Casanova, Mary

Contact Informationmaryc
Phone: 812-824-5017


Book Category: Childrens Fiction,Nonfiction,Picture Books
Age Group:


Picture Books

Wake Up, Island! University of Minnesota Press, 2016. Ill. by Nick Wroblewski.

One-Dog Sleigh. Farrar, Straus, Giroux, 2013. Ill. by Ard Hoyt.

Some Cat! Farrar, Straus, Giroux, 2012. Ill. by Ard Hoyt.

The Day Dirk Yeller Came to Town. Farrar, Straus, Giroux, 2011. Ill. by Ard Hoyt.

Utterly Otterly Night. Simon & Schuster, 2011. Ill. by Ard Hoyt.

Utterly Otterly Day. Simon & Schuster, 2008. Ill. by Ard Hoyt.

Some Dog! Farrar, Straus, Giroux, 2007. Ill. by Ard Hoyt.

One-Dog Canoe. Farrar, Straus, Giroux, 2002. Ill. by Ard Hoyt.

The Hunter. Atheneum/Simon & Schuster, 2000. Ill. by Ed Young.


Chapter Books

Dog Watch Series – Aladdin Books/Simon & Schuster, 2006.
Trouble in Pembrook
Danger at Snow Hill
To Lure a Burglar
Extreme Stunt Dogs
The Turtle-Hatching Mystery


American Girl

Grace; Grace Stirs it Up; Grace Makes it Great. American Girl, 2015. Ill. by Sarah Davis.

McKenna and McKenna, Ready to Fly!. American Girl, 2011. Ill. by Brian Hailes.

Chrissa and Chrissa Stands Strong. American Girl, 2009. Ill. by Richard Jones.

Jess. Pleasant Company, 2002. Ill. by Jean-Paul Tibbles.

Cecile: Gates of Gold. Pleasant Company, 2002. Ill. by Jean-Paul Tibbles.


Novels: Early Middle Grade to Young Adult

Ice-Out. University of Minnesota Press, 2016.

Frozen. University of Minnesota Press, 2012.

The Klipfish Code. Houghton Mifflin, 2007.

When Eagles Fall. Hyperion, 2002.

Curse of a Winter Moon. Hyperion, 2000.

Stealing Thunder. Hyperion, l999.

Wolf Shadows. Hyperion, l997.

Riot. Hyperion, l996.

Moose Tracks. Hyperion, l995.



Mary Casanova and You (The Author and YOU series.) Libraries Unlimited, 2006.


Mary Casanova is an award-winning children’s author of novels and picture books. Many of her books stem from her life on the Minnesota-Canadian border; yet some of her stories have taken her as far away as France, Norway, and Belize for research. Whatever the setting for her books, Casanova writes stories that matter–and stories that kids can’t put down.

Her book awards include: American Library Association “Notable,” Aesop Accolades by the American Folklore Society, Parents’ Choice “Gold” Award, Booklist Editor Choice, and two Minnesota Book Awards. Her books frequently land on state children’s choice book master lists across the country. “The greatest reward for me,” Casanova states, “is when a young reader tells me she or he loves one of my books. For me, it’s all about communicating writer-to-reader through a character and story.”

Casanova grew up in a family of ten children in St. Paul, Minnesota. In a bustling camp-like atmosphere, Casanova found that writing became her voice. “Words are my paintbrush,” she explains, “my way of exploring the world around me.”

Now, with 19 books published and many more under contract and forthcoming, she divides her time between writing and traveling. Nationally and internationally, at schools and conferences, Casanova shares her love of writing and reading with children and adults.

Her newest novel, The Klipfish Code, makes use of Mary’s on-site research in Norway. The story explores an important facet of Norwegian history through the experiences of Marit, a 12-year-old Norwegian girl who finds a way to fight against the 5-year Nazi occupation of Norway. Marit and her brother Lars are separated from their parents (who are working for the Resistance) and sent to live on an island with their gruff grandfather and school teacher aunt. During the course of the story, Marit’s aunt is one of the Norwegian school teachers that gets sent to a concentration camp for refusing to integrate Nazi propaganda into her classroom. With potential danger waiting every turn, Marit finds a way to help the Resistance and eventually reunite her family.

Mary’s series, Dog Watch (Simon and Schuster) is based on her northern Minnesota village where dogs are allowed to roam free—as long as they don’t get in trouble. If they get in trouble, they earn a sticker on their page at the village clerk’s office; too many stickers and a trouble-making dog must remain at home. “I never know where the next story will come from. It’s a delight when the stories come right from this corner of the world I call home.” She makes her home in a 100-year old house on Rainy Lake with her husband, Charles, and their three “above average” dogs and spends free time with their horses, Jay and Midnight.

