Showing posts from January, 2022

The 2022 Sydney Taylor Book Awards, Revealed

LISTEN TO THE PODCAST     |    READ THE TRANSCRIPT     🕮    Martha Seif Simpson is the chair of the Sydney Taylor Book Award committee of the Association of Jewish Libraries. She joined us to discuss the 2022 winners of the award, which annually recognizes the best Jewish literature for children and teens. AJL is an affiliate of the American Library Association , so the Sydney Taylor Book Awards are announced at ALA's Youth Media Awards press conference, being held virtually this year on January 24, 2022. You can watch a recording of the announcement on ALA's YouTube channel . Here's my unofficial shortlist of deserving books, and here's the official 2022 Sydney Taylor Book Award press release and the printable list of winners, honors, and notable books. You can also scroll down to see all the winning titles listed, with links to any past podcast appearances by the authors on The Book of Life. A week after the official announcement at ALA, AJL will hold an &qu

Jewish Book Carnival: January 2022

  The Jewish Book Carnival is a monthly roundup of Jewish literary links from across the blogosphere. Sponsored by the Association of Jewish Libraries, it is hosted by a different blog each month and shares book reviews, author interviews, essays, and other blog posts about Jewish books. Visit the Jewish Book Carnival HQ for the upcoming schedule, past Carnivals, and to learn how to participate! Hanukkah and Christmas may be over but this Holiday Heroes interview will still warm your heart. Here on The Book of Life I brought together Lee Wind, author of Red and Green and Blue and White , and Jeff Gottesfeld, author of The Christmas Mitzvah , for a joint interview . Both books are based on inspiring true stories, and I included them both on my Completely Unofficial 2022 Sydney Taylor Shortlist . A Jewish Grandmother reviews The Last Words We Said by Leah Sheier, which is about three close teenage friends, all Jewish from Modern Orthodox homes, trying to deal with the disappearance a

My Completely Unofficial 2022 Sydney Taylor Shortlist

Many years ago, I was on the Association of Jewish Libraries' Sydney Taylor Book Award Committee, and I even chaired the committee for a few years. Those days are long gone, and I am no longer a part of those decisions. However, I still have strong opinions about each year's crop of Jewish kidlit. 2021 offered an inspiring array of Jewish books, with very diverse representation and an encouraging thread of activism, making me want to advocate for more titles than I have time to podcast about. Here then, is my completely unofficial shortlist of titles that I personally feel are deserving of Sydney Taylor Book Award recognition, or at least deserving of your attention. I'll also add the caveat that I did not read every single Jewish children's or YA book that came out this year, so there may be other titles that I would have added to this list if I'd gotten around to reading them. I'm not naming unofficial gold, silver, or notable books -- I'm just saying tha