Teresa Toten

Teresa Toten

Teresa Toten has a BA and MA in Political Economy from the University of Toronto and has held a number of federal government positions, including at the Canadian Institute for International Peace and Security and on the Royal Commission on Conditions of Foreign Service. She was born in Zagreb, Croatia, but left for Canada on that same day. Teresa Toten was raised and currently lives in Toronto, but has also lived in Delhi, Ontario, Montréal, Ottawa and New York.

Among her many accolades, Teresa Toten was awarded  the 2013 Governor General’s Literary Award for her novel The Unlikely Hero of Room 13B.

Author photo Matthew Wiley


The Unlikely Hero of Room 13B The Unlikely Hero of Room 13B (Doubleday, 2013)
Governor General Literary Award, 2013, children’s text, English“The Unlikely Hero of Room 13B is a beautiful, heart-wrenching story of life, loss, love, brokenness, and the purest form of bravery: giving in and asking for help.”
– Quill & Quire, (starred review)“This deft, thoughtful and hilariously funny novel will remain in the mind for a long, long time.”
– CM Magazine
The Taming The Taming (Doubleday, 2012 with Eric Walters)
“Walters and Toten offer an unflinching look at the dark side of young love that is both believable and—importantly—entertaining.”
—Quill & Quire (starred review)”Emotional manipulation, fights, making up, sex, abuse—it’s all here in one fast read. This collaborative work is bound to catch the attention of teens and fans of books that look beyond the fluff and sparkle of so many teen romances.”
—CM Magazine
The Game (Red Deer Press, 2001)Shortlist, 2001 Governor General’s Award
2003 Best Books for Young Adults, American Library Association
2002 Children’s Book of the Year, Alberta Book Publisher’s Association
White Raven Citation, International Youth Library
Nominated for the 2002 Canadian Libary Association
Young Adult Book of the Year
VOYA Best List 2002
Book of the Year Award, Bronze, ForeWord Magazine
2002 White Pine Award Finalist
Canadian Children’s Book Centre’s Our Choice Award
The Onlyhouse (1995 Red Deer College Press) Finalist, Ruth Schwartz Award, 1996
Finalist, IODE Violet Downey Award, 1996
Canadian Library Association Honour Book, 1996
Quill & Quire Pick – One of the Four Favourite Works of Children’s Fiction for 1996
Nominated for the Red Cedar Award, 1997
Nominated for the Manitoba Young Reader’s Choice Award 1998
Canadian Children’s Book Centre’s Our Choice Award

Series Fiction

Beyond Blonde(Penguin Canada, 2011)

Me and the Blondes Series
Better than Blondesequel to Me and the Blondes(Penguin Canada, April 2007)The Blondes were as dazzled by Sophie as she was by them, and Sophie enters grade 10 smack in the centre of the power grid. And, after seven years her father is finally out of prison. He’s supposed to be dead – No more lies? No more secrets?
Me and the Blondesyoung adult novel(Penguin Canada, 2006)Visit Penguin Canada’s microsite: www.betterthanblonde.com Sophie Kandinsky wants to gain admission to the pack – she has the strategy: Find the Blondes, the in-crowd, and stick to them like glue and to her surprise the plan works better than she thought it would.

“Although Me and the Blondes is set in Toronto, Sophie’s year could take place in any large city high school. Readers of all backgrounds, especially girls, will slip comfortably into Sophie’s world and leave only reluctantly.”
– Canadian Materials
Shortlist, 2006 Governor General’s Literary Award
BC Teen Readers Choice
Shortlisted, 2007 Young Adult Book Award.
Canadian Library Association CLA
Nominee, 2007 White Pine Award, Fiction
Nominee, 2008-2009 Stellar Teen Book Award

Picture Books

Bright Red Kissesillustrated by Deirdre Betteridge(Annick Press, 2005)


Piece by Piece: Stories about Fitting into Canada Features stories by some of Canada’s finest authors who were born in another country and who went through the experience of trying to “fit in.
(Penguin Canada, 2010)edited by Teresa Toten Nominee, Information Book Award 2011,
Children’s Literature Roundtables of Canada
Nominee, CYBIL Non-fiction(MG/YA) 2010
Family Secretsedited by Martha Jocelyncontribution: short story Father’s Day (Tundra, 2005)
Girls Own: An Anthology of Fiction for Young Readersedited by Sarah Elliscontribution
(Penguin, 2001)

Columns and Articles

Quill & Quire Magazine
Reviewer of children’s books since 1996Commentary: The Globe & Mail, Review Press Reporter,
Canadian Children’s Book News

Agent: Marie Campell