Herb Shoveller - Author

Herb Shoveller

Herb Shoveller was born in Sudbury, Ontario, and grew up in Lively, a small community west of the city.

After primary and secondary school studies in Sudbury, he spent a year traveling in Europe, the Middle East and Africa before entering the University of Western Ontario in London, Ontario. There he did an Honours Bachelor of Arts in philosophy and then a Masters degree in Journalism.

After working in agricultural, arts and business news at various publications, he joined The London Free Press daily newspaper at which, in a total of 20 years there, he worked in every news department in a number of different roles. In the midst of those 20 years, he and his family moved to Hong Kong for two years where Joanne, Herb's wife, helped launch the Asian campus of the University of Western Ontario's Ivey Business School.

The timing to do this book coincided with his family's move from London, Ontario, to Guelph, where Joanne moved to become a vice-president at the University of Guelph. Herb left his newspaper job at The London Free Press, where he was business editor, to freelance. Meanwhile, there had been several overtures to Susan and Mark Hreljac, Ryan's parents, to do a book on Ryan and the wells projects, along with the subsequent addition of Jimmy to their family.

Mark is Herb's nephew, so Herb and his family have been following Ryan's story from the outset and knew it intimately. Further, Herb's wife Joanne was a founding board member of the Ryan's Well Foundation and wrote its original business plan. Mark and Sue made it clear that if a book were to be done, Herb would be the writer. Luckily, events converged to make it possible for him to do the book.

Ryan and Jimmy

2008 - Silver Birch Award, Ontario Library Association, Short-listed
2007 - Notable Social Studies Trade Books for Young People, CBC, Short-listed
2007 - Skipping Stones Honor Award, Skipping Stones Magazine, Winner
2007 - International Book Award, The Society of School Librarians International, Winner
2007 - Norma Fleck Award, Canadian Children's Book Centre, Short-listed
2007 - Information Book Award, Children's Literature Roundtables of Canada, Short-listed
2007 - Notable Books for a Global Society, International Reading Association, Winner
2007 - Diamond Willow Award, Saskatchewan Young Readers' Choice, Short-listed
2007 - Alberta Children's Rocky Mountain Book Award, Short-listed
2007 - Carol D. Reiser Award, Metro Atlanta Corporate Volunteer Council, Winner
2006 - Parents' Choice Recommended, Winner
2006 - Disney Adventures Book Award, Winner
2006 - Book of the Year Award, ForeWord Magazine, Short-listed