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Hello Book Jam followers:

This is a reminder that the reviews you count on to keep reading great books have moved.

Our new location is The BOOK JAM . (You can also just click here – https://www.bookjamvermont.com/.)

To subscribe to the new site, complete this form (or click here — https://gmail.us20.list-manage.com/subscribe?u=d5fe74834d576ddb09db46ece&id=c1e4475648).

THANK YOU — Lisa and Lisa

 

 

 

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Hello everyone — The Book Jam has a new and improved address. To reach us, please visit us here or type in — https://www.bookjamvermont.com/.

We will keep this site up for reference purposes only — from this moment onwards, there will be no new posts here.

So to find our reviews visit our new site  or type in https://www.bookjamvermont.com/.

THANK YOU and HAPPY READING!

 

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The snow stopped falling long enough for a lucky portion (we sold out yet again) of the Upper Valley reading public to attend the seventh annual Pages in the Pub: Holiday Edition in Norwich. We thank the terrific Norwich Bookstore for their generous donation of 20% of the evening sales to the stupendous Norwich Public Library, the Norwich Inn for hosting us, the terrific presenters (Lucinda, Penny, and Rob) for their work, enthusiasm, and the donation of their time, and all those who attended for once again making Pages in the Pub an incredibly fun evening.

This post lists all books discussed during the evening, each with a special six-word review written by the presenter, and each with a link to a longer review at the Norwich Bookstore web site. You’ll notice that the selections are divided into rather specific categories to make browsing and gift-giving easier. And, please note their are gift ideas for every age and genre preference. We hope this list helps your cross off some of your holiday shopping, including maybe a gift or two for yourself. Bios of the fabulous presenters can be found at the very end of this list.

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For kids & for families to read together

  • Quiet by Tomie dePaola (2018). Selected by Penny. Peace, Happiness, Family, Contemplative, Just be.
  • Night Play by Lizi Boyd (2018). Selected by Lisa Christie. At night, stuffies play. Festive cutouts.

Anna, Banana, and the Sleepover Secret Cover ImageHarbor Me Cover Image

For middle grade & middle school readers, those beyond Tonka trucks and tea parties but not ready for teen topics

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For your favorite ’tween & teen thinking about how to be an amazing adult

  • American Like Me by America Ferrara (2018). Selected by Lisa Christie. Famous voices find identity, place. Heartfelt/heartening.

The Maze at Windermere: A Novel Cover ImageThe Great Believers Cover ImageWhere the Crawdads Sing Cover ImageWhere We Live Cover ImageOn Brassard's Farm Cover ImageThe Cabin at the End of the World: A Novel Cover Image

For anyone who just needs an engrossing novel to help them recover from the news

  • The Maze at Windermere by Gregory Blake Smith (2018). Selected by Rob. A timeless tale of Newport, RI.
  • The Great Believers by Rebecca Makkai (2018). Selected by Lucinda. ’80s heartbreak leads to present survival.
  • Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens (2018). Selected by Lisa Cadow. Naturalist writes lyrical southern novel-mystery.
  • Where We Live by W D Wetherell (2018). Selected by Penny. Incredible plots; strong writing; interesting characters.
  • On Brassard’s Farm by Daniel Hecht (2018). Selected by Lucinda. Vermont dairy farm provides life lessons.
  • The Cabin at the End of the World by Paul Tremblay (2018). Selected by Rob. What would you do to survive?

Apéritif: Cocktail Hour the French Way Cover ImageNow & Again: Go-To Recipes, Inspired Menus  + Endless Ideas for Reinventing Leftovers Cover ImageOttolenghi Simple: A Cookbook Cover ImageSalt, Fat, Acid, Heat: Mastering the Elements of Good Cooking Cover Image

For people who like to cook up a culinary snowstorm

  • Aperitif by Rebekah Peppler (2018). Selected by Lisa Cadow. Serve hors d’oeuvres like a Parisian.
  • Now and Again by Julia Turshen (2018). Selected by Lisa Cadow. Activist makes hip food and leftovers fun.
  • Ottolenghi Simple by Yotam Ottolenghi (2018). Selected by Penny. Simple, unique, quick, delicious, inspired flavors.
  • Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat by Samin Nosrat (2017). Selected by Lucinda. Your taste buds will thank you!

