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Older Kids / Young Adult:
Biographies


Most books have been linked to Amazon.com, but in situations when Amazon didn't carry them, certain items were linked to other booksellers instead.

As a warning, I have put up pictures of the book covers to give you somewhat an idea of the style of each book (I know, I know. "Don't judge a book by its cover") so the pages may load slowly.



Extraordinary Jewish Americans
Brief biographical sketches of 60 prominent Jewish Americans from the fields of science, business, sports, politics and law, and arts and entertainment. The arrangement is chronological by birth date from Haym Solomon (1740) to Jerry Seinfeld (1954) with insertions of three topical sections: "The Jews Who Created Hollywood," "Jewish Gangsters," and "Jewish Americans and the Civil Rights Movement." Excellent-quality black-and-white photographs appear throughout. An annotated appendix cites "124 Other Extraordinary Jewish Americans." There is an extensive name and word index and a very good listing for further information arranged by age level that includes online sites, organizations, and films and videos.

Description from School Library Journal

Women of Valor :
Stories of Great Jewish Women Who Helped Shape the Twentieth Century
Women Of Valor is a compendium of stories of eight great Jewish women, each of whom, with their individual courage and accomplishment, helped to shape the world of the 20th Century. Here readers will find the courage of a young seamstress who built Jewish trade unions on the Lower East Side; the determination of a 70 year old Zionist pioneer who played a crucial role in the resettlement of Palestine and the birth of the State of Israel; the bravery of a ghetto fighter who defied Nazi oppression and genocide; the tenacity of an actress who revived Yiddish theater from the ruins of war; the forbearance of a Soviet "refusenik" who cared for prisoners of the Communist regime; the candor of a community leader who persuaded the American and Soviet presidents to change their public policies toward world Jewry; the wisdom of a teacher who taught Torah to the whole world; and the confidence of an athlete who revived Israel's pride by winning Israel's first Olympic medal. Each chapter is the life story of an otherwise ordinary woman set against the backdrop of the most important moments in Jewish history, culture, and achievement of the modern world. Women Of Valor is highly recommended for Judaic studies, women's studies, and contemporary history reading lists.

Description from Midwest Book Review
Remarkable Jewish Women
Remarkable Jewish Women:
Rebels, Rabbis, and Other Women from Biblical Times to the Present
This updated, expanded, and more user-friendly version of the authors' Written Out of History (Bloch, 1978; o.p.) contains over 80 brief biographies, chronologically arranged. Introductory and background material is provided for each period. Coverage is impressively wide-ranging. Although some figures do not receive full entries, they are mentioned in other entries and listed in the index. Some of the subjects will be well known to readers familiar with Jewish history: Gluckel of Hameln, Dona Gracia Nasi, Rebecca Gratz, Hannah Szenes, Golda Meir, and Betty Friedan. Other entries introduce important but neglected personalities. Several heroines of the Holocaust are profiled. A major theme is women's role in religion. The handsome illustrations include numerous black-and-white photos from various archives and private collections, making this edition more accessible and visually appealing. This update highlights more current figures, placing particular emphasis on female rabbis and Talmudic scholars.

From School Library Journal

Links in the Chain :
Shapers of the Jewish Tradition

(Oxford Profiles)
The Jews have a long, interesting history that has been shaped by many fascinating people. These people have been scholars, judges, soldiers, and politicians who have shaped Jewish values and philosophy, kept the religion and culture alive during perilous times, and created the modern state of Israel. This book, part of the publisher's Oxford Profiles series, presents biographies of 41 leaders from different historical periods and explains their contributions to Jewish tradition.

The book is divided into three sections. "Laying the Foundations" covers postbiblical ancient times through the Middle Ages; "Shapers of Modern Judaism" includes the eighteenth through the twentieth centuries; and "Shapers of the Jewish State" deals with the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. The last section covers only people instrumental in forming the state of Israel. The first two parts include leaders from all over the world. The Baal Shem Tov, Martin Buber, Theodore Herzl, Hillel, Isaac Luria, Maimonides, Moses Mendelssohn, Yitzchak Rabin, and Chaim Weitzman are among those found in this volume. Although men predominate, Beruriah, Rebecca Gratz, Golda Meir, Lily Montagu, Gracia Mendes Nasi, and Henrietta Szold are included.

