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Hannah G. Solomon Dared to Make a Difference

Hannah G. Solomon Dared to Make a Difference
Bonnie Lindauer By (author)
Sofia Moore Illustrated by
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Lerner Publishing Group

Limited ***

9.3 X 11.0 in
32 pg

JUVENILE NONFICTION / Biography & Autobiography / Religious (see also Religious / Christian / Biography & Autobiography)
JUVENILE NONFICTION / Biography & Autobiography / Social Activists
JUVENILE NONFICTION / Biography & Autobiography / Women
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A picture book bio of the founder of the National Council of Jewish Women, an inspiring woman


"In 1893, a glittering, impressive World’s Fair was held in Chicago, Illinois. The fair transformed Chicago from a rough frontier town into an important center for the arts and a vibrant showcase for progress. Hannah G. Solomon was appointed to organize a series of events for Jewish women to be held at the time of the fair. Hannah hoped that the fair would attract Jewish women from all over the world; the women, once acquainted, could join forces to ‘do good in the world.’ Hannah had been brought up to believe that fairness, freedom, and respect were the birthright of all people. Her parents were community activists and had an open, welcoming home. They served as role-models for Hannah as she matured. When Hannah reached adulthood, she was dis¬turbed by the suffering of the poverty-stricken, including many struggling Jewish immigrant families. Poverty and illness were pervasive and educational opportunity was rare. She was determined to do what she could to alleviate suffering and provide a path to success for as many people as possible. Her efforts led to her selection by the World’s Fair to organize outstanding women from all over the United States and to see if their combined efforts could help. Organized men’s groups objected but Hannah persevered, creatively using all the contacts she could muster, making lists, and writing letters in the hope that the Conference would result in ideas and programs which would improve the lot of poor women and help them become successful, productive members of society. Hannah’s World’s Fair efforts led to the creation of the National Council for Jewish Women which focused its efforts on educational initiatives and helping the poor. Improved housing, the establishment of nursery schools, the building of playgrounds, and the providing of meals to school children so they could concentrate on learning were some of the results of Hannah’s devoted efforts and hard work. She joined with other women’s rights activists such as Jane Addams and Susan B. Anthony to become an effective champion of women’s rights including the right to vote. Bonnie Lindauer tells Hannah’s story in an engaging way. Her descriptions, along with Sofia Moore’s beautiful, muted-color illustrations bring the era alive. The illustrations are integral to the story and are particularly effective in scenes of diverse women banding together in common cause in their efforts to improve the lot of all. An author’s note tells more about Hannah as well about the history of Hull House, a settlement house for poor immigrant women founded by Jane Addams, where Hannah was a long-time, devoted volunteer. Also appended is a timeline, helpful in placing the events of Hannah’s life in historical perspective." — Michal Hoschander Malen, retired librarian; current library volunteer in Efrat, Israel; editor of children’s and young adult book reviews for the Jewish Book Council, AJL NewsletterMagazine

'Like her friends Jane Addams and Susan B. Anthony, Solomon didn't let the rigid social mores for women in the early 1900s keep her from advocating for immigrants, the poor, and women. This accessible picture-book biography introduces a lesser-known social reformer who founded the National Council of Jewish Women, which 'worked to help people around the country.' Moore's stylish illustrations evoke the era and reflect Solomon's energy and purpose. End notes offer more about 'Chicago's most important Jewish leader of her generation' and Addams's Hull House. A timeline is appended." — Kitty Flynn, Horn BookJournal

"Even as a child, Hannah Greenebaum knew she was destined to spend her life helping those in need.

Her parents were responsible for many milestones in Chicago’s Jewish community, including the founding of the first Reform synagogue. Her father also helped new immigrants find jobs and was instrumental in aiding runaway slaves. Her mother started a Jewish women’s sewing group that made clothes for the poor. As an adult Hannah was the first Jewish woman admitted to the Chicago Women’s Club. She fought tirelessly for women’s advancements against male domination both within Orthodox Judaism and in the general society. From a conference of Jewish women that she organized came the National Council of Jewish Women, an organization that worked directly with people in need and pushed for new laws to address poverty, housing, and education. She also expanded her activism to the women’s suffrage movement. Lindauer presents Solomon’s groundbreaking accomplishments in clear, concise language with great admiration, stressing her persistence and determination. Statements attributed to Solomon seem to be based on her remembrances, presumably from her memoir or archived papers as mentioned on the copyright page, but no sources are cited specifically. Many of Moore’s illustrations have a 3-D effect with black-line sketched backgrounds from which brightly colored foregrounds and people emerge. Solomon mostly appears as a part of groups, with little seen of her emotions or facial expressions. Her spouse, Henry Solomon, appears only in the closing timeline.

An interesting, informative account of a little-known woman of great achievement." — Kirkus ReviewsJournal

Author Bio

A former high school teacher and college librarian, Bonnie Lindauer loves reading children’s books as much as she loves her favorite vanilla ice cream. She plays piano and cello, and loves to sing. She lives near San Francisco with her husband and senior rescue dog, Archie. This is her first children's book.
Sofia Moore is a Ukrainian-American artist and illustrator based in Las Vegas, Nevada. She grew up reading folktales in her grandmother's house and drawing princesses on the back of textbooks. She loves painting traditionally, but also layers textures both on paper and digitally.