Thursday, September 2, 2021

Struggle for Hope Featured on the CBC's Fall 2021 Middle-Grades List

Delighted to find my newest Holocaust novel from Scholastic Canada featured on CBC Book's list of the 35 Canadian Middle-Grade Books to Watch for in Fall 2021. Now available at McNally Robinson and other Canadian booksellers. 

Thursday, July 8, 2021

Holocaust Education Week 2021

I am really honoured that my newest novel from Scholastic Canada will be launched as part of Holocaust Education Week, with the Jewish Heritage Centre of Western Canada and the Jewish Federation of Winnipeg. 

Saturday, June 19, 2021

Cloning Miranda Rights Sale to Korea/Sakyejul Publishing

Cloning Miranda
was originally the first of a three-book series I published with Scholastic Canada. The series was translated into numerous languages all over the world and is still used widely in German schools in an English edition.

A few years ago I had the idea to update the science and revamp the book. A small independent publisher, Fictive Press, also liked the idea. We decided we would combine all three books into one big story. Then I began an extensive revision. I'd say about half the book has been revised – including sentence by sentence. But we didn't feel it was enough to rename it as a new book, so we stuck to the original title and published it.

This is our first big foreign rights sale and I couldn't be happier.

The novel asks some big questions – like, what does it mean to be human? It delves into the moral issues of genetic engineering and cloning and would be a fun book to read and discuss in schools.

Cloning Miranda is available in ebook and print.

Tuesday, December 15, 2020

Science Fiction can tackle the big questions.

I love to think about the big questions and I love to write about the big questions. 

Thanks so much to Lindsey Carmichael for hosting me on her blog so that I can talk about science fiction and how it is perfectly suited for tackling big questions like, "What does it mean to be human?"

Cloning Miranda is available in ebook and print.

                                                                                                             

Sunday, August 30, 2020

Teaching the Holocaust

Teachers: Please feel free to use these videos in the classroom when teaching the Holocaust or any of my novels. 

Thursday, June 25, 2020

Past Crimes, a Paranormal Thriller for Adults!

Hello readers!
So this is a bit of a story about a story.
I wrote Past Crimes a number of years ago as a thriller for adults. However, my publisher at that time decided that they could sell it better as a Young Adult novel, because that's what I am known for. The rights have now reverted to me because that publisher went under. And one of  the publishers I now work with, Fictive Press, has decided to publish it as it was meant to be, for adults. Naturally I am thrilled, no pun intended.
So for anyone who wants to read a short thriller with paranormal elements, I encourage you to have a look. We all have assumptions about how the world works and sometimes we manage to get through most of our lives without those assumptions being challenged. The protagonist of Past Crimes has no such luck! All her assumptions about how the world works are blown up, literally and figuratively. And to save those around her she must open her mind to the idea that "There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy."
Please feel free to comment or email about my new venture into the adult thriller genre. I am already planning a new Ros Green sequel.

Saturday, February 15, 2020

Voting! Elections! Democracy! Tyranny!

Tucson Jo is a book written for this very moment. I encourage parents and teachers to introduce it to the young people around them. This middle grade novel is about an election. In this election a populist runs for mayor of Tucson, Arizona, in 1882. His opponent is a Jewish man who believes in the rule of law. Guns are used to intimidate. So is Antisemitism. Jo is the eldest daughter of the Jewish familyand all she wants is freedom, freedom to wear pants, for instance! But even Jo is fooled by her father's populist opponent, believing anarchy will mean freedom. But anarchy is not freedom and she soon discovers that. What is true freedom? An important question to ask, fundamental to our democracy.

With elections coming up in the United States, in 2020, I will be available for school/ Skype visits  to discuss civics, gun violence, feminism, and the importance of politics and voting in our lives.

Tucson Jo was a National Jewish Book Awards Finalist.

Friday, February 14, 2020

#IReadCanadian

So one day, or shall I say, once upon a time, a very excellent young fellow and writer whose name was Eric, Eric Walters, had an idea. Now Eric lived in a country that was big and beautiful and full of talent. But for some strange, even weird and bizarre reason, the people who lived in this magical country mostly read books that were written by writers from other countries! That made no sense to young Eric!
And that's when he had this idea. 
He would start a very bigbig just like the country he lived inmovement. And that movement would engage readers from coast to coast to coast and librarians would join, and teachers would join, and readers would join and writers would join and one day, February 19, they would ALL TOGETHER read CANADIAN. (Canada was the name of that magical country.)
And I happen to be one of those writers.
Carol Matas #IReadCanadian

So here I am reading Canadian
And here I am talking about being a Canadian writer

And special thanks to Anita Daher and Shaw for making these videos.

