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Manjusha Pawagi

Manjusha Pawagi was born in India but raised in Canada. She earned an MA in journalism from Stanford University and began her career as a journalist and children’s author, working in both the United States and Canada. Pawagi was called to the Bar in 1997 and practiced law in Ontario, primarily as a children’s rights lawyer. Madam Justice Pawagi was appointed to the Bench in January 2009 and presides at the Ontario Court of Justice, Family Court in Brampton, Ontario.
Her first children’s book, The Girl Who Hated Books was made into an award-winning animated short film by the National Film Board of Canada.

Fiction (Juvenile, Picture book)

The Girl Who Hated Books

Illustrated by Leanne Franson.
Toronto: Second Story Press, 1998.

Publisher’s Synopsis (from its website)

“There were books in dressers and drawers and desks, in closets and cupboards and chests. There were books on the sofa and books on the stairs …” And Meena hates all of them, as does her cat Max, who is shakily balanced on a giant stack of them. As Meena tries to rescue Max, the books come crashing down, freeing a wonderland of characters and animals who take Meena on a fanciful and funny romp through the magic of reading.

Awards and Honours

1999?Ontario Library Association (Nominated)
1999? Canadian Children’s Book Centre Our Choice Book
2003 TD Canadian Children’s Book Week selection (book given to 450,000 grade one students across Canada)

Fiction (Juvenile, Picture book)


Illustrated by Liz Milkau.
Toronto: Second Story Press, 2003.
PZ7.P289 P52 2003

Publisher’s Synopsis (from its website)

Priya begs and begs for a piano and lessons. Her parents try to placate her with a cardboard keyboard, and her diligence at “practicing” finally convinces them to give in and buy a real one. But now Priya is disappointed – she can’t make the wonderful sounds she heard in her head as she practiced on the cardboard keyboard! A resourceful girl, she comes up with an ingenious solution that creates havoc at the Fall Recital.


Love and Laughter in the Time of Chemotherapy

Toronto: Second Story Press, 2017.
PS8581.A8463 Z46 2017

Publisher’s Synopsis (from its website)

Manjusha Pawagi, a successful family court judge, has written a not-so-typical memoir about her experience with cancer. Wryly funny and stubbornly hopeful, this is her quirky take on what it’s like to face your own mortality when, to be honest, you thought you’d live forever. She describes how even the darkest moments of life can be made worse with roommates; details how much determination it takes to ignore the statistics; and answers the age-old question: what does it take to get a banana popsicle around here?


Publisher Second Story Press