The Book Rescuer: How a Mensch from Massachusetts Saved Yiddish Literature for Generations to Come
Illustrator: Stacy Innerst
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.
Author’s note. Illustrator’s note. Yiddish glossary. Suggestions for further information. Source notes. Full-color illustrations rendered in acrylic and gouache, with fabric textures added digitally.
JLG Release: Nov 2019
Awards & Honors
CPL Best Books - 2019
Sydney Taylor Book Award Winner - 2020
Praise & Reviews
Starred or favorable reviews have been received from these periodicals:
Publishers Weekly*, School Library Journal, The Horn Book Magazine, Booklist*, Kirkus Reviews*
School Library Journal
11" x 8"
Level 5; Points: 0.5;
Scholastic Reading CountsN/A
Potentially Sensitive Areas
Discrimination: Racial Insensitivity/Racism
Aaron Lansky (1955– ), US National Yiddish Book Center, Book collectors, Biography, New Bedford, Massachusetts, Jewish men, Revival of the Yiddish language, Books, Cultural heritage,