Educated: A Memoir Cover ImageHow to Be a Good Creature: A Memoir in Thirteen Animals Cover Image

For people who enjoy living vicariously through other people’s memories

  • Educated by Tara Westover (2018). Selected by Lisa Cadow. Turbulent Idaho childhood, PhD from Cambridge.
  • How to be a Good Creature by Sy Montgomery (2018). Selected by Lisa Cadow. Animal friends impart powerful life lessons.

The Library Book Cover ImageSpying on Whales: The Past, Present, and Future of Earth's Most Awesome Creatures Cover ImageRising: Dispatches from the New American Shore Cover Image
For people who enjoy non-fiction or reference books while sitting by the woodstove

  • The Library Book by Susan Orlean (2018). Selected by Penny. Books, fires, libraries, LA, entertaining, informative.
  • Spying on Whales by Nick Pyenson (2018). Selected by Rob. A deep dive into whale’s mystique.
  • Rising by Elizabeth Rush (2018). Selected by Penny. Coastal, climate, lyrical stories; not depressing.

A World of Cities Cover ImageBerlin Book One: City of Stones Cover ImageTrekking Beyond: Walk the world's epic trails Cover ImageThe Book of the Horse: Horses in Art Cover Image

For enjoyment by your hosts or coworkers – gifts for just about anyone!

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Our Amazing Presenters

Lucinda Walker has been the Director of the Norwich Public Library since (gasp!) 2002. In the words of Eloise, she “loves, loves, loves” her job, her colleagues and the Norwich community. In her free time she listens to podcasts (Ear Hustle, Heavy Weight and Everything is Alive are her current favorites), cries at the Great British Bake-off, skies in any kind of weather and drinks way too much dark-roasted coffee. Lucinda lives in Brownsville with her writer husband Peter and two awesome kids, Hartley & Lily.

Penny McConnel has been selling books for 39 years. She and Liza Bernard opened the Norwich Bookstore in August of 1994 and Penny although not working anyway near as many hours she did in the past, still can often be found behind the counter at the store or selling books at the many offsite events where the store travels. She lives in Norwich with husband Jim and spends her off time reading, knitting, gardening, cooking & dreaming of her next beach walk.

Rob Johnson is a Financial Advisor, loving husband to Alanya, and proud father of Bruce, a second grader at MCS. He is a Brazilian American who grew up in Florida, came to New England to see snow and never looked back! Rob is an avid reader and a #1 fan of the Norwich Bookstore. When not engrossed in a good book you can find Rob running around Norwich, coaching soccer, attending a Rec Council meeting, sharing a Vermont IPA with friends, and eating anything sweet.

Book Jam folks

Lisa Cadow is the co-founder of the Book Jam. When not reading or experimenting in her kitchen, she works as a health coach for Dartmouth Health Connect, an innovative primary care practice in Hanover, NH. She fervently believes that health outcomes would improve if doctors could prescribe books to patients as well as medicine. Lisa lives in Norwich with her husband, three cats, and a fun border collie and loves it when her three adult children visit.

Lisa Christie, co-founder of the Book Jam, was in previous times the Founder/Executive Director of Everybody Wins! Vermont and USA, literacy programs that help children love books. She currently works as a part-time non-profit consultant, part-time Dartmouth graduate student, and all-the-time believer in the power of books. She lives in Norwich with her musician husband, two superb sons, and a very large dog. She often dreams of travel.

 

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Last week in our hometown of Norwich, book lovers once again converged on our historic Norwich Inn to raise money for our treasured Norwich Public Library and get a jump start on our holiday shopping. Our superb presenters spoke about their favorite picks for gift giving, and once again sold a lot of books. We thank them for donating their expertise. And, thanks to the generosity of the amazing Norwich Bookstore, the event raised roughly $1,300 for the Norwich Public Library. And, we all get to enjoy their great list of books for us to give and to get.

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This post lists all the books discussed during the evening, each with its special six word review provided by the presenter. You’ll notice that the selections are divided into rather specific categories to make gift-giving easier, but not to deter anyone from trying any title. We hope you have fun browsing these selections. We also hope that you enjoy holiday shopping from the comfort of your computer/iPad/phone using the direct links to each selection, and that you are inspired to visit your favorite indie bookseller and purchase some of these in person.

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And now, our superb presenters’ picks for holiday gift giving, with their intriguing bios at the end.

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For people who like to cook up a culinary snowstorm

  • Six Seasons by Joshua McFadden (2017). Selected by Carin Pratt – Beautiful ways to eat more vegetables!
  • Smitten Kitchen Every Day by Deb Perelman (2017). Selected by Lucinda Walker – ‘Sizzling’ ‘Bacony’ ‘Carmelized’ ‘Crispy’ ‘Simple’ = Delicious.
  • How to Cook Everything Vegetarian by Mark Bittman (2017). Selected by Lisa Cadow – Tasty Veggies. Two Thousand Recipes. Techniques!

