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Children's Book Author

Everybody's Book

The Story of the Sarajevo Haggadah
about linda

I have been writing for young people for more than forty years and have published thirteen books and many stories.  My work has been translated into French, Italian, German, and Swedish. 


I'm happy to announce here that my latest picture book, EVERYBODY'S BOOK:  THE STORY OF THE SARAJEVO HAGGADAH, has been named a Junior Library Guild Gold Star Selection.  It is a true story, a book about tolerance, about a haggadah created in 14th century Spain that has survived for centuries, thanks to people of different cultures and religious backgrounds who have valued and protected it.  Kirkus Reviews has deemed it "an unusual selection useful in religious and secular settings alike."


My Books

Numbers Everywhere

A Different Kind of Passover

Drop Everything and Write!

My Books

School Library Journal

"The Sarajevo Haggadah is a stunning 14th-century illuminated manuscript that includes the traditional text used during the Passover Seder, along with elaborate illustrations depicting scenes from the Bible. Strauss traces its miraculous story of survival from the first owners, a Jewish bride and groom in Spain whose descendants were forced to flee from the Spanish Inquisition, to its purchase by the National Museum in Sarajevo, Bosnia in 1894. A Muslim scholar hid the precious book from the Nazis during World War II, and another professor saved it from destruction during the Bosnian War in 1991. It has since been restored and is safe again in the Bosnian National Museum. The sophisticated, textured illustrations use pencil and watercolor to help tell the story of the Haggadah’s journey. Colorful, detailed borders also give readers a sense of the artwork contained within its pages. An author’s note and a contemporary photograph of the Haggadah is appended. VERDICT An important story that illuminates how people of different faiths recognized the value and significance of this manuscript, one of the oldest of its kind in the world, and worked together to keep it safe."

Kirkus Reviews

"One object travels through several countries over centuries.

That object is a haggadah, read at Passover seders. The beautifully illustrated book was a 14th-century Jewish wedding gift. Handed down through generations, it left Spain in the late 15th century, when the Inquisition forced Jews into exile. It was taken to Italy and then Bosnia, but its pages stayed intact even when wine stains and a child’s Hebrew writing marred its appearance. In 1894, the National Museum in Bosnia purchased the book, now known as the Sarajevo Haggadah. People of many faiths—including Catholicism, Christian Orthodoxy, Islam, and Judaism—coexisted in Sarajevo, “sometimes in peace, sometimes quarreling.” When World War II broke out and a Nazi general wanted to steal the haggadah, the curator of the museum, a Muslim scholar, hid the book in his pants and took it to a village, where it was concealed by an imam. After the war, the curator brought the haggadah back to the museum, but other misfortunes befell the book. With colorful, naïve illustrations highlighting different eras, the appealing narrative emphasizes that people of different religions and cultures saved the book, still on view. This tale is based on stories told over the years; throughout, the strong message of the importance of caring for such a rare volume shines through, making this unusual selection useful in religious and secular settings alike."

Contact Linda

I’d love to hear from you! Write to me any time to share your thoughts about my books, to ask questions about writing, to tell me about your writing, or just to say hi! I promise I’ll write back as soon as I can. 

Thanks for getting in touch!

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