Walsh, Ann 1942–
Walsh, Ann 1942–
PERSONAL: Born September 20, 1942, in Jasper, AL; became Canadian citizen; daughter of Alan Barrett (a speech therapist) and Margaret Elaine (a speech therapist) Clemons; married John F.D. Walsh (a French teacher), January 3, 1964; children: Katherine Margaret Ann, Megan Elizabeth Alva. Education: University of British Columbia, B.Ed., 1968. Hobbies and other interests: Amateur theatre, reading, the outdoors, literacy volunteer, travel.
ADDRESSES: Home—411 Winger Rd., Williams Lake, British Columbia V2G 3S6, Canada.
CAREER: Writer and elementary school teacher. Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, and Williams Lake, British Columbia, Canada, elementary school teacher, 1964–78; community college instructor, 1979–89; full-time writer, 1990–. Adjudicator for Creative Writing Division of Cariboo Music Festival, 1988; has held various executive positions with the Williams Lake Players' Club. Member, Children's Literature Round-table and Canadian Children's Book Centre.
MEMBER: Writers' Union of Canada (membership committee, 2000–), Canadian Society of Children's Authors, Illustrators & Performers, Canadian Children's Book Center, Federation of British Columbia Writers (regional representative, 1986–), Children's Writers and Illustrators of British Columbia, Williams Lake Writers' Group (founding member).
AWARDS, HONORS: Your Time, My Time was selected Best Canadian Children's Book, Emergency Librarian, 1984; The Ghost of Soda Creek was a Canadian Library Association notable book, 1990; Your Time, My Time, Moses, Me and Murder!, The Ghost of Soda Creek, Shabash!, The Doctor's Apprentice, By the Skin of His Teeth, and Flower Power have all been Canadian Children's Centre Our Choice selections.
YOUNG ADULT NOVELS
Your Time, My Time, Press Porcepic (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 1984.
Moses, Me and Murder!, illustrated by C. Allen, Pacific Education Press (Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada), 1988.
The Ghost of Soda Creek, Press Porcepic (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 1990.
Shabash!, Beach Holme (Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada), 1994.
The Doctor's Apprentice, Beach Holme (Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada), 1998.
By the Skin of His Teeth, Beach Holme (Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada), 2004.
Flower Power, Orca Books (Victoria, British Columbia, Canada), 2005.
The Making of a Hero (juvenile), first produced in Williams Lake, British Columbia, Canada, by Williams Lake Players' Club, 1979.
Banana Who? (juvenile), first produced in Williams Lake, British Columbia, Canada, by Williams Lake Players' Club, 1980.
The First of Sixty (playlet), 1989.
Winds through Time: An Anthology of Canadian Historical Young Adult Fiction, Beach Holme (Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada), 1998.
(And contributor) Beginnings: Stories of Canada's Past, Ronsdale Press (Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada), 2001.
Dark Times, Ronsdale Press (Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada), 2005.
Also author of poetry book Across the Stillness, Beach Holme (Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada), 1993. Contributor to books, including Skelton at Sixty, Porcupine's Quill (Erin, Ontario, Canada), 1986; Hungry Poet's Cookbook, Applezaba Press (Long Beach, CA), 1987; The Skin of the Soul, Paper Back Books, 1990; B.C. Almanac Anthology, Arsenal Pulp Press (Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada), 2000; and Canadian Poems for Canadian Kids.
Contributor of short stories and poetry to periodicals, including Jack and Jill, Prairie Fire, Vancouver Sun, Bella, Canadian Short Stories, Hornby Collection, Woman to Woman, Quarry, Prairie Journal of Canadian Literature, Canadian Living, Interior Woman, and Woman's World.
SIDELIGHTS: A somewhat difficult childhood marked by frequent overseas moves was a significant influence on the eventual career path of American-born Canadian writer Ann Walsh. "My childhood," she once commented, "was spent in many different countries and eleven different schools by the time I reached grade six…. Some of my best friends as a child were the characters in the books I read voraciously…. I remember reading wherever we went and whatever we did. The constancy of my fictional friends, to whom I never had to bid goodbye, is perhaps, one of the main reasons that today I am a writer."
A prolific writer of fiction for children and young adults, Walsh published her first novel, Your Time, My Time, in 1984 and has since written several books as well as contributed short stories to numerous anthologies. Her particular niche is incorporating historical events and locales in her stories with the intent of educating as well as entertaining. Several Resource Links reviewers have lauded her ability to bring to life historical facts and characters. In a review of The Doctor's Apprentice, a book in the "Barkerville Mystery" series, Alyson Gillan commented: "Ann Walsh has given readers a strong novel with excellent values lessons for students from grades six to nine. She brings history alive in the pages." Another Resource Links contributor, Victoria Pennell, wrote that a later book in the series, By the Skin of His Teeth, is "an interesting read" that "provides insight into historical data and would prove useful in conjunction with studies of Canadian history."
As an editor, Walsh has also worked to share and promote historical fiction with readers. For example, her 1998 anthology, Winds through Time: An Anthology of Canadian Historical Young Adult Fiction, conveys an "overwhelming feeling … of satisfaction, that yes, this might help bring to life parts of Canadian history for young students," as Donna J. Johnson Alden attested in Resource Links.
Walsh told CA: "Five of my novels for young readers are set in Barkerville, once a rough and crowded gold rush town, which nestles among pine trees and mountains in the heart of the Cariboo Region. The gold and the miners who sought it [are gone], but the very air of the restored townsite is thick with history. Modern visitors often feel as if their presence is unwanted—as if the people who once lived in Barkerville are still there, hiding in the shadows, waiting patiently to reclaim their town. All of the people who created British Columbia have left their imprint on our province; from the First Nations people, to the gold miners, to the early settlers who felled trees and built houses in what is now downtown Vancouver. A writer must use imagination, sprinkled like fingerprint power, to raise those faint imprints left from earlier times; to discover who left them, and when and why, and which story needs to be told. The past is there, waiting, in our forests, rivers, mountains and even in the recipes which have been passed down to by those who have lived in this land before us."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Resource Links, October, 1998, Donna J. Johnson Al-den, review of Winds through Time: An Anthology of Canadian Historical Young Adult Fiction, p. 20; February, 1999, Alyson Gillan, review of The Doctor's Apprentice, p. 29; June, 2005, Victoria Pennell, review of By the Skin of His Teeth, p. 35.
Canadian Society of Children's Authors, Illustrators and Performers Web site, http://www.canscaip.org/ (January 10, 2006), biographical information on Ann Walsh.