Page 31 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 7 (1948-1949)

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19
BLOCH----THE YEAR’S BOOKSHELF
of history and biography are suspected of being “high-brow”
stuff. Unfortunately the year’s output of fiction does not point
to any significant works which would tend to serve the need
indicated by Isaac M. Wise. In fact the very few titles that can
be recorded are modest ones, based mostly on biblical themes and
written with an eye to young readers. In
Abram son of Terah
, a
novel by Florence Marvyne Bauer (Indianapolis, Bobbs-Merrill,
’48), is told the familiar but moving story of Abram in the Meso-
potamian city of Ur where he spent much of his childhood and
young manhood and where the concept of One God first came to
him through friendship with an Amorite slave. It is a novel which
brings to life the great commercial city of Ur of four thousand
years ago. I t is an absorbing story of the man who found God for
mankind and of members of his family. The biblical tale of Joseph
and his brothers who sold him into slavery is retold for children
in
Joseph and his brethren
by Jane Werner, illustrated by Paul
Jackson (N. Y., Grosset, ’47).
Ahira
,
prince of Naphtali
, by
Ella M. Noller (Grand Rapids, Eerdman’s ’47) is a thrilling epic
of the Israelites’ journey into Canaan, abounding in exciting
adventure and exotic scenes. An interesting story of two young
boys, a Jew and a Greek in the era of persecution in Rome, is
presented in
The choice
by Paul S. Minear (Philadelphia, West-
minster, ’48). The simple biblical story of
Mr. and Mrs. Noah
is delightfully retold and beautifully illustrated for children by
Lois Lenski (N. Y., Crowell, ’48). I t is, indeed, an attractive
introduction to the flood story for very little children. For the
pre-school child there was published
Once> long ago
by Mary
Owen Bruch, illustrated by J. M. Swanson (Philadelphia, West-
minster, ’48), a collection of stories from the Old Testament, re-
told and beautifully interpreted to kindle a child’s interest.
THE LITERATURE OF MARTYRDOM
I t is not merely a coincidence that so many fine books have
come out of the tragedy of the Jews in recent years. If there were
incredible cruelties and horrible suffering, there was also high
courage, a nobility, a dignity, rare in the world at any time. Men
and women who took part in that struggle for survival — those
who survive in DP camps and elsewhere — are now telling their
stories and inevitably those stories contain something of the
drama, the terror and the excitement of the war itself.
An account of Jewish resistance before, during and after the war
is told in magnificent prose in
Blessed is the Match
, the story of
Jewish resistance by Marie Syrkin (Philadelphia, Jewish Publica-
tion Society of America, and N. Y., Knopf, ’47). With the aid