Wednesday, December 03, 2014

STORM on Noah's Ark



Among her many novels, Donna Jo Napoli has written a number of teen books of Jewish interest, including Stones in Water (winner of the 1998 Sydney Taylor Book Award) and its sequel Fire in the Hills, The King of Mulberry Street (a 2006 Sydney Taylor Honor Book), and Daughter of Venice.

I interviewed her about her new novel STORM. It's an exciting and absorbing teen/adult crossover novel that takes place on Noah's Ark from the point of view of a young stowaway.

AUDIO:

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CREDITS:

Produced by: Feldman Children's Library at Congregation B'nai Israel 
Supported in part by: Association of Jewish Libraries 
Theme music: The Freilachmakers Klezmer String Band 
Facebook: facebook.com/bookoflifepodcast 
Twitter: @bookoflifepod 

Your feedback is appreciated! Please write to bookoflifepodcast@gmail.com or call our voicemail number at 561-206-2473.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

AJL Recommends Hanukkah Books for Children

Heidi's dad playing ukulele by the light of the shamash candle


HANUKKAH BOOKS

Over at "People of the Books" (the blog of the Association of Jewish Libraries), they've posted a list of recommended Hanukkah books for children

NEW BOOKS

There are brand new books listed, like one I'm especially excited about: Honeyky Hanukkah by Woody Guthrie, illustrated by Dave Horowitz, and accompanied by a Klezmatics CD. I interviewed Nora Gurthrie in 2006 about the Klezmatics CD Happy Joyous Hanukkah based on Woody's work, and I interviewed Dave Horowitz in 2007 about his hilarious picture book Five Little Gefiltes. I'm thrilled to see them come together to create this new picture book!

OLD BOOKS

The AJL post also lists Hanukkah-themed books that have been recognized by the Sydney Taylor Book Award as gold or silver medalists or with a Notable Book designation. The Sydney Taylor Book Award has been in business since 1968, so there have been quite a few Hanukkah-related winners over the years. 

In fact, the AJL list is not comprehensive, listing Notable Books only back to 2007. For Hanukkah Notables from earlier years, you can always check the entire list of all winners ever.

MORE BOOKS

AJL recommends the books for library storytimes or for gift-giving. The Jewish Book Council has also published some gift recommendations for adults and kids, some Hanukkah books and others that would just make nice presents. What better gift than a book?

BONUS TRACK

Click here to listen to Honeyky Hanukkah!

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

The Nazi Hunters

Neal Bascomb at the 2014
Association of Jewish Libraries Conference


In honor of Veteran's Day and to show our appreciation for those who strive to keep us safe, let's hear this interview with author Neal Bascomb about The Nazi Hunters: How a Team of Spies and Survivors Captured the World's Most Notorious Nazi. The young adult book, which was based on Bascomb's adult title Hunting Eichman, won the 2014 Sydney Taylor Book Award in the Teen Readers Category.

AUDIO: 

Press the play button to listen to the podcast now:

Or click MP3 File

CREDITS:

Produced by: Feldman Children's Library at Congregation B'nai Israel 
Supported in part by: Association of Jewish Libraries 
Theme music: The Freilachmakers Klezmer String Band 
Facebook: facebook.com/bookoflifepodcast 
Twitter: @bookoflifepod 

Your feedback is appreciated! Please write to bookoflifepodcast@gmail.com or call our voicemail number at 561-206-2473.


Tuesday, November 04, 2014

Seminar Stories

Helaine Becker shows the cover of Gottica on her phone.

At the  Seminar on Jewish Story 2014, not only the presenters were authors. I met a few writers in the audience too, and interviewed them during the lunch break. Here are my interviews with authors Helaine Becker and Yael Zoldan.

These two authors represent the breadth of what can a Jewish children's book can be. Helaine has recently come out with Gottica, a universal fantasy novel with Jewish roots (think Golem), and Yael's new picture book is Shimmy Shambone Will Not Take a Bath, a story written for an Orthodox audience but with a protagonist any child can relate to.

AUDIO: 

Press the play button to listen to the podcast now:


Or click MP3 File

CREDITS:

Produced by: Feldman Children's Library at Congregation B'nai Israel 
Supported in part by: Association of Jewish Libraries 
Theme music: The Freilachmakers Klezmer String Band 
Facebook: facebook.com/bookoflifepodcast 
Twitter: @bookoflifepod 

Your feedback is appreciated! Please write to bookoflifepodcast@gmail.com or call our voicemail number at 561-206-2473. 




Wednesday, October 01, 2014

BEA14 Variety

Donna Spurlock of Charlesbridge

At Book Expo 2014 in NYC, I interviewed a wide range of publishers about their forthcoming Jewish titles. Hear my chats with reps from:
AUDIO:

Press the play button to listen to the podcast now:

Or click MP3 File.  

CREDITS:

Produced by: Feldman Children's Library at Congregation B'nai Israel 
Supported in part by: Association of Jewish Libraries 
Theme music: The Freilachmakers Klezmer String Band 
Facebook: facebook.com/bookoflifepodcast 
Twitter: @bookoflifepod 

Your feedback is appreciated! Please write to bookoflifepodcast@gmail.com or call our voicemail number at 561-206-2473. 




Thursday, September 04, 2014

Never Say a Mean Word Again

Jacqueline Jules & Durga Yael Bernhard

At Book Expo 2014 I met with author Jacqueline Jules and illustrator Durga Yael Bernhard, creators of the picture book Never Say a Mean Word Again. The story takes place in medieval Spain in the Muslim city of Granada and was inspired by a legend about how the Jewish royal advisor Samuel Ha-Nagid "tore out" a man's angry tongue and gave him a kind one instead. It is a powerful story of conflict resolution, as relevant today as it was centuries ago, and very timely for the High Holidays.

AUDIO: 

Press the play button to listen to the podcast now:

Or click MP3 File


VIDEO:




CREDITS:

Produced by: Feldman Children's Library at Congregation B'nai Israel 
Supported in part by: Association of Jewish Libraries
Theme music: The Freilachmakers Klezmer String Band 
Facebook: facebook.com/bookoflifepodcast 
Twitter: @bookoflifepod 

Your feedback is appreciated! Please write to bookoflifepodcast@gmail.com or call our voicemail number at 561-206-2473. 

Monday, July 21, 2014

Jo Joe



Sally Wiener Grotta stopped by Congregation B'nai Israel right before a heavy storm, to talk with me about her novel Jo Joe. It's the story of a mixed-race Jewish woman with deep prejudices about the Pennsylvania town where she grew up, and to which she has now returned.

Read a free excerpt of the book here.

AUDIO:

Press the play button to listen to the podcast now:


Or click MP3 File to open your computer's media player.  

CREDITS:

Produced by: Feldman Children's Library at Congregation B'nai Israel 
Supported in part by: Association of Jewish Libraries
Theme music: The Freilachmakers Klezmer String Band 
Facebook: facebook.com/bookoflifepodcast 
Twitter: @bookoflifepod 

Your feedback is appreciated! Please write to bookoflifepodcast@gmail.com or call our voicemail number at 561-206-2473.