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Sholom's Treasure: How Sholom Aleichem Became a Writer

Mordicai Gerstein, Illustrator
Farrar, Straus & Giroux Books for Young Readers

The boy whose stories became Fiddler on the Roof, Sholom Aleichem's favorite childhood memory may have been listening as his father read stories aloud on Saturday nights and a roomful of adults burst out laughing. Sholom wanted to make people laugh, too. At school he became the class clown. At home he imitated even his pious grandmother. But Sholom was also thoughtful. In Russia in the 1800s, life was especially difficult for Jews, and Sholom longed to help his father by finding a legendary hidden treasure. It turned out that Sholom Aleichem's destiny was to give his father a different kind of treasure - one of words and tales that to this day bring laughter to readers around the world.This taut, focused biography of the young Sholom Aleichem is animated with the artist's quick, brilliant line and richly toned watercolors.

“Silverman's writing flows with delightful repetitions and turns of phrases...fun to read and fun to view: a treasure, indeed.” Joan Kindig, Ph.D. (Children's Literature).

**Starred Review**
" Silverman keeps her focus on the things about Aleichem's life that will appeal most to young readers: his sense of the absurd, his railings against life's injustices, and his determination to follow his dreams... As in Aleichem's own stories, there's a universality here that transcends the borders of time and place." Booklist

"Sholom Aleichem's own story is told here with the wit and compassion for which he was himself known. The heartiness of the text...gives this biography an attractive warmth." The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

"Mischievous Sholom's spirited personality comes alive both in Gerstein's drawings and Silverman's fluent text." The Horn Book

"Silverman and Caldecott Medalist Gerstein make an ideal pairing. Silverman's accessible prose keeps a narrative dense with incidents and people moving along briskly. Gerstein's fluid, exuberant pen-and-ink and watercolor wash illustrations...literally illuminate the story." -- Publishers Weekly

"This book underscores the power of reading and writing as a way of giving laughter, joy, and treasures to the world." -- Reading Teacher