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02_Shlemiel CrooksShlemiel Crooks
Anna Olswanger (Author) | Paula Koz (Illustrator)

Publication Date: May 1, 2005
NewSouth Books
Hardcover & Paperback; 36 Pages

Genre: Children’s Fiction/Historical

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2006 Sydney Taylor Honor Book, Young Reader’s Category, Association of Jewish Libraries

2005-2006 Koret International, Jewish Book Award Finalist, BabagaNewz Childrens’ Literature Category

“In the middle of the night on a Thursday, two crooks—onions should grow in their navels—drove their horse and wagon to the saloon of Reb Elias Olschwanger, at the corner of 14th and Carr streets in St. Louis. This didn’t happen yesterday. It was 1919.” So begins a modern folktale based on the Yiddish community of the author’s great-grandparents in the early 20th century. In original and engaging storytelling, Shlemiel Crooks introduces young readers to the history of Passover, as Pharaoh and a town of Jewish immigrants play tug-of-war with wine made from grapes left over from the Exodus from Egypt. Punctuated by colorful Yiddish expressions, the customs and language of a Jewish community of another time come alive.

Shlemiel Crooks is a Sydney Taylor Honor Book in the Young Reader’s Category from the Association of Jewish Libraries and a PJ Library Book.

Shtetl humor and magic realism come to St. Louis in 1919 in this wry Pesach story. The best thing here is Olswanger’s Yiddish storyteller’s voice, particularly the hilarious curses she weaves into the story. Great for reading aloud.” -Booklist

Hardcover | Paperback

About the Author03_Anna Olswanger

After nine years at Liza Dawson Associates in New York, Anna launched her own agency Olswanger Literary LLC in 2014. Her clients include the New York Times best-selling author Michael Hall and the Newbery Honor Book winner Vince Vawter.

Her first children’s book Shlemiel Crooks is based on a Yiddish newspaper article she uncovered about the attempted robbery of her great-grandfather’s kosher liquor store in St. Louis in 1919. Shlemiel Crooks is a Sydney Taylor Honor Book and PJ Library Book.

In 2011 the Kaufman Center in New York adapted “Chicken Bone Man” and Shlemiel Crooks into a musical for families, which premiered at Merkin Concert Hall. The musical is available for licensing from Dramasource.com

Anna’s latest book for young readers is Greenhorn, an illustrated children’s novel inspired by the true story of a young Holocaust survivor. It is now an independent film.

For more information please visit http://www.olswanger.com. You can follow Anna Olswanger on Twitter, Goodreads, and Pinterest.

Book Blast Schedule

Wednesday, April 20
Passages to the Past

Thursday, April 21
100 Pages a Day

Friday, April 22

Saturday, April 23
The Book Junkie Reads
The Never-Ending Book

Sunday, April 24
Book Nerd

Monday, April 25
CelticLady’s Reviews

Thursday, April 28
A Leisure Moment

Saturday, April 30
A Holland Reads


To win a hardcover copy of Shlemiel’s Crooks by Anna Olswanger, please enter the giveaway via the GLEAM form below.


– Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on April 30th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
– Giveaway is open to US residents only.
– Only one entry per household.
– All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspect of fraud is decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion
– Winner has 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen.

Shlemiel Crooks

04_Shlemiel Crooks_Book Blast Banner_FINAL

HF Virtual Book Tours invites you to join Award-Winning Children’s Author Donna McDine as she tours the blogosphere for Powder Monkey, from August 25 – September 19.

Powder MonkeyWritten By: Donna McDine
Illustrated by: K.C. Snider
Publication Date: May 20, 2013
Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc
Formats: Hardcover, Paperback, eBook

Genre: Historical Fiction/Children’s Fiction (Ages 8-12)

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Forced into a life at sea by the Royal Navy Press Gangs, 12-year-old Tommy Kitt finds himself in a floating sea of misery. Poor living conditions and beatings occur daily. Despite his small size, Tommy must summon the courage and physical ability to prevail in a situation he cannot escape.

Suggested age range for readers: 8-12. Free Educator Guides Available.

