Anrenée Englander

Anrenée, the fourth of seven children, was born and raised in Toronto where she still makes her home. As a child, she enjoyed inventing board and card games, reading, and playing baseball. Among her favorite books were Where the Wild Things Are, Where the Sidewalk Ends, Charlotte’s Web, and Winnie the Pooh—and to this day, they are still her favorites.

Anrenée was strongly influenced by her mother, who taught her not to let anyone stand in the way of what she believed in or wanted to do. She also taught Anrenée to never let fear stop her from doing anything; just because something hasn’t been done before, that doesn’t mean you can’t be the first to do it—and you don’t have to wait for permission to try.

Dear Diary, I’m Pregnant (Reissue 2010) emerged out of a need that Anrenée recognized after three young women she knew came to her telling her that they were pregnant and needed help. Each girl had a very different experience and lived a different life, but all of them needed the same type of help; they needed to make a decision about what to do with their pregnancy. In each instance, Anrenée went searching for material that she could give them that would help them understand the consequences of their choices. Ultimately, she realized that there was a very strong need for a book that could help other young women make what was often the biggest decision of their lives.

Anrenée considers the creation of Dear Diary, I’m Pregnant the most difficult but also the most rewarding thing she has every done. The hardest part was listening to the stories without trying to give advice. She had to continually remind the girls and herself that she was only there as a vehicle for them to tell their story to other girls. It was equally difficult to keep her own opinions and biases in check when she was editing the girls’ stories.

The one obstacle that Anrenée was never able to overcome was finding a girl who admitted to regretting becoming a teenage mother. That girl never came forward to be interviewed. The thing that fills her with pride is that with her book, she has been able to help thousands of teenagers make one of the hardest decisions they will ever have to make.

Anrenée’s advice to aspiring authors is “Go with your gut! Don’t let anyone or anything stop you. Never give in to the idea that obstacles are put before you as a sign that you are not doing the right thing. Instead believe that they are simply there to weed out the weak and the less confident.”

Besides writing, Anrenée works as a Senior Project and IT Development Manager. In her spare time, she loves to watch movies. Her plans for the future include possibly writing a Dear Diary for boys.

Annick Press books
by Anrenée Englander