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Jean Mills



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Jean Mills, Writer

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Jean Mills is the author of the YA novels Skating Over Thin Ice (Red Deer Press, June 2018), Larkin on the Shore (Red Deer Press, October 2019), The Legend (Red Deer Press, November 2021), The Toymaker's Son (Pugwash Publishers, 2009), Abby and the Curling Chicks (Pugwash Publishers, 2003), as well as Wild Dog Summer and The Legacy (Nelson Canada, 1990, 1991). She's also written three books for younger ESL readers (Caramel Tree) as well as short stories for younger readers.

Jean's essays, features, short stories and reviews have appeared in various publications across Canada, including The Globe and Mail, Quill & Quire, Canadian Geographic and Kayak: Canada’s History Magazine for Kids. She's a freelance writer and editor, with clients that cover a wide spectrum, including textbook publishers and national sports organizations.

Jean also has a teaching résumé: she developed and taught writing and communications courses at three Ontario community colleges for 15 years. She also taught Middle School Language Arts for one year at St. John's-Kilmarnock School, and she used that classroom experience in her position as Writer-In-Residence at both SJK and Hillfield-Strathallan College, and as a writing workshop presenter at the prestigious Eden Mills Writers Festival.

Before stepping away from the workplace to focus on her fiction writing, Jean was an editor/writer on the Media & Communications team at Curling Canada, where she was able to indulge her love of sports with her love of writing, producing feature articles and reporting from the media bench. She brings this media experience to her books, some of which include a sports element.
Available For
Classroom visits
Library visits
Writing workshops
Writer-In-Residence positions
Writing contest judging
Literary festivals
Author panels
Customized sessions (contact for details)
School Visits
Jean is based in Guelph and available for school and library visits in person (in the Toronto, Niagara, KW, Cambridge and London regions) or using Zoom, Google Meet, or Skype for any region. Contact her through her website Contact page: or email


Fun Facts about the writing of "Skating Over Thin Ice". Real-life connections using music, hockey, people and settings in the book.
(Grade range: 7-12)

On the Media Bench with a Classroom Newspaper (Non-fiction/media writing skills. Grade range: 4-12)

Exercise Those Writing Muscles (Writing workout using fun and challenging writing activities. Grade range: 3-12)

Put on Your Editing Hat (Revision skills for all kinds of writing tasks. Grade range: 6-12)

What's it Like to be an Author? (Behind-the-scenes in a writer's life. Grade range: 1-12)
Bliss Adair and the First Rule of Knitting
Red Deer Press, March 2023

Orca Books, April 2023

The Legend
Red Deer Press, November 2021

Larkin on the Shore
Red Deer Press, October 2019

Skating Over Thin Ice
Red Deer Press, June 2018

"Class Trip"
Spacesports & Spidersilk, July 2014

"Searching for Franklin"
Kayak: Canada's History Magazine for Kids, Dec 2013

The Ugly Duckling
Caramel Tree Readers, 2012

Andrew and the Babysitter
Caramel Tree Readers, 2012

Joey and the Fire Hall Ghost
Caramel Tree Readers, 2012

The Toymaker's Son
Pugwash Publishers, 2009

Wild Dog Summer
Pugwash Publishers, 2008

Abby and the Curling Chicks
Pugwash Publishers, 2003

The Legacy
Nelson Canada, 1991

Wild Dog Summer
Nelson Canada, 1990
2020 Whippoorwill Award for YA Fiction (for Larkin on the Shore)
2019 Red Maple Fiction Award nomination (OLA Forest of Reading) for Skating Over Thin Ice
USBBY 2019 Outstanding International Books List for Skating Over Thin Ice
2009 Barbara Novak Award for Excellence in Humour/Personal Essay Writing
Category: Writing
For: "The Roots of her story"
Other Memberships
The Writers' Union of Canada (TWUC)
Canadian Children's Book Centre (CCBC)
Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI)

720 Bathurst St., Suite 412, Toronto, ON M5S 2R4

Phone: 1-416-515-1559

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