Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Diversity in Jewish Kidlit


Top: Joni Sussman
Bottom, L-R: Ann Stampler, Mira Reisberg, Sylvia Rouss

Sylvia Rouss, Mira Reisberg, Joni Sussman and Ann Stampler spoke at the 2014 Association of Jewish Libraries conference on a panel responding to the Pew study "A Portrait of Jewish Americans" - and it all boils down to diversity.


Today, January 27, 2015, is Multicultural Children's Book Day. It seems like good timing to share some thoughts on diversity within Jewish children's literature.

AUDIO:

Press the play button to listen to the podcast now:

Or click MP3 File  

SUBMIT MANUSCRIPTS!

Submit to Kar-Ben Publishing

Submit to Apple & Honey Press

Submit to Hummingbird Literary
    (Use subject line: Jewish submission via Heidi's Podcast)

BONUS ARTICLE: MIRRORS & WINDOWS:

Here is the first in a 2-part series of articles I wrote about diversity in children's literature for EBSCO's NoveList. This article focuses on race, while the second article will focus on other forms of diversity (including religion). While these articles are not specifically Jewish, I thought you might find them of interest.


CREDITS:

Produced by: Feldman Children's Library at Congregation B'nai Israel 
Supported in part by: Association of Jewish Libraries 
Theme music: The Freilachmakers Klezmer String Band 
Facebook: facebook.com/bookoflifepodcast 
Twitter: @bookoflifepod 

Your feedback is appreciated! Please write to bookoflifepodcast@gmail.com or call our voicemail number at 561-206-2473.


Tuesday, January 20, 2015

The 2015 Sydney Taylor Book Awards!

I am thrilled to share with the you winners of the 2015 Sydney Taylor Book Awards for Jewish children's and teen literature! A blog tour will feature interviews with gold and silver medalists, February 8-13, 2015 - watch the AJL blog for details. The gold medalists will be presented with their awards at the 50th annual conference of the Association of Jewish Libraries in Washington DC this June. Mazel tov to all the authors and illustrators and their publishers!

If you haven't tried it yet, take the Sydney Taylor Buzzfeed Quiz "Which All-of-a-Kind Family Sibling Are You?" Awards committee member Elissa Gershowitz and her Horn Book colleague Shoshana Flax were instrumental in creating the quiz!


Elissa Gershowitz (STBA committee member) with podcaster Heidi Estrin
at the 2014 AJL Conference
THE 2015 SYDNEY TAYLOR BOOK AWARDS
ANNOUNCED BY THE ASSOCIATION OF JEWISH LIBRARIES

The Sydney Taylor Book Award Winner for Younger Readers:
 My Grandfather’s Coat by  Jim Aylesworth with illustrations by Barbara McClintock
(Scholastic Press)

The Sydney Taylor Book Award Winner for Older Readers:
Hidden:  A Child’s Story of the Holocaust by Loic Dauvillier & Greg Salsedo with illustrations by Marc LIzano
(First Second, and imprint of an imprint of Roaring Brook Press)

The Sydney Taylor Book Award Winner for Teen Readers:
Storm by Donna Jo Napoli
 (a Paula Wiseman Book, published by Simon and Schuster Books for Young Readers)

Sydney Taylor Honor Books for Younger Readers:
 Goldie Takes a Stand by Barbara Krasner with illustrations by Kelsey Garrity-Riley
(Kar-Ben Publishing, a division of Lerner Publishing Group, Inc.)
Never Say a Mean Word Again by Jacqueline Jules with illustrations by Durga Yael Bernhard
(Wisdom Tales)

 Sydney Taylor Honor Books for Older Readers:
Death by Toilet Paper by Donna Gephart
(Delacorte Press)
The Whispering Town by Jennifer Elvgren , illustrated by Fabio Santomauro
(Kar-Ben Publishing, a division of Lerner Publishing Group, Inc.)

Sydney Taylor Honor Books for Teen Readers:
Isabel’s War by Lila Perl
(Lizzie Skurnick Books, an imprint of IG Publishing)
Like No Other by Una LaMarche
(Razor Bill, an imprint of Penguin Group)

Notable Books for Younger Readers:
Anna & Solomon by Elaine Snyder illustrated by Harry Bliss
(Macmillan)
Here is the World by Lesléa Newman illustrated by Susan Gal
(Abrams Books for Young Readers)
The Mitten String by Jennifer Rosner illustrated by Kristina Swarner
(Random House Books for Young Readers)
Rabbi Benjamin’s Buttons by Alice B. McGinty illustrated by Jennifer Black Reinhardt
(Charlesbridge)
Simon and the Bear by Eric Kimmel illustrated by Matthew Trueman
(Disney-Hyperion)
                The Story of Passover by David A. Adler illustrated by Jill Weber
(Holiday House)

Notable Books for Older Readers:
Fleabrain Loves Franny by Joanne Rocklin
(Harry N. Abrams)
From Foe to Friend & Other Stories: A Graphic Novel by S.Y. Agnon and illustrated by Shay Charka
(The Toby Press)
I Lived on Butterfly Hill by Marjorie Agosin illustrated by Lee White
(Atheneum Books for Young Readers)
Schools of Hope:  How Julius Rosenwald Helped Changed African American Education
by Norman Finkelstein
(Calkins Creek)
Under the Egg by Laura Marz Fitzgerald
(Penguin Young Readers)


Notable Books for Teens:
Freedom Summer:  The 1964 Struggle for Civil Rights in Mississippi by Susan Goldman Rubin
(Holiday House)
Gottika by Helaine Becker illustrated by Alexander Griggs-Burr
(Dancing Cat Books)
Playing for the Commandant by Suzy Zail
(Candlewick)
Prisoner of Night & Fog by Anne Blankman
(Balzer + Bray)
Rachel’s Hope by Shelly Sanders
(Second Story Press)




Tuesday, January 06, 2015

Which All-of-a-Kind Family Sibling Are YOU?