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For people who enjoy non-fiction or reference books while sitting by the woodstove

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For people who enjoy living vicariously through other people’s memories

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For kids & for families to read together

  • The Wolf, the Duck & the Mouse by Mac Barnett & Jon Klassen (2017). Selected by Lucinda Walker – Guess who lives in wolf’s tummy!
  • The Storm Whale in Winter by Benji Davies (2017). Selected by Jeff Sharlet – The whale returns, the deep revisited.
  • 7 Ate 9 by Tara Lazar & Ross MacDonald. (2017). Selected by Lisa Christie – A good pun is never done!

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For middle grade & middle school readers, those beyond Tonka trucks and tea parties but not ready for teen topics

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For your favorite young adult who still likes to drink hot chocolate and spend snowy days reading

  • The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas (2017). Selected by Carin Pratt – Revelatory YA novel everyone should read.
  • Turtles All the Way Down by John Green. (2017). Selected by Lisa Christie – Mystery; mental health; important: you’ll cry.
  • Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds. (2017). Selected by Lisa Christie – Elevator ride dilemma. Violence explained? Important.

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For anyone who just needs an engrossing novel to help them recover from the news

  • Young Jane Young by Gabrielle Zevin (2017). Selected by Lucinda Walker – Smart, funny, moving novel of persistence.
  • Manhattan Beach by Jennifer Egan (2017). Selected by Carin Pratt – Fearless WWII-era diver searches for father.
  • Whatever Happened to Interracial Love? by Kathleen Collins (2016). Selected by Lisa Christie – Short stories read like superb films.

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For enjoyment by your hosts or coworkers – or just about anyone!

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PRESENTERS’ BIOS

Lucinda Walker has been the Director of the Norwich Public Library since 2002 and is grateful for her colleagues and this remarkable community. Besides books, her favorite things include French roast coffee, skiing, Provincetown, storytelling podcasts, and Saturday Night Live. Her favorite time to read is at 3 am. Lucinda lives in Brownsville with her poet husband Peter and two amazing kids, Hartley & Lily.

Jeff Sharlet, a journalist and associate professor of creative writing at Dartmouth, is the nationally bestselling author or editor of six books of literary journalism, including The Family, described by Barbara Ehrenreich as “one of the most compelling and brilliantly researched exposes you’ll ever read.” He is an editor-at-large for Virginia Quarterly Review and a contributor to periodicals such as Harper’s, GQ, and The New York Times Magazine. He lives in Norwich with his wife, son and daughter, where he is an avid patron of the Norwich Public Library and Norwich Bookstore.

Carin Pratt, a native of Massachusetts, Carin moved to the Upper Valley (specifically Strafford) six years ago after spending 30 years in DC working as a television producer, finishing as executive producer of Face the Nation. She’s never looked back. She reads a lot, and works part-time at the Norwich Bookstore in order to afford her addiction to books.

Lisa Christie is the co-founder of the Book Jam. In previous times, she was the founder/Executive Director of Everybody Wins! Vermont and USA, literacy programs that help children love books. She currently works as a part-time non-profit consultant, part-time Dartmouth graduate student, and all-the-time believer in the power of books. She lives in Norwich with her musician husband, two superb sons, and a very large dog. She often dreams of travel.

Lisa Cadow is the co-founder of the Book Jam. When not reading or experimenting in her kitchen, she works as a health coach for Dartmouth Health Connect, an innovative primary care practice in Hanover, NH. She fervently believes that health outcomes would improve if doctors could prescribe books to patients as well as medicine. Lisa lives in Norwich with her husband, three cats, and a fun border collie and loves it when her three adult children visit.

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Last night, the Book Jam once again celebrated books, reading, and the power of youth during BOOK BUZZ. This time, the presenters were all students and teachers from Crossroads Academy in Lyme, NH.

These BOOK BUZZ presenters provided a superb evening for those lucky enough to see them discuss their favorite books; and, they compiled a great list of amazing books to give and get for all of us (whether we could hear them in person or not). These students, teachers, the Crossroads Parent Association, and the presenters’ parents (in particular Gwen Martin and Laurel Mackin) made BOOK BUZZ a success; we thank them for their work. We also thank the Norwich Bookstore, because of their generosity, the event raised money for Crossroads literature programs. A complete list of presenters follows their reviews at the end of this post.

