Wednesday, May 14, 2014

What a Week! Red Cedar Nomination!

Pieces of the Past, The Holocaust diary of Rose Rabinowitz, has been nominated for a B.C. Red Cedar Award. Just to make a perfect triple this week, adding that to the Manitoba Day Award and the Canadian Jewish book Award.  Whew! Or should I say Awesome!

Canadian Jewish Book Award for Pieces of the Past!

I am thrilled to announce that Pieces of the Past, The Holocaust diary of Rose Rabinowitz, has won The Helen and Stan Vine Canadian Jewish book Award, for Youth. 
This is a very special honour for me and for the book and I couldn't be happier.
Here is the link:/

Pieces of the Past wins a Manitoba Day Award!

Pieces of the Past, The Holocaust Diary of Rose Rabinowitz, was awarded a Manitoba Day Award by The Association for Manitoba Archives. 
The award ceremony was on May 13th at the Berney Theatre at the Rady JCC in Winnipeg. It was a fascinating program honouring people who had used Manitoba archives  with excellent results. My book was one of 10 awards given out.
The award itself is a stunning glass sculpture of prairie wheat, which is now sitting proudly on my dining room hutch. (I may have to move it to avoid destruction when the grandchildren come over!)
I used the archives of The Jewish Heritage Centre of Western Canada extensivley as I researched my book. Stan Carbone, who is Director of Programs and Exhibits at the Centre helped me gather all the relevant materials. In particular I was able to use the minutes from the organizing committee that brought the orphans to Winnipeg. The minutes had every detail of the orphans' resettlemnt from where they were to be housed, to jobs, to dances and swimming, to psychiatric issues.
The book would not have been the same without these detailed documents.

With Stan's permission I am posting his introduction of me from last night:
The Jewish Heritage Centre of Western Canada, which I represent, nominated Carol Matas for Pieces of the Past: The Holocaust Diary of Rose Rabinowitz. For the preparation of her book Carol drew on the Jewish Heritage Centre’s extensive collection of materials that covers virtually every aspect of the history of Winnipeg Jewry including the connection or relation between the local community and the Holocaust in all of its implications, be they historical as well as moral, ethical and psychological. The excellence and high quality of Pieces of the Past is due to various factors not the least of which is Carol’s ability to utilize archival sources to posit a sense and a feel for the period she is writing about. In so doing she is able to integrate the subjective element which is critical to understanding the human condition with objective, historical circumstances and realities.
Carol Matas has a proven track record of documenting, through the medium of literature, the social and cultural life of Winnipeg and Manitoba as reflected in the history and contemporary reality of the local Jewish community. In many of her works, the Holocaust provides an indispensable point of reference as the local Jewish community seeks to negotiate and define its identity in a Manitoban and Canadian social setting. In addition, she has that wonderful ability to connect the local with the universal in that the themes she explores and dissects relate to local circumstances but resonate at a universal level. Her works speak to dimensions and aspects of the human condition that transcend the Jewish experience without of course diminishing the centrality of said experience.  In so doing she has brought the Holocaust to our attention by making it a part of our lives. I’d like to think that the archives of the Jewish Heritage Centre have played a role in this process. The information that she has unravelled and interpreted has allowed her to piece together the past and offer it to her readers so that they will acquire a better understanding of the moral, ethical and human rights issues that reverberate in their everyday lives. If literature and the interpretation of history are vehicles for empowering people by making them aware of their role in society and how they fit in the ups and downs and windings of the course of history, Carol has succeeded on all counts. Through the characters she has created, with their nuanced and complex experiences and values, and through the pedagogical importance of her works, Carol Matas has made a major contribution to our province’s richly textured and vibrant multicultural mosaic.
 I’d like to ask Carol Matas to come up and receive her award.

Friday, March 7, 2014

A Blog Interview About Pieces of the Past

In this blog interview about Pieces of the Pastas part of the Sydney Taylor book awards 2104 blog tour, I talk about the challenges of writing a Holocaust book. I also mention my upcoming historical novel, Tucson Jo, which is inspired by the life and family of Tucson's first Jewish mayor. It will be available in May.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

4/4 Star Review for Pieces Of The Past

Pieces Of The Past has been named a Best Book for 2013 (for Grades 3 - 6) by Resource Links and has been "highly recommended" by The Deakin Review of Children's Literature. I found their review very touching.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Pieces of the Past awarded Sydney Taylor Honor!

Pieces of the Past, The Holocaust Diary of Rose Rabinowitz (Scholastic Canada 2013) has just been named a 2014 Sydney Taylor Honor Book for Older Readers by the Association of Jewish Libraries. I will be travelling to the Association of Jewish Libraries Conference in Las Vegas, Nevada, this June to pick up my silver medal! I'll also be giving a presentation. I was so excited I sat down and wrote the presentation already!

The Sydney Taylor Book Award is presented annually to outstanding books for children and teens that authentically portray the Jewish experience.

Sunday, December 29, 2013


Happy New Year to all readers on Nooks, Kobos, Sonys ... and Kindles.  

When I Die is now available in ALL digital formats.  To get your FREE eBook copy of When I Die, click here and enter your Coupon Code  RC69T 

Feel free to forward this post to all your friends. Offer expires January 5, 2014.

Remember: When I Die really works best as a printed picture book. You can order the book in trade paperback here.

Friday, December 20, 2013


I've been very remiss about keeping up with my blog posts. Where to start?

Spring and summer were spent working on my new book, just published this fall, When I Die, my first non fiction book, my first picture book, and my first book with my daughter-in-law, Bonnie Brask, who did all the photographs.

