Coming March 2020

The Copy Cat

The Nutcracker Tea and Holiday Giveaway!


It’s December!

I mean, technically, December starts of Saturday, but it feels like November has flown by!

I’m almost done my second week as Artist-in-Residence at The Beaverbrook Art Gallery and am hard at work on my writing!

I did take some time this past Sunday to launch A Beaverbrook Holiday during the gallery’s Nutcracker Tea and it was so much fun!

My favourite part was leading some children in singing Christmas carols to the paintings!  We spent extra time singing to Mona, who was very appreciative!

And yes, I wore a PLAID SUIT!  I’d had the two pieces and never worn them together, but they were just the perfect amount of garish, and kind of punk when paired with my one of a kind Beaverbrook Converse sneakers!!!  I’m not going to brag, but Clem Cotterell gave it two thumbs up!



My favourite part was this little boy, who bought his copy of the companion story and immediately read it all in one sitting while sitting below Mona Dunn:



Lots of companion stories and copies of The Frame-Up were sold. If you recall, the story is a fundraiser for the gallery and tells the story of what the paintings do at holiday time!

It’s the perfect gift for The Frame-Up lover in your life, and you don’t need to live in Fredericton to get a copy!  Just email and they’ll be happy to sell you one and mail it straight away! The cost is $12 CDN.

But you might have a chance to win your own copy! I’m giving away a copy of The Frame-Up and the companion story, A Beaverbrook Holiday, as a way of saying thank you to everyone who has supported the book this year!  Leave a comment below and I’ll pick a winner on Monday, December 3rd, autograph it for you and mail it off right away!



Just leave me a note below, or on the twitter post or Insta post and you’ll be entered to win!  Open to both US and Canada.

Good Luck!

The Frame-Up Named One of the Best Middle Grade Novels In Canada!


I was thrilled to receive the latest issue of Canadian Children Book Centre’s Best Books and see that The Frame-Up is included!



It’s such a thrill because I have so much respect and admiration for the Canadian Children’s Book Centre!



Not only that, I am in stellar company, with some of my favourite authors being recognized as well!!!

We don’t write books for recognition, but I’m not going to lie: it’s nice when it comes!!!!


Books I loved this year!


The holidays are coming and I thought I might share some books that I particularly loved this year and that I think you might want to contemplate reading or giving as presents!




This list is not ranked, nor have I annotated it.

Just know that these books made me very happy, sad, and inspired this year!


What books did you love this year?









Q&A in Telegraph Journal


I’m in today’s TJ, sharing all sorts of inspirational and embarrassing details about my life!



Unfortunately, the TJ has a firewall, so I’ve had to put it into two separate images:


The Frame-Up has a Companion Story!


I’ve got some exciting news to share!


You know how much I adore the Beaverbrook Art Gallery…

But many of you might not know that the Gallery is a not-for-profit organization that is very reliant on donations, memberships, etc, to keep the lights on and to expand arts programming.

With that in mind, I wondered if the Gallery mightn’t like a gift from an author who holds it in high esteem?

With the blessing of my publisher, I’ve written a holiday story with the same characters as appear in The Frame-Up and have given it to the Gallery to use as a fundraising tool in any way they see fit.

They’ve decided to publish the story as small chapbook and will begin selling it on November 25th!



How lovely is that cover?

All of the proceeds of the small book will be invested back into the Gallery.

While the story will only be for sale at the Beaverbrook gift shop, that doesn’t mean you’re out of luck! They are prepared to ship anywhere!

To pre-order your own copy, you can call: 1.506.458.2028

or you can email the gallery at:

I promise to autograph all copies!

This is a perfect stocking stuffer or Hanukkah present for someone who already loves The Frame-Up!  And I hope they sell out, because that means the Gallery will make tons of money for programming and services!

Am so excited for you to see what the characters are up to this holiday…


Losing Your Power and Getting it Back!


I lost my power for a couple of days this past week after a huge windstorm.


I can’t complain: we only only lost power for two days and have a generator, so we were able to stay warm and our food wasn’t ruined. Many more New Brunswickers were without power for many days and a few still don’t have power five days later.

It was okay for me – I hunkered down and have been working on edits for my latest book.

But I also did a couple of days of school visits – one day in person, the other day virtually – and talk about getting your batteries restored!

