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Love Your Neighbor: Book List #1 Standing Up For Each Other

In response to the tragedy at the synagogue in Pittsburgh and to rising anti-Semitism in the United States, the Association of Jewish Libraries offers this series of book lists for young readers. Books read in youth impact future outlooks, and it is our hope that meeting Jews on the page will inspire friendship when readers meet Jews in real life. This is the first in a series of book lists intended to provide children and their families with a greater understanding of the Jewish religion and its people.


This first list features stories of Jews and non-Jews standing up for each other, working out differences, and confronting prejudice. Look for these titles in libraries, bookstores, and online. Click here to access the list in printable PDF format, or scroll down to read the list below. Watch www.jewishlibraries.org for forthcoming book lists from the Love Your Neighbor series.

 

PICTURE BOOKS


The Golden Rule by Ilene Cooper, art by Gabi Swiatkowska, Abrams, ages 4-8

This book is a gentle reminder of a timeless rule for parent and child: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. A boy and his grandfather discuss the rule’s universality and how to put it into practice.


Hannah’s Way by Linda Glaser, art by Adam Gustavson, Kar-Ben, ages 4-8

After Papa loses his job during the Depression, Hannah's family moves to rural Minnesota, where she is the only Jewish child in her class. When her teacher tries to arrange carpools for a Saturday class picnic, Hannah is upset. Her Jewish family is observant, and she knows she cannot ride on the Sabbath. What will she do? A lovely story of friendship and community.


Emma’s Poem: The Voice of the Statue of Liberty by Linda Glaser, art by Claire A. Nivola, Houghton Mifflin, ages 4-8

In 1883, Jewish Emma Lazarus, deeply moved by an influx of immigrants from eastern Europe, wrote a sonnet that gave a voice to the Statue of Liberty. The statue, thanks to Emma's poem, came to define us as a nation that welcomes immigrants. A true story.


Never Say a Mean Word Again: A Tale from Medieval Spain by Jacqueline Jules, art by Durga Yael Bernhard, Wisdom Tales Press, ages 4-8

Inspired by a powerful legend of conflict resolution, Never Say a Mean Word Again is the compelling story of a boy who is given permission to punish an enemy. A surprising twist shows how an enemy can become a friend.


As Good As Anybody: Martin Luther King Jr. and Abraham Joshua Heschel’s Amazing March Toward Freedom by Richard Michelson, art by Raul Colon, Knopf, ages 6-9

Here is the story of two icons for social justice, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr and Abraham Joshua Heschel, how they formed a remarkable friendship and turned their personal experiences of discrimination into a message of love and equality for all.


The Whispering Town by Jennifer Elvgren, art by Fabio Santomauro, Kar-Ben, ages 7-11

The dramatic story of neighbors in a small Danish fishing village who, during the Holocaust, shelter a Jewish family waiting to be ferried to safety in Sweden. Worried about their safety, friends devise a clever and unusual plan for their safe passage to the harbor. Based on a true story.

 

CHAPTER BOOKS


Vive La Paris by Esme Raji Codell, Hyperion, ages 9-12

Paris has come for piano lessons, not chopped-liver sandwiches or French lessons or free advice.  But when old Mrs. Rosen, who is Jewish, gives her a little bit more than she can handle, it might be just what Paris needs to understand the bully in her brother’s life…and the bullies of the world.


Refugee by Alan Gratz, Scholastic, ages 9-13

A Jewish boy in 1930s Nazi Germany, a Cuban girl in 1994, a Syrian boy in 2015 - all three go on harrowing journeys in search of refuge. This action-packed novel tackles topics both timely and timeless: courage, survival, and the quest for home.


The Inquisitor’s Tale, Or, The Three Magical Children and Their Holy Dog by Adam Gidwitz, art by Hatem Aly, Dutton, ages 9-15

France, 1242. Three children: a Christian peasant girl, a Moorish boy raised as a monk, and a Jewish boy. On the run to escape prejudice and persecution and save precious and holy texts from being burned, their quest drives them forward to a final showdown


The Hired Girl by Laura Amy Schlitz, Candlewick, ages 10-14

Fourteen-year-old Joan’s 1911 journey from the muck of the chicken coop to the comforts of a Jewish society household in Baltimore takes readers on an exploration of feminism and housework; religion and literature; love and loyalty; cats, hats, and bunions.


