Shelly Sanders has been a journalist in Toronto for 20 years with articles in Maclean’s, Toronto Star, National Post, Reader’s Digest, and Canadian Living. She grew up in Chicago, moved to Canada for high school, has an Honors Degree in English Literature from the University of Waterloo, a graduate degree in Journalism from Ryerson University, and a Certificate in Creative Writing from the University of Toronto.

Intrigued by her grandmother’s life as a Russian Jew, who escaped a pogrom, fled to Shanghai, and hid her Judaism after coming to Canada, Shelly began writing Rachel’s Secret. It was published in 2012 by Second Story Press, received starred reviews in Booklist and VOYA, was an iTunes Book of the Week, and was chosen as a Notable Book for Teens, by the Association of Jewish Libraries. Rachel’s Promise and Rachel’s Hope followed, and The Rachel Trilogy was complete in 2014.

In 2015, Shelly was a TD Canada Book Week Author, and travelled to Winnipeg to share her captivating visual presentation— “The History Behind the Story.” This one-hour presentation takes people back to 1903 Russia with photos and true accounts from the event on which Rachel’s Secret is based, the Kishinev Pogrom. This year, Rachel’s Hope was shortlisted for the prestigious Vine Awards for Canadian Jewish Literature.

Represented by Amy Tipton, Signature Literary Agency, based in New York and Washington, DC, Shelly received a Canada Council Grant to complete the manuscript currently being pitched, “The Shark’s Wife.” Right now, she’s working on a novel set in Riga, Latvia, during World War II.

Sanders is married, has three busy children, and two naughty dogs. You can catch up with Shelly at and @shelly_sanders, and learn more about The Rachel Trilogy here: