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AJL Virtual Events in March, 2021

Each month, AJL hosts a number of virtual events. All are free and require pre-registration. Some are open to the general public; others are for members only. To enjoy all of AJL's virtual programming, become a member at https://jewishlibraries.org/join_AJL.

SSCPL ROUNDTABLE: Serving Students
Thursday, March 4, 2021 at 9:30pm PT / 12:30pm ET / 7:30pm Israel Time
This event is sponsored by AJL's SSCPL Division, All AJL members are welcome.
Members only. Members, please check your email for the registration link. 

RAS & SSCPL ROUNDTABLE: Preparing High Schoolers for College
Wednesday, March 10, 2021 at 4pm PT / 7pm ET
This event is jointly sponsored by AJL's RAS and SSCPL Divisions All AJL members are welcome. 
Members only. Members, please check your email for the registration link. 

AJL PRESENTS: AUTHOR SHOWCASE (BOOKS FOR ADULTS)
Sunday, March 14, 2021 at 9am PT / 12pm ET / 6pm Israel Time
This event is sponsored by AJL's RAS Division. All AJL members and non-members are welcome; open to the public.
Register at https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZwvc-ygpz8sGNa3Df8aszLp6WhBPWbthr55

AJL HAGGADAH HASHTAG PARTY
AJL will be hosting a Haggadah Hashtag Party on Twitter!  Beginning on Sunday, March 14, 2021 (the first day of the Jewish month of Nissan, in which Passover occurs), post a picture of an unusual or unique haggadah from your library, and/or a link to information about it, with the hashtag #libraryhaggadah and tag @JewishLibraries. AJL members and non-members are welcome to participate; open to the public. No pre-registration required.

AJL & AJS ROUNDTABLE: CATALOGING DEMYSTIFIED
Tuesday, March 16, 2021 at 9:30pm PT / 12:30pm ET / 6:30pm Israel Time
This event is co-sponsored by the Association of Jewish Libraries and the Association for Jewish Studies. All members of both AJL and AJS are welcome.
Members only. Members, please check your email for the registration link. 

AJL PRESENTS: The Book of V. Discussion/Author Q&A

AJL Presents: The Book of V, 2/22/21

AJL Announces 2021 Jewish Fiction Award

The Association of Jewish Libraries Announces the 2021 Winners of the Jewish Fiction Award

Max Gross is the winner of the Association of Jewish Libraries (AJL) Jewish Fiction Award for his novel The Lost Shtetl, published by HarperVia, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers. The award includes a $1,000 cash prize and support to attend the 57th Annual Conference of the Association of Jewish Libraries,  June 27–July 1, 2021. Two honor books were also recognized: To Be a Man: Stories by Nicole Krauss, published by Harper, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers, and Apeirogon: A Novel by Colum McCann, published by Penguin Random House. The Committee reviewed over 70 works of fiction originally written in English with significant Jewish thematic content published in the United States in 2020. Thanks to all those who submitted entries for consideration. The wide array of books published in 2020 is a testament to the vibrant state of contemporary Jewish fiction.

Lost Shtetl Cover Apeirogon Cover  To  Be A Man Cover

In many ways Kreskol, the nominal Lost Shtetl, is a typical 19th century Polish village. It has the expected mix of competing synagogues and schools; happy and miserable families; and comfortable and poor inhabitants. What is surprising about Kreskol is that in Brigadoon style, it survived deep in the forests with no connection to the outside world. Set during the end of the 20th century,  Lost Shtetl  tells the story of a town neglected by time, unaware of the Holocaust or the creation of the state of Israel. When the Polish government “finds” Kreskol, there is massive culture shock on both sides. The Jewish villagers must decide how much to embrace the modern world and the Polish government has to decide how much they want to invest in this small contentious village. “An impressive debut novel, The Lost Shtetl is a thoroughly enjoyable story, with lots of humor, but also incredibly sophisticated, clever, poignant and thought provoking,” noted Laura Schutzman, Chair of the Award Committee.

The ten stories in To Be a Man by Nicole Krauss deal with the struggle to understand what it is to be a man and what it is to be a woman, and all of the tensions in the relationships between parents and children, lovers and friends, husbands and wives. All contemporary, they span the globe from Switzerland, Japan, and New York City to Tel Aviv, Los Angeles, and South America. “Each is impactful and memorable with fully developed characters, often wrestling with their Jewish identity, who stay with you long after the reading experience is over,” commented Rachel Kamin, member of the Award Committee.   

