Stop the Summer Slide with PJ Library
Summer is sprinklers, sparklers and sunshine, and summer is also one of the most important times to make sure the young people in your lives keep reading.
Summer readers reenter school more prepared to learn than their non-reading peers. PJ Library-Minneapolis, through Jewish Family and Children’s Service of Minneapolis, provides free Jewish books, one each month-even in the summer- to children up to age 8. PJ Library books are one great way to make sure little ones stay engaged with learning.
Beloved PJ author, and Minnesotan, Linda Glaser has written several PJ Library books including Hoppy Hanukkah for younger readers, and Hannah’s Way for older children.
To help inspire year-round reading, Linda took a few moments to answer questions about her cherished books.
TC Jewfolk: Have you always loved to read?
Linda Glaser: You might be surprised to hear that when I was a kid, I used to say I hated reading. That’s because it was so hard for me. I struggled and struggled and sometimes feared I’d never get the hang of it. But I was very fortunate because my mother read to me every night. I have such fond memories of those times! So despite my struggles with reading, I grew up loving books. The ones I remember most clearly are by Eleanor Estes: The Hundred Dresses, The Middle Moffat and Rufus M., all of which I still love. Those books gave me a view into my mother’s childhood growing up during the Depression. When she read them to my sister and me, she’d laugh out loud or sometimes get teary. I feel that those books imbued me with my mother’s sensibilities and helped shape me as a person.
TCJ: Do all your books have a Jewish storyline?
LG: Many of my books are Jewish themed. I also have a number of environmental and nature books and a few others that fall into other categories. If you visit my website you can take a look at all my books. www.LindaGlaserAuthor.com
TCJ: Where do your story ideas come from?
LG: There is always a story behind the story. With my books, it’s often a person from real life who has inspired the story. My books Bridge to America, The Borrowed Hanukkah Latkes, Mrs. Greenberg’s Messy Hanukkah and Hannah’s Way all fall into that category. And even in Hoppy Hanukkah and Hoppy Passover, the two little bunnies Violet and Simon, were inspired by the preschoolers I teach in Religious School. Emma’s Poem, The Voice of the Statue of Liberty is non-fiction—about Emma Lazarus whose work I greatly admire. So I’d say that people are a key source of inspiration for my stories.
TCJ: What do you like about having your books as part of the PJ Library?
LG: I love that PJ Library makes it possible for my books to reach so many children and families. I find that very meaningful—especially because my own childhood was so enriched by children’s books. Of course, there weren’t nearly as many Jewish themed books back then. But we did read and love the All-of-a-Kind-Family series. Being able to identify culturally and religiously adds a deeper level of meaning and connection to a story. So I’m delighted that PJ Library is giving Jewish children and families the chance to share my books together.
TCJ: Which is your favorite book?
LG: Oh, I can’t possibly narrow it down to one. So many of my books speak to my heart and what truly matters to me. And I’m very pleased that I have a couple more Jewish themed books coming out. It’s always exciting and fun to have books in the works!
To sign up a child, up to age 8, for PJ Library books visit http://is.gd/pjenroll