Call it serendipity. After not getting Jewish Action for a while, I recently resubscribed and was surprised to find that my first issue included a feaure on the state of Jewish kid lit -- just in time for the release of my first children's book. (Though it wasn't in the story ... maybe next time!)
Written by Yael Zoldan, "The State of Orthodox Kid Lit" looks at the limited quality of books that were available only a decade or two ago and then
What is impressive, in my opinion, is the acknowledgement that Jewish fiction is starting to deal with formally "taboo" subjects -- things like divorce, special needs and child abuse -- things that effect all people.
As she writes, "While it’s painful to think that some of these issues exist in our community, it’s a healthy sign that that they are being addressed."
The author also notes that while there has been growth in the number and quality of books being offered, there are still gaps in the marketplace.
This is something that I've heard echoed everywhere I've gone recently to talk about "The New Girl" --- from Jewish bookstores to schools and parents -- the middle-grade books are still desperately needed.
If you are at all interested on what Orthodox Jewish publishers are offering today's young readers, check out Zoldan's story. And if you are a writer of Jewish children's literature, I'd love to hear your thoughts on the article and what you think are the missing links for today's readers.
Writer, Editor and Author of the Achdus Club novels for girls.