Zayda Was a Cowboy
Author: June Levitt Nislick
Publisher: The Jewish Publication Society
Release Date: April 01, 2005
The extraordinary story of how one family, and one young boy in particular, are changed forever when Zayda (Yiddish for “grandfather”) comes to live with them. At first the young narrator, Bill, is resistant to all the changes in the house: Zayda spooks his friends, tries to get Bill to speak Yiddish, and demands strange foods like herring. But as Zayda starts telling Bill and his brother Danny the fascinating story of his life, a story filled with many extraordinary dangers and adventures, the boys begin to see their grandfather in a whole new light. From why, as a young boy, he was forced to flee his Russian village for America to how he eventually became a cowboy, Zayda holds the boys captive with his amazing tale. Like Zayda’s grandsons, young readers—and their parents and teachers—will also be entranced by Zayda’s saga. While the characters are fictional, Zayda’s experiences are historically correct and are a colorful retelling of a fascinating yet little-known time of Jewish-American history. This book, like Zayda himself—funny, touching, and memorable—is destined to be a favorite of Jewish and non-Jewish children alike, teachers, librarians, and educators for many years to come.