And now, just in time for holiday shopping, their list of great books to read, with their six word reviews…

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BOOKS FOR YOUR FRIENDS WHO DON’T LIKE TO READ, BUT WHO WOULD LOVE A GREAT STORY

  • Scythe by Neal Shusterman (2016). Selected by Mack – Riveting book where teens become death.
  • Peak by Roland Smith (2007). Selected by Brynne – Boy. On top of the world. Literally.
  • One Mixed-Up Night by Catherine Newman (2017). Selected by Wyatt – Well-written, adventure, friendship, courage, Ikea!

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SUPERB BOOKS YOU WOULD ASSIGN TO YOUR FAVORITE ADULT (TEACHER, AUNT, PARENT) AS REQUIRED READING

  • More Than This by Patrick Ness (2013). Selected by Simone – Boy wakes up in alternate world.
  • The Wolf Wilder by Katherine Rundell (2015). Selected by Jade – Girl fights for justice in Russia.
  • Fish in a Tree by Lynda Mullay Hunt (2015). Selected by Hannah – Ally. How can you cure dumb?
  • The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart (2007). Selected by Thea -Suspenseful adventure; four children thwart disaster.
  • The Alchemist by Paolo Coelho (1988). Selected by Eleanor – Follow your dreams. Find the Pyramids.

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BEST FAMILY READ ALOUD

  • The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame (1908). Selected by Mikey – Great for creative and imaginative kids.

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PERFECT BOOKS TO HELP YOU IGNORE THE FACT THAT YOU ARE WAITING FOR YOUR SISTER OR BROTHER TO FINISH HOCKEY PRACTICE

  • Swim That Rock by John Rocco, Jay Primiano (2014). Selected by Benton – Real-life stakes build relatable suspence.
  • The Witches by Raold Dahl (1983). Selected by Laura – Traveling, grandma and grandson meet Witches.
  • The Best Man by Richard Peck (2016). Selected by Lisa – Boy needs role model. Finds unexpected.
  • Book of a Thousand Days by Shannon Hale (2007). Selected by Jade – Girl risks her life for mistress.

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FUN, NON-FICTION BOOKS FOR KIDS WHO PREFER TRUE STORIES

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FICTION BOOKS THAT DO A GREAT JOB TEACHING HISTORY

  • Dear Martin by Nic Stone (2017). Selected by Lisa – Angry teen finds MLK writings help. $17.99

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GREAT BOOKS TO GIVE YOUR FRIENDS FOR THEIR BIRTHDAYS

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A BOOK THAT WILL MAKE YOU LAUGH AWAY YOUR TROUBLES

  • Switched at Birthday by Natalie Standiford (2014). Selected by Lydia – Funny and relatable girls switch lives.

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SERIES YOU WON’T BE ABLE TO PUT DOWN, OR WHAT TO READ WHEN YOU RUN OUT OF WIMPY KID BOOKS

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Our amazing presenters

Benton, 8th grade

Brynne, 7th grade

Eleanor, 7th grade

Hannah, 5th grade

Jade, 7th grade

Laura, 5th grade

Lydia, 6th grade

Mack, 8th grade

Michael , 8th grade

Natalie, 5th grade

Simone, 5th grade

Thea, 6th grade

Wyatt, 6th grade

Ms. Williams, teacher

Mr. Glazer, teacher

Lisa Christie, Book Jam

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As part of our mission to promote authors, the joy of reading, and to help independent booksellers, The Book Jam has paired with the The Norwich Bookstore in Norwich, Vermont to present an ongoing series entitled “3 Questions”. In it, we pose three questions to authors with upcoming visits to the bookstore. (We have a rotating list of six possible questions to ask just to keep things interesting.) Their responses are posted on The Book Jam during the days leading up to their engagement. Our hope is that this exchange will offer insight into their work, will encourage readers to attend these special author events, and ultimately, will inspire some great reading.

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This week we feature Tracy Penfield, dancer, artist, author, and founder of SafeArt. Ms. Penfield founded SafeArt in Chelsea, VT, after 20 years as an artist and educator in fiber arts and dance. Her experience in an abusive relationship from the age of 14 to 29 gave her a distinctive perspective on how her students were responding to creative expression. Wanting to work across the spectrum of prevention to recovery from traumatic abuse gave rise to the concept of SafeArt in 2000.