Each section begins with a historical overview. The individual biographies, around five pages long, appear in chronological order. They are illustrated with portraits and artifacts. Sidebars summarize the key points such as birth and death dates, education, and accomplishments. A bibliography, generally listing three or four titles, appears at the end of each article. A glossary, a chronology, and a general bibliography complete this work. Although written for middle-school students, this book can be used and appreciated by older students and adults. It is easier to read than the Encyclopedia Judaica (Keter, 1972) and provides more information on the individuals it covers than The Encyclopedia of Judaism (Macmillan, 1989). Links in the Chain places the biographies within a historical context so that readers understand the importance of the subjects' contributions to Jewish cultural development. This source is useful for school, public, and synagogue libraries.

Description from Booklist

Great Jews in Sports
Intriguing portraits of the greatest Jewish sports figures of the past two centuries. Among the outstanding Jewish athletes featured are Olympic swimmer Mark Spitz, Brooklyn Dodger ace Sandy Koufax, and football star quarterback Sid Luckman. Features special sections on the Maccabiah Games and Israeli sports figures plus a complete listing of the members of the Jewish Sports Hall of Fame in Israel. With black-and-white photographs.

Description from Publisher

Jews in Sports
In the tradition of the humorous Uh! Oh! series, where finding the hidden objects and the Uh! Oh! character in trouble creates a world of enjoyment for kids of all ages, Janet Zwebner has designed a whole new set of riotous illustrations featurning every major sport event including the Olympics. Joe Hoffman the International Sports Editor for the Jerusalem Post records the historical and practical contributions Jews have made in the field of sports, including 7-time Olympic Gold winner Mark Spitz, baseball great, Sany Koufax and others.

Description from Publisher

Jews Who Rock

By Guy Oseary and Ben Stiller (Introduction)
Jewish achievement in the sciences? Celebrated. Jews in literature? Lionized. But until now, there's been no record of the massive contributions of Jews in Rock n' Roll. Jews Who Rock features 100 top Jewish rockers, from Bob Dylan to Adam Horowitz, Courtney Love (yes, she's half Jewish) to John Zorn, with a concise page of essential data and a biography of each one.

"People who are into our music have mentioned to me that knowing we are Jewish has helped them feel more comfortable in their love of hip hop and sometimes even more comfortable and reassured in their own identity. If someone reads Jews Who Rock and feels empowered to make music or be creative because they identify with our being Jewish, that to me is a very positive thing." —Beastie Boy Mike D.

Author Biography: Guy Oseary is one of the hottest executives in the music business. He started working with Madonna when he was just seventeen, and is now her partner at Maverick Records. He lives in Los Angeles, and is definitely a Jew who rocks.

Description from Publisher

Includes biographies of Barry Manilow, Gene Simmons, Randy Newman, Mark Knopfler, Paul Simon, Lisa Loeb, Billy Joel, Dylan, Carole King, Kenny G (Gorelick), The Beastie Boys, and Phranc

Stories for Shauli

By Rabbi Aaron Zakkai
We think of our great Torah scholars as elderly, wise, and learned men, but tend to forget that they were once children too. In this collection of stories, the author taskes us into the early years of the lives of some of our greatest Sages, showing us their childhood, their trials and tribulations, and the seeds of greatness. This is an inspiring book that will remind us that it is possible to reach great heights from humble beginnings.

Description from Publisher

Moe Berg :
The Spy Behind Homeplate
For Middle Readers, this Exciting Biography will Thrill!

A major league baseball player fluent in nine languages, an Ivy League scholar, and an attorney, Moe Berg led a life of mystery & intrigue as a top secret spy who helped the United States win the race against Nazi Germany to build the atomic bomb. Moe Berg used baseball as a cover to make significant intelligence contributions to the United States.

Dedscription from Publisher

The Amazing Life of Moe Berg :
Catcher, Scholar, Spy
Moe Berg may not be familiar to modern audiences, but they will be intrigued to learn about his life. The son of Jewish immigrants, Berg got himself to Princeton, but he never lost his love of baseball, and his career in the major leagues spanned 16 years. He was also a lawyer, a talented linguist, and a world traveler. Those skills brought him to the attention of the U.S. government, which decided Berg could help his country with some important missions during World War II. He spent the war culling information from European scientists about the nuclear bomb. Although his work as a spy was invaluable, Berg drifted after the war, never really holding a job or even having his own home again. The book is crisply written, and the subject will make an excellent alternative to the usual cast of characters on biography shelves. Despite problems she discusses in the introduction, Andryszewski does a good job of sourcing her material. Illustrated with black-and-white photos.

