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Rona Arato

Arato
Photo: Digital Image Photography

Rona Arato Rona has been a writer and editor for over 25 years. Her work has appeared in magazines and newspapers in Canada and the United States. Rona holds a degree in Elementary Education from U.C.L.A. She has taught elementary school classes in Los Angeles and Toronto, adult Creative Writing for the Toronto District School Board and has conducted business writing workshops for profit and non-profit organizations. As a writer and edictor she has created educational materials for organizations including Mosdos Press in Cleveland, Girl Guides of Canada, and B’nai Brith Canada. From 1994-1998, she was an interviewer for Survivors of the Shoa, a Steven Spielberg project that recorded the histories of Holocaust survivors.

City:
North York, Ontario
Province:
Ontario

Publications

Righting Canada's Wrongs: Anti-Semitism and the MS St. Louis. 2021, Lorimer Publishing
The Ship to Nowhere, on Board the Exodus. 2016, Second Story Press
The Last Train, a Holocaust Story. 2013, Owlkids
Mrs. Kaputnik's Pool Hall and Matzo Ball Emporium. 2011, Tundra Books
Design It!. 2010, Tundra Books
Fukushima, Nuclear Disaster. 2013, Crabtree
Protists, a World of Their Own. 2010, Crabtree
World of Water. 2004, Crabtree
Fossils, Clues to Ancient Life. 2004, Crabtree
Ice Cream Town. 2007, Fitzhenry and Whiteside
Sammy and the Headless Horseman. 2016, Fitzhenry and Whiteside
Working for Freedom, the Story of Josiah Henson. 2009, Napoleon Press
Courage and Compassion, Ten Canadians Who Made a Difference. 2008, Maple Tree Press
On a Canadian Day. 2008, Maple Tree Press
On a Medieval Day. 2009, Maple Tree Press
On an American Day. 2010, Owlkids

Awards

Third prize in the 2020 short fiction contest for "Polonaise" for Moment Magazine, 2021
Sydney Taylor Award: Notable YA Book for The Ship to Nowhere, on Board the Exodus, 2016
The Norma Fleck Award for The Last Train, a Holocaust Story, 2014
The Diamond Willow Award for The Last Train, a Holocaust Story, 2015
The Rocky Mountain Book Award for The Last Train, a Holocaust Story, 2015
The Diamond Willow Award for The Last Train, a Holocaust Story, 2015
Canadian Children's Book Centre Best Books of 2013 for The Last Train, a Holocaust Story, 2013
Golden Oak Short List for The Last Train, a Holocaust Story, 2015
Golden Oak Award for Courage and Compassion, Ten Canadians Who Made a Difference, 2011
Silver Birch Finalist for Courage and Compassion, Ten Canadians Who Made a Difference, 2010
Resource Link, Best Books of 2010 for Courage and Compassion, Ten Canadians Who Made a Difference, 2010
ForWord Book Reviews Finalist for best juvenile fiction for Mrs. Kaputnik's Pool Hall and Matzo Ball Emporium, 2010
CCBC Best Books 2010 for Working for Freedom, the Story of Josiah Henson, 2010
CCBC Best books of 2008 for Ice Cream Town, 2008
Finalist Triple Crown Awards for Ice Cream Town, 2008
Eligible for National Public Readings Program:
Yes

WITS

Presentation Description

My presentations are interactive. I involve the students in discussions about the book and key issues in the book. I challenge them to dig into underlying meanings and the significance to today, of what they are reading.

Ice Cream Town -  Historical Fiction. Themes: Immigration, peer pressure, gangs, bullying

Courage and Compassion, Ten Canadians Who Made a Difference - Biogroaphy. Themes: Human  Rights, Canadian history, hidden heroes and people who make a difference

On a Canadian Day, historical fiction. Themes: Children's lives Canadian history, human rights, important events such as the Underground Railroad, Dust Bowl, and Japanese internment during WW II,

Working for Freedom, the Story of Josiah Henson -Biography. Themes: slavery, the Underground Railroad, civil rights, education and how one person can make a difference in the lives of others.

Common theme: I compare historical writing to fiction. I discuss the difference between historical fiction and biography and how the research methods are the same for both. I stress that with history or biogrophy the story must follow the lines of what actually happened, whereas with historical fiction, the author can make up characters and situations. In each, however, the facts must be correct for the time and place.

Presentation Length:
varies
Genre:
Junior fiction, Canadian history/biography
Grades:
4-7
Audience Size:
varies
Workshop Description:

Writing Workships

For children: Writing historical fiction and/or biography; using details to make your writing come alive; creating a story arc; editing and re-writing your work.

For teachers: Teaching how to use details to make a story come alive; the elements of story writing; editing and re-writing and research.