About Paul 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 was the second son in a family of five boys, but he says his mother loved him best. Both parents worked, mother in life insurance and dad an auto mechanic teacher. Paul majored in English and minored in Psychology at Ottawa’s Carleton University and became an elementary school teacher in 1979 graduating from Nipissing University. He later became a high school English teacher, a Vice Principal, a Principal at two different high schools, a Superintendent of Education and finally a Director of Education. His background and expertise lends itself fully to an understanding of how children learn to read and write, and he was part of the original group of Directors of Education who helped to bring the Ontario Literacy & Numeracy Secretariat to life.

Paul has been writing most of his life, and the first draft of Popchuck’s Ghost was written in 1984, but it wasn’t until Paul met publisher Frank B. Edwards (Pokeweed Press/Bungalo Books) that he gave serious thought to publication. Since then, the first and second novel in the series have been published, both books reaching best seller status. Paul is working with Frank in completing the third novel in the series which due out in the fall of 2017.

More recently, Paul optioned The Popchuck Chronicles to Calgrove Media out of Los Angeles, and the producer, Lisha Yakub Sevanian, has the project in motion with the goal of the first movie being released in 2018.

Paul also writes children’s illustrated stories. His first book is called: In Blackburn Hamlet – a series of softly spooky stories for early learners. Paul’s illustrator partner is Reina Kanemitsu, originally from Japan, and currently residing in Ottawa.

Paul currently resides with his wife, Karen, in Vancouver, British Columbia and spends much of his summer in New Liskeard, Ontario at his cottage where he writes best! 

Paul has presented to over 300 schools in Canada and the U.S. His presentation is as entertaining as it is educational, and he looks for opportunities to engage with kids and teachers. If interested, please contact him at: author@popchuck.ca.