Sunday, June 11, 2017

Shalom, Salaam



Yaffa and Fatima, Shalom, Salaam by Muslim author Fawzia Gilani-Williams takes an old Jewish folktale and turns it into a story of cross-cultural friendship. I spoke to Fawzia by Skype at her home in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates.

Here are a few of the websites and books Fawzia mentioned during our conversation:


FYI: This is the last episode of the season. The Book of Life will be on summer hiatus until August. 


CLICK HERE TO LISTEN TO THE PODCAST




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 

Support The Book of Life by becoming a patron at Patreon.com/bookoflife

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


Sunday, June 04, 2017

The Six Day Hero


I almost didn't read The Six-Day Hero because I usually don't like war stories. But I'm glad I tried it because once I started, I couldn't put it down.  I also got interested because another podcast guest, Catriella Freedman, had mentioned to me that this book was vetted by the kids of PJ Our Way, and that their feedback affected the final book.  So for several reasons, I was eager to talk to author Tammar Stein.

CLICK HERE TO LISTEN TO THE PODCAST




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 
 
Support The Book of Life by becoming a patron at Patreon.com/bookoflife!
 
Your feedback is appreciated! Please write to bookoflifepodcast@gmail.com or call our voicemail number at 561-206-2473.


Thursday, June 01, 2017

Bibliography: Diverse Jewish Kidlit

I'm trying to create a comprehensive list of kidlit (picture book through YA) that showcases diversity within the Jewish community. Here is my working list; if you are aware of additional titles please post a comment or send me an email. I've also created a sortable LibraryThing list, but a few of my titles are missing from their database.

I admit that I've approached this an in "Ashkenormative" way by using the label [Sephardic] but not [Ashkenazi]. Let me know if you think I should use both. And let me know if you think I should be using additional labels such as [Mizrahi].  Any opinions on the label [Latinx]? Is there anything else that you think I've mislabeled? Are there additional labels you think I should use?

FYI, I have not read all of these books and can't vouch for them. 

This list is alphabetical by author, with diversity subject headings in brackets after each entry.

==================================

Anya's War by Andrea Alban [Jewish/Gentile Friendship, Asian] YA

The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli [LGBT] YA

Daddy Christmas and Hanukkah Mama by Selina Alko [Interfaith Family] picture book

The Legend of Freedom Hill by Linda Jacobs Altman [Jewish/Gentile Friendship, Black] picture book

Rashi's Daughter, Secret Scholar by Maggie Anton [Nontraditional Gender Roles] chapter book

Believe by Sarah Aronson [LGBT] YA

The Hebrew Kid and the Apache Maiden by Robert J. Avrech [Jewish/Gentile Friendship, Native American] chapter book

All Kinds of Stong by Sharon Reiss Baker [Disability] picture book

Family Ties by Shoshana Banana [Diverse Cast] picture book

Antlers with Candles by Chris Barash [Black/Jewish] picture book

Fridays Are Special by Chris Barash [Black/Jewish] picture book

I Am J by Cris Beam [LGBT] YA

Lucky Broken Girl by Ruth Behar [Disability, Latinx/Jewish] chapter book

Zack by William Bell [Black/Jewish, Interfaith] chapter book

Four Sides, Eight Nights: A New Spin on Hanukkah by Rebecca Tova Ben-Zvi [Diverse Cast] picture book

Around the World in One Shabbat by Durga Yael Bernhard [Diverse Cast] picture book

The Sundown Kid: A Southwestern Shabbat by Barbara Bietz [Diverse Cast, Jewish/Gentile Friendship] picture book

Afikomen Mambo by Joe Black [Diverse Cast] picture book

More Precious Than Gold by Evelyn Mizrahi Blatt [Sephardic] chapter book

Are You There, God? It's Me, Margaret by Judy Blume [Interfaith Family] chapter book

Mira in the Present Tense by Sita Brahmachari [Indian/Jewish, Interfaith Family] chapter book

Lola Levine and the Ballet Scheme
Lola Levine and the Halloween Scream
Lola Levine and the Vacation Dream
Lola Levine Is Not Mean
Lola Levine Meets Jelly and Bean
Lola Levine: Drama Queen
by Monica Brown [Latinx/Jewish] chapter books

Samir and Yonatan by Daniella Carmi [Jewish/Gentile Friendship, Muslim] chapter book

The Enduring Ark by Joydeb Chitrakar [Indian/Jewish] picture book

Vive La Paris by Esme Raji Codell [Black, Jewish/Gentile Friendship] chapter book

