Page 97 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 35

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POSNER / JEWISH JUVENILE BOOK AWARDS
87
the book and which makes the character Tomas a part of the
reader’s self.
Other worthy entries of the 1962-63 lists were: Ish-Kishor’s
T a les from the W ise M en o f Israel;
Stinetorf’s
T h e Sheph erd of
A b u K u sh ;
Apsler’s biography of Samson Wertheimer entitled
T h e C our t Factor: T h e Story of Samuel W e r th e im e r ;
Sarah
Jenkins’
Song of D ebo rah ;
and Hamori’s
F ligh t to the P rom ised
L and .
All are original, creative and non-condescending and
fulfill the criteria previously stated. I t seems a pity that a list
of “runners-up” could not be chosen; a group of notable books,
even by foreign authors, should appear along with the prize­
winner.
Several non-fiction books followed as award-winners:
W or lds
L o s t and F ound
by Eisenberg and Elkins in 1964;
T h e D reyfus
A ffa ir
by Betty Schechter in 1965;
T h e Story of Israel
by Meyer
Levin in 1966 and
T h e Story of Masada by Y igael Yad in : R e to ld
fo r Young R ead er s
by Gottlieb in 1969.
W o r ld s
was one of the
first books for children that discussed biblical material un­
covered by archeology. Five years later a second book based on
archeology, which was adapted by Gottlieb from Yadin’s work
on Masada, qualified for an award. Yet
W o r ld s
was an original
creative effort, while the
Masada
book definitely was not. The
judges seemed to have gone against their own rules when they
awarded i t a prize.
Levin’s
S tory of Israel
is a literary account based on the lives
of those who participated in the rebuilding of the land. Used
with T o r ’s
D isco ver in g Israel,
it offers the child a po rtra it of
Israel which adds the elements of yearning, aspiration and
activism to the dry facts of history, geography, government and
other salient facts offered by Tor. Both received awards, bu t one
is literature, the other is not. Of this group the only popular
and widely read book was
T h e D reyfus Affair.
Betty Schechtei
told the story with a scrupulous attention to facts and plot con­
struction tha t created suspense for readers and conveyed a sense
of the injustice of the case. Children who read it were discussing
it with each other and their teachers for weeks afterwards.
What
were
the children reading in the years 1964 to 1969?
The year
W o r ld s
was published the following titles enjoyed the
heaviest circulation: Molly Cohen’s
A P rom ise Is a P rom ise ,
Anne Emery’s
D inn y G o rdon : Jun io r ,
Jean Merrill’s
T h e Push­