The Association of Jewish Libraries proudly announces its coveted Sydney Taylor Book Awards for 2022 for the most distinguished contributions to Jewish children’s literature. Winners receive cash prizes from the estate of Sydney Taylor, author of the All-of-a-Kind-Family series, at the National AJL convention in Philadelphia in June. Taylor’s success created American Jewish children's literature. Retired librarian Ellen Cole recommends these special books.
The 2022 Picture Book Winner is The Passover Guest. Strong illustrations influenced by Marc Chagall deliver a new version of the beloved Passover tale The Magician by I. L. Peretz now reset during the Great Depression in Washington, DC. A child invites a ragged juggler to celebrate the Seder with her family. When he arrives, they are stunned to discover a magnificent feast to share with their neighbors.
The 2022 Middle Grade Winner is How to Find What You’re Not Looking For. Ariel Goldberg tries to cope with her older sister’s estrangement from the family because she eloped with a man from India, the financial troubles of their family-owned bakery and her own struggles at school. The novel set in 1967 perfectly captures this turbulent period in American history through the eyes of a sympathetic preteen Jewish girl facing her own personal turmoil.
The 2022 Young Adult Winner is The City Beautiful. Masterfully combining fantasy, mystery, LGBTQ romance, and historical fiction, this gripping story, set against the sparkling, façade of the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair, follows Romanian immigrant Alter Rosen who embraces his Jewish identity while trying to adapt to American life. When a friend is murdered, Alter is inhabited by a sinister dybbuk; he must find the killer before it consumes him.
Dear Mr. Dickens
The Christmas Mitzvah
Nicky & Vera: A Quiet Hero of the Holocaust and the Children He Rescued
Middle Grade Books:
The Genius Under the Table: Growing Up Behind the Iron Curtain
Young Adult Books:
Whistle: A New Gotham City Hero
The Summer of Lost Letters
The Last Words We Said