Press release


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE (Toronto; November 5)

HarperCollinsCanada is excited to have acquired world, all-language rights to Dear Me, a picture book about self-esteem and true inner beauty by Jael Richardson, the author of the forthcoming novel Gutter Child and the executive director of the Festival of Literary Diversity. The picture book was acquired by HarperCollinsCanada’s children’s books senior editor Suzanne Sutherland and is set for publication in winter 2022. Richardson said of the acquisition, “When I was a little girl, I didn’t like who I saw in the mirror and I tried really hard to fit into other people’s expectations. I want little girls like me to know from an early age that they are powerful, that they can—and should—dream big right from the start. Dear Me is a letter I wish I’d read over and over as a young girl—a reminder that young girls can and do change the world in simple and extraordinary ways.”

Written as a letter to her younger self, Dear Me captures hard-earned lessons about growing up, being joyful and loving yourself. Sutherland said of Dear Me, “Jael Richardson is a tremendous author and advocate whose work reminds us about the true importance of diversifying our bookshelves: so that all young people have the chance to see their lives reflected warmly and authentically in their books. Dear Me is a beautiful testament to the power of being seen and is an expertly crafted, full-throated cheer that will buoy the confidence of young readers for years to come.”

JAEL RICHARDSON is the executive director of the Festival of Literary Diversity (FOLD), the books columnist on CBC Radio’s q and an outspoken advocate on issues of diversity. She is the author of The Stone Thrower: A Daughter’s Lessons, a Father’s Life, a memoir based on her relationship with her father, CFL quarterback Chuck Ealey. The memoir received a CBC Bookie Award, an Arts Acclaim Award and a My People Award. A children’s edition was published by Groundwood Books. Her essay “Conception” is part of Room magazine’s first Women of Colour edition, and excerpts from her first play, my upside down black face, appear in the anthology T-Dot Griots: An Anthology of Toronto’s Black Storytellers. Jael Richardson received an MFA in creative writing from the University of Guelph. Her debut novel, Gutter Child, will be published by HarperCollinsCanada in January 2021. She lives in Brampton.

Richardson is represented by the P.S. Literary Agency. The book deal was brokered by Carly Watters, senior VP, senior literary agent and director of literary branding at P.S. Literary Agency.

About HarperCollins Publishers:

Known worldwide for the quality of its list, HarperCollinsCanada is the proud home of many bestselling authors, including Kenneth Oppel, Dennis Lee, Brian Francis, Louisa Onomé, Esi Edugyan, Emma Donoghue, Heather O’Neill, Lawrence Hill, Kamal Al-Solaylee, Mark Sakamoto, Ayelet Tsabari, Emily St. John Mandel, Tracey Lindberg, Tara Westover, Hilary Mantel, Rachel Cusk, Anthony Horowitz, Uzma Jalaluddin, Kim Fu, Carrianne Leung, Ellen Keith, Jael Richardson, Helen Humphreys and Thomas King, among many more found at

HarperCollins Publishers is the second-largest consumer book publisher in the world, with operations in 17 countries. With 200 years of history and more than 120 branded imprints around the world, HarperCollins publishes approximately 10,000 new books every year in 16 languages, and has a print and digital catalog of more than 200,000 titles. Writing across dozens of genres, HarperCollins authors include winners of the Nobel Prize, the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Award, the Newbery and Caldecott Medals and the Booker Prize. HarperCollins, headquartered in New York, is a subsidiary of News Corp (Nasdaq: NWS, NWSA; ASX: NWS, NWSLV) and can be visited online at

Date Posted

November 5, 2020


Cindy Ma