As an employment counseller meeting at-risk youths, Christine Hart of Victoria has written her second young adult novel Best Laid Plans (Lorimer $9.95) about a teenage girl, Robyn, who tries to leave her family in order to attend university even though her parents want her to stay in the Okanagan and work on the family's failing, 20-acre apple orchard at Coldstream. "I had been exposed to at-risk youth as a high school student," says Hart, "and then later as a working professional. In both cases, I was repeatedly meeting young people who were being held back by their own parents. I wanted to communicate how difficult it can be for young people when it's your parents who are the barriers to your future plans."

In Christine Hart's first novel Watching July, 16-year-old July MacKenzie moves to the Interior with her other same-sex parent Marie after her birth mother is killed in a traffic accident. As a teenage romance lifts July's spirits, it comes to light that her mother's death was not as straightforward as it first appeared, and she must unravel dangers arising from her past. This novel received one of the Moonbeam Children's Book Awards (Gold Medal)

Her third book, Stalked (Lorimer 2010) is about sexual harassment of teenage girls in the workplace. According to publicity materials, "It's the summer before her final year of high school, and Amy and her best friend Elise are stoked about their summer job. Two months with no parents and a dreamy 20-something boss on a remote Vancouver Island resort it sounds like the perfect opportunity for shy, artistic Amy to reinvent herself. But since this is Amy's first and only job, she'll also have to make sure she gets a superb letter of recommendation to get into the fashion program she's always dreamed of. At first, she's flattered by her boss's attentions after all, it's usually Elise who gets the guy, and this may mean that she's on the right path to a glowing recommendation. But gradually, her dreamy boss starts to get a little creepy. He's in charge of the schedule, so he knows where she'll be and when. And he knows when she'll be alone. Soon Amy has to decide how far she's willing to go to get the letter she needs to secure her future."

Hart's fourth book, Secrets from Myself (Dancing Cat 2017) is a middle grade novel about a 11-year old Katelyn who hears voices from past lives. She finds herself writing diary entries about someone whose fate was impacted by the Komagata Maru incident that took place in Vancouver in 1914. Katelyn realizes that she has to correct a wrong from the past.

A graduate of UVic's English department, Hart has contributed a career and workplace column to Cahoots Magazine and written for The Green Muse and Shameless Magazine.


Watching July (Sumach Press 2008) 9781894549714

Best Laid Plans (Lorimer 2009) ISBN: 978-1-55277-446-5, 4 1/4"x7", paperback, 152 pages, $9.95
ISBN: 978-1-55277-447-2, 4 1/4"x7", hardback, 152 pages, $16.95

Stalked (Lorimer 2010) ISBN:978-1-55277-533-2, 4"x7", paperback, 144 pages $9.95 ISBN: 978-1-55277-534-9, 4"x7", boards, 144 pages $16.95

Secrets from Myself (Dancing Cat Books 2017) $12.95 978-1-77086-4900

Photo by Dani Boynton

[BCBW 2017]