Papa Jethro by Deborah Bodin Cohen [Interfaith Family] picture book

The Story of Shabbat by Molly Cone [Diverse Cast] picture book

Northern Lights: A Hanukkah Story by Diana Cohen Conway [Jewish/Gentile Friendship] picture book

Jewish Holidays All Year Round: A Family Treasury by Ilene Cooper [Diverse Cast] chapter book

Sam I Am by Ilene Cooler [Interfaith Family] chapter book

Gabriel's Ark by Sandra R. Curtis [Disability] chapter book

Hanukkah Moon by Deborah da Costa [Latinx/Jewish, Sephardic] picture book

Snow in Jerusalem by Deborah da Costa [Jewish/Gentile Friendship, Muslim] picture book

It's Tot Shabbat! by Naomi Danis [Diverse Cast] picture book

I Love Jewish Faces by Debra B. Darvick [Diverse Cast] picture book

44 Hours or Strike! by Anne Dublin [Nontraditional Gender Roles] chapter book

A Hat for Mrs. Goldman by Michelle Edwards [Jewish/Gentile Friendship, Latinx] picture book

Max Makes a Cake by Michelle Edwards [Nontraditional Gender Roles] picture book

Ethan, Suspended by Pamela Ehrenberg [Black, Jewish/Gentile Friendship] chapter book

Queen of the Hanukkah Dosas by Pamela Ehrenberg [Indian/Jewish] picture book

Tropical Secrets: Holocaust Refugees in Cuba by Margarita Engle [Jewish/Gentile Friendship, Latinx] chapter book

The Mountain Jews and the Mirror by Ruchama Feuerman [Sephardic] picture book

Schools of Hope: How Julius Rosenwald Helped Change African American Education by Norman H. Finkelstein [Black, Jewish/Gentile Friendship] chapter book

To Bigotry No Sanction: The Story of the Oldest Synagogue in America by Leonard Everett Fisher [Jewish/Gentile Friendship] chapter book

When Jackie and Hank Met by Cathy Goldberg Fishman [Black, Jewish/Gentile Friendship] picture book

Nonna's Hanukkah Surprise by Karen Fisman [Interfaith Family] picture book

My Basmati Bat Mitzvah by Paula J. Freedman [Indian/Jewish, Interfaith Family] chapter book

I Wanna Be Your Shoebox by Cristina Garcia [Asian/Jewish, Interfaith Family, Latinx/Jewish] chapter book

Jeremy's Dreidel by Ellie Gellman [Disability] picture book

The Inquisitor's Tale, or, the Three Magical Children and Their Holy Dog by Adam Gidwitz [Black, Jewish/Gentile Friendship] chapter book

Liberty on 23rd Street by Jacqueline B. Glasthal [Jewish/Gentile Friendship] chapter book

Cakes and Miracles: A Purim Tale by Barbara Diamond Goldin [Disability] picture book

Boris and Stella and the Perfect Gift by Dara Goldman [Jewish/Gentile Friendship] picture book

The Flower Girl Wore Celery by Meryl G. Gordon [LGBT] picture book

King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba by Blu Greenberg [Black, Jewish/Gentile Friendship] picture book

No Pig's Brain Soup, Please by Gail Greenberg [Adoption, Asian/Jewish] picture book

The Secret Shofar of Barcelona by Jacqueline Dembar Greene [Sephardic] picture book

Bluish by Virginia Hamilton [Black, Black/Jewish, Diverse Cast] chapter book

Celebrate Hanukkah with Light, Latkes, and Dreidels
Celebrate Passover with Matzah, Maror, and Memories
Celebrate Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur with Honey, Prayers, and the Shofar
by Deborah Heiligman [Diverse Cast] picture books

Always an Olivia: A Remarkable Family History by Carolivia Herron [Black/Jewish] picture book

Witness by Karen Hess [Jewish/Gentile Friendship] chapter book

The Whole Story of Half a Girl by Veera Hiranandani [Indian/Jewish, Interfaith Family] chapter book

Incantation by Alice Hoffman [Sephardic] YA

Sweet Like Sugar by Wayne Hoffman [LGBT] YA

Maccabee Jamboree: A Hanukkah Countdown by Cheri Holland [Diverse Cast] picture book

Elan, Son of Two Peoples by Heidi Smith Hyde [Interfaith Family, Native American/Jewish]  picture book

Shanghai Sukkah by Heidi Smith Hyde [Asian, Jewish/Gentile Friendship] picture book

Our Eddie by Sulamith Ish-Kishor [Disability] chapter book

Clap and Count!: Action Rhymes for the Jewish Year by Jacqueline Jules  [Diverse Cast] picture book

Never Say a Mean Word Again: A Tale from Medieval Spain by Jacqueline Jules [Jewish/Gentile Friendship, Sephardic] picture book