Friday, November 2, 2018

25th Anniversary Edition of Daniel's Story


Just out this fall from Scholastic Canada, a special 25th anniversary edition

 This edition also includes a chronology, a timeline, and a newly added question and answer with me.

Daniel barely remembers leading a normal life before the Nazis came to power in 1933. He can still picture once being happy and safe, but memories of those days are fading as he and his family face the dangers threatening Jews in Hitler's Germany in the late 1930's. No longer able to practice their religion, vote, own property, or even work, Daniel's family is forced from their home in Frankfurt and sent on a long and dangerous journey, first to the Lodz ghetto in Poland, and then to Auschwitz, the Nazi death camp.

Though many around him lose hope in the face of such terror, Daniel, supported by his courageous family, struggles for survival. He finds hope, life and even love in the midst of despair.


I will be available to give readings of Daniel's Story and to talk to student or adult audiences about ant-Semitism, racism, and why this story is still so important today. 

Friday, December 15, 2017

Cloning Miranda just released in updated reissue!

Hi Everyone,

I'm very happy to report that just as the news is heating up about all the issues surrounding the new cloning technology, especially gene splicing and gene editing, a new updated version of my cloning book has just been reissued by Fictive Press with a new title and new cover art. This novel combines all three of my earlier books (Cloning Miranda, The Second Clone and The Dark Clone) into one novel. I've also updated the science in the novel with all the latest technology referenced in the links below!

Check out these for some interesting reading about cloning:

http://www.cbc.ca/news/health/crispr-gene-drive-gates-foundation-biological-diversity-malaria-1.4449709

http://www.cbc.ca/news/technology/gene-splicing-separates-man-from-chimp-researchers-1.641120

And check out my book, Cloning Miranda, for a thriller aimed at age 10 and up - all ages really- about what it might be like to discover that you are the first human clone.



Thursday, January 19, 2017

Interview about Tucson Jo with Tucson Tales Publication

Tucson Tales is a children's literature publication run by undergraduate students at the University of Arizona. They  showcase new and established writers. This is the interview they did with me about my middle-grades historical novel Tucson Jo. Click here for the entire interview.

The questions were not cookie cutter questions and really made me think. Here's an excerpt from the online interview:

Q. You often write about World War II and the Holocaust. Did you find it particularly challenging or beneficial looking at some of these anti-Semitic themes through the lens of the American Southwest?

A: That’s an interesting question. It’s always challenging to write about The Holocaust and/or anti-Semitism. I suppose what is so surprising to young people is how long anti-Semitism has been with us. They often have no idea that it dates back to the early days of the Church and that it was propagated by both Church and state as a way to scapegoat a particular religion and people. But I did find it compelling to write about the true story of how Strauss’s political rival tried to use it to defeat Strauss, even though there had been no real cases of anti-Semitism in Tucson up to that point. (It didn’t work!) Unfortunately anti-Semitism is ever present, and today we are seeing a frightening escalation in the United States and in Europe.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

WHO AM I? is out! And KIrkus gives it a great review!

Waiting for that first review is so nerve-wracking! So what a relief to read the Kirkus review of Who Am I?, my new sci-fi thriller for YA and middle grades.

"Girl-power heroines confronting bad guys and the nature of the self. Hitchcock-ian fun, full of deep questions to ponder."
(Click here for full Kirkus review.)

Kirkus seemed to like just about everything except the title! Since I personally came up with the title and thought it was so clever I was a little crushed but since everything else was good – I'm good too! Most importantly the reviewer saw what I was trying to dowrite a book about what it means to be a human being.

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Back From The Future – Who Am I?


How do you update a science fiction novel?

When I wrote Cloning Miranda, The Second Clone and The Dark Clone in the late 1990s and early 2000s, they were set in the near future.

When Fictive Press agreed to republish them as one novel and bring them out for the first time in the U.S. this fall, I thought I should update them – at least in terms of cell phones and social media. But once I started to do that I realized that the science of cloning had also advanced over the last decade. And so a small little edit suddenly became an entire revision. And in order to make the book really up to date, I set in the the present. Yes, that's right. Because the present is, in fact, where all the cutting edge cloning work is happening – especially where gene splicing is concerned.

