by Leslea Newman

Discovering Hatred

Once, when giving a talk about my book. Heather Has Two Mommies, a lesbian mom asked me when I thought she should tell her child that some people hate lesbians. How tragic that a parent has to even think about this issue! Her question made me try to remember the first time I learned that there are people in the world who hate Jews. I couldn’t remember a time when I didn’t know this fact. I don’t remember a time when my parents sat down and told me; I don’t remember being taught about anti-Semitism in school, and I had no Jewish education. I do, however, remember reading The Diary of Anne Frank—I still have my tattered, childhood copy. The book mesmerized me. I read the book curled up in my favorite chair with my beloved Cairn terrier at my feet, feeling very safe in the world. It was hard to imagine that once upon a time, Anne Frank felt that safe as well.

While it’s important to tell children the truth about the world, I believe it is more important to infuse children’s literature with hope.

Leslea Newman’s latest book is Runaway Dreidel (Henry Holt). Visit to learn more about her children’s books.

How Books Tell the World’s Bad News to Children

The articles in this special section:

Beware Sentimental Tripe

by Jane Yolen

Truth Soothes

by Susan Rich

Heroines Overcome their Demons

by Gail Carson Levine

Bad News from the Start

by Ellen Handler Spitz

Kaddish as Magical Incantation

by Susie Morgenstern

Cry for Someone Else

by Esther Rudomin Hautzig

History Helps

by Karen B.Winnick

Struggles of Underdogs

by Sonya Sones

No Brainwashing

by Yehudit Kafri

Hope After the Holocaust

by Ruth Minsky Sender

Pain Is a Teacher

by Julius Lester

Forget Bibliotherapy

by Johanna Hurwitz

War in a Picture Book?

by Fran Manushkin

Discovering Hatred

by Leslea Newman

Between Hopes and Reality

by Etgar Keret

The Power of Anger

by Rabbi Sandy Eisenberg Sasso