Recipient of a Sydney Taylor Book Award for Younger Readers
An ALA Notable Book
A Bank Street Best Book of the Year
“Text and illustration meld beautifully.” —The New York Times
“Stunning.” —Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
“Inspired...[a] journalistic, propulsive narrative.” —Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“The story comes alive through the bold acrylic and gouache art.” —Booklist (starred review)
From New York Times Best Illustrated Book artist Stacy Innerst and author Sue Macy comes a story of one man’s heroic effort to save the world’s Yiddish books in their Sydney Taylor Book Award–winning masterpiece.
Over the last forty years, Aaron Lansky has jumped into dumpsters, rummaged around musty basements, and crawled through cramped attics. He did all of this in pursuit of a particular kind of treasure, and he’s found plenty. Lansky’s treasure was any book written Yiddish, the language of generations of European Jews. When he started looking for Yiddish books, experts estimated there might be about 70,000 still in existence. Since then, the MacArthur Genius Grant recipient has collected close to 1.5 million books, and he’s finding more every day.
Told in a folkloric voice reminiscent of Patricia Polacco, this story celebrates the power of an individual to preserve history and culture, while exploring timely themes of identity and immigration.