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The Book of Life: Jewish Kidlit (Mostly)

Arts & Culture Podcasts

The Book of Life is an interview-format podcast about Jewish kidlit, mostly, with occasional coverage of Jewish YA/adult books, music, film and web, established in December 2005. Host: Heidi Rabinowitz Sponsors: Feldman Children's Library at Congregation B'nai Israel of Boca Raton, Florida & the Association of Jewish Libraries

The Book of Life is an interview-format podcast about Jewish kidlit, mostly, with occasional coverage of Jewish YA/adult books, music, film and web, established in December 2005. Host: Heidi Rabinowitz Sponsors: Feldman Children's Library at Congregation B'nai Israel of Boca Raton, Florida & the Association of Jewish Libraries

Location:

United States

Description:

The Book of Life is an interview-format podcast about Jewish kidlit, mostly, with occasional coverage of Jewish YA/adult books, music, film and web, established in December 2005. Host: Heidi Rabinowitz Sponsors: Feldman Children's Library at Congregation B'nai Israel of Boca Raton, Florida & the Association of Jewish Libraries

Language:

English

Contact:

561-206-2473


Episodes

Some Kind of Hate

9/1/2022
SHOW NOTES: https://jewishbooks.blogspot.com/2022/09/some-kind-of-hate.html Sarah Darer Littman does not shy away from tough topics. Her middle grade and young adult novels address religious identity, internet predation, eating disorders, and online bullying. Her new YA novel, Some Kind of Hate, addresses radicalization and antisemitism. It's an important and all too timely book that helps readers understand how ordinary people can become radicalized extremists. LEARN MORE: Buy Some Kind...

Duration:00:47:52

Detour Ahead

8/4/2022
SHOW NOTES: https://jewishbooks.blogspot.com/2022/08/detour-ahead.html Detour Ahead is a contemporary middle grade novel about Gila and Guillermo and the way the H4 bus in Washington DC brings them together. Pamela Ehrenberg wrote the part of Gila, a neurodivergent white Jewish girl who loves breakdancing, and Tracy Lopez wrote Guillermo, a boy from a Salvadoran immigrant family who writes poetry. I was impressed by how well the two distinct voices wove together and how real the characters...

Duration:00:35:52

Catnip for Librarians: Smart Kids Talk About Books

7/5/2022
SHOW NOTES: https://jewishbooks.blogspot.com/2022/07/catnip-for-librarians-smart-kids-talk.html Ten year old Hudson and thirteen year old Ellery are graduates of PJ Our Way's National Design Team. These two young avid readers joined me to discuss their love of reading in general and Jewish books in particular, as well as the societal significance of Jewish literature, libraries, and censorship.

Duration:00:31:39

Zay Getray Zikh Aleyn, or You Be You: The Kid's Guide to Gender, Sexuality, and Family

6/15/2022
SHOW NOTES: https://jewishbooks.blogspot.com/2022/06/zikh-aleyn-zayn-getray-or-you-be-you.html You Be You, The Kid's Guide to Gender, Sexuality, and Family by Jonathan Branfman may not seem like an obvious choice for coverage on The Book of Life, but I was fascinated by the fact that it had been translated into Yiddish to make it accessible not only to scholars of modern Yiddish but to Hasidic families. Branfman brings both Jewish and gender expertise as a scholar in both fields....

Duration:00:43:57

Unite Against Book Bans

6/1/2022
SHOW NOTES: https://jewishbooks.blogspot.com/2022/06/unite-against-book-bans.html Recently, libraries and schools have been facing an outrageous number of book challenges. Jewish tradition encourages debate and the exchange of ideas, and to me, the attempted repression we are seeing right now is diametrically opposed to Jewish values and American values. Books about marginalized communities, including the Jewish community, have been targeted. Librarians and educators are being vilified....

