Posts

Some Kind of Hate

Image
LISTEN TO THE PODCAST     |    READ THE TRANSCRIPT     |    BUY THE BOOK     ๐Ÿ•ฎ    Sarah Darer Littman does not shy away from tough topics. Her middle grade and young adult novels address religious identity, internet predation, eating disorders, and online bullying. Her new YA novel, Some Kind of Hate , addresses radicalization and antisemitism. It's an important and all too timely book that helps readers understand how ordinary people can become radicalized extremists.  LEARN MORE: Buy Some Kind of Hate Sarah Darer Littman's website Educational resources for Some Kind of Hate Deeyah Kahn's film White Right: Meeting the Enemy Washingtonian article "What Happened After My 13-Year-Old Son Joined the Alt-Right" The Book of Life's Justice section (resources for fighting antisemitism) StoryCorps One Small Step Sarah's earlier appearances on The Book of Life in 2006 for Confessions of a Closet Catholic and 2011 for Life, After    BOOKS SUGGESTED BY SARAH:

Detour Ahead

Image
LISTEN TO THE PODCAST     |    READ THE TRANSCRIPT     |    BUY THE BOOK     ๐Ÿ•ฎ    Detour Ahead is a contemporary middle grade novel about Gila and Guillermo and the way the H4 bus in Washington DC brings them together. Pamela Ehrenberg wrote the part of Gila, a neurodivergent white Jewish girl who loves breakdancing, and Tracy Lopez wrote Guillermo, a boy from a Salvadoran immigrant family who writes poetry. I was impressed by how well the two distinct voices wove together and how real the characters felt to me. It's a quiet story but cuts right to the heart. I especially enjoyed the nuanced depiction of b'nai mitzvah: Gila doesn't just want to get through the big day, she really wants to understand what it means to be an adult.  LEARN MORE: Buy Detour Ahead Pamela Ehrenberg's website Tracy Lรณpez's website Detour Ahead playlist  VIDEO (Tracy's choice for the song that best fits this book): CREDITS: Produced by Feldman Children's Library at Congreg

Publishers of Jewish Kidlit

Image
Periodically, the question comes up within the Jewish Kidlit Mavens group on Facebook about Jewish publishers of children's literature. For the convenience of the Jewish kidlit community, here is a list of such publishers. The list is in alphabetical order and includes descriptions taken from the publisher websites. Apples & Honey Press children's books Imprint of Behrman House Publishers "We publish high-quality books for children that depict contemporary, diverse Jewish life and strong Jewish values." http://www.behrmanhouse.com/apples-honey-press Artscroll/Mesorah Publications adult and children's books "The best in Torah literature"  https://www.artscroll.com/submission.html Ben Yehuda Press adult and children's books "We’re traditional… and innovative." https://www.benyehudapress.com/ EKS Publishing adult and children's books "Books and auxiliary learning aids for mastering Classical Hebrew" https://www.ekspublishing

Catnip for Librarians: Smart Kids Talk About Books

Image
LISTEN TO THE PODCAST     |    READ THE TRANSCRIPT     ๐Ÿ•ฎ    Ten year old Hudson and thirteen year old Ellery are graduates of PJ Our Way's National Design Team. These two avid readers joined me to discuss their love of reading in general and Jewish books in particular, as well as the societal significance of Jewish literature, libraries, and censorship. To extend your virtual visit with these delightful young people, check out the links below. LEARN MORE: PJ Our Way Knitting Lessons with Ellery at PJ Our Way Ellery’s Review of Gottika at PJ Our Way Hudson’s Review of Anya and the Dragon at PJ Our Way Hudson’s Review of Shield of the Maccabees at PJ Our Way Hudson's YouTube interview show, The Hudson Hangout   Watch for an upcoming article about Ellery in the PJ magazine Proof BOOKS & AUTHORS MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE: Sweep by Jonthan Auxier Becoming Brianna , and Emmie & Friends series by Terri Libenson Anya and the Dragon by Sofiya Pasternack Max Einstein

