The Girl with the Red Balloon (The Balloonmakers) by Katherine Locke

The Girl with the Red Balloon (The Balloonmakers) by Katherine Locke

When sixteen-year-old Ellie Baum accidentally time-travels via red balloon to 1988 East Berlin, she’s caught up in a conspiracy of history and magic. She meets members of an underground guild in East Berlin who use balloons and magic to help people escape over the Wall—but even to the balloon makers, Ellie’s time travel is a mystery. When it becomes clear that someone is using dark magic to change history, Ellie…

French Toast Sundays by Gloria Spielman

French Toast Sundays by Gloria Spielman

Illustrator: Inbal Gigi Bousidan When Mina s beloved Grandma dies, nothing feels right anymore. People come to visit. Mina just hides up in the big old oak tree. But the stories she hears about Grandma bring her slowly back down until at last Mina feels ready to smile again. via Jewish Book Council

No Room for Small Dreams: Courage, Imagination, and the Making of Modern Israel by Shimon Peres

No Room for Small Dreams: Courage, Imagination, and the Making of Modern Israel by Shimon Peres

In 1934, eleven-year-old Shimon Peres emigrated to the land of Israel from his native Poland, leaving behind an extended family who would later be murdered in the Holocaust. Few back then would have predicted that this young man would eventually become one of the towering figures of the twentieth century. Peres would indeed go on to serve the new state as prime minister, president, foreign minister, and the head of…

Armstrong & Charlie by Steven B. Frank

Armstrong & Charlie by Steven B. Frank

Charlie isn’t looking forward to sixth grade. If he starts sixth grade, chances are he’ll finish it. And when he does, he’ll grow older than the brother he recently lost. Armstrong isn’t looking forward to sixth grade, either. When his parents sign him up for Opportunity Busing to a white school in the Hollywood Hills, all he wants to know is “What time in the morning will my alarm clock…

The Jews of Key West: Smugglers, Cigar Makers, and Revolutionaries (1823-1969) by Arlo Haskell

The Jews of Key West: Smugglers, Cigar Makers, and Revolutionaries (1823-1969) by Arlo Haskell

The dramatic story of South Florida’s oldest Jewish community and a major addition to the history of this unique island city. Long before Miami was on the map, Key West had Florida’s largest economy and an influential Jewish community. Jews who settled here as peddlers in the nineteenth century joined a bilingual and progressive city that became the launching pad for the revolution that toppled the Spanish Empire in Cuba.…

Rising: The Book of Challah by Rochie Pinson

Rising: The Book of Challah by Rochie Pinson

Rebbetzin Rochie Pinson shares the experiences and insights she has gleaned during decades spent perfecting the art of challah baking and teaching challah workshops around the world. In her wise, warm, and humorous voice, she guides the reader through every step of the rewarding process of making challah. Section I: The Story of Challah. Musings on challah as a recipe for life Section II: The Cookbook. The most comprehensive guide…

We Are Jewish Faces by Debra B. Darvick

We Are Jewish Faces by Debra B. Darvick

From the review: “Bubbe faces, Zayde faces, brother, sister, friendship faces, faces of all races and places, we are Jewish faces.” Debra Davick has adapted her simple poem from I Love Jewish Faces (URJ Press, 2009), changed the refrain to “We are Jewish faces,” and included more contemporary photographs to demonstrate the diversity of the Jewish community today. The book’s photos of smiling faces of all ages and ethnicities were…

The Book of Mordechai and Lazarus: Two Novels by Gábor Schein

The Book of Mordechai and Lazarus: Two Novels by Gábor Schein

Translators: Adam Z. Levy and Ottilie Mulzet Both novels trace the legacy of the Holocaust in Hungary. The Book of Mordechai tells the story of three generations in a Hungarian Jewish family, interwoven with the biblical narrative of Esther. Lazarus relates the relationship between a son, growing up in the in the final decades of late-communist Hungary, and his father, who survived the depredations of Hungarian fascists during World War…

The Untold Journey: The Life of Diana Trilling by Natalie Robins

The Untold Journey: The Life of Diana Trilling by Natalie Robins

Throughout her life, Diana Trilling (1905-1996) wrote about profound social changes with candor and wisdom, first for The Nation and later for Partisan Review, Harpers, and such popular magazines as Vogue and McCalls. She went on to publish five books, including the best-selling Mrs. Harris: The Death of the Scarsdale Diet Doctor, written when she was in her late seventies. She was also one half of one of the most…

Genevieve’s War by Patricia Reilly Giff

Genevieve's War by Patricia Reilly Giff

Thirteen-year-old American girl Genevieve has spent the summer of 1939 at her grandmother’s farm in Alsace, France. Then she makes an impulsive choice: to stay in France. It proves to be a dangerous decision. World War II erupts. The Nazis conquer Alsace and deport the Jews and others. A frightening German officer commandeers a room in Meme’s farmhouse. And when Gen’s friend Remi commits an act of sabotage, Gen is…