Page 220 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 25

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e w i s h
B
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Several of the 29 titles in volume 22 (1964-1965) reveal the
broader spectrum of subject matter noted earlier. Miriam Freund’s
J ew e ls fo r a C rown
(New York, McGraw-Hill, 1963) is a lovely
book dealing with the Chagall windows at the Hadassah Medical
Center in Jerusalem. A book noteworthy for its art by Ben Shahn
as well as for its excellent story which takes place in the Middle
Ages is Sulamith Ish-Kishor’s
A B oy in O ld P rague
(New York,
Pantheon, 1963). Gilbert Klaperman has transcended the seem-
ingly universal compulsion to re-tell Bible stories with an excellent
analysis of the Bible in his
T h e H ow an d W h y W o n d e r B ook of
the B ib le
(New York, Grosset and Dunlap, 1964).
In volume 23 (1965-1966), in addition to some books mentioned
earlier in this paper, we discover three unusually well-written
fiction books for the 10 to 13 year age group. Jean Merrill’s
T h e
Pushcar t W a r
(New York, Scott, 1964) is a satire dealing with
New York pushcart owners who wage war on the ever larger
trucks and their ever more arrogant drivers crowding the streets.
Emily Neville (a Newbery prize winning author), in
Berr ies Good -
man
(New York, Harper 8c Row, 1965), tells of a 9 year old non-
Jewish boy’s experiences with anti-Semitism. Thelma Nuren-
berg’s
M y Cous in the A rab
(New York, Abelard-Schuman, 1965)
is a teenage novel that deals with the maturing of two girls in a
kibbutz in 1947: one a sensitive, finely wrought German pianist
who misses the
g em u e t l ic h k e i t
of her homeland, the other a
sabra, baffled that her Arab fiance turns out to be more Arab
than brother.
There are two outstanding books in the 33 listed in volume 24
(1966-1967). In
Consecra ted U n to M e : A Jew ish V iew o f L o v e
and M a r r iag e
(New York, Un ion of American Hebrew Congre-
gations, 1965) Rabbi Roland Gittelsohn courageously and ably
tackles the problem of the modern teenage mores. In
T h e D rey fu s
A ffa ir
(Boston, Houghton-Mifflin, 1965) for which she received
the Isaac Siegel Memorial Award, Betty Schecter presents a stir-
ring, scholarly account of a case of anti-Semitism that rocked the
world.
Th is volume, number 25 (1967-1968), contains the greatest
number of books of Jewish interest ever to be published in one
year. Some are original, dynamic, beautiful and meaningful. They
are well written and reach out to new subjects or treat old sub-
jects creatively and imaginatively. Some, however, are at best trite
and the worst are quite bad.
In Summation
“Almost anyone . . . can write books for adults—and almost
everyone does: but it requires a felicitous combination of quali­