2024 Festival:
October 21–27

05. Finding Your Way

05. Finding Your Way

When life takes a tricky turn, sometimes it’s difficult to know which path to forge. Three authors share their stories of challenge and resilience in this moderated conversation. Debut author and award-winning filmmaker Alan Barillaro delivers a stirring story about a young girl who learns that growing up means taking responsibility in Where the Water Takes Us. Author Michelle Kadarusman has lived and travelled around the world, and uses We the Sea Turtles to shed light on how people ground themselves when they’ve been uprooted. A.T. Woodley transports readers to another world in The Boy Who Woke the Sun; a world of Elliot’s dreams, in which the 11-year-old needs to discover his true path. Moderated by Shannon Ozirny. Grades 4–7.

Event Participants:

Alan Barillaro

ALAN BARILLARO is the Academy Award–winning writer and director of the animated short film Piper and has been supervising animator on many other popular theatrical releases, including The Incredibles, Incredibles 2, WALL-E, and Brave. He began his career in animation at the age of sixteen and spent more than twenty-five years at Pixar Animation Studios.

Emerging Authors presented thanks to the support of RBC

Michelle Kadarusman

MICHELLE KADARUSMAN grew up in Melbourne, Australia, and also lived many years throughout her father’s homeland of Indonesia before moving to Canada in the year 2000. Her books have earned numerous nominations, including for the Governor General’s Literary Award, the Ontario Library Association Silver Birch Award, and the Green Earth Book Award. Her highly acclaimed novels include The Theory of Hummingbirds, Girl of the Southern Sea, Music for Tigers, and Berani. Her first picture book, Room for More, was published in 2022. Michelle now lives in Toronto, Canada and Byron Bay, Australia.

Shannon Ozirny

SHANNON OZIRNY is the Head of Youth Services at the West Vancouver Memorial Library. She has taught a children’s materials course as an adjunct at the UBC iSchool, reviewed young adult books for The Globe and Mail, and contributes regularly to Quill & Quire as a feature reviewer of picture books.

A.T. Woodley

A.T. WOODLEY was a filmmaker in another life. He grew up in Toronto and currently lives in Victoria, British Columbia, with his wife, their two daughters, and a Pomeranian named Bowie. The Boy Who Woke the Sun is his first novel.

Emerging Authors presented thanks to the support of RBC