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Children's Fiction Prejudice & Racism

The Book of Elsie

by (author) Joanne Levy

Orca Book Publishers
Initial publish date
Aug 2022
Prejudice & Racism, Jewish, LGBT, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance
Recommended Age
9 to 12
Recommended Grade
4 to 7
Recommended Reading age
9 to 12
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Aug 2022
    List Price
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Aug 2022
    List Price

Classroom Resources

Download Teacher’s Guide

Where to buy it


Elsie Rose-Miller loves celebrating the Purim holiday and can't wait for the annual costume party at her local synagogue.

Elsie plans to dress up as the fierce and smart Queen Esther, who saved all the Jewish people. But when financial hardship and a terrible incident of hate-inspired vandalism threaten not only the party but the synagogue too, Elsie, like Queen Esther, takes action to bring her entire community—Jewish and non-Jewish alike—together.

The epub edition of this title is fully accessible.

About the author

Joanne Levy is the author of the award-winning Sorry For Your Loss, a book set in a funeral home inspired by the one her dad manages. Her other books include The Sun Will Come Out, Fish Out of Water, and Bird Brain. She can usually be found at her computer, either creating spreadsheets (sometimes just for fun) or channeling her younger self into books. Joanne lives in rural Ontario, Canada, with her husband and several pets, one of whom vomited during the writing of this bio.

Joanne Levy's profile page


  • Commended, CCBC Best Books for Kids & Teens

Editorial Reviews

“Strong first-person narration thoughtfully explores experiences of antisemitism and prejudice…Levy presents a realistic, gutsy, problemsolving youth navigating difficult situations with the love and support of community, friends, and family.”


“Covers many social issues that young people need to read about...a good discussion for the reader and an adult.”

Children's Literature

“Both Jew­ish and non-Jew­ish read­ers will be inspired by Elsie’s brav­ery while learn­ing about Jew­ish hol­i­days and com­mu­ni­ty sup­port. This book would make a per­fect gift for a young Jew­ish [reader].”

Jewish Book Council

“Allows readers to find the space to ask questions and have conversations about racism and antisemitism in society. Recommended.”

CM: Canadian Review of Materials

Other titles by Joanne Levy

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