The Book of Elsie is out now!

Great news! I have a book out today. *throws confetti*

The truth is that I wish I hadn’t felt the need to write a book about a kid who has to deal with antisemitism and other forms of prejudice but as long as there is hate out in the world, well, here we are. It hurt my heart to write this book and it hurt again to edit and reread it in preparation for release, but I hope it does a little good out in the world.

This book, my response to antisemitism, is also full of hope, a few laughs, and even a recipe that kids can try, lest you think it’s all doom and gloom.

More about why I wrote it can be found in my Teen Librarian Toolbox guest post here.

THE BOOK OF ELSIE is a book that I think all kids (and adults) can enjoy and learn from but don’t take my word for it:

“Strong first-person narration thoughtfully explores experiences of antisemitism and prejudice…Levy presents a realistic, gutsy, problemsolving youth navigating difficult situations with the love and support of community, friends, and family.” – Booklist

“Both Jew­ish and non-Jew­ish read­ers will be inspired by Elsie’s brav­ery while learn­ing about Jew­ish hol­i­days and com­mu­ni­ty sup­port.” – Jewish Book Council

“Allows readers to find the space to ask questions and have conversations about racism and antisemitism in society. Recommended.” – CM: Canadian Review of Materials

And my favorite review so far from the awesome E Train:

https://anchor.fm/e-train5/episodes/My-Book-Review-of-The-Book-of-Elsie-by-Joanne-Levy-e1kn8mu

p.s. Don’t miss my video interview with the smart and insightful E Train.

I hope you’ll check out The Book of Elsie and don’t forget to drop a review at retailers and/or Goodreads – that helps spread the word.

Get your copy: Your Canadian indie bookstoreBookshop.orgIndigoBarnes & NobleAmazon.comAmazon.ca

About the book:

Elsie Rose-Miller loves celebrating the Purim holiday and can’t wait for the annual costume party at her local synagogue.

Elsie plans to dress up as the fierce and smart Queen Esther, who saved all the Jewish people. But when financial hardship and a terrible incident of hate-inspired vandalism threaten not only the party but the synagogue too, Elsie, like Queen Esther, takes action to bring her entire community―Jewish and non-Jewish alike―together.

Read an excerpt here.

**Activity and discussion guide coming soon.**

 

Not SORRY to Share Some News!

Will the puns about the title for SORRY FOR YOUR LOSS ever end? Maybe, but not today. Because I’m very excited and not sorry at all to share a few exciting things that have happened to the book recently.

It was featured in The Canadian Children’s Book Centre’s Best Books for Kids & Teens 2022 as a Starred selection.

It has been named as a 2022/2023 Red Cedar Awards Nominee. This is a kids’ choice award in British Columbia where kids get to read and vote on their favourite books.

SORRY FOR YOUR LOSS is also a 2023 Rocky Mountain Book Award Nominee. Another kids’ choice award but this one is for Alberta.

Yay for Western Canada! I’m so excited that these great things mean this book – the book of my heart – will find more kids who will enjoy and maybe even need it. I’m truly honoured and chuffed at these three amazing things.

And before you go, it’s just about two months until my NEXT book, THE BOOK OF ELSIE comes out in the world. There is so much packed into this little book about fighting prejudice and communities coming together. Not just serious stuff, but lots of funny moments too. I hope you’ll check it out.

Add to your Goodreads TBR.

More info about it here.

Upcoming Event – Fighting Antisemitism Using Children’s Books

Note: the event already happened but you can view the replay here.

Hate and antisemitism are on the rise – this unfortunate fact likely isn’t a surprise to anyone. But how do we combat it? Start early and with books.

Please join me and fellow author Tziporah Cohen as we share some startling statistics and strategies for fighting hate. We will also be reading from our books – including a sneak peek of my upcoming THE BOOK OF ELSIE. Q&A to follow.

This seminar is free but registration is required. Please reserve your spot here

Note: *This event will be recorded so if you can’t attend, please register anyway and you’ll receive the recording link once it goes live.*

Listen! Small Medium at Large Turns Ten!

It’s been 10 years (!!!) since my debut, SMALL MEDIUM AT LARGE came out in the world. Since then, a lot has happened – the book was a Red Maple Nominee, a MYRCA Honour, a Sydney Taylor Notable, and got in the hands of a lot of kids (the best part, honestly).

