Showing posts with the label Penguin Workshop

Review: Camp Mah Tovu

Camp Mah Tovu (American Horse Tales) by Yael Mermelstein Penguin Workshop (imprint of Penguin Random House) Category: Middle Grade Reviewer: Judith S. Greenblatt   Buy at   Our heroine, Lila is ADHD, and even as she tried to stop herself from talking too much and exaggerating, she exaggerates to the point of lying. Soon, the other girls in the bunk dislike her so much they leave her out of the raid to the boys’ side of camp. But – that’s when she meets her horse. One of the American Horse Tales series, an important part of the story is the relationship between Lila and her horse, Lonny, who is also a loner. With the help of an understanding counselor, Lila succeeds in riding Lonny. Lonny and the rest of her pack of wild horses live at the edge of Camp Mah Tovu and are in danger from ranchers who use harsh tactics as they prepare to move the herd off the property. Lila uses her skill at reading to trade favors with struggling reader bunkmate Sarah, and together they spe

Review: Who Was Levi Strauss?

Who Was Levi Strauss? by Ellen Labrecque Penguin Workshop (imprint of Penguin Random House) Category: Middle Grade Reviewer: Stacy Nockowitz Buy at Ellen Labrecque’s Who Was Levi Strauss? is a new title in the extensive WHO HQ series. The book is a cradle-to-grave biography of 19th century immigrant entrepreneur Loeb Strauss, who would later change his name to Levi Strauss and build the blue jeans empire that still dominates the fashion industry today. Labrecque’s book follows the formula of the series, laying out Strauss’s humble beginnings in Bavaria as the youngest child of door-to-door sewing supply salesman Hirsch Strauss and his second wife, Rebecca. A few years after two of the Strauss brothers immigrate to America and open a successful sewing supply store in New York City, Loeb, along with his mother and other siblings, follows. Labrecque does not shy away from explaining the Strauss family’s reason for wanting to leave Bavaria. Life for Jews in the German state a

Review: The New Queer Conscience

THe New Queer Conscience by Adam Eli, illustrated by Ashley Lukashevsky Category: Young Adult Reviewer: Sylvie Shaffer Adam Eli packs an incredible number of powerful ideas and questions into a pocket-sized package. His central argument, that all Queer folks ( and their allies) are responsible for all LGBTQIAA+ folks, is a reframing of the Talmudic idea that all Jews are commanded to have each others’ backs: “Kol yisrael arevim zeh baZeh” (all of the people of Israel are responsible for each other.) His language is clear, compelling, and accessible, with a tone that lands halfway between “chat over a latte” and “high school debate club” - but in the best possible way. Eli shares personal reflections on his own identify formation, privilege, and activism as a white, queer Jew speaks to teen readers however they self-identify. The book is a strong contender for the Sydney Taylor Book Award. It would also be an unconventional selection: the winning books in the Teen or Older Rea