Apeirogon, in telling the story of two fathers, an Israeli and a Palestinian united in grief after losing their daughters to the conflict,  weaves together fiction and nonfiction, crossing centuries and continents, to create a multifaceted and multilayered exploration of history, art, politics, love, loss, hope, and the power of storytelling. An apeirogon is a shape with an infinitely countable number of sides; Apeirogon, the novel, “evokes a mosaic with an infinitely countable number of pieces that have been assembled into a beautifully written, emotionally charged, and exceedingly relevant work of fiction,” remarked Paula Breger, member of the Award Committee. The intricacies and conflicting themes  of Aperigon are sure to elicit much debate and discussion.

The AJL Jewish Fiction Award Committee members are Paula Breger, Beth Dwoskin, Rachel Kamin, Laura Schutzman, and Sheryl Stahl.

The Association of Jewish Libraries gratefully acknowledges the generous support of Dan Wyman Books for underwriting the Award. Submissions for the 2022 AJL Fiction Award (titles published in 2021) are now being accepted. For more information, please visit www.jewishlibraries.org.

The Association of Jewish Libraries is an all-volunteer professional organization that promotes Jewish literacy through enhancement of libraries and library resources and through leadership for the profession and practitioners of Judaica librarianship. The Association fosters access to information, learning, teaching and research relating to Jews, Judaism, the Jewish experience and Israel.

2021 Sydney Taylor Book Award Blog Tour Schedule

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 

Lesléa 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 Middle Grade Category
at Mr. Schu Reads

Jane Yolen and Khoa Lee, author and illustrator of Miriam at the River
Sydney Taylor Honor Book in the Picture Book Category
at 7 Impossible Things Before Breakfast
 

WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 10, 2021

Anne Blankman, author of The Blackbird Girls
Sydney Taylor Honor Book in the Middle Grade Category
at The Paper Brigade Daily at The Jewish Book Council

Monica Hesse, author of They Went Left
Sydney Taylor Honor Book in the Young Adult Category
at Jewish Books for Kids

THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 11, 2021

Tyler Feder, author of Dancing at the Pity Party
Sydney Taylor Book Award in the Young Adult Category
at Out of the Box at The Horn Book

Mychal Copeland and Andre Ceolin, author and illustrator of I Am the Tree of Life
Sydney Taylor Honor Book in the Picture Book Category
at Good Reads with Ronna

FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 12, 2021

Tziporah Cohen, author of No Vacancy
Sydney Taylor Honor Book in the Middle Grade Category
at From the Mixed-Up Files of Middle Grade Authors

Podcast interview at The Children's Book Podcast

Blog Tour Wrap-Up at The Whole Megillah

2021 Sydney Taylor Book Awards Announced

For More Information Contact:
Rebecca Levitan, Chair
Sydney Taylor Book Award Committee
Association of Jewish Libraries
www.sydneytaylorbookawards.org
[email protected]

January 25, 2021 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 

2021 Sydney Taylor Book Award Winners Announced 

Winners of the annual Sydney Taylor Book Award were announced by the Association of Jewish Libraries today in a virtual livecast at the Youth Media Awards announcement at the American Library Association. Named in memory of Sydney Taylor, author of the classic All-of-a-Kind Family series, the award recognizes books for children and teens that exemplify high literary standards while authentically portraying the Jewish experience. Click HERE for a pdf version of this press release, and click HERE for a pdf listing all award winners. Title links below connect to AJL's Bookshop.org account and benefit both AJL and independent bookstores.

GOLD MEDALISTS 

Welcoming Elijah: a Passover Tale with a Tail by Lesléa Newman, illustrated by Susan Gal, published by Charlesbridge, is the winner in the picture book category. This warmly illustrated, poetic book parallels the experiences of a young boy at a Passover seder and a small white kitten outdoors. When the boy opens the door to welcome the prophet Elijah, he finds a furry friend instead. Simple text, diverse characters, and a timeless feel make this a story to be treasured. 

Turtle Boy by M. Evan Wolkenstein, published by Delacorte Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books, a division of Penguin Random House, is the winner in the Middle Grade category. Will’s bar mitzvah service project helps him face challenges in his own life in this engaging story by a debut author. Bullied at school and a loner, turtle-loving Will completes a bucket list of milestone activities for a terminally ill boy and gains the strength to face his own upcoming surgery. 

