A Queen to the Rescue

The Story of Henrietta Szold, Founder of Hadassah

  • Interest Level: Grade 3 - Grade 7
  • Reading Level: Grade 4

Henrietta Szold took Queen Esther as a model and worked hard to save the Jewish people. In 1912, she founded the Jewish women’s social justice organization, Hadassah. Henrietta started Hadassah determined to offer emergency medical care to mothers and children in Palestine. When WWII broke out, she rescued Jewish children from the Holocaust, and broadened Hadassah’s mission to include education, youth development, and women’s rights. Hadassah offers free help to all who need it and continues its mission to this day.

Format Your Price Add
Available at all major wholesalers and distributors. Save 25% when you buy direct!
Interest Level Grade 3 - Grade 7
Reading Level Grade 4
Genre Picture Books, Social Studies
Category 5 Kinds of Nonfiction, 5KN: Narrative Nonfiction, Diverse Books: Celebrating Differences , Diverse Books: Immigration & Refugees, Diverse Books: Social Justice, Diversity, SEL: C Social Awareness, SEL: D Relationship Skills, SEL: E Responsible Decision-Making, Social Emotional Learning
Copyright 2021
Publisher Creston Books
Imprint Creston Books
Language English
Number of Pages 40
Publication Date 2021-10-05
Text Type Narrative Nonfiction
BISACS JNF071000, JNF007120, JNF025120
Dewey 369
Dimensions 9 x 11
Lexile 970
ATOS Reading Level 5.1
Accelerated Reader® Points 0.5
Features Awards, Original artwork, Reviewed, Starred Reviews, Teaching Guides, and eSource

Author: Nancy Churnin

Nancy Churnin is the author of many children's books, including Martin & Anne, Sydney Taylor Notable Irving Berlin, the Immigrant Boy Who Made America Sing, and the Sydney Taylor Honor Book Dear Mr. Dickens. She is a full-time writer living in Texas.

Illustrator: Yevgenia Nayberg

Yevgenia Nayberg is an illustrator, painter, and set and costume designer. She received a Sydney Taylor Silver Medal for her illustrations for Drop by Drop. She lives in New York.

Lerner eSource™ offers free digital teaching and learning resources, including Common Core State Standards (CCSS) teaching guides. These guides, created by classroom teachers, offer short lessons and writing exercises that give students specific instruction and practice using Common Core skills and strategies. Lerner eSource also provides additional resources including online activities, downloadable/printable graphic organizers, and additional educational materials that would also support Common Core instruction. Download, share, pin, print, and save as many of these free resources as you like!

A Queen to the Rescue

Henrietta Szold took Queen Esther as a model and worked hard to save the Jewish people. In 1912, she founded the Jewish women’s social justice organization, Hadassah. Henrietta started Hadassah determined to offer emergency medical care to mothers and children in Palestine. When… View available downloads →

Spotlight On Ukrainian Illustrators

April 15, 2022 marked 50 days of war in Ukraine. In that time, people around the globe have turned their attention and support to the citizens of Ukraine and Ukrainian populations elsewhere in the world. Today we’d like to feature the work of two Ukrainian illustrators of Lerner and… View →


  • Sydney Taylor Notable Book, Commended, 2022
  • NCSS/CBC Notable Social Studies Trade Book for Young People, Winner, 2022


Moment Magazine

A Queen to the Rescue: The Story of Henrietta Szold, Founder of Hadassah (by Nancy Churnin with illustrations by Yevgenia Nayberg) begins with Henrietta Szold’s birth in Baltimore in 1860. The book covers Szold’s achievements even before and beyond the Hadassah era (who knew that Szold was the Jewish Publication Society’s first editor?) and concludes with her later years in British Mandatory Palestine. (Note: The territory is referred to as “Palestine” throughout the story, with acknowledgments that “British leaders ran Palestine” during the Nazi era; a timeline at the back of the book also notes that Szold made “her first trip to what was then called Palestine, part of the Ottoman Empire” in 1909. An author’s note more explicitly frames Szold’s lasting significance in and to the State of Israel.) In keeping with the title’s “rescue” focus, the book highlights the Youth Aliyah endeavor through which Szold and Hadassah saved 11,000 children from the Nazis.

Jewish Book Council

“Churnin’s com­pre­hen­sive and inspir­ing text, paired with Nayberg’s rich mul­ti-lay­ered, expres­sive, and art­ful mixed-media illus­tra­tions, bring to life this remark­able woman who was long over­due for a pic­ture book biog­ra­phy.” — Rachel Kamin, Jewish Book Council

Association of Jewish Libraries

“Churnin portrays the organizational skill and human kindness of her subject with love and admiration. She expands the main text with comprehensive back matter that includes additional historical information, facts about the Purim holiday and a timeline. Nayberg’s stylized cubistic illustrations are striking and convey the human crises that called for a great woman’s intervention.”—Association of Jewish Libraries

School Library Journal

“Using concise but informative text, Churnin does an excellent job of introducing this dynamic woman in a picture book format . . . [while] Nayberg’s modernist, expressionistic illustrations effectively capture Henrietta’s powerful persona.”—starred, School Library Journal

Wisconsin Jewish Chronicle

“Readers will see the impact of Szold’s work for immigrants, orphans, Jewish publications, and healthcare in Palestine as well as find themselves in awe of how one person can change the world.”—Wisconsin Jewish Chronicle

Publishers Weekly

“Elegant, assured prose (‘The air was thick with tears for lost loved ones’), accentuated by facts and data, will keep readers absorbed alongside Nayberg’s engrossingly abstract, fluid illustrations, tinted in rich hues of blue-green and red. A moving biography of a lesser-known heroine.”—starred, Publishers Weekly

Midwest Book Review

“Exceptionally informative, well organized, thoroughly ‘kid friendly’ in presentation, ‘A Queen to the Rescue’ is the highly recommended picture book biography of Henrietta Szold and especially and unreservedly recommended for . . . young readers ages 8-13.”—Midwest Book Review

Kirkus Reviews

“A powerful introduction to a little known, very brave woman.”—starred, Kirkus Reviews"

School Library Journal Online

“A worthwhile addition for any library looking to expand picture book content on powerful women.”