When the Angels Left the Old Country

LISTEN TO THE PODCAST     |    READ THE TRANSCRIPT     |    BUY THE BOOK     🕮    When the Angels Left the Old Country is Sacha Lamb's debut novel. It's a young adult historical queer fairy tale about an angel and a demon who immigrate together through Ellis Island to the Lower East Side of New York. From labor unions to dybbuks to a heist, this extremely Jewish tale has everything you need for a thoroughly satisfying adventure. Sacha is a 2018 Lambda Literary Fellow in YA fiction, a graduate in Library and Information Science and History from Simmons, and a reviewer for the Jewish Book Council . They are also a part-time stepparent to a small flock of miniature goats. LEARN MORE: Visit Sacha Lamb's website Buy When the Angels Left the Old Country Read Sacha's short stories Epistolary and Avi Cantor Has Six Months to Live Tikkun Olam suggestion: Sundown Towns Database    Other books mentioned:   The Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker Good Omens by Neil Gaima

My Completely Unofficial 2023 Sydney Taylor Book Award Shortlist

Last year I did an unofficial shortlist and it seemed like people found it helpful, so I thought I'd do it again. As y'all know, I'm a former member and chair of the Association of Jewish Libraries' Sydney Taylor Book Award Committee, and a cofounder of The Sydney Taylor Shmooze mock award blog, so I have a deep and abiding interest in seeking out the best Jewish kidlit of the year. I'm not actually making predictions about what will win; rather, I'm telling you that these are the books that I think deserve your attention (with the caveat that while I probably read the majority of Jewish children's or YA books published in 2022, I did not read ALL of them, so there may be other titles I'd consider worthy if I'd had the chance to read them). I've listed the titles within their age categories alphabetically by author's last name. We'll find out whether the Real Sydney Taylor Book Award Committee agrees with me when the winners are announ

Guest Post: The Peddler's Gift by Maxine Rose Schur

The classic picture book, The Peddler's Gift , winner of the 1999 Sydney Taylor Book Award, is back in print. Author Maxine Rose Schur joined The Book of Life to answer a few questions, below.  First, what is the book about? From Lawley Publishing: When Shnook, the peddler, arrives in the sleepy town of Korovenko, young Leibush runs to meet him. Every peddler brings merriment to the village, but simple Shnook brings more laughs than any of them. On this visit, Shnook’s wares include beautiful, hand-carved dreidels. Leibush can’t take his eyes off them! When Leibush notices one mistakenly left behind, he makes excuses for keeping the dreidel. It isn’t until Leibush makes amends that he learns the peddler’s simple ways might just be a cover for a wealth of wisdom and forgiveness. And when Hanukkah comes, Shnook leaves Leibush a gift to last a lifetime. Acclaimed author Maxine Rose Schur’s dramatic story has a simple voice that speaks volumes about the depth of kindness and honor that

It's Always a Party with a Sephardi

LISTEN TO THE PODCAST     |    READ THE TRANSCRIPT     |    BUY AROESTE / HODDER BOOKS     🕮    Sarah Aroeste is a singer/songwriter of Ladino music, a leader of Sephardic travel tours, and an author of board books featuring Sephardic culture and Ladino vocabulary. Bridget Hodder is a Sephardic author of middle grade and picture books, who frequently collaborates with Muslim author Fawzia Gilani-Williams ( past Book of Life guest, 2017 ) on stories about interfaith friendship. We recorded this episode live and in person at the Highlights Foundation's Symposium for Jewish Creatives .  LEARN MORE: Buy Buen Shabat, Shabbat Shalom Buy The Button Box Sarah Aroeste's website Bridget Hodder's website Podcast mentioned: The Forgotten Exodus TREATS FOR YOU: #JewishBookMonth Reading Challenge Hanukkah Guest Post on The Book of Life by Maxine Rose Schur about The Peddler's Gift , upcoming on December 18, 2022  GRATITUDE: Many thanks to Dianne Siekmann for bec

#JewishBookMonth Reading Challenge

  For Erika's original blog post in which she introduced this Reading Challenge, click here . 

PBCL Book Talks: History of Jewish Children's Literature

Palm Beach County Libraries Wednesday, November 16, 2022 These are the titles and resources mentioned during Heidi Rabinowitz's Zoom presentation on the history of Jewish children's literature. Most of these titles are available at Palm Beach County Libraries .  To view the presentation slides, click here .

Orthodox Excellence: New YA Novels Centering Orthodox Characters

LISTEN TO THE PODCAST    |    READ THE TRANSCRIPT    |    BUY BLUM / SCHEIER BOOKS     🕮    Representation of Orthodox Judaism has been virtually non-existent in traditionally published contemporary young adult fiction, but that is starting to change. In this episode, I spoke with Leah Scheier, author of The Last Words We Said published by Simon & Schuster, and Isaac Blum, author of The Life and Crimes of Hoodie Rosen, published by Philomel Books, an imprint of Penguin Random House. These two young adult novels offer layered and insightful portraits of well-rounded Orthodox characters in books aimed well beyond an Orthodox readership.  LEARN MORE: Buy The Life and Crimes of Hoodie Rosen Buy The Last Words We Said   Isaac Blum's website Leah Scheier's website Leah's Tikkun Olam suggestion: support Save a Child's Heart BONUS: JEWISH BOOK MONTH RECOMMENDATIONS LEAH: I'm happy to recommend THE BOOK THIEF by Marcus Zusak for its beautiful prose, YOU&