Author Tags: Education, Kidlit & Young Adult

A musician and writer living on Mayne Island with her architect husband Richard Iredale, Lael Whitehead published her first kid lit novel, Kaya Stormchild, about an orphan child, Kaya, who lives on Tangle Island in the Salish Sea. With a bald eagle for a grandmother, and an otter and seal counting as her good friends Kaya grows up in a loving and natural environment.She doesn't go to school but Kaya knows how to build a shelter, heal a wound or set a broken leg. She makes some new friends with a boy from a nearby island, and “the Duchess,” an older woman who runs a thrift store full of treasures. Kaya and her friends discover bounty hunters who are not only killing animals, but also threatening the rhythm of the seasons by stealing a magical shell, the Omrith. Innocence is lost when the laughing dolphins and other creatures are forced to meet evil head-on as it threatens their world. But they are victorious, and the book ends in a description of The Turning, which takes place at the Summer Solstice.

Whitehead's second book, A Path of their Own: Helping Children to Educate Themselves (Granville Island 2014) is about new ways to parent and educate children. In it she shares from own experience of taking her three children out of school and allowing them to learn from life in a natural, self-directed way, without curriculum, grades, discipline or rewards.

Whitehead is a former editor of Home Education News magazine. She has also published numerous articles on alternative education.


Kaya Stormchild (self-published)

A Path of their Own: Helping Children to Educate Themselves (Granville Island 2014) $19.95 978-1-926991-39-9

[BCBW 2014]