Wyoming’s “Buckaroo” Master List, 2005-2006
Illinois “Monarch” Children’s Book Master List, 2005
Minnesota Humanities Council, “Storytime” Master List, 2003
Minnesota Book Award Finalist, 2004
Maine “Chickadee” Children’s Choice Master List, 2004
Nevada Children’s Choice Master List, 2004-2005
Missouri “Building Block” Children’s Choice Master List, 2005

ALA Notable Children’s Book
Prairie Bud Children’s Book Award Master List (South Dakota)
Starred reviews: Kirkus, SLJ, Booklist, BCCB
Top 100 Books for 2000 by the NY Public Libraries
San Francisco Chronicle Recommended Book
Parent’s Choice Gold Award
Booklist Editor’s Choice
American Bookseller’s Pick of the List
American Folktale Society Aesop Accolades winner
Anne Izard Storyteller’s Choice Award
BCCB “Blue Ribbon Listz”
Red Clover Master List (Vermont)
Minnesota Book Award Winner, 2001

Minnesota Book Award Winner (young adult) 2001

National Parenting Publications Award (NAPPA), 2002
Honors Award, Minnesota Book Award nominee, 2003
Minnesota Book Award Finalist, 2003

Iowa Children’s Choice Master List, 2002-2003
Maud Hart Lovelace Book Master List, (Minnesota) 2002-2003
Massachusetts Children’s Book Award Master List, 2003

Minnesota Book Award Master List, 1998
Northeastern Minnesota Book Award Master List, 1998
ALA Quick Picks for YA Reluctant Readers nominee
Jeanette Fair Award Finalist, Delta Kappa Gamma Society Int’l, Tau State Organization
Mark Twain Book Award Master List (Missouri), 1999-2000
Wyoming Indian Paintbrush Master List, l999-2000
Best Read-Alouds Booklist (Indiana), 1999-2000
Iowa Children’s Choice Master List, 2000-2001
Lamplighter Award Master List, Nat’l Christian Schools Assoc., 2000-2001

Junior Library Guild Selection
Northeastern Minnesota Book Award nominee
Minnesota Book Award Finalist
Children’s Sequoyah Master List (Oklahoma), 1998-99
Children’s Crown Master List, 1999
ALA Quick Picks for YA Reluctant Readers nominee

Children’s Book-of-the-Month Club selection
Flicker Tale Children’s Book Award Master List, (North Dakota), 1997
Iowa Children’s Choice Master List, 1998
Northeastern Minnesota Book Award nominee, 1996
Indian Paintbrush Book Award Master List (Wyoming), 1998
South Carolina Book Award Master List, 1998-99
Maud Hart Lovelace Book Award Master List (Minnesota), 1998-99
Kentucky “Bluegrass” Master List, l996

School Visit Program: Grades K-8 Length of presentation: approximately 50-55 minutes Book-signing: 30 minutes following each presentation Content: Casanova shares about her writing process, the stories behind her stories, and her journey of becoming a published author. She believes everyone has stories to tell and encourages listeners of all ages to draw from their experiences, to make a difference, and to follow their dreams. Casanova will provide: PowerPoint presentation with laptop, projector, and remote control School will provide: Screen or wall that will substitute as a screen Microphone & PA system, stool, and cart/table (for projector) Fee: $1500 for three presentations + expenses (travel and meals) This fee may be split with one other school, but must be coordinated by the participating schools. * Students must read at least one book (on their own or as a class read-aloud) before author arrives to help make the most of the author visit. Keynote conference speaker Program: educational, entertaining, and inspiring “No Less than Stars”—In her keynote presentations, Casanova recounts the educators who made a difference in her path to becoming a published author; she shares the struggles of her writing journey; and she always challenges her audience to do their best work possible and to remember that they make a difference—one student, one reader at a time. From picture books to YA novels, she writes books that often explore life’s shadows and moral dilemmas, while always offering hope—and an entertaining story. Program themes vary. Length: generally 50-55 minutes, but willing to adapt to conference Book signing: request signing time following presentation Casanova will provide: PowerPoint presentation with laptop, projector, and remote control Conference will provide: Screen or wall that will substitute as a screen Microphone & PA system, stool, and cart/table (for projector), water Fee: $1500 for Keynote (may include up to two additional workshop presentations) + expenses (travel and meals).

(see presentation info)