Association of Jewish Libraries "Love Your Neighbor" Book List #1: Standing Up for Each Other

From the Association of Jewish Libraries:
In response to the tragedy at the synagogue in Pittsburgh and to rising anti-Semitism in the United States, the Association of Jewish Libraries offers this series of book lists for young readers. Books read in youth impact future outlooks, and it is our hope that meeting Jews on the page will inspire friendship when readers meet Jews in real life. This is the first in a series of book lists intended to provide children and their families with a greater understanding of the Jewish religion and its people.

The first booklist is called: "Standing Up for Each Other." It highlights "stories of Jews and non-Jews standing up for each other, working out differences, and confronting prejudice." Please share it widely, and ask if you have any questions. (Full disclosure: as an AJL member, I helped with the list.)

Elissa Gershowitz

Elissa Gershowitz is executive editor of The Horn Book, Inc. She holds an MA from the Center for the Study of Children's Literature at Simmons University and a BA from Oberlin College.

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Sarah H.

Just seconding Sam Bloom’s comment. I’ll include my response to the AJL here too: “Thank you for these lists. I very much appreciate the spirit in which they’re offered, and the work that went into making them. However, especially given the theme of “standing up for each other,” I also want to point to the inclusion of one of the books here. The middle-grade novel The Hired Girl is recommended on this list, and while many Jewish readers appreciated the treatment of Jewish themes in that story (myself and other Jewish readers found problems in that representation) Native readers have offered critiques of its treatment of Indigenous peoples. One such critique is here: In this moment of rising antisemitism in the US, it is more crucial than ever that we *do* stand up for one another. That means not sacrificing other communities in representing our own. There are many fine books about Jewish experiences that don’t denigrate others; I hope that you might reconsider the recommendation of The Hired Girl on this list.”

Posted : Nov 29, 2018 07:58

Sam Bloom

Hi there - I'm Sam, and I'm Jewish. *waves* I was disappointed to see the inclusion of Laura Amy Schlitz's THE HIRED GIRL on this list (and further disappointed that the AJL site doesn't allow comments if you're not a member, but that's neither here nor there). For those who are unaware of the issues with the book, here is a post Debbie Reese wrote: And here is a twitter thread from Sarah Hamburg on the book: Not trying to start a big kerfuffle here, but... I feel let down that AJL included this book on its list.

Posted : Nov 09, 2018 01:38


Thanks for posting, Elissa. It should be useful to many schools and libraries and I hope they print out the pdf on the link.

Posted : Nov 01, 2018 10:45


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