Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Carmela A. Martino  

Pen Name: None


Audience: Adult; Young Adult; Children;

Born: in Chicago, Illinois

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Illinois Connection

Martino was born in Chicago and currently lives in Naperville, in DuPage County Illinois.

Biographical and Professional Information

Carmela Martino teaches writing workshops at the College of DuPage and the Hinsdale Center for the Arts and is available for speaking engagements. Her work has also been published in anthologies, including: ''I Fooled You: Ten Stories of Tricks, Jokes, and Swicheroos'', ''And the Crowd Goes Wild! A Global Gathering of Sports Poems'', and ''Chicken Soup for the Soup: Teens Talk High School, 101 Stories of Life, Love, and Learning for Older Teens''.

Published Works Expand for more information

Titles At Your Library

Rosa, Sola
ISBN: 0763623954

Candlewick. 2005

Both heart-rending and full of hope, this rich, sympathetic portrayal of an only child coping with loss takes readers back to an earlier generation.

Living with her Italian immigrant parents in 1960s Chicago, nine-year-old Rosa, an only child, often feels SOLA and different. But as soon as she holds her friend AnnaMaria's baby brother for the first time, Rosa is sure that if she prays hard enough, God will give her a sibling too. Amazingly, Ma does get pregnant, and Rosa is overjoyed — until the awful day comes when she learns that her brother was stillborn, and Ma, who is weak and grieving, must stay in the hospital for a while. With her papa bitter and rarely home, and her bossy aunt Ida in charge, Rosa has an "empty cave" feeling and now is more SOLA than ever. Why would God answer her prayers, only to take her baby brother away? Will her broken family ever be happy again?

From first-time novelist Carmela A. Martino comes a note-perfect portrait of a sensitive young grl surrounded by an extended family of loyal relatives, neighbors, and friends. Challenged by loss and ulitmately bolstered by hope, Rosa will win readers' hearts as she makes the discovery that she's not alone — and that love and kinship are sometimes found in the most unexpected places.

Playing By Heart
ISBN: 1546799451

CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform. 2017

She could compose anything . . . except the life she wanted.

In this novel from Vinspire Publishing, Emilia Salvini dreams of marrying a man who loves music as much as she does. But in 18th-century Milan, being the "second sister" means she'll likely be sent to a convent instead. Emilia's only hope is to prove her musical talents crucial to her father's quest for nobility. First, though, she must win over her music tutor, who disdains her simply for being a girl. But before she can carry out her plan, a tragedy sends the family into mourning. In her sorrow, Emilia composes a heartrending sonata that causes the maestro to finally recognize her talent. He begins teaching her music theory alongside Antonio Bellini, the arrogant great-nephew of a wealthy marquis. Emilia's feelings toward her rival gradually change as she strives to outdo him. But just when her dreams seem within reach, Emilia learns that her success could destroy not only her future but her sister's very life.

Playing by Heart won first place in the Windy City RWA Four Seasons Romance Writing Contest, Young Adult Category. Readers are calling this beautifully crafted novel, which was inspired by the lives of composer Maria Teresa Agnesi and mathematician Maria Gaetana Agnesi, the "Italian version of Pride and Prejudice."


Rosa, Sola

  • Top Ten First Novels for Youth, Booklist, 2006
  • Best Books of the year, Bank Street College of Education

    Speaking Engagements

    Speaking Engagement Availability (Yes)