On Tuesday I visited Sunny Brae Middle School in Moncton and spent the day talking to kids from grades six and seven about my books, writing, and reading.



It was so much fun and I felt so invigorated to get home and start writing again!

On Wednesday, I spent a good part of the day skyping with students from Hesston Middle School in Kansas!

I’m a mentor as part of the wonderful #kidsneedmentors MG author program, and this was our “meet and greet”! They asked all kinds of amazing questions and inspired me!

Two weeks ago, I did a similar exercise with students from Hartford Upper Elementary School in Iowa, who also had wonderful questions.

I never cease to be amazed by the enthusiasm and excitement of young readers and writers! They are the reason I write. And their passionate teachers are awe-inspiring!

So I may not have had any power for a couple of days, but I am fully charged and ready to fly!



Many thanks to the teachers and the schools listed above! It is privilege to work with you!!!!


Have an awesome weekend!!!





Book Giveaway and Halloween!


Can you believe it’s already November?


It feels like the fall is flying by!

I’m happy to share that Donna won the copy of The Frame-Up!  But don’t worry; I’m planning a super giveaway at the end of November for the holiday season!


A Frame-Up Halloween


I had a thrill this week when a young girl named Charlotte, who loves The Frame-Up, decided to dress as Mona Dunn for Halloween!

How cute is she?


And kudos to her mother, who did an amazing job of the costume!

The Beaverbrook Art Gallery also got into the Halloween fun, sharing this ghostly image of Madame Juliette on their instagram page:



It’s always a thrill when people love The Frame-Up!

I’ve got a busy week ahead – school visits and I absolutely HAVE to finish book 3!  Yikes!  Wish me luck!



I’ve got Exciting News (and am celebrating with a Book Giveaway!


Guess what?


I’m going to be the Artist in Residence at The Beaverbrook Art Gallery from November 19th to December 16th!



Expect special tours, talks and pop in to watch me tear my hair out as I edit book #3 on deadline!!!


I can’t wait to see you!  And in honour of this wonderful opportunity, I’m giving away a copy of The Frame-Up, along with a copy of It’s a Mystery Pig Face!, bookmarks, and a Merrymaking Christmas ornament!  Just leave a comment below by November 1st end of day and you’re entered to win!



Have a great week!





TD Canadian Children’s Book Week


I’m a huge fan of the ongoing commitment to bring books and authors to kids all across Canada.



And guess what? I just found out I’m one of the thirty authors chosen to participate in Book Week 2019, happening next May!





What is TD Canadian Children’s Book Week? The description from their website:

TD Canadian Children’s Book Week connects Canadian authors and illustrators with children and teens across Canada. Tour participants speak to their audiences about the pleasures of reading and the delights of Canadian children’s books through their presentations and workshops. Meeting authors, illustrators and storytellers can be a turning point in a child’s life, inspiring a lifelong love of reading.

The readings and workshops that take place during Book Week can open a child’s eyes to the world of literature. These readings and interactions with authors, illustrators and storytellers can excite a child about literacy. Whether a child is interested in writing, drawing or telling stories aloud, Book Week inspires young imaginations, teaches children how wonderful a good book can be and encourages them to tell their own stories.

I am so honoured to represent New Brunswick and middle grade literature and I can’t want to learn which province or territory I’m being sent to!

Next week: A book giveaway and some more fun news!

NErDCampNNE, Library Visit, SWEEP by Jonathan Auxier


This post is all about things I have absolutely adored this week….


First off, I attended my very first NErDCamp NNE this past week and it was wonderful!  I met so many amazing teachers and librarians and learned so much! I also got to meet some old and new writer friends, which was a blast!


Me and the wonderful Jill Diamond, author of the delightful LouLou and Pea books!

Elly Swartz, author of Smart Cookie and Finding Perfect, and Jarrett Lerner, author of Enginerds, both of whom are amazing!

Me and the amazing Diane Magras, author of The Mad Wolf’s Daughter


Jill, Diane, and I led a session on how to address gender bias in children’s publishing, and had such a great discussion with a wonderful group of educators and librarians!


All the authors! I tried to get Dan Gemeinhart to sign my books (his lines were SOOOO long!)


