Rene's four non-fiction books on Canadian Disasters are easy to read and useful references for students wanting to know more about Canadian History. Over 100 000 copies have been sold across Canada.
Canadian Disasters 2013 is the most recent and includes stories such as the Cougar Helicopter Crash in Newfoundland, the Franklin Expedition, Canada's unique fight against Polio, Canada's Deadliest Mine Disaster and the 1775 Hurricane that was estimated to have taken 4000 lives, and many more.
René Schmidt's books contain little-known events in Canada's history that we Canadians need to know. These are stories are seldom found in American or British publications.
Unfortunately this 2013 edition is sold out but used copies may be found online.
1Scholastic Canada http://www.scholastic.ca/books/view/canadian-disasters
Leaving Fletchville (a Red Maple Honour Book) was René's first published fiction novel. Suitable for adults or students from Grades 6 - 10 this novel portrays youthful maturity, responsibility, fatherhood and love in the face of racism and family troubles. Positive reviews in literary and review magazines in Canada and the U.S.A. recommend it for classroom use. CBC radio program All Points West called it "tremendous fun to read."
Leaving Fletchville unfortunately is sold out in print form but is available as an e-book through Orca Publishers. https://www.orcabook.com/Search.aspx?k=Leaving+Fletchville
There are used copies available through Amazon, https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B0055JD67U
Canadian Disasters (1985 Version) was René's first published book. It was reprinted three times and ultimately sold 57 000 copies and can still found in libraries across Canada. René wrote the original manuscript on a typewriter and did his searches long before the Internet existed. He visited archives, libraries and photo collections to make the twenty-eight original stories accurate and factual. He was teaching a small class of students at the time and he promised their names would be printed in the acknowledgements section if they helped him proofread. It worked and they began reading. It outsold all other Scholastic Canada titles for a few months.
Disaster! was first published in 1999 and contained 36 stories. This edition had bigger photographs and was organized into subject categories like Canada's Worst Disaster, When The Earth Breaks, Nature's Fury, Disasters On The Move, Fire!, Canada's Own Titanic Stories and Recent Disasters. A revised edition was published in 2000 with better information about the Swissair Flight 111 crash at Peggy's Cove. This edition sold 15,000 copies and is now out of print. Used copies may be found online.
This third edition of Canadian Disasters came out in 2006 and included new disaster stories and the new category of Medical Disasters. René got help from a very keen group of students that year and, as always, acknowledged them in the book. This edition had an excellent cover and also sold 15,000 copies.
List of René's commercial trade books
Canadian Disasters – 43 True Stories, 2013, Scholastic Canada, ISBN 978-1-4431-2440-9
Leaving Fletchville 2008, Orca Book Publishers, ISBN978-1-55143-945-7
Canadian Disasters, 2006, Scholastic Canada, ISBN 0-439-94936 (sold out)
DISASTER! 36 Real-Life Canadian Tragedies 1999, Scholastic Canada, ISBN 0-439-98715-6 (sold out)
Canadian Disasters, 1985, Scholastic Canada, ISBN 0-590-71525-9 (sold out)
René's other publications
That’s Just the Way We Were - A History of Brighton, 2006 Contributing Author,
Canadian Living Magazine “Less is More – A Family Holiday to Remember ”, August, 2003
Canadian Living Magazine “Disorganized Sports” March, 2000
Design and Technology Teachers of Ontario: A Cybernetic Land Walker Spring 2000,
Design and Technology Teachers of Ontario: The Wind Machine Winter 2002,
Existere Magazine of York University, 1978, "My First Summer" short story,