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Winners of the Annual ​Sydney Taylor Book Award​

Winners of the annual ​Sydney Taylor Book Award​ were announced by the Association of Jewish Libraries today at the Youth Media Awards press conference during LibLearnX. Named in memory of Sydney Taylor, author of the classic All-of-a-Kind Family​ series, the award recognizes books for children and teens that exemplify high literary standards while authentically portraying the Jewish experience.

Most of the titles below are available in The Hendel Library!


The Tower of Life: How Yaffa Eliach Rebuilt Her Town in Stories and Photographs by Chana Stiefel, illustrated by Susan Gal, published by Scholastic Press, an imprint of Scholastic Inc., is the winner in the Picture Book category.

Thirty-five years after Nazis destroyed her beloved shtetl of Eishyshok, Poland, Yaffa Eliach recovered thousands of precious photographs preserved by relatives and survivors to recreate her community at the US Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, DC. Susan Gal’s expressive illustrations bring to life this true story of love and remembrance.

Aviva vs. the Dybbuk by Mari Lowe, published by Arthur A. Levine, an imprint of Levine Queridowon the Sydney Taylor Book Award in the Middle Grade category.

Aviva and her widowed mother live next door to their synagogue in rooms above the mikvah, rumored to be haunted by a dybbuk only Aviva can see. This inside look at a close-knit Orthodox community explores changing friendships, antisemitic vandalism, and the many ways of dealing with grief.

When the Angels Left the Old Country by Sacha Lamb, published by Arthur A. Levine, an imprint of Levine Queridowon the Sydney Taylor Book Award in the Young Adult category.

Uriel the angel and Little Ash the demon have been Talmud study partners for centuries. When a shtetl girl goes missing, they journey to America to find her. Brimming with Yiddishkeit, this brilliant, queer historical fantasy novel richly depicts the immigrant experience and tells an ageless tale of love, justice, and friendship.


Nine Sydney Taylor Honor Books were recognized for 2023.

For Picture Books, the Honor Books are Big Dreams, Small Fish by Paula Cohen, illustrated by Paula Cohen, published by Arthur A. Levine, an imprint of Levine Querido; The Very Best Sukkah: A Story from Uganda by Shoshana Nambi, illustrated by Moran Yogev, published by Kalaniot Books, an imprint of Endless Mountains Publishing Company; and Sitting Shiva by Erin Silver, illustrated by Michelle Theodore, published by Orca Book Publishers.

For Middle Grade, the Honor Books are Honey and Me by Meira Drazin, published by Scholastic Press, an imprint of Scholastic Inc.; Black Bird, Blue Road by Sofiya Pasternack, published by Versify, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers; and Ellen Outside the Lines by A. J. Sass, published by Little, Brown and Company, an imprint of Hachette Book Group, Inc.

For Young Adult, the Honor Books are My Fine Fellow: A Delicious Entanglement by Jennieke Cohen, published by HarperTeen, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers; Some Kind of Hate by Sarah Darer Littman, published by Scholastic Press, an imprint of Scholastic Inc.; and Eight Nights of Flirting by Hannah Reynolds, published by Razorbill, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC.


In addition to the medal winners, the Award Committee designated nine Notable Books of Jewish Content for 2023.

The Notable Picture Books are Tía Fortuna’s New Home: A Jewish Cuban Journey by Ruth Behar, illustrated by Devon Holzwarth, published by Alfred A. Knopf, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books, a division of Penguin Random House LLC; Madame Alexander: The Creator of the Iconic American Doll by Susan Goldman Rubin, illustrated by Sarah Dvojack, published by Feiwel and Friends, an imprint of Macmillan Publishing Group LLC; Shoham’s Bangle by Sarah Sassoon, illustrated by Noa Kelner, published by Kar-Ben Publishing, an imprint of Lerner Publishing Group; and Raquela’s Sederby Joel Edward Stein, illustrated by Sara Ugolotti, published by Kar-Ben Publishing, an imprint of Lerner Publishing Group.

The Notable Middle Grade Books are Alias Anna: A True Story of Outwitting the Nazis, by Susan Hood with Greg Dawson, published by Harper, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers; The Woman Who Split the Atom: The Life of Lise Meitner, by Marissa Moss, illustrated by Marissa Moss, published by Abrams Books for Young Readers, an imprint of ABRAMS; and The Prince of Steel Pierby Stacy Nockowitz, published by Kar-Ben Publishing, an imprint of Lerner Publishing Group.

The Notable Young Adult Books are Ethel’s Song: Ethel Rosenberg’s Life in Poemsby Barbara Krasner, published by Calkins Creek, an imprint of Astra Books for Young Readers; and The Ghosts of Rose Hill, by R. M. Romero, published by Peachtree Teen, an imprint of Peachtree Publishing, Inc.

More information about the Sydney Taylor Book Award, a complete annotated listing of the award winners and notables, and seals for purchase can be found at​.

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