Published by Simon and Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books
Summary: When Aaron Lansky was growing up, he heard the story of his grandmother, who immigrated to America when she was 16. Her older brother greeted her by throwing her suitcase into the Hudson River, telling her it was time to break with the past. Aaron has spent his adult life working tirelessly to find and preserve that past. As a college student interested in learning Jewish history through Yiddish novels, he discovered a passion for Yiddish books, and began traveling around the country to rescue them. In 1980, he founded the Yiddish Book Center in Amherst, Massachusetts. A MacArthur grant in 1989 recognized his work, which he continues today, having collected 1.5 million books in Yiddish that he shares with people all over the world. Includes an afterword by Aaron Lansky, an author’s note, illustrator’s note, glossary of yiddish words, and a couple sources of additional information. 48 pages; grades 1-5.
Pros: What could have been a dry, uninteresting topic comes to life in Sue Macy’s capable hands, aided by the Marc Chagall-inspired artwork. The back matter fleshes out the story even further, and includes information for visiting the Yiddish Book Center, which turns out to be less than 30 miles from my house.
Cons: I started to feel some pangs of guilt about my enthusiasm for weeding my libraries.