Sunday, September 14, 2014

Goldie Takes a Stand; Golda Meir’s first crusade
by Barbara Krasner, illustrated by Kelsey Garrity-Riley
Kar-Ben Publishing, August 1, 2014. $17.95
Review based on an uncorrected advance copy

Barbara Krasner, author and blogger, has always had a passion for Jewish history.  She has combined this passion with an interest in writing children’s books and has selected a dynamic subject for her first children’s book.

In  early 20th century Milwaukee, nine year old Goldie Mabowehz, became concerned when poor immigrant classmates could not afford school books. Determined to help, she created the American Young Sisters Society and “ ...naturally appointed [her]self president.”

But how could she and her friends raise the money? Efforts such as charging her mother’s grocery store customers a little extra, naturally failed. Giving up something she loved (candy) saved her a penny, but it wasn’t enough.  Never wavering in  her determination,  she  persuaded a local hall owner to let her use his hall,or a community-wide fundraiser. Free. Amazingly, he agreed and she and her group organized a successful event, collecting enough money for school book purchases.

Krasner’s upbeat and gently humorous, first person narrative makes the story intimate and accessible to young children, helping them to empathize with Goldie’s determination to improve her classmates’ situation. While the conversations are fictionalized,  the event is true. Krasner’s bibliography includes the primary sources she referred to , other resources, and an end note. Illustrator Kelsey Garrity-Riley’s interest in collecting old objects paid off and her charming and quaint gouache and collage illustrations, digitally enhanced, recreate authentic early 20th century urban life (check out the wall paper!).

Read my full review at Good Reads with Ronna .

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