When a young schoolteacher decides to teach her Grade 8 class about filmmaking and creates a documentary that ends up being broadcast internationally, she sets in motion a career of storytelling for an age group largely ignored by TV executives … and creates one of the most-loved television franchises of all time
Includes fabulous behind-the-scenes photos and stories for Degrassi fans
Linda Schuyler, co-creator and executive producer of the long-running Degrassi series, shares her personal stories about the grit and determination necessary to make it as a woman entrepreneur in the bourgeoning independent Canadian television industry of the early 1980s.
After surviving a near-fatal car accident in 1968, Linda found her life continuing to veer in unexpected directions, ultimately leading her to use her innate abilities as an educator to become a successful storyteller and businesswoman.
Linda’s deep fondness for teenagers has made her a champion for adolescents. In The Mother of All Degrassi, she shares her strong belief that television is all about the story, and a good story is all about making the political personal. Through anecdotes and introspection — and some great behind-the-scenes stories for Degrassi fans — Linda examines her philosophy to dream big, think small, meet life head-on, and always keep an open heart.
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Linda Schuyler is the executive producer and co-creator of over 500 episodes of the multi-award-winning Degrassi television franchise. She is a mentor and guest lecturer and maintains an active involvement in community and professional organizations. Linda is a member of both the Order of Canada and the Order of Ontario. She lives with her husband, Stephen Stohn, and Scottish Fold cats in Toronto, Ontario.
Published: November 2022
Dimensions: 6 x 9 in.
“The Mother of All Degrassis is a must-read for fans of the show. Just as Degrassi did, Linda’s story will inspire readers everywhere. Her decades-long persistence and passion will be a guiding light for any budding storyteller seeking to break into the world of television and film.” — Michael Grassi, TV writer and executive producer, Riverdale and Supergirl
“I thought I knew everything about the creation of this show, but The Mother of All Degrassi took me on a trip into the real nitty-gritty of birthing an iconic television hit. Not only a fun, exciting, emotional read but a time capsule into the early days of guerrilla television in Canada. There aren’t many stories of success like Linda’s, and to know that I was a small part of it gave me goosebumps. Now I know what all the adults around me were doing when I was thirteen! The circle is complete, and what a wonderful way to learn about it.” — Stefan Brogren, actor, director
“Linda Schuyler’s memoir is a portrait of passion, strength, and courage — a gutsy tribute to a creative life of vision and tenacity. Her career trajectory is a road map for young women who yearn to take charge, touch people, and leave a mark. With her finger on the pulse of youth culture, Linda’s dogged determination as an innovative storyteller gave birth to the whole Degrassi phenomenon and a homegrown entertainment platform that helped change lives.” — Jeanne Beker, journalist, TV personality, author
“A triumphant pioneering story! Linda is not only the mother of all Degrassi but the mother of all TV where the real lives of young people shape content.” — Annabel Slaight, C.M., O.Ont., co-founder of OWL magazines, books, and TV
“This book covers so many important issues contemporary to each stage of Linda’s (and Degrassi’s) life. Linda created the role models I desperately wanted when I was a teen, and meanwhile she was living the role model life I didn’t know I needed to know about and is the role model I need today as an adult.” — Angie Kuhnle, NetGalley reviewer, Degrassi fan
“I absolutely adored it … If you loved Degrassi you must read this book.” — Teach Read Inspire blog
“This is a tale of an ambitious, energetic, feisty, risk-taking woman who listened to her heart and her spirit, who played the game to win, transforming disastrous moments into a multi-million dollar empire. It is the story of a woman who touched the lives of millions of viewers over a period of forty years, and changed the lives of countless child stars who found their start at Degrassi.” — The Ottawa Review of Books
“Linda cast me in my first major television role — Craig on Degrassi: The Next Generation — and I owe so much to her. I was blown away by her book. Linda shares the origin story of a TV show that paved the way for a young Canadian industry and countless careers. It offered encouragement to millions of fans worldwide. Written with immense honesty, her life story is filled with wisdom, comforting anecdotes, and heartbreak and is a must-read for fans of the Degrassi franchise.” — Jake Epstein, actor, playwright
“A fascinating glimpse into the life of an iconic Canadian television producer whose creative vision revolutionized the way the world makes TV and film for and about teenagers. It’s also the rarely told story of a woman struggling to process her own infertility, while making it in a man’s world on her terms and introducing audiences to storytelling on hot button social issues others weren’t courageous enough to tackle.” — Zoe Whittall, screenwriter, author of the bestselling novel The Best Kind of People
“A vividly told and beautifully written account of a groundbreaking, maverick filmmaker. This book is a celebration of a gutsy pioneer who weathered the storms of being a woman in a notoriously demanding profession with grace, heart, and an iron will. This story reveals the huge heart and incisive mind behind the international hit. Heart-wrenching and gloriously told, this was a revelation to read and a reminder to follow your passion and trust your gut.” — Anais Granofsky, producer, director, author
“In The Mother of All Degrassi, Linda Schuyler recounts her approach to introducing the trans teen character of Adam Torres. In 2012, I was leading a trans youth group session and saw first-hand how they got to see themselves reflected in a show that they were already watching — and that meant the world to those kids.” — Chaz Bono, actor
“As important an innovator and architect of the pop culture landscape as Stan Lee or George Lucas, Linda Schuyler defined drama for generations of teenagers when she rang that Degrassi school bell. Her uncanny ability to capture all the enjoyment and ennui of high school histrionics makes her the greatest ally in entertainment young audiences have had since John Hughes.” — Kevin Smith, writer, director, podcaster, wannabe Canadian
“Degrassi is like a warm hug of familiarity and growth. It reminds me of being a teenager, of what it is to be a teenager and the constant struggle and challenge being a youth brings with it. If you are or were a Degrassi fan, then this is a must-read!” — The Miramichi Reader