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Media Contact: Stephen Myers

International Readings Announces Line-Up For Inaugural ALOUD: a Celebration for Young Readers

TORONTO, May 17, 2005-International Readings at Harbourfront Centre is pleased to announce the full line-up of participants for the inaugural installment of Aloud: a Celebration for Young Readers. Bringing together twenty-three amazing authors for young people from across the GTA and three continents beyond, the Festival is the first of its kind in Canada. “Following decades of presenting the world’s best writers to adult attendees of our various programmes, including the International Festival of Authors, we are very excited to open our doors to the world of books for young people,” says Geoffrey Taylor, Director of International Readings. “Harbourfront Centre is a family friendly destination and it is our pleasure to celebrate thirty years by the lake with a new generation of readers.”

The Festival, which runs June 24 - 26, will feature three days of free readings and autograph sessions as well as book related crafts, music and interactive activities. Participants include; Australia’s leading children’s author Mem Fox, Juno Award winner Connie Kaldor, Governor General’s Award winner Dennis Lee, Hockey Night in Canada commentator Brian McFarlane, Seventeen Magazine contributor Lauren Mechling, CBC television personality Evan Solomon and the U.K. library systems most borrowed author Jacqueline Wilson. For more information and updates the public may visit or call 416.973.4000.

Please read on for further details on participants

Helaine Becker frequently contributes to chickaDEE and Chirp magazines and is the  author of Mama Likes to Mambo, a hilarious collection of poems and Boredom Blasters, a book of activities for kids whose thumbs are tired of twiddling.

Frank Beddor is a world champion freestyle skier, blockbuster stuntman and famous movie producer and actor. His book, The Looking Glass Wars, reveals the horrible truth behind Lewis Carrol=s Alice in Wonderland.

Gunilla Bergström is one of Scandinavia’s most beloved children’s authors. She presents a number of books from her classic Alfie Atkins picture book series which has been in print for more than three decades.

Sheree Fitch=s books have received numerous prizes including the Mr. Christie Book Award. She reads from The Gravesavers, a new novel featuring lots of bone-chilling mystery, rock n= roll excitement and soaring romance.

Mem Fox is the Australian author of more than two dozen picture books for children, including the classics Possum Magic and Koala Lou. Hunwick=s Egg tells the story of a mysterious egg and a wise young rodent.

Former gymnast Natasha Friend has written for Family Fun magazine and contributed to the Chicken Soup series. She reads from Perfect, a new novel about Isabelle Lee who starts her teens with a dangerous problem and learns to cope with it as well as surviving school, a major family crisis and her annoying little sister Ape Face. 

Bruce Hale
has written and illustrated more than a dozen books for kids; many of which feature his favourite animal, lizards. His Chet Gecko Mysteries series includes: The Chameleon Wore Chartreuse, The Big Nap, and Farewell, My Lunchbag.

Although Mary Hoffman grew up in a dull little English town and dreamt of a future as a garage mechanic things didn’t turn out quite as planned; she has since written more than eighty books, including the bestselling Stavaganza series, which is set in the fictional world of Bellezza and features plenty of political intrigue and treachery among swishing velvet and glittering masks.

Marthe Jocelyn worked as a toy designer for many years before turning her hand to writing. She reads from A Home for Foundlings, a fascinating new history book about the heartbreaking lives of poor children in 18th Century London and the drive to build the city’s first orphanage.

While reading Susan Juby=s Miss Smithers Meg Cabot (Princess Diaries) says AI laughed until diet soda came out of my nose at Alice=s wild and wacky adventures.@ An expert on both friendship and fabric, Juby dropped out of fashion design college to begin her writing career as the creator of the Alice series of books for young women.

Connie Kaldor is a Juno Award winning songwriter and the author of two books for young readers, A Duck in New York City and A Poodle in Paris.

Dennis Lee is the acclaimed author of Alligator Pie, Garbage Delight, Bubble Gum Delicious and The Cat and the Wizard. He reads from So Cool, a new book of poetry for young adults about the trials and tribulations about growing up.

Clem Martini=s Feather and Bone: The Crow Chronicles has recently been optioned for production as a 3-D animated feature film. He will read from The Mob, book one in the exciting trilogy of birds and mayhem which also includes The Plague and The Judgement.   

Brian McFarlane=s twenty-seven years of experience as a commentator at Maple Leaf Gardens and on Hockey Night in Canada have made him one of the most famous sports historians in the world. He reads from The Baseball Theif, his most recent novel.

Lauren Mechling grew up in New York City where she writes a column for the New York Sun and contributes to Seventeen Magazine. She reads from The Rise and Fall of a Tenth Grade Social Climber, a whirlwind story of teenage life in the Big Apple where teachers offer psychoanalysis in lieu of grades and students hold cocktail parties in the bathroom between classes.

Meja Mwangi was born in Nanyuki, in central Kenya and has worked as a director and screenwriter for film. He is the author of a number of books for young readers, including The Mzungu Boy which is set in Kenya during the Mau Mau Rebellion.

Kathryn Otoshi is the author of What Emily Saw and Simon and the Sock Monster. She lives in San Francisco with her husband and a drawer full of socks that don’t match.

Ridley Pearson plays bass guitar for the Rockbottom Remainders, a band which also features novelists Stephen King and Amy Tan. He reads from Peter and the Starcatchers, an exciting and treacherous new book that reveals shocking secrets about Peter Pan.

David A. Poulson has been a rodeo clown, rock singer, football coach, actor and English teacher. He is also the author of sixteen books including Last Sam’s Cage, a remarkable story about a fifteen-year-old rebel-rouser who takes up residence at the Calgary Zoo.

Richard Scrimger is the award-winning author more than a dozen books; he is also very nearsighted. He presents his new novel From Charlie’s Point of View, a funny fast-paced story about a bank robbery committed by the mysterious Stocking Bandit and the investigation led by Charlie, a blind teenage detective trying to clear his father’s name.

Evan Solomon is the host of CBC television’s Hot Type. He presents Nathaniel McDaniel and the Magic Attic, the first installment in a new series featuring a mischievous, feisty young hero with a penchant for closet exploration and time travel.

Marc Tetro’s celebrated picture books are all about animals, except for one, which features the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. He is also the creator of the cartoon Inuk, which airs on the CBC. He presents his new book, Opposites.

Jacqueline Wilson wrote her first novel at the age of nine and has since won countless prizes for her books, including the Guardian Children=s Fiction Award. Fabulous stories such as Diamond Girls and Best Friends have made her the most frequently borrowed author in the U.K. library system.


International Readings
at Harbourfront Centre

Since its inception in 1974, International Readings has hosted more than 4,500 authors from 100 countries, including thirteen Nobel Laureates. International Readings provides Canadian authors an internationally recognized stage on which to present their work and brings the best of world literature to Canada. Our season includes weekly Readings, the annual International Festival of Authors (October 19 - 29, 2005) and ALOUD: a Celebration for Young Readers (June 24-26, 2005).

Harbourfront Centre Summer 2005
June 17 through September 5, 2005
Multiple venues at 235 Queens Quay West, Toronto
Info: 416-973-4000 or 

Every summer weekend, Harbourfront Centre presents top Canadian and International artists in music, dance, theatre, film, food, readings, visual arts and family activities at multiple venues, including the CIBC Stage. All events are free admission.

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