Pre-fest  |   Sa Nov 25 Opening   |   Su Nov 26   |   Mo Nov 27   |   Tu Nov 28   |   We Nov 29   |   Th Nov 30

Tuesday November 28  |  9:00-10:00am
DAN BAR-EL / It’s Great Being a Dad             
Illustrated by GINA PERRY

A gang of mythical creatures is roaming around a magical land having a great time, until Bigfoot gets his foot stuck in a tree trunk, Unicorn gets her horn impaled on a table and Robot’s saw-arm gets rusted into position. But have no fear! Dad is there to fix things--even when a Sneaky Flying Alligator Pirate steals the Fairy Queen Ballerina Doctor’s wand. A hilarious story about imagination and the best parts about being a dad.

Vancouver’s DAN BAR-EL is an award-winning children’s author, educator, and storyteller. His writing includes chapter books, picture books, and, most recently, a graphic novel. He travels around the country visiting schools and libraries to tell stories and lead workshops.

The PJ Library supports families in their Jewish journey by sending them monthly, a free Jewish-content children’s book. The PJ library is a Jewish Federation of Greater Vancouver sponsored program



Tuesday November 28  |  6:00-7:30pm
GAVRIEL SAVIT / Anna and the Swallow Man   
in conversation


When her father is taken in the purge of intellectuals from Krakow in 1939, seven-year-old Anna is left alone in a city with little kindness to spare. And then she meets the Swallow Man. He is a mystery: strange and tall, a skilled deceiver with more than a little magic up his sleeve, and when the soldiers in the street look at him they see what he wants them to see. When he summons a bright beautiful swallow down to his hand to stop her from crying, Anna is entranced. She follows him into the wilderness. Over the course of their travels together, going away rather than toward anything, Anna and the Swallow Man will dodge bombs, tame soldiers and even, despite their better judgement, make a friend. But in a world gone mad with war, everything can prove dangerous. Even the Swallow Man.  

Written as a Young Adult novel, it is a truly ageless book “which should be read by anyone and everyone old enough to cook dinner unsupervised.” Part fairy tale, part magical realism, and part psycho-social exploration of what it may mean to grow up surrounded by horror, this short novel cannot be contained within its pages. An exquisitely haunting narrative written in prose that dances, Gavriel Savit’s debut will take your breath away.

GAVRIEL SAVIT is an actor and writer who has performed worldwide. Anna and the Swallow Man is his first novel. It won the Sydney Taylor Honor Book for Teen Readers award, and was optioned for film.

Tuesday November 28  |  8:00pm (doors open at 7:15)  
RACHEL KADISH / The Weight of Ink
in conversation with SHAENA LAMBERT


or by phone 604-257-5111   |   $18

“The best kind of quest novel...full of suspense, surprises and characters we care passionately about.”

Set in London of the 1660s and of the early twenty-first century, The Weight of Ink is the interwoven tale of two women of remarkable intellect: Ester Velasquez, an emigrant from Amsterdam who is permitted to scribe for a blind rabbi, just before the plague hits the city; and Helen Watt, an ailing historian with a love of Jewish history.

As the novel opens, Helen has been summoned by a former student to view a cache of 17th-century Jewish documents newly discovered in his home during a renovation. Enlisting the help of Aaron Levy, an American graduate student as impatient as he is charming, and in a race with another fast-moving team of historians, Helen embarks on one last project: to determine the identity of the documents’ scribe, the elusive “Aleph”.

Electrifying and ambitious, The Weight of Ink is a sophisticated work of historical fiction about women separated by centuries, and the choices and sacrifices they must make to reconcile the life of the heart and mind.

Just imagine a group of book lovers, sitting together with the writer, hearing the story behind the story. We provide the venue, the author, the host and the nosh - you provide the discussion and can add the wine! Purchase your tickets in advance and we’ll reserve a table for you and your friends. Whether your book club has only one member (you), or fifteen, everyone is welcome. The Festival’s popular annual Book Club event is sure to spice up your literary season!

You can order The Weight of Ink  from the Jewish Book Festival at a 25% discount by calling 604.257.5111. Pick up at the JCC from October 16.

RACHEL KADISH is the award-winning author of the novels From a Sealed Room and Tolstoy Lied: A Love Story. Her work has appeared on NPR and in the New York Times online, Ploughshares, and Tin House.

SHAENA LAMBERT is the award-winning author of Oh, My Darling, Radiance and The Falling Woman.