Gold Mountain: An Interview with Author Betty G. Yee

Debut author Betty G. Yee tells a suspenseful, immersive depiction of a pivotal point in US history in Gold Mountain. In the 1860s, Tam Ling Fan needs money to help her father. Disguised as a boy, she travels from China to America to take a dangerous job as a laborer on the Transcontinental Railroad.

Read on to discover Betty’s inspiration for this YA novel, her favorite memories during her research, and her hopes for young readers. Don’t forget to download the free educator resources!

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10 at 10: An Author Interview with Carlyn Beccia

Audrey Hepburn, Roberto Clemente, Albert Einstein—kids know the names, but do they know what some of history’s most famous figures were like at the age of ten? In 10 at 10: The Surprising Childhoods of Ten Remarkable People Carlyn Beccia presents ten brief and beautifully illustrated biographies to give young readers a fresh look at the lives of people they may only know through history books. 

Today Carlyn Beccia joins us to discuss her creative process, her favorite subjects, and her best memories from when she was ten! Read on to find out more.

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Make Way for Animals!: An Author Interview with Meeg Pincus

Around the world, roads and highways have cut through natural spaces. As a result, wild animals are cut off from the resources they need to survive. Make Way for Animals!: A World of Wildlife Crossings explores the creative solutions engineers and wildlife biologists have found to save both animal and human lives and help preserve ecosystems.

Today author Meeg Pincus joins us to share her inspiration for this nonfiction picture book, her research process, and more!

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Books for Jewish Heritage Month

May is Jewish American Heritage Month! Here’s a list of titles for your readers advisory group that celebrate the varied contributions of famous Jewish Americans.

The Rabbi and the Reverend: Joachim Prinz, Martin Luther King Jr., and Their Fight against Silence

When Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. gave his “I Have a Dream” speech at the March on Washington, he did not stand alone. He was joined by Rabbi Joachim Prinz, a refugee from Nazi Germany, who also addressed the crowd. Though Rabbi Prinz and Dr. King came from very different backgrounds, they were united by a shared belief in justice. And they knew that remaining silent in the face of injustice was wrong. Together, they spoke up and fought for a better future.

Hannah G. Solomon Dared to Make a Difference

When Hannah G. Solomon looked around Chicago, the city where she was born, she saw unfairness all around her. Many people were poor and living in terrible conditions. Immigrants from other countries struggled to survive in their new home. Hannah decided to help change that. When she grew up, she founded the National Council of Jewish Women—the first organization to unite Jewish women around the country—and fought to make life better for others, especially women and children, in Chicago and beyond.

“An interesting, informative account of a little-known woman of great achievement.” —Kirkus Reviews

Frank, Who Liked to Build: The Architecture of Frank Gehry

One building looks like it’s been wrapped in tinfoil. Another looks like it’s buried under a pile of paint chips. Frank Gehry has been called “the most important architect of our age.” As a child, his parents thought of him as nothing but a dreamer. But Frank kept dreaming and playing, following his passions and becoming an architect who created astounding buildings that to this day attract millions of visitors worldwide.

“Being a Chicagoan, I know Frank Gehry’s work in our beloved Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park. Frank, Who Liked to Build gives young readers a fascinating introduction to the creative vision behind one of the greatest architects of our time.” —Sherri Duskey Rinker, author of the Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site series

Rena Glickman, Queen of Judo

Rena Glickman, known professionally as Rusty Kanokogi, was a Jewish girl who grew up to become the preeminent female judo master of her time, overcoming many odds. At a time when judo was a sport strictly for boys and men, Rusty was determined to practice the sport she loved.

A worthy homage to a fascinating woman who was a force for change in a man’s world. —Kirkus Reviews

The Singer and the Scientist

It’s 1937, and Marian Anderson is one of the most famous singers in America. But after she gives a performance for an all-white audience, she learns that the nearby hotel is closed to African Americans. She doesn’t know where she’ll stay for the night.

Until the famous scientist Albert Einstein invites her to stay at his house. Marian, who endures constant discrimination as a Black performer, learns that Albert faced prejudice as a Jew in Germany. She discovers their shared passion for music—and their shared hopes for a more just world.

Find more suggestions for Jewish American Heritage Month at https://lernerbooks.blog/2020/03/librarian-prep-list-for-jewish-american-heritage-month.html