Tuesday, February 22, 2022

Five-star review from Canadian Review of Materials

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐/5
HIGHLY RECOMMENDED
"The conversational text is well-organized, succinct, child-friendly and inquisitive. Many interesting facts are woven throughout, such as owls have three eyelids; baby rabbits open their eyes when they are ten days old; and mice are colour-blind. Scientific vocabulary is explained in a crystal clear, easily-understood manner:
"Encouraging close obsevation Who’s Looking? is an eye-opening STEAM (science, technology, engineering, the arts, and math) picture book."
Click here for full review.

Sunday, January 16, 2022

Join me on Jan. 27 for an International Holocaust Remembrance Day Webinar

Attention: Principals, Teachers and Parents 


On January 27, I will be participating in a virtual event for International Holocaust Remembrance Day. Hosted by Eric Walters and Sigmund Brouwer, the webinar will include presentations by Rabbi David Paskin, Eric Walters and Kathy Kacer (Broken Strings) and myself (A Struggle For Hope.)

During the presentation, we will engage directly with students via a chatbox and a Q&A in a secure Zoom webinar format, so they’ll have plenty of chances to jump in with questions and comments.

Click here to register for an all-school pass at $150. If you put "Friend of Carol" in the notes field, the cost drops to $125. If you’d like to register a single classroom, the "Friend of Carol" rate is $40 instead of $65. Families are also invited to attend. Cost is just $15. Families can register here.

The webinar will last an hour. Teachers and students — either in the classroom or at home — can choose either the 11:00 a.m. (ET) session or the 1:00 p.m. (ET) session. A recording of the event will be available for up to a week after the event.

More information about the event is available here. Questions? Email Kayli at kayli@storyninjawritingclasses.com

Wednesday, January 5, 2022

Debut Picture Book, Who's Looking, April 2022!

 Happy New Year to everyone!

I am thrilled to say the ARC of my new picture book has just arrived! The book is now available for preorder! 

Cornelia Li is the illustrator and I can't say enough about how she has imagined my text.

Since I was new to picture books and had never written non-fiction before, my learning curve was, well, ginormous! But my editor Liz  Kemp at Orca book gently helped me through the process step by step. And my agent, Amy Tomkins, also contributed with some suggestions that changed the book entirely! So credit to them both. And to everyone at Orca who has been involved, especially Ruth Linka who helped me finish the project. 

Who's Looking is a story about how animals see the world. It began as a conversation with my grandson, Kai, one day as we were walking home from the park. We paused to watch some ants scurrying around on the pavement and I asked Kai how he thought we would look to the ants? 

By the time we got home the idea for the book was born!

I now have a dozen or more picture books at various stages so I hope this will be the first of many.

Monday, November 8, 2021

A Struggle for Hope officially launched Nov 4

Many thanks to Belle Jarniewski, Executive Director of the Jewish Heritage Centre of Western Canada, for doing such a terrific job of hosting the virtual launch of A Struggle for Hope as part of Holocaust Education Week. We had a "packed house," and I have received so many congratulations and so many enthusiastic responses to our presentation. I hope you will take the time to click below and watch it.

Attention teachers: The video is a wide-ranging discussion about the Holocaust, racism, and how fascism can take hold in any democratic society. It also talks about "story" and how stories can be used for good or for ill. 

This event was jointly sponsored by Scholastic Canada, McNally Robinson Booksellers Winnipeg, The Winnipeg Jewish Federation and The Jewish Heritage Centre of Western Canada. 


First Review for A Struggle for Hope – Highly Recommended!

"The action keeps readers on the edge of their seats. A touch of romance softens some of the harsh realities the characters face. And the comfort, compassion and belonging to a communal family sustains their struggle for hope in the face of adversity."

Highly Recommended. ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Click here for the full review from CM: Canadian Review of Materials. 

Plus an interview on CTV!

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.