Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels
- Age: 9 to 12
- Grade: 4 to 7
A young 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.
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, includingwhen 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?
About the author
Carol Matas is an internationally acclaimed author of over thirty-five novels for children and young adults. Her best-selling work, which includes three award-winning series, has been translated into Spanish, Japanese, Taiwanese, Turkish, Dutch, Danish, Swedish, German, French, Indonesian and Russian.
A graduate of the Actor's Lab, in London England, Carol first earned a B.A. (English) from The University of Western Ontario. Her teaching experience includes Artists in the School, Manitoba Arts Council;visiting professor at Bemidji State University, Minnesota; and a Creative Writing instructor, Continuing Education Division, The University of Winnipeg. Carol is an inspiring and passionate speaker who is frequently invited to address children and adults alike across North America.
Carol writes contemporary and historical fiction, as well as science fiction and fantasy. She first began writing historical fiction when her Danish husband told her stories about his parents' experiences fighting the Nazis in World War II. She has often written about Jewish themes, and is well known for her books concerning the Holocaust, writing Daniel's Story at the request of The United States Holocaust Museum in Washington, D.C. Over the years, her knack for successfully infusing serious and thought-provoking issues into an action-driven format has kept readers of all ages engaged.
The list of awards for her books is long, and includes two Sydney Taylor awards, The Geoffrey Bilson award, a Silver Birch award, The Jewish Book Award, as well as the inclusion of her books on many honour lists, such as the ALA notable list, The New York Times Review notable list, The New York Public Library list for the Teen Age, and the Voya books in the middle, Best Book list. She has also been nominated for the Governor General Award twice.
More information is about Carol is available on her web site: http://www.carolmatas.com.
- Runner-up, Sydney Taylor Book Award for Older Readers
- Short-listed, Diamond Willow Award (Saskatchewan Young Readers' Choice)
- Winner, Helen and Stan Vine Canadian Jewish Book Award
- Commended, Manitoba Day Award, Association for Manitoba Archives
- Short-listed, Red Cedar Award (BC Young Readers' Choice)
- Commended, Best Books for Kids and Teens, Canadian Children's Book Centre
Praise for Dear Canada: Pieces of the Past
"Once you start reading it you can't put it down." —The National Post (Diana Brimbecom, age 10)
"Matas's book is a moving work of historical fiction." —Jewish Tribune
"Historical fiction may tell of the past — but for prolific novelist Carol Matas, it must be applicable to the present. That's why it's important for school-age students to encounter such stories as her newest novel for young people, Pieces of the Past: the Holocaust Diary of Rose Rabinowitz." —The Winnipeg Free Press
"[Pieces of the Past is] a work of art that is sure to resonate with an older audience as well as a teenaged one. The prose is crisp and well constructed, the dialogue is authentic, and she demonstrates a willingness to delve into sometimes painful subjects." —The Jewish Post and News
"This is a powerful, deeply affecting book . . . an outstanding addition to the series, and I recommend it highly." —Resource Links
Other titles by Carol Matas
How Animals See the World
A Struggle for Hope
Dear Canada: Footsteps In the Snow
The Red River Diary of Isobel Scott, Rupert's Land, 1815
Dear Canada: A Time for Giving: Ten Tales of Christmas
Cher Journal : Fragments du passé
Rose Rabinowitz, survivante de l'Holocauste, Winnipeg, Manitoba, 1948
The Lost Locket
Greater Than Angels
Au Canada : Derrière les lignes ennemies
Deuxième Guerre mondiale, Sam Frederiksen, L'Europe sous la domination nazie, 1944