Sophie Brody Medal

Sophie Brody medalThe award is an annual honor bestowed by the Collection Development and Evaluation Section (CODES) of the Reference and User Services Associaiton (RUSA) and is funded by Arthur Brody and the Brodart Foundation. It is given to encourage, recognize and commend outstanding achievement in Jewish literature. Works for adults published in the United States in the preceding year are eligible for the award.

 

The 2012 List

Sacred Trash recounts the discovery and retrieval of worn-out Jewish documents from the Cairo Geniza. In this religiously mandated repository, medieval documents were found that render a fascinating view of a 900-year span of a vibrant Mediterranean Jewish culture by examining not only sacred texts, but also wills, contracts, letters and other everyday documents.

The committee also selected three honor books:

Jerusalem: the Biography by Simon Sebag Montefiore (Alfred A. Knopf): This book provides an in-depth and balanced history of Jerusalem up to the Six-Day War. Montefiore covers the origins and evolutions of Judaism, Christianity and Islam, all of which have claims to the city, as well as the struggles that each group has faced throughout history. While the book is highly informative, its accessible style keeps the reader engaged.

MetaMaus by Art Spiegelman (Pantheon Books): Spiegelman explains his motivations and challenges in creating “Maus,” which is based on his parents’ Holocaust experiences. He also explains why he used a comic book format, as well as the difficulties he had in maintaining an accurate picture that corresponded to his father’s stories. Spiegelman also discusses how the world received “Maus” and his challenges in maintaining its integrity.

Quiet Americans: Stories by Erika Dreifus (Last Light Studio Books): This little book of short stories is a gem that anyone can read and enjoy. Its straightforward writing and understandable stories about German Jews and their descendants bring us into the everyday lives of Jewish Americans. Some stories are interrelated, but they stand alone in their own right.

2011
Medal Winner:
The Sabbath World: Glimpses of a Different Order of Time
Honorable Mention:
Homesick
2010
Medal Winner:
The Book of the Unknown: Tales of the Thirty-Six
Honorable Mention:
Lucky Child: A Memoir of Surviving Auschwitz as a Young Boy
Honorable Mention:
The Jewish Body
Honorable Mention:
Clara’s War: One Girl’s Story of Survival
2009
Medal Winner:
Songs for the Butcher's Daughter
Honorable Mention:
Beaufort
Honorable Mention:
Friendly Fire
Honorable Mention:
From Krakow to Krypton: Jews and Comic Books
2008
Medal Winner:
The Ministry of Special Cases
Honorable Mention:
Foreskin’s Lament: A Memoir
Honorable Mention:
The Zookeeper’s Wife: A War Story
Honorable Mention:
You Never Call! You Never Write! A History of the Jewish Mother
2007
Medal Winner:
The Lost: A Search for Six of Six Million
Honorable Mention:
The World to Come
Honorable Mention:
The LemonTree: An Arab, a Jew, and the Heart of the Middle East
Honorable Mention:
The Book Thief
2006
Medal Winner:
Talking to the Enemy
Honorable Mention:
Born to Kvetch
Honorable Mention:
Not Me
Honorable Mention:
The Orientalist: Solving the Mystery of a Strange and Dangerous Life