An irresistible mystery for young animal lovers, inspired by Moscow's famous stray dogs.
By the time JR and his human, George, arrive in Moscow, JR is fed up with the life of an embassy dog. He’s tired of moving, sick of the tiny apartments, and done with the dull trips to the dog park. So when JR sneaks out and meets up with some wily local strays who have the run of the city, he finally gets a real adventure. But when the strays start to mysteriously disappear, JR finds himself with a big mystery on his paws.
Rachelle Delaney is a writer, editor, and creative writing teacher currently living in Vancouver, BC. Growing up in rural Alberta, she spent most of her youth riding horses, playing with her dogs, climbing trees, and writing stories about horses, dogs, and tree-climbing. These stories were never long on plot.
After spending a few years studying environmental sciences, Rachelle escaped to the west coast to combine her love of nature with her need to write stories about it. She followed up a Bachelors degree in creative writing and environmental studies with an MFA in creative writing, and during those years finally learned to craft a plot. Her first novel, The Ship of Lost Souls, was shortlisted for the Sheila A. Egoff Award (a BC Book Prize), the Red Cedar Award, and the Chocolate Lily Award. It also earned her the title of top under-30 author in Canada in 2010. The Ship of Lost Souls is now the first book in a four-book series.
When she’s not writing novels for young people, Rachelle leads the David Suzuki Foundation’s Connecting Youth with Nature program. Outside of work, she can usually be found trail running, showshoeing, and planning adventures to far-flung places. Her travels have taken her tree-climbing in Costa Rica, searching for pygmy elephants in Borneo, and tracking down stray dogs in Russia, among many other exploits. That last adventure is the basis for for her latest novel, The Metro Dogs of Moscow.
Years ago, Rachelle came across a newspaper story about some stray dogs in Moscow that had learned to take the subway to navigate the city. Instantly inspired, she set about researching and creating a story about these amazing four-legged Muscovites. In this presentation, Rachelle tells how The Metro Dogs of Moscow came to be, describing her research, her adventures in Moscow, and the novel that emerged from the whole process. Images, short readings, and personal stories bring the Metro Dogs — both real and imagined — to life. Students are challenged to brainstorm other amazing but true stories that can inspire their own writing.
Rachelle also offers writing workshops for small groups or individual classes, as well as a presentation on the writer’s life and career for high school students.
Contact her to discuss what she can bring to your class, book club, or community group.
It was such a wonderful opportunity for our students to work with a real author–especially one so young and approachable. Feedback from students, teachers and parents alike was all very positive and I would highly recommend that any school host Rachelle as a visiting author.
- Julie Weatherall
The Cranbrook Public Library was pleased to host Rachelle Delaney at the end of the year Red Cedar celebration on April 30, 2012. Her presentation was lively and the 90 children attended really enjoyed her style and enthusiasm. … Rachelle really projected her love of stories and love of nature to the children in the audience.
- Deanne Perreault
Children’s and Youth Librarian
Cranbrook Public Library
A fun and loveable middle-grade mystery, inspired by Moscow’s famous stray dogs.
JR (short for Jack Russell) is an embassy dog. His human, George, works in embassies around the world and so they both travel. A lot. Now George is working at the Canadian Embassy in Moscow. While George loves the globetrotting life, he doesn’t think JR needs any more excitement than hanging out at the park with the other embassy dogs.
JR, however, has had quite enough of leashes and perfectly manicured parks — not to mention the boring embassy dogs. Inspired by seeing a stray dog steal a coil of sausages, JR sneaks out of his apartment to do a little exploring on his own and soon meets up with the wily stray and some of his friends. This is the life — amazing city smells! Mouthwatering stuffed potatoes! And best of all, freedom to travel on the Moscow subway.
But then JR’s new friends mysteriously start to disappear. When an embassy dog goes missing as well, JR knows he must use everything he’s learned about his new home to solve the mystery of Moscow’s missing dogs.
Now a four-book series, the Lost Souls novels began with The Ship of Lost Souls, a rollicking adventure about a ship of pirate children captained by the feisty 12-year-old Scarlet McCray. When Scarlet’s crew, the Lost Souls, rescue 11-year-old Jem Fitzgerald from the pirates holding him captive, they discover that he holds the treasure map all the pirates and King’s Men in the tropics are looking for. Soon they find themselves in a race for a treasure they can’t afford to lose.
The Ship of Lost Souls was shortlisted for the Sheila A. Egoff Award (a BC Book Prize), the Red Cedar Award, and the Chocolate Lily Award. It also earned Rachelle the title of top under-30 author in Canada in 2010.
Titled The Guardians of Island X in the US, Book 2 picks up where Book 1 left off, on the mysterious Island X, where the Lost Souls have appointed themselves guardians of a coveted treasure. But danger isn’t far away; Captain Wallace and his crew are still after the treasure, and they want revenge on Scarlet and the Lost Souls. On top of that, Scarlet has a new problem: someone she never thought she’d see again is on the island. He’s an admiral with the King’s Men, he’s dangerous, and he’s her father.
Scarlet McCray and the crew are just settling in on Island X when they learn two very curse-worthy things. One: there’s a new pirate captain sailing the seas. And two: Scarlet’s family is coming to the tropics, forcing her to trade her pirate’s cap for a petticoat and pretend to be a “normal” 12-year-old girl. Jem Fitzgerald is left in charge, not only to guard the treasure from the pirates and keep peace among the crew, but to find the ferocious black panther that lives on Island X before the panther finds a single Lost Soul.
Wondering about rights and acquisitions? Contact Marie Campbell at marie [at] tla1.com.
Web design & development by Laura Lefurgey-Smith.