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A Bridge of Children's Books: The Inspiring Autobiography of a Remarkable Woman

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The story of Jella Lepman, who returned to her native Germany after World War II to become Adviser on the Cultural and Educational Needs of Women and Children in the American Zone. She soon decided that what children needed was to see a world of the imagination, beyond their landscape of bombed-out buildings and military vehicles. She went on to found the International You The story of Jella Lepman, who returned to her native Germany after World War II to become Adviser on the Cultural and Educational Needs of Women and Children in the American Zone. She soon decided that what children needed was to see a world of the imagination, beyond their landscape of bombed-out buildings and military vehicles. She went on to found the International Youth Library."


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The story of Jella Lepman, who returned to her native Germany after World War II to become Adviser on the Cultural and Educational Needs of Women and Children in the American Zone. She soon decided that what children needed was to see a world of the imagination, beyond their landscape of bombed-out buildings and military vehicles. She went on to found the International You The story of Jella Lepman, who returned to her native Germany after World War II to become Adviser on the Cultural and Educational Needs of Women and Children in the American Zone. She soon decided that what children needed was to see a world of the imagination, beyond their landscape of bombed-out buildings and military vehicles. She went on to found the International Youth Library."

30 review for A Bridge of Children's Books: The Inspiring Autobiography of a Remarkable Woman

  1. 4 out of 5

    Katherine

    Review below written in 2008 for a college course. Jella Lepman fled to the West to escape the horror of WWII Germany. After the war, she was asked to return to Germany to "re-educate" the German women and children. The actions she would take from that point on led her to form the first International Youth Library (IYL) and the International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY). This autobiography chronicles those days, weeks, months and years as she toiled away to make Germany a good place for Review below written in 2008 for a college course. Jella Lepman fled to the West to escape the horror of WWII Germany. After the war, she was asked to return to Germany to "re-educate" the German women and children. The actions she would take from that point on led her to form the first International Youth Library (IYL) and the International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY). This autobiography chronicles those days, weeks, months and years as she toiled away to make Germany a good place for children to learn and grow. Some of the opportunities Lepman took advantage of were of seemingly divine intervention; the "coincidental" meetings of Lepman with powerful and generous people who from that point on obliged her every need are too numerous to mention. 2019 note: I still feel inspired by Jella's story and work. She's certainly one of my librarian heroes. If you are a children's librarian or think you might want to be one you should read Jella Lepman's story. It will inspire you and remind you of how important your work is as well.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Lessie Dingler

    Jella Lepman shows that one of the ways to rise from the ashes of WWII is to use children's books as a tools for spreading kindness.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Jamie

    After making her home in England for several years, Mrs. Lepman returned to Germany after World War II to work for the American occupation on women’s and children’s issues. There, she conceived the idea of first an exhibition and then a permanent International Youth Library, barreling ahead with the scantiest of official permission and often no money at all. The narrative structure of the book is not as easy to follow as I’m used to, but the evocation of the time and place is quite moving, and h After making her home in England for several years, Mrs. Lepman returned to Germany after World War II to work for the American occupation on women’s and children’s issues. There, she conceived the idea of first an exhibition and then a permanent International Youth Library, barreling ahead with the scantiest of official permission and often no money at all. The narrative structure of the book is not as easy to follow as I’m used to, but the evocation of the time and place is quite moving, and her enthusiasm for children’s books is catching. Her mention of conflicts with more traditional librarians is interesting to scholars of library history; the IYL looks very much like our current idea of a proper library for children, but it’s easy to forget what a radical idea it was then.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Junko

    Jella Lepman tells her story of having left Nazi Germany in the 1930s, but having returned after the end of WWII to be "Adviser for Cultural and Educational Needs of Women and Children." Her belief in books as "ambassadors of peace" led her to establish the International Youth Library in Munich, the largest and oldest collection of children's books from around the world. She also founded the International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY), the largest international organization of children' Jella Lepman tells her story of having left Nazi Germany in the 1930s, but having returned after the end of WWII to be "Adviser for Cultural and Educational Needs of Women and Children." Her belief in books as "ambassadors of peace" led her to establish the International Youth Library in Munich, the largest and oldest collection of children's books from around the world. She also founded the International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY), the largest international organization of children's book advocacy. I found her story inspirational, and it challenges me to think about how I can make my own contributions to the causes in which I believe and support.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Stacy Slater

    Jella Lepman was indeed a remarkable woman. Her determination to ensure that literature would be used to further peace and understanding among the children of many countries touched many lives -- not all of them children. She also peppers her story with humor and interesting anecdotes about prominent people of the post World War II era. The style of this book seems somewhat dated and some cultural references are sometimes stereotypical, which probably makes it of greater interest to a specialized Jella Lepman was indeed a remarkable woman. Her determination to ensure that literature would be used to further peace and understanding among the children of many countries touched many lives -- not all of them children. She also peppers her story with humor and interesting anecdotes about prominent people of the post World War II era. The style of this book seems somewhat dated and some cultural references are sometimes stereotypical, which probably makes it of greater interest to a specialized audience of educators and librarians than the general public.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Rivka Varnai