I arrived back for one sleep and then hit the road to visit schools and libraries up and down the St. John River Valley for the next three days.


Setting up in the library at Plaster Rock!

Many thanks to the libraries in Plaster Rock, Edmundston, Florenceville, Nackawic, Woodstock, Hartland, Grand Falls, and Perth Andover. I met so many amazing kids on this visit and just loved the whole experience!


I even made it into this week’s issue of Victoria Star!!



Finally, a book recommendation:


I’ve been waiting for Jonathan Auxier’s latest book, SWEEP, for months, and it did not disappoint!


This book, a tale of a young girl who is a chimney sweep in London in the 1800s, is magical, mesmerizing, and simply brilliant. This book will win awards, as it should.

The perfect book for the student or child in your life!!!


Monday is Canadian Thanksgiving, so for those of you who celebrate (like I do!):


A Frame-Up Review, Booking School/Library/Book Club Visits


Hi everyone!

Sorry to be missing in action these past two weeks.

My wonderful sister passed away and so I was of course occupied. It will take a long time to get over this, but I am glad to get back to work.


The first piece of good news is that The Frame-Up just received a five star review from CM: The Canadian Review of Materials, a journal that reviews children’s and YA books.


You can read it online and I’ve copied it in full below!


The Frame-Up

The Frame-Up

Wendy McLeod MacKnight
New York, NY: Greenwillow Books (Distributed in Canada by HarperCollins Canada), 2018
374 pp., hardcover, $21.00
Review by:
Crystal Sutherland
5 stars

The second piece of good news is that I am now booking in-school visits, FREE Skype visits, library visits and book club visits!

Would love to meet your kids!!!

I’m also travelling a lot in the next week. Come see me!


I’m really excited about Freeport, because I’ll FINALLY be able to meet some of my author friends!!!!

Things are hopping again, and I couldn’t be happier!  Will report back next week!

On Writing


I am in the throes of writing a new book.



Every time I begin a new book, I forget how hard it is to write a new book.

You’d think after having two books published, one in the queue and six more squirrelled away in my computer and likely never to be seen again, it would get easy.

But here’s what I’m learning this time:

Planning helps, but you still have a horrible first draft in the end that you wouldn’t want to show your dog. Especially the dog below, who in my opinion, is a bit of a genius…




There is no need to know everything in draft one.


I used to stop along the way and make changes. No more.

Can’t remember a name? I leave an X.

Need to do more research? I leave myself a note and tell myself to do it.

I just need to get the words down.



Write Every Day When Revising



No, I didn’t want to, but by writing every day, I’ve managed to write this new book in about 40 days.


Get Excited About Revising.

What I learned after the last book was that revising is the most satisfying thing.

What changed to make me think that?

Two things: I realize how much better my stories can be with careful revising and I found this book:



I wish I’d found Sandra Scofield about five years ago, but never mind, she’s with me now.  This book kicks my butt in the best way and makes me excited to start revising!


And finally:


Realize It’s Not Supposed to Be Easy





I used to fantasize that the words would just flow out of me in one, brilliant piece of literature.

Uh, No….

Now I picture my reader when I write, and I think about the books that are effortless to read, thanks to the author’s care and efforts.

I want to be that kind of author.

So bring on the revising — I’m ready!



Back to School WITH BOOKS


Can you believe August is almost over?


On July 1st, @Munrokidsbooks picked #TheFrameUp to represent New Brunswick in their cross-country tour of Canadian Kids Book:



Then the Wall Street Journal gave the book a glowing review, which you can read here.

Then I travelled to Halifax to receive the Emerging Artist Award from the Atlantic Booksellers Association:


And then I was interviewed on CBC’s Q:



And featured in Quill and Quire:



I’ve been to weddings and funerals, read at libraries, swam, walked, and generally enjoyed myself this summer.

I’m 35,000 words into book #4.


But school is about to start, which means I will be hitting the road again soon!


And to thank you, my loyal readers, I’m hosting a book giveaway.


Leave me a note between now and September 1st and you’ll be entered to win hardcover copies of Both The Frame-Up and It’s a Mystery, Pig Face! Or you can retweet and follow me on twitter or follow me on Instagram. The only catch? You have to tell me what favourite thing you did this summer!



Good Luck!!!!


