Mary Labatt - Author

Mary Labatt

Mary Labatt is an award-winning editor and a writer. A graduate of York University, Mary has published many educational briefs, position papers and articles on reading, the effects of poverty on learning, drug awareness, language arts, violence, the needs of adolescents and special education. Mary was the founding editor of the FWTAO Newsletter, a magazine for women teachers, that she edited for 14 years. She is also the author of a history of women teachers in Ontario, called Always a Journey. Mary has been honored for her contribution to education with the prestigious Greer award and has been made a Fellow of the Ontario Teachers' Federation.

In addition to freelance editing, Mary teaches a week-long course every summer on how to write for children. Now that her family is older, Mary devotes the rest of her time to writing for children and raising dogs. She breeds and raises champion rough collies and Welsh Springer Spaniels, which were imported from Wales. People who read Mary's children's books will readily see that she loves dogs, so it is natural that she and her family live on a farm and raise dogs. In the picture Mary is shown with two of her collie mothers, Annabel and Chloe. Mary has said she is never happier than when little fat puppies are running all over the yard.

Mary's Sam books were based on a real dog. Sam was Mary's very eccentric, very nosy Old English Sheepdog. Sam used to stare to get her own way and she was insatiably curious. Mary took the idea and created Sam, the dog detective. If you haven't read the Sam novels, you can meet Sam, the dog detective, in a new series of graphic novels called the Sam and Friends mysteries.

Mary lives on farm in Clear Creek, Ontario, with her husband, Larry, three dogs and two of their three children. Their other daughter just got married, so there will be room now for another dog!

Sam Gets Lost

2005 - SMART Book Award, Short-listed