Adopted at age two and living with loving foster parents on a West Coast island for fourteen years, Sid in Sarah N. Harvey's realistic teen novel Three Little Words (Orca 2012) is angry that his hippie birth mother gave him the first name of Siddhartha on his birth certificate. His father's name is listed as unknown. So when Sid learns some disturbing news about the possibility of a half-brother, he must overcome his reluctance and investigate further . [For more info, see articles below.]

Sarah Harvey's 2016 novel Spirit Level (Orca) concerns the effects of transgendering on a family. "I'm always interested in what constitutes a family (that old nature/nurture thing), so I wanted to explore the bonds between donor-conceived siblings," she says. "Also, I became aware of the challenges facing transgender kids when a friend's grandson started transitioning from male to female at age five. Watching his (now her) family and community's response made me wonder what it would be like for my main character (Harry, female) to be attracted to a trans boy."

Sarah Harvey of Victoria, formerly a bookseller at the University of Victoria bookstore, also now works as an editor for Orca Books.

"I was born in Chicago, Illinois while my father was doing his residency in neurosurgery at the University of Chicago," she writes. "When I was six months old, my Canadian parents packed me and my two older brothers (then two and four) into their old car and high-tailed it to Victoria, B.C., where my father became the first neurosurgeon on Vancouver Island. I have never been back to Chicago, although I hear the music scene is awesome and the art galleries are terrific.

"My mother was an ardent reader-even in her last years, when glaucoma had claimed the vision in one of her eyes, she read omnivorously. When my brothers and I were growing up, she read to us every night before bed and took us to the library once a week. No wonder my brother Brian and I are writers and our older brother Rod is an English professor.

"When I was fifteen I got a part-time job at Ivy's Bookshop and caught the bookselling bug. It was the perfect job for me: all books, all the time and a paycheque, too. I went back to university in my thirties, when my children were three and ten. After graduation (I have an English degree) I worked as the trade book buyer at the University of Victoria Bookstore for fifteen years.

"I started writing reviews for the Globe and Mail in 1988 and for a while I had book columns in two local papers, the Times Colonist and Monday Magazine. In 1999, I met and became friends with Carol Shields, who invited me to submit an essay, "Mother, Interrupted,"; to Dropped Threads 2, which was published in 2001. She also suggested that I consider writing children's books-so I gave it a shot and here I am."

Date Of Birth: May 26, 1950
Place Of Birth: Chicago, Illinois
Arrival in Canada: 1950


Puppies on Board (Orca, 2005) illustrated by Ruth Cowles. $19.95 978-155143-390-7 (Sarah Harvey once lived on a boat with a dog that had eleven puppies.) Winner of the Chocolate Lily Award 2007

Bull's Eye (Orca, 2007) $9.95 978-1-55143-679-1

The West is Calling: Imagining British Columbia (Orca, 2008 ) with Leslie Buffam. Illustrated by Dianna Bonder. $19.95 978-155143-936-5

The Lit Report (Orca, 2008) $12.95 978-1-55143-905-1 Nominated for the Sheila Egoff Award and the Bolen Books Children's Book Prize

Plastic (Orca, 2010) $9.95 978-155469-252-1

Great Lakes and Rugged Ground: Imagining Ontario (Orca, 2010) with Leslie Buffam. Illustrated by Kasia Charko. $19.95 978-1-55649-105-0

Death Benefits (Orca, 2010) $12.95 978-1-55469-226-2 [See review below] Nominated for the Bolen Books Children's Book Award.

Shattered (Orca, 2011) $9.95 978-1-55469-845-5

Three Little Words (Orca, 2012) $12.95 978-1-4598-0066-3

Deadly (Orca 2013) $9.95 978-1-4598-0364-0

Spirit Level (Orca 2016)

Co-authored: Blood on the Beach (Orca 2017) with Robin Stevenson. $14.95 978-1-4598-1293-2

What Do You See? (Orca 2020) $10.95 978-1-4598-2088-3

[BCBW 2020] "Kidlit"