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Index - Fiction Reviews & Book Excerpts
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- The Adventures of Rabbi Harvey, by Steve Sheinkin.
Volume I: After finishing school in New York, Rabbi Harvey traveled west in search of adventure and, hopefully, work as a rabbi. His journey took him to Elk Spring, Colorado, a small town in the Rocky Mountains. There, he settles disputes, tricks criminals into confessing, and offers unsolicited bits of Talmudic insight and Hasidic wisdom.
- The Age of Wonders, by Aharon Appelfeld.
The secure world of a well-established and apparently perfectly assimilated Jewish writer living in an Austrian town before World War II, disintegrates under the force of political and social realities that daily sanctify the old and endemic Austrian anti-Semitism.
- American Jewish Fiction, by Josh Lambert.
A guide to 125 works of fiction, both novels and short story collections, which touch upon the Jewish-American experience and which were published from 1867 to 2007.
- And The Rat Laughed, by Nava Semel.
This work of fiction, about remembering, in which, a young girl relates her grandmother's story, about surviving the Holocaust by hiding in a pit with only a rat for company, to her teacher and schoolmates. In so doing, she sets off a chain of events that will have repercussions for decades to come...
- As A Palm Tree In The Desert, Parts One & Two, by Zvi Ankori.
This novel narrates tales of human destinies that unfold against a backdrop of revolutions and the Holocaust.
- Auschwitz Lullaby, By James C. Wall.
This is a gripping tale about a Jewish doctor forced to work for Mengele, and the doctor's efforts to try to save the life of a young girl who miraculously survived a 'trip' to the a gas chambers.
- BenHazar, Son to a Stranger, by Aron Shai.
In this historical novel, Shai tells a fascinating story of a twenty-five year old son – Benhazar, a Hebrew word meaning "son to a stranger" - who tries to find out about the strange secret life of his father, Jochanan.
- Between Heaven and Earth, by Sue Kerman.
When Zara Rubens is suddenly widowed, she decides to take control of her life and visit Palestine. Zara creates a new life for herself in nineteenth-century Jerusalem. She becomes acquainted with such legendary figures as British Consul James Finn, Reverend Conrad Schick, and the painter William Holman-Hunt.
- Calculated Risk (Chapter 1), by Yair Weinstock. (Book Excerpt)
- Calibrating Darkness, by Henry Tylbor.
This is a piece of autobiographical fiction written by Holocaust survivor Henry Tylbor, who passed away in 2009.
- The Choice, by Kathy Clark.
Thirteen-year-old Hendrik has a secret - his real name is Jakob and he's Jewish. One day after the Nazi invasion of Hungary, Jakob reveals his secret to the wrong person - with terrifying consequences for both himself, and his entire family. The Choice is a gripping book about the Holocaust that was written for middle grade readers.
- Capturing the Moon: Classic and Modern Jewish Tales, by Rabbi Edward Feinstein.
Rabbi Feinstien's new book, Capturing the Moon, contains a collection of thirty-six Jewish folktales. Following the review of this book, you will find a sampling from the book in the form of the folktale, The Sukkah of Rabbi Pinchas.
- Chains Around the Grass, by Naomi Ragen.
The Markowitz's are left destitute in 1955 when the head of the household dies suddenly. Each member of the family deals with the situation in their own way. We follow the plight of this fractured family through the eyes of Sara, the middle child, as we watch her grow into a young and self-assured woman.
- Classic Hassidic Tales, by Meyer Levin.
Marvellous Tales of Rabbi Israel Baal Shem and of His Great-Grandson, Rabbi Nachman, Retold from Hebrew, Yiddish and German.
- The Confessor, by Daniel Silva.
Silva's third book featuring the famed art restorer and Israeli spy, Gabriel Allon, deals with the death of a Holocaust historian and a secret group operating inside the Vatican that wants to ensure that the Church's complicity with the Nazi's is never uncovered.
- The Daughters Victorious, by Rabbi Shlomo (Stanley) Wexler.
The Daughters Victorious tells the amazing Biblical story of five sisters whom, over 3,000 years ago, fought for their inheritance and dignity. They sacrificed their individual yearnings to advance the causes of property rights and religious education for women at the time when such privileges and rights were non-existent.
