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Adrienne Mason (1962-) Biography - Personal, Career, Member, Honors Awards, Writings, Work in Progress, Sidelights

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Born 1962, in Nanaimo, British Columbia, Canada; Education: University of Victoria, B.S. (biology), 1988.

Career

Freelance writer and editor, beginning 1991. Raincoast Communications, Tofino, British Columbia, Canada, hiking guide and biologist; Bamfield Marine Science Centre, Bamfield, British Columbia, public education coordinator. Consulting biologist, beginning 1994.

Member

Federation of British Columbia Writers, Canadian Society of Children's Authors, Illustrators, and Performers, Writer's Union of Canada.

Honors Awards

Science in Society Award, 1995, and Red Cedar Book Award shortlist, Silver Birch Award shortlist, and Canadian Children's Book Centre (CCBC) Choice, all 1996-97, all for Oceans; Parents' Choice designation, Parents' Choice Foundation, 1998, and CCBC Choice, 1999, both for Mealworms: Raise Them, Watch Them, See Them Change; Science in Society Book Award, Canadian Science Writers' Association, 1997, and Parents' Choice designation, Parents' Choice Foundation, 1998, both for Living Things; Science in Society Book Award, 1999, for The Nature of Spiders: Consummate Killers; CCBC Choice, and Red Cedar Award shortlist, both for The World of Marine Mammals; Science in Society Book Award shortlist, and Ontario Library Association Best Bets designation, both 2003, and CCBC Choice, 2004, all for Otters; Science in Society Book Award shortlist, 2004, for Bats.

Writings

NONFICTION

The Green Classroom, Pembroke Publishers, 1991.

Oceans: Looking at Beaches and Coral Reefs, Tides and Currents, Sea Mammals and Fish, Seaweeds and Other Ocean Wonders, Kids Can Press (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 1995.

Living Things, Kids Can Press (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 1997.

Mealworms: Raise Them, Watch Them, See Them Change, Kids Can Press (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 1998.

The Nature of Spiders: Consummate Killers, Greystone Books/Douglas & McIntyre (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 1999, published as The World of the Spider, Sierra Club Books (San Francisco, CA), 1999.

Whales, Dolphins, and Porpoises, Altitude Publishing (Canmore, Alberta, Canada), 1999.

The World of Mammals, illustrated by Garth Buzzard, Orca Book Publishers (Custer, WA), 1999.

Bats, illustrated by Nancy Gray Ogle, Kids Can Press (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 2003.

Otters, illustrated by Nancy Gray Ogle, Kids Can Press (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 2003.

West Coast Adventures: Shipwrecks, Lighthouses, and Rescues along Canada's West Coast, Altitude Publishing (Canmore, Alberta, Canada), 2003.

Tales from the West Coast: Smugglers, Sea Monsters, and Other Stories, Altitude Publishing (Canmore, Alberta, Canada), 2003.

Owls, Kids Can Press (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 2004.

Snakes, Kids Can Press (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 2005.

Move It!: Forces Motion and You, Kids Can Press (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 2005.

Touch It!: Materials, Matter, and You, Kids Can Press (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 2005.

Contributor to periodicals, including National Geographic Kids, Georgia Straight, Canadian Wildlife, Waters, Beautiful British Columbia, Wild, Nature Canada, Canadian Geographic, Owl, Ranger Rick, Prime Areas, Northwest Parks and Wildlife, Canadian Living, Boys' Life, and Yes. Former columnist.

"LU AND CLANCY" SERIES; FICTION

Lu and Clancy's Secret Codes, illustrated by Pat Cuples, Kids Can Press (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 1999.

Lu and Clancy's Spy Stuff, illustrated by Pat Cuples, Kids Can Press (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 2000.

Lu and Clancy's Carnival Caper, illustrated by Pat Cuples, Kids Can Press (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 2002.

Lu and Clancy Sound Off, illustrated by Pat Cuples, Kids Can Press (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 2002.

Work in Progress

Build It!: Structures, Systems, and You, and Change It!: Solids, Liquids, Gases, and You, both for Kids Can Press, 2006.

Sidelights

Canadian biologist and writer Adrienne Mason is the author of a number of books that reflect her interest in the coastal region of the Pacific Northwest. In books that include Otters, Tales from the West Coast: Smugglers, Sea Monsters, and Other Stories, and The World of Marine Mammals, she introduces budding biologists to creatures ranging from small sea otters to giant whales, as well as the folklore that has grown up around these coastal creatures' habitat. In a Resource Links review of The World of Marine Mammals, a critic noted that Mason "writes with a deft hand," and presents a "well-organized [and] easy-to-follow" text that is "authoritative" due to the author's inclusion of interviews with scientists working in the field.

