Sparkijng with Young Readers

I write when I’m passionate about something, whether it’s about a person or an historical event. Share my voyage of discovery as I researched and wrote my books. You’ll learn not only about the subject but also about the sometimes surprising process of writing.

I love giving talks to people of all ages throughout Canada and the United States in many different settings—schools, community centers, and libraries.

My presentations expand on the material in my books. To make the events more real, I show visuals and artifacts and play audio clips. Each presentation is designed to be age and level appropriate.

Please contact Authors’ Booking Service to arrange a reading at your school or organization.



44 Hours or Strike!

44 Hours or StrikeI write about many difficult issues in 44 Hours or Strike! Among them are workers’ rights, union activism,  the status of women, and prejudice against Jews and immigrants . I use PowerPoint to illustrate working conditions in the factories, Toronto street scenes, and objects from everyday life. In my presentations, I sing protest and union songs in both English and Yiddish. I hope to make the 1930s come alive for young people.

Stealing Time

StealingTimeOne of the main threads running through Stealing Time is how people measured time in the past—from ancient Egypt to the present. I do a PowerPoint presentation to illustrate these devices and some of the people who were theorists and inventors. I show an example of a pocket watch and ask the audience to imagine what it would be like to travel back in time. I also like to give people a chance to tell their own stories about time and timekeeping.


The Baby Experiment

TheBabyExperimentBecause this book is set in the early 1700s, I do a PowerPoint presentation to describe Johanna’s journey from Hamburg to Amsterdam. She faced a lot of challenges, including plague, bandits, storms, and not least of all, anti-Semitism. The illustrations will help people imagine what it would have been like in that time and place, and to better understand the characters in the novel.


The Orphan Rescue

TheOrphanRescue-190x350It is 1937, and twelve-year-old Miriam and her young brother, David, are poor. Orphaned, they live with their grandparents who, although they love them, can barely afford to feed them. When David is sent to an orphanage – where he’s made to do dangerous work in a factory – Miriam decides to undertake a daring rescue. I do a PowerPoint presentation, showing photos of Poland then and now, and explain the many resources I used to research the book.


Written on the Wind

WrittenontheWind-e1398610429920Set in Toronto in 1954, this gripping novel is based on the true story about Hurricane Hazel and how it affected the lives of Sarah and her immigrant family.  In this interesting and educational presentation, I show slides about Hurricane Hazel, books and newspaper articles, and demonstrate how a Ouija board works. I also talk about the surprising events that happened while researching this book.



Dynamic Women Dancers

Karen-Kain-in-Swan-Lake-National-Ballet-of-Canada-1980Is a dancer just a pretty face and a strong body? I tell stories about ten women dancers from the world of ballet, modern, flamenco, and Bharatanatyam. They all had huge problems to overcome, such as blindness, racism, or poverty. They inspired people through their dancing, but most of all by going beyond the dance.  In this empowering presentation I focus on one or two dancers, and describe their challenges and achievements. I also talk about the process of researching the book, including interviews with the dancers.

June Callwood

with June Callwood and Margie Wolfe, publisher of Second Story Press at the launch of "June Callwood: a life of action", Toronto Autumn 2006
with June Callwood and Margie Wolfe, publisher of Second Story Press at the launch of June Callwood: a life of action, Toronto, Autumn 2006

June Callwood was one of Canada’s leading journalists and social activists. I examine her life and work, her leadership qualities, and the heartbreaking challenges she had to face and overcome. I motivate the listeners to think about how they can be leaders in their own community with a PowerPoint presentation including anecdotes about the process of researching and writing this book.

Bobbie Rosenfeld and the Olympics

BobbieRaceStartWhat was it like to be on the Canadian women’s track and field team at the 1928 Olympics? What were the highlights of the Games? And what part did Bobbie Rosenfeld play? These are some of the questions I answer in this fascinating talk about one of Canada’s greatest athletes.  During the presentation I show artifacts about the Olympics, including an Olympic medal, postcards, and stamps.


Lucy Maud Montgomery: A Writer’s Life

LucyMaudMontgomeryWhen she was a child, L.M. Montgomery loved to make up stories and poems. When she grew up, she became a famous writer. Find out how the author of Anne of Green Gables made her own dreams come true. For ages 7-9.