Mary Razzell's young adult novels, Snow Apples (1984), Salmonberry Wine (1987) and Night Fires (1990) all concern a character named Sheila Brary who grows up in a small coastal B.C. village, as Razzell did. The character must cope with smalltown isolation, a philandering father and a houseful of brothers. In the first novel about sexual awakening, Sheila defies her conventional mother and pursues a romance with a handsome carpenter, only to become pregnant. The second novel follows her nurses' training in Vancouver; and in the third she's peripheral to the plot.

For her medical adventure Runaway at Sea (2005) Mary Razzell again draws on real events and her nursing background. In 1970, 16-year-old Anne McLaughlin-Scott in San Francisco yearns to live with her free-spirited aunt in Vancouver. When she runs into a childhood crush, now a draft evader heading north, he presents her with the opportunity to escape from her stifling family. Anne soon finds herself caught between a typhoid outbreak on a B.C.-bound cruise ship and a heroic doctor who's investigating the incident. Razzell also wrote The Secret Code of D.N.A. and Dark Secrets, based on the Brian character in the Northwood TV series. Partially set in the Queen Charlotte Islands, one story concerns Brian investigating the mysterious death of his Haida mother.

Born in Calgary in 1930, Razzell first came to B.C. in 1940 to live at Hopkins Landing. Her poetry, articles and short stories have been published and broadcast internationally and her novels have been shortlisted for the Canada Council Children's Literature Award, the Geoffrey Bilson Historical Fiction Award and the Sheila Egoff Children's BC Book Prize (three times). She married Eric Nicol. At age 85, she was a fourth year student at UBC, majoring in English literature.


Taking a Chance on Love (Ronsdale 2016) $11.95 978-1-55380-455-0
Dreaming of Horses (Argenta / Lone Pine 2013)
Runaway at Sea (Harbour, 2005)
Haida Quest (Harbour, 2002)
Smuggler's Moon (Groundwood, 1999)
White Wave (Groundwood, 1994)
Night Fires (Groundwood, 1990)
Salmonberry Wine (Groundwood, 1987)
Snow Apples (Groundwood, 1984; 2006)

[BCBW 2016] "Kidlit" "QCI"