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June is Pride Month, so I'm pleased to bring you The New Queer Conscience, a 2021 Sydney Taylor Notable Book in the Young Adult category. It's a manifesto by young activist Adam Eli, that holds up k'lal yisrael, or Jewish solidarity, as a model for the queer community to emulate. For queer kidlit with identifiably Jewish characters, see the Diverse…
 
READ THE TRANSCRIPT | BUY THE BOOK May is Jewish American Heritage Month and Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month. We celebrate both on The Book of Life by talking to Madelyn Rosenberg and Wendy Wan-Long Shang, co-authors of This Is Just a Test and Not Your All-American Girl, a pair of middle grade novels set in the 1980's that feature a Jewish Ch…
 
READ THE TRANSCRIPT | BUY THE BOOK 🕮 Ambika Sambasivan is the publisher at Yali Books, which opens a window to South Asia –India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Bhutan, and the Maldives —and invites the rest of the world to learn more about the incredible diversity of this region. Maxine Rose Schur is the author of Brave with …
 
Linda Elovitz Marshall was excited to get her COVID-19 shot, and back in the day she was glad to be vaccinated for polio too. That gratitude led her to create the picture book biography The Polio Pioneer: Dr. Jonas Salk and the Polio Vaccine illustrated by Lisa Anchin, a 2020 Sydney Taylor Notable Book. LEARN MORE: Linda Elovitz Marshall's website …
 
My good friend Susan Kusel has been on the podcast before, to talk about The Sydney Taylor Shmooze, and to announce the Sydney Taylor Book Award winners in 2018 and 2019. She also appeared in Beyond the Holocaust and Holidays, a 2019 episode about the Highlights Foundation's writing symposium, and in the 2020 episode The Mitzvah of Voting: Part 1. …
 
Aviva Brown is the author of Ezra's BIG Shabbat Question and Not Now, Mara! These picture books portray Jewish children of color without making a big deal about it, something we don't see often enough in kidlit. Listen to Aviva as she talks about her inspiration, about self publishing, and about winning Mother of the Year Award for the state of Nor…
 
Rebecca Levitan is the chair of the Sydney Taylor Book Award committee of the Association of Jewish Libraries. She joined us to discuss the 2021 winners of the award, which annually recognizes the best Jewish literature for children and teens. AJL is an affiliate of the American Library Association, so the Sydney Taylor Book Awards are announced at…
 
The Sydney Taylor Shmooze is a mock book award blog that reviews Jewish children's and teen literature and invites readers to vote for the titles that they think will win the Sydney Taylor Book Award. In the last episode of The Book of Life, I spoke with my fellow admins of The Shmooze, Susan Kusel and Chava Pinchuck, about the whys and hows of thi…
 
The Sydney Taylor Shmooze is a mock award blog created in Spring 2020 by Susan Kusel, Chava Pinchuck, and me, in order to encourage discussion of Jewish children's and teen literature eligible for the Sydney Taylor Book Award. In this podcast episode, Susan and Chava join me to talk about how it's going and about how YOU can vote for the mock award…
 
Anya and the Dragon is Sofiya Pasternak's debut, a middle grade Jewish historical fantasy novel. It was recognized by a 2020 Sydney Taylor Honor Award. It will be joined on November 10, 2020 by a sequel, Anya and the Nightingale. Join me for a fascinating conversation with Sofiya about the history behind the fantasy. See full show notes at https://…
 
Welcome to the third and final entry in our series, The Mitzvah of Voting. It's October 2020 your favorite Jewish kidlit authors want all eligible US citizens to vote in the upcoming Presidential election, and listeners around the world to vote in their own local elections. My author guests will be sharing why they vote and they'll give you some re…
 
Welcome to Part 2 of our 3 part series, The Mitzvah of Voting. It's October 2020 your favorite Jewish kidlit authors want all eligible US citizens to vote in the upcoming Presidential election, and listeners around the world to vote in their own local elections! My author guests will be sharing why they vote and they'll give you some recommendation…
 
This episode is a call to action for U.S. citizens eligible to vote, and a reminder to listeners everywhere that voting is your superpower. If you are a U.S. citizen eligible to vote in the upcoming presidential election, please do so! For information about how to vote, visit VOTE.ORG. In this special 3-part series, some of your favorite Jewish kid…
 
For this "Pond Life" episode, I paired the books Turtle Boy with Fish Out of Water, to highlight the similar themes I saw in both middle grade bar mitzvah novels. Wonderfully, authors Joanne Levy and Evan Wolkenstein really hit it off and they actually helped to interview each other! For complete show notes, please visit https://jewishbooks.blogspo…
 
Honey on the Page: A Treasury of Yiddish Children's Literature, edited and translated by Miriam Udel, comes out from NYU Press on October 6, 2020. We didn't have the chance to do an audio interview but I did want you to know about this worthy book, so I interviewed Miriam by email. I hope you will enjoy reading all about Honey on the Page at https:…
 
Muslim author Saadia Faruqui and Jewish author Laura Shovan joined me to talk about their jointly written middle grade contemporary novel, A Place at the Table. This is a book about immigration, about friendship, and it will make you hungry. Full show notes at: https://jewishbooks.blogspot.com/2020/09/a-place-at-table.html…
 
Multi-talented mensch Patricia Portillo is an artist who works with fiber, clay, and other materials. She is also a voice artist and professional opera singer, and she dabbles in the culinary arts. She rendered The Book of Life's dancing man logo as a crocheted doll so we are interviewing her to learn more about her crafting abilities. Today's epis…
 
