Random House, 2007
Winner 2007 Kliatt Editor’s Choice List
New York Public Library Best Books for the
Teen Age 2008
Sydney Taylor Award
Bank Street College list of Best Books for 2008
A summer in paradise. That’s all Marne wants. That’s all she can think of when she asks her parents permission to spend the summer in Hawaii with Aunt Carole and her family.
But Marne quickly realizes her visit isn’t going to be just about learning to surf and morning runs along the beach, despite the cute surfer boy she keeps bumping into. For one thing, Aunt Carole isn’t even Aunt Carole anymore—she’s Aunt Chaya, married to a Chasidic rabbi and deeply rooted in her religious community. Nothing could be more foreign to Marne, and fitting into this new culture—and house full of kids—is a challenge. But as she settles into her newfound family’s daily routine, she begins to think about spirituality, identity, and finding a place in the world in a way she never has before.
This rich novel is a window into a different life and gets to the very heart of faith, identity, and family ties.
The Goodness Gene
Nominee, Georgia Peach Award
New York Public Library “Books For The Teen
California Collections Choice
Will has been trained since birth to promote The Goodness, his father’s program to maintain order in the Dominion. Now that he is sixteen,Will is sent to witness firsthand the synthetic production of food and humans, and the euthanasia program that the authorities call Compassionate Removal.The more Will sees, the more he questions his role. When Will discovers the shocking truth about himself—that he is the clone of a twentieth-century despot—he realizes that the future of the world lies in his hands.
This suspenseful, innovative novel raises fascinating questions about whether our behavior is determined by DNA, upbringing, or a higher power.
Room In The Heart
Dutton, 2003; Notable Social Studies Trade
Book for Young People
Scholastic Book Club
Told from several points of view, this novel reveals how life in Copenhagen was soiled by the Nazi occupation and how the Danes fought back with courage and kindness. Julie lives with the constant, nagging fear that her family will be sent to a concentration camp. Niels can’t stand the brutish, arrogant Nazi soldiers and finds himself drawn to the Danish resistance. When Niels learns of the Nazi plot to round up all of Copenhagen’s Jews, he is dominated by a single thought: rescue. Julie wonders how she will endure so many good-byes, especially to Niels. This riveting read is based on the true story of how thousands of Denmark’s Jews were saved from the Nazis.
In 1860, after his mother and baby sister die, fourteen-year-old Clem embarks on a cross-country trip to find his father, who has set out for the California gold rush. Along the way, Clem earns money by working at various jobs, including stable boy and rider for the Pony Express.
Smithsonian Magazine Notable Book for
Notable Children’s Trade Book
in the Field of Social Studies
Slavery still exists in some parts of the world, even in the year 2000. In Sudan, tens of thousands of men, women, and children of the Dinka and Nuba tribes are regularly captured, taken from their homes and families, and forced into hard labor.
Based on a true story and real-life contemporary events, this novel tells how a group of students in Denver, Colorado, learns of the atrocities in Sudan, and how they begin to make a difference–raising money to “redeem” slaves and educating others about this dire situation. Award-winning author Sonia Levitin juxtaposes the safe and secure world of an American classroom with the severe hardship of the Dinka people, making Dream Freedom a book that will raise consciousness around the world.
Harcourt Brace, 1999; Harper/Trophy Paperback 2000
2005 California Readers Collection
ABA Pick Of The List
Branded a deviant–and therefore a threat–to the utopian society of Conformity, Harmony, and Tranquility that exists in the year 2407, Gemm 16884 is given the choice between being recycled or undergoing a painful and mysterious cure. Gemm chooses the cure, and suddenly finds himself living the life of Johannes, a 16-year-old Jewish musician in Strausbourg, Germany, in 1348, at the onset of the Black Death. As the pestilence spreads, the townspeople begin to accuse the Jews of causing the disease. Surrounded by hatred and horror, Johannes struggles to hold on to his family and faith as well as his belief in the basic goodness of human beings. But can he return to the future and become Gemm again after having known such emotions as pain and love?
The Singing Mountain
Simon and Schuster 1998
Sydney Taylor Honor Book
Bank Street College Best Books of 1998
Two cousins, Carlie and Mitch, come to know each other better as their lives converge in Israel, where Mitch has gone to study. Now, despite his family’s concerns, he doesn’t want to leave and Carlie, at first worried, comes round to understanding why Mitch feels he must take this bold step.
Simon & Schuster 1997
Finalist, Mystery Writers of America Edgar Award
NY Public Library Books for the Teen Age
“Time will help. Time will heal.”
That’s what people promised. But for Laura, nothing is helping or healing. Her mother’s death has left a void in her. It’s made Laura realize she hardly knew her mother, and that can never be fixed. So Laura lies in her mother’s bed, puts on her lipstick, reads her letters — anything to answer Laura’s questions and end her unbearable loneliness.
Then Laura finds a letter that raises more questions than it answers. Written the day before her mother’s death, it’s addressed to someone named Megan and speakes vaguely of “forgiveness.” Laura’s never heard of Megan, but Megan and Laura’s mother appear to have been childhood friends who hadn’t spoken in twenty-five years. What would prompt her mother to write Megan now? And what did she mean by “forgiveness”? If Laura can unveil the mystery behind the letter, maybe she’ll also unveil the mystery that was — and still is — her mother.
But Laura’s search for answers becomes an obsession. Laura can’t stop, not until she knows the truth about everything — even if it kills her.
Simon and Schuster, 1996
Parents’ Choice Honor Book
NY Public Library Books for the Teen Age List
Best of the Best Fiction – Pennsylvania
Almost immediately, Michelle was entranced by Luke, the handsome, charismatic leader of her therapy group. But on a weekend retreat, everything Michelle felt or thought abut Luke is shattered, and now she must uncover the truth about him–and herself–or she’ll lose all that she’s gained.
Escape From Egypt
Little Brown & Co., 1994; Puffin Paperback, Blackstone Audio Rts.
1994 National Conference of Christians and Jews
Mirrors and Windows: Seeing the Human Family
Booklist Editors Choice
YALSA Best Books For Young Adults 1995 List
Voice of Youth Advocates Outstanding Books, 1994
New York Public Library 1995 Books for The Teen Age List
Nominee, South Carolina Junior Book Award
Nominee, TN Book Award, YA Category, 1998-9
When Moses comes to lead the Israelites to the Promised Land, Jesse, a Hebrew slave, finds his life changed by his growing faith in God and his attraction to the half-Egyptian, half-Syrian Jennat. Reprint.AB.