In 1885, few Jews in Israel used the holy language of their ancestors, and Hebrew was in danger of being lost—until Ben Zion and his father got involved. Through the help of his father and a community of children, Ben modernized the ancient language, creating a lexicon of new, modern words to bring Hebrew back into common usage. Historically influenced dialogue, engaging characters, and colorful art offer a linguistic journey about how language develops and how one person’s perseverance can make a real difference.
Influenced by illuminated manuscripts, Karla Gudeon’s illustrations bring Ben Zion—and the rebirth of Hebrew—to life.
Richard Michelson’s twenty three books for children, teens and adults have been listed among the Ten Best of the Year by The New York Times, Publishers Weekly, and The New Yorker; and among the Best Dozen of the decade by Amazon.com. He received the 2018 National Jewish Book Award and the Sydney Taylor Gold Medal for his latest book, The Language of Angels. His previous book Fascinating: The Life of Leonard Nimoy received a Junior Library Guild Gold medal and was chosen to represent the state of Massachusetts at the 2018 National Book Festival. Michelson is a 2016 recipient of a Massachusetts Cultural Council Fellowship and served two terms as Poet Laureate of Northampton, MA. He is the owner of R. Michelson Galleries www.RMichelson.com which represents many prominent children’s book illustrators.