Sunday, September 07, 2008

New Jewish Books

For Kids:

Sometimes-local "snowbird" author Beverly Mach Geller wrote to let me know about her latest book. Ellie's Shabbat Surprise is the latest book about the family of Elisheva, or Ellie, as she likes to be called. In this Shabbat story, Ellie has a problem. She has been practicing a special song to sing in her Shabbat group. "But something happened to her voice. It sounded funny - kind of rough and low." How will she be able to sing? Find out how she deals with the problem in a unique and inventive way, and join Ellie and her family from the beginning of the Sabbath ("Shabbat shalom") until its end ("Shavua tov").

Other picture books by Beverly Mach Geller include The Shalom Zachar at Nachum's House, The Upsherin: Ephraim's First Haircut, The Mitzvah Girl, and The Mystery of the Missing Pitom.

Ellie's Shabbat Surprise is published by Gefen: 800-477-5257, Also available through Baker & Taylor, Barnes & Noble,, and


For adults:

I also got an email about a new novel for adults, Cooperative Village by Frances Madeson. The message said:

Cooperative Village is a boldly comic novel which tells the tale of an ordinary Jewish New Yorker who becomes bound for "enemy combatant status"—and possible deportation to the Federal Detention Center in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba—when she becomes a victim of Library Card Identity Theft (LCIT). Focusing on issues of reader privacy and intellectual freedom, this work is for everyone who has ever wondered, not if Big Brother is watching, but how closely. The book is set in the Lower East Side, is Jewish both in sensibility and content, and climaxes in a rather bizarre, but still touching, shiva for Lana Plotsky, the protagonist's elderly neighbor.

I thought the library-related themes in this book might interest AJL members. For more info about the book (and its related one-woman show!) see

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