Wednesday, July 10, 2024

Exciting news for Zevi Takes the Spotlight

 Zevi Takes the Spotlight has been chosen by School Library Journal as one of 42 Stellar Middle Grade books for 2024.

MATAS, Carol. Zevi Takes the Spotlight. Orca.
Gr 4-7–This hi-lo title excels in the genre, packaging an accessible, dyslexia-friendly text with a compelling plot and likable protagonist whose journey readers will happily follow.

Tuesday, July 2, 2024

More great news for Zevi Takes The Spotlight

What a wonderful review from the Association Of Jewish Libraries (AJL).
“Prolific Canadian author Carol Matas has another winner with this fun middle-grade novel that seamlessly blends elements of mystery, Jewishness, friendship, and the extraordinary…The plot is entertaining, the portrayals of family and friendships are positive and the inclusion of Jewish practices and values are few, but important, especially at the conclusion of the book, set at the family Shabbat dinner table.”—Association of Jewish Libraries (AJL)
Plus: School Library Journal has included Zevi Takes the Spotlight in their Top Trends in SLJ's Starred Books/ The 2024 Stars issue!

Thursday, June 13, 2024

A Big Honour for Zevi Takes the Spotlight

Zevi Takes the Spotlight has been chosen by the Children's Book Council for their BUILDING A HOME LIBRARY list of books for ages 12-14.

"A brand-new 2024 Building a Home Library book list –organized by age groups from 0 to 14– is now available.

Experts in children’s literature at the Ingram Content Group have compiled a vibrant range of genres, formats, and subject matter, with a focus on diversity of voices and from a wide range of publishers large and small.

From board books to graphic novels, picture books to middle-grade fiction, the new Building a Home Library list is a fantastic resource for all parents, caregivers, librarians, teachers, and booksellers."


Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Zevi Takes the Spotlight Book Birthday!

 Zevi Takes the Spotlight is out! Here it is on the shelf at my very favourite bookstore, McNally Robinson, in Winnipeg!

Zevi Takes the Spotlight is my first HI/LO novel, for readers with high  interest but low vocabulary—so it's accessible for older readers who might need a quick and easy read, great readers who also like books that are fast paced and short, or even younger readers. Aimed at grades 4-6. Personally, I love short books that are also fast paced and exciting so in this case I was writing what I love to read. 

I came to love Zevi who has been saddled with the "gift" of psychic abilities, which he doesn't want at all. He wants a simple life. Don't we all? And yet Zevi manages to always at least try to do the right thing and to help. But what to do when people don't want your help and won't listen to you? That's happened to us all at some point. Well, Zevi refuses to give up. And he has a best friend, and his family, who stick by him and help him through. 

I  decided to make all the main characters Jewish in this book so that the Judaism is just there, naturally, as part of their lives, but not the topic of the book. I liked that choice as well. 

It  was also the fun writing about acting and the world of film. I was an actor before I became a writer and it was great to dive back into this world that I love and respect so much. 

And finally, what's the whole psychic thing about? Well, I've had some pretty startling experiences with psychic predications so I know there is something to it even if I can't explain how it works. Check out this post where I explore this topic further.

Hope you like the book! 

Thursday, April 11, 2024

Zevi Takes the Spotlight "Highly Recommended" by CM

Zevi Takes the Spotlight just got the most amazing review from CM: Canadian Review of Materials. I'm not just thrilled, I'm touched. I can only put a few lines here but read the whole review and you will see what I mean. 

“Action-packed, with danger and adventure in every chapter…the story delves into Zevi’s Jewish heritage and culture in a natural way that is enlightening and interesting for readers. Highly Recommended.”

Friday, April 5, 2024

Psychics and Murders - Oh My: Zevi Takes the Spotlight

Take a look at my post "Carol Matas: Psychics and Murders, Oh My!" on the blog of scientist and author L. E. Carmichael where I talk about things that don't quite fit with scientific theory. Or do they? Psychic powers.  Synchronicity.  Messages from beyond? Prophetic dreams? Dowsing? Far-seeing?

Is any of it real? But then what is reality anyway?

I tell a true story of my first mind boggling encounter with a psychic who made a prediction that must have been impossible to predict - but wasn't!

Meanwhile Zevi, who's psychic, has to deal with his abilities everyday - like it or not. Oh, and catch a would be killer as well. 

Sunday, February 11, 2024

Zevi Takes the Spotlight gets a Star!

Zevi wants to be a star so it's wonderful that he has received his first review and it comes with a star from School Library Journal!  The book will be published in early April 2004 by Orca Book Publishers and I can't wait!

