Award-winning Children’s Author Carol Matas Launches Her 45th Book

Tucson Jo, an historical novel for middle grades set in 1882 Tucson, tackles tough moral issues with Jewish themes
Tucson Jo, an historical novel for middle grades by Carol Matas
Tucson Jo, an historical novel for middle grades by Carol Matas
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Book Launch
Carol Matas
Jewish themes
Middle Grades
Ethics And Morality


British Columbia - Canada


Sept. 4, 2014 - PRLog -- “Papa is a tyrant; that’s what he is — a tyrant! And I will always be subject to his whims!”

When her father decides to run for mayor of Tucson in 1882, fourteen-year-old Josephine Fiedler is reluctant to support his bid. “I could be sealing my fate, helping to elect someone who wants nothing more than my docility.” With a mind of her own, Jo is in constant conflict with her father and doesn’t know how to back down when she feels she is in the right.

“Without law, without order, there is no freedom,” states her father, but Jo wants nothing less than the freedom he promised her when he uprooted the family from civilized Boston to the Wild West of the Territory of Arizonabecause of his health. When trouble erupts during the election campaign and her father’s opponent attacks him for being an Israelite, Jo has to reconsider her position and even what it means to be a Jew.

Tucson Jo is inspired by the life of Charles Strauss, the first Jewish mayor of Tucson. The fast-paced novel is packed with action and deeds of derring-do, shootouts and holdups, while dealing with serious moral issues like right and wrong, law and order, and women’s rights. In addition to Jo, the novel’s feisty protagonist, Matas has populated the novel with such intriguing characters as Jo’s younger brother, Isaac, a budding Talmudic scholar, and Jo’s best friend, Connie, whose ruthless father is also running for mayor.

In writing this book, Matas especially wanted to focus on the issues of law and order or, more particularly for young people, “the rules.” Are rules made to be broken? When must one follow the rules? Is there ever a good reason to disobey? What does the “rule of law” mean in our society? How is it different now than over a hundred years ago? Does might make right? Are there different rules for the rich and the poor, for men and for women, for visible minorities and for all others? What do the words “freedom” and “equality” really mean? These are all questions the novel raises but the answers must come from the readers themselves. Matas hopes this book can be a jumping-off point for discussions in the classroom and in the home about issues that are fundamental to our democracy and to the way we treat each other.

Tucson Jo, written for Middle Grades (ages 9 -14), is available in paperback (print on demand) and in all eBook formats:

About Carol Matas. Carol Matas is an internationally acclaimed author of 45 books for children and young adults, ranging from Holocaust and historical fiction, to contemporary, fantasy and science fiction. Her books, which have won numerous awards, deal with serious and thought-provoking issues. Her novels have been published all over the world in more than a dozen languages, and are loved by readers of all ages. A detailed biography of Carol Matas can be found at

About Fictive Press. FictivePress is an indie digital and print-on-demand publisher located in British Columbia, Canada. Since 2012, Fictive Press has published six books, including Matas’ When I Die, A Meditation on Death for Children & Their families (

To request a digital review copy of Tucson Jo, or for more information, contact Morri Mostow, Editor/Publisher,

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Tags:Book Launch, Carol Matas, Jewish themes, Middle Grades, Ethics And Morality
Location:British Columbia - Canada
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