Guide to Jewish Literature - May/June 2023
A selection of books to entice any reader. Everything from novels to nonfiction, memoirs to mysteries, cookbooks to kids’ books.
Best-Selling Author fulfills a promise to tell the tale of a family torn apart by war and the resilience of the human spirit. Based on a true story that began after a violent pogrom devastates a small Jewish community in rural Ukraine, the surviving two siblings, of a broken family, each make a choice— one will stay to rebuild, the other will leave for a new beginning in America. Two decades later, an ocean apart and against the backdrop of one of humanity’s darkest moments, we follow Mulya, Frank and their family’s story of survival, faith, and love.
Days are bad in the Great Depression of the 1930s. But for little Willie Mittleman and the Mittleman clan in their Bronx, NY neighborhood, life is still good, proving that laughter and love will always be the lifesaving forces to rescue us from adversity and pain. A big-hearted gem. Funny, touching and insightful. For readers of all ages.
Drawing on Henrietta Szold’s letters and diary entries, and extensive research and historical sources of that time in Germany and Palestine, This Labyrinth of Darkness and Light is a powerful narrative and spellbinding rescue story, that brings to life one of the darkest and yet most inspirational chapters in Jewish history.
Paperback, 278 pages. $24.95. Available on Amazon and Bookshop.org.
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.
Max St. Denis, raised on a Rothschild estate, vows to steal back a well-loved family portrait from Nazi art looters. As spy and thief, he uses disguise and lies, winning help from two brave women, Rose Valland, the only French person in the depot for Nazi loot, and beautiful Hannah Kiesler, a Hungarian Zionist who recruits him to snatch Jews from their SS hunters.
Available on Amazon.com.
Jewish identity, memory, and place are deftly revealed through the lens of Jewish women’s graphic narratives. An exploration of the work of Jewish women graphic novelists and the intricate Jewish identity is complicated by gender, memory, generation, and place—that is, the emotional, geographical, and psychological spaces that women inhabit. Victoria Aarons explores Jewish identity, diaspora, mourning, memory, and witness in the works of Sarah Lightman, Liana Finck, Anya Ulinich, Leela Corman, and others.
252 pages; paperback ($38.99) and hardcover ($94.99) editions available. Order at wsupress.wayne.edu or by calling 800-978-7323.
In this eagerly anticipated sequel to The Takeaway Men, the Lubinski twins struggle with their roles as women and coming to terms with their family’s Holocaust legacy at the same time as political and social upheaval roils through the US. Their peers, including a Catholic priest and the son of a Nazi guard at Auschwitz, also struggle with family genealogy and its influence on their lives. The book explores the experience of navigating deeply held family secrets, confusing religious identities, antisemitism, and the scars of WWII in the wake of revolutionary social changes.
A five-decade story of a teen in Brooklyn who becomes a boxer in the 1932 Golden Gloves, goes to war WWII, marries his sweetheart, overcomes anti-Semitism to build a plumbing business – and saves his family when his wife at 44 is crippled by a drunk driver. Recipient the U.S. 2022 National Literary Award for excellence in Memoirs– and ranked a “best-seller” on Amazon’s Jewish book list.
Hardcover, Paperback 386 pages or eBook, available on all book platforms. Inscribed copies from author at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This powerful and moving novel from the New York Times bestselling author of A Long Petal of the Sea and Violeta weaves together past and present, tracing the ripple effects of war and immigration on one child in Europe in 1938 and another in the United States in 2019. The Wind Knows My Name tells the tale of these two unforgettable characters, both in search of family and home. It is a testament to the sacrifices that parents make and a love letter to the children who survive the most unfathomable dangers—and never stop dreaming.
Available wherever books are sold.
From the poorest neighborhoods in Kenya to the streets of New York City to the halls of the Canadian Supreme Court, the contemporary Jewish women found in these pages have accomplished remarkable feats. Some survived the horrors of the Holocaust while others had more peaceful childhoods, but all of them saw unfairness in their world and decided to do something about it. You may have not heard their names before, but you will remember them! For ages 9-12.
Paperback, 112 pages, $22.95. Available from your favorite bookseller.