Page 33 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 11 (1952-1952)

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AMERICAN JEW ISH JUVEN ILE LITERATURE
1951-1952
By
F
a n n y
G
o l d s t e in
T
HE foundation of a good Jewish adult is a good Jewish
childhood spent in a good Jewish home environment. This
is one of the fundamentals which has ever been taugh t in Jewish
education. No Jewish home is complete without the presence of
the Jewish book, and the accessibility of the Jewish book for the
Jewish child is a determining factor in the development of the
well-adjusted Jewish adult. Moreover, in a rapidly changing
and complex world, leaders in Jewish education must need recog-
nize the ever-increasing hazards of the Jewish child growing up
in this complex adult world, where multiple forces of things and
people and an increased tempo of living charge the daily calendar
of every child.
During 1951, a total of 11,255 titles was published in America,
an increase of 2% over 1950. Of this number, the classification of
children’s books ranked second, and was exceeded only by the
category of fiction. Books of fiction comprised a total of 19%,
and juveniles 10%. By actual count, there were 982 new children’s
books and 90 new editions of juveniles, making a total of 1072
books for young people published in America in 1951. These
books all showed a wide range of diversity in subject matter.
Invariably, they had an improved quality of writing, and a greater
attractiveness of format and production.
This magic world of juvenile books shows an increased interest
in the field of realism, stimulated no doubt by the age we live
in; — an indication of general familiarity with things or themes
th a t lean towards the scientific. There is an ever stronger accent
on international relations of children throughout the world through
the medium of books, and the slogan tha t “ Books Make Friends”
is constantly accented by UNESCO and CARE, “ Books Across
the Sea,” Book Festivals, Book Fairs, Children’s Book Week,
and Special Juvenile Awards. These special ideas are subtly
woven into the pattern of juvenile writing and reading, and one
might go a step further in prophecying th a t this reading pattern
is all projected toward universal peace, the goal of free thinking
peoples.
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