My name's Deborah Kerbel (my friends call me Deb) and I'm the author of books for young adult, middle grade, and primary readers. I live and write in Thornhill, Ontario (just north of Toronto) with my husband, our two book-loving teens, and a rescue schnoodle named Freddie.

And that's pretty much me in a nutshell. 


Want to know a little bit more? 
















I was born in the early 1970's - the 'surprise' third child of the family. The Beatles had just broken up, "Stairway to Heaven" was fresh on the radio, and Walt Disney World had just opened its doors in Orlando, Florida. My family was living in London, England where my father was stationed as a foreign correspondent for Southam News. We moved to Canada when I was two (alas, no posh British accent for me), lived in Montreal for a few months before settling down in Toronto for the rest of my childhood.


All this means that I grew up in the 70s and 80s before cell phones, bike helmets, Spotify and Netflix. Back then, clothes were ugly (soooo ugly!), disco was hot, computers were primeval, and kids were kids. It was a great time to be young.


In 1993, I graduated from Western University in London Ontario with a degree in English Literature. A few years later, I started writing books of my own. I'm the author of three middle grade novels [My Deal With the Universe (2018), Feathered (2016), and Bye-Bye, Evil Eye (2014)] as well as four young adult novels [Under the Moon (2012), Lure (2010), Girl on the Other Side (2009), and Mackenzie, Lost and Found (2008)]. My essay, The Curtain, was published in the anthology Dear Bully: 70 Authors Tell Their Stories (HarperCollins, 2011). Sun Dog, my debut picture book, was published in spring 2018, Before You Were Born and When Molly Drew Dogs in 2019. I have ten more picture books, a graphic novel, and a middle grade novel coming out soon.


My novels have been shortlisted for the Governor General's Literary Award, the Canadian Library Association's YA Book Award, the Manitoba Young Reader's Choice Award, the Rocky Mountain Book Award, the Red Cedar Book Award, and the Vine Award for Canadian Jewish Literature. My picture book, Sun Dog, is the winner of the 2019 IODE Jean Throop Book Award, a 2019 Forest of Reading Blue Spruce Award Honour Book Winner, and a 2019 SYRCA Shining Willow Award Finalist. In 2011, I was the recipient of the City of Vaughan's R.A.V.E. Award recognizing my work as a Mentor and Educator in the Literary Arts and I've been a guest speaker at both national and international literary conferences and festivals across Canada including Wordfest, Word on the Street, Festival of Trees, Packaging Your Imagination, and Luminato as well as judge and juror for provincial book awards and national youth writing competitions.

Still with me? Congrats! You've earned 11 top-secret, little-known facts about moi:


  • I was born in a police station. And not just any police station - I was born in the largest operational police station (or having more-cells-than-any-other-police-station) in all of Europe. Surprised? Shocked? Charing Cross Hospital was a historic London landmark when I was born there, but was converted into Charing Cross Police Station just a couple of years later. 

  • The first book I wrote (and illustrated) was for a Grade 2 assignment. It was called The Lonely Christmas Tree.

  • My favourite books growing up were the Wizard of Oz series of books and anything by Beverly Cleary, Judy Blume, and Gordon Korman.

  • My celebrity teen crush was Andrew Ridgeley from Wham! (if you’re thinking, who’s that? then you clearly weren’t around in the 80’s).

  • I lost my last baby tooth in 2016 (too bad the tooth fairy had long-since misplaced my address). 

  • My favourite foods are Pad Thai, Italian zucchini flowers, and lemon gelato.

  • Before becoming a full-time author, I held an eclectic mix of jobs in fashion and music retail, telemarketing, restaurant hostess-ing, financial writing, and pajama modelling. 

  • My biggest phobia is raw tomatoes (**shudder**).

  • My favourite season is fall (because cozy turtlenecks, crispy air and crunchy leaves...)

  • My favourite writing snack is red licorice (chewier the better).

  • My favourite pastime is reading!

If you'd like me to come visit your school or library, please send me an email

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© 2019 by Deborah Kerbel