And that wasn't the only collaboration I worked on over the summer. My writing partner, Perry Nodelman, and I worked together to reissue Of Two Minds, the first book in our four-book fantasy series, with Starburst Publications. Perry's son Asa did the cover and I really love it. For anyone out there who likes fantasy check it out.

Speaking of reissues, Scholastic Canada reissued two books very near and dear to me: Greater Than Angels, a Holocaust book set in France, and In My Enemy's House, another Holocaust book, this one set in Germany.

And just a few days ago,Scholastic reissued The Lost Locket, a novel for grades 2-4.

Meanwhile, I'm working on a historical novel set in Arizona in 1882.
And, Fictive Press is reissuing my New Adult novel, Past Crimes- as the first of a new and hopefully very exciting series called Palm Springs Supernatural

Thursday, December 19, 2013

When I Die No. 34 on the Amazon Best Sellers List for Teen Health

No. 34 in the top 100 Amazon's Best Sellers list for Teen Health!  A meditation on death for children and their families, Carol's newest book and her first non-fiction, When I Die is a short picture book. Not everyone "gets" this book, but one reader certainly did, calling her review "Tiny Book, Huge Impact".

Since it is a picture book, illustrated with beautiful photos by Carol's daughter-in-law Bonnie Brask, I highly recommend getting the book in print. Its impact will be all the greater, especially if you are reading this book to a child.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013


When I Die: A Meditation on Death for Children & Their Families by Carol Matas
Mark your calendar. When I Die: A meditation on death for children & their families will be FREE on Kindle this Saturday (Oct. 12) until Oct. 16. Just in time for Canadian Thanksgiving & Columbus Day! The book is also available in trade paperback, where the photos really pop.

Monday, July 8, 2013

When I Die, paperback version

The paperback version of  "When I Die"  is available from and from  Follow  the link below for Createspace where the shipping is cheaper! Unfortunately it is not available for sale on so you will have to ship from the U.S.

Friday, July 5, 2013


When I Die by Carol Matas. Available in print and Kindle ebook on Amazon
 When I Die is something completely different for me - a spiritual meditation that came to me one day when I was meditating. I "heard" the entire text and only modified it slightly for publication.
This book is also a family collaboration. My talented daughter-in-law Bonnie Brask took all the photographs to illustrate the text.

Also - I've gone digital! When I Die is published by a new e-publisher, Fictive Press. Consequently, the book is only available for order online. It works best in the print edition ($9.99 USD), where the color photos are so evocative, and you can have an actual book in your hands to share with your children or your grandchildren as needed. It is also available in Kindle eBook ($0.99 USD). (But if you view that edition remember you are not seeing the vivid colors and the "real" pictures you see in the print edition.)

I'd love to hear how you and your children react to When I Die. Feel free to send me a comment or, better yet, review it online when you order.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Number ONE on the Bestseller list!

Pieces of the Past is now number one on the Children's books  bestseller list at McNally Robinson's books.

Pieces Of The Past Book Launch!

Pieces of the Past, The Holocaust Diary Of Rose Rabinowitz launched on April 9th at the Berney Theatre at the Winnipeg JCC. It so happens that that was the date in  1940 Germany invaded Denmark - I wrote about that in my books, Lisa and Jesper. The Jewish Federation organized a wonderful program with a choir and beautiful singers, a collage of pictures from my book and then my presentation. I talked about how I came to tell the story of the Jewish war orphans who came to Canada after the war, and also why I chose to write about the Warsaw Ghetto and the hidden children of the Holocaust. My daughter Rebecca organized the whole thing and made it all possible as part of her job at the Rady. The turn out was fantastic. Afterwards

i talked to lots of people who all seemed to have loved the event and I signed lots of books. I also spoke to 2 sold out events for students at the theatre and they were also fantastic- the kids were great listeners and asked great questions.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Bestseller List 4 weeks in a row!

I'm really amazed that Pieces of the Past has made the bestseller list at McNally Robinson's Books for the 4th week in a row. And before the book even launches. Which, by the way, is coming up fast, this Tuesday, April 9, 7. PM,  at The Berney Theatre, JCC, Winnipeg.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Bestseller list 3 weeks in a row!

Pieces Of The Past has made the McNally Robinson Bestseller list for the third week in a row! Just a reminder that the launch is coming up next week- April 9, at the Berney Theatre, 7 PM. Very busy trying to figure out what to read. I'll also be reading to students on the 9th and the 10th in the afternoons, also at the Berney Theatre.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Bestseller List, Again!

Pieces of the Past on bestseller list for 2nd week
Pieces Of The Past, The Holocaust Diary of Rose Rabinowitz, has made the McNally Robinson Bestseller list for a second week in a row. McNally's has done this wonderful poster to publicize the launch coming up April 9, as part of Holocaust Awareness Week.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Book Launch!

Announcing the launch for my brand new book Pieces Of The Past, The Holocaust Diary of Rose Rabinowitz, Winnipeg, Manitoba, 1948. Tuesday, April 9, at the Berney Theatre, Asper Community Campus, 123 Doncaster Street, Winnipeg.
The event is part of Holocaust Awareness Week which begins April 17th and goes until April 12. The program is sponsored by The Holocaust Awareness Committee, The Rady JCC, and McNally Robinson Booksellers. Hope to see you all there!


Pieces Of The Past, The Holocaust Diary Of Rose Rabinowitz, Winnipeg, Manitoba, 1948 is on the McNally Robinson's Bestseller list this week. What is so exciting about that is we haven't even launched the book here in Winnipeg. News of the launch coming soon!