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Jewish Children’s Books at BEA

Our regularly scheduled “Jewish Literary Links for Shabbat” will return next week. But I’ve been on “staycation” this week here in New York City, and I haven’t been keeping up with the online offerings quite as assiduously as usual.

On the other hand, I did have the chance to stop by the Book Expo America (BEA) trade show yesterday. I expected to be entranced by all of the new and forthcoming books for adults (and I was), but I’m not sure I was fully prepared for the enormous appeal of the displays of books for children.

Including the displays set up by Kar-Ben Publishing, a wonderful source for Jewish-themed books for children. The Kar-Ben displays were among the first I saw, and my chat with publisher Joni Sussman was my first BEA conversation of the morning. Take a peek at some of the books she told me about (Aunt Erika is already preparing that Chanukah gift list!) and find others on the Kar-Ben website.

Shabbat shalom!

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Jewish Literary Links for Shabbat

Photo Credit: Reut Miryam Cohen


It’s time for the weekly batch of Internet finds of Jewish literary interest.

  • Let’s begin here: Did you know that Cynthia Ozick has written a novel set in a Jewish day school?
  • On the Jewish flavor of the works of Maurice Sendak.
  • Summer internship opportunity (albeit unpaid) with the Jewish Book Council.
  • And a job announcement from the Forward, which is looking for an Arts & Culture Editor.
  • Finally, a personal note: This week marked the 30th anniversary of my becoming a Bat Mitzvah. The secular and Hebrew calendars seem to be aligned, because this week’s Torah portion, Parashat Emor, was mine. Last year, New Vilna Review published Emor,” a poem inspired by my attendance at a more recent May Bat Mitzvah ceremony.
  • Shabbat shalom.

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    Jewish Literary Links for Shabbat

    Photo Credit: Reut Miryam Cohen

  • This week brought us the April Jewish Book Carnival, an assortment of book-focused blog links from a multiple contributors. Many thanks to April’s host, Amy Meltzer and her terrific Homeshuling blog.
  • An extensive (and salty) interview with U.S. Poet Laureate Philip Levine, complemented by several poems, on Tablet.
  • My friend B.J. Epstein is a scholar of children’s literature (among her other areas of expertise). This week, she shared some thoughts on “No Happy Endings: Holocaust Memorial Day and Children.”
  • In case you missed the post earlier this week, author Ellen Cassedy anticipated Yom HaShoah with reflections on Eva Hoffman’s inspirational After Such Knowledge.
  • Also on the Holocaust theme: my enthusiastic review of Laurent Binet’s HHhH (translated by Sam Taylor).
  • And an item from my Practicing Writing blog, about Yom HaShoah and my short story collection, Quiet Americans.
  • Shabbat shalom.

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    Jewish Book Carnival

    Mid-month brings the Jewish Book Carnival.

    This month’s carnival is hosted over on Ann D. Koffsky’s blog and features contributions from several wonderful bloggers, including a number of posts on books for children.

    Please go take a look, and enjoy.

    P.S. For some reason, when I try commenting on other people’s WP sites/blogs (as for the Carnival), the comments don’t “take.” Anyone have any idea why that might be happening?

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    Jewish Literary Links for Shabbat

    Photo Credit: Reut Miryam Cohen

  • This week, one of the little ones in Auntie Erika’s life turned 8, and as per usual, he received a birthday gift of a book. I sent him Richard Michelson’s Lipman Pike: America’s First Home Run King, which was recently named a Sydney Taylor Notable Book for Young Readers. Check out this interview with Mr. Michaelson (part of the latest blog tour featuring Sydney Taylor Award titles).
  • The above-mentioned interview pointed me to Richard Michaelson’s website, where I discovered this essay Michaelson published some years back, on writing outside one’s own racial/cultural experience.
  • Win a copy of Joan Leegant’s wonderful novel, Wherever You Go.
  • Chas Newkey-Burden (“OyVaGoy”), presents a list of recommended books about Israel.
  • Terrific essay by Sara Ivry for Tablet on a Judy Blume classic, Starring Sally J. Freedman as Herself.
  • The Jewish Book Council has announced the winner and runner-up for this year’s Sami Rohr Prize: “This year’s prize is for non-fiction and is awarded to journalist Gal Beckerman. His book, When They Come for Us We’ll Be Gone: The Epic Struggle to Save Soviet Jewry (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt), is a comprehensive and enthralling chronicle of the history of the Soviet Jewry movement. The judges believe Beckerman’s work shows ‘his clear commitment to becoming a storyteller for the Jewish people.’ This is Beckerman’s first book. The runner-up is Oxford lecturer Abigail Green, for her biography, Moses Montefiore: Jewish Liberator, Imperial Hero (Belknap Press of Harvard University). She receives a $25,000 prize.”
  • Sample excerpts (translated by Jessica Cohen) from Israeli author Alex Epstein’s forthcoming collection, For My Next Illusion I Will Use Wings.
  • You’ll find a (somewhat overwhelming) list of intriguing new titles in Jewish fiction, poetry, and nonfiction in The Jewish Week‘s spring arts preview.
  • And as London’s Jewish Book Week celebrates its 60th anniversary, it attempts to list 60 great Jewish books of the past six decades.
  • Shabbat shalom!

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