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Becoming Gershona

Nava Semel
AGE 12 up

"Out of the blue, they told me Grandpa was coming the next day, and I never even knew I had a grandfather." This is how a young girl`s life changes when she starts to discover her family`s long-guarded secrets. Life in Tel Aviv in 1958 is full of mysteries for 12-year-old Gershona, beginning with the meaning of her unusual name and the reason her grandfather fled to America 35 years before. Gershona spends the hot Israeli summer puzzling out the past, and discovers the lingering impact that the Holocaust has had on her family, in fact on everyone in her community. She soon understands that the Holocaust explains the blue numbers tattooed on her mother`s forearm, why she has only two grandparents, and why her grandfather deserted his wife and infant son. Although many of the truths she uncovers are unpleasant, her spirit and vitality make this book hopeful and uplifting.

Becoming Gershona
Title Becoming Gershona
Author’s Last Name Semel
Author's First Name Nava
Language(s) English, German, Italian, Dutch, Romanian
Genre youth
Publisher (Hebrew) Am Oved
Year of Publication (Hebrew) 1988
No. Pages 118 pp.
Book title - Hebrew (phonetic) Gershona-Shona
Representation Represented by ITHL


English: New York, Viking Penguin, 1990; pback: New York, Puffin (Penguin), 1992
Italian: Florence, La Casa Usher, 1990; pback: Verona, Mondadori, 1999
German: Frankfurt, Alibaba, 1993; pback: Frankfurt, Fischer, 1995; 2004; 2005
Romanian: Bucharest, Fiat Lux, 1995
Dutch: Baarn, Fontein, 2000
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"An original, extraordinary book" The Brenner prize committee
Congratulations to Noga Albalach, winner of the 2018 Brenner prize for her book "The Old Man (Farewell)".
Residencies in Vienna and Salzburg
In co-operation with KulturKontakt Austria, the Austrian Federal Chancellery offers 50 residencies in Vienna and Salzburg for the year 2019. Applications can be submitted for literature, literature for children and young adults and literary translations. Please note the deadline of September 30th, 2018.
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Congratulations to Sami Berdugo and Shoham Smith, recipients of the 2018 Bialik Prize, one of the most prestigious literary prizes in Israel!

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A prize of 50,000 NIS was given to each of the 21 artists who worked and are still working to promote Israeli culture in various fields -Music, dance, theater, plastic arts, cinema and literature. In the literature category the winners were Ronny Someck, Jacob Buchan and Shlomit Cohen-Assif. Also, Anat Masiach is among the recipient of the prize for debut literary works. Congratulations!
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