Sheila Barry, publisher of Canadian children's press Groundwood Books, died November 15. Quillblog reported that in 2012, she left Kids Can Press to join Groundwood as co-publisher alongside founder Patsy Aldana. Barry took the reins fully later in the year and "was a tireless champion for writers, illustrators, libraries, and books that, as she once wrote, 'are from a child's point of view... where children are participants in the story... and emphasize the fundamental human rights all children are entitled to.' "
"She had a real knack for empowering people, making you feel capable of doing something amazing," said Matt James, an illustrator and soon-to-be Groundwood author. "She was nurturing and motherly, but tough. It's going to be a real profound loss as a friend, but also as an important power in Canadian children's literature. She won't be easily replaced."
In a blog post announcing "the painful news" of Barry's death, the publisher wrote: "As she did her whole life, Sheila brought happiness and laughter and thoughtfulness and love to all of us here. She was such a valued colleague. And Sheila was a great publisher--influential in ways large and small. The legacy of books she leaves will run far into the future. We hold Sheila in our minds as the most wonderful example of a truly good person, one who had such a positive effect on so many people. We will miss her terribly."