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

The Future Gets Built by the Dreamers: Celebrating Architect Frank Gehry on His Birthday

Celebrated architect Frank Gehry once described his creative process: “If you know where it’s going, it’s not worth doing.” As a child, Gehry was a dreamer. He spent hours of his young life building cities out of scraps of wood. He was mesmerized by the pliable nature of dough in his grandmother’s hands or the graceful movements of fish. These forms would inspire him throughout his life.

Read More

The Rabbi and the Reverend: An Interview with Author Audrey Ades

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. The new picture book The Rabbi and the Reverend: Joachim Prinz, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Their Fight Against Silence tells the story of how these two figures spoke up and fought for a better future.

Audrey Ades, author of The Rabbi and the Reverend, joined us to talk about their own literary inspirations and reveal the inspiration they had for this impactful title.

Read More