Rachel Kamin is the Director of the Joseph and Mae Gray Cultural & Learning Center at North Suburban Synagogue Beth El in Highland Park, Illinois. A past chair of the Sydney Taylor Book Award Committee, Rachel is currently the co-editor of Book Reviews for Children & Teens for the Association of Jewish Libraries Newsletter. She holds a BA in history from Grinnell College and a master’s degree in library and information science from the University of Michigan.
Vive La Paris
Paris McCray is a fifth-grade African- American girl living in Chicago with her parents and four older brothers. She reluctantly attends piano lessons at the home of Mrs. Rosen, an elderly Holocaust survivor, and ends up coming away with more than just an appreciation for music. Their student-teacher relationship evolves into a special bond as Mrs. Rosen helps Paris apply the lessons of the Holocaust to her own life, giving her the tools to stand up to the class bully, and to accept her brother Michael’s individuality and unique spirit. With plenty of charm and spunk, and an overdoes of urban attitude, Codell creates a warm, touching, and humorous story of one girl’s journey to finding a balance between wearing rose-colored glasses and facing the world with eyes wide open. While billed as a companion novel to Sahara Special (Sahara appears as one of Paris’s classmates), the books stands strongly on its own. For ages 9 – 12.
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