Dancing at the Pity Party by Tyler Feder, published by Dial Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Penguin Young Readers Group, a division of Penguin Random House, is the winner in the Young Adult category. This debut memoir in graphic form is a funny, sad, confidently illustrated meditation on grief. It’s both a tribute to Tyler’s wonderful mom, who died of breast cancer at the age of 47, and a guide to Jewish mourning practices. A singular achievement.

 

SILVER MEDALISTS 

Six Sydney Taylor Honor Books were recognized. 

For Picture Books, the Honor Books are I Am the Tree of Life: My Jewish Yoga Book by Mychal Copeland, illustrated by André Ceolin, published by Apples and Honey Press, an imprint of Behrman House, and Miriam at the River by Jane Yolen, illustrated by Khoa Le, published by Kar-Ben Publishing, a division of Lerner Publishing Group. 

For Middle Grade, the Honor Books are Anya and the Nightingale by Sofiya Pasternack, published by Versify, an imprint of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt; No Vacancy by Tziporah Cohen, published by Groundwood Books; and The Blackbird Girls by Anne Blankman, published by Puffin Books, an imprint of Penguin Young Readers Group, a division of Penguin Random House.

For Young Adult, the Honor Book is They Went Left by Monica Hesse, published by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Hachette Book Group. 

In addition to the medal winners, the Award Committee designated eleven Notable Books of Jewish Content for 2021. 

The Notable Picture Books are The Eight Knights of Hanukkah by Leslie Kimmelman, illustrated by Galia Bernstein, published by Holiday House; The Polio Pioneer: Dr. Jonas Salk and the Polio Vaccine by Linda Elovitz Marshall, illustrated by Lisa Anchin, published by Knopf Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books, a division of Penguin Random House; and The Ninth Night of Hanukkah by Erica S. Perl, illustrated by Shahar Kober, published by Sterling Children’s Books, an imprint of Sterling Publishing. 

The Notable Middle Grade Books are Beni's War by Tammar Stein, published by Kar-Ben Publishers, a division of Lerner Publishing Group; We Had to Be Brave: Escaping the Nazis on the Kindertransport by Deborah Hopkinson, published by Scholastic Focus, an imprint of Scholastic; A Place at the Table by Saadia Faruqi and Laura Shovan, published by Clarion Books, an imprint of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt; and Letters from Cuba by Ruth Behar, published by Nancy Paulsen Books, an imprint of Penguin Young Readers Group, a division of Penguin Random House. 

The Notable Young Adult Books are Today Tonight Tomorrow by Rachel Lynn Solomon, published by Simon Pulse, an imprint of Simon and Schuster Publishing; The New Queer Conscience by Adam Eli, published by Penguin Workshop, an imprint of Penguin Young Readers Group, a division of Penguin Random House; The Way Back by Gavriel Savit, published by Knopf Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books, a division of Penguin Random House; and The Assignment by Liza Wiemer, published by Delacorte Press, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books, a division of Penguin Random House.  

More information about the Sydney Taylor Book Award, a complete listing of the award winners and notables, and seals for purchase can be found at www.sydneytaylorbookawards.org

The 2021Winner for the Sydney Taylor Manuscript Award is Cats and Honey Cake by Sonja Spear. 

Winning authors and illustrators will receive their awards at the Annual Conference of the Association of Jewish Libraries, to be held virtually from June 27 to July 1, 2021. Gold and silver medalists will participate in a blog tour from February 8 to 12, 2021. For more information about the blog tour, please visit www.jewishlibraries.org. For an exclusive interview with Sydney Taylor Book Award Committee Chair, please visit The Book of Life Podcast at www.bookoflifepodcast.com

Members of the 2021 Sydney Taylor Book Award committee are Chair Rebecca Levitan, Baltimore County Public Library, Baltimore, Maryland; Rena Citrin, Bernard Zell Anshe Emet Day School Chicago, Illinois; Judy Ehrenstein, Montgomery County Public Libraries, Bethesda, Maryland; Toby Harris, Temple Beth Am, Seattle, Washington; Marjorie Ingall, freelance writer, New York, New York; Aviva Rosenberg, Ridgefield Free Public Library, Ridgefield, New Jersey; and Martha Simpson, Stratford Library Stratford, Connecticut. 

The Association of Jewish Libraries, the leading authority on Judaic librarianship, promotes Jewish literacy through enhancement of libraries and library resources and through leadership for the profession and practitioners of Judaica librarianship. The Association fosters access to information, learning, teaching and research relating to Jews, Judaism, the Jewish experience, and Israel. 

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