Page 261 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 48

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POSNER/JEWISH JUVENILE BOOKS
2 5 3
P
feffer
, S
u san
B
e t h
.
Turning thirteen.
New York: Scholastic, 1988. 133
p. (10-14)
Among Jewish pre-teens and teens from assimilated families a
common adolescent phenomenon is the questioning of the exis­
tence o f God. Here is a book that addresses this issue. Becky loses
her faith in God when, during the course of studies for her bat
mitzvah, the rabbi cannot explain to her why God allows Jews to
suffer.
__________
Dear Dad, Love Laurie.
New York: Scholastic, 1989. 128
p. (9-14)
This book addresses the problem of whether personal growth
can occur in a less-than-ideal family setting. In a series of letters
to her divorced father who has moved away for professional rea­
sons, Laurie recounts her current problems with friends and
school. By the end of the year, the letters grow more upbeat, as
she adjusts and grows in responsibility.
P
o r t n o y
, M
ind y
A
vra
.
Mommy never went to Hebrew school.
Illus. by
Shelly O. Haas. Rockville, MD: Kar-Ben, 1989. 32 p. (4-8)
A young child discovers a childhood picture of his mother sitting
under a Christmas tree and learns that she is a convert to Judaism.
Through lucid conversations, his mother explains why she con­
verted, the process of her conversion and the equality of converted
Jews. The sensitive text and Shelly Haas’ illustrations provide a
sense of intimacy and security regarding a difficult subject.
R
o se n b lum
, R
ic h a r d
.
The old synagogue.
Illus. by the author. Phila.:
Jewish Publication Society, 1989. unp. (6 + )
A story of change and renewal. A group of
landsmen
build a
synagogue in America. As they age and the neighborhood changes,
the synagogue becomes unused — until a new group of young
Jews move back into the neighborhood. Richly detailed illustrations
document this cycle.
R
o ssel
, S
e ym our
.
The Holocaust: the fire that raged.
Illus. New York:
Watts, 1989. 124 p. (9-14)
An adaptation for younger readers of Rossel’s
The Holocaust.
Information has been simplified, and the printing adjusted for
younger readers, but otherwise the books are similar. A chronology
of Holocaust events, and a bibliography are appended. Maps.
S
emel
, N
av a
.
Becoming Gershona.
Tr. by Seymour Simckes. New York:
Viking, 1990. 128 p. (10-14)
Told in the first-person by Gershona, who tells about a mys­
terious grandfather arriving from the United States, her battles
with the neighborhood children, her sensitive survivor mother and
her friendship with an exciting, strange new boy who has recently