    This is a fascinating autobiography of Jella Lepman, who left Germany to escape the Nazis in 1930. She returns to Germany after World War 2 as "Advisor on the Cultural and Educational Needs of Women and Children". Jella founded the International Youth Library in Munich. I love the personal viewpoint in the way that the autobiography is written. The black and white pictures add a lot to the tone of the book. I was inspired to read about how one woman accomplished so much for children and internat This is a fascinating autobiography of Jella Lepman, who left Germany to escape the Nazis in 1930. She returns to Germany after World War 2 as "Advisor on the Cultural and Educational Needs of Women and Children". Jella founded the International Youth Library in Munich. I love the personal viewpoint in the way that the autobiography is written. The black and white pictures add a lot to the tone of the book. I was inspired to read about how one woman accomplished so much for children and international literature around the world.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Amy Stipp

    Jella Lepman, a missionary of children’s books, she is. It was nice to be invited into the story of her life’s work and see how she overcame international barriers. She responded to the world's crisis state as a doctor with the medicine of books. She wanted all nations marching united with her in this quest to see the prescription of books fulfilled. She wouldn’t take no for an answer. She believed in the miracle-working wonder of Children’s book, to banish evil spirits and unify countries.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Nicoll Blomquist

    Jella Lepman is a remarkable woman. Her passion for children, literature, and internationalism has led to many noteworthy organizations. This strong woman established the International Youth Library in Munich, Germany as well as the International Board on Books for Young People. This autobiography, A Bridge of Children’s Books follows Jella as she goes back to Germany after fleeing the Nazis. The reader discovers the hardships of a country that was reduced to rubble and discovers how Jella was a Jella Lepman is a remarkable woman. Her passion for children, literature, and internationalism has led to many noteworthy organizations. This strong woman established the International Youth Library in Munich, Germany as well as the International Board on Books for Young People. This autobiography, A Bridge of Children’s Books follows Jella as she goes back to Germany after fleeing the Nazis. The reader discovers the hardships of a country that was reduced to rubble and discovers how Jella was able to help the children of Germany discover books from around the world.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Amanda

    Inspiring

  10. 5 out of 5

    Newsurfiegirl

    What an incredible journey! An inspiring story and what determination Jella Lepman shows!

  11. 5 out of 5

    Neda

    It's not possible to praise Jella Lepman by words. What she has done for the whole world & generations is unforgettable. In this book, we'll learn a bit of her difficulties but a great deal of her perseverance and good will. After the ruins of the Nazis in Germany, she starts inspiring people and promoting peace by investing on children and their literature. The idea of founding the first International Youth Library in Germany is the beginning. I also admired this idea of hers that such a librar It's not possible to praise Jella Lepman by words. What she has done for the whole world & generations is unforgettable. In this book, we'll learn a bit of her difficulties but a great deal of her perseverance and good will. After the ruins of the Nazis in Germany, she starts inspiring people and promoting peace by investing on children and their literature. The idea of founding the first International Youth Library in Germany is the beginning. I also admired this idea of hers that such a library should definitely be built in nowhere else but Germany. She was German herself & could feel how the next generation needs help to find themselves and wash their minds clear of war and its aftermath. So she did her best and was successful in founding the world's biggest Children's Literature library in Munich. This is the palace of books, where you can find peace and quiet to read as many books as you possibly can and kindhearted staff helping you with primary and secondary sources in Children's Literature. I just wish we had more Jella Lepmans in the world.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Kelly

    Originally published in 1964 in Germany as Die Kinderbuchbrücke. Translated into English in 1969 by Edith McCormick.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Frances

  14. 4 out of 5

    Katie Fries

  15. 5 out of 5

    GatheringBooks

  16. 4 out of 5

    Nichole

  17. 4 out of 5

    Loretta Lynn

  18. 4 out of 5

    Bill

  19. 5 out of 5

    Shannon

  20. 5 out of 5

    Katie

  21. 4 out of 5

    Nupur Jain

  22. 5 out of 5

    Kathy Stinson

  23. 5 out of 5

    Nancy

  24. 4 out of 5

    Nakisa

  25. 5 out of 5

    Melissa

  26. 5 out of 5

    Jenny Schwartzberg

  27. 4 out of 5

    Andrea Merelo

  28. 4 out of 5

    Karen Stern

  29. 4 out of 5

    Kate

  30. 5 out of 5

    Livia

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