KBKL Spotlight on Canadians: Nadia L. Hohn

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A big Kick-butt Kidlit welcome to author, Nadia L. Hohn!

Nadia L. Hohn is a dynamic “story lady” who has presented to audiences in Canada, United States, United Kingdom, United Arab Emirates (UAE), and Trinidad.  From the age of six years old, Nadia L Hohn began writing stories, drawing, and making books. 

Her first two books, Music and Media in the Sankofa Series were published by Rubicon Publishing in 2015.  Her award-winning first picture book, Malaika’s Costume was published in 2016 and its sequel Malaika’s Winter Carnival in 2017 by Groundwood Books.  Nadia is also the author of Harriet Tubman: Freedom Fighter, an early reader published by Harper Collins published in December 2018.  A Likkle Miss Lou: How Jamaican Poet Louise Bennett-Coverley Found Her Voice, nonfiction picture book about the performer, playwright, author, and Jamaican cultural ambassador, Louise Bennett-Coverley otherwise known as Miss Lou, will be published in 2019 (Owlkids). 

Nadia was 1 of 6 Black Canadian Writers to Watch in 2018 and the first SCBWI Canada East Rising Kite Diversity Scholarship recipient in 2018. Nadia will be touring in Alberta as a presenter in the TD Canada Children’s Book Week in 2019.  In summer 2019, Nadia will be the writer in residence at Joy Kogawa House in Vancouver, British Columbia. Nadia is on the planning team of the Festival of Literary Diversity (FOLD) Kids Book Fest. 

Nadia is an elementary school teacher in Toronto and has taught early years music in Dubai and Abu Dhabi. Nadia L. Hohn studied writing at the Highlights Foundation, Humber College School of Writers, George Brown College, and the Voices of our Nation (VONA).  She holds an honours arts degree in psychology from the University of Waterloo as well as Bachelor and Master of Education degrees from the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education at the University of Toronto (OISE/UT). 

Nadia is currently working on two young adult novels, a play, the next Malaika… book, and others.  She lives in Toronto where she teaches, reads a ton, and crafts stories.

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Tell us a bit about your latest/upcoming project?

HARRIET TUBMAN: Freedom Fighter is an early reader in the I Can Read series published by Harper Collins Children’s Books.  It is a biography about a great woman hero and contains many facts that I discovered in research that many readers may find to be new.  It was published on December 31, 2018.

A LIKKLE MISS LOU: How Jamaican poet Louise Bennett-Coverley Found Her Voice is about Jamaica’s cultural ambassador who had an influence on this nation’s use of the spoken language of patois which later influenced its music.  This book will be published by Owlkids in August 15, 2018.

What are you reading right now?

I usually read a few books simultaneously.  In my car, on audiobook, is J.R.R. Tolkien’s “The Hobbit”.  On my Kindle, “The Fifth Season” by N.K. Jemisin.  On my laptop e-audiobook, “Darius & Twig” by Walter Dean Myers.  And at home, my physical book is “Ayesha at Last” by Uzma Jalaluddin.  I also read the Bible on a daily basis.

Who is a Canadian author or illustrator that you’d like to see more people discover?

Adwoa Badoe.  She has written several books, some which are out of print.  I read her book ALUTA and I was blown away.  I felt that it should have received more attention than it did.

What’s been the most surprising part of your publishing journey so far?

How long it takes but how quickly the time passes.

When a reader picks up your books, they can always expect to find…

Descriptions of food and a flare for language, especially if there is a Caribbean character.

What’s the most Canadian thing you’ve put in a book?

Ice castles at Quebec Carnival and building a snowman.

What would you like to see more of in the world of Canadian children’s literature

More diverse books featuring diverse characters written by diverse authors.

If you could spend a day inside of any book, which one would you choose?

Two Groundwood Books with gorgeous illustrations and hopefulness:

Auntie Luce’s Talking Paintings by Francie Latour, illustrated by Ken Daley

Moon Wishes by Guy and Patricia Storms, illustrated by Milan Pavlovic

Lastly, we always end with: what’s your best piece of kick-butt advice?

Keep reading, keep writing, and share your writing with your colleagues or a community.

Awesome advice! Thank you so much for joining us, Nadia!

Kick-butt Kidlit friends, add Nadia’s books on Goodreads!

Connect with Nadia on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, or through her website!

Click here to enter to the Spotlight on Canadians Giveaway! You could win one of 25 prize packs featuring books from all of our amazing creators!

Nadia L. Hohn Prize Pack – a signed copy of MALAIKA’S COSTUME

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Other available prizes:

Aviaq Johnston Prize Pack – a copy of THOSE WHO DWELL BELOW


Qin Leng Prize Pack – a copy of THE BETTER TREE FORT

Sarah Everett Prize Pack – a copy of NO ONE HERE IS LONELY

Nhung Tran-Davies Prize Pack – a copy of A GRAIN OF RICE

Cale Atkinson Prize Pack – a copy of OFF & AWAY

Nafiza Azad Prize Pack – an ARC of THE CANDLE AND THE FLAME

Melanie Florence Prize Pack – an ARC of JUST LUCKY

Erin Bow Prize Pack – an ARC of STAND ON THE SKY

Natasha Deen Prize Pack – a copy of IN THE KEY OF NIRA GHANI

Charlene Chua Prize Pack – a copy of THE WIND PLAYS TRICKS

Tanaz Bhathena Prize Pack – a copy of THE BEAUTY OF THE MOMENT

Philippa Dowding Prize Pack – a copy of OCULUM

Mahtab Narsimhan Prize Pack – a copy of EMBRACE THE CHICKEN

Mireille Messier Prize Pack – a signed copy of TELLEMENT SAUVAGE!

Jennifer Mook-Sang Prize Pack – a signed copy of CAPTAIN MONTY TAKES THE PLUNGE

Regan McDonell Prize Pack – a copy of BLACK CHUCK

Carmen Mok Prize Pack – a copy of GRANDMOTHER’S VISIT

Tom Ryan Prize Pack – the very first signed ARC of KEEP THIS TO YOURSELF

Naseem Hrab Prize Pack – a copy of IRA CRUMB FEELS THE FEELINGS

Joanne Robertson Prize Pack – a signed copy of THE WATER WALKER

Sarah Raughley Prize Pack – all three books in the EFFIGIES series

Join us on Monday, April 22nd when we chat with author, Jess Keating!



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