Picture of  Bev Brenna

Bev Brenna Professor, Curriculum Studies

3121 Education


Bev Brenna is a professor in Curriculum Studies whose research interests include literacy and Canadian children’s literature. She spent many years as a classroom and special education teacher before coming to the College of Education in 2010.  Bev has published over a dozen books for young people including the “Wild Orchid” trilogy about a teen with autism (winner of a Printz Honor Book Award, a Dolly Gray Award, shortlisted for a Canadian Governor General’s Award, and listed on CBC’s Young Adult Books That Make You Proud To Be Canadian). Recent titles include her middle-grade novel Because of that Crow, and a picture book set in Saskatoon that resonates with the power of a child’s voice and the impact of art: The Girl with the Cat (illustrated by Brooke Kerrigan). For more information about her writing, and archives that contain her published articles, please see http://www.beverleybrenna.com.


  • PhD, 2010, University of Alberta, Elementary Education, Language and Literacy
  • B.A. (with Great Distinction), 2001, University of Saskatchewan, English
  • M.Ed., 1991, University of Saskatchewan, Curriculum Studies, Literacy Education
  • B.Ed. (with Distinction), 1984, University of Saskatchewan, Language Arts and Drama



  • ECUR 309.3 Introduction to Elementary English Language Arts
  • ECUR 310.3 Literacy Across the Elementary Curriculum
  • ECUR 378.3 Creative Activities in the English Language Arts
  • ECUR 302.3 Situated Learners
  • ECUR 372.3 Children’s Literature in the Classroom Grades 4 – 8
  • ECUR 373. 3 Children’s Literature in the Primary Grades


  • ECUR 877 Early Literacy Development
  • ECUR 879.3 Canadian Children’s Literature


  • Literacy Education with a focus on the Reading and Writing processes
  • Children’s Literature
  • Special Education
  • Process Drama
  • Teacher Education

Service and Outreach

  • Associate Editor, Red Deer Press, May 1, 2020 - present
  • College Review Committee (2017 – 2020; 2013 – 2014)
  • U of S Speakers’ Bureau 2018 - present
  • Acting Associate Dean of Undergraduate Studies, Partnership and Research, July 1 2014 – June 30, 2015
  • Radical Change and Children’s Literature: Books and Young Readers in the Digital Age (2016), President’s Lecture Series “A World Without Books: Education in a Digital Age” (November 2)
  • Member, Canadian Children’s Book Centre (CCBC), 2014 – present
  • Member, Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI), 2012- present
  • Member, Canadian Society of Children’s Authors, Illustrators and Performers (CANSCAIP), 2006 – present

Graduate Supervision

  • Andrea Dunk, Doctoral Thesis: Supervisor, 2017 to present (in progress)
  • Hope Houston, Master’s in Creative Writing (MFA) Thesis: Supervisor (2019 – 2020) (completed)
  • Gale Stack, Masters’ Project: Supervisor (2019 – 2020) (completed)
  • Maeghan Robertson, Masters’ Project: Supervisor (2018 – 2020) (completed)
  • Yina Liu, Master’s Thesis: Supervisor, 2016 to 2017 (Completed)
  • Pattie Tastad, Master’s Non-Thesis (Project): Supervisor, 2015 to 2016 (Completed)
  • Shuwen Sun, Master’s Non-Thesis (Project): Supervisor, 2015 to 2016 (Completed)
  • Jing Jin, Master’s Thesis: Supervisor, 2013 to 2016 (Completed)
  • Jennifer Hingley, Master’s Non-Thesis (Project): Supervisor, 2012-2014 (Completed)
  • Hilary Elmgren, Master’s Non-Thesis (Project): Supervisor, 2013-2014 (Completed)
  • Sheila Janzen, Master’s Thesis: Supervisor, 2013 to 2014 (Completed)
  • Nga Tu, PhD: Co-Supervisor, 2013 to 2015 (Completed)
  • Shanhua Chen, Master’s Non-Thesis (Project): Supervisor, 2010-12 (Completed)

Selected Publications

  • Brenna B, (2020). Because of that Crow. Markham, ON: Red Deer/ Fitzhenry & Whiteside.
  • Brenna B, (2020). The Girl with the Cat. Markham, ON: Red Deer/Fitzhenry & Whiteside.
  • Brenna, B, (2019). Sapphire the Great and the Meaning of Life. Toronto, ON: Pajama Press.
  • Brenna B, (2017). Fox Magic. Markham, ON: Red Deer/Fitzhenry & Whiteside.
  • Brenna B,(2015). Stories for Every Classroom: Canadian Fiction Portraying Characters with Disabilities. Toronto: Canadian Scholars’ Press.

Selected Presentations

  • Brenna, B. (2019). TD Canadian Children’s Book Tour (Quebec) May 4 – May 11.
  • Brenna B, (2017). Author Readings at the Saskatchewan Festival of Words, Moose Jaw, SK, July 14.
  • Brenna B, (2014). TD Canadian Children’s Book Tour Readings. TD Canadian Children’s Book Tour (Prince Edward Island), April 26-May 5, 2014.
  • Brenna B, (2013). Author Presentations. Yukon Writers’ Festival, Whitehorse, April 23.
  • Brenna B, (2011). Beyond words: A qualitative case study of children's comprehension strategies related to graphic novels. Canadian Society for the Study of Education (CSSE), Fredericton, New Brunswick: May.

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