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It's the hundredth birthday of Isaac Bashevis Singer, (books by this author) born in Leoncin, Poland (1904). He wrote novels and stories about the imps and goblins of Jewish folklore, about childhood in pre-holocaust Warsaw, and about American immigrants. He won the Newbery Honor for his first children's book, Zlateh the Goat and Other Stories (1966), and he won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1978.


In his speech at the Nobel Prize banquet in Sweden in 1978, Singer said there were five hundred reasons he writes for children. He said: "Children read books, not reviews. They don't give a hoot about the critics... . They ... don't read to free themselves of guilt, to quench their thirst for rebellion, or to get rid of alienation... . They ... still believe in God, the family, angels, devils, witches, goblins, logic, clarity, punctuation, and other such obsolete stuff... . They don't expect their beloved writer to redeem humanity. Young as they are, they know that it is not in his power. Only the adults have such childish illusions."