Heidi Fishman was interviewed by Bracha Sharp of the Jewish Link: Bronx, Westchester & Connecticut
It begins . . .
Riverdale—I first met K. Heidi Fishman when I attended a Highlights Foundation conference called “Writing Jewish-Themed Children’s Books.” It was there that Fishman was working on drafts of what would become her recently released first book, a children’s Holocaust novel, titled “Tutti’s Promise,” which details her mother, Ruth “Tutti” Lichtenstern Fishman’s, early childhood years during that terrible time.
“Tutti’s Promise” covers the era before the war, from her birth in Cologne, Germany, in 1935, through time spent in her youth in Amsterdam, followed by concentration camps, with her own unique perspective and those of family and friends. Tutti’s story comes alive through the details of narrow escapes, and then time spent in Westerbork and Theresienstadt camps, up until the Liberation.
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3 . . . 2 . . . 1 . . . LAUNCH!
K. HEIDI FISHMAN'S BOOK LAUNCH OF TUTTI'S PROMISE TOOK PLACE ON APRIL 3, 2017
April 5, 2017 I arrived at the Mandell JCC at 5pm with my husband. We brought all my books, posters, artifacts, etc., upstairs to the room where the launch was to take place in two hours. The room was hot. There were a lot of chairs. And I was nervous.
We met Kathy, the coordinator for Voices of Hope, and we all started scurrying around the room — there were tablecloths to set out, all my mother’s Holocaust artifacts to lay out safely, posters to display, and the computer with the PowerPoint to connect to the projector. Gregory, the JCC facilities magician, was calm and wonderful. He connected the computer, did the sound check, turned the air-conditioning on, and straightened the long rows of chairs. His ability to help get the room in order definitely helped my nerves calm a bit. We even chatted about his coming to Hartford from Jamaica four years ago and how much he loves living in Connecticut.
Dave and I set up side tables with all my displays and then we waited. I tried to keep my anxiety at bay, but as it kept popping up, I decided to run through my notes one more time. And then people started to show up: A good friend of my mother. A counselor from summer camp when I was ten. A babysitter from when I was eight. The parents of high school classmates. Former neighbors. My parents’ current neighbors. A high school English teacher. College classmates. My brothers and their families. People started buying books and asking me to sign them. And then it was time to start.
My brother introduced Voices of Hope and its mission. My mother gave a brief overview of her history. Then it was my turn. It was thrilling to stand in front of all those people. When I started talking, the anxiety floated away. I told the stories of how Tutti’s Promise grew from a mere idea to a real book and how I met so many people along the way. I could have told the stories all night, because they are my stories. This was the adventure I had been living for five years and I hoped my excitement was contagious. When I was done speaking, people lined up to buy more books and have my mother and me both sign them.
A few teachers in the audience asked me when I could come to their schools. I have already booked one. The evening was such a vote of confidence! Thank you, everyone, for your support.
Here's a charming story from Allison Marks via a member of Sisterhood:
"They were preparing food in the synagogue kitchen for this event [the Jewish Food & Art Festival held at Temple Israel in Akron, Ohio] and came across a large jar that no one could open. Evidently, everyone tried with no success. Then, a voice at the back of the room shouted out, "You need to say the magic word!" [That was a direct reference to a scene in our new picture book, A Gefilte Fishy Tale!]
November 21, 2016
Authors Allison and Wayne Marks (A Gefilte Fishy Tale) had a wonderful time on Sunday, November 13 at the Jewish Food & Art Festival held at Temple Israel in Akron, Ohio. Twenty-three copies of A Gefilte Fishy Tale were sold!
Parents, grandparents and great-grandparents were buying the book for their children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren as holiday gifts. Some copies were being sent to families as far away as Memphis and Atlanta!
The duo's third picture book, The Art Lesson: A Shavuot Story (Kar-Ben Pub), with charming illustrations by Annie Wilkinson, is out now. Congratulations to all!
Here’s what the critics are saying about The Secret at Haney Field:
"A well-written Disney-like story. . . . The characters are well-drawn and likable, and Clark obviously knows baseball. . . . A home run . . ."
"As deeply moving as Field of Dreams . . . "
--Bil Howard, Readers' Favorite
"An inviting read. The discoveries and the reflections of this feisty protagonist, who loves the sport and whose curiosity leads her to investigate the Negro Leagues, baseball history, and even issues of discrimination, are what make this story so enjoyable."
--Diane Donovan, Midwest Book Review
R. M. Clark
Author R. M. Clark met with fans at the New Bedford Book Festival and Barnes and Noble recently!
One of his terrific middle-grade novels is The Secret at Haney Field: A Baseball Mystery (MB Publishing).
What do you get when you mix two baseball buffs with a minor league team and a major league adventure? A grand-slam summer!
Suitable for ages 8-12, The Secret at Haney Field is a baseball mystery about a bat girl named April O'Day, her best friend Darren, and some "shadow" baseball players from the past.
