MY
STORIES

Vivian Untangled
Yesterday's Santa and the Chanukah Miracle
A Little Something
Trevor and Cancerman
Aggie
Other Publications
Work in Progress

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For a kid who hated school and hardly ever picked up a book, I really surprised myself!  In 1995 or 1996 (or thereabouts), just for the fun of it, I signed up for an evening course, "Writing  for Children I" at George Brown College in Toronto.  It was great fun ... so I went on to participate in "Writing for Children II" which evolved into a weekly workshop, where writers gather to share their works-in-progress and engage in serious (and sometimes brutal!) feedback and critiquing.  When in "Writing for Children  I", which the group jokingly refers to as "kindergarten", I wrote a twenty-line poem.  Over time, as I revised it and rewrote it, the poem kept growing and growing - until it got out of hand!  Eventually, it had expanded sufficiently to fill a thirty-two page book!  "A Little Something" is my first children's book.  The photo on the top right shows me at one of my first readings - was I nervous? You bet!  

My mother was right when she said -

   YOU CAN DO ANYTHING   
   YOU SET YOUR MIND TO DO   

 

 

Don't hesitate to order one (or all) of my books ...

"A Little Something"
"Yesterday's Santa and the Chanukah Miracle"
"Vivian Untangled"

Just click on the book-covers (below) to connect to Amazon, where you can place your order, or to download them as e-books ... or email me to get your signed copies via snail-mail.

snowbell@rogers.com

 

 


VIVIAN UNTANGLED

Napoleon Publishing, 2006

ISBN 1-894917-25-1 / Ages 9+ / 124 pages
Cover illustration:  Sarah Hartt-Snowbell

New Year's Eve is coming up fast! Eleven-year-old Vivian is determined to buy the snazzy new '55 diary displayed in the window of a local gift shop.  In her search for ways to come up with the money, Vivian lands herself in a heap of trouble with her beloved grandfather, her quarrelling parents, her best friends, and her befuddled school principal.  The diary is soon put to good use, as Vivian ... a natural trouble-magnet ... must untangle the web of problems she has created.

 


REVIEWS:
 

"Our Choice" selection - Canadian Children's Book Centre

"Young readers will sympathize with Vivian who is a likeable, albeit oftentimes misguided, character.  They will be amused by her spirited antics and her indisputable knack for finding trouble despite her best efforts."  
L. Doucet for CM Magazine, Volume XIII, Number 3, September 2006.

"Sarah Hartt-Snowbell's Vivian Untangled is a 136 page children's novel that is genuine and pulls no punches.  Holding interest from start to finish" ... "Although she may seem like a troublesome meddler to some, Vivian is a flawed heroine with whom young readers can identify."  Children's Bookwatch, volume 16, Number 9, September 2006.

"There are many twists and turns and even some unexpected developments as the novel reaches its conclusion.  In the end Vivian's developing maturity shows when she accepts responsibility for her actions while developing an even closer relationship with her grandfather.  This novel will appeal to girls mainly, but the life lessons learned can be applied by all young readers."  Suzanne Finkelstein, Resource Links, Volume 12, Number 2, 2007.

 

 


 

TREVOR AND CANCERMAN

A short story by:
Sarah Hartt-Snowbell

In Inside Track 1 (9th Grade textbook). Editors:  Robin Pearson, Debbie J. Chambers. Oxford University Press, 2005. ISBN 0-19-542311-9

Trevor masterminds a mischievous prank at the Cancer Centre.  Full of remorse, he carries out his plan to 'sort things out'.  In so doing, he establishes a unique friendship with one of the outpatients. 

 

 

 

 

AGGIE

A short story by:
Sarah Hartt-Snowbell

In Winner's Circle 9, a collection of winning entries in the Ninth Annual Short Story Contest - Canadian Authors Association. Editor: John Blair. 2001. 
ISBN 0-9689381-0-8

"Aggie" is a young-teen story.  In a class of nail-biters, zit-pickers and others with well-known obsessive compulsive disorders, we meet Aggie. Her friends classify her recent behaviour as "goofy" or "weird".  They're taken aback because, for reasons unknown to them, the teachers are giving in to Aggie ... like excusing her from full participation in gym class or allowing her to wear her Blue Jays baseball cap in class, which is contrary to the school's dress code. Aggie seems to withdraw from the Fabulous Foursome, and her friends are not sure why.  On the night of their Junior High graduation, Aggie's secret is exposed, and her friends join forces to help her through a devastating situation.