Quake!: Disaster in San Francisco, 1906 by Gail Langer Karwoski [Asian, Jewish/Gentile Friendship] chapter book

My Name is Rachamim by Jonathan P. Kendall [Black/Jewish, Ethiopian Jews] picture book

A Horn for Louis by Eric A. Kimmel [Black, Jewish/Gentile Friendship] chapter book

Almost a Minyan by Lori S. Kline [Black/Jewish, Nontraditional Gender Roles] picture book

Openly Straight by Bill Konigsberg [LGBT] YA

The Moses Basket by Jenny Koralek [Diverse Cast] picture book

Much, Much Better by Chaim Kosofsky [Sephardic] picture book

Viva, Rose! by Susan Krawitz [Latinx, Jewish/Gentile Friendship] chapter book
 
It's Challah Time!
It's Hanukkah Time!
It's Purim Time!
It's Seder Time!
It's Shofar Time!
It's Sukkah Time!
by Latifa Berry Kropf [Diverse Cast] picture books

The Storyteller's Beads by Jane Kurtz [Black/Jewish, Ethiopian Jews] chapter book

The Purim Superhero by Elisabeth Kushner [LGBT] picture book

Like No Other by Una LaMarche [Black, Jewish/Gentile Friendship] YA

Hanukkah Around the World
Passover Around the World
by Tami Lehman-Wilzig [Diverse Cast] picture books

Nathan Blows Out the Hanukkah Candles by Tami Lehman-Wilzig [Disability] picture book

Let's Talk About Race by Julius Lester [Black/Jewish, Diverse Cast] picture book

Pharoah's Daughter by Julius Lester [Diverse Cast, Jewish/Gentile Friendship] chapter book

Running on Eggs by Anna Levine [Jewish/Gentile Friendship, Muslim] chapter book

Dave at Night by Gail Carson Levine [Black, Jewish/Gentile Friendship] chapter book

Watch Out for Flying Kids! How Two Circuses, Two Countries, and Nine Kids Confront Conflict and Build Community by Cynthia Levinson [Diverse Cast, Jewish/Gentile Friendship, Muslim] chapter book

Reyna and the Jade Star [Asian]
Shoshana and the Native Rose [Native American]
by Robin K. Levinson [Jewish/Gentile Friendship] chapter books

Wide Awake by David Levithan [LGBT] YA

The Golem and the Dragon Girl by Sonia Levitin [Asian, Jewish/Gentile Friendship] chapter book

The Return by Sonia Levitin [Black/Jewish, Ethiopian Jews] chapter book

The Misadventures of the Family Fletcher
The Family Fletcher Takes Rock Island
by Dana Alison Levy [Diverse Cast, Interfaith Family, LGBT] chapter books

I Dissent: Ruth Bader Ginsberg Makes Her Mark by Debbie Levy [Nontraditional Gender Roles] picture book

Gravity by Leanne Lieberman [LGBT] YA

The Apprentice's Masterpiece: A Story of Medieval Spain by Melanie Little [Sephardic]YA

What I Like About Passover by Varda Livney [Black/Jewish, Diverse Cast] picture book

Brave Girl: Clara and the Shirtwaist Makers' Strike of 1909 by Michelle Markel [Nontraditional Gender Roles] picture book

Chicken Soup, Chicken Soup by Pamela Mayer [Asian/Jewish, Interfaith Family] picture book

Esther by Sharon McKay [Nontraditional Gender Roles] chapter book

Across the Alley by Richard Michelson [Black, Jewish/Gentile Friendship] picture book

As Good As Anybody: Martin Luther King, Jr. and Abraham Joshua Heschel's Amazing March Toward Freedom by Richard Michelson [Black, Jewish/Gentile Friendship] picture book

Jews of the Wild West: A Multicultural True Story by Kay Miller [Diverse Cast, Jewish/Gentile Friendship] picture book

The Chameleon That Saved Noah's Ark by Yael Molchadsky [Diverse Cast] picture book

Light the Lights!: A Story about Celebrating Hanukkah & Christmas by Margaret Moorman [Interfaith Family] picture book

Daughters of the Ark by Anna Morgan [Black/Jewish, Ethiopian Jews] chapter book

Apples and Pomegranates: A Family Seder for Rosh Hashanah by Rahel Musleah [Sephardic] chapter book

Serendipity's Footsteps by Suzanne Nelson [Disability, Jewish/Gentile Friendship] YA

The Eight Nights of Chanukah by Leslea Newman [Diverse Cast] picture book

Starglass
Starbreak
by Phoebe North [LGBT]YA

My Two Holidays: A Hanukkah and Christmas Story by Danielle Novack [Interfaith Family] picture book

