Beyond Courage was privileged to win the Flora Stieglitz Strauss award for Non-fiction given out by the Bank Street Children’s Book Committee. I was away during the award ceremony but a live video of all the acceptance speeches are just a click away. R. J. Palacio won the Josette Frank Award for her debut novel, Wonder. J. Patrick Lewis won the Claudia Lewis Award for the best poetry book of the year for young readers, for his anthology National Geographic Book of Animal Poetry: 200 Poems with Photographs That Squeak, Soar, and Roar!

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2013 Blog Tour


I’ve been honored by the Association of Jewish Libraries with The Sydney Taylor Honor Book (Silver) Award for my book, Beyond Courage. The AJL is celebrating its 2013 gold and silver medalists with a Blog Tour, February 11-15, 2013! If you’ve never experienced a Blog Tour, it’s basically a virtual book tour. But instead of having to travel to a library or bookstore to hear an author or illustrator speaker, you go to a website. So get ready for February 11, when my blog tour will be up and learn about the other blog tours by clicking this link: I can’t wait to meet these kindred spirits in cyberspace. .

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The Association of Jewish Libraries has given Beyond Courage a Silver Award in their category, Books for Teen Readers. In the Orbis Pictus Awards for Outstanding Nonfiction for Children, it’s Recommended Book, NCTE (National Council of Teachers of English. It’s ,a Notable Social Studies Trade Books for Young People 2013, which is a cooperative project of the National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS) and the Children’s Book Council, and it’s a Core Collections Star title from EBSCO Publishing.

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I will be doing a FREE National Skype tour on April 3, 4, and 5, coming right into your classrooms, allowing me to connect with more young people and have them learn about the heroic teenagers, men and women in Beyond Courage. In the Skype hour, I will talk to your students about my research and how I shaped this book, but I would also love to hear student reactions and thoughts about this important subject of resistance.

The dates were chosen to honor Jewish resisters featured in my book in connection with Yom HaShoah a few days after.

If you are interested, please email Candlewick will provide a copy of their Teacher’s Guide with classroom and discussion questions, and a forty percent discount and free shipping on all books to your school.

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Celebrating Martin Luther King’s Birthday at the Hacienda Heights Library in Hacienda Heights, CA

I received the most wonderful letter from a librarian in California, and I want to share it with you. I wrote my book, Martin’s Big Words to honor Dr. King, and when I find out that it’s been read to and by children, and that they grasp Dr. King’s ideas, it thrills me. So here’s the letter from librarian Margo Tanenbaum.


Dear Doreen,

I’m dropping you a line because I thought you would enjoy hearing about how I incorporated your wonderful book Martin’s Big Words at the family storytime at my library in honor of Dr. King’s birthday.  Your text became a reader’s theatre script; I created a narrator (played by myself) and split Dr. King’s parts into Martin 1, 2, and 3.  I recruited three children who regularly attend my story time the week before, and gave them the script.  At the story time, I read the narration, and the three children alternated with Dr. King’s inspirational words.  One was a boy only five or six years old who had practiced diligently with his father. My …

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My Grandchildren’s Special Hanukkah!

This Hanukkah was a very special Hanukkah for my grandchildren who had decided that they would forgo their usual presents to give Christmas presents to children on Staten Island whose families had lost so much during Hurricane Sandy.

We pooled the money we usually spend on gifts; the kids, ages 10 to 19, took the money and bought presents for others. The presents filled up the back of a pick-up truck.  A Yoga instructor in Staten Island transformed her studio into a store where Staten Island parents could come and select Christmas presents for their children.

This gesture of these six children made us adults proud.  It belongs to a Jewish tradition, Tikkun olam, (“repairing the world” or “healing and restoring the world”) which suggests that we all have shared responsibility with the Creator “to heal, repair and transform the world.” Two of my eight wonderful grandchildren are celebrating Christmas and they too will be pooling money for Hurricane Sandy families.

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Where in the World is Doreen Rappaport?

I’ve been on a whirlwind of traveling and it’s been exciting and rewarding.  In October I went to Massachusetts, New York, Washington, DC and Florida.

In Florida, I visited with kids at Beth Am Day School in Miami and then to Sinai Academy in North Miami Beach where I met with kids and their parents.   Here I am with some of the great kids I met in Beth Am.

Then off, to the Dave and Mary Alpert Jewish Community Center in Miami for their Annual Holocaust Workshop for Public and Private School Teachers. The Jewish Book Council sponsored my visit.  It was a great honor to be on a program with Dr. Miriam Klein Kassenoff, a prominent Holocaust scholar who fled Nazi Europe when she was a small child, and Dr. Mary Johnson, a historian of so many subjects it takes your breath away. Dr. Johnson is part of the wonderful organization, Facing History and Ourselves. I spoke to teachers about my book, Beyond Courage, and …

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Celebrating Kids, Lady Liberty & Art!


At Westmere Elementary School in Guilderland, New York, students read Lady Liberty: A Biography.  They talked about the meaning of this magnificent statue, and why they thought it was important.  Then they created their own monuments to people and concepts they believed were important.


The Family Monument by Matea

The Eyes of Liberty by Benjamin

The Statue of Fairness by Adam

Lou Gehrig’s Grave by Reynaldo

Doggie Monument by Jasmina

The Statue of Liberty suffered terrible damage during Hurricane Sandy and is temporarily closed, but at sunset you can look out from the harbor downtown and see its torch lit up.   New Yorkers and people all over the world thank Musco Lighting, for that …

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Visiting Classrooms Around the World via Skype™!

Wow, isn’t the new technology wonderful.  I can visit classrooms around the world – speak with students and answer questions about my books – from my home, local library…wherever.

Last year I spoke by Skype™ with students at the American International School in Buenos Aires.  On October 15, of this year, I spoke with fifth graders in North Harlem Elementary School in Harlem, Georgia.  The students had just finished reading my book, Abe’s Honest Words: The Life of Abraham Lincoln,” and asked all sorts of questions about how I put the book together, found the quotes, and then worked with my editor and illustrator.

What’s next?  I hope lots more conversations with students in America and around the world.

We hope to arrange a National Skype™ Tour for Beyond Courage during April 2013.

The Beyond Courage Skype™ Tour will honor Jewish resisters during the Holocaust featured in my book and Holocaust Remembrance Day [Yom HaShoah] which begins in the evening of Sunday, April 7 and ends in the evening of Monday, April 8, 2013.  

We’ll share more information soon!



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