International Rights

Scholastic Canada Biography: Meet Viola Desmond

By: Elizabeth MacLeod
Illustrated by: Mike Deas
  • ISBN 9781443163873, Hardcover
  • 32 Pages | Ages 6 to 10

Meet Viola Desmond, community leader and early civil rights trailblazer!

On the night of November 8th 1946, Nova Scotia businesswoman Viola Desmond stood up for her right to be in the “unofficial” whites-only section of a New Glasgow movie theatre . . . and was arrested for it. Supported by the Nova Scotia Association for the Advancement of Coloured People (NSCAACP) and the black-owned newspaper The Clarion, Viola took her quest for the right to freedom from discrimination to the courts. While she ultimately did not succeed, she was a beacon to other early civil-rights activists. Her sister Wanda worked hard to promote Viola’s legacy, which has been finally honoured by Viola’s inclusion on the new Canadian $10 bill.

This new picture book biography series features simple text and full-colour, comic-flavoured illustration with speech balloons that help bring the story alive. Historical photos and a timeline support the narrative.

Rights Sold

French (N. Amer.) – Éditions Scholastic

Selling Points

• This lively and colourful new biography series is unlike anything available!
• A great introduction to larger issues.
• Viola Desmond’s story encourages thought on civil rights and social justice.


  • Winner, OLA Silver Birch Express Award, 2019
  • Short-listed, Hackmatack Children's Choice Award (Atlantic Canada), 2019
  • Commended, Best Books for Kids and Teens, Canadian Children's Book Centre, Starred Selection, 2019
  • Commended, OLA Best Bets, 2018
  • Commended, Resource Links, Best of the Year, 2018