Praise for Powder Monkey

“Danger. Hardship. Cannon blasts. And whips. Stolen violently into service as a boy who delivers powder to the cannons during a battle, young Tommy never sees his parents again. What adventures await him? Donna M. McDine’s book, Powder Monkey, moves quickly through tense action scenes to portray realistic life during this dangerous era on the high seas.” ~ Nancy I. Sanders, bestselling and award-winning children’s author of Challenge on the Hill of Fire and Frederick Douglass for Kids ~ nancyisanders.com

“The saga of an age gone by, Donna McDine’s Powder Monkey, ably captures the essence of what some young boys endured as impressed sailors. With pathos and honesty, this historically accurate account of Tommy Kitt’s struggle to stay alive at sea, is a testimony to the author’s prowess as a storyteller.” ~ Nancy Stewart, Award-winning and Amazon best-selling children’s author ~ http://nancystewartbooks.com

“Powder Monkey by Donna McDine, illustrated by K.C. Snider, is a heart wrenching historical fiction. The story chronicles the lives of two brothers during British naval history. The brothers are taken and forced to run powder to the cannons during battles at sea. K.C. Snider’s artwork transports the reader back to a world where innocent boys endured many hardships. Parents and teachers can certainly use the book to teach many valuable lessons about life and how it should not be taken for granted. ~Reviewed by Nicole Weaver, Award-winning Children’s Author ~ http://mysisterismybestfriend.blogspot.com/2013/11/book-review-powder-monkey-by-donna.html

“The richly detailed illustrations, by well known artist and illustrator K.C Snider, drew me back into a time when the theme of this historical novel would have been played out – press gangs kidnapping young boys for service at sea. This tale of 14 year old farm boy Tommy, and his older brother, is well told. It has the right feel. The author’s research shines through on every page. Action scenes, and well crafted tense moments pulled me into the story, and the ending was true to life in those times. This is a book that boys and tomboys will enjoy. Teachers and home schooling parents will appreciate its authentic background and vivid details: an exciting and action packed read. I recommend Powder Monkey as a book that will definitely HOOK Kids on Reading.” ~ Reviewed by Margot Finke, children’s author ~ http://margotfinke.com

Buy the Book

Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc.
Amazon (Print)
Autographed Copies
Wholesale Orders

About the AuthorDonna McDine Headshot

Donna McDine is a multiple award-winning children’s author, Honorable Mention in the 77th and two Honorable Mentions in the 78th Annual Writer’s Digest Writing Competitions, A Sandy Grave ~ Story Monster Approved and Beach Book Festival Honorable Mention 2014, The Golden Pathway ~ Literary Classics Silver Award & Seal of Approval Recipient Picture Book Early Reader, Readers Favorite 2012 International Book Awards Honorable Mention, Global eBook Awards Finalist Children’s Picture Book Fiction, and Preditors & Editors Readers Poll 2010 Top Ten Children’s Books.

Her interest in ocean life resulted in writing and publishing A Sandy Grave (January 2014). Other books by McDine, Powder Monkey (May 2013), Hockey Agony (January 2013) and The Golden Pathway (August 2010). A fifth book is in the publishing pipeline with Guardian Angel Publishing. She writes and moms from her home in the historical hamlet Tappan, NY. McDine is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators.

For more information please visit Donna McDine’s website. You can also connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, and Goodreads.

Powder Monkey Blog Tour

Monday, August 25
Spotlight at So Many Precious Books, So Little Time

Thursday, August 28
Interview & Giveaway at Let Them Read Books

Monday, September 1
Spotlight at What Is That Book About

Tuesday, September 2
Review at Book Nerd

Thursday, September 4
Review at A Leisure Moment

Monday, September 8
Review at Bookish

Tuesday, September 9
Interview at Closed the Cover

Wednesday, September 10
Review at Historical Tapestry

Thursday, September 11
Review at Impressions in Ink

Friday, September 12
Review at Just One More Chapter

Friday, September 19
Review & Giveaway at Peeking Between the Pages

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