Duration:00:39:26

Wayward Creatures

5/1/2022
SHOW NOTES: https://jewishbooks.blogspot.com/2022/05/wayward-creatures.html Wayward Creatures by Dayna Lorentz is a heartfelt animal friendship story for middle grade readers, told from the points of view of both a troubled young Jewish boy and the wayward coyote he befriends after a forest fire changes both of their lives. A local restorative justice program helps Gabe learn the value of community and tikkun olam. This book takes place in the United States of America in the state of...

Duration:00:29:46

Passover! "Holiday Highlights"

4/3/2022
SHOW NOTES: https://jewishbooks.blogspot.com/2022/04/holiday-highlights-best-new-passover.html Regular listeners will remember my friend Susan Kusel, a librarian/bookseller/author who partners with me frequently to promote Jewish children's literature. In this episode, we discuss Holiday Highlights, a project we set up through the Association of Jewish Libraries. Our expert committee, Amy Lilien-Harper, Robbin Friedman, and Sylvie Shaffer, compile seasonal Holiday Highlights lists...

Duration:00:40:51

The Unfinished Corner

3/8/2022
SHOW NOTES: https://jewishbooks.blogspot.com/2022/03/the-unfinished-corner.html The Unfinished Corner, a National Jewish Book Awards finalist, is a graphic novel that challenges a bat mitzvah girl and her group of diverse Jewish friends to finish a corner of the universe left unfinished by God, in order to rid the world of evil. It's a bold premise, brilliantly carried out with a mix of ancient folklore and modern thinking. I was excited to speak with author Dani Colman to learn...

Duration:00:33:32

Good Grief

2/22/2022
SHOW NOTES: https://jewishbooks.blogspot.com/2022/02/good-grief.html Today I've got a group interview for you, with three authors whose books each take a different and fascinating angle on dealing with grief. It's a difficult topic to talk about with young people but these books handle it with grace and sensitivity. Tyler Feder, author of the Sydney Taylor Book Award winning graphic memoir for young adults, Dancing at the Pity Party, middle grade novelist Emily Barth Isler, whose debut book...

Duration:01:05:36

Blog Tour 2022: The Sydney Taylor Book Award

2/11/2022
SHOW NOTES: https://jewishbooks.blogspot.com/2022/02/the-2022-sydney-taylor-book-award-blog.html Welcome to this special edition of The Book of Life, recorded as a part of the 2022 Sydney Taylor Book Award Blog Tour! Visit https://jewishlibraries.org/ to find the full schedule of interviews with the gold and silver medalists, published February 7th to 11th, 2022 and available thereafter to read at your convenience. I had the pleasure of speaking with the gold medalists: Susan Kusel and...

Duration:00:38:10

The 2022 Sydney Taylor Book Awards, Revealed

1/24/2022
SHOW NOTES: https://jewishbooks.blogspot.com/2022/01/the-2022-sydney-taylor-book-awards.html Martha Seif Simpson is the chair of the Sydney Taylor Book Award committee of the Association of Jewish Libraries. She joined us to discuss the 2022 winners of the award, which annually recognizes the best Jewish literature for children and teens.

Duration:00:21:39

Holiday Heroes

12/1/2021
SHOW NOTES: https://jewishbooks.blogspot.com/2021/12/holiday-heroes.html For this episode I've paired Red and Green and Blue and White by Lee Wind with The Christmas Mitzvah by Jeff Gottesfeld. These two 2021 holiday picture books are both based on true stories of allyship and they have a lovely synergy. Your feedback is welcome! Please write to bookoflifepodcast@gmail.com or leave a voicemail at 561-206-2473.

Duration:00:31:13

Whistle: A New Gotham City Hero

11/1/2021
SHOW NOTES: https://jewishbooks.blogspot.com/2021/11/whistle-new-gotham-city-hero.html E. Lockhart joins us to talk about her graphic novel Whistle: A New Gotham City Hero, featuring a Jewish teen superhero with enhanced canine superpowers and a Great Dane sidekick named Lebowitz. This episode is sponsored by Every Child a Reader in association with the Children's Book Council, in honor of Children's Book Week, November 8-14, 2021. Your feedback is welcome! Please write to...