- A Death in Vienna, by Daniel Silva.
Master art restorer and part-time spy Gabriel Allon is on the trail of Nazi war criminals in this, the third book in Silva's 'Holocaust' series, and his fourth book featuring Allon.
- The English Assassin, by Daniel Silva.
A riveting suspense story that follows the semi-retired Israeli agent and famed art restorer, Gabriel Allon, as he attempts to uncover the truth about a collection of priceless paintings that had been stolen from their Jewish owners by the Nazis and hidden in Switzerland.
- The Envelope (Chapter 1), by Chaim Eliav. (Book Excerpt)
- The Essential Jewish Stories, by Seymour Rossel.
More than 300 stories selected from every period of Jewish history and from every Jewish tradition -- narratives, anecdotes, metaphors, analogies, folktales, and fantasies -- each story elegantly retold.
- Eye Of The Storm (Chapter 1), by Yair Weinstock. (Book Excerpt)
- Faith & Courage, by Marcus Lehmann.
A collection of three inspiring, historical novels by Rabbi Meir (Marcus) Lehmann, the Rav of Mainz, Germany. This collection includes, Faith & Courage, Del Monte, and The Pocketknife.
- Folktales of the Jews: Tales from Arab Lands, edited by Dan Ben-Amos.
Tales from Arab Lands presents tales from North Africa, Yemen,and Iraq in the most important collection of Jewish folktales ever published. It is the third volume in the Folktales of the Jews series.
- The Fortune Seekers, by Libby Lazewnik.
When Gila Bernstein and her family moves from New York to New Mexico, to help found a new Kollel, their lives change in many unexpected ways. Not the least of which is that Gila finds herself seeking to uncover the truth about a mystery that has laid unsolved for more than 150 years and which involved a group of Eastern European Jewish immigrants who arrived in New Mexico in 1849.
- Friday Night with the Pope
, by Jacques J. M. Shore.
A children's book about an eleven-year-old Jewish boy, and his mother, who are invited to have a Shabbat dinner with the Pope.
- Gimpel the Fool and Other Stories, by Isaac Bashevis Singer.
Gimpel the Fool, Esther Kreindel the Second, The Spinoza of Market Street and The Black Wedding, four short stories by the famed Yiddish writer, I. B. Singer. This audio edition is read by Theodore Bikel.
- The Golden Peacock: The Voice of the Yiddish Writer, edited by Sheva Zucker.
An audio recording, on CD, which features ten different Yiddish writers reading their poetry and prose. The CD is accompanied by two booklets. One provides brief biographies of the authors, and the other, the Yiddish text of the readings along with brief notes on the readings.
- Great Tales of Jewish Occult and Fantasy, compiled, translated, and introduced by Joachim Neugroschel.
A collection of thirty-one stories by some of Judaism's greatest writers, including Y. L. Peretz, Mendele Mocher Seforim, and Rabbi Nachman of Braslav.
- Hasidic Tales, by Rabbi Rami Shapiro.
Rabbi Shapiro breathes new life into these classic stories of people who so marvelously combined the mystical and the ordinary. Each demonstrates the spiritual power of unabashed joy, offers lessons for leading a holy life, and reminds you that the Divine can be found in the everyday.
- Hear O Lord, by Eliaz Cohen.
Poems from the Disturbances of 2000-2009, Hebrew - English edition. Cohen's work confronts primary theological, psychological and political issues of Jewish existence...
- The Holy Land, by Robert Zubrin.
A satirical look at the Palestinian - Israeli conflict, and the ongoing war on terrorism, in the guise of a thrilling science fiction space opera.
- Invisible Me, by Tzipi Caton.
In this unique and powerful novel, we meet Dini, a fifteen-year-old who suffers from selective mutism. Despite being physically able to speak, Dini is unable to make herself speak. Consequently she is often ridiculed or simply ignored by her peers. As the book opens, Dini is starting a new school, but she is soon expelled for a prank she did not commit. Can Dini clear her name? More important, can she regain the power of speech?
- The Jerusalem Assassin, by Avraham Azrieli.
