Sworn Enemies

Aaron and Zev have been protected from serving in  the Czar’s army for very different reasons–Aaron’s  father has always paid to keep his scholarly son  free. Zev takes the job of khapper, kidnapping  other poor, young Jewish boys to fulfill the czar’s  army quotas. Zev’s jealousy of  Aaron turns to hate when he discovers that the girl  he loves is to marry Aaron. When Zev decides to  rid himself of Aaron forever, he kidnaps him and  turns him over to serve in the army. He knows  Aaron’s fate is sealed–few survive the forced labor. A  trick of fate, however, pits the boys against each  other face-to-face. Sworn enemies, they must  endure the cruel captivity together. Will they join  forces to survive or will they destroy each other?

We Are Their Voice: Young People Respond to the Holocaust

That’s the question that prompted a writing project across North America, Italy and Australia asking young people to write about this time in history. Students wrote short stories. Some read novels and wrote about the messages that they understood from these books. Several interviewed survivors and recorded their impressions. Many talked about this history and how they have tried to make sense of it in the world in which they now live. Children wrote from their hearts with sensitivity, thoughtfulness and great insight. Their teachers saw this opportunity as a gift. Young people can make a meaningful connection to the Holocaust. And perhaps, with that in mind, they will be able to create a more peaceful future. Read their stories. Listen to their perceptions and observations. We have so much to learn from them.

I Will Come Back For You

What was it like to grow up Jewish in Italy during World War II? Sit with a little girl as her grandmother tells the story of her childhood in Rome, of being separated from her father, and of going into hiding in the mountains. Based on the experiences of the author’s own family, this deeply moving book set during the Holocaust deals with a difficult subject in a way that is accessible and appropriate for young readers. I Will Come Back for You is an incredible story of bravery and kindness in the face of danger.

Requiem: Poems of the Terezin Ghetto

Paul B. Janeczko’s stirring new collection of poems goes inside the walls of the notorious camp to portray the indomitable spirit of those incarcerated there. Hitler hailed Terezin (Theresienstadt) as a haven for artistic Jews, when in reality the Czech concentration camp was little more than a way station to the gas chambers. In his second book inspired by devastating history, acclaimed poet Paul B. Janeczko gives voice to this heartrending creative community: its dignity, resilience, and commitment to art and music in the face of great brutality. The many memorable characters he conjures include a child who performs in the camp’s now famed production of Brundibar, a man who lectures on bedbugs, and a boy known as “Professor,” who keeps a notebook hidden in his shoe. Accented with dramatic illustrations by the inmates, found after WW II, Janeczko’s spare and powerful poems convey Terezin’s tragic legacy on an intimate, profoundly moving scale.

The White Ram: A Story Of Abraham And Isaac

Made on the sixth day of Creation, a white ram waits patiently in the Garden of Eden. The other animals leave one by one, but the ram waits and waits until he is needed to fulfill God’s will. Running to the aid of Abraham, the ram must prevail over many temptations in order to save a child. In this lyrically told and beautifully illustrated story, a white ram sacrifices himself to save a boy’s life. It is a book that will be adored by readers of all faiths and ages, and will be of special interest during the celebration of Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year.

In The Days Of Sand And Stars

Take out your time telescope, wipe the dust and cobwebs from its lens, tilt it upwards, and find a twinkling speck of light. Now look behind it … way back, to the days of sand and stars. Here are the Midrash stories of famous women whose names you may know, but whose daily lives and human thoughts have been ignored for far too long. From Eve to Emzera, from Sarah to Rebecca, they are presented here with humor and affection as they face a new and changing world where miracles and customs shape their destiny. Midrash tales are what-if stories built around the grains of information the Bible offers, and author Marlee Pinsker excels as she imbues these legendary women with warmth and spirit.

The Song Of The Whales

Michael’s grandfather has a secret—a secret that’s almost too strange to share . . . When Michael moves to Israel, he leaves loneliness behind and steps into the light of his grandfather’s magic. Like a sorcerer’s apprentice, Michael learns how to blur the lines between dreams and reality when his grandfather hands down the most precious of gifts—a gift that allows Michael passage into his grandfather’s dreams. Written with a quiet simplicity that wins the reader over at once Uri Orlev writes in a style so sure and yet so unassuming that it is certain to linger in reader’s minds long after turning the last page.