Aggie is a story about trichotillomania, a compulsive hair-pulling disorder that affects more young people than are willing to admit it. This problem is sometimes linked to stress or the onset of puberty.  Do you pull your hair out?  Do you know anyone who does?  Click into the link above to find out more information about trichotillomania and to gain a better understanding of its history, causes and treatment.

 


First Honorary Mention - Ninth Annual Short Story Contest - Canadian Authors' Association

 

 


 

YESTERDAY'S SANTA AND THE CHANUKAH MIRACLE

(NapoleonPublishing, 2002)

Author:  Sarah Hartt-Snowbell
Illustrator:  Patty Gallinger

ISBN:  0-929141-14-8
32 pages  -  ages 6 and up

Oy Vay!  You shouldn't let the title of this book get in your way!   So ...  Is it a Chanukah Story?  Is it a Christmas Story?  When I wrote this story, I was certainly aware that it might raise of few questions, but my greatest hope is that it will provide a few answers!

Yesterday's Santa and the Chanukah Miracle is a humorous and sensitive story about acceptance, religious freedom and the joy of giving (tzdakah).  This culturally-rich holiday story was written for people of every age and of every faith!

Annie can't believe her eyes!  The "Santa" in the mall looks so much like her grandfather's friend, Simon.  A Jewish Santa?  Annie lines up to get a closer look - and ends up 'placing an order'.  Simon Greenbaum, flat broke, works at the Winter Castle to earn a few dollars between jobs.  "Don't breathe a word to your Zaideh that you saw me here," he says. "If you don't tell him that I'm a Santa Claus, I won't tell him what you asked me for. It's a deal?" Annie wants to help Simon, but to carry out her plan she must reveal his secret.  What will she do?

 

 

 


REVIEWS:

"Our Choice" selection - Canadian Children's Book Centre

"Yesterday's Santa will be a welcome story to read during the holiday season when cultures should co-exist, but often seem to collide - Recommended" 
Harriet Zaidman CM Magazine, The Manitoba Library Association.
 

"Hartt-Snowbell has crafted a compelling and funny story ... Gallinger's illustrations are richly detailed and glow with an inner warmth" Gary Curtis & Lee Prokaska, The Hamilton Spectator.

"In the search for stories about specific holidays, 'Yesterday's Santa and the Chanukah Miracle' does an excellent job of giving insight into the Jewish Holiday ... This book would be a worthwhile addition to any collection."  Connie Forst, Resource Links, Vol 8, Number 4.

Hartt-Snowbell's use of humor to address the relevant and significant themes of religious understanding and acceptance is both refreshing and brilliant. Yesterday's Santa and the Chanukah Miracle is not a book that meshes two distinct religions but encourages children of minority religions to take pride in their own faith and religious practices. The enchanting dialogue, multi-dimensional characters, realistic illustrations, and clever plot, make this a wonderful read-aloud book to be enjoyed by the whole family.  JD - reader review on Amazon.com

"Sarah Hartt-Snowbell tells a heart-warming story ... Annie is standing in line to talk to the department store Santa Claus when she realizes that the man behind the beard is her grandfather's friend, Simon Greenbaum.  A Jewish Santa?"  Barbara Greenwood, City Parent.

"I inevitably bristle when the words Chanukah and Santa or Chanukah and Christmas are used in the same sentence.  You can, therefore, imagine my first impulse when I read the title, "Yesterday's Santa and the Chanukah Miracle.  In fairness, however, I controlled myself and read the book.  Surprise!  For a number of reasons I decided to recommend it.  First, the book honestly raises some of the issues Jewish children living in a predominantly Christian environment face at Christmas time.  Second, the story describes an example of contemporary Jewish poverty.  Third, it shows children's ability to empathize and their willingness to help."  Deanna Silverman, Ottawa Jewish Bulletin.