In the wake of the 1995 Oslo Peace Accords, a wave of Palestinian terror hits Jewish targets. Israel responds with a clandestine war in Paris, Zurich, and Tel Aviv.
- The Jerusalem Inception, by Avraham Azrieli.
On the eve of the Six Day War, in the divided city of Jerusalem, a young rabbinical scholar falls in love with a beautiful Mossad agent twice his age, breaks off the shackles of religious observance, and volunteers for a dangerous mission that will determine the outcome of the greatest Mideast war.
- The Judge (Prologue), by Libby Lazewnik. (Book Excerpt)
- Kaytek the Wizard, by Janusz Korczak.
It's all great fun using magic to cause strange incidents in his school and neighborhood, but soon Kaytek's increasing powers cause major chaos around the city of Warsaw...
- The King's Special Loaves, by Yaakov Meir Strauss.
Follow Naftali and Tzaddok, his new friend and a Kohen who just arrived in Yerushalayim from Egypt, as they become involved in a spat of espionage that involves two Roman spies, and surprisingly, three bakers. Along the way, experience the excitement of the Festival of Shavuos as you learn about the Beis HaMikdash.
- Legends Worth Living, by Nathan Drazin.
Rabbi Dr. Nathan Drazin (1906-1976) a noted scholar offers his readers 36 delightful stories with important moral lessons.
- Let My Nation Serve Me, by Yosef Deutsch.
This is a fictionalized account of the Israelites' journey to Sinai and the receiving of the Torah. This novel is solidly based upon Talmudic and Midrashic sources.
- Lies My Father Told Me, By Ted Allan and Never Had it so Good, by Charles Israel.
Two vintage radio plays on two audio cassettes. The first play is a story of intergenerational conflict, and a young boy's coming of age in the Montreal of the 1920's. The second radio play, Never Had it So Good, centers around a group of concentration camp survivors and their desire to move to Israel and form a Kibbutz, a goal that is in danger of being thwarted by an anti-Semitic American Army Colonel.
- The Lost Princess & Other Kabbalistic Tales of Rebbe Nachman of Breslov, by Rebbe Nachman of Breslov.
This collection if stories presents the wisdom of Rebbe Nachman, translated by Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan and accompanied by illuminating commentary drawn from the works of Rebbe Nachman's pupils.
- The Masada Complex, by Avraham Azrieli.
Could a major scandal cause the United States to terminate its support for Israel? The Masada Complex gives us a chilling portrayal of exactly such a scenario.
- The Messenger, by Daniel Silva.
The Vatican has been attacked by terrorist, and it is only the beginning.... Can famed art restorer and occasional Israeli spy Gabriel Allon stop the terrorists before they can strike again? This is the sixth book in the Allon series.
- The Mission (Chapter 1), by Chaim Eliav. (Book Excerpt)
- The Mysterious Shoebox and Other Leah Lamdan Holiday Mysteries, by Chaya Hubner.
This volume contains a collection of twelve new Leah Lamdan Holiday Mysteries, including The Shtadlan, The Glass Menorah, The Hidden Megillah, Conference at Shulchan Hall, and The Tandem Tefillin. These stories are not only uplifting and entertaining, but also fun to solve.
- A Mystery From Afar and Other Leah Lamdan Holiday Mysteries, by Chaya Hubner.
This is a collection of twelve uplifting and engaging mysteries that will delight the entire family. All the stories in this collection have a holiday theme, and all serve to reinforce positive Jewish values while at the same time entertaining the reader.
- Of Guns and Mules, by David Lawrence-Young.
When eighteen-year-old David Levi is arrested together with his father and friends and deported from their home in Palestine by the Turks, none of them knows what the future holds. But their spirits soar when they are offered the chance to enlist with the newly formed Zion Mule Corps, a service unit of Jewish soldiers commanded by the legendary ex-Russian war hero Joseph Trumpeldor.
- Once Upon a Story, by Yair Weinstock.
A Famous Novelist Retells Classic Stories with Passion and Spirit, in this unforgettable collection of thrity-two entertaining and awe-inspiring stories.
- The Only One Club, by Jane Naliboff.
