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Goldie Takes a Stand!: Golda Meir’s First Crusade, (Kar-Ben Publishing, 2014, $17.95, Ages 5-9) by Barbara Krasner and illustrated by Kelsey Garrity-Riley, is reviewed by Dornel Cerro.
Barbara Krasner, author and blogger, has always had a passion for Jewish history. She has combined this passion with an interest in writing children’s books and has selected a dynamic subject for her first children’s nonfiction book, Goldie Takes a Stand!: Golda Meir’s First Crusade.
In early 20th century Milwaukee, nine year old Goldie Mabowehz, became concerned when poor immigrant classmates could not afford school books. Determined to help, she created the American Young Sisters Society and “ … naturally appointed [her]self president.”
But how could she and her friends raise the money? Efforts such as charging her mother’s grocery store customers a little extra, naturally failed. Giving up something she loved (candy) saved her a penny, but it wasn’t enough. Never wavering in her determination, she persuaded a local hall owner to let her use his hall for a community-wide fundraiser. Free. Amazingly, he agreed and she and her group organized a successful event, collecting enough money for school book purchases.
Krasner’s upbeat and gently humorous, first person narrative makes the story intimate and accessible to young children, helping them to empathize with Goldie’s determination to improve her classmates’ situation. While the conversations are fictionalized, the event is true. Krasner’s bibliography includes the primary sources she referred to, other resources, and an end note. Illustrator Kelsey Garrity-Riley’s interest in collecting old objects paid off and her charming and quaint gouache and collage illustrations, digitally enhanced, recreate authentic early 20th century urban life (check out the wall paper!).
Have you figured out who Goldie is? Well, she grew up to become Israel’s fourth Prime Minister, Golda Meir (1969-1974). Krasner demonstrates that, early on, Meir displayed great leadership qualities: vision, courage, determination, and collaboration. Recommended for children ages 5-9, this inspirational book could be used by teachers and librarians as an introduction to biography. For those involved in project-based learning, character education, and community service, pair this up with Kids Who Are Changing the World (see Cerro’s Thursday, Aug. 21st review on this blog) for discussions on affecting social change and brainstorming projects children may want to undertake. Watch the YouTube book trailer below, accompanied by the uplifting strains of the Hatikvah, the Israeli national anthem. http://youtu.be/pQ4qJh2Bup8