Look For The Helpers: Mr. Rogers was right


I typically like to keep this blog light, but…

a very sad thing happened in the community where I live last Friday and I think it’s hard to be light when your heart is grieving.

For those of you who don’t know, I live in a small province on the east coast of Canada, a small place that is home to a little more than 700,000 people in an area that is roughly the size of the State of Maine.

It’s a sleepy, friendly place, and it’s where I set my latest book, The Frame-Up.

People here seem to know everyone else, and we like it that way.

Last Friday, all that changed when two people were murdered as were two of the police officers dispatched to protect them.

I don’t know the two people who were the original victims, but I do know the two police officers who went to help them: Constable Robb Costello and Constable Sara Burns.

And I know the pain and fear that this had caused within the policing community becauses my husband was once a police officer, too.


In the days since, I’ve thought of the families and the children they left behind, and I’ve thought of my community.

It will take a long time to heal from this tragedy.

Fredericton will not forget Sara and Robb’s sacrifice, but it won’t be held hostage to hate or revenge.

In one of the most moving events of this week so far, the city came together to join hands on Monday night.

Thousands showed up in an act of defiant love, and it was moving and healing.



I was pleased to see so many children participating and bringing flowers and teddy bears to the makeshift memorial in front of the police station.

In fact, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau brought his own young son to pay his respects to the fallen officers and share messages of hope and healing for New Brunswick.



Shielding children from sad events doesn’t help them. Most of the time, they know about the events even if parents try to keep it a secret.

The wonderful thing is, thanks to the internet, there are many resources parents can access to help them answer children’s questions about safety.

And there are wonderful books about the aftermath of tragedies.

Visit these sites to learn more about them:

  1. this wonderful Indianapolis Library site.
  • This list on GoodReads.

I leave the final words to Mr. Rogers.

Sara and Robb were the first helpers.

When they fell, many more police officers, ambulance attendants, and just regular people like you and me, stepped in and took their place.

Thanks to them, more tragedy was averted.

Look to the helpers. Their love and sacrifice gives me hope.

Rest in peace Robb and Sara.


Teacher David Marsh’s The Frame-Up BookTalk Trailer and #THEFRAMEUPBOOKTOUR goes to ChocolateFest!


Over the past year, I’ve gotten to know Texas Elementary School Teacher David Marsh and I can say unequivocally that he is a passionate educator!

David’s class got an early ARC of The Frame-Up, and have read It’s a Mystery, Pig Face!

This Spring, we did a SKYPE visit and it was so much fun!

I expect more shenanigans with his class this fall, but suffice to say, this teacher GETS why reading is so critical for kids and he is a tireless champion of literacy and learning.

So imagine my delight when David created a BookTalk video about The Frame-Up?  I’ve watched this video four times and I laugh out loud every time!  When I was a kid, I would have been thrilled to have a teacher like Mr. Marsh!

For your viewing pleasure:




How amazing is that? Kind of makes you want to visit The Beaverbrook Art Gallery, doesn’t it?




The Frame-Up Book Tour

The Frame-Up Book tour rolls on this summer with a morning in St. Stephen, New Brunswick where picture book author Lana Button (go visit her site and buy her wonderful books here) and I did a morning talk/reading to about 75 interested kids and their parents.

And oh, we sold a few books, too!!!

Sincere thanks to Lana for setting this up, and to #ChocolateFest and the St. Croix Public Library for hosting us!  It was so much fun to be home!!!


My favourite librarian, Elva Hatt!



Stay tuned, because September is going to be a very busy month for The Frame-Up!

Meanwhile, I’m writing another book and having so much fun!!!! Stay tuned for more on that!

Have a great week!


Teacher Giveaway!


I love teachers!



I’ve heard from so many teachers that they think THE FRAME-UP will be so awesome to use in the classroom for art, language arts, and history, I thought I ought to do a teacher giveaway!


Retweet or follow me on twitter  and I’ll send you some Frame-Up swag and an extra copy of the book for your classroom PLUS a one hour SKYPE visit with your class!  Giveaway ends July 31st!

As a treat, since we are in the groundhog days of summer – you read that right – I thought I’d send a little video along for your viewing enjoyment.


Already starting to work on a Picture Book….



How cute is he or she?


Happy Weekend!



