Books by Deborah Heiligman

TORPEDOED by Deborah Heiligman
Released: Oct. 8, 2019

"An exceptionally well-researched and impressively crafted tale of desperation, tragedy, and survival. (bibliography, notes, index) (Nonfiction. 10-14)"
Heiligman recounts the little-known World War II maritime disaster of the sinking of the passenger ship City of Benares, which was evacuating children from England to Canada. Read full book review >
VINCENT AND THEO by Deborah Heiligman
Released: April 18, 2017

"A remarkably insightful, profoundly moving story of fraternal interdependence and unconditional love. (timeline, author's note, biography, source notes, index) (Biography. 14-18)"
As she did in Charles and Emma (2009), her biography of the Darwins, Heiligman renders a nuanced portrait of the complex, devoted, and enduring relationship between the Van Gogh brothers. Read full book review >
Released: June 11, 2013

"Social learners and budding math lovers alike will find something awesome about this exceptional man. (Picture book/biography. 3-9)"
An exuberant and admiring portrait introduces the odd, marvelously nerdy, way cool Hungarian-born itinerant mathematical genius. Read full book review >
INTENTIONS by Deborah Heiligman
Released: Aug. 14, 2012

"A modestly daring coming-of-age tale with a (presumably) unintentionally preachy tone. (Fiction. 14 & up)"
Shockingly, Rachel overhears her rabbi having sex in the sanctuary of her synagogue before confirmation class. Read full book review >
COOL DOG, SCHOOL DOG by Deborah Heiligman
Released: Aug. 1, 2009

Tinka the dog returns for a romp through school that starts badly but ends well (Fun Dog, Sun Dog, 2005). Depressed at having to say goodbye to her boy at the bus, she makes a break for it and follows him to school, with predictably chaotic results. But while she's waiting to be taken back home, the kids decide to read to her—starting her on a second career as a reading buddy. Heiligman's tale is well-timed to ride the wave of "Reading with Rover" programs in schools and libraries, and her infectious rhymes ("Tinka is a bad dog, / a sad dog, / a makes-our-teacher-mad dog!") pair well with Bowers's goofy, energetic illustrations to make this gentle piece of propaganda go down easy. (Picture book. 4-8)Read full book review >
Released: Feb. 1, 2009

This rich, insightful portrait of Charles and Emma Darwin's marriage explores a dimension of the naturalist's life that has heretofore been largely ignored. Emma was devoutly religious while Charles's agnosticism increased as he delved deeper into his studies of natural history, but they did not let this difference come between them. While unable to agree with Charles's theory that essentially eliminated God from the process of creation, Emma remained open-minded and supportive, even reading drafts of The Origin of Species and suggesting improvements. Using excerpts from correspondence, diaries and journals, Heiligman portrays a relationship grounded in mutual respect. The narrative conveys a vivid sense of what life was like in Victorian England, particularly the high infant mortality rate that marred the Darwins' happiness and the challenges Charles faced in deciding to publish his controversial theory. While this book does not serve as an introduction to Darwin's life and ideas, readers wanting to know more will discover two brilliant thinkers whose marital dialectic will provide rich fodder for discussions of science and faith. (introduction, source notes, bibliography, index) (Biography. 12 & up)Read full book review >
Released: July 10, 2007

This beautiful explanation of the Jewish High Holy Days depicts the celebration and observance from a global perspective in a colorful, clean photographic design. Jews around the world incorporate the universal symbols of honey, prayers and the Shofar with similar significance. A montage shows multicultural faces of families and children attending services in Zimbabwe, Peru, Portugal and India, and eating slightly different meals. Yet all understand the meaning of a hopeful new beginning symbolized by sweet honey, the atonement everyone feels through prayer and fasting and the blowing of the Shofar to signal the end of a long day of reflection and the start of a new year. The text design is especially well thought-out as key sentences are highlighted in large print that reads as one simple text for preschoolers, while a slightly longer explanation is presented in a smaller font for older children. An appendix of basics regarding the holidays offers facts, explanations of the Torah and the Shofar, the important "Al Het" prayer said as a community and an easy-to-follow recipe for the traditional honey cake. Glossary, bibliography, websites and a map noting the sites of each photograph complete this handsome Holidays Around the World edition. (Nonfiction. 4-10)Read full book review >
BABIES by Deborah Heiligman
Released: Sept. 1, 2002

A satisfying introduction to babies from birth to toddler that explores how they grow, what they see and hear, why they look like their parents and more. From the Jump Into Science series, it's especially useful for families expecting a new baby. The brief text provides a surprising amount of detail: "A baby who is only ten days old can already tell the difference between his mother's smell and someone else's." And newborns can't see colors. "So newborns like to look at black-and-white pictures and toys." The author of a number of Let's-Read-And-Find-Out Science titles closes by inviting the young reader to become a "baby scientist," observing the infant and trying some simple experiments. For example, "Open and close your hand. See if the baby imitates you." Cheerful pastel illustrations show baby and family with identical button noses, round ping-pong eyes and a mop of curly brown hair, often framed in colored boarders decorated with baby paraphernalia. Upbeat and fun from beginning to end as the author concludes: "Bye-bye, baby! Hello toddler." (Nonfiction. 4-8)Read full book review >