Jewish Kidlit Action Checklist

Image
In 2020, I received the Groner-Wikler Award , sponsored by Kar-Ben Publishing and conferred by the Association of Jewish Libraries , for my advocacy for Jewish children's literature. The award includes a scholarship for conference attendance, and because of the pandemic, I was unable to use it until 2022. At #AJLcon22 , I gave a brief speech during the membership meeting, the text of which can be seen below, and will eventually appear in the AJL Conference Proceedings . I hope my speech and the accompanying handout above will inspire you to help me take action to change the world. Heidi Rabinowitz & Sean Boyle Acceptance Speech, Kar-Ben Publishing Groner-Wikler Scholarship Association of Jewish Libraries Conference, Philadelphia, PA June 28, 2022 When I got the email from Emily Bergman telling me I’d been awarded the Kar-Ben Publishing Groner-Wikler Scholarship, she explained that the committee was pleased to see all my work “not only on behalf of children's literature in

Zay Getray Zikh Aleyn, or You Be You: The Kid's Guide to Gender, Sexuality, and Family

Image
LISTEN TO THE PODCAST     |    READ THE TRANSCRIPT     |    BUY THE BOOK IN ENGLISH or YIDDISH     ๐Ÿ•ฎ    You Be You, The Kid's Guide to Gender, Sexuality, and Family by Jonathan Branfman may not seem like an obvious choice for coverage on The Book of Life, but I was fascinated by the fact that it had been translated into Yiddish to make it accessible not only to scholars of modern Yiddish but to Hasidic families. Branfman brings both Jewish and gender expertise as a scholar in both fields. Translator Lili Rosen is not only a translator but also a cultural consultant and actor on the Netflix hit Unorthodox and other Yiddish-related media. They combined their talents to create a book for 7-12 year old readers that is affirming and inspiring. See also The Book of Life's list of Queer Jewish Kidlit ! LEARN MORE:  Buy the book in English or Yiddish Jonathan Branfman's website Lili Rosen's website Lili Rosen film credits on IMDB Moonbeam Awards (You Be You won in 2019)

Queer Jewish Books

Image
    June is Pride Month ! In celebration, I am happy to provide this list of queer Jewish kidlit. This list includes a broad range of representation, from queer Jewish protagonists to minor characters.   Please note that I have not read all of these books myself, so cannot vouch for their quality. On the other hand, some of these are books or authors I've podcasted about, and if so I'll provide a link. If you have any feedback about these titles, or any others to suggest, please leave a comment!   PICTURE BOOKS Havdalah Sky by Chris Barash Adopting Ahava by Jennifer Byrne  The Rosh Hashanah Recipe by Laura Gehl The Hanukkah Hunt by Laura Gehl The Flower Girl Wore Celery by Meryl G. Gordon The Purim Superhero by Elisabeth Kushner MIDDLE GRADE Almost Flying by Jake Maia Arlow  You Be You: The Kids Guide to Gender, Sexuality, and Family (Yiddish edition) by Jonathan Branfman, translated by Lili Rosen Repairing the World by Linda Epstein Lily & Dunkin by Donna Gephart The

Unite Against Book Bans

Image
LISTEN TO THE PODCAST     |    READ THE TRANSCRIPT     |    JOIN UNITE AGAINST BOOK BANS     ๐Ÿ•ฎ    Recently, libraries and schools have been facing an outrageous number of book challenges. Jewish tradition encourages debate and the exchange of ideas, and to me, the attempted repression we are seeing right now is diametrically opposed to Jewish values and American values. Books about marginalized communities, including the Jewish community, have been targeted. Librarians and educators are being vilified. It's time to speak out to protect the rights of all readers to have access to books that reflect their own experiences. That's why I asked Deborah Caldwell-Stone, the Director of the American Library Association's Office for Intellectual Freedom, to come on the podcast and talk about censorship and ALA's Unite Against Book Bans campaign. LEARN MORE: Unite Against Book Bans campaign TOOLKIT for Unite Against Book Bans Confidential Censorship Reporting Tool ALA Off