Page 35 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 9 (1950-1951)

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AMERICAN JEWISH JUVENILE LITERATURE
1949-1950
By
J
a c o b
S.
G
o l u b
T
HE crop of juveniles for 1949-1950 is very small. Taking all
books into account, we can list a bare eighteen titles. Dividing
these by age groups, we have seven for the youngest age group, 5-8,
six titles for the middle group, 9-13, and five for the teen agers.
Jewish authors are not particularly well represented. Were it
not for a few juveniles on biblical subjects by non-Jews and their
growing interest in other Jewish themes, our output would be
about halved. Among the Jewish authors, too, only one or two
new names appear. Otherwise, we have our old standbys, Mrs.
Levinger, Mrs. Weilerstein, Miss Zeligs, and Mrs. Alofsin. As
for the publishers, Bloch published four volumes, though one of
them,
Jerry Goes to Camp
by Albert M. Brown, can hardly be
considered a Jewish juvenile, since, aside from the hero’s reference
to Sabbath services and, at another point, to the fact that he is
proud he is a Jew, there is nothing else Jewish about the volume.
Behrman House published three volumes. One was issued by the
Union of American Hebrew Congregations and one, actually a
pamphlet, was produced by the Merkos L’Inyonei Chinuch. The
rest was issued by general publishers.
I t is obvious that we are neglecting our children. The writer
would venture to guess that almost as many books go out of print
every year as were added this year. Thus we are barely holding
our own and in a land and at a time when we are supposed to be-
come the cultural leaders of world Jewry. It must become some-
one’s duty to see to it that new forces are drawn in and that our
children’s literature expands.
A
l o f s i n
, D
o r o t h y
.
America’s triumph: stories of American Jewish heroes. Illus-
t rated by Louis Kabrin. Cincinnati, Union of American Hebrew Congrega-
tions, 1949. 312 p.
This book can qualify either as a textbook or for the general reader. I t
tells the stories of ten outstanding American Jewish personalities in a charm-
ing though uneven style. The selection may be challenged. There is no re-
ligious leader mentioned, which seems an oversight in view of the importance
which religion holds in our American environment. Others like Jessie Sampter
can hardly be considered in the category of the first ten outstanding Jews in
America. The same may be said for Julius Rosenwald in comparison with
Jacob H. Schiff or Louis Marshall. Nevertheless, what is included is well
done and is a valuable contribution to our textbook literature, (ages 13-16)
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