Twelve-year-old April O'Day's summer has gotten off to a flying start. As the daughter of a former minor-leaguer, she really knows baseball. And when she wins the opportunity to be a bat retriever for one week with her hometown's minor league team, she proves it, transforming her seven-day dream job into a summer-long adventure of runs, hits, errors . . . and a mystery to solve.
Baseball-playing shadows are on the field, which only she, her friend Darren, and the team's owner, Mr. Haney, can see. And when April finds one of their shadow balls in the stands, the three are able to witness a 1940s Negro Leagues game.
Who are these players—especially the one they call Flash, a lightning-fast base runner? And why are they at Haney Field?
Can Marcus "Mayhem" Mayfield, a veteran of the Negro Leagues, as well as the majors, help them solve this mystery? And as facts come into focus, will Mr. Haney try to keep an event from the 1960s hidden under the grandstands?
A lovely review from The Children's Book Review!
March 16, 2016
What to expect: Travel, Fun, Adventure, Culture, Bilingual . . . Paris!
Paris Hop! is a wonderful journey into the sights, sounds, scents, and linguistic adventures of the City of Light. This unique cross-generational narrative introduces the reader to Grandma Goldie and her granddaughter Aimee as they head to the first stop on their itinerary—La Tour Eiffel—where they hope to see Paris sparkle in the sun from the "tippity-top of the tower." But right from the start, they get happily sidetracked. The book is suspenseful and full of forward movement as readers will wonder if the characters will make it there in time because of the many detours they take along the way: Notre Dame, an art market, a cruise down the Seine . . . [Read more]
Reader’s Favorite Awards presented to two MB Publishing books!
September 1, 2015: We're so excited to announce that Readers' Favorite awarded Paris Hop! and Escape in Time its 2015 Illustration Award for Picture Books and Young Adult Books, respectively. Congratulations to Renée Andriani and Laurie McGaw!
To learn more about these award-winning books and add them to your own library, click here.
Escape in Time Featured in Two Publications
April 15, 2015: Escape in Time, an award-winning novel written by Ronit Lowenstein-Malz Z"L and illustrated by Laurie McGaw, was featured in a Canadian Jewish News article.
Here’s a sample of what it had to say:
"A Hebrew-language book that won Yad Vashem’s prize for outstanding children’s Holocaust literature in 2008 is being published in English this month, in conjunction with Yom Hashoah (Holocaust Remembrance Day).
Escape in Time — known in Hebrew as Nes Shel Ahava (A Miracle of Love) — is Ronit Lowenstein-Malz’s moving young adult novel based on her late mother’s story of survival in Hungary during the Holocaust."
To read the full article, click here.
Escape in Time was also featured in the Historical Fiction issue of Booklist (April 15) and Kirkus Reviews Magazine (May 1). To learn more about this riveting story of survival, click here.
The Secret at Haney Field Featured on Barnes and Noble List
February 25, 2015: With baseball season around the corner, Barnes and Noble compiled a recommended list of 10 baseball books for middle-grade readers. We’re pleased to announce that The Secret at Haney Field, an award-winning story by R.M. Clark, made the list! Here’s what the reviewer had to say:
“For readers who aren’t afraid of the supernatural, here’s a book that starts out a mystery and ends up being more about history. 12-year-old April, a minor-league team’s bat girl, notices some shadowy figures playing on the field at night. Her sleuthing uncovers dirty secrets about the team’s racist past. The book begins with a helpful glossary, for kids who are unfamiliar with baseball terms.”
To learn more about The Secret at Haney Field and to add it to a young baseball fan’s library, click here.
A Positive and Delightful Book Review for Paris Hop!
February 3, 2015: Paris Hop! was reviewed on A is for Aging, B is for Books, a blog about positive images of aging in children’s literature. This rhyming picture book tells the story of a grandmother and her granddaughter as they experience an exciting day in Paris. Here’s a snippet from that A is for Aging review:
“Paris Hop! highlights the happiness of special times with a grandparent. This granddaughter revels in the multitude of joyous surprises provided by her vital gray-haired grandma—a terrific way to show kids how love of live continues into our later years. The lively rhyming text by author Margie Blumberg matches the energy of this intergenerational duo and draws us along at a rapid pace.”
To learn more about Paris Hop! and its charming tale of fun between the generations, click here.
Chicago Bound: A Jake McGreevy Novel Honored for Excellence
May 19, 2014: MB Publishing is thrilled to announce that the National Indie Excellence Awards has named Chicago Bound: A Jake McGreevy Novel, by Sean Vogel, a finalist in the Pre-Teen Fiction category! This is Sean’s second book in the Jake McGreevy adventure series, which began with the award-winning Celtic Run.
March 2014: Kirkus Reviews has named Chicago Bound one of their “Indie Books of the Month” for March. Kirkus called Chicago Bound “a rollicking, fun mystery with a young, charismatic hero."
To learn more about Chicago Bound, a fast-paced mystery for middle-grade readers, click here.