Description from Booklist

Say It With Music :
A Story About Irving Berlin
This vividly written book is at once the story of the famous composer and of an early 20th-century immigrant's experience. Streissguth clearly paints a picture of New York's Lower East Side and of the milieu in which Israel Baline developed into the songwriter, Irving Berlin. It's an intriguing story, and one that Streissguth makes readable and enjoyable. By describing the components of Berlin's successful songs, readers gain an understanding of the popular music business of the time. Hagerman's black-and-white sketches enhance the text with excellent likenesses of the subject, as well as with contemporary scenes.

Description from School Library Journal

Leonard Bernstein :
A Passion for Music
When Leonard Bernstein died, a fellow composer wondered whether he had died too young but concluded that since Bernstein actually had led four lives at once, he was not 72, but 288 years old at his death. Hurwitz acquaints readers with all four of Bernstein's lives (conductor, composer, pianist, teacher) and more as she surveys his energetic, musically charged life. She notes how good fortune played a pivotal role in Bernstein's fate--he inherited a piano, his first instrument, from his aunt when he was 10; mere months after assuming the position of assistant conductor of the New York Philharmonic, he gained public notice when he was called to take the baton for the guest conductor who was ill. However, Hurwitz makes it clear that Bernstein's determination and talent propelled his career. His Jewish heritage also is shown to have inspired many of his compositions and to have been a powerful motivating factor throughout his life. Lisker's black-and-white drawings dramatically complement Hurwitz's readable, informative biography.

Description from Booklist

Louis Brandeis:
The People's Justice
Louis Brandeis put the needs of the individual before the interest of government and big business. The first Jew to be nominated to the Supreme Court, he supported free speech, social reform and the right to privacy. He was known, informally, as "adviser to presidents." In addition, it was his support of the Zionism Movement that influenced American Jews to support it.

Description from Publisher

Chagall:
My Town, Sad and Joyous

Chagall Stained Glass Coloring Book

By Marty Noble
Russian-born French painter Marc Chagall (1887-1984), renowned for his poetic and exuberant style, is especially well regarded for his stained glass designs. For this appealing coloring book, Marty Noble has adapted 16 of Chagall's finest stained glass works, including I and the Village, The Cellist, Bride and Groom with Eiffel Tower, Equestrienne, The Green Violinist, and Girl on Horseback. When colored with crayons, felt-tip pens, or paints and placed near a source of bright light, these magnificent designs will glow with stained glass effects sure to delight coloring book fans, art lovers, and admirers of this renowned artist.

Description from Publisher

Albert Einstein :
Young Thinker
All children know who Albert Einstein grew up to be--but what was he like as a child? The clear text in this book is enhanced by illustrations and paintings, documents and photographs from the Smithsonian and the National Gallery.

Description from Publisher

Ordinary Genius :
The Story of Albert Einstein
The descriptions of young Albert's difficulties in school, which will enthrall young readers, embody what the author does particularly well throughout this book--depict Einstein as a person both like and unlike others. Without trivializing Einstein's genius, McPherson lets readers feel the great scientist's excitement and frustration with his work. Explanations of Einstein's scientific discoveries are clearly presented, as is the social context of Germany between the wars and during the Nazi years. Photographs of Einstein, including one of him at age five, are well chosen to leave some new visual memories of the famous face. McPherson provides readers with a strong impression of an independent mind at work--so strong, in fact, that children may wish they could have met the genius. That's high praise for a biography.

Description from Booklist

A fascinating close-up of the original absentminded professor, this book is a heartwarming account of someone to whom ideas were the most important things, and everything else was on the fringes. Einstein's well-known difficulties in school, shyness, inability to concentrate on anything which didn't interest him, and careless personal grooming are set in their proper place as eccentricities of a true genius whose mind was ceaselessly searching for more esoteric answers. The author takes special care with the often-ignored difficulties caused by the scientist's Jewish ancestry during the Nazi era and traces with great sensitivity the emergence of his pride in his people and the State of Israel. A wonderful biography for anyone, especially those interested in science.

Description from Children's Literature

The Diary of a Young Girl : The Definitive Edition



Also Available in:
Paperback

Audio Cassette (Narration by Winona Ryder)
Discovered in the attic in which she spent the last years of her life, Anne Frank's remarkable diary has since become a world classic -- a powerful reminder of the horrors of war and an eloquent testament to the human spirit. In 1942, with Nazis occupying Holland, a thirteen-year-old Jewish girl and her family fled their home in Amsterdam and went into hiding. For the next two years, until their whereabouts were betrayed to the Gestapo, they and another family lived cloistered in the "Secret Annex" of an old office building. Cut off from the outside world, they faced hunger, boredom, the constant cruelties of living in confined quarters, and the ever-present threat of discovery and death. In her diary Anne Frank recorded vivid impressions of her experiences during this period. By turns thoughtful, moving, and amusing, her account offers a fascinating commentary on human courage and frailty and a compelling self-portrait of a sensitive and spirited young woman whose promise was tragically cut short.

