Jean Rae Baxter

Jean Rae Baxter

Kingston, ON

Best Books for Children and Teens, CCBC Selection (Commended, 2016)

Internationale Baccalaureate: excerpt included in Workbook for children 11 - 12 (2014)

New England Book Festival, Boston (Commended, 2012)

Moonbeam Children's Book Awards (Runner-up, 2012)

City of Hamilton Arts Award for Established Writer (Short-listed, 2012)

Best Books for Children and Teens, CCBC Selection (Commended, 2013)

Best Books for Children and Teens, CCBC Selection (Commended, 2015)

Moon Beam Children's Books Awards, Gold Medal (Winner, 2011)

Best Books for Children and Teens, CCBC Selection (Commended, 2012)

Best Books for Children and Teens, CCBC Selection (Commended, 2008)

"Forest of Reading" Red Maple Award (Short-listed, 2009)

Stellar Book Award (British Columbia) for Teens (Short-listed, 2010)

Arts Hamilton Literary Award for Fiction (Short-listed, 2015)


Intermediate Fiction (Ages 10-14)



Jean Rae Baxter was born in Toronto, but grew up in Hamilton. She holds a B.A. and M.A. from the University of Toronto and a B.Ed. from Queen’s. For several years she taught Secondary School English in Lennox & Addington County, west of Kingston, Ontario.

Although she grew up in Hamilton, “down home” was Essex and Kent Counties, where her ancestors had settled, some as Loyalists in the 1780’s following the American Revolution and some a century earlier, in the days of New France.

She first became a professional writer at age sixteen, when the Hamilton Spectator paid her one dollar per column inch for news articles she submitted as a free-lancer. This was followed, when she was seventeen, by a summer as a reporter for the Leamington Post & News.

Jean wrote The Way Lies North (2007) to fill a need for responsible historical fiction to tell the story of the Loyalists from a Canadian point of view. In this novel she focused upon the plight of a girl and her family driven from their home by the violence of the American Revolution.

This book was followed by Broken Trail (2011), which tells of the native people’s struggle. The third novel, Freedom Bound (2012), deals with the Black Loyalists. In The White Oneida (2014) Baxter examines the issues facing the native people following the American War of Independence as they strove to form a confederacy of their own. The fifth novel, Hope’s Journey 2015), in what has become known as the “Forging a Nation” series, is set in 1791. It is a story of family reunification and of healing from the wounds of war.

She is now working on the sixth and last novel in the series, tentatively titled, Ska-Noh. This Mohawk word means “Be Strong” and is used in sense of “Farewell.”

As a teacher of creative writing, she enjoys conducting workshops for children and, teens.


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The Loyalists' Story: Three Peoples, One king

​This is a PowerPoint Presentation using contemporary drawings, maps, portraits,posters and other visuals. Its focus is on the American War of Independence, showing the effects of this conflict upon ordinary colonists, the native people and the those of African descent held in slavery. . 

Presentation type: Other

Recommended levels: Intermediate (7-8)