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A Chair, A Fireplace & a Tea Cozy
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Sydney Taylor Book Awards

The 2013 Sydney Taylor Book Awards have been announced! “The Sydney Taylor Book Award honors new books for children and teens that exemplify the highest literary standards while authentically portraying the Jewish experience. The award memorializes Sydney Taylor, author of the classic All- of-a-Kind Family series.”

The Association of Jewish Libraries website has the full lists.

The award winner for teen winners: Intentions by Deborah Heiligman (Knopf Books for Young Readers 2012). From my review: “Rachel’s behaviour hurts herself and others; she ends up inflicting damage on Alexis as well as Jacob, the boy Rachel likes. It is not her intent to hurt them, just as it’s not the Rabbi’s intent to destroy Rachel’s faith. It’s not until Rachel harms others unintentionally that she can begin to handle what the Rabbi did. Here’s one of the things I liked about Rachel, or, rather, Rachel’s complexity: I don’t think this was the first time she hurt others. Alexis’s parents went through a difficult divorce, and since then the girls have not been close. Alexis shows anger at Rachel even before we see Rachel give her any reason to, which makes me think that Rachel failed Alexis without knowing it. Without knowing it. Intentions. This, then, is what Rachel is struggling with, what is the loss of her innocence: that even though we don’t intend to, what we do or don’t do impacts others.

There was one honor book, Beyond Courage: The Untold Story of Jewish Resistance During the Holocaust by Doreen Rappaport (Candlewick Press).

Notable books were also named: The Last Song by Eva Wiseman (Tundra Books); Now by Morris Gleitzman (Henry Holt and Company); and Rachel’s Secret by Shelly Sanders (Second Story Press).


About Elizabeth Burns

Looking for a place to talk about young adult books? Pull up a chair, have a cup of tea, and let's chat. I am a New Jersey librarian. My opinions do not reflect those of my employer, SLJ, YALSA, or anyone else. On Twitter I'm @LizB; my email is