Wednesday, June 18, 2008

2008 Sydney Taylor Manuscript Award Press Release

An Unpublished Gem

Cleveland, OH - June, 2008 
Margaret Chaiken has won the 2008 Sydney Taylor Manuscript Award from the Association of Jewish Libraries for her unpublished novel Stealing the Show. The award is presented annually for the best  unpublished manuscript of Jewish content written for children 8-11 years old. The winner receives a cash award of $1000.

This year's winner, Stealing the Show, is a historical novel. Ten-year-old Ana, upset that she cannot attend a soccer award dinner that falls on the evening of the first Passover seder, is transported back to 16th century Antwerp and a family of conversos. Through her experience of literally walking in someone else's shoes, Ana learns to appreciate Judaism and understand the importance of one's convictions. A meeting with historical figure of Dona Gracia Nasi and the perils of the Inquisition bring excitement to the story.
Chaikin was inspired to write her novel while teaching fourth grade at Park East Day School in New York. She wanted to convey the story of Dona Gracia Nasi's exciting life to her students, but found nothing suitable.
She decided to write her own book, using historical fiction as her vehicle. Aileen Grossberg, chair of the Sydney Taylor Manuscript Award Committee, says "The time travel that forms the framework of the novel will immediately draw the reader into the story, and the tense situations that the characters face will make the reader want to find out what happens. The Committee was overjoyed to find such a wonderful historical story brought to light for modern readers!"
More Info Available 

The Sydney Taylor Manuscript Award will be presented at the annual convention of the Association of Jewish Libraries this June in Cleveland, Ohio. Submissions for next year's Manuscript Award are being accepted through December 15, 2008; information available at

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