Page 34 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 11 (1952-1952)

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J EWI SH BOOK ANNUAL
28
In the face of all this, the child lives to learn, bu t according to
Jewish patterns, he must
learn to live.
I t is necessary to bear in mind the need for constant Jewish
cultural survival. Standards of literature and reading must be well
integrated and clearly defined. Conscientious Jewish authors must
set the level for Jewish living and Jewish learning. These qualities
bring young people to a knowledge and consciousness of the Jewish
life-motif— a sensitive awareness of belonging as a creative
individual in the great family of Israel.
In scanning the large array of current American juveniles, we
can find a mere handful of books specifically intended for the
Jewish child. But it is encouraging to see th a t these books present
a marked, steady improvement in readability and appearance over
the Jewish juveniles of past years. In addition to the new books
listed in this brief bibliography of recently published Jewish
juveniles, one could mention the names of a few Jewish authors,
who are contributing distinctive books for the young in general,
bu t not on Jewish topics. I f and when Jewish educators and
literary-minded idealists and donors make it possible to encourage
the creative Jewish juvenile writer and artist by offering special
awards, such as the Isaac Siegel Memorial Award for Jewish
Juveniles given by the Jewish Book Council of America, we
may a ttra c t gifted writers who largely because of economic needs
and a lack of encouragement have not as yet specifically written
for the Jewish child.
The Jewish juvenile can be made a blue-print for be tter human
relations and the development of international good will if some
of these Jewish authors now writing general books for the young
can produce books to interpret the war of ideas to which the grow-
ing Jewish child is too often subjected. Perhaps they, these
experienced juvenile writers, and others who dream of books to
write can be encouraged, guided, inspired and even subsidized
to write Jewish juveniles th a t will find a permanent place in a true
democratic setting in the American juvenile scene — books which
will present the Jewish child to the American juvenile reader.
As it is, the Jewish child can now reasonably live to learn with
books. “Reading Can Be Fun ,” and yet, a t the same time, he
can according to the ever prevalent Jewish pa ttern
learn to live.
Indications augur well for future Jewish juvenilia.
A
b raham s
, R
ob e r t
D. Room for a son. Philadelphia, Jewish Publication Society,
1951. 164 p.
A touching, heart-warming story of a young refugee lad adopted by an
old Jewish couple living in a small town in Pennsylvania. Working against
odds, they center their parental affection on this homeless orphan, but finally