What Zeesie Saw on Delancey Street By Elsa Okon Rael

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When Zeesie's parents take her to a "package party" (a sort of Jewish bakesale fundraiser), she is dazzled by the experience of a chance to wear her best dress to the party, and by all she sees around her on her way there.  But when Zeesie sneaks into the "money room," (a place where men are encouraged to take what money they need, or leave what they are able) and encounters the reality of poverty in her own community, she is moved and changed by the experience. This book explores ideas of community in joy and generosity, but also in sadness and need.  I like how the colorful, boisterous images and Zeesie's excitement bump up against the reality of the Lower East Side experience, and the problems that went with it.

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Laurel Snyder

Laurel Snyder is most recently the author of Baxter, the Pig Who Wanted to Be Kosher (a picture book) and Penny Dreadful (a middle grade novel). She lives in Atlanta and online at www.laurelsnyder.com