Wednesday, April 19, 2017

P.J. le Pooch Gets Top Rating from CM!

P.J. le Pooch & the Magic Sketchbook by Morri Mostow for middle grade children
Click here to order in print or ebook 
Highly Recommended
by CM: Canadian Review of Materials*

It doesn't get much better than that! 

I'm working on P.J. le Pooch's next adventures for middle-grade readers, so it's very gratifying—not to mention, motivating!—to have his first novel get such a glowing endorsement.

*CM: Canadian Review of Materials is a prestigious online publication, from the University of Manitoba, of particular interest to teachers and librarians.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Surprise your Kids for Passover!

"Janet Ruth Heller’s The Passover Surprise is a nicely illustrated chapbook for young readers with clear print, great chapter titles, well-placed black-and-white illustrations, and a pleasing lesson well-told. The story’s set around 1960, when civil rights hit the schoolroom and the news, fathers might have served in the Second World War, and girls were still not supposed to like the same things as boys. It’s a deceptively simple tale in which life isn’t fair, but love and trust, with a measure of kind communication, might ease the pain. 
"Readers will learn about sibling rivalry and parental mistakes, while absorbing the joys of stamp collecting, Jewish Sabbath and Passover, and family love. As Lisa learns of the world’s many faults, her own problems fall into pleasing perspective, and her mother’s advice proves wise and comforting.
"A great book to build good family relationships (complete with a neat discussion guide), and an intriguing window into the world, The Passover Surprise is highly recommended." —Sheila Deeth, author of Psalm Stories and other books

Monday, March 27, 2017

R.I.P. Ralph Hancox: A Great Loss

Ralph Hancox: 1929-2017
I am very sad to announce the passing of my dear friend and Fictive Press author Ralph Hancox. Beyond his remarkable lifetime achievements and brilliance, Ralph was an extraordinary individualcharming, funny, thoughtful and compassionate. Many have benefited from his kindness and interestand I was fortunate enough to be one of them. He took a chance on me when I was young and virtually unskilled and offered me my first first real job, as his administrative assistant in the Reader's Digest book department in Montreal. This effectively launched my decade-long association with the Digest and my subsequent business-writing career. In the last two years, I had the privilege of working with Ralph again, this time as his editor and publisher of his three novels: Con Job, Scandalous and The Ape & the Peacock. I shall miss him greatly.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

How to Deal with Unfairness in a Father

A chapter book for middle grades
Bonnie Ferrante talks about the complex issue of how a child deals with an unfair father in her review of Janet Heller's chapter book for middle grades, The Passover Surprise.

Read Bonnie Ferrante's in-depth interview with Janet Heller, "A Life-long Mission of Equality and Inclusion."

Monday, January 23, 2017

The Passover Surprise: Recommended for Children 11-15

"In Janet Ruth Heller’s The Passover Surprise  (illustrated by Ronald Kauffman; Fictive Press, 48 pp. $11), Jewish traditions, stamp collecting, sibling rivalry and familial affection are all part of the story of Lisa, who craves a “big blue stamp album” as a gift for finding the afikoman. Readers will root for Lisa and a happy holiday."
Reviewed by Gloria Goldreich, "Stories for Children to Celebrate and Commemorate," Hadassah Magazine, Dec., 2016

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Serious Moral Issues Discussed in Wide-ranging Interview with Carol Matas

Tucson Tales, a publication showcasing new and established writers, has posted a thoughtful, wide-ranging interview about Tucson Jo, Carol Matas' award-winning historical novel for middle grades.

Carol talks about the story behind the story—cowboys and Jews, antisemitism, even in the American Wild West, and important moral issues of relevance in today's world. A must read for teachers—and for kids of all ages.

Carol Matas talks about the meaning of fredom in this excerpt from the Tucson Tales interview:
Q: Incorporating more serious themes into your work for children seems to be an important part of what you do. Does this ever extend beyond the page? Do you ever engage in a dialogue with children, say, after a reading? If so, what comes of it? How do you children react after reading your stories?

Tuesday, January 10, 2017



Danish-Jewish thinker Andreas Simonsen explores this “ancient all-important question initially debated by the Sophists, Socrates and Plato” using an ancient technique – the dialogue form. Three separate conversations, three different interlocutors, three different worldviews: skeptical, rationalist and existentialist.

This eclectic, thought-provoking work takes the reader on a fascinating journey through Western philosophy and scientific theory – to the author’s unique adaptation of Niels Bohr’s theory of “complementarity” to ethics.

Monday, December 19, 2016

Two New "Shorties" by Doug Long

Coming soon, I hope, is Doug Long's second book of "shorties" (55-word stories). In return, I have promised to publish both his books in print as well as ebook format. For now, his first book of shorties—The Fool Who Invented Kissing—the first book ever published by Fictive Press, is still only available in ebook.

Doug is always writing shorties and these two are his newest, with thanks to a dear friend for the inspiration.

He's my perfect man: handsome, smart, funny, rich!
Our first date is on his private beach, complete with
dance band, buffet, open bar.
He invited my family and his, who chat amiably with a local rabbi.
We stand shaded 'neath a white, fringed canopy.
Do I like this first date?
I do ... yes ... I DO!
He's my perfect man: handsome, smart, funny, rich!
We fall in love so fast it scares us.
But love and life are full of risks, I tell myself.
I miss him dearly when he's on frequent business trips,
but never suspected a thing until his wife called to say
he'd died in a plane crash.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

P.J. le Pooch Launched at Gabriola Library Dec. 3

Author Morri Mostow
with artist Vicky Bowes

Gabriola artist Vicky Bowes received lots of well-deserved kudos from the folks attending the book launch of P.J. le Pooch & the Magic Sketchbook at the Gabriola Library, for her wonderful cover art.