Heather Smith spent much of her early life wrestling with words. Not only was she a reluctant reader, she struggled with speech as well. Unable to pronounce certain words she became a walking thesaurus, anxiously swapping out words she wanted to say with words she could say. Today, Smith wrestles with words in a different way – she’s a writer. Her first novel, Baygirl, was described by Quill & Quire as “a balanced, well-written debut” and was a 2015 White Pine Honour Book. Originally from Newfoundland, Smith now lives in Waterloo, ONT with her family.
The Agony of Bun O’Keefe
Newfoundland, 1986. Fourteen-year-old Bun O’Keefe lives with her mother, a compulsive hoarder, and has little contact with the outside world. What she’s learned about life comes from the random books and VHS tapes her mother brings home. When Bun’s mother tells Bun to leave one day, she does, ending up on the streets of St. John’s. Fortunately, the first person she meets is Busker Boy, a street musician who senses her naivety and takes her in. Together they live in a house with an eclectic cast of characters including a sinister man who Bun is told to avoid at all cost. Through her experiences with her new roommates, Bun discovers the joy of being part of a new family, a family of friends who care.