Posts

Cuba and the Jews

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BUY LETTERS FROM CUBA    |    BUY 37 DAYS AT SEA     ๐Ÿ•ฎ    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 ๐Ÿ•ฎ Promoting Multicultural Library Services in Virtual Space, 2020, my presentation for ALA  TUESDAY ๐Ÿ•ฎ Notes from a Young Reader, an interview with 7 3/4-year-old library patron Aria Freudenberger, 2019 WEDNESDAY ๐Ÿ•ฎ Stand Up! Storytime for Social Justice with Hillary Saxton, 2018 THURSDAY ๐Ÿ•ฎ Author Antonio Iturbe talks about The Librarian of Auschwitz on the 2018 Sydney Taylor Book Award Blog Tour   FRIDAY ๐Ÿ•ฎ 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     ๐Ÿ•ฎ    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     ๐Ÿ•ฎ    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

Ezra's Big Shabbat Question

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LISTEN TO THE PODCAST    |    READ THE TRANSCRIPT    |    BUY BOOKS     ๐Ÿ•ฎ    Aviva Brown is the author of Ezra's BIG Shabbat Question and Not Now, Mara! These picture books portray Jewish children of color without making a big deal about it, something we don't see often enough in kidlit. Listen to Aviva as she talks about her inspiration, about self publishing, and about winning Mother of the Year Award for the state of North Carolina. LEARN MORE: Aviva Brown's website Mother of the Year Award CREDITS: Produced by Feldman Children's Library at Congregation B'nai Israel Theme Music: The Freilachmakers Klezmer String Band Facebook Discussion Group: Jewish Kidlit Mavens Facebook Page: Facebook.com/bookoflifepodcast Twitter: @bookoflifepod Support the Podcast: Shop or Donate Your feedback is welcome! Please write to bookoflifepodcast@gmail.com or leave a voicemail at 561-206-2473.

Jewish Book Carnival: February 2021

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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!    Here on The Book of Life , I am pleased to share my interview with Rebecca Levitan, chair of the Sydney Taylor Book Award committee, about the 2021 award winning titles! The Association of Jewish Libraries organized a Blog Tour for the winners of the 2021 Sydney Taylor Book Award! See the schedule and follow the links to the various interviews. You can also read about the AJL Fiction Award winners for adult literature. On The Sydney Taylor Shmooze , the mock award blog for the Sydney Taylor Book Award, we've got a review of Esther Didn't Dream of Being Queen by Allison Ofanansky

The 2021 Sydney Taylor Book Award Blog Tour

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    The Sydney Taylor Book Award will be showcasing its 2021 gold and silver medalists with a Blog Tour, February 8-12, 2021! Interviews with winning authors and illustrators will appear on a variety of Jewish and kidlit blogs. Interviews will appear on the dates below, and will remain available to read at your own convenience. Below is the schedule for the 2021 Sydney Taylor Book Award Blog Tour. Please follow the links to visit the hosting blogs on or after their tour dates, and be sure to leave them plenty of comments! MONDAY, FEBRUARY 8, 2021  Leslรฉa Newman and Susan Gal , author and illustrator of Welcoming Elijah Sydney Taylor Book Award in the Picture Book Category at A Fuse #8 Production at School Library Journal Sofiya Pasternack , author of Anya and the Nightingale Sydney Taylor Honor Book in the Middle Grade Category at 100 Scope Notes at School Library Journal   TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 9, 2021 M. Evan Wolkenstein , author of Turtle Boy Sydney Taylor Book Award in the Mi