Description from Publisher

Anne Frank's diaries have always been among the most moving and eloquent documents of the Holocaust. This new edition restores diary entries omitted from the original edition, revealing a new depth to Anne's dreams, irritations, hardships, and passions. Anne emerges as more real, more human, and more vital than ever. If you've never read this remarkable autobiography, do so. If you have read it, you owe it to yourself to read it again.

Anne Frank
This picture book opens with the Franks fleeing to the annex. Then the author tells about happier times, the coming of the soldiers, and the beginning of the persecution. Sophisticated language, topic, and the many flashbacks preclude the book's use with young children. The explanation of Hitler's accession to power is simplistic; McDonough attributes it solely to bad economic conditions. Once the author is into Anne's story, however, she tells it in a straightforward manner and relates it well. The book is illustrated with bright, folk-art paintings. At first, the pure colors of yellow, red, orange, green, blue, black, and brown surrounded by alternating borders of the same colors seem inappropriate for such a subject, but the childlike images provide impetus for discussion, and the bright colors of the innocent contrast well with the dark colors of the evildoers. The paintings of happier past times are cozy and cheerful. Mama and baby Anne look like a 1930s version of the Madonna and child. A small painting of barbed wire encircling crossed Nazi flags on the opposite page foreshadows the trouble to come. McDonough tells the story, but there's no doubt that Zeldis provides the emotion. In the final picture, Anne is seen towering over the world and all its people. She has risen phoenixlike from her diary and has become a myth, a myth that symbolizes the yearnings of a people to be brave, to be optimistic, and most of all to survive. Anne did not survive, but her story lives on.

Description from School Library Journal

Anne Frank :
Life in Hiding

By Johanna Hurwitz
A highly praised introduction to Anne Frank and the Holocaust, this sensitive portrait allows the reader to identify with Anne Frank and to share her isolation, hopes, and fears. This biography tells about the Frank family and their lives before World War II, the Nazi persecution of Jews, and Anne's years in hiding.

Description from Publisher

Anne Frank
(First Books - Biographies)
This accessible biography provides historical background for better understanding of the events surrounding Anne's diary entries. Epstein focuses on Anne but puts her experiences in the context of what was happening in Europe in the 1940s. Archival photos and schematic drawings of the building that housed the secret annex supplement the readable text. The last chapter discusses how Anne's diary was found and published.

Description from Horn Book

Anne Frank:
A Hidden Life

By Mirjam Pressler
Many young people first encounter the terrible reality of the Nazi Holocaust through reading the diaries of Anne Frank. Teens who cherish that unforgettable literary and emotional experience will be fascinated by the additional insights in Anne Frank: A Hidden Life. Mirjam Pressler draws on her background as editor of Diary of a Young Girl: The Definitive Edition to explain the three versions of the Anne Frank diaries, to discuss newly revealed material, and to speculate on Anne's spiritual and sexual development during her three-year confinement in the secret annex. Pressler's title takes on a double meaning as she analyzes Anne's "hidden life," the "much deeper, purer, and finer" self the young girl wrote about wistfully but concealed from the others with a façade of cheerful outspokenness. Pressler also uses the eyewitness testimonies of the Frank family's helper Miep Gies, Anne's school friend Hanneli Goslar, and Otto Frank's stepdaughter Eva Schloss to expand our understanding of the other inhabitants of the Annex and to follow them through those unfathomable seven months in the death camps.

Anne Frank's remarkable diaries have been the subject of many other books, from learned essays to historical studies to picture books and poetry. Teens with an interest in the life of this cultural icon may also want to read Anne Frank: The Biography, The Last Seven Months of Anne Frank , and Memories of Anne Frank .

Description from Amazon.com

Anne Frank
(Junior World Biographies)

By Sandor Katz
Katz uses the life of Anne Frank as a starting point for a discussion of Nazi Germany and the Holocaust. Her story is recounted, and additional background information is provided throughout. Middle-grade readers familiar with Anne Frank will benefit from this simple historical context. Black-and-white photographs accompany the text.

