Zevi Takes the Spotlight

A fast-paced HI/LO novel for readers with high interest
but low vocabulary.

Zevi is famous—for the wrong reason!

Sudden fame throws thirteen-year-old Zevi into the spotlight when the media discovers his secret abilities—and it’s ruining his life! He wants fame as an actor, not as a psychic. So when Robert Lemon, a famous actor, comes to town to film a movie, Zevi hopes this is his chance to turn things around. Until he begins to sense that the star’s life is in danger. When “accidents” start befalling Robert Lemon on the movie set, it’s up to Zevi to use his gift to save the famous actor. 

The epub edition of this title is fully accessible.

★“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 a likable protagonist whose journey readers will happily follow. Highly recommended.” — School Library Journal
★★★★ “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.” — CM: Canadian Review of Materials

Pub Date: April 16, 2024
Publisher: Orca Book Publishers
Age Range: 9 - 12
School Grade: Fourth Grade - Seventh Grade
Format: Paperback
Price: $10.95
ISBN: 9781459838826
Pages: 128 pp
Trim Size: 5.00 x 7.50 in
Carton Quantity: 120
Series Title: Orca Currents

Zevi Takes the Spotlight is available in paperback and ePub.


Past Crimes: A Ros Green Paranormal Thriller

A short, snappy thriller with a paranormal twist.

After the shocking murder of her husband, Ros and her baby relocate to her childhood home to live with her parents. Palm Springs, California—full of sunlight, small and safe—should be the perfect place to bring up a child. But things are not always as they appear.

Soon, an unexpected tragedy sets a dangerous series of events into motion. Someone, it seems, is out to get Ros. As she struggles to uncover the identity of her mysterious enemy, Ros finds herself looking for answers in the most unusual places. Could the attacks have something to do with her increasingly disturbing dreams? And how many people close to her need to get hurt before she figures it out?

"In Past Crimes Carol Matas also gives us more: in a world where past and present blend, her characters must learn to confront and struggle against cruelty and intolerance, which return like bad dreams and take many forms." Read the full review by mystery writer Anna Dowdall

"GRIPPING! Carol Matas's Past Crimes is a real page-turner, the kind of book you can't put down. Suspense, romance, murder, and mayhem, but so much more than that. It's a whodunit with a twist, with past lives, reincarnation, the Spanish Inquisition, and Fate added to the mix. It's a wild ride, thoroughly enjoyable, and highly recommended." Manuel Matas, author of The Borders of Normal: A Clinical Psychiatrist De-Stigmatizes Paranormal Phenomena

First published in 2006 by Key Porter Books. Revised ebook edition published by Fictive Press in 2020.


Fifteen-year-old Jade is different from most girls her age. When a near-death experience opens up a new world of psychic ability and possibility, Jade is forced to make sense of her new gift…or is it a curse?

In Tales of a Reluctant Psychic, Carol Matas’s three critically acclaimed “Freak” novels—The Freak, Visions, and Far—are gathered together, revealing Jade’s adventures from the very beginning. As she learns to cope with and accept her new-found talent (solving a few mysteries along the way), Jade must also confront the challenges of being a teenage girl—from friendships to boyfriends, to searching for answers about what it all means.

Published by Key Porter Books, 2009.

The Freak Series
The Freak (Book I 

What if, one day, you woke up psychic? What if, suddenly, you could see things, know things-about your friends and family, even your new boyfriend-that you couldn't, and maybe shouldn't, know? What would you do? When fifteen-year-old Jade wakes up from a life-threatening illness with some unexpected new abilities, her life takes an interesting turn. What she knows-and inadvertently tells-about her friends' most personal thoughts and feelings isn't exactly improving her social life. In fact, many of her friends are beginning to avoid her now that she's different; now that she's a freak. Jade would do anything to be normal again. But what if something is about to happen, something terrible, and she alone knows it. Can she really do nothing to stop it? 

Published by Key Porter Books in in 1997 and reissued in 2007.

Visions (Book II)

Jade is having nightmares. It's been a few months since the episode at the synagogue-a few months since she discovered her strange new "powers" - and she's pretty sure that a dream is no longer just a dream. Especially these dreams. How else do you explain seeing someone in your sleep who ends up on the front page of the morning paper-the victim of a murder?

And what happens when one of the intended victims turns out to be someone a little too close to home? This time, Jade is more than willing to use her abilities to solve the murder. But will she figure it out in time? 

Published by Key Porter Books in 2007.

Far (Book III)

Ever since Jade discovered her “abilities,” she’s been looking for answers—answers to questions about what her powers means, and how best to use them. Now, she’s hoping that a family trip to Palm Springs, California, will answer these questions and more. A local university boasts an entire division devoted to psychic testing, and Jade is eager to see what these experts will make of her. But as excited as she is to share her experiences and talk to others like herself, Jade hates being away from Jon.

Does the dark feeling she’s been having about his new tutoring student mean Jon is in some kind of danger? And what about the “accidents” that keep happening to her and her family? Are they omen of terrors yet to come?

Published by Key Porter Books in 2008.
The Ghosthunters Series

The Proof that Ghosts Exist (The Ghosthunters 1)

In The Proof That Ghosts Exist — the first installment in The Ghosthunters trilogy — Molly and Adam managed to save their father from a family curse, and near-certain death on the day before his 35th birthday. Or did they?

An unfortunate “error” on their dad’s birth certificate means that he’s still at risk, and it’s up to Molly and Adam — and their ghostly grandfather — to keep him safe. But how are they going to manage that when he’s off to Palm Springs, California for a film festival?

Published by Key Porter Books, 2008.

The Curse of the Evening Eye (The Ghosthunters 2)

Molly and Adam take the show (and grandpa) on the road as they attempt to outwit a very nasty spirit. Along the way, they’ll need to rely on a few kindly ghosts, as well as a Reggie Crankshaft look-alike who knows more than he should about their family history. Picking up where The Proof That Ghosts Exist leaves off, The Curse of the Evening Eye is another gangbusters spook story complete with the authors’ trademark chills, thrills, mysteries, and laughs. 

"The Ghosthunters trilogy toys with the idea of proof. In the first book, there is the proof that ghosts exist, and in this second book, the children are attempting to uncover the proof of Lucinda's innocence to a crime. Matas and Nodelman add in small, seemingly insignificant comments about the nature of time, the nature of the spirit world ― they are silently raising ideas about the way that we know and understand the world. These precious little gems of information embedded in this series invoke reflection and wonderment about the world as we know it ― or think we know it. The story, itself, is written with clarity and suspense, pushing the reader onward. The characters are also witty, charming, well-developed, and lovable."  CM, Volume XVI, Number 30, April 9, 2010.

Published by Key Porter Books, 2009.

The Hunt for the Haunted Elephant (The Ghosthunters 1)

Molly and Adam Barnett have had more than enough trouble lately. First, they learned that ghosts do exist. Then, they uncovered an old family curse. And things just got even worse. Turns out the emerald in Reggie’s ring isn’t just a valuable jewel. It was once an eye on an ancient, Indian elephant
carving. The other eye—a sapphire—is nowhere to be found, which is really too bad, since the separation of the two jewels led to the family curse. Even worse? If the eyes aren't soon returned to the elephant, the world will be doomed. The Barnetts head off to the old family home outside of Oxford, England, in search of the elephant. Will Molly and Adam—and some new ghostly friends—be able
to find the elephant, and the missing eye, in time?

In The Hunt for the Haunted Elephant, Carol Matas and Perry Nodelman offer a satisfying conclusion to their Ghosthunters trilogy filled with thrills, chills, and more than a few laughs.

Published by Key Porter Books, 2010.

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