In addition to nonfiction, Mason has also combined learning and fun in her "Lu and Clancy" books, which find a pair of frisky pups hot on the trail of the answers to a host of science puzzles. In Lu and Clancy's Spy Stuff, for example, the sleuthing canines learn how to create booby traps, disguise themselves, and mix up some invisible ink, all important talents for secret agents. Lu and Clancy Sound Off finds the pair joining two younger dogs on a hiking trip where a strange noise in the woods and one dog's disappearance sets the stage for another mystery to be solved. Each book in the series contains several science activities, as well as a detailed explanation of the how and why behind the dogs' discoveries. Praising Lu and Clancy Sound Off, Resource Links contributor Linda Ludka described the book as "a fun storybook for beginning readers," while another reviewer for the same periodical described Lu and Clancy's Secret Codes as "informative and interesting" due to the "intriguing" facts on cryptography that Mason presents.

Mason told Something about the Author: "I started writing in earnest in 1990, when I started doing some freelance writing and newspaper columns. I published my first book in 1991. I have learned the craft of writing over the years by reading a lot, taking the occasional course, chatting with other writers, and, of course, learning from my mistakes (and successes)!

"I primarily write nonfiction, or information, books. This is a good genre for me because, as someone once said, 'I'm only interested in everything!' I have long lists of ideas and files full of newspaper clippings (even cassettes of interviews I've heard on the radio) with the stories of interesting people doing interesting things. Ideas will come to me at the strangest times. Perhaps when I am driving or hiking or having a shower. When my mind relaxes good ideas seem to come.

"When I am working on a project or getting an outline together I start to keep a file on the subject and then I research, research, research. In some ways this is my favorite part. Searching out all of the interesting tidbits is like being a detective. Once I get my ideas together I make a very detailed outline, usually one that tells me everything that will be on each page. This is a very important step as it keeps me on track when I'm writing.

"If you are interested in writing I'd suggest that you keep a journal. You don't have to write in it every day or even write at all—draw pictures, cut out pictures, copy out poems that you like, stick in photographs, doodle, whatever! You'll be amazed at what you find in these notebooks when you go back through them.

"I live in a very small town on Vancouver Island, on Canada's west coast. It is very beautiful here and there are lots of long, sandy beaches to explore. I have two lovely young daughters who explore with me and also sometimes help me with my books. I enjoy reading, cooking, gardening, hiking, and camping. I love to make collages of natural objects I find on our outdoor adventures and love to dance flamenco!"

Biographical and Critical Sources

PERIODICALS

Booklist, June 1, 1998, Carolyn Phelan, review of Mealworms: Raise Them, Watch Them, See Them Change, p. 1758; January 1, 2000, Nancy Bent, review of The World of the Spider, p. 848.

Kirkus Reviews, March 1, 2003, review of Otters, p. 391.

Resource Links, February, 2000, review of Lu and Clancy's Secret Codes, pp. 21-22; April, 2000, review of The World of Marine Mammals, p. 22; October, 2002, Linda Ludka, review of Lu and Clancy Sound Off, p. 6; April, 2003, Linda Berezowski, review of Otters, p. 26; October, 2003, Karen McKinnon, review of Bats, p. 25.

School Library Journal, August, 2001, Kathy M. Newby, review of Lu and Clancy's Spy Stuff, p. 167; February, 2003, Blair Christolon, review of Lu and Clancy Sound Off, p. 136; May, 2003, Cathie Bashaw Morton, review of Otters, p. 139.

Sierra, July, 1999, review of The World of the Spider, p. 75.

Teacher Librarian, March-April, 1999, review of Mealworms: Raise Them, Watch Them, See Them Change, p. 23.

ONLINE

Canadian Society of Children's Authors, Illustrators, and Performers Web site, http://www.canscaip.org/ (July 6, 2005), "Adrienne Mason."

Red Cedar Awards Web site, http://redcedar.swifty.com/ (July 6, 2005), "Adrienne Mason."*

Wendy Mass (1967-) Biography - Personal, Addresses, Career, Member, Honors Awards, Writings, Work in Progress, Sidelights [next] [back] Cherie Mason Biography - Personal, Career, Honors Awards, Writings, Adaptations, Sidelights

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