Description from Horn Book

George Gershwin
(Getting to Know the World's Greatest Composers)

By Mike Venezia
The author/illustrator for the highly successful Getting to Know the World's Greatest Artists series lends his creative talents to another fun, informative series, this one featuring world famous composers. Venezia's clever mix of full-color photos, his own tongue-in-cheek cartoonlike illustrations, and factual biographical information presents each composer as they really were, along with the forces that inspired their world-renowned music. Gershwin came up with a whole new and important American musical sound, from his brilliant and innovative Rhapsody in Blue to the creation of one of the world's favorite operas, Porgy and Bess.

Description from Publisher

Ruth Bader Ginsburg :
Supreme Court Justice

By Jack L. Roberts
A brief, readable profile of the women's rights advocate and Supreme Court Justice. Focusing primarily on her law career, Robert's accurate and tightly written text is enhanced with just enough black-and-white and full-color photographs to keep interest high. The author recounts the firsthand discrimination Ginsburg experienced for being Jewish, a woman, and a working mother. The well-respected jurist is depicted as being well informed, open-minded, and willing to listen.

Description from School Library Journal

Ruth Bader Ginsburg :
Supreme Court Justice

By Carmen Bredeson
Bredeson concentrates on the path of Ginsburg's career, mentioning little about her childhood. The brief history of the U.S. Supreme Court will help readers understand just what her position entails.

Description from School Library Journal

Hank Greenberg :
Hall-Of-Fame Slugger
Hank Greenberg's powerful home runs were sometimes a dramatic reply to Nazi actions in Europe and to anti-Jewish sentiment in America. He was the first Jewish ballplayer to be elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame.

Description from Publisher

Theodor Herzl :
Architect of a Nation
Characterizing Herzl as a driven visionary who gave his life to his dream of a Jewish homeland, Finkelstein presents young readers with a portrait of a man they won't soon forget. The author shows how this young and talented journalist and playwright, raised by assimilated Hungarian-Jewish parents, became a fervent Zionist as he witnessed savage Russian pogroms, pervasive Austrian anti-Semitism, and the Dreyfuss Affair in France. Finkelstein clearly documents Herzl's arduous up-and-down struggle to convince the world of the need for a Jewish state and the toll exacted on his family and his own energies. Relying on primary sources and an acute sense of the historical forces which influenced Herzl, the author focuses on the ideas that he gave to the Zionist movement and on the grand diplomacy and political maneuvering to which he devoted his life. Herzl's unfulfilled family life is only sketchily drawn, although valuable black-and-white photographs of his childhood and family fill in some of the gaps. The book sheds valuable light on a man whose short, eventful life set into motion forces which helped create and shape the state of Israel.

From School Library Journal

The Great Houdini
(Step into Reading. Step 3 Book.)

By Monica Kulling
Harry Houdini was the stage name of Ehrich Weiss, a Hungarian Jewish immigrant who became world famous for his showmanship as an escape artist. It wasn't easy. Harry practiced thousands of hours and read thousands of books about magic and illusion. His tricks--such as the disappearing elephant, and escaping from handcuffs, ropes, and straight jackets--amazed audiences in Europe and America. His success was due to hard work, perseverance, and skill, which serve as a good example today. This early reader will also appeal to older kids who are having difficulty developing their reading skills.

Description from Children's Literature

The Great Houdini, Daring Escape Artist

By Louis Sabin
Follows the life and exploits of the renowned magician and escape artist.

Description from Publisher

Frontier Merchants :
Lionel & Barron Jacobs and the Jewish Pioneers How Settled the West

By Jerry Stanley
Alongside the cowboys, miners, railroad builders, and soldiers whose role in the settlement of the American West is well known there was another, equally important figure: the pioneer merchant who supplied the rapidly growing towns of the West with manufactured goods. In Taming the West, Jerry Stanley tells the story of Lionel and Barron Jacobs, who in 1867 set out from California for Tucson with a wagonload of canned goods. After a two month trek across the desert, they arrived in Tucson--then a lawless one-street Wild West town--and set up shop. Within a week they were sold out; within two years, they had established a prosperous mercantile business. As Tucson grew, so did Lionel and Barron's business, expanding first to money exchange and loans and finally into the Arizona Territory's first formal bank.

From their gritty beginnings in an open wagon to their eventual role among Tucson's wealthiest and most influential citizens, Jerry Stanley tells Lionel and Barron's story with vigor and an eye for colorful period detail. Weaving threads of Jewish history and immigrant history, and the settlement of the frontier, Taming the West is a rich and fascinating look behind the scenes of the American West.

