The Jewish ValuesFinder is an online digital guide, devoted exclusively to Jewish books for children and teens. The purpose of the Valuesfinder is to identify the Jewish values found in books written for Jewish kids in English or in translation. The Jewish values expressed or implied in books of Jewish content for children and teens are identified in a database of individual book titles. Subject headings are also given for each title as well as descriptive and bibliographic information. The list of Jewish values was developed by the editor, drawing on numerous sources, both printed and those gained from the experience and advice of colleagues. There are currently about 1500 titles in the ValuesFinder database, with new ones being added constantly.
The ValuesFinder database is searchable using many fields including title, author, subject, values, grade level and more. The website also features award winning books and recommended books.
The Valuesfinder is a selective guide and not every book of Jewish content is included. To be included in this guide, a book must meet the following criteria:
- It is written for children from preschool through high school. Age levels for each book are given: PS (Preschool), PRI (Kindergarten – Grade 2), ELE (Grades 3 – 5), MS(Grades 6 – 8), HS (Grades 9 – 12). The designation ADULT is given when the audience for the book includes adult family.
- It meets recognized standards of literary and artistic quality within a range from outstanding to acceptable. Annotations will point out weaknesses in literary or artistic quality when appropriate.
- It has Jewish content exemplified by character, time, place, or theme, or it was originally written in Hebrew. The Jewish content is presented accurately, authentically, and with sensitivity to Jewish concerns.
- To be fully appreciated by children, it merits introduction by a knowledgeable librarian, teacher, or parent.
- It has potential for use in the curricula of Jewish day schools and supplementary schools in one or more denominations of North American Judaism.
- It is not a textbook.
Linda R. Silver, the editor of the Jewish Valuesfinder, has a Master’s of Library Science from Case Western Reserve University. She is a specialist in Jewish children’s literature, a writer, reviewer, and editor.