From Sarah to Sydney: The Woman Behind All-of-a-Kind Family the woman behind all-of-a-kind family

by June Cummins

Other authorsAlexandra Dunietz (Author.)
Book, 2021



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New Haven : Yale University Press, 2021


This "thoughtful, timely, and comprehensive biography" (Jennifer Weiner, New York Times Book Review) of All-of-a-Kind Family author Sydney Taylor highlights her dramatic influence on American children's literature "Delv[es] deeply into historical context, including Jewish immigrant experiences. . . . An uncommonly intimate portrait. . . . Deeply empathetic."--Elissa Gershowitz, Horn Book This is the first and only biography of Sydney Taylor (1904-1978), author of the award-winning All-of-a-Kind Family series of books, the first juvenile novels published by a mainstream publisher to feature Jewish children characters. The family--based on Taylor's own as a child--includes five sisters, each two years apart, dressed alike by their fastidious immigrant mother so they all look the same: all-of-a-kind. The four other sisters' names were the same in the books as in their real lives; only the real-life Sarah changed hers to the boyish Sydney while she was in high school. Cummins elucidates the deep connections between the progressive Taylor's books and American Jewish experiences, arguing that Taylor was deeply influential in the development of national Jewish identity. This biography conveys the vital importance of children's books in the transmission of Jewish culture and the preservation of ethnic heritage.… (more)

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