On January 10, the 2018 Sydney Taylor Book Awards and the 67th Annual National Jewish Book Awards were both announced. Two books won awards in both:
The Language of Angels: A Story About the Reinvention of Hebrew by Richard Michelson, illustrated by Karla Gudeon
A picture book influenced by the style of illuminated manuscripts shows how Eliezer Ben-Yehuda and his son, Ben-Zion, created new Hebrew words for modern ideas and objects.
Refugee by Alan Gratz
Although separated by continents and decades, Josef, a Jewish boy living in 1930s Nazi Germany; Isabel, a Cuban girl trying to escape the riots and unrest plaguing her country in 1994; and Mahmoud, a Syrian boy in 2015 whose homeland is torn apart by violence and destruction, embark on harrowing journeys in search of refuge, discovering shocking connections that tie their stories together.
We also own several of the books honored or recognized as finalists or notable:
Yaffa and Fatima: Shalom, Salaam adapted by Fawzia Gilani-Williams, illustrated by Chiara Fedele
Yaffa and Fatima live on neighboring date farms. When very little rain leads to a poor harvest, each woman goes to extra measures to make sure that her neighbor doesn’t go hungry.
Viva, Rose! by Susan Krawitz
In El Paso, Texas, in 1915, fourteen-year-old Rose Solomon seeks her missing brother’s return and inadvertently ends up running with Pancho Villa and his revolutionary army.
This Is Just a Test by Madelyn Rosenberg and Wendy Wan-Long Shang
In 1983 seventh-grader David Da-Wei Horowitz has a lot to worry about–his bar mitzvah is coming soon, his Jewish and Chinese grandmothers argue about everything, his teammates for the upcoming trivia contest, Scott and Hector, do not like each other, he is beginning to notice girls, and Scott has persuaded him to begin digging a fallout shelter just in case the Cold War heats up.
The Dollmaker of Krakow by R.M. Romero
At the beginning of World War II, Karolina’s spirit magically travels from the war-torn Land of the Dolls to the Krakow, Poland, shop of the Dollmaker, Cyryl, and together they take great risks to save their Jewish friends.
Lucky Broken Girl by Ruth Behar
In 1960s New York, fifth-grader Ruthie, a Cuban-Jewish immigrant, must rely on books, art, her family, and friends in her multicultural neighborhood when an accident puts her in a body cast.