A humorous look at culture clash..."Religious freedom, Annie. That's what Chanukah is all about," her father tells her. "Take it from me, Annie, it's okay to be different." ...  a situation almost every Jewish child faces sooner or later, so it is nice to see the dueling-holidays addressed in such a realistic way..."   Donna Freedman (from the critics) - Barnes and Noble


YESTERDAY'S SANTA AND THE CHANUKAH MIRACLE
(The animated film)

Some of Canada's favorite stories from authors across the country are coming to TV. Each episode contains two stories based on Canadian literary works from authors across the country; they range from the serious to the hilarious. This series makes for wonderful family viewing ... CBC-TV

YESTERDAY'S SANTA AND THE CHANUKAH MIRACLE
(PrintBraille)

This book was selected by the Canadian National Institute for the Blind to be made into a PrintBraille edition.

 

 

 

A LITTLE SOMETHING
(Napoleon Publishing, 1998)

Author:   Sarah Hartt-Snowbell
Illustrator:  June Bradford

ISBN: 0-929141-60-1
40 pages   -  ages 3-6

"... A little something tumbled through the big front door, it did a twirly somersault and landed on the floor.  No-one heard a crash or a splat or ker-plunk, or a rattle or a clatter or clang or a clunk ..."

Just as Daddy rushes off to work on a windy Monday morning, Sandy, Mom, The Puppy and The Cat discover a mysterious "Little Something" that has tumbled through the big front door.  This event triggers their day-long chase in which they try to catch up to it - to find out what it is.  "They tracked the Little Something to the east and to the west, down the deep, dark valleys, and above the highest crest, through the vast sandy desert, and the squooshy, soggy bog, in a sun-dazzled haze and in drizzle and in fog.  They followed north and south, on the ground and in the air, on a ragged-jagged journey through the Land of Everywhere."   Do they catch up with the "Little Something"?  Do they find out what it is?  These secrets are revealed after all - but you must read the book to satisfy your curiosity!

A story in rhyme
for bedtime!
for anytime!
 


A LITTLE SOMETHING
(PrintBraille)

This book was selected by the Canadian National Institute for the Blind to be made into a PrintBraille edition.

 

 


REVIEWS:

"Our Choice" selection - Canadian Children's Book Centre

"Of the 426 books we reviewed in 1998, particularly noteworthy is Sarah Hartt-Snowbell's charming first picture book, A Little Something ... highly recommended"
Steve Pitt, Editor, Canadian Book Review Annual - Canadian Children's Literature,  1998.

"A wave of bubbling wordplay"
  Barbara Greenwood, CITY Parent, April, 1999.

 

 

 

OTHER PUBLICATIONS

AGGIE

In What if? Canada's Fiction Magazine for Teens (ed. Mike Leslie) Volume 1, Issue 6, Jan/Feb 2004.

(See above for synopsis)

TREVOR AND CANCERMAN

In What if?  Canada's Fiction Magazine for Teens (ed. Mike Leslie)  Volume 2, Issue 3, Jul/Aug 2004.

(see above for synopsis) 
 

 

 

WORK IN PROGRESS

(or ... works waiting for a publisher to say YES!)

Myles' Kilometres - a hilarious story about the little fellow who paints the line down Yonge Street, the longest street in the world.  Witty ideas and word-play prompt readers of every age to have a good chuckle.

"Myles" was declared the 1st place winner (children's book category) of the "Get the Lead Out 2007!" Literary Awards competition.

Succah Apples - Children of every faith (adults too) can get a refreshing glimpse of Succot, a Jewish autumn festival  - this story, laced with humour and cultural richness, tells of a curious family tradition and a surprising new relationship between a youngster and an elderly succah visitor.  

Tiffany Pumpkin Wallflower - a fun-filled tale about a shy little girl who has to endure visits to her Grandma's house - where she feels intimidated by her enormous high-spirited family.

 


Are you interested in writing for children?  Do you have questions about writing?  Illustrating? Publishing?  Click into Write4Kids  - it's the most amazing way to begin your fascinating journey.