The Wisdom Bird: A Tale of Solomon and Sheba by Sheldon Oberman [Black, Jewish/Gentile Friendship] picture book

My Two Grandmothers by Effin Older [Interfaith Family] picture book

Cry of the Giraffe by Judie Oren [Black/Jewish, Ethiopian Jews] chapter book

Emily Goldberg Learns to Salsa by Micol Ostow [Latinx/Jewish] chapter book

The Power of Song: And Other Sephardic Tales by Rita Roth [Sephardic] chapter book

A Poem for Peter: The Story of Ezra Jack Keats and the Creation of The Snowy Day by Andrea Davis Pinkney [Black, Jewish/Gentile Friendship] picture book

When I Left My Village by J. Brian Pinkney [Black/Jewish, Ethiopian Jews] picture book

Mrs. Katz and Tush by Patricia Polacco [Black, Jewish/Gentile Friendship] picture book

Tikvah Means Hope by Patricia Polacco [Jewish/Gentile Friendship] picture book

A Tale of Two Seders by Mindy Avra Portnoy [Divorce] picture book

Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock by Matthew Quick [LGBT] YA

A Brief Chapter in My Impossible Life by Dana Reinhardt [Adoption] YA

King Solomon and the Bee by Dalia Hardof Renberg [Jewish/Gentile Friendship] picture book

The Hero Two Doors Down: Based on the True Story of Friendship Between a Boy and a Baseball Legend by Sharon Robinson [Black, Jewish/Gentile Friendship] chapter book

Jackie's Gift by Sharon Robinson [Black, Jewish/Gentile Friendship] picture book

Chik Chak Shabbat by Mara Rockliff [Diverse Cast, Jewish/Gentile Friendship] picture book

Our New Special Baby by Chaya Rosen [Disability] picture book

Elijah's Angel: A Story for Chanukah and Christmas by Michael J. Rosen [Jewish/Gentile Friendship] picture book

This is Just a Test by Madelyn Rosenberg & Wendy Wan-Long Shang [Asian/Jewish, Interfaith Family] chapter book
 
Yossi and Laibel: On the Ball by Dina Rosenfeld [Disability] picture book

The Mitten String by Jennifer Rosner [Disability] picture book

Chloe Lieberman (Sometimes Wong) by Carrie Rosten [Asian/Jewish, Interfaith Family] chapter book

Never Mind the Goldbergs by Matthue Roth [LGBT] YA

No Rules for Michael by Sylvia Rouss [Diverse Cast] picture book

Yosef's Dream by Sylvia Rouss with Ambassador Asher Naim [Black/Jewish, Ethiopian Jews] picture book

Shanghai Shadows by Lois Ruby [Asian, Jewish/Gentile Friendship] chapter book

Swindletop by Lois Ruby [Jewish/Gentile Friendship] chapter book

My Awesome Awful Popularity Plan by Seth Rudetsky  [LGBT] chapter book

God's Paintbrush by Sandy Eisenberg Sasso  [Diverse Cast] picture book

Chag Sameach! by Patricia Schaffer [Diverse Cast] picture book

On the Wings of Eagles: An Ethiopian Boy's Story by Jeffrey Schrier [Black/Jewish, Ethiopian Jews] picture book

Day of Delight: A Jewish Sabbath in Ethiopia by Maxine Rose Schur [Black/Jewish, Ethiopian Jews] picture book

Stealing Home by Ellen Schwartz [Black/Jewish, Interfaith Family] chapter book

The Sabbath Lion by Howard Schwartz [Sephardic] picture book

What Makes Someone a Jew? by Lauren Seidman [Diverse Cast] picture book

The Rabbi's Cat and The Rabbi's Cat 2 by Joann Sfar [Sephardic] chapter books

The Hanukkah Hop! by Erica Silverman [Diverse Cast] picture book

Yuvi's Candy Tree  by Lesley Simpson [Black/Jewish, Ethiopian Jews] picture book

Songs from the Garden of Eden: Jewish Lullabies and Nursery Rhymes by Nathalie Soussana [Diverse Cast] picture book

The Wooden Sword: A Jewish Folktale from Afghanistan by Ann Redisch Stampler [Sephardic] picture book

Golemito by Ilan Stavans [Latinx/Jewish] picture book

Rebecca's Journey Home by Brynn Olenberg Sugarman [Adoption, Asian/Jewish] picture book

