Mar 14, 2012

Interview with Award-Winning Author Anna Levine

Anna Levine was born in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada and grew up in Montreal, Quebec. At the age of eighteen she decided it was time to leave home and she immigrated to Israel to work on a kibbutz. After a few years of picking apples, and discovering her fear of climbing (and falling) off ladders she moved to Jerusalem where she studied English literature at the Hebrew University. Today, Anna lives in a suburb of Jerusalem and writes about her life in Israel. As a writer, she looks through her Middle Eastern window with Western eyes. Anna says, “Writers are always being told, ‘write what you know.’ There is so much about Israel that I still don’t know! I use my writing as a way to discover more, to understand the past, cope with the present, and imagine the future.”

Anna has written award winning short stories and poems, Freefall (Greenwillow/HarperCollins) has just won the Sydney Taylor Honor Award and her picture book Jodie’s Hanukkah Dig was awarded a Sydney Taylor Notable Award. Anna’s latest book is Jodie’s Passover Adventure.

KAR-BEN: Why did you want to become an author or illustrator?
ANNA: I write to make sense of the world in which I live.

KAR-BEN: Do you have any advice for future authors or illustrators?  
ANNA: Persistence! Attention to detail. And in the words of Isaac Bashevis Singer, “The whole world, all human life, is one long story.” And we are the ones who must find a way to tell and share these stories.

KAR-BEN: Where did you get the inspiration for your latest book, Jodie’s Passover Adventure
ANNA: From where I live, which is here in Israel. Israel is a constant inspiration for my books and stories. My family has also inspired many characters and plots.

KAR-BEN: What are you most excited about promoting in your new book?
ANNA: The fun of archaeology. The adventure of discovery and the possibilities of uncovering the unknown.

Anna at an archeological dig!

KAR-BEN: How do you hope your book will impact the Jewish life of a child?
ANNA: By learning about our history this gives the child a sense of his/her roots and also, since my stories are set in Israel, a connection to modern Israel.

Get Anna's new book, Jodie's Passover Adventure!
Young amateur archeologist Jodie invites her cousin Zach on a Passover adventure to explore Hezekiah’s Tunnel in Jerusalem, the famous secret water tunnel. Sloshing through the long, creepy, dark, wet passage, they solve “the riddle in the middle” and find a shiny treasure!
Available in hardcover and paperback

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