A Queen to the Rescue
The Story of Henrietta Szold, Founder of Hadassah
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.
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|Interest Level||Grade 3 - Grade 7|
|Reading Level||Grade 4|
|Genre||Nonfiction, 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|
|Number of Pages||40|
- Sydney Taylor Notable Book
- NCSS/CBC Notable Social Studies Trade Book for Young People
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
“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
“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.”
Author: Nancy Churnin
Nancy Churnin is the author of Martin & Anne, Sydney Taylor Notable Irving Berlin, the Immigrant Boy Who Made America Sing, and the Sydney Taylor Honor Book Dear Ms. Dickens. She is a full-time writer located 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.
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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 →
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