Hadassah Magazine's Guide to Jewish Literature – November/December 2021
A selection of books to entice any reader. Everything from novels to nonfiction, memoirs to mysteries, cookbooks to kids’ books.
With a delicious mix of prose, poetry, and recipes, this hybrid novel is another fresh, thoughtful, and accessible novel that is cookin’. – New York Times Best-Selling Author Kwame Alexander. In this heartfelt middle school drama, Hannah’s schemes for throwing her own bat mitzvah unleash family secrets, create rivalries with best friends, and ultimately teach Hannah what being Jewish is all about.
Available wherever books are sold. Learn more here.
Henrietta Szold provides a model for social justice and how to work for it, no matter the obstacles. The determination and spirit of Hadassah’s heroic founder continue to inspire women all over the world. Recipient of a Kirkus starred review: “A powerful introduction to a little known, very brave woman.” A great way to build children’s excitement about Hadassah’s mission to heal the world.
Rita Winkler, a young woman with Down syndrome, shows us the world as she sees it through her art: a place full of joy and color. Whether she’s working at a coffee shop, visiting her uncle in New York City, or in a folk dancing lesson, Rita’s voice and creativity shine through.
Hardcover, 36 pp., $19.95. Available now at www.secondstorypress.ca or from your favorite bookstore.
In this riveting story from award-winning author Jennifer Gold, two sisters must summon all their courage to make it back to each other. When twelve-year-old Anna Krawitz escapes the Warsaw Ghetto with an orphaned baby, her older sister Lina is taken to the infamous Treblinka Camp. Surrounded by devastation, can the two sisters survive and find one another again?
Paperback, 336 pp., $14.95. Available now at www.secondstorypress.ca or from your favorite bookstore.
Dusseldorf, Germany, 1938: Paul is being pressured to join the Hitler Youth when he meets the Edelweiss Pirates, a group of teenagers working to undermine the growing power of the Nazis. During the terrifying violence of Kristallnacht, Paul must step out of the shadows and make a life-changing decision. A new novel from acclaimed author Kathy Kacer, based on true history.
Paperback, 216 pp., $13.95. Available now at www.secondstorypress.ca or from your favorite bookstore.
A musical story celebrating and honoring the special relationship between grandparents and a grandchild. This new re-designed hardcover edition features fresh lyrics, a toe-tapping memorable melody and colorful illustrations that mirror moments of joy this special bond brings. Use the digital download code printed inside the book to download the song. Reading, listening and singing together, will create memories that will last a lifetime!
Available from www.elaineserling.com. 800-457-2157; $19.95 + $3 shipping.
A lyrical coming-of-age novel for ages 12 and up. Get the perfect present for teens this holiday! Alma’s life is a series of halves: she’s half Jewish, half Chinese, and halfway through becoming a woman. In this world of confusing beginnings, middles, and endings, is Alma ready to press play on the soundtrack of her life?
Hardcover, 336 pages. US $17.99/ CAN $23.99. Available wherever books are sold.
When their marriage – and their Victorian home – go up in flames, a couple must face the charred remains of both. But did the fire rob them of their past or free them from it? The novel draws on the biblical tale of Lilith, Adam’s first wife, who is portrayed as a woman of fierce independence and unbridled sexuality. The protagonist sees his wife as his “Lilith” – until he unearths the tragic roots of her fervor. A love story like no other. “With prose that is insightful and slightly mystical, Golan questions the impossibility of happiness.”- Kirkus Reviews.
Christian missionaries calling themselves messianic “Jews,” Jews ingratiating themselves to Evangelical Christians for their support of Israel, the overuse of the term “Judeo-Christian,” and the increasing use of Jewish rituals in Christian churches are among the factors that blur the lines between Judaism and Christianity. Judaism and Christianity: A Contrast explains, from a Jewish perspective, the irreconcilable differences and mutually exclusive beliefs of the two faiths. Now available in Spanish, as Judaismo y Cristianismo: Un Contraste.
Available at Amazon and Barnes and Noble in hardcover, paperback and in all e-book formats.
