Colleague: Shirlee & Books

I know you will be interested in the books of one of my colleagues. A talented writer, editor and researcher, Shirlee Smith Matheson has written about our history for adults and youth.

Tales of mystery and exciting activity are found in many of Shirlee Smith Matheson’s books, particularly in her nonfiction collections of aviation stories.
Strange is a word that describes many of my stories, and that claim can be extended in various directions,” she says. “It can mean not within one’s previous experience, and many of my stories certainly fall into this realm.  Others are strange because they arouse wonder and astonishment.  Some are simply odd or unaccountable, or present strong narratives that focus on persistence in the face of adversity.”Shirlee Photo

Aviation adventures are featured in eight of Shirlee’s 16 published books, which include seven novels for young people and nine nonfiction books for adult readers, as well as short stories and stage plays.

Shirlee is a charter member of Canadian Women in Aviation International (Alberta/ Northwest Territories chapter), and in 1999, she was awarded The 99’s Canadian Award in Aviation. She has lived in all four western Canadian provinces.  For many years she resided in the Peace River country of northeastern BC, but now makes her home in Calgary where she was employed for a number of years at the Aero Space Museum.

What does the future hold for this author? “Further exploration of the arts – learning to read and play music, and continuing to seek stories that yearn to find their rightful audiences,” she says. “The North Country – specifically the Peace River where my husband was born and raised – is a spiritual place that continues to provide me with energy and the confidence to write, so others may learn of its legends.”

Check out her website:


Amazing Flights and Flyers
A Western Welcome to the World
Flying The Frontiers Volume I
Flying The Frontiers Volume II
Flying The Frontiers Volume III
Lost, True Stories of Canadian Aviation Tragedies
Maverick in the Sky
This Was Our Valley
Youngblood of the Peace

Juvenile and Young Adult

Prairie Pictures
City Pictures
Flying Ghosts
The Gambler’s Daughter
Keeper of the Mountains
Fastback Beach
Jailbird Kid