Maya Prays for Rain by Susan Tarcov [Jewish/Gentile Friendship] picture book

A Costume for Noah: A Purim Story
A Holiday for Noah: A Shabbat Story
A Taste for Noah: A Passover Story
by Susan Remick Topek [Diverse Cast] picture books

Ten Good Rules: A Ten Commandments Counting Book  by Susan Remick Topek [Diverse Cast] picture book

Invisible Chains by Eva Vogiel [Disability] chapter book

Ghetto Brother: Warrior to Peacemaker by Julian Voloj [Sephardic] YA

Are You Alone on Purpose? by Nancy Werlin [Disability] chapter book

Black Mirror  by Nancy Werlin [Asian/Jewish, Interfaith] chapter book

After the Train by Gloria Whelan [Adoption] chapter book

Jalapeno Bagels by Natasha Wing [Latinx/Jewish] picture book

If You Come Softly by Jacqueline Woodson [Black, Jewish/Gentile Friendship] YA

The Night of the Burning: Devorah's Story by Linda Press Wolf [Adoption] chapter book

A Bottle in the Gaza Sea by Valerie Zenatti [Jewish/Gentile Friendship, Muslim] YA




Monday, May 29, 2017

PJ Our Way


PJ Our Way is an initiative of the Harold Grinspoon Foundation that gives free chapter books to Jewish families with middle grade readers. It's an outgrowth of PJ Library, which does the same thing with picture books for younger kids. I spoke to PJ Our Way Director Catriella Freedman, who told me all the in's and out's of the program, and explained to me why independent readers can't be treated in quite the same way as the little ones.

CLICK HERE TO LISTEN TO THE PODCAST



LIBSYN

FYI, The Book of Life's rss feed is now hosted by Libsyn instead of Hipcast, beginning with the "Almost a Minyan" episode on May 16, 2017. If you are not receiving new episodes in your feed, please resubscribe. All the feed addresses you may need are in the right-hand sidebar.

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 

Support The Book of Life by becoming a patron at Patreon.com/bookoflife, and get a free autographed copy of Serendipity's Footsteps by Suzanne Nelson!

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



Thursday, May 25, 2017

Feminism, Podcasted: an Interview with The Book of Life's Heidi Rabinowitz


The Jewish Women's Archive blog, Jewesses With Attitude, interviewed me about The Book of Life! They asked me about why I decided to start a podcast dedicated to Jewish literature and arts; why women storytellers have a harder time than men storytellers; and what The Book of Life and JWA’s podcast Can We Talk? have in common.



 

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Almost a Minyan

Author Lori Kline, publisher Debra Winegarten, illustrator Susan Simon
Almost a Minyan by Lori S. Kline, illustrated by Susan Simon, is a picture book about a Jewish girl reaching the age where she can help her community pray. The book is traditional and groundbreaking at the same time, depicting an egalitarian, multiracial, observant Jewish community. I spoke to author Lori Kline and publisher Debra Winegarten of Sociosights Press together, by phone at Lori's house in Austin, Texas. Almost a Minyan is the Jewish Women's Archive Children's Book Pick for 2017. Share these discussion questions with the young readers in your life.

Thanks to Patreon patrons Jennie Gates Beckman, Leah Berkowitz, Christine Ertl, and April Halprin Wayland, whose donations helped me purchase a new digital voice recorder for podcasting (a Zoom H4N, if you're wondering). Author Suzanne Nelson is still waiting to send you an autographed copy of Serendipity's Footsteps for becoming a Book of Life patron!
BECOME A PATRON TODAY!

CLICK HERE TO LISTEN TO THE PODCAST



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 
 

Support The Book of Life by becoming a patron at Patreon.com/bookoflife!
 

Your feedback is appreciated! Please write to bookoflifepodcast@gmail.com

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Mamaleh Knows Best


Even readers without kids will enjoy Marjorie Ingall's parenting guide, Mamaleh Knows Best: What Jewish Mothers Do to Raise Successful, Creative, Empathetic, Independent Children. It's wise, funny, and universal. It's also the Book of the Month for May 2017 at the Jewish Women's Archive virtual book club. You can find the discussion questions here and join the conversation!


Marjorie is a columnist at Tablet, an online magazine of Jewish culture and ideas, where I'm especially grateful for her excellent coverage of Jewish kidlit. I also want to draw your attention to Marjorie's blog SorryWatch, where she parses excellent and abysmal (mostly abysmal) apologies.

FYI, autographed copies of Serendipity's Footsteps are still available to folks who become patrons of The Book of Life at Patreon. You can pledge as little as $1/month to qualify.


CLICK HERE TO LISTEN TO THE PODCAST




Marjorie Ingall
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 

Support The Book of Life by becoming a patron at Patreon.com/bookoflife

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