In 1942 war-torn Poland, a Jewish family is murdered by the Nazis and Ukrainians, but fifteen-year-old Hannah Gould miraculously escapes. Alone and desperate, Hannah ultimately makes her way to a group of Jewish and Russian partisans between Poland and Russia. She is transformed from an innocent, sheltered Jewish girl from Warsaw to a cold killer in the forests of Belorussia.
Available in soft-cover and e-book at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or through bookstores. Signed copies available direct from author. www.timlinehanbooks.com.
Filled with humor, adventure, colorful characters, and a deep sense of history, Yadel’s story is a saga of a people who not only survive but who thrive in a hostile and ever-changing world.
“Andy Lazris beautifully recounts Jewish history in an engaging, humorous manner through his novel” -Seattle Book Review.
The klezmer musician, Shloyml from Buhuși, embarks on a journey to buy olive oil from the Holy Land – the one thing needed for the community’s yearly latke contest. Will Shloyml bring the oil back home in time, or will he be stopped by the devious Nebish brothers? Will it come down to a game of dreydl? The book is in English and Yiddish.
Available on Etsy.
Oy Vey! A book filled with fun and mishigas!
A spell cast upon two pocket watches goes terribly awry and changes the course of history in twentieth-century America. The lives of Charles Lindbergh, Marilyn Monroe, and John F. Kennedy, among others, become intertwined in this fascinating novel.
Stan Lee didn’t have hulking strength. Or fantastic flexibility. Or cat-like reflexes. His superpower was creating heroes who did! He asked: what if anyone―even an ordinary kid―could be a superhero? Discover more about the life of Stan Lee, known to many for his appearances in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and how he revolutionized comics.
Picture book | Hardcover | $18.99 | Page Street Kids
An empowering historical fiction novel from the Newbery Honor-winning author of The Night Diary. When her family’s Jewish bakery runs into financial trouble and her sister elopes with a man from India following the 1967 Loving v. Virginia Supreme Court decision, twelve-year-old Ariel feels like change is the only constant in her life. So, she’s left to hone something that will always be—her voice.
$17.99. Available at prh.com.
Molly’s marriage is boring. She blames her self-absorbed husband Seth for the rift in their relationship. During a 3 week period of separation, Molly decides to ignore her conservative Jewish lifestyle and experience romantic adventure. Drug addicted Bo-D, corporate lawyer Julian Delonge, and orthodox widower Avram Hirsch are her men of choice. With the help of Molly’s new friend, Ms. Mavis-Beulah Brown, Molly comes to realize that fulfillment is best found in her marriage and in a way she never imagined. Visit mmarmerverhoeff.com to read about other Verhoeff novels.
Available on Amazon/Amazon Kindle.
Jason Kirby landed a dream job at an auto parts manufacturer. Soon he suspects some of his colleagues are white collar criminals. The mild mannered accountant is forced into a role he never thought he’d play: hero. Some forensic accounting turns life-threatening as he finds corporate corruption and international espionage. The conspiracy goes deeper than he imagined. With each new piece of the puzzle, Kirby faces different enemies, from coworkers to Russian oligarchs to upper levels of government. Can he survive long enough to uncover the truth, or will he end up a casualty of the riskiest kind of business?
Print and e-book available on Amazon, and on all platforms where Draft2Digital distributes.
A mysterious file and a stranger’s World War II postcard propels a second-generation Holocaust survivor on a haunting journey of betrayal and redemption, giving her the courage to confront her own family’s buried secret. “A captivating story, smartly recounted,” Kirkus Starred Review.
Winner of Angoulême Award for Best Series. Over one million copies sold internationally. “Nury’s story is gripping, brutal, and morally complex, dramatizing the fleeting nature of power. Thrilling, haunting, superb.” —Kirkus Reviews (Starred). “Based on true events, this is an absolutely riveting thriller that asks difficult questions about good and evil and whether actions taken in the heat of battle can be fairly adjudicated in peacetime.” —Library Journal, (Starred) and Editor’s Pick. “A fascinating hybrid of war history, biography, and true crime.”—Shelf Awareness.
