ShirleyIconIt’s that time of year again when many of us reflect on the importance of family and friends we hold dear.  But shouldn’t we devote just as much energy to these individuals throughout the year?  As a daughter of Holocaust survivors, I remain acutely aware of the blessings bestowed upon me: first and foremost, my husband, sons, brother and his family, and my cherished three-year-old granddaughter; a nation, though deeply flawed, where I have the rights to freedom, and am only limited by my own choices; a career of teaching and writing, both passions which keep me vital; dear and caring friends; and lastly, but perhaps most importantly, good health to enjoy all of these things.

This year, to demonstrate my love and gratitude for all I have, I have released a new children’s book, ZOEY and the PURPLE ELEPHANT (at Amazon, Barnes & Noble), just in time for Hanukkah and Christmas.  Kudos to Don Bloom, a professional artist and my notable illustrator, whose drawings capture the essence of the book.  The book is a special gift written for my granddaughter, ZOEY, and in memory of my mother, BLIMA, as a portion of the proceeds will be donated to the Alzheimer’s Association.  Did you know the purple elephant is a symbol for Alzheimer’s and reminds us of the strides continually being made to find a cure?  Let’s hope it happens in our lifetime, or at least in Zoey’s.  I sincerely hope she enjoys the book, and that you do as well.—Shirley


About shirleywachtel

Shirley Russak Wachtel is the author of The Story of Blima—A Holocaust Survivor (publ.2005), a novel which recounts the early years of her mother, Betty Weisstuch Russak. The novel s listed as a recommended novel by the New Jersey Commission on Holocaust Education. Wachtel is the author of several children's books, including a series of interactive mysteries, Charlie Wonder, Chef-Detective (2005), which includes several recipes; Brad Sureshot, Coach-Detective (2007) which details basketball skills; and Howie Rocket, World-Traveler-Detective (2009) which has handy foreign language phrases. In The Mellow Light (2009) is her first book of poetry. She is a professor of English at Middlesex County College in New Jersey. In addition, Wachtel is the co-author of Spotlight on Reading (2011), a textbook for college-level students. A mother of three sons, she resides with her husband, Arthur, in East Brunswick, New Jersey. Initially written as a doctoral dissertation for her Doctor of Letters Degree from Drew University, My Mother's Shoes , says Wachtel, is not just the novel of her life, it is the novel of her heart.
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