Duration:00:27:21

The Way Back

9/25/2021
SHOW NOTES: https://jewishbooks.blogspot.com/2021/09/the-way-back.html The Way Back is a strange and wonderful, life-affirming story about death, an adventure in which Bluma and Yehuda Lieb set out from the shtetl on a quest into the Far Country peopled by demons. It won the National Jewish Book Award in the young adult category and was named a Sydney Taylor YA Notable Book. It's a crossover book that will appeal to adults as well as YA readers. I am pleased to bring you this interview with...

Duration:00:38:43

Little Free Libraries & Read In Color

9/1/2021
Visit https://jewishbooks.blogspot.com/2021/09/little-free-libraries.html for full show notes. Or look for episode "Little Free Libraries" posted September 1, 2021 at BookofLifePodcast.com. Little Free Library is a nonprofit organization that inspires a love of reading, builds community, and sparks creativity by fostering neighborhood book exchanges. Here's an interview with Margret Aldrich, Director of Communications at the Little Free Library organization. We'll find out how this...

Duration:00:27:10

Zoe Rosenthal Is Not Lawful Good

8/9/2021
Visit https://jewishbooks.blogspot.com/2021/08/zoe-rosenthal-is-not-lawful-good.html for full show notes. Or see episode "Zoe Rosenthal Is Not Lawful Good" posted August 9, 2021 at BookofLifePodcast.com. Zoe Rosenthal Is Not Lawful Good by Nancy Werlin is a coming of age story with a Jewish protagonist, about the power of fandom, friendship, and finding your inner nerd. Speaking of fandom, be sure to check out my guest spot on the August episode of the podcast Star Trek and the Jews at ...

Duration:00:32:10

Family Stories with the Foers (Live Show)

7/5/2021
Visit https://jewishbooks.blogspot.com/2021/07/family-stories-podcast-live-show.html for full show notes. Or look for episode "Family Stories: A Podcast Live Show" posted July 5, 2021 at BookofLifePodcast.com. Esther Safran Foer and Sadie Foer joined me in May 2021 for a podcast Live Show sponsored by The Jewish Grandparents Network in celebration of the opening of their Family Room. Esther Safran Foer is a past CEO of Sixth & I and the author of I Want You To Know We’re Still Here, a...

Duration:00:27:46

The New Queer Conscience

6/13/2021
Visit https://jewishbooks.blogspot.com/2021/06/the-new-queer-conscience.html for full show notes. June is Pride Month, so I'm pleased to bring you The New Queer Conscience, a 2021 Sydney Taylor Notable Book in the Young Adult category. It's a manifesto by young activist Adam Eli, that holds up k'lal yisrael, or Jewish solidarity, as a model for the queer community to emulate. For queer kidlit with identifiably Jewish characters, see the Diverse Jewish Kidlit section of The Book of Life....

Duration:00:27:10

Not Your All-American Girl

5/9/2021
Visit https://jewishbooks.blogspot.com/2021/05/not-your-all-american-girl.html for full show notes. Or look for "Not Your All-American Girl" posted May 9, 2021 at BookofLifePodcast.com. May is Jewish American Heritage Month and Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month. We celebrate both on The Book of Life by talking to Madelyn Rosenberg and Wendy Wan-Long Shang, co-authors of This Is Just a Test and Not Your All-American Girl, a pair of middle grade novels set in the 1980's that feature a...

Duration:00:39:50

Through the Window: Brave with Beauty

4/18/2021
Visit https://jewishbooks.blogspot.com/2021/04/through-window-brave-with-beauty.html for full show notes. Or look for "Through the Window: Brave with Beauty" posted April 18, 2021 at BookofLifePodcast.com. Ambika Sambasivan is the publisher at Yali Books, which opens a window to South Asia –India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Bhutan, and the Maldives —and invites the rest of the world to learn more about the incredible diversity of this region. Maxine Rose Schur is...

Duration:00:24:37