The Frame-Up On The Radio!


It’s been another great week for The Frame-Up!

This past Monday, I was interviewed by on Q, a radio program that airs on CBC in Canada and on Public Radio International and many NPR channels in the U.S. I was kind of nervous — the program has a listenership of around 1.5 million — but it was a great experience and I loved talked about the book!




Want to listen to the program? click here.


NErDcamp Northern New England


I’ve been asked to participate in the authors night during the upcoming NErDcamp Northern England in Freeport, Maine on September 28th.

From their website:

nErDcamp is an “unconference” modeled after edcamp with a focus is on literacy. An “unconference” means that participants decide which topics will be explored. Please view this comparison between a traditional conference and an “unconference” here. This comparison was obtained from the edcamp wiki space.  If you would like more info about edcamp, please visit their wiki here.  
During the first half hour we will fill a session board with different topics generated from participants. Participants decide which sessions they wish to attend and are encouraged to move to another session if the current session does not meet their needs.

There will be 4 one hour sessions during the day- two in the morning and two in the afternoon. Some sessions may be led by participants who want to share a strategy, tool or idea that has worked for them (ex: Using Evernote in the classroom). Other sessions may be more like round table discussions in which participants discuss and share ideas on a topic (ex: How to engage developing readers).


I can’t wait!


St. John River Valley Library Tour

I’ve been invited to tour local libraries – who will invite local schoolchildren – along the St. John River Valley the first week of September. More details to come, but I’ll be travelling from Nackawick to Edmundston and all points in between!


The Boy, The Boat and The Beast



I recently reviewed the above book over at the Middle Grade Minded blog. Take a read, and then go buy this wonderful book yourself! A Wendy guaranteed good read!


That’s it for this week – have a great weekend!


A Whirlwind Week for The Frame-Up (and its author!)


Holy cow!

The Frame-Up is getting a lot of love these days!

I am thrilled that people are enjoying my love letter to art and are excited about the shenanigans that are occurring at the Beaverbrook Art Gallery once everyone goes home…


First up, the book just received a glowing review from The Wall Street Journal:


Children’s Books: Meeting the People in the Paintings

A girl in a portrait flits into the frames of her gallerymates.

In 1915, the Irish painter William Orpen captured in oils and chiaroscuro the young daughter of a Canadian industrialist. In her portrait, Mona Dunn gazes out with a calm, serious expression, her hands folded in her lap and her golden hair glinting bright against the darkness that surrounds her. The picture, called simply “Mona Dunn,” is the sort that can evoke a strange, intense mingling of longing and belief in the viewer: that if only there were some way to connect with the person in the painting, each would like and understand the other, and yet, of course, it’s impossible.

Or is it? That’s the tantalizing idea that animates “The Frame-Up” (Greenwillow, 364 pages, $16.99), a mystery-adventure by Wendy McLeod MacKnight that takes place almost entirely in the Beaverbrook Art Gallery, in Fredericton, New Brunswick, where “Mona Dunn” hangs on the wall in real life.

In this delicious tale, 13-year-old Mona is not merely a figment of pigment: Like her gallery-mates Somerset Maugham, Helena Rubinstein and Max Aitken, aka Lord Beaverbrook, she is wide awake and, after hours, can flit from frame to frame to visit friends or sit in the dappled Italian sunlight of John Singer Sargent’s “San Vigilio, Lake Garda.”

Life for the gallery residents is timeless and pleasant, for the most part, though some do chafe under Lord Beaverbrook’s strict rules. (Anyone wishing to go to the basement, for instance, must first enter Salvador Dalí’s “Santiago El Grande” and answer a riddle posed by the horse and rider at its center.)

“Mona Dunn” (c.1915) by William Orpen
“Mona Dunn” (c.1915) by William Orpen PHOTO: BEAVERBROOK ART GALLERY

Everything changes for the people in the paintings one summer, however, with the arrival of a 12-year-old boy with a name taken from art history. The gentle, unhappy son of the gallery director, Sargent Singer catches Mona making a face at a rude young patron. Incredulous and thrilled, he promises to keep her secret, even as the two new friends notice suspicious doings among the adults around them. In the human world, Sargent’s father seems oddly complacent about a shifty art restorer who is making eccentric demands. In the painted world, Beaverbrook is stricter and Maugham more acid-tongued than ever.