A picture story book about Jennifer, a first grader who discovers that she is the only Jewish student in her class and as a consequence, founds the Only One Club.
- Ostrich Feathers, by Miriam Romm.
This is the Ostrich Feathers is the remarkable story of an eight year old girl, living in Israel, who accidentally discovers that her father is not her natural parent. Her father disappeared in Poland during the Holocaust, and this book follows her quest to discover what happened to him.
- The Penitent, by Isaac Bashevis Singer.
This is a story about a dissatisfied, disillusioned, and purposeless man. A holocaust survivor who is overwhelmed with the suffering in the world, and who wonders whether religion will answer his concerns.
- A Picture of Grandmother, by Esther Hautzig.
When Uncle Benjamin sends a letter to Sara's mother, inviting her mother and grandmother to come to visit the 1939 World's Fair, Sara embarks upon a quest to find the mysterious photo of her grandmother that was mentioned in the letter. Unbeknownst to Sara, her search for the photo will lead to her discovery of a long held family secret!
- The Plot: The Secret Story of The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, by Will Eisner.
A graphic novel that examines the history, and impact of The Protocols of the Elders of Zion - a noted forgery and antisemitic document that is still in use today.
- Prince of Fire, by Daniel Silva.
Famed art restorer and former Israeli spy, Gabriel Allon is called out of retirement after a suicide bombing in Rome. He is tasked with the job of hunting down and eliminating the mastermind behind the bombing before he can strike again - if he can.
- Rabbi Harvey Rides Again, by Steve Sheinkin.
Volume II: In this graphic novel, Rabbi Harvey returns to the streets of Elk Spring, Colorado. Harvey protects his town and delivers justice, wielding only the weapons of wisdom, wit, and a bit of trickery. These adventures combine Jewish and American folklore by creatively retelling comic Jewish folktales and setting them loose on the western frontier of the 1870s.
- Rabbi Harvey vs. the Wisdom Kid, by Steve Sheinkin.
Volume III: In his colorful career on the Rocky Mountain frontier, Rabbi Harvey has matched wits with a variety of villains--most notably the sweet-faced "Bad Bubbe" Bloom, and the self-proclaimed genius "Big Milt" Wasserman. In this exciting new volume, these two formidable foes team up to try to rid the West of Rabbi Harvey once and for all.
- The Rabbi's Cat, by Joann Sfar.
This is a graphic novel set in the 1930's about a Rabbi, his daughter, and their talking cat. This story provides a unique look into the Algerian Jewish community during this period.
- Reaches of Heaven, by Isaac Bashevis Singer.
A fictional biography of the Baal Shem Tov, with twenty-three original etchings by Ira Moskowitz.
- Rebbe Mendel ... in a Class by Himself, by Nathan Sternfeld.
This exciting book, full of adventure, humor, and plenty of golden lessons, is a must-read for kids. This is the fifth book in the Rebbe Mendel series, and it contains seventeen new stories.
- Ribbons For Their Hair , by Estelle Chasen.
When young Detective Yardena Halpert is assigned a missing child case, she puts her heart and soul into finding three-year-old Adina Barzilai, despite feeling out of her league. This novel blends mystery, romance, and historical narrative, as the fate of the Jewish community of Greece in World War II is outlined in painful clarity.
- Sabbatai Zevi: A Tragedy in Three Acts, by Shalom Ash.
A tragedy in three acts and six scenes with a prologue and an epilogue. This is a translation of the Russian tragedy.
- The Sacrifice of Tamar, by Naomi Ragen.
Shortly after Tamar was raped, she discovers that she is pregnant. She does not know, however, whether the child is her husband's or the rapist's. Living in an insular religious community, Tamar is fearful that she will be shunned if she tells anyone about the assault. For a while she is successful at keeping her secret - but when the truth is tragically discovered - everyone suffers, including her son and his new wife...
- Sage Tales, by Rabbi Burton L. Visotsky.
The classic tales of the Jewish sages in the Talmud defined Judaism then and help us find our way even today. In this highly accessible collection of funny, wise and poignant narratives, Visotzky leads the reader through stories of the Rabbis who lived in the first generations following the destruction of the Jerusalem Temple in 70 CE.
