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Rona Arato

Photo: Digital Image Photography 2005

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.

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Ice Cream Town. Fitzhenry & Whiteside, 2007
Fossils - Clues to Ancient Life. Crabtree Publishing Company, 2005
World of Water. Crabtree Publishing Company, 2005
Courage and Compassion, Ten Canadians Who Made a Difference. Maple Tree Press, 2008
Working for Freedom, the Story of Josiah Henson. Napoleon Press, 2009
On a Canadian Day. Maple Tree Press, 2009
Mrs. Kaputnik's Pool Hall and Matzo Ball Emporium. Tundra, 2010
On a Medieval Day. Owlkids, 2010
Design It!. Tundra Books, 2010
Protists, a Class of Their Own. Crabtree Publishing Company, 2010
On an American Day. Owlkids, 2011


1st Prize Canadian Authors Association Short Story Contest, 1996
CLA long list for best children's for Ice Cream Town, 2007
Canadian Children's Book Centre Best Books for Ice Cream Town, 2008
Canada Council Grant for Working for Freedom, The Story of Josiah Henson, 2007
Toronto Arts Council Grant for Working for Freedom, The Story of Josiah Henson, 2007
Ontario Arts Council for Working for Freedom, The Story of Josiah Henson, 2007
Silver Birch Award nominee for "Courage and Compassion", 2010
CCBC Best Books for Working for Freedom, the Story of Josiah Henson, 2010
Golden Oak Award for Courage and Compassion, Ten Canadians who Made a Difference, 2011
ForeWord Magazine short list best books 2010 for Mrs. Kaputnik's Poolhall and Matzo Ball Emporium, 2011
Eligible for National Public Readings Program :


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:
Junior fiction, Canadian history/biography
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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.

Northern OAC WITS:
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Four sessions:
GST not applicable