Liza Wiemer’s monthly recommendation: Moon and seas | Wisconsin Jewish Chronicle

Liza Wiemer’s monthly recommendation: Moon and seas

“The Schlemiel Kids Save the Moon,” by Audrey Barbakoff, illustrated by Rotem Teplow, published by The Collective Book Studio. 

Author Audrey Barbakoff took the spirit of old Yiddish stories of Chelm, which were filled with silly people who thought they were the wisest in the world, and created a modern tale where the smartest people are the children. Young readers will find humor in the ridiculous adults’ belief that the reflection of the moon in the lake is actually the moon. So, the not-so-wise elders try to figure out how to retrieve it. There are lots of Yiddish words and a wonderful cast of diverse characters throughout the bright illustrations. If you’re looking to bring some fun into your kids’ reading, this is the perfect book. 

“Across So Many Seas,” by Ruth Behar, published by Nancy Paulsen Books 

In this powerful historical middle-grade novel that spans 500 years, readers will follow the lives of four different girls connected through generations. The story begins with Benvenida, whose family is forced to leave Spain during the Spanish Inquisition in 1492. A jump in time and place is made to the Turkish Jewish community during the early 1920s where Benvenida’s descendant copes with painful consequences of her independence. Her story and the two that follow are emotional, and readers won’t be able to put down this page turner. The ending of the book brings us back to Spain, connecting the family history to the present. This thoughtful, insightful and illuminating book does a beautiful job shedding light on some of our important Jewish history. 

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.