- Salome of the Tenements, by Anzia Yezierska.
When the Yiddish newspaper she is working for gives her the assignment of interviewing a millionaire philanthropist, Sonya thinks she has found her way out of the tenement, and sets out to marry her interviewee - with unexpected results. This is a classic work of Jewish-American literature that examines the pull between traditional Jewish culture and the desire of new immigrants to integrate into modern American society.
- Sanctuary in the Wilderness, by Alan Mintz.
An in-depth introduction to American Hebrew poetry and the lives and works of twelve key American poets who composed in Hebrew.
- Sarah, by Marek Halter.
From the great ziggurat of Ishtar to the fertile valleys of Canaan to the bedchamber of the mighty Pharaoh himself, Sarah's story reveals an ancient world full of beauty, intrigue, and miracles.
- Scenes from Village Life, by Amos Oz.
In the village of Tel Ilan, something is off kilter. An elderly man complains to his daughter that he hears the sound of digging under his house at night. Could it be his tenant, a young Arab?
- The Scroll, by Miriam Feinberg Vamosh.
A decision taken in the final days of the battle for Masada is to have a drastic impact on three generations of one family. In this compelling work of historical fiction, the author follows Miriam, a survivor of Masada, and her family as they deal with the repercussions of this decision as they try to make a life for themselves in a very changed world.
- Scum, by Isaac Bashevis Singer.
In 1906, the death of his 17-year-old son, Arturo, has disrupted the life of Max Barabander, sending him back to his roots in Warsaw while his wife stays in South America. Having attained wealth after a life of poverty and a prison hitch in Warsaw for theft, Max revisits scenes of his past.
- The Search Committee: A Novel, by Marc Angel.
An intriguing and remarkably dramatic novel that follows a search committee as it chooses between two candidates for the position as head of a New York Yeshiva, and the ideological battles that ensue.
- The Secret Servant, by Daniel Silva.
In this, the seventh volume in the Gabriel Allon series, Allon finds himself trying to not only rescue the kidnapped daughter of an American Embassador, but also hot on the trail of a murderous terrorist group bent upon destroying London.
- Sefer Ha-Aggadah: The Book of Legends, by H. N. Bialik and Y. H. Rawnitzky.
The Hebrew poet Hayim Nahman Bialik and the renowned editor Yehoshua Hana Ravnitzky, selected hundreds of texts from the Talmud and midrashic literature and arranged them thematically, in order to provide their contemporaries with easy access to the national literary heritage of the Jewish people.
- The Seven Beggars & Other Kabbalistic Tales of Rebbe Nachman of Breslov, by Rebbe Nachman of Breslov.
In this, the second of two monumental volumes, Rabbi Kaplan's translation of Rebbe Nachman's stories is accompanied by masterful commentary drawn from the works of Rebbe Nachman's pupils and followers.
- Seven Good Years: And Other Good Stories of I.L. Peretz, translated by Esther Hautzig.
Readers of all ages will be charmed by Hautzig's skillful and sensitive translations of I.L. Peretz's tales from Eastern Europe.
- Shalom Aleichem: Some Laughter, Some Tears, edited by Curt Leviant.
Tales From the Old World and the New.
- Smugglers: A Novel in Three Parts, by Oyzer Warshawsky.
This is a gripping and charming tale of Jews who, although as observant as the Jews in Aleichem's Fiddler on a Roof, are also appealing criminals, determined to save themselves from starvation by breaking the restrictive law of the German occupiers of their land.
- The Sonderberg Case, by Elie Wiesel.
When Yedidyah is assigned to cover the murder trial of a German expatriate named Werner Sonderberg, demons from his own past are resurected in this gripping mystery.
- Sotah, by Naomi Ragen.
Dina Reich has been accused of committing adultery by members of the Morals Patrol. Unwilling to face the shame of the accusation, and unable to explain the situation to her husband, Dina flees, leaving behind her husband and her infant. In this novel, Ragen recounts the events leading up to the accusation, and how Dina manages to rebuild her life and her faith.
- The Spare Room, By Mordecai Richler.
