I am just one of many children’s authors devastated by the news of Sheila Barry’s passing. I began working with Sheila at Kids Can when she nurtured Jasper John Dooley into print. She moved on to become publisher of Groundwood Books, where we also worked together. Over the years we became snail mail correspondents and friends.
From Sheila I learned that children’s literature is every bit as creative and challenging to write as adult fiction; more so, if you dare. Despite the misconception that kidlit is didactic, she had only one rule that I ever heard her mention: if someone is jumping on a trampoline, give her a net. She urged us to take chances, walked us through the impossible, and so she kept her writers safe and published books that gave kids the chance to soar.
Sheila was our net.
Please read her Publishers Weekly obituary.