Back of Book:
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.
I received a copy of this picture book from Simon & Schuster in exchange for an honest review.
Before reading this story I had never heard of Aaron Lansky or his amazing mission to gather as many Yiddish books as he can find and. This story follows Aaron from his childhood loving books to him studying Yiddish texts. When Aaron realized that stacks of Yiddish books were being thrown away, he went on a quest to create a place where all of these books can be shared and enjoyed. Sue Macy did a beautiful job of capturing Aaron’s real-life journey as he preserved the precious Yiddish literature. The illustrations by Stacy Innerst are lovely and capture the strength and determination that Aaron had as he traveled and collected books. My favorite illustration is the one near the end of the story that showcases the Yiddish people. It is a breathtaking snapshot of the people who came so long ago. The back of the book has a wonderful afterword written by Aaron Lansky himself. It also has a glossary of Yiddish words and expressions as well as the address for the Yiddish Book Center.
This is a wonderful biography of an unknown hero of the Yiddish language and stories.
Ages 6 and up