|45 BOOKS FOR
CHILDREN AND YOUNG ADULTS!
Middle Grades — a New
Historical Novel with Jewish Themes
2014 National Jewish Book Awards Finalist
in the Children's & Young Adult Literature Category
is a tyrant; that’s what he is — a tyrant! And I will always be subject to
When her father decides to run for mayor of
Tucson in 1882, fourteen-year-old Josephine Fiedler is reluctant to
support his bid. “I could be sealing my fate, helping to elect someone who
wants nothing more than my docility.” With a mind of her own, Jo is in
constant conflict with her father and doesn’t know how to back down when
she feels she is in the right. “Without law, without order, there is no
freedom,” states her father, but Jo wants nothing less than the freedom he
promised her when he uprooted the family from “civilized” Boston to the
Wild West of the Territory of Arizona because of his health. When violence
erupts during the election campaign and her father’s opponent attacks him
for being an Israelite, Jo has to reconsider her position and even what it
means to be a Jew.
Inspired by Tucson’s first Jewish mayor,
Tucson Jo is packed with action and deeds of derring-do, shootouts and
holdups, while dealing with serious moral issues like right and wrong, law
and order, and women’s rights.
A NEW RELEASE OF GREATER
THAN ANGELS, CAROL MATAS' POWERFUL HOLOCAUST TALE SET IN FRANCE
Named one of "The Year's
Best 2013" books for Grades 3-6 by Resource Links
An unforgettable reminder of the
resilience of human compassion, even in the face of the worst horrors of
In the autumn of 1940, Anna Hirsch and her friends and family are rounded
up by Nazis and deported to Gurs, a refugee camp in the south of France.
Food is scarce, and the living conditions inhumane. Even worse is the
ever-present fear that they will be relocated once again — this time to
one of the death camps. But when word comes that Anna and the other
children are to be moved, their destination is not Auschwitz or
Buchenwald, but Le Chambon-sur-Lignon: a tiny village whose citizens have
agreed to care for deported Jewish children.
Based on the true story of a French village that banded together to
protect the Jews during WWII, this unforgettable tale honours the
contagious goodness that permeated one corner of a region otherwise
enveloped in evil, and celebrates the courage of all those who put their
lives at risk to save others.
A NEW RELEASE OF OF TWO
MINDS, A FANTASY COLLABORATION BY CAROL MATAS & PERRY NODELMAN
the world was impossible. Creating another one was worse. And escape was
out. She was trapped. A collaboration between acclaimed writers Carol
Matas and Perry Nodelman, this roller coaster of an adventure
is filled with twists and turns, excitement and fun. It is an
extraordinary creative fantasy about empowerment that compels readers not
to take everything at face value.
“A spellbinding fantasy...proof positive that two
heads are better than one.”—SLJ Best Books of the Year
“Strong...a solid fantasy about thinking for oneself, thinking other
people’s thoughts, and the power of the imagination.”—Kirkus Reviews
“Original, unpredictable...a kaleidoscope of character, cultures, and
events that offers both entertainment and enrichment.”—School Library
Journal starred review
A SPIRITUAL MEDITATION ON DEATH FOR CHILDREN &
When I Die is a meditation on
death that will resonate with children of all ages. Are you looking for a way to talk about
death to your child or grandchild? Are you grappling with the issue of
your own mortality? When I Die, a simple but powerful
meditation, can give you a
safe place to start the discussion.
How I came to write
When I Die
"The entire manuscript came to me all at
once while I was meditating. I have changed it a little but it is almost
exactly as I 'heard' it originally. I wasn’t thinking about anything in
particular, my mind was rather blank, so I can’t explain why I thought of
it or how it came to be. But I feel comforted by it in some strange way.
"The circle of life will go on with or without me. Some
people tend to think they are the centre of the universe and all
important. Others think they don’t matter at all and no one would care if
they lived or if they died. I tend to think that there is a balance in
almost everything. We are all the most important things in the universe-
after all, Jewish thought says that if you save one life you have saved
the world. And it is also true that the world will go on without us and
that is a good thing. Everything is important or nothing is important. I
believe everything is."
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Jewish girl recounts her experiences during a horrifying time in recent
history. As Rose begins her diary, she is in her third home since coming
to Winnipeg. Traumatized by her experiences in the Holocaust, she
struggles to connect with others, and above all, to trust again.
Pieces of the Past: The Holocaust Diary of Rose Rabinowitz
A Sydney Taylor Honor Book
Selection for 2014
An interview with Carol Matas on the Sydney Taylor Award Blog tour)
Winner of the 2014 Helen & Stan Vine Canadian Jewish Book Award
(in the Youth category)
Shortlisted for a 2104/15 Red Cedar Award (BC’s young readers’ choice
award for students in grades 4 through 7)
"Highly recommended, 4
out of 4 stars" by The Deakin Review of Children's Literature
Named one of "The
Year's Best 2013" books for Grades 3-6 by Resource Links
"Highly recommended" by CM Magazine.
A "BEST BOOKS FOR KIDS AND TEENS" pick for the Canadian Children's
Book Centre’s Fall 2013 edition of Best Books For Kids and Teens
When her new guardian, Saul, tries to get Rose to deal with what happened
to her during the war, she begins writing in her diary about how she
survived the murder of the Jews in Poland by going into hiding.
Memories of herself and her mother being taken in by those willing to risk
sheltering Jews, moving from place to place, being constantly on the run
to escape capture, begin to flood her diary pages. Recalling those
harrowing days, including when they stumbled on a resistance cell deep in
the forest and lived underground in filthy conditions, begins to take its
toll on Rose.
