Page 100 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 35

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JEWISH BOOK ANNUAL
Cohen’s
T h e Carp in the B a th tu b ,
Cowan’s
C h ild ren o f the
R es is tance
and Moskin’s
I Am R o sem a r ie .
Appearing on the 1974-75 list along with the winner,
T h e
H o lo cau s t,
were: H irsh’s
C ou ld A n y th in g Be W orse;
Howe and
Greenberg’s
Y idd ish S tories O ld and N ew ;
Joffo’s
A B ag of
M a rb les;
Madison’s
B ecky ’s H o rse ;
Meltzer’s
R em em b e r the Days
and
W o r ld of O u r Fathers;
Moskin’s
W a i t in g fo r M am a ;
Suhl’s
On the O th e r S ide o f the Ga te;
Synge’s
T h e P eo p le an d the
P rom ise
(a non-Jewish view of the Exodus); and Trigoboff’s
A b u
—an abundance of riches!
During the Bicentennial, when the prize went to another
H a ym Sa lom on ,
there appeared the excellent biography by
Davidson called
T h e G o lda M e ir S tory ,
Forman’s intense novel
T h e Su rv ivo r ,
Nurenberg’s
T h e T im e of A n g e r
and Kerr’s
T h e
O th e r Way R o u n d
(a sequel to
W hen H i t l e r S to le P in k R a b b i t) .
R O L E OF TH E A W A R D S
The instituting of awards for Jewish juvenile books has had a
positive effect on the quality of books for Jewish children.
However, the judges have not always chosen the right books.
Although a primary requisite has always been, and rightly so,
that the award winner must make an affirmative expression of
Jewish values, this properly need not be pu t before literary
quality. There is no reason why a book cannot combine both
aspects. A book tha t is too dry and pedantic will not be read,
no matter how affirmatively it expresses Jewish values.
Jewish children need fiction about contemporary Jewish life
with which they can identify. The theme need not be “Jewish”
for it to express Jewish content positively. What is needed are
Jewish characters who live Jewishly and ethically, who express
joy in their Jewishness while going about the business of life.
Books about the Jewish experience are also essential, as are
informational and inspirational books. But the books tha t walk
off the shelves are those which reach the children directly and
express their Jewishness naturally. These are difficult books to
write, bu t the Jewish Book Council is the most effective means
of fostering their writing.
Here are some suggestions tha t have occurred to me: 1) Poll
the Jewish librarians for suggestions of books to be considered