monique polak

Monique Polak's Books

It’s a good thing Monique Polak has a lot of energy, because she likes to do a lot of stuff. In addition to teaching English and Humanities at Marianopolis College in Montreal, Monique is an active freelance journalist whose work appears frequently in The Montreal Gazette and in Postmedia newspapers across the country. Several of her feature stories have also been published in Maclean's Magazine.

But what Monique likes to do most of all is write fiction for young adults. She is the author of 16 novels: Flip Turn (James Lorimer, 2004), No More Pranks (Orca, 2004); On the Game (James Lorimer, 2005); Home Invasion (Orca, 2005); All In (James Lorimer, 2006); Finding Elmo (Orca, 2007);  Scarred (James Lorimer, 2007); 121 Express (Orca, 2008); What World Is Left (Orca, 2008); The Middle of Everywhere (Orca, 2009); Junkyard Dog (Orca, 2009);Miracleville (Orca, 2011); and most recently, Pyro (Orca, 2012); So Much It Hurts (Orca, 2013); Straight Punch (Orca, 2014) and the recently released Hate Mail (Orca, 2014).

Hate Mail tells the story of Jordie, who is reluctant to admit that Todd, the new boy at his school -- a child with autism -- is actually his cousin. But when Todd's family receives a hateful anonymous letter, Jordie will question his own behavior. Hate Mail is based on real events.

Monique Polak photographed by Monique Dykstra
photographed by Monique Dykstraa

Monique's historical novel, What World Is Left (Orca, 2008) is based on her mother's experience in a Nazi concentration camp. The book won the 2009 Quebec Writers' Federation Prize for Children's and YA Literature. The American Library Association's publication, Booklist, gave What World Is Left a starred review, describing it as "heartbreaking" and "an important addition to the Holocaust curriculum."

To watch a CTV interview with Monique and her mom, visit the CTV website. Or click here to listen to an audio clip of Monique discussing and reading from What World Is Left. Or here to check out a cool new book trailer for What World Is Left.

Flip Turn, On the Game, All In, Finding Elmo, and Scarred were all selected by the Canadian Children’s Book Centre for its Our Choice lists. Home Invasion was named a Popular Paperback by the American Library Association. All In was nominated for an Arthur Ellis crime-writing prize. Resource Links included Scarred on its Best Books for 2007 list.

Monique lives in Montreal, where many of her stories are set. In addition to writing and teaching, she enjoys cooking, jogging and puttering around her house. She is married to a newspaperman and has one grown daughter.


Upcoming Events

Outreach High School
Mon, Dec 1st, 2014
9:00am - 2:25pm
Montreal, Qc.
Rosemere High School
Thu, Dec 4th, 2014
8:30am - 1:00pm
Rosemere, Qc.
MASC Young Authors & Illustrators Conference
Tue, Apr 21st, 2015
8:00am - 5:00pm
National Aviation Museum, Ottawa, Ont.

Monique's Blog

"Always Keep Hope" -
  The title of today's blog entry "Always keep hope" comes from my mom. That's her in today's ...
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Latest News

Breaking news!


Hate Mail has won the 2014 Quebec Writers' Federation Prize for Children's and YA Literature! And the competition was fierce. Also on this year's shortlist was Monique's YA novel Straight Punch.

Looking for tips to get kids reading (and writing)? Check out what Monique has to say in this interview she did on Montreal's Breakfast Television.


Watch the
Miracleville Trailer


Click to watch the trailer