Teresa’s earliest and most fervent ambition was to grow up and take her rightful place among the other mermaids, that is until cruel and insensitive adults crushed that dream by insisting that mermaids did not exist. So, in the end, Teresa went to Trinity College at the University of Toronto where she got a BA and then an MA in Political Economy. The only thing Teresa knew for sure was that she was never ever going to be a writer. That would be silly, fanciful and well, unrealistic.

Today, Teresa is a multiple award winning author whose work has been translated into a dozen different languages and sold around the world. She is obsessed with writing, and is grateful for the privilege of having supportive and vocal readers! And sometimes, when there is a purple sky and the writing is going really well… she believes that being a writer is almost as good as being a mermaid.

Photo by Matthew Wiley



Beware That Girl

Doubleday Canada, 2016
Delacorte Press, 2016

Shattered Glass

Orca Books, 2015

The Unlikely Hero of Room 13B

Delacorte Press, 2015
Doubleday Canada, 2013

The Taming

Doubleday Canada, 2012

Me And The Blondes

Toronto, Penguin Books, 2006

Better Than Blonde

Toronto, Penguin Books, 2007

Beyond Blonde

Toronto, Penguin Books, 2011

Bright Red Kisses

Toronto, Annick Press, 2005

The Game

Calgary: Red Deer Press, 2001

The Onlyhouse

Calgary: Red Deer Press, 1995


Piece By Piece

Edited By Teresa Toten
Toronto, Penguin Books, 2010


“Father’s Day” by Teresa Toten
Edited by Marthe Jocelyn
Toronto, Tundra, 2005

Girls’ Own

“The Onlyhouse” by Teresa Toten
Edited by Sarah Ellis
Toronto, Penguin Books, 2001


Walrus Magazine Online – Interview

Interview with Teresa following her Governor General Award for Unlikely Hero.
Read the complete interview ›

TD Kids Book Club 2014: Teresa Toten talks to NXNW

To celebrate the nomination of Theresa Toten’s The Unlikely Hero of Room 13B, CBC Radio’s North by Northwest in British Columbia is running a month long writing contest.
Learn more ›

The Dirty Dozen – Twelve Questions for Teresa Toten

Open Book Toronto asks 12 questions of Teresa Toten following Unlikely Hero’s win of the Governor General Award for Literature, Children’s Text.
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Unlikely Hero – Ten Questions for Teresa Toten

Teresa answers 10 questions on the subject of her latest book, The Unlikely Hero of Room 13B.
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Fitting Into Canada

CBC Radio One Interview
Matt Galloway, host of the CBC Radio One program Metro Morning, speaks with Teresa Toten about her book, Piece by Piece: Stories about Fitting into Canada.
MP3 Audio clip ›

Escape from the Beige People
Teresa Toten brings colour to Canadian kidlit

Quill & Quire feature, January 2006
“Teresa Toten is as colourful as the lipstick that stars in her picture book, Bright Red Kisses. Sitting in my living room in Toronto, she electrifies the space with her full-body gestures. And she recalls that as a teenager, she felt no connection with the “beige” people in the Canadian fiction she read, that the characters – “muted, reserved” – were nothing like the operatic people who made up her Croatian-Canadian community. As an adult, she realised that other children also have trouble relating to unemotional WASP characters, and so she set out to create stories that would reflect other experiences.”
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Fitting in was Toten’s teen test:
Like her heroine she was immigrant outsider going to Northern in 1970’s

Toronto Star article, October 2006
“Like many of her teen readers, Teresa Toten knows what it means to fit in. “The idea is probably in all of my books,” says Toten. “The feeling of being left out is something I really respond to.”
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Writing for children ‘magical” says author

Toronto Sun article, September 2004
“When her writing for children instructor encouraged the class to draw on their childhoods and write about the child they knew best, Teresa Toten knew she had to tell the story of moving from the Jewish markets to the suburbs.”
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Teresa Toten: Annick Press Profile

“In the very first of very many moves, Teresa Toten arrived in Canada from Zagreb, Croatia, when she was just 13 days old. Although she mainly grew up in Toronto, Ontario, Teresa and her mother (Mama) moved around a whole lot. Throughout all of the new neighborhoods, new schools, and new friends, the only constants in Teresa’s life were Mama, books, and a burning career ambition to grow up and become a mermaid.”
Read the complete article ›

Teresa Toten: Canadian Materials Profile

“Although Teresa was born on October 13, 1955, in Zagreb, then Yugoslavia, now Croatia, she left the country on the very day she was born. “It was communist Yugoslavia in those days, and my mother’s family were landowners. Because no one in the family turned communist, they were constantly picked on by the government.”
Read the complete article ›