Pub: October 2019|368 pp. 10x 8 in. Fully illustrated. Publisher: Dead Reckoning, an imprint of Naval Institute Press, 978-1-68247-471-6 Paperback with flaps, $29.95.
An award-winning and riveting historical novel of four generations of an immigrant family. When matriarch Ida escapes a pogrom in Ukraine determined to save her family, she cannot foresee the struggles of her descendants. Through war, mental illness, secrets and betrayal, each generation’s actions impact the lives of the next, as love and loyalty is tested by secrets and betrayal. You will recognize these family members and grieve and rejoice with them. Readers cannot put the book down. Gift it for the holidays. Pick it for your book club and author will Zoom with you for a lively conversation.
Told in verse, this beautiful children’s book introduces readers to the diversity of Israel’s people. Text sheds light on the varied cultures and traditions that have special connections to Israel. Written by award-winning author, Alice Blumenthal McGinty and noted Israeli illustrator, Rotem Teplow, this book arrives at a critical time for parents and educators to begin thoughtful conversations about the complicated feelings surrounding modern-day Israel.
A visual delight of adventure, change, and a word united by love. “Ribbons, stars, and dandelion dust spread magic.” Mesmerizing words and illustration surprise with twists and twirls as you are happily carried off by your imagination on the locks of Bubbie’s hair: “Look for her in the mirror, in the pocket of your coat, and when you look both ways crossing the street.”
Available from Bookshop.org.
Life is peaceful for a middle-class Jewish family in Minnesota in the 1970s. Then the young mother suffers a devastating stroke, and nothing is as it was. Her eldest daughter must find a way to grow up as best she can. This memoir tells the story of a family’s struggle through physical and mental illness, loss, and shattered expectations towards endurance and healing.
Available on Amazon in paperback and e-book formats.
Take a deep-dive into the world of anti-Zionist conspiracy theories and how they are spread in academia. Learn the difference between a theory and a conspiracy theory in Shay’s third book, Conspiracy U: A Case Study. Dr. Erica Brown at the Mayberg Center calls it “a well-researched and compelling book.” Unpack anti-Zionist conspiracy theories that embed themselves in our schools, media, and in normal discourse.
Hardcover, 304 pages. To purchase go to www.scottshay.com.
Holland, 1944. Young Sophia carries secrets, covering them with lies. She doesn’t mean to, or want to. They are forced upon her. Terrified her lies will be discovered, she buries them deep within, separating them by decades, countries and continents. Canada, 2015. With Alzheimer’s overtaking her, Sophia’s secrets resurface with a vengeance. Prepare to face the gripping, heart-wrenching realities of WWII from a difference perspective.
Available at Barnes and Noble.
This is the true, virtually unknown, story of an independent 150–year–old medieval Jewish kingdom in southern France called Septimania. Its first king, amazingly, became Charlemagne’s uncle. His people hailed him, with excellent reason, as the long-tarried Messiah. The quest for the long-lost Holy Menorah is a vital part of the story. “The novel…will keep the reader entranced.”—Alan Caruba, National Book Critics Circle. Amazon 4+ star review.
Dr. Larry S. Milner takes us to the closing period in Abraham’s life after the Akedah, when told by YHWH to prepare to sacrifice Isaac. It was after this event that Abraham, amazingly, lost faith. After the Akedah, when it was not Isaac who died, but Sarah, Abraham did the unexpected; he married a pagan.
Milner presents Abraham’s story in the format of a play, through dialog. Ideal for teachers and group leaders, this story can easily be presented in a live format for all ages.
ISBN 978-1946124-883 ~ 148 pages. Available on Amazon.
Dr. Larry S. Milner analyzes when Moses punished the Israelites with a death penalty, not God-approved, that this prohibited him from entering Israel and how this punishment was consistent with the principles of Divine Justice found in the Torah. Then Milner examines when Moses strikes, rather than speaking to the rock at Meribah, the event thought to be the reason Moses couldn’t enter the Land. He presents the view that this reason was a late addition to the Torah, intended to rehabilitate the reputation of Moses.
ISBN 978-1946124-869 ~ 774 pages. Available at Amazon.