The Rachel Trilogy has been the most gratifying work I've accomplished, as it is inspired by my maternal grandmother. She hid her Judaism when she arrived in Canada, and died with her secret. I didn't find out she was Jewish until I was 18, and then was only able to extract bits and pieces from her older sister, Nucia.  I'm often asked what my grandmother would think of me telling her story when I speak about my books, and though I can't say for certain, I believe she would be proud that her namesake is speaking out about anti-Semitism, and endorsing tolerance.

Rachel's Secret

ISBN 978-1-926920-37-5

Basing the story on historical record, Sanders weaves a tale of catastrophe stemming from unbridled hatred, spreading of untruths, and lack of commitment to public safety on the part of officials. And while Rachel does act courageously and courtroom justice is meted out, virulent anti-Semitism still rules the day. In an artful way throughout this absorbing, chilling tale, characters wonder what can stop the tragedy of hatred from overcoming community, a questions that will prompt readers to wonder the same. --Booklist, Starred Review

iTunes Book of the Week

CM Magazine Starred Review

Awarded Association of Jewish Libraries Sydney Taylor Award, 2013

Canadian Children's Book Centre Our Choice Book, 2012

Rachel's Promise
ISBN 978-1-927583-14-2

Sanders vividly describes the poor conditions of the factory workers while contrasting their lives with the extravagance of the czar's castle and those of diplomats in St. Petersburg. In addition, she conveys information about the Jewish immigrant community in Shanghai during the twentieth century. Recommended for all libraries.

--Association of Jewish Libraries

CM Magazine Starred Review​

Rachel's Hope

ISBN 978-1-927583-42-5

​Like the first two books in the series, first time novelist Shelly Sanders delivers and exciting plot, and ambitious historical context, and engaging, complex characters. 

CM Magazine, Starred Review

Awarded Association of Jewish Libraries Sydney Taylor Award, 2015

Canadian Children's Book Centre Best Book, Starred Review, 2015

Shortlisted winner Vine Awards for Canadian Jewish Literature, 2016

  • Shelly Sanders Author
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