Mary Casanova

Mary Casanova

Mary Casanova was born in Duluth, Minnesota and later earned a B.A. in English from the University of Minnesota. She is a “former Aspen ski bum” but now lives near Ranier, Minnesota with her husband Charles Casanova and their daughter and son, Katie and Eric.

When it comes to writing for children, Mary Casanova is passionate about two things: writing books that matter and writing books that kids can’t put down.

She says, “I was a reluctant reader – and I write for the child I was: restless, energetic, adventure-seeking, the can’t-sit-still kind. I loved being outside, and if a book was going to hold my attention, it had to be either a rainy day or a fast-paced story.”

More information about Mary Casanova can be found on her website:

Picture Books

51iuhorwcal-_sx366_bo1204203200_ Wake Up, Island University of Minnesota Press, 2016
One Dog SleighOne-dog Sleigh Macmillan Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2013


bk_ice-out_200Ice-Out University of Minnesota Press, 2016

Mary Casanova’s latest YA novel returns to the frigid and brutal Prohibition-era borderland of the author’s beloved novel Frozen, and to the characters who made it a favorite among readers of all ages.

Owen, smitten with Frozen‘s Sadie Rose, is struggling to make something of himself at a time when no one seems to hold the moral high ground. Bootlegging is rife, corruption is rampant, and lumber barons run roughshod over the people and the land. As hard as things seem when his father dies, they get considerably tougher and more complicated when Owen gets caught up on the suspicious deaths of a local sheriff and deputy.

Inspired by real events and Mary Casanova’s family history, Ice-Out is both a story of young romance against terrible odds and true grit in a northern town divided between license and responsibility, rich and poor, and right and wrong in early twentieth-century America.

Frozen A heartrending truth is the catalyst for a young woman’s struggle to speak for herself—no matter the risks.
(University of Minnesota Press, 2012)”Compelling and believable.”
— Kirkus Reviews”Suspenseful . . . Casanova creates a strong sense of place and ably establishes her story’s historical context. The narrative confronts weighty issues including prostitution, mental illness, and political corruption . . . readers should find [Sadie Rose] an admirable heroine as she finds her voice and her future.”
— Publishers Weekly”Sadie Rose finds her voice not just to reconstruct her past, but to advocate for her future—a future in which words will be powerful tools.”
— Booklist
The Klipfish Code The German occupation of Norway during WWII is the backdrop for this dramatic novel.
(Houghton Mifflin, 2007) ages 8-12 and up Nominee, Rhode Island Children’s Book Award, 2009
Horace Mann Upstanders Honor Book, 2008
When Eagles Fall (Hyperion, 2003)
ages 10-14 and up Honor Book 2002, Society of School Librarians International (SSLI)
Curse of a Winter Moon (Hyperion, 2000)
ages 10-14 and up Minnesota Book Award Winner (young adult), 2001
Stealing Thunder (Hyperion, 1998)
ages 8-12 and up Massachusetts Children’s Book Award Master List, 2003
Iowa Children’s Choice Master List, 2002-2003
Maud Hart Lovelace Book Master List, (Minn.) 2002-2003
Wolf Shadows (Hyperion, 1997) Minnesota Book Award Master List, 1998
Northeastern Minnesota Book Award Master List, 1998
ALA Quick Picks for YA Reluctant Readers nominee
Jeanette Fair Award Finalist, Delta Kappa Gamma Society International, Tau State Organization
Mark Twain Book Award Master List (Missouri), 1999-2000
Wyoming Indian Paintbrush Master List, l999-2000
Best Read-Alouds Booklist (Indiana), 1999-2000
Iowa Children’s Choice Master List, 2000-2001
Lamplighter Award Master List,
National Christian Schools Association, 2000-2001
Riot (Hyperion, 1996)
ages 10-14 and up Junior Library Guild Selection
Northeastern Minnesota Book Award nominee
Minnesota Book Award Master List
Children’s Sequoyah Master List (Oklahoma), l998-99
Children’s Crown Master List, 1999
ALA Quick Picks for YA Reluctant Readers, nominee
Moose Tracks (Hyperion, 1995)
ages 8-12 and up Children’s Book-of-the-Month Club selection
Flicker Tale Children’s Book Award Master List, (North Dakota), 1997
Iowa Children’s Choice Master List, 1998
Northeastern Minnesota Book Award nominee, 1996
Indian Paintbrush Book Award Master List (Wyoming), 1998
South Carolina Book Award Master List, 1998-99
Maud Hart Lovelace Book Award Master List (Minnesota), 1998-99
Kentucky “Bluegrass” Master List, l996

Series Fiction 

American Girl series



Grace Makes It Great 



Grace Stirs It UpCMGraceStirsItUpcov



Grace Grace

Winner, National Parenting Publications (NAPPA) Gold Award, 2015
Winner, Parents’ Choice Approved Award, 2015


McKenna Ready to Fly Diving back into gymnastics after a setback McKenna also becomes intrigued when she volunteers to help at a therapeutic horseback riding centre.
(American Girl of the Year 2012)(American Girl Brands, 2012)

McKenna McKenna gains confidence to tackle new challenges.
(American Girl of the Year 2012)(American Girl Brands, 2012)Meet McKenna
Chrissa Stands Strong American Girl of the Year 2009(American Girl Brands, 2009)
Chrissa American Girl of the Year 2009, Chrissa Maxwell must discover how to stand up for herself and her friends.(American Girl Brands, 2009) Moonbeam Children’s Book Award, 2009 View Chrissa’s page on the American Girl website
Jess American Girl of the Year 2006(American Girl Brands, 2006)
Gates of Gold American Girl – Cécile(American Girl Brands, 2002)
ages 8-12 and up Honors Award, National Parenting Publications (NAPPA), 2002
Minnesota Book Award nominee, 2003
Dog Watch series With Kito, Chester and the whole of Dog Watch on the case, Pembrook is sure to be safe.
Illustrated by Omar RayyanMore information including a sample of a Ice Box Theater’s full-cast recording of Dog Watch: Trouble in Pembrook can be found on the Dog Watch page on Mary Casanova’s site.
Turtle-Hatching Mystery Someone’s stealing sea turtle eggs! On vacation in Mexico, Kito, Chester, and Schmitty use their Dog Watch skills and team up with the village dogs to find out who is disturbing the gentle sea turtles’ nests.
(Simon & Schuster, 2008)Dog Watch Volume 6
Extreme Stunt Dogs Chester is starstruck when the Extreme Stunt Dogs Show comes to town, even though Kito keeps getting sniffs of trouble.
Dog Watch Volume 5(Simon & Schuster, Fall 2007)
To Catch a Burglar A thief has struck Pembrook! Dog Watch is on the case, but they’re running out of clues. Kito and the gang set a trap, but when it goes awry, they realize they’re dealing with a professional.
Dog Watch Volume 4(Simon & Schuster)
Danger at Snow Hill Something is lurking in the woods! Is it a dog? A wolf? Or maybe even a bear? Whatever it is, it’s causing a lot of trouble in Pembrook—scaring kids and getting into the garbage. Dog Watch has to work fast.
Dog Watch Volume 3(Simon & Schuster)
Dog-napped All the strange smells and spooky sightings in the Fall make Kito nervous. At the fire hydrant his fears are confirmed. Missy and Muffin are missing!
Dog Watch Volume 2(Simon & Schuster)
Trouble in Pembrook The dogs of Pembrook — Kito, Chester, and the rest of the gang — form Dog Watch, a canine version of Neighborhood Watch
Dog Watch Volume 1(Simon & Schuster)

Picture Books

Utterly Otterly Night Adventure in the night draws out Little Otter in this sequel to Utterly Otterly Day.
(Simon & Schuster, 2011)
The Day Dirk Yeller Came to Town One ingenious little boy knows what to do when larger than life outlaw Dirk Yeller looms into town, terrifying even the tumbleweeds.
(Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2011)
Some Cat! Violet, a cat rescued from a shelter, finds herself in the company of George and Zippity, two dogs at her new home.
(Macmillan US, 2012)illustrated by Ard Hoyt”…this a fun read-aloud and a real child pleaser.”
—School Library Journal”Kids won’t be able to resist. . .”
Utterly Otterly Day Having so much fun, Little Otter enjoys getting older. When his adventures turn a bit scary he learns it’s good to have a family that loves and protects him.
(Simon and Schuster, 2008)illustrated by Ard Hoyt”With playful drawings and language, the book illustrates how a frisky little otter pushes the boundaries of discovery. It also imparts why creatures should both explore life, as well as heed the advice of their families. Little Otter’s life is full and rich with new experiences, but he also learns the value of family guidance.” – International Falls Daily
Some Dog! (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2007)
illustrated by Ard Hoyt Shortlist, 2009 Grand Canyon Reader Award, Picture Book
Nominee, Show Me Reader Awards List, 2009/2010 Missouri Association of School Librarians
One-Dog Canoe (Farrar, Straus, Giroux, 2002)
illustrated by Ard Hoyt Wyoming’s “Buckaroo” Master List, 2005-2006
Illinois “Monarch” Children’s Book Master List, 2005
Minnesota Humanities Council, “Storytime” Master List, 2003
Minnesota Book Award nominee, 2003
Maine “Chickadee” Children’s Choice Master List, 2004
Nevada Children’s Choice Master List, 2004-2005
Missouri “Building Block” Children’s Choice Master List, 2005
The Hunter (Athenaeum/Simon & Schuster, 2000) ALA Notable Children’s Book
Prairie Bud Children’s Book Award Master List (South Dakota)
Starred reviews: Kirkus, SLJ, Booklist, BCCB
Top 100 Books for 2000 by the NY Public Libraries
San Francisco Chronicle Recommended Book
Parent’s Choice Gold Award
Booklist Editor’s Choice
American Bookseller’s Pick of the List
American Folktale Society Aesop Accolades winner
Anne Izard Storyteller’s Choice Award
BCCB Blue Ribbon List
Red Clover Master List (Vermont)
Minnesota Book Award Winner (children’s book), 2001


Mary Casanova and You for classrooms and librariesThe Author and You, Volume 7
(Libraries Unlimited, Jan. 2007)

Agent: Fiona Kenshole