Dec 31, 2013

Kar-Ben Rings in 2014 with New Books!

We here at Kar-Ben are incredibly excited for our Spring 2014 titles. We have great new stories for all occasions, from Tu B'Shevat to Passover, from bagel-making to recycling. Here's a sneak peak at what 2014 will offer:

For Tu B'Shevat

A little girl and her plant grow up together, sharing many a Tu B'Shevat.
On Tu B’Sheva, little Netta, who lives in Israel, brings a plant home from preschool. She loves it. Netta grows and the plant grows, until it is time for both of them to find new homes and new friends. Netta and Her Plant tells the story of the changes Netta encounters as she grows  up, getting taller getting a new baby sister, and preparing for her first day of kindergarten at her new school, each stage of her life mirrored by her growing plant.

For Passover

The littlest Levine finally gets her chance to shine!
Hannah hates being the littlest Levine. She can’t ride the school bus like her sister and brother. During Sukkot, she needs help hanging her decorations in the Sukkah, and on Hanukkah she’s not allowed to light candles by herself. “Be patient,” her grandpa tells her, “soon you’ll be proud to be the littlest Levine.” Every evening in the weeks before Passover, she studies with her grandpa, and when the seder comes, it’s finally Hannah’s turn to shine!

Rabbi Jamie leads a unique seder in the desert of Moab, Utah.
Seder in the Desert invites you to join a group of families as they follow Rabbi Jamie into Moav, Utah to celebrate a most unusual Passover seder in the desert. As they hike through the sandstone and red rock desert, they learn important lessons about the Israelites’ exodus from Egypt, such as the importance of helping one another. Together, the community hikes, learns, laughs, sings, debates, and enjoys the delicious Passover seder meal. The story is accompanied by photos of the celebration as well as stunning desert scenery by award-winning photographer Jeff Finkelstein.

For Yom HaShoah

A young girl helps accomplish an astonishing rescue in Nazi-occupied Denmark.
In The Whispering Town it is 1943 in Nazi-occupied Denmark. Anett and her parents are hiding a Jewish woman and her son, Carl, in their cellar until a fishing boat can take them across the sound to safety in neutral Sweden. With the help of the baker, the librarian, the farmer, and her neighbors, Anett keeps Carl and his mother safe even as Nazi soldiers search her street for hidden Jews. With the Nazis closing in, and worried about Carl’s safety, Anett thinks of a clever and unusual plan to get Carl and his mother safely to the harbor on a cloudy night without the moon to guide them. Based on a true story.

For Lag Ba'Omer

Sadie and Ori solve the mystery of Lag Ba'Omer!
“What is Lag Ba’Omer?” Sadie and Ori ask their grandfather in Sadie’s Lag Ba’Omer Mystery. He sends them off on a mission to solve the puzzle. After checking calendars and books and asking many different “holiday experts,” including the mailman, Aunt Katy, Uncle Danny, and their Grandmother, they learn the surprising history and tradition behind this less well- known Jewish holiday and invite their friends and family to a Lag Ba’Omer celebration!

Great Reads for Any Time of Year!

A Jewish boy with Native American roots celebrates his dual heritage on the Western frontier.

“Always remember, you are the son of two proud nations,” Elan’s parents tell him in Elan, Son of Two Peoples. After turning 13 and celebrating his Bar Mitzvah in San Francisco, Elan, with his Jewish father and Native American mother, travels to New Mexico to visit his Indian family. There, he reads the Torah on the open mesa during Shabbat, goes exploring with his cousin, and takes part in the Pueblo ceremony of becoming a man. Based on a true story.

A Torah scribe and his family rescue damaged Torahs in a story spanning four generations.
As a child, David watches his grandfather, a Torah scribe or sofer, finish a Torah scroll for the synagogue. “A Torah is not something to be thrown away,” his Grandfather explains in The Patchwork Torah. David’s grandfather  carefully stores the old Torah his new one has replaced in his cabinet, hoping to one day repair the letters so the Torah can be used again. David grows up and becomes a sofer just like his grandfather. Through the years, people bring him damaged Torahs they have saved from danger and disaster – one damaged by Nazi soldiers during World War II, one damaged in a fire in a synagogue, and one in flooding during Hurricane Katrina. David stores each of these precious Torahs in his cabinet, until his granddaughter Leah gives him the idea to make a recycled Torah from the salvaged Torah scrolls.

An inventive little boy comes up with a big idea!
In Ziggy’s Big Idea Ziggy loves coming up with new inventions. Unfortunately, though, most of his inventions just don’t work out, like the  square “Ziggyball” or the “shulstilts” he makes for Rabbi Levi. Ziggy’s father sells  buns for Moishe the Baker, but Mrs. Schwartz always complains that the buns are undercooked at the center. That’s when Ziggy puts his creative mind to work, with  his idea for making the baker’s buns tastier and easier to carry, leading to the creation of one of the world’s  favorite treats – the bagel! Bagel recipe included.

Beginning in January, you can find these new titles at!