As she delves deeper into
her past, she is haunted by the most terrifying memory of all. Will she
find the courage to bear witness to her mother's ultimate sacrifice?
Praise for Pieces of the Past:
"This work of historical fiction
does a wonderful job of describing the experiences of a Jewish child in
hiding during the Second World War. Rose’s account is moving, especially
as she documents the deaths and disappearances of her family members...The
language used and the writing style are very appropriate for the youth
audience. While the realities of the Holocaust are not softened, Rose’s
diary is not heavy-handed in its approach to the Holocaust. Rose’s
reflections are both of the war and of everyday events such that younger
readers will identify with Rose as a human being and learn about the
tragedy of the Holocaust. Pieces of the Past: The Holocaust Diary of Rose
Rabinowitz ...provides an accessible, yet mature, look at the life of a
young Holocaust survivor and could aid students’ understanding of what it
would be like to live through the events of the Holocaust".
Meredith Harrison-Lim, CM Magazine, Volume XX Number 2, Sept. 13,
Read the full review.
"Carol Matas...one of
the most widely read purveyor of young adult literature...does not
condescend to her audience. The prose is crisp and well constructed, the
dialogue is authentic, and she demonstrates a willingness to delve into
sometimes painful subjects, such as Rose’s witnessing death all about her.
As much as so many Holocaust survivors have written their own memoirs in
recent years – and Carol Matas pays tribute to the kinds of stories that
inspired her to write this book – in the hands of a polished writer
such as Matas, what might have descended into cliché instead results in a
gripping and often hopeful read."
Bellan, The Jewish Post & News.
Read the full review
does a nice job of conveying the horror of the war and the significant
difficulties of beginning anew without glossing over the reality. The
narrative is told simply and movingly, and the characters are believable
and well-drawn. Appropriately for the young reading audience, in spite of
the weighty subject matter, readers are left feeling hopeful for the
resilient Rose." —Leslie A. Kimmelman, Jewish Book Council.
Read the full review.
of the Past, her third book in the Dear Canada series, Matas
deftly weaves the grim realities of the Holocaust with the hopes and
dreams of a young girl rebuilding her life. Through Rose's eyes young
readers are given a candid glimpse into the life inside the Warsaw Ghetto
as well as hardships faced by an orphan displaced by war. Although the
story is poignant and often heart-breaking, readers will be buoyed by
Rose's strength and tenacity. Drawing on the story of a war orphan is a
unique way to link the story of the Holocaust to Canada. A wonderful
resource for students, the inclusion of documents, maps and photos is a
powerful reminder of what happened and that Canada itself was culpable in
closing its borders to so may Jewish refugees. — Canadian Children's
Book News, fall 2013.
In My Enemy's House
is a brilliant writer of historical fiction and this book is a chilling
and realistic account of the way some people survived the Second World
Day Reading for All Ages," Fran
Ashdown, North Shore News, Nov. 6, 2013.
"I survived. Protected by the Nazis that killed my family. Could I
ever forgive myself?"
With the Nazis ready to herd the remaining Jews of her town
into a ghetto, and with her family either scattered or dead, Marisa
takes the papers of a Polish girl and goes to Germany in a desperate
attempt to survive as a Polish worker.
This unflinching account of Marisa's dilemma as a Jew living a lie to
survive provides a new perspective on the nature of good and evil.
Available from: Amazon.ca
Chosen by the The Canadian Children's Book Centre as one of their "Best Books" for 2012.
PUBLISHED IN 2012 – A HIT WITH MIDDLE GRADES
Nominated for the 2013 Ontario Library Association Golden
Shortlisted for the 2014 Rocky Mountain Book Award (An Alberta Children's
Choice Book Awards)
Inspired by a true story of endurance and courage
Sam Frederiksen has come a long way from the Prairies. Trained to be a
gunner in a Lancaster bomber during WWII, he is shot down over France.
Battered and bruised, he does survive, and joins forces with the French
Resistance... only to be betrayed by one of its members.
He and other flyers from various Allied countries are rounded up by the
Gestapo and held in Fresnes prison just outside of Paris.Treated as
spies, rather than POWs, these men are beaten, some tortured — then
sent to Buchenwald Concentration Camp in eastern Germany. It is here,
in these wretched conditions, that Sam witnesses the darkest side of
humanity — gas chambers, torture and starvation. Yet it is also here
that he comes to understand the true resilience and unfathomable
courage of the victims.
Praise for Behind Enemy Lines:
"The narrative voice is
potent and realistic, and Carol Matas does a marvelous job capturing
both the hope and courage in Sam’s personality as well as the terror he
feels as he is transported around Nazi occupied territory against his
will ... the truth of his situation is never overwrought with
heavy-handed factuality or didacticism. Behind Enemy Lines is a fantastic account of one Canadian’s struggles through World War II in occupied France." — Bob Bittner, CM, Volume XVIII Number 23, Feb. 17, 2012. Read the full review.
"What starts as a
rip-roaring adventure soon becomes a sobering account of strength in
the face of adversity that encompasses the workings of the French
Resistance and illuminates the Holocaust from a fresh angle ... the
subject matter is difficult but ultimately uplifting." — Elaine Kalman Naves, The Gazette
(Montreal) Feb. 17, 2012.
“…an amazing story… a
historical adventure…As one event lead to the next I found myself hanging
on to find out what will happen to this young yet very brave man next…I am
excited to read more I Am Canada books soon and would definitely
recommend this book to other history fans like me!” –Cam (grade five),
“The action is relentless and the reader will be turning the pages
feverishly to see what happens next… There is no telling here, only
masterful revealing through fascinating characters and lively dialogue.” –Resource
Links, April 2012.
ORDER Behind Enemy Lines from:
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