So can we still call this book science fiction? I think so. As far as I know there are no human clones. But there is already a huge market cloning pets that have died. Sadly, our dog died in December. It would never occur to me to clone her even if could afford the $100,000 bill! (And even if I could afford that, I'd rather give the money to charity.) No one could ever replace her.

But the book isn't about cloning, really. It's about what makes us human. And when I read science fiction, that's what really interests me. It's why I'm a proud Trekkie!!

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Just Kidding!

Well, I really wasn't kidding. We really thought we had our new cover. But then we changed our minds.
OKAY!
This is truly the final, final cover!
And Thursday I sent the final copyedit to my editor so we are getting very close to publication. Fall for sure.


Monday, May 30, 2016

Finally! We Have Our Cover.


Here is the final cover for Who Am I?


We must have done—and by "we," I mean my publisher Fictive Press—at least 50 different cover mock-ups.  I kid you not! A big thanks to Fictive Press for going the extra mile.

We tested the covers with students at Grant Park High and Laidlaw School here in Winnipeg, Manitoba, and as far away as the The Alfred & Adele Davis Academy in Atlanta, Georgia! In the end, this is our final choice.

A big thrill for me as a writer to be included in the deliberations. Usually, it's a take-it-or-leave-it attitude from publishers—and you have to take it! Sometimes you do get to offer feedback but usually it is a done deal by the time you see the cover. I must admit I've had a few meltdowns over the years when I first saw the cover for a new book. And the opposite. At some point, I will post some of my favourite covers.

Meanwhile the edit is ongoing and Fictive Press is aiming to have this book out as a fall release. So I'd better get back to work!

Monday, May 16, 2016

The Minds Series has just been reissued!!

Thrilled to report that The Minds Series is now out in beautiful new covers created by Asa Nodelman, designed by Tara Smilinski and photographed by Robert Wilson. Hopefully, like any good fantasy series, this one will be just as relevant to a new generation of readers as the last iteration. It was so much fun writing this series with my friend and co writer Perry Nodelman. In fact, it all started with Perry playing his usual role of first critic and editor of all my first drafts. Except when he critiqued Of Two Minds he had a much better idea of how to rewrite it than I did and in a rather sarcastic manner I believe I said something like, "If you're so smart why don't you do it."

So he did! At first Perry wrote the male character Coren and I wrote Lenora and we went back and forth like that draft after draft until I started getting annoyed with Coren who I thought was too weak and Perry started getting annoyed with Lenora who he thought was too bossy and at that point we started writing alternative drafts changing both characters and finally finding a happy medium.

The books are about a young woman and young man—one who can make anything she imagines real, and one who lives entirely in his imagination where reality is better than the physical world. The two are misfits in their worlds because neither likes or appreciates their gifts. So naturally their parents arrange for them to marry. Of course! Needless to say all does not go smoothly. Or even well. The two of them find themselves pitted against a particularly dangerous villain in the first book—and they can only survive—together—much to each other's dismay.


Thursday, May 12, 2016

The Hunt for the Best Cover Continues

A cover is so important—so we asked lots of young people and adults which cover they liked best. A big thank you to everyone who participated in our informal survey, including students at The Alfred & Adele Davis Academy #davis5 in Atlanta, Georgia, and at Grant Park High and Laidlaw schools in Winnipeg, Manitoba. A special thank you to Bonnie Brask for her outstanding photos and artwork on our test covers.

It was a fascinating exercise even though there was no consensus. The best part was hearing what young people had to say, why they liked or disliked a particular cover, what they thought the cover was telling them. For example, we were super interested to learn that most students didn't know about the DNA helix, and didn't recognize that it was being used as a motif on several different covers. Because of that new info, I am going to add an afterword about the DNA strand and have my publisher add it as a graphic element in the novel's layout. So a huge help just in those terms for the book itself.

Below are the last six cover choices we presented to the classes. Which cover do you prefer, and why?

I will be posting our final choice any day now...





Sunday, February 7, 2016

Book Covers For "Who am I?"

I am very lucky that Fictive Press has made me a partner vis a vis choosing and even helping to create the cover for my new book Who Am I? We have considered all sorts. Here are a couple:

   

But we have ended up with something else altogether. I will post it soon. It's such an important decision, but I am really happy with the one we have chosen.

Human Cloning!

So just as I am into the edit of my series about the first human clone this article appears. It is so close to what I have written I feel a little scared, vindicated, psychic, and discombobulated.

My updated and revised series has never been published  in the United States so for all you readers it'll be brand new.