Description from Publisher

In this impressive biography, Stanley illustrates two aspects seldom highlighted in histories of the U.S.: business development in pioneer communities and the role of Jewish immigrants in building the economic foundation of the American West. Sons of a Polish merchant who went to California with the gold rush, the Jacobs brothers grew up in San Diego and soon joined the family firm. While still in their 20s, they departed for Tucson, Arizona Territory, in 1867, driving a 12-mule freight wagon loaded with goods to stock a new venture in the unfamiliar desert frontier. Their struggles, adventures, and eventual successes are interspersed with information about the Jewish-American experience, 19th-century business practices, and the relationship of the Jacobs' lives to larger events occurring throughout the "Wild West." As related in Stanley's well-wrought chapters, it all makes fascinating reading.

Description from School Library Journal

Teddy Kollek,
Builder of Jerusalem
After only one year in office, Teddy Kollek was growing bored being mayor of Jerusalem; then the 1967 Six Day War brought him monumental challenges. The war resulted in the reunification of the ancient city, and Kollek became mayor not only of the newer, Jewish portion of Jerusalem but also of the old city with its Arab residents and Christian, Muslem, and Jewish holy places. Rabinovich conveys the persuasive and personal leadership style and the unwavering dedication that earned Kollek respect as he oversaw Jerusalem's reconstruction. Renowned for his 28-year tenure as Jerusalem's mayor, he led a productive and full life prior to taking office. How he came to be a pioneer in Palestine, his work as a secret agent for the Jewish Agency--the unofficial government of the Jewish people in Palestine -- helping European Jews escape Nazi clutches, and his job procuring weapons for the new state of Israel make fast and fascinating reading. With generously, if sometimes disjointedly, interspersed anecdotes of behind-the-scenes incidents and insights into Kollek's personality and character, this biography will fill a gap in contemporary Israeli history collections.

Description from Booklist

Our Golda :
The Story of Golda Meir
(Women of Our Time)

By David A. Adler
When she was a schoolgirl, Golda Meir stood on a box on a street corner and made speeches about the need for a Jewish homeland. Golda devoted her life to the land that would become Israel, moving rocks and planting trees, arguing with workers, soldiers, and kings. From her childhood in Russia and America to her years as Israel's Prime Minister, Golda worked for her dream of shalom, peace.

Description from Publisher

Golda Meir
(The Importance of Series)

By Deborah Hitzeroth
Following the successful format used for other biographies in this series -- reliance on quotes from primary and secondary sources, relevant sidebars, chronologies, well-chosen black-and-white photos, bibliographies, and endnotes -- this clearly written narrative recounts the eventful life of Israel's most famous female political leader. Hitzeroth begins with a description of Meir's fearful and perilous childhood in Czarist Russia and an account of how her family fled pogroms and persecution, eventually settling in Milwaukee, WI. The author follows Meir's unsettled family life through adolescence, after which the woman became involved with the Zionist movement, married, moved to pre-Israeli Palestine, and raised a family. Hitzeroth highlights the conflict Meir had to face as she tried to balance her family responsibilities against her increasing involvement in Israel's political life and documents the triumphs and failures of her political leadership. This admiring and informative portrait emphasizes Meir's lasting contributions to the development of the state of Israel and communicates to young readers the heroic dimensions of her rich and full life.

Description from School Library Journal

A Sister in White:
The Story of Schvester Selma

By Miriam Zakon
Selma Meir left the pristine cleanliness and order of life in Germany to become the head nurse at Sha'arei Zedek Hospital in Jerusalem, braving epidemic, filth, and war. Schvester Selma, as she was affectionately known, stayed on from what was meant to be a three-year stay, for seventy years, treating the ill, adopting the orphaned, and transforming a primitive, disorganized hospital into a clean, well-functioning one. Here we meet Dr. Wallach, the fiery founder of the hospital; Dudu, the sharp-tongued washerwoman; and, of course, Schvester Selma, tiny, yet determined, devoting her life to helping others.

Description from Publisher

Myriam Mendilow: Mother of Jerusalem

Do Not Forsake Me when I Grow Old
An inspiring book whose subject can be a role model for us all. Educated in Palestine and France, Mendilow taught in the Alliance Schools for many years. After her marriage, she learned English and eventually taught it in the Hebrew University where her husband was a professor and administrator. Upon returning to Jerusalem, she became aware of the poor, elderly Jews from Eastern countries who sat idly around the marketplace, and decided to open a club/workshop where they could regain their dignity and earn some money. She later tackled other problems of the elderly poor, fighting for health, dental, and foot-care clinics. She also originated the "Meals on Wheels'' program. What is particularly appealing about this book is that it shows what can be done through dedication and devotion at a grassroots level to change a disastrous social situation. There are also interesting descriptions of life in pre-state Israel. The writing is conversational and anecdotal. Abundant, good-quality black-and-white photographs appear throughout.