We hear from David Raphael, co-founder of the Jewish Grandparents Network, and we enjoy the audiobook Bubbe & Zaide, written and voiced by Anne-Marie Asner along with the famous actor Ed Asner as Zaide. For links to more resources, including our guests' Boosting Black Voices reading recommendations, visit bookoflifepodcast.com.…
 
Lee Wind is the author of Queer as a Five-Dollar Bill and blogs at I'm Here, I'm Queer, What the Hell Do I Read? He is Heidi's partner in the Through the Window diversity exchange program sponsored by the Association of Jewish Libraries. Please visit https://jewishbooks.blogspot.com/2020/06/through-window-lee-wind.html for extensive show notes with…
 
Bernice Lerner talks about her book All the Horrors of War: A Jewish Girl, a British Doctor, and the Liberation of Bergen-Belsen on "Books in the Time of Coronavirus" special series on The Book of Life, www.bookoflifepodcast.com. Plus a shout-out to Dianne Siekmann for becoming a Book of Life supporter on Patreon.com/Bookoflife.…
 
No Steps Behind: Beate Sirota Gordon's Battle for Women's Rights in Japan by Jeff Gottesfeld, illustrated by Shiella Witanto, is a picture book biography about a Russian-Austrian-Jewish woman who grew up in Japan and became an architect of the country's post-WWII constitution, enshrining it with more women's rights than are in the US constitution. …
 
The Sydney Taylor Book Award recognizes the best in Jewish children's and teen literature each year. I spoke with committee chair Rebecca Levitan to learn about the 2020 winners. Please see the extensive show notes for January 27, 2020 a BookofLifePodcast.com for full information on this year's winners and much more. Please also visit SydneyTaylorB…
 
ANNOUNCING: The World Premiere of the audiobook version of Hanukkah with Noshy Boy & Friends by Anne-Marie Asner, voiced by Anne-Marie Asner and Ed Asner (yes, that Ed Asner!), on The Book of Life Podcast! Plus, we've got an interview with Anne-Marie about the story's creation. Noshy Boy, Schmutzy Girl, Kvetchy Boy, and their other friends are char…
 
On The Book of Life, we talk a lot about Jewish kidlit. But where do you go to find Jewish children's books? In this episode, Marjorie Ingall joins me to talk about how to discover and how to access the best Jewish kidlit. Marjorie is a columnist at Tablet Magazine and is well-known for her year-end "best of Jewish kidlit" lists, and she's the auth…
 
Honeycake Magazine is a new Jewish magazine for kids ages 2 to 6. Creator Anna Caplan guest posted on The Book of Life about the magazine in May 2019. Now here's our podcast interview, in which I spoke to Anna about her inspiration for Honeycake and her plans for its future. Want your own copy of Honeycake? Go to HoneycakeMagazine.com and click on …
 
We are in a golden age of picture book biographies, and one prolific biographer is Nancy Churnin. She's got half a dozen bios out and more on the way, and each one is inspiring in its own way. Nancy attended the 2019 Association of Jewish Libraries conference to take part in the author luncheon, where she represented her Jewish interest books, Irvi…
 
In May 2019 I posted an interview with Jonathan Auxier, the author of Sweep: The Story of a Girl and Her Monster. In our interview we talked about the book, of course, but we also talked about our favorite board games. I met Jonathan at the 2019 Association of Jewish Libraries conference where he'd come to accept his Sydney Taylor Book Award, and w…
 
At the 2019 Association of Jewish Libraries conference in Los Angeles, California, we recorded a Book of Life live show. My guests were Joni Sussman of KarBen Publishing, and author/illustrator/musician Barney Saltzberg. We discussed picture book illustration while recording our conversation in front of a live audience of Judaica librarians. At the…
 
Sadaf Siddique and Gauri Manglick are the co-creators of Kitaab World, a website that promotes South Asian children's books. Within their website, they created a campaign called Counter Islamophobia Through Stories, (similar to the Love Your Neighbor campaign that I worked on to help bring Jewish books to ALL readers), and they even turned their ca…
 
Young Aria is a voracious reader. In this interview, she shares a few of her favorite titles: All Kinds of Strong by Sharon Reiss Baker Zishe the Strongman by Robert Rubinstein Brave Girl: Clara and the Shirtwaist Makers' Strike of 1909 by Michelle Markel Gittel's Journey: An Ellis Island Story by Lesléa Newman The Harriet Hamsterbone series CLICK …
 
Anne Dublin is a Toronto-based author and retired synagogue librarian. She is the Canadian Correspondent for The Book of Life Podcast, performing many of our interviews with Canadian creatives. She's also the author of A Cage Without Bars, a historical middle grade novel that tells the little-known tale of Jewish children kidnapped after the expuls…
 
Natalie Silverstein is the New York volunteer coordinator of Doing Good Together, an organization that empowers families to raise caring, engaged children. She wrote Simple Acts: The Busy Family's Guide to Giving Back to give parents practical ideas for incorporating service and the spirit of giving into family life. CLICK HERE TO READ THE TRANSCRI…
 
Craig Taubman is a long-time star in the world of American Jewish rock and roll, and the founder of the Pico Union Project. Mostly Kosher is an up and coming Gypsy Rock Klezmer band whose tagline is “word to your bubbe.” In spring 2019, Craig Taubman brought along Mostly Kosher and together they put on a foot-stomping concert at Congregation B’nai …
 
May 1 is May Day, the chimney sweeps’ holiday. It’s the perfect day to bring you a podcast about Sweep: The Story of a Girl and Her Monster by Jonathan Auxier. The book introduces us to Nan, a chimney climber, and her golem friend Charlie, a creature made of soot. This middle grade novel won the 2019 Sydney Taylor Book Award for Jewish children’s b…
 
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