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Late Bloomer: Popchuck's Ghost Officially Released, 20 Years After First Spooking Children Into the Joys of Reading

Paul Toffanello’s wildly-popular tale has been enjoyed by thousands of children and used for decades as a successful teaching tool. Now, ‘Popchuck’s Ghost’ is finally available to the general public. The aim? Getting kids – and parents - to pick up a book and start reading.


Timmins, ON -- (SBWIRE) -- 10/14/2013 -- Many readers who discover ‘Popchuck’s Ghost’ for the first time will be surprised to learn that the enthralling junior fiction novel has already been read and cherished by thousands of children. Originally developed as an educational tool by teacher and author, Paul Toffanello, the book’s success has prompted the novel’s release to the general public – twenty years after it was first written.

Unlike most books taught in the classroom, ‘Popchuck’s Ghost’ captures the imagination through a unique narrative, relatable characters and enough ghoulish fun to keep even the pickiest of young readers engrossed.


Boisterous Neil and timid Adam, 12-year-old best friends, head off to Camp McAbre for the first time with distinctively different attitudes. Neil is excited by the thought of several days outdoors with a hundred other kids while Adam hates everything about camp except for the presence of attractive schoolmate Ally.

Yet as the days go by, Adam becomes a super camper while Neil is dogged by an unusual bout of bad luck that puts him in conflict with the creepy Camp Director, Charles Atrom. A bit of late night sleuthing leads Neil into a series of abandoned mine tunnels and glimpses of a ghost who may be responsible for Neil's troubles.

As the author explains, much of his career as a Language Arts and English teacher was dedicated to bringing his students into the world of literature.

“I’m happiest when I am devising and executing teaching methodologies that engage students, provide them with meaningful learning activities and help them to love and celebrate reading and writing. After working extensively with students at both the elementary and secondary levels, I’ve found the perfect formula for developing reading materials that fascinate students and help them to forget they’re learning,” says Toffanello.

Continuing, “What’s wonderful about this, is that I now have the opportunity to work with teachers across the country to help them develop curriculums that not only teach kids – but also inspire them. With ‘Popchuck’s Ghost’ as my not-so-secret weapon, I also travel extensively to work with teachers and students on a distinctive approach to novel study. Students – and teachers – are always amazed at how much fun learning can be.”

While the novel’s narrative may seem too fantastical to be real, Toffanello points out that ‘Popchuck’s Ghost’ is a fusion of fiction… and fact.

“The story is based on the real Camp Bickell located in Northern Ontario between Timmins and Iroquois Falls. Cabin 5 at the camp had some significance, and campers didn’t want to be assigned to that cabin. It was believed that Popchuck haunted that cabin and possibly used it as a secret passageway to places dark and far beneath the cabin. None of this could be verified, but campers assigned to Cabin 5 would always be on their guard – just in case,” he adds.

With book #2 just around the corner, and the rest of series set to roll out in the future, interested readers can expect to enjoy many more hair-raising tales involving the ghost of Arnold Popchuck, his 3 reluctant friends, and other supernatural creatures that go bump in the night.

Get the first novel today! ‘Popchuck’s Ghost’ is available at: http://amzn.to/GO6oEM.

For more information on the author and his work, or to book him or an engagement, visit: http://www.popchuck.ca.

About Paul J. Toffanello
Paul J. Toffanello (the “J” is for Joseph) grew up in Timmins, Ontario, a small northern mining town that once held the distinction of being the greatest gold mining town in the world. He grew up in a family of five boys, nearly driving his mother crazy. He is still living in Timmins with his wife and he has 3 daughters who have inspired him over the years. Paul is crazy about spooky stuff!
Paul majored in English at Carleton University in Ottawa and became a teacher in 1979. He taught elementary school for ten years and secondary school, as an English teacher, for another 5 years before he became a Principal. He eventually retired from the position of Director of Education in northeastern Ontario. Paul currently resides in Timmins but works as a writer and consultant out of Ottawa, Ontario. He and his wife will be moving to a quiet lake in rural northen Ontario where Paul will work on writing projects including finalization of the Poopchuck Chronicles and continued work on his work in television/screen writing.
Paul has been writing most of his life, and the first draft of Popchuck’s Ghost was first penned in 1984, but it wasn’t until Paul met Frank B. Edwards (the “B” stands for Brian) that he gave serious thought to publication. Paul has written not only these three novels, but has also written children’s rhyming stories, television treatments pitched to broadcasters and production companies, and professional articles over the years.
Paul is looking forward to working with students and teachers in schools. Paul is looking forward to working with students and teachers in schools. Book a school visit with Paul by going to his website http://www.popchuck.ca !