA colour divider

Elaine Kachala is a new voice in the Kidlit scene. Superpower? The Wearable-Tech Revolution is her first book. It will be part of Orca Think, a nonfiction series for middle-grade readers introducing them to issues making the headlines. Elaine’s also a health-policy researcher, writer and adviser. She has over 20 years of writing experience with government and health agencies. Elaine’s curious and hopeful but can’t help being a little worried about how wearables will impact our health, well-being, and equity. With degrees in psychology and sociology from the University of Toronto and a master of environmental studies from York University, she brings a unique perspective to the topic of wearable technology. Elaine lives with her family in Toronto. 

Sara Cassidy has worked as a newspaper reporter and a tree planter in five Canadian provinces. Her children’s books have been shortlisted for many awards, including the Sheila A. Egoff Children’s Literature Prize (Nevers, Genius Jolene), the Bolen Books Children’s Book Prize (Skylark, Nevers), the Silver Birch Express Award (A Boy Named Queen, Genius Jolene), the Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz Children’s Book Award, the Rocky Mountain Book Award and five titles for the Chocolate Lily Award. Her poetry, fiction and nonfiction for adults has been published in many outlets across the country.

Rachel Wada was born in Japan, grew up briefly in Hong Kong and China, and now lives and works in Vancouver. Her illustrative style is characterized by rich textures, colours and details executed both traditionally and digitally. Her children’s book debut, The Phone Booth in Mr. Hirota’s Garden written by Heather Smith (Orca Book Publishers), has received four starred reviews and been named a Best Picture Book of 2019 by both Kirkus Reviews and School Library Journal. Rachel’s work can also be found in newspapers, magazines and online publications.

Eric Walters is one of Canada’s best-known and most prolific writers of fiction for children and young adults. His books have won over 120 awards, including thirteen separate children’s choice awards, as well as the Africana Children’s Book Award, the UNESCO Award for Literature in Service of Tolerance and The Christopher Award. His books have been translated into thirteen languages. He lives in Guelph, Ontario, and is the co-founder of Creation of Hope, a charity that provides care for orphans in the Mbooni district of Kenya. In 2014, Eric was named a Member of the Order of Canada.

Eric Walters’ Festival appearance is generously supported by the Swedish Embassy.