Author Tags: Aboriginal Authors, Kidlit & Young Adult

Born in Egmont in 1946, Sechelt Band member Diane Silvey spent her early years in that small fishing village near the Skookumchuck Rapids. She graduated from UBCís Native Indian Teacher Education Program and taught for 21 years, on reserves at Bella Bella and Port Alberni, and in Victoria. Her school text From Time Immemorial: The First People of the Pacific Northwest Coast (1999) was preceded by a childrenís book, Spirit Quest (1997), illustrated by her son, Joe. It features the twins Kaya and Tala on an adventure to the underworld to retrieve a sacred box. In a follow up story, Time of the Thunderbird (2008), the teenage twins encounter the ferocious Thunderbird in order to discover why children from a B.C. village have disappeared.

Vision Quest was followed by Ravenís Flight (2000), a young adult novel about a girl who gets into trouble on the streets of Vancouver. Silvey also provided the text for The Kids Book of Aboriginal Peoples in Canada (2005), illustrated by John Mantha, for ages eight to twelve. She is the author of Little Bear's Vision Quest and Whale Girl, and she has developed 13 curriculum books for non-readers. Silvey has been active in anti-racism and justice issues and has given many workshops concerning justice issues and multiculturism.


Little Bear's Vision Quest

Whale Girl

Spirit Quest (1997)

From Time Immemorial: The First Peoples of the Pacific Northwest Coast (Classroom Resources, Pacific Edge Publishing, 1999).

Raven's Flight (Raincoast, 2000)

The Kids Book of Aboriginal Peoples in Canada (Kids Can, 2005)

Time of the Thunderbird (Dundurn, 2008). Illustrated by John Mantha.

[BCBW 2008]

Spirit Quest
Press Release

Mother and son Diane and Joe Silvey write and illustrate a story of adventure, intrigue and trial. The quest follows teenaged twins, Kaya and Tala, as they journey into the perilous British Columbia wilderness to confront fish and fowl, beast and phantom, and the wolf spirit destined to become Tala's protective guardian.On a mission to retrieve the cherished box which houses the sacred values of their villagers from the 'evil ones' who have stolen it, the twins confront the trials of land and sea and the animals who call these habitats home. Battling fatigue and fear they search caves, tunnels, cliffs and valleys, encountering wolverines, snakes and sharp-toothed fish of the deep. Kaya and Tala also contend with ferocious hawkmen and the evil spirits of the underworld as they and their mystical friend Y push ahead on the back of Y's eagle. Transported to celestial realms, they are advised by the God of Thunder and the Shaman who urge them to rely on their own strengths, faith and instinct. Determined to earn the trust of their Grandfather, who awaits their return, the twins explore territory both real and fantastic, travelling into the far regions of the heart and mind.

6 x 9 Trade paperback 64 pp ISBN 0-88878-376-0-X $8.95 CDN $5.95 US