Younger Readers: Chanukah Lights by Michael J. Rosen and Robert Sabuda (Candlewick)
From a pop-up master and an acclaimed poet and author comes a glorious celebration of the true spirit of Chanukah. Open this beautiful gift book and follow the Festival of Lights through place and time — from Herod’s temple to a shtetl in Russia; from a refugee ship bound for the New World to an Israeli kibbutz. Inspired by Michael J. Rosen’s reverent poem, Robert Sabuda’s striking pop-ups depict each night’s menorah in a different scene, using imagery such as desert tents, pushcart lanterns, olive trees, and a final panorama of skyscrapers. Sure to be a treasured family heirloom, this stunning collaboration showcases the spirit and resilience of a people in search of home.
Older Readers: Music Was It: Young Leonard Bernstein by Susan Goldman Rubin (Charlesbridge)
Teen Readers: The Berlin Boxing Club by Robert Sharenow (HarperTeen)
Fourteen-year-old Karl Stern has never thought of himself as a Jew. But to the bullies at his school in Naziera Berlin, it doesn’t matter that Karl has never set foot in a synagogue or that his family doesn’t practice religion. Demoralized by relentless attacks on a heritage he doesn’t accept as his own, Karl longs to prove his worth to everyone around him. So when Max Schmeling, champion boxer and German national hero, makes a deal with Karl’s father to give Karl boxing lessons, Karl sees it as the perfect chance to reinvent himself. A skilled cartoonist, Karl has never had an interest in boxing, but as Max becomes the mentor Karl never had, Karl soon finds both his boxing skills and his art flourishing. But when Nazi violence against Jews escalates, Karl must take on a new role: protector of his family. Karl longs to ask his new mentor for help, but with Max’s fame growing, he is forced to associate with Hitler and other Nazi elites, leaving Karl to wonder where his hero’s sympathies truly lie. Can Karl balance his dream of boxing greatness with his obligation to keep his family out of harm’s way?
Eight Sydney Taylor Honor Books were named for 2012:
- Sydney Taylor Honor Books for Younger Readers
- Naamah and the Ark at Night by Susan Campbell Bartoletti with illustrations by Holly Meade (Candlewick Press) (Also one I mentioned previously in my Candlewick Press Fall 2011 picture book round up.)
- Around the World in One Shabbat written and illustrated by Durga Yael Bernhard (Jewish Lights Publishing)
- Sydney Taylor Honor Books for Older Readers
- Lily Renee, Escape Artist: from Holocaust Survivor to Comic Book Pioneer by Trina Robbins with illustrations by Anne Timmons and Mo Oh (Graphic Universe, an imprint of Lerner Publishing Group, Inc.)
- Hammerin’ Hank Greenberg: Baseball Pioneer by Shelley Sommer (Calkins Creek, an imprint Boyds Mills Press)
- Irena’s Jars of Secrets by Marcia Vaughan with illustrations by Ron Mazellan (Lee & Low Books)
- Sydney Taylor Honor Books for Teen Readers
- Then by Morris Gleitzman (Henry Holt and Company)
- The Blood Lie by Shirley Reva Vernick (Cinco Puntos Press)
The judges also named 18 notable books. The winners will receive their awards at the AJL convention in Montreal June 17-20.