A Curriculum of Courage: Making Safeart Cover ImageMs. Penfield will visit the Norwich Bookstore in Norwich, Vermont at 7 pm on Wednesday, January 25, 2017 to discuss her book – A Curriculum of Courage: Making SafeArtThe event is free and open to the public. However, reservations are recommended as space is limited.  Call 802-649-1114 or email info@norwichbookstore.com to save your seat.

When Women Were Birds: Fifty-Four Variations on Voice Cover ImageThe Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma Cover Image

1.What three books have helped shape you into the author you are today, and why?

The Art of the Dance by Isadora Duncan inspired me as a young adult who was discovering the language of the body, of dance. Her unbridled passion and how she managed to translate that passion from movement in space to words on paper seemed fresh and valid then and now. (Unfortunately, this book is out of print; thus, we are unable to link it to the Norwich Bookstore.)

When Women were Birds by Terry Tempest Williams and all of Terry’s oeuvre have been keeping me going for years, quite literally. Terry and I met just out of college through a mutual close friend and have stayed in touch over the years. Her writing is authentic in a way that I want mine to be, whether it be memoir or curriculum or anecdotes about others from my work. Authenticity, passion and no holding back are tenets I have gleaned from Terry.

The Body Keeps the Score by Bessel van der Kolk is a new book, relatively speaking, published in 2014. My book had been underway for a number of years by then and this work encouraged me to continue with certain threads and weave them into the fabric of my book. I feel that van der Kolk has written a treatise validating the healing work I do that is called Tracing.

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2.What author (living or dead) would you most like to have a cup of coffee with and why?

I will first state that I have had the pleasure of numerous cups of tea, coffee and wine with Terry Tempest Williams, or I would choose her.

In terms of a relationship with the book I have just published and an author I have not had the honor of meeting, I would most like to sit and chat with Bessel van der Kolk. He is globally recognized in the field of Trauma healing and that he has written a book focusing on “the Body” is fabulous. To me the title (The Body Keeps the Score) of his book is not about the score in a game or competition but the metaphorical musical score of one’s life, including trauma release and management. I would love to discuss that with him!

Ordinary Wolves Cover ImageRed: Passion and Patience in the Desert Cover Image

3.What books are currently on your bedside table?

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Hello, and Happy Autumn. While the leaves in Vermont have not quite changed, we are so happy to be back recommending great books for you to read. Luckily, the end of summer brought us many books that we are excited to tell you about this Autumn. Most of our reviews will appear in future posts about politics, cooking, tough topics, and mysteries. But for now, we highlight two books to help you end September with a great book in your hands. (Note: We are surprised neither of us picked from our favorite category of adult fiction to share on this first autumnal post; we will spend some time thinking about why before our next post.)search-2.jpg

51ec0bx4i4l-_sx328_bo1204203200_In a French Kitchen: Tales and Traditions of Everyday Home Cooking in France by Susan Herrmann Loomis (Hardcover 2015, Paperback 2016) –  If you are looking for a little more “je ne sais quoi” in the kitchen inspiration department or simply are craving the feeling of having someone serve you a cafe au lait of stories and  secrets about French cooking, then this is the book for you. Reading this made me feel as if I had pulled up a chair at Loomis’ table in Louviers and was having a conversation with an old friend about all she had learned from villagers, butchers, neighbors, and facile home cooks since moving to this northern French town several decades ago. It also inspired me to get out my mixing bowl and make “Madame Korn’s Quick Lemon Cake” and to get out my saucepan to whip up the delicious “Crisp Green Salad with Poached Eggs.”  The majority of the eighty-five recipes she includes are simple and use everyday ingredients. The stories she tells of her life in France are charming and take the reader on a lovely kitchen tour of a country that puts it food at the center of the cultural table. ~Lisa Cadow

Prisoner B-3087 Cover ImagePrisoner B-3087 by Alan Gratz (2013) – If you are looking for a book for your pre-teen and you to read together (or for either of you to read alone), please choose this piece of history.  Prisoner B-3087 is a moving book about the holocaust that my 13-year-old (yes, he is my reluctant reader) shared with me after declaring “this is probably the best book I’ve read”. Mr. Gratz takes the true story of Jack Gruener, who was moved through ten concentration camps including Auschwitz, and with slight poetic license creates a tale of survival amongst unspeakable horrors that must be remembered. Yes, it is depressing, but it is also uplifting; Mr. Gruener survived, as did his wife, and they now dedicate their lives to educating children about The Holocaust and WWII. You may not be able to see them in person, but you can read this book. ~ Lisa Christie

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