2 minute read

Jacqueline Jules (1956-)


Jacqueline Jules told SATA: "I am a voracious reader, totally in love with children's literature. Children's stories are direct, honest, and to the point." A school librarian and storyteller, Jules also writes children's books for preschool through middle-grade audiences.

The Grey Striped Shirt: How Grandma and Grandpa Survived the Holocaust is aimed at readers aged eight to ten. In the book, a young girl rummaging through her grandparents' closet stumbles upon an old striped shirt with a yellow star on it. She asks about it and, over a period of time, her grandparents describe to Frannie what happened to them during the Holocaust. One of Frannie's most difficult questions is to wonder why the Jews did not seem to fight back. Jules's book tackles that sensitive issue and other related topics. Jules commented on her Web site: "I purposely set out to write a book for children too old for David Adler's The Number on My Grandfather's Arm and too young for Number the Stars by Lois Lowry. When The Grey Striped Shirt was reviewed in School Library Journal, the reviewer mentioned those two books and said I had achieved exactly what I had set out to do." That reviewer, Micki S. Nevett, called The Grey Striped Shirt "a moving book."

Jules's books for younger readers have emerged, in part, from her work as a storyteller for preschool children. Clap and Count! Action Rhymes for the Jewish Year contains original rhymes and games, as well as traditional nursery rhymes adapted for a Jewish audience. Once upon a Shabbos is an adaptation of an old American folktale featuring a honey-stealing bear and a no-nonsense Jewish grandmother in the unlikely environs of Brooklyn, New York. The Hardest Word: A Yom Kippur Story is a fantasy tale about a clumsy bird who has to learn how to say "I'm sorry." Jules reported on her Web site that future stories will be inspired by ideas from her students at her school library in Falls Church, Virginia.

Biographical and Critical Sources


Booklist, November 15, 2001, Ellen Mandel, review of Clap and Count! Action Rhymes for the Jewish Year, p. 577.

Horn Book Guide, fall, 1999, Amy Kellman, review of Once upon a Shabbos, p. 256; spring, 2002, Amy Kellman, review of The Hardest Word: A Yom Kippur Story, p. 107.

Publishers Weekly, January 25, 1999, review of Once upon a Shabbos, p. 89.

School Library Journal, March, 1995, Micki S. Nevett, review of The Grey Striped Shirt: How Grandma and Grandpa Survived the Holocaust, p. 205; April, 1999, Lilien Ferguson, review of Once upon a Shabbos, p. 100.


Jacqueline Jules, http://www.jacquelinejules.com/ (March 17, 2004).

Additional topics

Brief BiographiesBiographies: Dan Jacobson Biography - Dan Jacobson comments: to Barbara Knutson (1959–2005) Biography - PersonalJacqueline Jules (1956-) Biography - Writings, Sidelights - Personal, Addresses, Career, Member, Honors Awards, Work in Progress