Librarian Prep List for Jewish American Heritage Month

by Lara Neel, Trade Marketing Manager

May is Jewish American Heritage Month! Here’s a list of book display ideas or selections for your readers advisory group.

Havdalah Is Coming!

Interest Level: Preschool

The ninth in the popular Jewish holiday board book series by Newman and Garofoli, a family and their puppy celebrate Havdalah, the weekly ritual celebrating the end of Shabbat and welcoming the new week.

Shalom Bayit

Interest Level: Preschool

A home’s a cozy, restful place,
A safe and special, sacred space.

The words “shalom bayit” are Hebrew for “peace in the home,” a goal for all families whether animal or human.

Kol Hakavod: Way to Go!

Interest Level: Preschool – Grade 1

What is “kavod”? It’s “gee!” It’s “wow.”
It’s honor, respect. It’s “whoa, holy cow!”
Even the littlest acts of kindness and the smallest good deeds can be hugely important in the world.

Clarence’s Topsy-Turvy Shabbat

Interest Level: Preschool – Grade 2

This title will be available on 4/7/20.

Is Clarence confused and will he create chaos on Shabbat? His special Shabbat challah recipe calls for flour, oil, honey, yeast and water, and his neighbors eagerly await their loaves. But instead he gathers a silly assortment of things. How will he bake his challah?

Mr. Tempkin Climbs a Tree

Interest Level: Preschool – Grade 2

School’s out, and Marky looks forward to summer, including helping his friend and neighbor, Mr. Tempkin, with his garden. But when Mr. Tempkin’s plan to thwart the squirrels that have been raiding his birdfeeder goes awry, Marky learns how special a friendship can be.

Judah Touro Didn’t Want to be Famous

Interest Level: Kindergarten – Grade 3

This title will be available on 4/7/20.

Setting out from Boston to New Orleans in 1801, Judah Touro dreamed of becoming a successful shopkeeper. Through his skill in business, he earned a great fortune. But the harrowing experience of being injured on a battlefield during the War of 1812 showed Judah the world through new eyes. Grateful for his riches, he recognized that they could be used to help others. So humble Judah did his great philanthropic deeds, large and small, all in secret.

Walk Till You Disappear

Interest Level: Grade 3 – Grade 7

Raised a Catholic, when 12-year-old Miguel suddenly learns that his ancestors were Jewish, his world seems to turn upside down. Rushing from the house, he becomes lost in the desert. Captured by a band of Apaches, after a daring escape he meets Rushing Cloud, a Tohono O’odham youth who is running away from a mission school. As the boys travel toward home, Miguel learns to survive in the desert, but more importantly, he begins to see his heritage in a new light.

Red Menace

Interest Level: Grade 6 – Grade 8

A suspenseful and heartfelt story about an era whose uncertainties, controversies, and dangers will seem anything but distant to contemporary readers.

If thirteen-year-old Marty Rafner had his way, he’d spend the summer of 1953 warming the bench for his baseball team, listening to Yankees games on the radio, and avoiding preparations for his bar mitzvah. Instead, he has to deal with FBI agents staking out his house because his parents—professors at the local college—are suspected communist sympathizers. Marty knows what happens to communists, or Reds, as his friends call them: They lose their jobs, get deported…or worse. Two people he’s actually met, Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, have been convicted of being communist spies, and they’re slated to be executed in two months.

Marty just wants everything to go back to normal, but that’s impossible thanks to the rumors that his parents are traitors. As his friends and teammates turn on him and federal agents track his every move, Marty isn’t sure what to believe. Is his family really part of a Red Menace working against the United States? And even if they’re simply patriotic Americans who refuse to be bullied by the government, what will it cost them?

As the countdown to the Rosenbergs’ execution date continues, it may be up to Marty to make sure his family survives.

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