Description from School Library Journal

Yoni Netanyahu :
Commando at Entebbe

(JPS Young Biography Series.)
Few rescue missions have succeeded like "Operation Thunderbolt," the Israeli plan led by Yoni Netanyahu on July 4, 1976, to rescue 105 hijacked Jewish passengers held captive in Uganda's Entebbe Airport. In this gripping biography, Devra Newberger Speregen introduces young readers to one of Israel's bravest soldiers, offering a dramatic portrait of the young man who came to embody Judaism's highest values through his commitment to Israel and the Jewish people.

Description from Publisher

Shalom, Haver : Goodbye, Friend
In this compassionate testimonial to the late Israeli prime minister Yitzhak Rabin, Sofer opens an avenue for youngsters to work through their shock, anger, and grief at his assassination. Recognizing first that we can say good-bye to a friend by remembering him, Sofer displays family photos of Rabin as a boy with his family, as a young man playing soccer and hiking with friends, and as a reluctant but able soldier for Israel. Once past the painful remembering, Sofer urges readers to continue Rabin's work for peace, "because in Hebrew shalom means both good-bye and peace." High-quality photographs are displayed artistically on attractive, uncluttered pages with Sofer's thoughtful and succinct text, which appears, appropriately, in Hebrew as well as in English. Bringing to mind the human being--the grandfather--who was the murdered prime minister, Sofer brings history home to children while sensitizing them to the fact that world leaders are people, too. An exceptional, dignified, and tender memorial.

Description from Booklist

Yitzhak Rabin :
Israel's Soldier Statesman
Beginning with a detailed and moving account of Rabin's leadership in the struggle against British attempts to keep Jews from emigrating to pre-Israel Palestine during the 1940s, this admiring, well-written biography follows the recently assassinated prime minister from military commander to diplomat and politician. Kort draws heavily from The Rabin Memoirs, as he recounts the statesman's long and distinguished public career as well as highlights of his private life. The author is especially effective in using Rabin's life to describe the momentous events in Israel's 48-year history as an autonomous nation. Kort also describes Rabin's continuous struggle with Shimon Peres for the leadership of Israel's Labor Party and how the two leaders eventually came to terms when they decided that the emerging peace agreement with the PLO was more important than their power struggle.

Description from School Library Journal

Rambam :
The Story of Rabbi Moshe Ben Maimon
Brilliant scholar. Dedicated physician. Prolific author. Torah leader. Rabbi Moshe ben Maimon's (Maimonades) contributions to Torah literature and thought electrified the Jewish world during his life, and continue to influence world Jewry in modern times. This spellbinding account of a fascinating life will captivate readers of all ages!

Description from Publisher

Haym Salomon:
Liberty's Son
Here is the little-known story of the selfless and patriotic Jewish merchant who raised money to finance the American Revolution and the new nation. The author vividly recreates Salomon’s exploits with the underground Sons of Liberty and portrays his patriotism as the natural outgrowth of his Jewish heritage. Entertaining, Haym Salomon provides young readers with a model to admire.

Description from Publisher

A National Jewish Book Award Winner

Isaac Bashevis Singer:
The Life of a Storyteller
This is a direct, sensitive account of a great writer: his life, first in Poland and then as an immigrant in the U.S.; his stories, both for adults and children; and his celebration of the Yiddish language and culture. Perl captures a strong sense of Singer's personality, especially his self-deprecating, whimsical humor. There was nothing portentous or preachy about him, whether he was discussing his Nobel Prize for literature, dramatizing life in the shtetl, or retelling a folktale about the fools of Chelm. Perl shows that much of his writing was a blend of memoir and fiction. She quotes in full his memorable comments on children and reading, including his insistence on the pleasure of story ("Children don't read to find their identity. . . . When a book is boring, they yawn openly"). There's a chronology, a good bibliography, but no footnotes. Ruff's fine illustrations show Singer, his family, and his place in the Yiddish world.

