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Once Upon a Time

My Life with Children's Books

by Sheila Egoff & Wendy Sutton

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readers, educators, study & teaching
list price: $34.95
also available: eBook
published: 2005
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Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels
18 to 21
13 to 16
Reading age:
18 to 21
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  • Commended, CCBC Our Choice
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In Once Upon a Time: My Life with Children's Books Sheila Egoff tells the story of her working life, from her early voracious reading, through all her significant contributions to libraries in Canada and to our national understanding of our own literature for children. She brings both a critical eye and a personal touch to this book, which reads as a memoir and as an account of important developments in Canadian writing and librarianship. In this time of cuts to budgets for books and for librarians, there is much here to reflect upon.

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Each of us is only given one life to live, but reading opens a multitude of lives and worlds from outerspace to personal inner space.

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Editorial Reviews

"A well written autobiography by an author/librarian and it adds much to any conversation on children's librarianship."

— Tacoma School District #10

"[The] message, which comes clearly throughout [the] book, the need for quality literature for young people, resounds strongly today when cutbacks threaten literacy."

— Deakin Newsletter

"A compelling book...difficult to put down once you start to read it."

"This book definitely belongs in every library collection, as it provides a unique perspective of the evolution of Canadian children's literature from an inside mover-and-shaker's viewpoint."

— BCLA Reporter

"For anyone with even a passing interest in children's books, particularly Canadian ones, Once Upon a Time is bound to succeed in transmitting that passion."

— The Vancouver Sun
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About the Authors

Sheila Egoff

Sheila Egoff discovered the public library in her hometown of Galt, Ontario, at age eight, more than eighty years ago. Her love of books led to a life devoted to the promotion of children's literature and librarianship. Many of today's children's librarians credit Sheila with instilling in them a philosophy of librarianship that values literary quality and bringing books to each and every child.

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Wendy Sutton

Wendy Sutton, professor emerita, taught both elementary and secondary school before joining the Department of Language and Literacy Education at the University of British Columbia. She is now retired and serves as a language arts/children's literature consultant.
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