For fans of All-of-a-Kind Family, here is the true story of how Sarah Brenner, a poor girl from New York City’s Lower East Side, became Sydney Taylor: dancer, actress, and successful children’s book author.
Sarah Brenner might have come from an all-of-a-kind family (five sisters who all dressed alike), but she was always one of a kind. Growing up in a Jewish immigrant family on New York’s impoverished Lower East Side, Sarah loved visiting the library, celebrating holidays with her family, and taking free dance classes at the Henry Street Settlement. But she was always aware of things that weren’t fair—whether it was that women couldn’t vote, or how girls were treated in her school, or that her parents had had to leave Europe because they were Jewish. When she grew up, Sarah changed her name to Sydney and became an actress and a dancer, but she never forgot the importance of fighting unfairness, whether it was anti-Semitism at her job or the low wages of workers. And when her daughter complained that it wasn’t fair that there were no books about Jewish children like her, Sydney put pen to paper and wrote a one-of-a-kind children’s book.
From well-known Jewish children’s author Richard Michelson, this is the story of how Sarah became Sydney and how she showed children the joy of seeing their culture reflected on the page.
About the Author
Richard Michelson is the author The Language of Angels: The Reinvention of Hebrew, winner of the Sydney Taylor Book Award and the National Jewish Book Award, and Fascinating: The Life of Leonard Nimoy, which received the Massachusetts Book Award Honor and the Sydney Taylor Award Silver Medal, and was an NCSS Notable Book. His children’s books have been listed among the Best Books of the Year by The New York Times, PW, and The New Yorker. He owns R. Michelson Galleries, the host of Northampton Poetry Radio, and is the current poet laureate of Northampton, MA.
Sarah Green is a RISD-educated illustrator and designer from San Francisco. She is the illustrator of numerous picture books, including Fight of the Century by Barb Rosenstock and Born Hungry by Alex Prud’homme.