Shoveller, Herb

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Shoveller, Herb

Personal

Born in Sudbury, Ontario, Canada; married; wife's name Joanne (a university vice president). Education: University of Western Ontario, B.A. (philosophy; with honours), M.A. (journalism).

Addresses

Home—Guelph, Ontario, Canada.

Career

Author and consultant. London Free Press, London, Ontario, Canada, journalist and business editor until 2005.

Awards, Honors

Disney Adventures Book Award shortlist, and Parents' Choice Recommended designation, both 2006, and Reiser Award, Metro Atlanta Corporate Volunteer Council, Notable Social Studies Trade Books for Young People designation, Notable Books for a Global Society designation, and ForeWord Book of the Year Award shortlist, all 2007, all for Ryan and Jimmy and the Well in Africa That Brought Them Together.

Writings

Ryan and Jimmy and the Well in Africa That Brought Them Together, Kids Can Press (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 2006.

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(Coauthor) Lincoln M. Alexander, "Go to School, You're a Little Black Boy": The Honourable Lincoln M. Alexander: A Memoir, Dundurn Press (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 2006.

Sidelights

Before becoming a published children's author and a freelance writer/editor, Herb Shoveller worked for the London Free Press for two decades. His award-winning Ryan and Jimmy and the Well in Africa That Brought Them Together is based on a true story of a boy's campaign to help bring clean drinking water to Third-World countries. An Ontario native, Ryan Hreljac first learned about the lack of clean drinking water in Africa from his first-grade teacher. Hoping to do his part in bringing water to this region, Hreljac donated seventy dollars, which he earned by completing a variety of chores, to the WaterCan Foundation which constructs wells in impoverished countries. When Hreljac learned that his donation would only be enough to purchase a single water pump, he was inspired to collect enough money to fund the construction of an entire well. Over the next decade, the boy, with his community's help, raised two thousand dollars, ultimately funding the construction of a well within a small town in Uganda.

Shoveller had a special interest in Hreljac's story: he is the boy's uncle. He tells his nephew's story by combining a photo essay with a "text-heavy narrative" that successfully conveys Hreljac's "inspiring story," as a Publishers Weekly critic noted. In Resource Links, Joanne de Groo commented that while Ryan and Jimmy and the Well in Africa That Brought Them Together is "longer than a standard picture book," Shoveller's work should appeal to elementary-grade readers because it "is informally written and often feels like it is being narrated by a young person."

Biographical and Critical Sources

PERIODICALS

Kirkus Reviews, October 1, 2006, review of Ryan and Jimmy and the Well in Africa That Brought Them Together, p. 1025.

Publishers Weekly, November 20, 2006, review of Ryan and Jimmy and the Well in Africa That Brought Them Together, p. 59.

School Library Journal, November, 2006, Genevieve Gallagher, review of Ryan and Jimmy and the Well in Africa That Brought Them Together, p. 164.

ONLINE

Hackmatack Web site,http://www.hackmatack.ca/ (November 12, 2007), "Herb Shoveller."

London Free Press Web site,http://lfpress.ca/ (January 20, 2007), Kathy Rumleski, "Oprah Gives Ex-Londoner's Book Nod."