The Association of Jewish Libraries has teamed up with The Horn Book and Lizzie Skurnick Books to create a fun Buzzfeed quiz, "Which All-of-a-Kind Family Sibling Are You?"

All-of-a-Kind Family is a classic of Jewish-American literature, the first book in a series about five sisters growing up on the Lower East Side at the turn of the last century. The character of Sarah in the books represented the author herself, Sydney Taylor. In memory of Taylor's literary achievement, the Association of Jewish Libraries presents the annual Sydney Taylor Book Awards to the best in Jewish children's literature. The 2015 winners will be announced in a matter of weeks, as of this writing!

The quiz is very entertaining, and a fun way to share your excitement about the upcoming award announcements! Take the quiz here, and share your results on social media! (Full disclosure: I got Ella!)

Monday, January 05, 2015

The Longest Night


Laurel & Catia

An interview with Laurel Snyder and Catia Chen, author and illustrator of The Longest Night, an award-winning picture book that retells the story of the Exodus from a child's point of view. I sat down to interview them during the 2014 Association of Jewish Libraries conference in Las Vegas, NV, where they received the 2014 Sydney Taylor Book Award in the Younger Readers category.

The 2015 Sydney Taylor Book Awards will be announced later this month!

AUDIO:

Press the play button to listen to the podcast now:


Or click MP3 File

AUTOGRAPHS!
 

CREDITS:

Produced by: Feldman Children's Library at Congregation B'nai Israel 
Supported in part by: Association of Jewish Libraries 
Theme music: The Freilachmakers Klezmer String Band 
Facebook: facebook.com/bookoflifepodcast 
Twitter: @bookoflifepod 

Your feedback is appreciated! Please write to bookoflifepodcast@gmail.com or call our voicemail number at 561-206-2473.

Wednesday, December 03, 2014

STORM on Noah's Ark



Among her many novels, Donna Jo Napoli has written a number of teen books of Jewish interest, including Stones in Water (winner of the 1998 Sydney Taylor Book Award) and its sequel Fire in the Hills, The King of Mulberry Street (a 2006 Sydney Taylor Honor Book), and Daughter of Venice.

I interviewed her about her new novel STORM. It's an exciting and absorbing teen/adult crossover novel that takes place on Noah's Ark from the point of view of a young stowaway.

AUDIO:

Press the play button to listen to the podcast now:

Or click MP3 File


CREDITS:

Produced by: Feldman Children's Library at Congregation B'nai Israel 
Supported in part by: Association of Jewish Libraries 
Theme music: The Freilachmakers Klezmer String Band 
Facebook: facebook.com/bookoflifepodcast 
Twitter: @bookoflifepod 

Your feedback is appreciated! Please write to bookoflifepodcast@gmail.com or call our voicemail number at 561-206-2473.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

AJL Recommends Hanukkah Books for Children

Heidi's dad playing ukulele by the light of the shamash candle


HANUKKAH BOOKS

Over at "People of the Books" (the blog of the Association of Jewish Libraries), they've posted a list of recommended Hanukkah books for children

NEW BOOKS

There are brand new books listed, like one I'm especially excited about: Honeyky Hanukkah by Woody Guthrie, illustrated by Dave Horowitz, and accompanied by a Klezmatics CD. I interviewed Nora Gurthrie in 2006 about the Klezmatics CD Happy Joyous Hanukkah based on Woody's work, and I interviewed Dave Horowitz in 2007 about his hilarious picture book Five Little Gefiltes. I'm thrilled to see them come together to create this new picture book!

OLD BOOKS

The AJL post also lists Hanukkah-themed books that have been recognized by the Sydney Taylor Book Award as gold or silver medalists or with a Notable Book designation. The Sydney Taylor Book Award has been in business since 1968, so there have been quite a few Hanukkah-related winners over the years. 

In fact, the AJL list is not comprehensive, listing Notable Books only back to 2007. For Hanukkah Notables from earlier years, you can always check the entire list of all winners ever.

MORE BOOKS

AJL recommends the books for library storytimes or for gift-giving. The Jewish Book Council has also published some gift recommendations for adults and kids, some Hanukkah books and others that would just make nice presents. What better gift than a book?

BONUS TRACK

Click here to listen to Honeyky Hanukkah!

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

The Nazi Hunters

Neal Bascomb at the 2014
Association of Jewish Libraries Conference


In honor of Veteran's Day and to show our appreciation for those who strive to keep us safe, let's hear this interview with author Neal Bascomb about The Nazi Hunters: How a Team of Spies and Survivors Captured the World's Most Notorious Nazi. The young adult book, which was based on Bascomb's adult title Hunting Eichman, won the 2014 Sydney Taylor Book Award in the Teen Readers Category.

AUDIO: 

Press the play button to listen to the podcast now:

Or click MP3 File

CREDITS:

Produced by: Feldman Children's Library at Congregation B'nai Israel 
Supported in part by: Association of Jewish Libraries 
Theme music: The Freilachmakers Klezmer String Band 
Facebook: facebook.com/bookoflifepodcast 
Twitter: @bookoflifepod 

Your feedback is appreciated! Please write to bookoflifepodcast@gmail.com or call our voicemail number at 561-206-2473.