Page 98 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 35

Basic HTML Version

8 8
JEWISH BOOK ANNUAL
cart W ar ,
Emily Neville’s
Berries G o odm an ,
and Thelma Nuren-
berg’s
M y Cous in , T h e A r a b .
Along with the
D rey fu s A ffa ir,
many read Flinker’s
Young M o sh e ’s D ia ry ,
Holm ’s
N o r th to
F reedom ,
and Santalo’s
T h e W in d D ies a t Sunrise.
Levin’s
Israe l
was no contender for readers compared to Pamela Melnikoff’s
T h e S tar and T h e Sword ,
which combined medieval pogroms
in England with Robin Hood, and Barbara Morgan’s
Journey
for T o b iyah ,
the tale of an Assyrian slave-boy who discovered
his Jewishness and his membership in a priestly family. The
year tha t a prize was being awarded for an adaptation of an­
other’s work, there were books of originality and high calibre
on the list that were popular with the children. T he non-winners
of 1969 were Eisenberg’s
M o d e rn Jew ish L ife in L ite ra tu re ,
Elkins’
T h e W isest M an in the W o r ld
—a picture book, Green­
span’s
W es tw a rd w i th F rem on t,
Hau tig’s
T h e End less S tep p e ,
Simon’s
R u th ie ,
Watson’s
T h e M u h k ta r ’s C h ild ren ,
Werstein’s
T h e U p r is ing of the Warsaw G h e t to
and Devorah Omar’s
T h e
G id eon ite s
and
Pa th B enea th the Sea.
Purdy’s
Festiva ls For You
to C e leb ra te
was in demand for its craft suggestions. Ish-Kishor’s
incomparable
O u r E d d ie
was deemed good enough to win the
Shirley Kravitz Award from the Association of Jewish Librarians
and to be a runner-up for the Newbery Award from the Ameri­
can Libraries Association, bu t was not chosen by the judges
for the Jewish Book Award. Also overlooked were the excellent
M y Enem y , M y B ro th er
by Forman, R ab in ’s
False S ta r t
and
Klein’s
T em p le B eyon d T im e .
Skipping to 1971, we find Sulamith Ish-Kishor w inning for
the second time with her exciting novel based on the legend
of the golem.
M a s te r of M irac le ,
like her previous winner,
B oy
o f O ld Prague,
is set in medieval Prague. T he peasants are
suspicious and fearful of the Jews, who are favored by the King
for their financial acumen and support. T he community is
hasidic and the Rabbi is learned in Kabbalah. In this time of
peril he breathes life into a huge clay man-like image, the golem.
A young boy, a foundling and a true anti-hero, is entrusted with
the golem’s care and with seeing to his eventual demise. Because
the boy fails, he must be eternally punished. Ish-Kishor has in­
fused a legend with human, personal qualities w ithout destroying
its mystery. Not to be overlooked tha t same year were Jud ith