Lauren Yanofsky Hates the Holocaust by Leanne Lieberman, Orca, ages 13-18

Jewish teen Lauren is sick of Holocaust memorials. But when she sees some of her friends--including Jesse, a cute boy she likes--playing Nazi war games, she is faced with a terrible choice: betray her friends or betray her heritage.


Tropical Secrets: Holocaust Refugees in Cuba by Margarita Engle, Henry Holt, ages 12 to adult

Daniel has escaped Nazi Germany with nothing but a desperate dream that he might one day find his parents again. But that golden land called New York has turned away the ship full of refugees, and Daniel finds himself in Cuba. The young refugee befriends a local girl with some painful secrets of her own. Yet even in Cuba, the Nazi darkness is never far away.

 

The Love Your Neighbor series of book lists was created by the Association of Jewish Libraries to grow readers’ understanding of the Jewish religion and its people. Watch www.jewishlibraries.org for forthcoming book lists in the series. 

For adult titles on Combating Anti-Semitism, please see this reading list from our friends at the Jewish Book Council.

 

 

Call for Papers: 54th Annual AJL Conference

The AJL 2019 Conference Committee is now soliciting paper proposals for our upcoming conference at the Warner Center Marriott, Woodland Hills, CA from June 17 - 19th, 2019.

We are seeking papers and presentations on all aspects of Judaica librarianship as it pertains to libraries, archives, museums, schools, synagogues, and related institutions. This year we would like to emphasis hands-on sessions. We are especially soliciting proposals dealing with digital humanities and Jewish Studies and sessions aimed at the needs of high school librarians.

Past topics have included: collection management, programming, reader advisory services, special and rare collections, cataloging and classification, digital and electronic resources and emerging technologies.   Presentations on Jewish resources in Los Angeles Jewish library collections and local authors would also be welcomed.

Submissions should include the following: 

*       Presenter's name, address, affiliation, telephone and email contacts.
*       Brief biography
*       Title of proposed presentation
*       Summary of proposal not to exceed 300 words
*       Specific technology or equipment requirements, if any

All submissions must be received by November 30, 2018.  Please submit proposals by e-mail (PREFERRED) to: conference@jewishlibraries.org

Proposals will be reviewed by the Program Planning Committee, composed of national and local AJL members. Notification will be made in January, 2019.

 

2018 Reference and Bibliography Awards

The Judaica Reference and Bibliography Awards Committee decided as following regarding the Judaica Reference and Bibliography 2018 awards:

Bibliography

David Hollander, Legal Scholarship in Jewish Law : an Annotated Bibliography of Journal Articles (Getzville, New York : William S. Hein & Co., 2017)

Honorable Mention: Steven J. Weiss, Pirke Avot: a Thesaurus : an Annotated Bibliography of Printed Hebrew Commentaries, 1485-2015 (Los Angeles & Jerusalem : The Dr. Steven J. Weiss Collection, 2016)

Reference

Paul R Bartrop & Michael Dickerman The Holocaust: An Encyclopedia and Document Collection (Santa Barbara, CA : ABC-CLIO, 2017)

Honorable mention: Zachary M. Baker, “Resources in Yiddish Studies” published in: In Geveb : A Journal of Yiddish Studies https://ingeveb.org/tags/Resources%20in%20Yiddish%20Studies )

I would like to thank the awards’ sponsors: Dr. Greta Silver of New York City, who established the AJL Judaica Reference Award, to encourage the publication of outstanding Judaica reference works, and Eric Chaim Kline of Los Angeles, who established the AJL Judaica Bibliography Award,  to encourage the publication of outstanding Judaica bibliographies.


I would also like to thank the Committee members Amalia S. Levi, David B. Levy, Michelle Chesner and Shulamith Z Berger for their enthusiastic and thoughtful input.

Rachel Simon

2018 Winners of Jewish Fiction Award

The Association of Jewish Libraries Announces 2018 Winners of Jewish Fiction Award

Rachel Kadish is the inaugural winner of the Association of Jewish Libraries (AJL) Jewish Fiction Award for her novel The Weight of Ink, published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. The award includes a $1,000 cash prize as well as support to attend the 53rd Annual Conference of the Association of Jewish Libraries in Boston, MA, June 18-20, 2018. Two honor books were also recognized: Nine Folds Make a Paper Swan by Ruth Gilligan, published by Tin House Books, and A Boy in Winter by Rachel Seiffert, published by Pantheon Books, part of the Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group. The Committee received over 50 works of fiction with significant Jewish thematic content, written in English and available in the United States in 2017, and thanks all those who submitted entries for consideration. The wide array of books published this year is a testament to the vibrant state of contemporary Jewish fiction.