Since the book has been out for a while, I gave it a bit of a refresh and released it in paperback (links below for paperback and ebook versions).

But in today’s very exciting news – SMALL MEDIUM AT LARGE is now available as an audio book. It’s read to you by MacKenzie Cahill and I couldn’t be more pleased. Want a sample? Sure you do.

Listen to a sample here.

The Small Medium at Large audio book is available wherever you get your audio: Google Play, Kobo, Apple, Audible and Amazon – also available at many libraries. If you don’t see it at yours, please request it.

Ebooks are available instantly and directly from me using this direct link (all formats) or at the following retailers: KoboGoogle PlayApple BooksBarnes & Noble and Amazon.

The paperback is available directly through me via my Etsy shop (signed and personalized!), Bookshop.org or you can ask for it to be ordered in at your local indie bookstore – they should be able to get it in for you. It’s also available at Amazon. This updated version also includes a teaser for the sequel, SMALL MEDIUM TAKES CHARGE which is coming soon-ish. Stay tuned for more news on that. Until then, happy listening!

Kid Reviews are the BEST Reviews Part II

Currently playing episode

If you’ve been around these parts, you know I love kid reviews and am always so thrilled when a reader takes the time to write/tape a review and share it with me. Well, in this instance, the amazing E Train reviewed THREE of my books in brief but really insightful podcast episodes that are part booktalk part review. Check them out below (the images are links that go to E Train’s podcast page).


THE SUN WILL COME OUT

SORRY FOR YOUR LOSS

FISH OUT OF WATER

Thank you so much, E Train!

You can follow E Train’s podcast reviews and social media: Twitter and YouTube.

SORRY is a Sydney Taylor Notable Book!

Are you familiar with the word verklempt? It is a Yiddish word that people use to describe being overcome with emotion or feelings. It’s safe to say that I am currently verkempt over the news that SORRY FOR YOUR LOSS has been named as a Sydney Taylor Notable Book.

LOOK at that pretty seal!

From the award website: “The Sydney Taylor Book Award is presented annually to outstanding books for children and teens that authentically portray the Jewish experience.”

Now, I don’t want you to think that SORRY FOR YOUR LOSS is a book that only Jewish people can enjoy. I wrote this book for everyone. It has very universal themes: grief, loss, friendship, bullying, and what happens when we die. It’s told through a Jewish lens, due to the setting (a Jewish funeral home) but I hope that everyone can find something to enjoy (and maybe learn) in its pages.

But being honored this way means I got it right. People who aren’t even related to me, through this award, call the book outstanding and say that it authentically portrays the Jewish experience. This is such an incredible validation. I worked harder on this book than anything. I engaged so many beta readers and did SO MANY DRAFTS (Oy vey, so many drafts). All worth it. I’m so very proud of this book.

I share this honor with my dad who helped me with the details and who inspired so much of it with the important work he does.

Mazel tov to us.

Kid reviews are the BEST reviews!

SORRY FOR YOUR LOSS has been out in the world for a couple of weeks and I have been amazed and humbled by the wonderful feedback it’s gotten. So many reviewers have loved the book and while that’s so gratifying, I have to say that reviews from young people provides the kind of validation that authors really appreciate. To that end, I’m so excited to share this awesome video review by Ric of Ric’s Book Reviews.

Thank you so much to Ric for reading and talking about SORRY FOR YOUR LOSS (and totally getting the book!). “A beautiful book that’s masterfully written.” No higher praise!

But Ric isn’t just a great reviewer but an excellent interviewer! His questions are so thoughtful and smart – it’s a true pleasure to be interviewed by him. Watch the interview he did with Lisa McMann and I about our connections, working together, our books, and more:

AND check out Ric’s great review for Lisa’s latest, CLARICE THE BRAVE:

Follow Ric’s review channel on YouTube or check him out on Facebook, and Instagram.

Thanks again, Ric!

Launch Week Awesomeness!

Well, friends, it’s been a week already. Whew! I’ve been so incredibly overwhelmed with the book love (and author love!) that I’ve received already and as I’m writing this, it’s only Wednesday. I’ve been so consumed with this book and getting the word out, that I actually forgot to do a release day post.

Here it is, just a day late. Still counts and now I can include some of the assorted media and posts.

