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Podcast Live Show!

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REGISTER FOR LIVE SHOW     |    BUY THE BOOK     |    VISIT JGN     🕮    The Book of Life is doing a virtual Live Show on Wednesday, May 26, 2021 at 7:00PM Eastern Time, presented in partnership with the Jewish Grandparents Network Family Room Initiative! Guests will be Esther Safran Foer, the matriarch of a prominent literary family and author of I Want You to Know We’re Still Here: A Post-Holocaust Memoir , joined by her teenage granddaughter Sadie, each giving their perspective on how sharing stories can help us better understand each other and bring our families closer together. This is a FREE event.  << Please click on the Jewish Grandparents Network logo to register!

Through the Window: Brave with Beauty

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LISTEN TO THE PODCAST    |    READ THE TRANSCRIPT     |    BUY THE BOOK     🕮    Ambika Sambasivan is the co-founder and publisher at Yali Books, which opens a window to South Asia –India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Bhutan, and the Maldives —and invites the rest of the world to learn more about the incredible diversity of this region. Maxine Rose Schur is the author of Brave with Beauty , a picture book biography of the the 15th century Queen Goharshad of Afghanistan, published by Yali Books. She's also the author of several Jewish books for children, including the 1999 Sydney Taylor Book Award winner, The Peddler's Gift . This interview with Ambika and Maxine is part of the Through the Window Diversity Exchange sponsored by The Book of Life and the Association of Jewish Libraries, in which Jewish and  non-Jewish partners meet and converse to look through the window at each other's culture. LEARN MORE: Through the Window: A Diver

Get The Book of Life by Email

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  If you are a long-time reader of The Book of Life's blog, you may have signed up years ago to receive posts by email. If you signed up in the era of Feedburner, I am sorry to announce that your subscription won't be supported after June, 2021. However, there's an easy solution! Sign up to receive Book of Life blog posts in your inbox via Mailchimp! And if you don't remember which service you signed up with, just go ahead and re-subscribe to be on the safe side. Type your email address in this box and hit Subscribe!

Cuba and the Jews

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BUY LETTERS FROM CUBA    |    BUY 37 DAYS AT SEA     🕮    As we approach Yom HaShoah, Holocaust Remembrance Day, we hear from two authors who have written about the welcome or lack thereof that Jews received in Cuba in the years around World War II. Ruth Behar's Letters from Cuba , based on her family history, was a 2021 Sydney Taylor Notable Book (Middle Grade category). Barbara Krasner's forthcoming 37 Days at Sea: Aboard the MS St. Louis, 1939 , is a poetic take on a historical tragedy, available May 1, 2021.  Let's start with a description of each book, and then we'll dive into questions. Ruth Behar's Letters from Cuba   The situation is getting dire for Jews in Poland on the eve of World War II. Esther’s father has fled to Cuba, and she is the first one to join him. It’s heartbreaking to be separated from her beloved sister, so Esther promises to write down everything that happens until they’re reunited. And she does, recording both the good–the kindne

National Library Week

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It's National Library Week (with lovely Jewish Honorary Chair, Natalie Portman)! As a librarian, I am always happy to celebrate libraries. Let's take a look back at past podcast episodes and blog posts that focus on libraries, storytimes, or Jewish collections. MONDAY 🕮 Promoting Multicultural Library Services in Virtual Space, 2020, my presentation for ALA  TUESDAY 🕮 Notes from a Young Reader, an interview with 7 3/4-year-old library patron Aria Freudenberger, 2019 WEDNESDAY 🕮 Stand Up! Storytime for Social Justice with Hillary Saxton, 2018 THURSDAY 🕮 Author Antonio Iturbe talks about The Librarian of Auschwitz on the 2018 Sydney Taylor Book Award Blog Tour   FRIDAY 🕮 The Yiddish Book Center with Lisa Newman, 2017 

Vaccines Then & Now: The Polio Pioneer

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LISTEN TO THE PODCAST    |    READ THE TRANSCRIPT    |    BUY THE BOOK     🕮    Linda Elovitz Marshall was excited to get her COVID-19 shot, and back in the day she was glad to be vaccinated for polio too. That gratitude led her to create the picture book biography The Polio Pioneer: Dr. Jonas Salk and the Polio Vaccine illustrated by Lisa Anchin, a 2020 Sydney Taylor Notable Book. Listen to our wide-ranging conversation about polio, COVID, writing, Passover, and baby lambs. LEARN MORE: Linda Elovitz Marshall's website Buy The Polio Pioneer at Bookshop.org  Buy The Passover Lamb at Indiebound.org The Salk Institute "Race and the Politics of Polio" in the American Journal of Public Health  Ritualwell and Central Reform Congregation 's COVID blessings CDC information on COVID-19 vaccines CREDITS: Produced by Feldman Children's Library at Congregation B'nai Israel Theme Music: The Freilachmakers Klezmer String Band Facebook Discussion Group: Jewish Kidlit

The Passover Guest

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LISTEN TO THE PODCAST    |    READ THE TRANSCRIPT  PART 1   PART 2    |    BUY THE BOOK     🕮    My good friend  Susan Kusel has been on the podcast before, to talk about The Sydney Taylor Shmooze ,  and to announce the Sydney Taylor Book Award winners in 2018 and 2019 . She also appeared in Beyond the Holocaust and Holidays , a 2019 episode about the Highlights Foundation's writing symposium, and in the 2020 episode The Mitzvah of Voting: Part 1 .  This time she's here along with illustrator Sean Rubin to talk about their debut picture book, The Passover Guest , an AJL Holiday Highlights book. See below for the list of fine Passover picture books recently recommended by the Association of Jewish Libraries. LEARN MORE:  Susan Kusel's website Sean Rubin's website Buy The Passover Guest at Bookshop.org Sean's work on Redwall AJL Holiday Highlights AJL's 2021 Passover Children's Book Recommendations The Passover Guest by Susan Kusel Meet the Matzah by Al