Hanging over the whole story, meanwhile, is a cruel reality. “Sargent will leave at the end of the summer,” a painted friend reminds Mona. “He will grow old. You will not. The path you travel guarantees nothing but heartache.”

Ah, but does it? As if answering a riddle from the Dalí painting, Sargent finds a solution to the conundrum that we discover in the final pages of this clever, satisfying story for art-loving readers ages 11-14.


How amazing is that?


On Sunday, I travelled to Halifax to receive the Atlantic Independent Booksellers’ Emerging Author Award 2018 for It’s a Mystery, Pig Face!

It was such an honour and so much fun to meet all the amazing booksellers in the Atlantic region!



I’m going to be interviewed on Q, one of CBC’s most popular radio programs!


The interview, about The Frame-Up, will air on Monday morning, July 16th, at 10:30 a.m. local time.

The program has an average of one million listeners a week (gulp!) and will also air on Public Radio International in the U.S. to another 500,000 listeners!  Wish me luck!

And if you want to listen live, click here.

A special thank you to all of my wonderful supporters! YOU are what keeps the love for THE FRAME-UP going, and it is SOOOO appreciated! Let me know what you think of the interview!!!


Until then – see you next week!


Book Review and Giveaway Winner


Sometimes you read a book at the exact right time.


With all of the attacks on the media these days, I am reminded that freedoms are a precious and precarious thing. And given that in the next week we will celebrate Canada Day and The 4th of July, it seems only fitting to think about what makes democracies so great: human rights and personal rights.

So when I spotted BAN THIS BOOK by MG author extraordinaire Alan Gratz, a book I’d been meaning to read for months, I snatched it up.



Alan has the inherent ability to take complex issues and boil them down to a relatable and personal level for children (and adults). See: REFUGEE if you want another brilliant example. Wait: you MUST read REFUGEE!

Anyway, the story is told from the perspective of shy Amy Anne Ollinger, who accidentally becomes a social activist when her favourite book, From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankenweiler by E.L. Konigsburg, is banned from her school library without due process.

And that’s not the only book that’s pulled from the shelves. Authors Judy Blume, Alvin Schwartz, Roald Dahl, Louise Fitzhugh, Mary Downing Hahn, Barbara Park, Day Pilkey, Zilpha Neatly Snyder, and R.L. Stine are also gone.

Amy Anne is outraged, and fights back the best way she knows how: by reading the banned books. And she’s not the only one. In fact, interest in the banned books is so great that it Amy is forced to create Amy Anne’s Banned Books Locker Library, a place that proves as popular as the school library. And with Amy Anne and the other kids on the case, the school board isn’t going to know what hit them!

The issue of censorship is always critically important in a democratic society, and this book does a brilliant and entertaining job of teaching kids to question when someone else wants to do things for their “best interest”. In the end, the book argues that only a child’s parent should be deciding what is and isn’t appropriate for their child to read, something which was always the case in the household I grew up in, though if I am being honest, I don’t believe my parents ever stopped me from reading anything. Though they did sometimes question me!

This book is a must-read and belongs in every library across the world.


Giveaway Winner


Thanks everyone for entering last week’s contest. John Smith is the winner! Congrats John!


Since this weekend is Canada Day and my brother and his family arrive from Alberta on Thursday, this blog is taking next week off. I’ll be back the following week with more news and information, including what happened when I received the Atlantic Indies Booksellers Emerging Author Award on July 7th in Halifax, Nova Scotia!


Happy Canada Day and 4th of July. Let Freedoms Reign!



The Frame-Up is featured in The Daily Gleaner



I apologize that I can’t include a link, but The Daily Gleaner has a bloody paywall… Sigh…

Still, it’s a wonderful article. Last night, I took 20 people, 19 of whom were adults, on an “author’s tour” of the paintings in The Frame-Up. They loved it! Turns out that not only kids are loving The Frame-Up!

And a shout-out to indie bookstore Linda’s Story Time in Monroe, Connecticut, who made The Frame-Up one of their staff picks!

Some folks from away have asked about how to get autographed copies of the book. Contact Westminster Books here in Fredericton, New Brunswick at1-800-561-7323 or email them





Author of Children's Literature