by Amy Koss
Abuelita’s Secret Matzahsby Sandy Eisenberg Sasso, Illustrated by Diana Bryer
In engaging, accessible language, Abuelita’s Secret Matzahs tells children the fascinating but little-known story of Crypto Jews, Jews forced to convert to Christianity during the Spanish Inquisition who secretly maintained their Jewish identity and customs throughout the ages, often unaware of the reasons for some of these customs.
by Carolivia Herron
(Ages 7-10, Grades 2-4)
An elderly black grandmother passes on the story of the family’s Jewish origins to her young granddaughter, Carol Olivia. As family members flee the Spanish Inquisition, are kidnapped by pirates and eventually sail to America, one daughter in each generation is given the name Olivia, from the Hebrew Shulamit meaning “peace,” to honor the Jewish part of their ancestry.
Frances has always felt isolated at her New England prep school, but more so now that her brother has killed himself by overdosing on heroin. When Frances joins the social services charity her brother belonged to, she discovers that all is not as it seems, and realizes how little she really knew him. In this story, Frances is Japanese/white American and Jewish.