In case you’re new to these parts, my book, SORRY FOR YOUR LOSS came out yesterday (October 12). *throws confetti*

Here are a few of the celebrations – first with the upcoming things so you can hurry to register/get your ticket.

October 14 – Triple Author Launch Extravaganza!

Click for ticketing! https://www.changinghands.com/event/october2021/lisa-mcmann-joanne-levy-dusti-bowling

October 14 at 7pm PST/10pm EST is the triple-author launch extravaganza in partnership with Changing Hands Bookstore.

Event details are here. If you purchase one of my books as part of your ticket, you’ll get a signed bookplate and one of these cool wood and paper bookmarks.

NOTE: Changing Hands Bookstore is in the US but they will ship anywhere. Ticket price includes US shipping.

If you are in Canada and would like to purchase a book and bookmark directly from me, please head on over to my Etsy shop.


http://http//www.joannelevy.com/reading

October 20, 11:30am – I’ll be doing a virtual public reading from SORRY FOR YOUR LOSS and will then be discussing the book and doing Q&A with award-winning author and psychiatrist, Tziporah Cohen. Free but registration is required. Sign up here.


And here’s some media/posts about me and the book:

The Nerdy Book Club – The story behind SORRY FOR YOUR LOSS – includes a giveaway open until October 19.

A spot on CHCH Morning Live – my hometown station’s morning show that I watch every day.

A Q&A I did over at the Orca blog.

Another Q&A I did with Deborah Kalb.

A post I wrote about how Jewish funerals are inherently green funerals over at L. E. Carmichael’s Cantastic Authorpalooza.

More to come but until then, I hope you’ll join me at one of my events. If you enjoyed reading SORRY FOR YOUR LOSS, please support the book by giving it a review at Goodreads and/or the place you bought it. More importantly, please pass it along to someone else who may enjoy it.

If you’ve read this far, you are the best. Thank you.

You Won’t Be Sorry – to attend!

See what I did there with the title of this post? Another bad attempt at book jokes. I promise, my books are much better than my silly website puns.

Now that SORRY FOR YOUR LOSS is almost here, I’m excited to share some of the events around the book’s release! I hope you can join me at one (or all!) of the upcoming cool programs.

October 12 is the official SORRY FOR YOUR LOSS release day! HOORAY! That morning, I’ll be mustering up all my courage to appear on my hometown TV station’s morning show with my virtual friend and fellow cat person, Annette Hamm, to talk about the book.


October 14 – Triple Author Launch Extravaganza!

Click for ticketing! https://www.changinghands.com/event/october2021/lisa-mcmann-joanne-levy-dusti-bowling

October 14 at 7pm PST/10pm EST is the triple-author launch extravaganza in partnership with Changing Hands Bookstore.

Event details are here. If you purchase one of my books as part of your ticket, you’ll get a signed bookplate and one of these cool wood and paper bookmarks.

NOTE: Changing Hands Bookstore is in the US but they will ship anywhere. Ticket price includes US shipping.

If you are in Canada and would like to purchase a book and bookmark directly from me, please head on over to my Etsy shop.


October 20, 11:30am – I’ll be doing a virtual public reading from SORRY FOR YOUR LOSS and will then be discussing the book and doing Q&A with award-winning author and psychiatrist, Tziporah Cohen. Free but registration is required. Sign up here.


November 14, time TBD – author panel with Carol Matas and Kathy Kacer in partnership with A Different Drummer books. Details to come.

A Giveaway and a STAR!

We’re getting close to the release of SORRY FOR YOUR LOSS in October, but I’m hearing that it’s already shipping out to stores. Thank you if you’ve already pre-ordered – hopefully that means you’ll get your copy soon!

In the AMAZING news category, SORRY FOR YOUR LOSS just got a starred review from Kirkus Reviews:

⭐️ “A heartfelt and expertly written tale of loss, family, and friendship that will have readers blinking back their tears…Beautiful and sincere.”

If you haven’t pre-ordered your copy yet and are feeling lucky, you can enter this Goodreads giveaway for a paperback copy:

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Sorry for Your Loss by Joanne Levy

Sorry for Your Loss

by Joanne Levy

Giveaway ends September 18, 2021.

See the giveaway details at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway

I have a few more things in the works to celebrate the release – some fun online events and giveaways. Stay tuned for more details to come.

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