⭐️ Zevi Takes the Spotlight:

“Zevi is Jewish, and this important part of his identity is skillfully woven throughout the narrative. This hi-lo title excels in the genre, packaging an accessible, dyslexia-friendly text with a compelling plot and likeable protagonist whose journey readers will happily follow." 
Highly recommended

Ready for preorder now:

 McNally Robinson Booksellers in Winnpeg, Manitoba

 Barnes and Nobles 


Sunday, January 7, 2024

Cloning Miranda! Two new covers! Two new editions!

Cloning Miranda will be out in Korean in early January. I love, love, love the cover! It's wild. 

And for those of you who want to read it in English it is also out in a brand new edition in English. With a new cover! Which I also love!

Miranda, a 14 - year - old who lives in California, discovers that she is the first human clone. 


Saturday, December 2, 2023

Writing Historical Fiction

 On Monday night, December 4, at 7 PM, I'll be joining two other authors and a very distinguished moderator, Mavis Reimer from the University of Winnipeg, to discuss writing historical fiction for young people. 

Friday, February 3, 2023

OLA chooses Who's Looking? as an honourable mention for its BEST BETS!

 Who’s Looking has received an Honourable Mention in the Junior Nonfiction category in the Ontario Library Association’s 2022 Best Bets!

So thrilled!

Monday, December 12, 2022

I'm Touring for 2023 Canadian Children's Book Week


Attention elementary schools in the Kootneys, BC and New Brunswick

I'd love to do a reading or a workshop for your students during Canadian Children's Book Week, April 30 - May 6, 2023. You have two of my books to choose from and a selection of presentations:

Who's Looking? is a non-fiction book suitable for Kindergarten to Grade 4

A Struggle For Hope
 is a Holocaust novel suitable for Grades 4-9

Who's Looking? Nominated for a 2023 Silver Birch Express Award®

Who's Looking? How Animals See the World has been nominated for a 2023 Silver Birch Express Award®. I can't wait to share the book with students of all ages, but especially with grades 3 and 4 in the Express category. First readings on January 10th!


Who's Looking? — a Best Book of 2022 (Canadian Children's Book Centre)

 Was absolutely thrilled to see Who's Looking? How Animals See the World, illustrated by Cornelia Li,  named a Best Book of 2022 in the Canadian Children's Book Centre's Best Books for Kids and Teens 2022, Fall Edition. It is included in Science books, which is especially cool.

Tuesday, September 20, 2022

Amazing review of Who's Looking, How Animals See the World in Canadian Children's Book News!

"Will delight readers of all ages...A magical and wonderful story that is not only accessible but enjoyable for readers of all abilities. This is a rich addition to the abundant genre of animal books as it offers a new and engaging perspective that will appeal to the inquisitive nature of primary school children." From the Fall 2022 issue of the Canadian Children's Book News

The reviewer not only likes the book, which is wonderful, but understood exactly what I was going for and how Cornelia Li, the illustrator, enhanced my vision and ‒ as far as I'm concerned ‒ improved upon it!

Friday, August 12, 2022

Who's Looking is reviewed by ALA Booklist!

 "Every scene is interesting…Young readers will enjoy pointing out the differences and hopefully be encouraged to take closer looks during their own adventures."

Monday, June 27, 2022

Q&A with Deborah Kalb

Delighted to have been invited to participate in Deborah Kalb's Q&A about my first picture book, Who's Looking: How Animals See the World, and to reflect on the writing process for non-fiction picture books.  

Sunday, May 29, 2022

A Struggle For Hope featured by CBC Books and the Canadian Children's Book Centre

Thrilled that CBC Books has included A Struggle For Hope in 10 Kid's books by Jewish Canadian authors to read right now, as part of #JewishHeritageMonth.

A Struggle for Hope has also been included in The Canadian Children's Book Centre Best Books for Kids and Teens 2022 Spring Edition. 

Wednesday, May 11, 2022

Happy to report that Who's Looking is featured in the May 2022 Hot Off the Press list by the Children's Book Council.


Monday, April 25, 2022

Starred review from School Library Journal!

PreSchool-Gr 2– NONFICTION
Orca. Apr. 2022. 32p. Tr $21.95. ISBN 9781459826762

⭐"We see the animals around us, but what does the world look like to them? In this delightfully original nonfiction picture book, a young girl and her baby sister wander through woods, fields, and a shoreline, while a variety of creatures look on: birds, insects, whales, rabbits, and even wolves ... The readable text offers understandable science, while the engaging illustrations promote careful investigation ... A valuable addition to science and nature collections. Highly recommended."𑁋School Library Journal

Thursday, March 24, 2022

Who's Looking Book Launch Tuesday April 26

Who's Looking, my debut picture book, will launch on Tuesday, April 26, 2020, at 7 p.m. CDT.

We have an all-star cast:

Cornelia Li, the illustrator of Who's Looking

Deborah Kerbel will launch two picture books

Mahtab Narsinhan as moderator

Hosted by McNally Robinson booksellers and Orca Books and Owl Books.