“Rachel Kadish has crafted an extraordinary cast of characters who speak to each other within and across the divides of centuries as well as those of age, religion, and class and come vividly to life under her empathic touch,” notes Yermiyahu Ahron Taub, Chairperson of the Award Committee. “This is a book that honors learning, libraries, archivists and librarians, and the Association of Jewish Libraries Jewish Fiction Award Committee is delighted to present Kadish with the 2018 AJL Jewish Fiction Award.”

Nine Folds Make a Paper Swan gives serious depth to the little-known story of Jewish life in Ireland. Weaving a complex story, Ruth Gilligan uses the specifics of Irish lore and history woven with the Jewish experience to illuminate the stories of a young girl and her family who emigrate from eastern Europe, a suddenly mute boy incarcerated in a home for the mentally disabled, and a woman who considers the implications of converting to Judaism. According to Taub, “Gilligan's expert twists of plot, exploration of historical themes, and her gift of word play and dark humor” impressed the Committee.

Rachel Seiffert's A Boy in Winter works on a small canvas and creates a searing emotional impact. As the Nazis invade a small Ukrainian town, a variety of characters are forced to face the invasion's terrible consequences and quickly make life-altering decisions. Taub comments: “Seiffert writes with spareness, a plain-hewn power that draws the reader on a journey of suspense in a time and place of limited possibility.”

The Association of Jewish Libraries gratefully acknowledges the generous support of Dan Wyman Books for underwriting the Award. Submissions for the 2019 AJL Fiction Award are now being accepted. For more information, please visit www.jewishlibraries.org.

2018 Sydney Taylor Manuscript Award Chosen

For More Information Contact:

Aileen Grossberg, Coordinator
Sydney Taylor Manuscript Award Committee
Association of Jewish Libraries

www.tinyurl.com/stma18
STMACAJL@AOL.com

 

January 10, 2018

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

2018 Sydney Taylor Manuscript Award Winner Chosen

 

The Sydney Taylor Manuscript Award Competition committee is pleased to announce the recipient of the 2018 award. Judith Pransky, author of The Seventh Handmaiden, will receive the award at the annual conference of the Association of Jewish Libraries to be held in Boston, MA, from June 18-20, 2018. The Award is offered annually to an unpublished manuscript that has broad appeal to readers aged 8-13 and presents Jewish life in a positive light.

 

Set in the time of King Xerxes of Persia, the novel begins with the kidnapping of a young girl and then flashes forward several years to focus on Darya, a young slave who is uncertain of her origins. The story follows Darya and her free friend Parvaneh from service in the household of a Persian army captain to positions in Xerxes’s palace as handmaidens to Queen Esther. Swirling around the girls’ everyday activities is palace intrigue orchestrated by Haman’s henchmen including Behrooz, who has a mysterious and frightening connection to Parveneh’s mother.

 

Filled with historical details, intrigue, mystery, politics and a host of issues that contemporary readers can identify with, the story has a satisfying ending for both Darya and her mistress Esther and fleshes out the story found in the Megillah. The judges were impressed by the unique approach to the story of Esther, the strongly nuanced characters, the touch of mystery and the relevance of the issues to today’s world.

 

According to Ms Pransky, The Seventh Handmaiden was written with her sixth grade ancient history students in mind, and tries “to bring the history and lifestyle of Persia to life, as well as the characters that populate the Megillah and the Jewish story that permeates it.” Ms Pransky, a middle school language arts/history teacher, has contributed to Philadelphia area magazines and edited the Marmac Guide to Philadelphia. She has also taught writing to adults and worked as an editor for a textbook publishing company before returning to teaching. The Seventh Handmaiden is her first novel for young readers.

 

In an unusually strong year, the Committee is pleased to name three honorable mention manuscripts: Go To Yourself by Stuart Melnick is the story of an Orthodox boy preparing for his bar mitzvah. Through sports he experiences the outside world for the first time and learns about friendship, decisions and their consequences. Diverse characters and a warm family setting are hallmarks of this story. Raising Canaans by Catherine Orkin Oskowuses humor to tell the story of a dog-crazy preteen who obsesses over the Canaan dogs that her aunt raises and finally comes to accept that she cannot have a dog. Reeni’s Turn by Carol Coven Grannickuses verse to follow ballet dancer Reeni from doubt about herself to self-acceptance. The contemporary story focuses on issues common in today’s families.

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