A-R International: Linda Granfield

Linda Granfield
Authors-Readers International

Linda Granfield is an award-winning children’s writer and popular speaker at schools across the country. She has also written and co-written more than 20 books for children. She lives in Toronto.

I grew up in Melrose, Massachusetts, a beautiful city north of Boston. My first paying job was at Melrose Public Library. As a high school and later a college/university student, I worked in the Children’s and the Reference Departments and that’s how I learned about children’s books, and research. My family lived at 105 Green Street for forty-four years. The house is over 100 years old now. On hot summer days, I sat in the screened porch and played with my dolls, or read my library books and ate lots of Popsicles. The black sign that was displayed on the railing is my father’s “lawyer’s shingle”–it is now on the wall in my study where I write. I went to Melrose High School during the 1960s– “Swinging Sixties.” I wrote for The Imprint, the high school newspaper, and The Melrose Free Press, the city paper. Since then there’s been university and graduate school and a move to Canada. And marriage and a daughter and a son, and now a wonderful daughter-in-law, and a grandchild.

And LOTS of writing about history, sharing my books at schools and libraries, going to places like China (Ni hao!) to do research for more books … And meeting and listening to and connecting our veterans with young readers everywhere. When I’m visiting a school to discuss one of my books about wars and remembrance, I’m often asked by students if anyone in my family served in the armed forces. Yes, indeed. Some of my relatives, like 16-year-old Thomas Ivan Proudler, fought in the Canadian/British Army in the First World War. Thomas was killed at Vimy Ridge, France, aged 18. He is buried in France. My father, Joseph J. Granfield, served in the Second World War. He enlisted in the United States Army Air Force right after the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941. At the end of the war, he came home, married, and had a family. Dad and five of his brothers served in either the Second World War or the Korean War. Two of my brothers made the Army their career. My family’s commitment to service is part of the reason I have written so much about our veterans and their families.


In 1993, Douglas & McIntyre published Linda Granfield’s non-fiction book, Cowboy: A Kid’s Album, and I was her Southern Alberta sales rep – Canadian Cowboy Country! Linda came to Calgary and spoke at the Glenbow Museum as part of her promotion tour. Then I offered to take her on a drive so she could at least see the Rocky Mountains, because she told me she’d never been out west before. So we drove along the highway south of Calgary towards Priddis then turned on to Hwy #22, what’s known as The Cowboy Trail, heading towards Longview. Linda was (uncustomarily for her, I soon realized) quiet as I drove. Then she suddenly shouted out in her Boston accent … “STOP THE CAR! STOP THE CAR!” I pulled over to the side of the highway, figuring Linda was going to be sick or something (I’d had lots of personal experience with that situation when I was a kid and driving to the cottage with my parents). She grabbed her camera, threw open the door, and said, “I’ve got to take a picture!” Phew! I thought. Not an emergency after all! And the views of those mountains just continued to get better after that! (This was always my favourite highway to drive in my entire territory of pretty spectacular drives.)  At the end of that day, Linda signed my copy of Cowboy: for Susan, You can be my buckaroo sidekick any day! – And that’s what I’ve been, ever since!

Also, thanks to Linda, I got the name of someone at Frontier College in Toronto who helped me organize myself when I was planning to teach literacy on Bequia. Linda and I have been in contact throughout the decades and I continue to promote her and her books whenever I can. But I’ve always been envious of that Cowboy book of hers … and, like Linda, I always wanted to be a cowboy! Attending the Calgary Stampede and this photo were the closest I ever came to that dream. But thanks, Linda, for keeping that dream alive!


As Linda mentioned above in her biography, she has had a special interest in researching and writing books on veterans, wars, and remembrance. I have featured three of these books on my Reading Recommendations blog (see links below), but you may see her complete list here on her website. The most recent addition to this list, however, was published in Feb. 2017 – The Vimy Oak: A Journey to Peace.

For more information about Linda Granfield, her writing and books, please see her website.

Linda Granfield has been a guest on Reading Recommendations three times: Mar. 2014, Nov. 2014 and Feb. 2017.

2 responses

  1. Merry Christmas, Susan!


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