Arato, Rona (Toronto)

Writers’ Union Member. Rona’s events with the students were excellent. Not only was she able to keep the students enthralled with her stories, but Rona also skillfully catered to the different age-groups and moderated her presentation according to their needs. Her rate is $250 per one-hour session, $400 for a full morning and $700 + HST for a full day. There is no travel charge within the GTA. For travel outside the GTA the standard kilometrage applies.

My readings and presentations are geared to students in grades four to eight and to older ESL students. I also present to adult groups. As a former teacher, I understand what teachers and school librarians want from an authors’ visit. I use an interactive reading/discussion approach to involve children and excite their curiosity.

I link stories to current issues such as immigration and social responsibility. A theme that runs through much of my work is that one person can, and often does, make a significant difference. By involving the children in examining these issues, I help them think about the way they interact with friends, family and the community at large.

The Last Train

My talk includes a PowerPoint presentation that traces the Auslander family’s journey from Hungary to Bergen Belsen and onto a death train, that is abandoned by their Nazi guards. It features amazing photographs taken by U.S. soldiers at the moment of liberation. It also covers the little known story of “Jews on Ice,” the scheme by Adolph Eichmann to keep 20,000 Hungarian Jews “on ice” for a prisoner exchange – a plan that ultimately saved their lives. Holocaust and World War II.

Mrs. Kaputnik’s Pool Hall and Matzo Ball Emporium

This is an immigration story with a twist. Shoshi and Moshe immigrate to New York with their mother and their pet dragon and set out to find their missing father. Along the way they encounter relatives who steal their money; gangsters, and the whackiest baseball team in U.S. history.

Design It!

The basics of design behind the tools, gadgets and necessities we use every day. Where do ideas for new products come from? How does a designer turn an idea into a workable product?

On a Canadian Day

A Journey across Canada Nine stories of Canadian children through Canada’s history. Issues: Canadian history, growing up, slavery, immigration, and social responsibility

On a Medieval Day

Nine stories show how children lived around the world during the Middle Ages. Issue: Breaking the Eurocentric view of the Middle Ages — stories include the Mayan Empire, Timbuktu, West Africa, Japan, China, Vinland, and Baghdad. Accompanied by PowerPoint presentation.

On an American Day

Nine stories set in the United States from 1765 to 1899. Issues: Human rights, the Revolutionary War, slavery, education, and immigration Ice Cream Town Issues: Immigration, gangs, and bullying and social conscience. Study guide available.

Courage and Compassion, Ten Canadians Who Made a Difference

Issues: Canadian history, social responsibility, human rights, and “what makes a hero?” Accompanied by PowerPoint presentation

Working for Freedom the Story of Josiah Henson

Josiah Henson escaped slavery, settled in Canada and became a renowned preacher and abolitionist. He founded the Dawn Community and a vocational school for former slaves. Issues: U.S. and Canadian history, slavery, the Underground Railroad, human rights, education, and social responsibility. Great book for Black History Month.

My presentations are interactive. I involve the students at all levels. I tell them about myself and how and why I write and discuss the difference between writing fiction and non-fiction and research methods. I give background on the book that I am presenting and talk about what motivated me to write it. I ask the students about their experiences as they relate to the book. In Ice Cream Town for example, I ask if any of them have immigrated or moved from another place. What were their feelings and problems? I will read and then discuss the section I’ve read.

Grades I will present to grades 3 to 8

Is this flexible? Yes. I will present to students up to grade 12 and to adults for Courage and Compassion and Josiah Henson.

Maximum number of students per session: 75-80 (Ideal) Is this flexible? Yes, I will consider a larger group. I have presented to groups as small as 20 and as large as 150.

Please discuss this with me.

Writing workshops available for grades 4-8. Maximum participants for workshop: A maximum of 16 for optimum results.

Venues you’re comfortable in: (classroom, library, auditorium, gymnasium) I am comfortable in all settings. Equipment and other requirements: A projector screen for a PowerPoint presentation if the venue is a gymnasium or auditorium. A power socket with multiple plug points I ask that a librarian or teacher be present throughout the presentation.

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