Description from Booklist
Maus: Volume 1
Maus: A Survivor's Tale
Volume 1: My Father Bleeds History


Maus: Volume 2
Maus: A Survivor's Tale
Volume 2: And Here My Troubles Began
Told with chilling realism in an unusual comic-book format, this is more than a tale of surviving the Holocaust. Spiegelman relates the effect of those events on the survivors' later years and upon the lives of the following generation. Each scene opens at the elder Spiegelman's home in Rego Park, N.Y. Art, who was born after the war, is visiting his father, Vladek, to record his experiences in Nazi-occupied Poland. The Nazis, portrayed as cats, gradually introduce increasingly repressive measures, until the Jews, drawn as mice, are systematically hunted and herded toward the Final Solution. Vladek saves himself and his wife by a combination of luck and wits, all the time enduring the torment of hunted outcast. The other theme of this book is Art's troubled adjustment to life as he, too, bears the burden of his parents' experiences. This is a complex book. It relates events which young adults, as the future architects of society, must confront, and their interest is sure to be caught by the skillful graphics and suspenseful unfolding of the story.
From School Library Journal

1992 Pulitzer Prize Winner

Appropriate for High School Students -- NOT FOR YOUNG CHILDREN

Steven Spielberg :
Hollywood Filmmaker

By Virginia Meachum
An entry in the People to Know series about the film director and producer, from his childhood as a Jew in non-Jewish communities through his establishment of DreamWorks SKG. Although the writing is flat, the subject is inherently fascinating, which somewhat compensates.

Description from Kirkus Reviews

Mr. Blue Jeans :
A Story About Levi Strauss
Traces the life of the immigrant Jewish peddler who went on to found Levi Strauss & Co., the world's first and largest manufacturer of denim jeans.

Description from Publisher

Carefully selected details brighten an account of the industrious immigrant who became a highly successful and respected San Francisco businessman. Basic values shine stronger than the famous copper rivets in the sturdy denim pants as the story of the Strauss family and company unfolds.

Description from Horn Book

Hannah Szenes :
A Song of Light
Hannah Szenes grew up in a loving home filled with books, plays, and music. Unfortunately the rise of the Nazis in her native Hungary forced Hannah to emigrate to Palestine, where she became an ardent Zionist pioneer. Haunted by the murder of the Jews by Hitler, she risked her own life to become a resistance fighter, vowing to save as many Jewish lives as possible. As the war in Europe escalated, Szenes returned to Hungary on a mission to aid the resistance fighters, where she was arrested and executed in 1944 at age 23

Description from Publisher

Raoul Wallenberg
Traces the life of the Swedish diplomat who risked his life to save 100,000 Hungarian Jews during World War II and mysteriously disappeared after the Russians occupied Budapest.

Description from Publisher

Raoul Wallenberg :
The Man Who Stopped Death
In the last days of World War II, a young Swedish architect, Raoul Wallengerg, was secretly sent to Budapest by the War Refugee Board of the United States Government. There he did what no other country or individual was able to do: he saved more than 100,000 Jewish men, women, and children from extermination at the hands of the Nazi Colonel Adolph Eichmann. This meticulously researched biography is based upon archival materials and first-person interviews with Wallenberg's family, colleagues, and people he saved. It is illustrated with original photographs. To this day, no one knows the fate of Raoul Wallenberg, but his belief that one person can make a difference endures as a legacy for us all.

Description from Publisher

Elie Wiesel : A Voice for Humanity
Few Holocaust survivors have gained the recognition and honor that Elie Wiesel has, as an author, journalist, and lecturer s peaking out on moral issues around the world. Wiesel was a young boy when he was taken to Auschwitz, and was among only 400 children who managed to survive the death camp. He has devoted his life since the war to battling injustice, and has been an ardent spokesman for Soviet Jews and for other moral causes. In 1985, he was awarded the Congressional Gold Medal for his humanitarian achievements.

Decsription from Publisher

Simon Wiesenthal :
Tracking Down Nazi Criminals
Jeffrey describes the life and exploits of the famous Nazi-hunter. Although there are many stories of how he caught and brought to justice such infamous war criminals as Adolph Eichmann, Franz Stangl, and even the agent who arrested Anne Frank and her family, Wiesenthal never tracked them in person. Instead, he investigated war criminals by interviewing survivors, keeping careful index card records, advising authorities of the Nazi's whereabouts, seeking their prosecution in the courts, and providing witnesses. The author also touches upon Wiesenthal's connections with Los Angeles's Simon Wiesenthal Center, his stormy relations with Austrian Chancellor Bruno Kreisky, and the controversies surrounding the investigation of Kurt Waldheim's wartime activities and Wiesenthal's refusal to denounce him as a Nazi criminal. Some of the black-and-white photos are excellent; others are a bit fuzzy. Simply and clearly written, this book should be of much interest to all.

Description from School Library Journal

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