Sunday, November 19, 2023
1:30 PM (ET)
Seating is first come, first served and requires advanced registration.
Since 1968, the Sydney Taylor Book Award has been presented annually to outstanding books for children and teens that authentically portray the Jewish experience. Join the current STBA committee chair and several recent winning authors to discuss writing Jewish books for kids, the impact of the award, and their thoughts about the present and future of Jewish children’s literature.
Sarah Darer Littman is the critically acclaimed author of middle grade and young adult novels, including Sydney Taylor Honor Books Some Kind of Hate and Life, After, and the Sydney Taylor award-winning Confessions of a Closet Catholic. Sarah’s young adult novels explore the intersection of teen life and technology, which fascinates her as she grew up without smartphones, social media, or even the internet. This year, Sarah celebrated her 60th birthday by finally becoming a Bat Mitzvah (better late than never!) She teaches in the MFA program at Western CT State University, and at the Yale Writers’ Workshop. Find her online at https://sarahdarerlittman.com/.
Mari Lowe has too little free time and spends it all on writing and escape rooms. As the daughter of a rabbi and as a middle school teacher at an Orthodox Jewish school, she shares little glimpses into her community with her books. Her debut middle grade novel, Aviva vs. the Dybbuk, was named a Best Book of the Year by NPR, Kirkus, and is a Sydney Taylor Book Award winner. Her next novel, The Dubious Pranks of Shaindy Goodman, is out now.
Sue Macy is the author of 18 books for children and young adults. She has written picture books on several iconic women and events in sports history; middle-grade biographies of Annie Oakley, Nellie Bly, and Sally Ride; and young adult nonfiction on the Olympics, the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League, and the impact of the bicycle and the automobile on women’s lives at the turn of the 20th century. Sue studied American Jewish History as a student at Princeton University and was thrilled to revisit that subject by telling the story of the Yiddish Book Center in The Book Rescuer. She lives in Englewood, New Jersey, and can be reached through her website, suemacy.com.
Veera Hiranandani is the award-winning author of several books for young people. Her most recent middle-grade novel, How to Find What You’re Not Looking For, received the 2022 Sydney Taylor Book Award, the 2022 Jane Addams Book Award, and was a finalist for the 2022 National Jewish Book Award.The Newbery Honor winning, The Night Diary, also received the 2019 Walter Dean Myers Honor Award, the 2018 Malka Penn Award for Human Rights in Children’s Literature, and several other honors and state reading list awards. Her forthcoming middle-grade novel, Amil and the After, releases in January 2024. She earned her MFA in fiction writing at Sarah Lawrence College. A former book editor at Simon & Schuster, she now teaches creative writing and is working on her next novel.
R. J. Palacio is the author of the #1 New York Times bestseller Wonder, which has sold over 15 million copies worldwide. The book’s message inspired the Choose Kind movement and has been embraced by readers around the world, with the book published in over 50 languages. Wonder was made into a blockbuster movie starring Julia Roberts, Owen Wilson, and Jacob Tremblay. Palacio’s other bestselling books include Pony, 365 Days of Wonder: Mr. Browne’s Book of Precepts, Auggie & Me: Three Wonder Stories, the picture book We’re All Wonders, and the graphic novel White Bird, which is currently being filmed as a major motion picture starring Gillian Anderson and Helen Mirren. Palacio lives in Brooklyn with her husband, two sons, and two dogs.
Aviva Rosenberg is the Youth Services Librarian at the Ridgefield Free Public Library in Ridgefield, NJ. She previously served as a school media specialist. Aviva is the current chair of the Sydney Taylor Book Award Committee, and the Vice President of the Schools, Synagogues, Centers, and Public Libraries division of the Association of Jewish Libraries. Aviva lives in Passaic, NJ with her family.
This program is made possible in part by support from the Battery Park City Authority.