In this tale we are introduced to the Hirsh's, a patriotic Jewish-Canadian family who wants to help out the war effort by taking in boarders.
- The Stairway to Heaven, by Therese Zrihen-Dvir.
On January 22, 1995, a Palestinian terrorist, loaded with a twenty-pound bomb belt, coldly positioned himself as close as possible to a large group of soldiers and activated the bomb...
- Suddenly in the Depths of the Forest, by Amos Oz.
In a gray and gloomy village, all of the animals — from dogs and cats to fish and snails — disappeared years before. No one talks about it and no one knows why, though everyone agrees that the village has been cursed. But when two children see a fish...
- The Temple of HaShem, by Hyam Yona Becker.
What does a baal-tshuva archaeology Professor who is afraid to eat anything mushy, a Jewish Eskimo, an eight-foot tall purple alien who walks with a limp, and a beautiful girl with Bluegrass eyes have in common? The Redemption, of course!
- The Stars Will Guide You, by Miriam Walfish.
An unforgettable and uplifting novel that highlights the history of Rome's Jewish Community during World War II, told through the adventures of fifteen-year-old Rica and her younger brother Lelio, as they seek sanctuary in an Italian Village, where they are forced to pretend that they are Catholics.
- Swimming in Moses' Well, by Yakov Azriel.
Poems on Numbers - This is the fourth book in Azriel's series of verse commentaries on the Pentateuch.
- Tales of the Hasidim, by Martin Buber.
This edition, bringing together Volumes One and Two of Buber's classic work, contains marvelous tales - terse, vigorous, often cryptic - of the Hasidic masters.
- These Mountains, by Rivka Miriam.
Selected Poems of Rivka Miriam, Hebrew - English edition. In language characterized by an appealing simplicity, the author shares with her readers a variety of moving responses to a lifetime of experiences...
- Time Bomb (Prologue), by Yair Weinstock. (Book Excerpt)
- To the End of the Land, by David Grossman.
From one of Israel's most acclaimed writers comes a novel of extraordinary power about family life—the greatest human drama—and the cost of war.
- A Treasury of Jewish Humor, edited by Nathan Ausubel.
A classic collection of humorous stories, satires and witticism from the rich Jewish literature of all times.
- The War Within, by Carol Matas.
A fictional account of Jewish life during the American Civil War that centers around General Grant's expulsion of Jews from the Department of the Tennessee (a military administrative district).
- What We Talk About When We Talk About Anne Frank, by Nathan Englander.
Eight insightful and thought-provoking short stories that feature Jewish main-characters.
- Who by Fire, by Diana Spechler.
Thirteen years ago, six-year-old Alena was kidnapped and never heard from again. Her family never healed from this event, and all the old wounds are once again rubbed raw when her brother, Ash, drops out of college and decamps for Israel to embark upon life as an Orthodox Jew, never telling his family that he is leaving or where he is going. It falls upon his sister Bits to find him and bring him home when Alena's remains are found...
- A Widow's Tale, by Dina Bar-Tov.
This is a witty and compassionate story about a 42-year-old, ultra-religious widow with nine children who must learn to come to terms with her husbands unexpected death, and the difficulties she faces when she decides that it is time to remarry.
- Wishes for One More Day, by Melanie Joy Pastor.
When Poppy dies, Anna and Joey must come to terms with their Grandfather's death, which they do by creating a book of wishes. A picture story book that will help children, and adults, deal with the death of a loved one. It also touches lightly upon several Jewish memorial practices, such as sitting Shiva and lighting memorial candles.
- The Yiddish Policemen's Union, by Michael Chabon.
This is a quirky detective novel set in an alternate reality, where the Jewish survivors of the Holocaust found a homeland, albeit a temporary one, in Sitka, Alaska. The hero of this tale is Homicide Detective Meyer Landsman, and he has the job of solving a murder case that no one else seems to want solved.
- Zalmen, or the Madness of G-d, by Elie Wiesel.
Set in a post-Stalinist Russian synagogue on the eve of an appearance by a Western actring troupe, Elie Wiesel's play has been described as a cry of anguish about the collective guilt of "the Silent". Stars Dianne Wiest, Robert Prosky, Joseph Wiseman.
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