Award winning books | Wisconsin Jewish Chronicle

Award winning books

“The Prince of Steel Pier,” by Stacy Nockowitz, published by Kat-Ben Publishing 

Winner of the National Jewish Book Award for Middle Grade Literature and a Sydney Taylor Notable Book, “The Prince of Steel Pier” will transport readers to 1972 and Atlantic City. Along with his immediate family, post-bar mitzvah boy, Joey, spends the summer helping at the kosher hotel his grandparents and uncle own. Business has gone downhill, and the hotel is falling apart. Joey waits tables with his older brothers, helps his zeyde fix leaks, plays Skee-Ball, and meets a gangster, who bets on Joey’s throwing skills. Joey is pulled into several lies, faces antisemitic stereotyping, confronts moral dilemmas, and questions his belief in G-d. Guaranteed to bring on lots of discussion, this engrossing, beautifully written novel would be excellent for a lit circle or a parent/student book club. 


“Aviva vs. the Dybbuk,” by Mari Lowe, published by Levine Querido 

In this hard-to-put-down, middle grade novel, Aviva can see a mischievous dybbuk. This is just one reason why she’s an outcast at her girls-only school. Her mother, the mikvah lady, refuses to leave their home, which is above their synagogue’s mikvah. Their lives revolve around their tiny apartment, the dybbuk, and helping women who come to immerse each month. Coping with loss, grief, family issues, and the true meaning of friendship, readers will be anxious to understand what’s behind Aviva and her mother’s actions. “Aviva vs. the Dybbuk” received the Sydney Taylor Best Middle Grade Book Award. 

Educator and author Liza Wiemer, of Fox Point, has taught in nine of our Milwaukee-area Jewish religious schools and day schools. Her latest novel,“The Assignment,” is appropriate for ages 12 and up.