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The Bell Maiden

Nava Semel
AGE: 8-11

Connie is flying to Beijing with her father, Israel’s next ambassador to China. But China seems so strange and far away,  she’s scared that her friends in Israel will forget her. To distract her, her father gives her a little Chinese gong, and it tells her a magical story inspired by an ancient Chinese folk-tale.
Kuan-Yu is the most famous gong maker in China. The secret of sound was handed down to him by an ancestor who had saved a nightingale from captivity, and his young daughter Qong-Gey assists him in the workshop. When Kuan-Yu’s fame reaches the Imperial palace, the Empress is terribly jealous and she hatches a plot against him: she gets the Emperor to order Kuan-Yu to cast a gong with the most  beautiful sound ever heard. If he fails, he will be executed. The gong maker blends copper, silver and gold, but his first two attempts are a failure. So Qong-Gey seeks advice from the Goddess of Fire -- the goddess tells her that the gong will only ring if human blood is added to the mix. As the gong maker prepares to cast the precious metals for his third attempt, Qong-Gey jumps into the blazing furnace and the perfect sound floats out. But Connie can’t accept this sad ending: she intervenes and changes it, bringing Qong-Gey back to life. And so, the little Israeli  girl rescues the Chinese girl!
An enchanting and moving story that brings two cultures together.

Illustrations: Zagny Ormut-Durbin


An utterly gorgeous book, full of inspiration and imagination - of all that brings people together. 

Prof. Nurit Govrin


A book for all age groups, marvelous, magical, exciting and inspiring. The illustrations are dizzyingly beautiful. Pure pleasure.

Author Yochi Brandes


A beautiful book. I was enthralled, and I read it with excitement and admiration. Perfection of both content and form, complete utilization of the beauty and wisdom of a literary work. A book extremely rich in the content that it conveys, and so heart-warming in the feelings that it arouses. Absolute beauty.   

Author Dorit Orgad


A wonderful author. In her writing, a refined charm mixed with great love is always prevalent, captivating the heart of the reader. How lovely, how highly recommendable. Run out and buy it.

Author Adiva Geffen

The Bell Maiden will take the reader on an engrossing and exhausting journey through the halls of imagination and emotion … A wealth of turnabouts and  suspenseful moments, up to the surprising ending … An enchanting and unique legend … With a craftsperson’s hand, Semel leads the reader to the understanding that happiness is the art of the possible and that part of the beauty of life entails pain, blemish, and imperfection.

Mor Dvorkin-Fogelman, Achbar Ha'Ir

A brief recommendation: A beautiful book for kids,  and not only for kids … The lovely illustrations are truly breathtaking … An optimistic fable that won’t do us adults any harm either.

Tsippy Gon-Gross, IDF Radio

The author always finds the way to different places, to other worlds, to touch the readers’ hearts and to arouse insights beyond place and time.

Author Ofra Gelbart-Avni


A book that I admire greatly. Replete with uniqueness. Beautiful illustrations. Encourages children to read it.

Shmuel Shay, Kol Israel


An enchanting book with illustrations that make the heart tremble.

Yehiam Padan,


A moving book, poetic and delicate, that links legend with reality… I very much enjoyed reading it very. Although it’s meant for kids, their parents will also enjoy it.

Iaffa Gavish, Saloona


A lovely book.

Rivka Michaeli, Radio 103.FM


A wise book … Nava Semel touches upon material that is not simple and the outcome is good, but complicated… In fairytales, everything may work out, but the sad Israeli child in the story learns new things and moves on. 

Sivan Rahav-Meir, IDF Radio

Title The Bell Maiden
Author’s Last Name Semel
Author's First Name Nava
Language(s) Hebrew
Genre children
Publisher (Hebrew) Dani Sfarim
Year of Publication (Hebrew) 2015
No. Pages 78 pp.
Book title - Hebrew (phonetic) Yaldat Ha-Pa'amon
Representation Represented by ITHL
"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.
Call for applications English speakers: Stay culture in Paris (deadline: June 12th, 2018)
Details in the attached link
Congratulations to Sami Berdugo and Shoham Smith, recipients of the 2018 Bialik Prize, one of the most prestigious literary prizes in Israel!

The Ministry of Culture and Sport announced the names of the winners of the Arik Einstein Veterans Artists Prize.
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!
The fourth German-Hebrew/Hebrew-German translation workshop November 4th to 10th, 2018 Beit Ben-Yehuda, Jerusalem
After workshops in Berlin, Jerusalem and Straelen, the workshop will return to Jerusalem this spring. This workshop will focus on the participants translations. These are unfinished translations that have not yet been published. These will be sent to all participants. The workshop is open to 10 participants and is intended for literary translators with experience and publications. Workshop facilitators: Anne Birkenhauer and Gadi Goldberg Prerequisites: At least one published translation Duration: November 4th 2018 until November 10th, 2018 Location: Beit Ben-Yehuda, 28 Ein Gedi St., 93383 Jerusalem Participation fee: Participation (Accommodation and meals) is free of charge. Travel / flight expenses will be refunded. For more details and for the documents required for submitting application: Anne Birkenhauer, and Gadi Goldberg,
Ayelet Gundar-Goshen's "Waking Lions" is one of the 100 notable books of 2017 of the "New York Times".

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