"My biggest wish for my work is that readers will take away a good story," said Brenna. "The creation of Taylor Jane, a character with high functioning autism, offered me a great learning opportunity within the context of the existentialist theme of this story—a theme that emphasizes how freedom of choice is one of the things that make us human."
Brenna, who specializes in children's literature and literacy, in the College of Education explained that there are themes in The White Bicycle directly related to some classes she took in 1982 and 1983 from the University of Saskatchewan's Drama Department. "I am very grateful for the strong liberal arts education that has been an inspiration to me throughout my writing endeavours. I'm also grateful to the University of Saskatchewan for supporting my current research platform involving children's literature, as the research certainly inspires and directs my artistic work."
Brenna is the author of nine books that have been published since 1997. The White Bicycle received the 2013 Michael L. Printz Children's Literature Honor Book Award from the American Library Association's Young Adults' Library Services, an award that recognizes "the best writing in young adult literature." In 2012, Brenna's novel Waiting for No One received the International Dolly Gray Children's Literature Award, and was also shortlisted in 2011 by the Canadian Library Association for their Young Adult Book Award.
The winners of the 2013 Governor General's Literacy Awards will be announced on November 13. Each winner will receive $25,000 and the awards will be presented by His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnson on November 28.
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