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Sydney Taylor Notable Books

2009 Silver Monnbeam Award

National Parenting Publications

Honors Award


What the critics say:

[Readers] should find Rebecca’s story compelling and will enjoy the glimpse they’re given into this chapter of immigration history.

—Publisher’s Weekly

A Message from the Author


I feel quite fortunate to have had the opportunity to create Rebecca Rubin for American Girl. When you open the book covers, you’re stepping into a different time in America. Walk around in Rebecca’s high-button shoes and feel what it was like to live in New York City in 1914, and how immigrant families struggled to keep their traditions while adapting to new American ways. Rebecca is part of the many changes that hard-working, caring immigrants brought with them—from silent movies to better working conditions. She dreams of becoming a movie actress while still holding on to the treasured Russian Jewish traditions of her large family. Can she reach her goal? After you read the Rebecca series, be sure to try my Rebecca mystery books, and the time-travel book that lets you choose your own adventures!



The Sound of Applause:

A Rebecca Classic 1


Rebecca Rubin is growing up in the bustling city of New York in 1914. She dreams of being a star on the silver screen, and she can’t wait to sing onstage at school. Then her cousin Ana, from Russia, is assigned to sing with her, and Rebecca panics—what if Ana’s broken English ruins the show? Then, being included in a special plan fills Rebecca with joy—and an act of kindness teaches her the true meaning of the holiday season.

This first volume of Rebecca’s classic stories shows how Rebecca begins to discover her talents.


ISBN 9781609584535

The Newest Rebecca Editions:

Lights, Camera, Rebecca!:

A Rebecca Classic 2


Rebecca is thrilled to spend the day at a real movie studio, and when a super, spectacular opportunity presents itself, she is quick to volunteer! But how will this scene play out? Then, on a visit to Coney Island, Rebecca gets the chance to use her acting skills to lighten the mood in an embarrassing situation—and her climbing skills to rescue someone in a dangerous spot. But a factory tour makes Rebecca believe her skills are needed there, too. How can she help make things better—what part can she play?

This second volume of Rebecca’s classic stories tells how Rebecca uses her talents to act on her beliefs.


ISBN 9781609584542

The Glow of the Spotlight: My Journey with Rebecca


What would it be like if a girl suddenly found herself in Rebecca’s world in 1914? Readers can join Rebecca on adventures to try out for a vaudeville show, put on a musical, or even sneak into a factory to deliver an important message. Their journey back in time can take whatever twists and turns they choose, as they select from a variety of exciting options in this multiple-ending story.


ISBN 9781609584566

Rebecca 3 Book Boxed Set


Girls can enjoy adventures with Rebecca Rubin in this three-book boxed set. They’ll discover what life was like living in a row house in New York City, sharing important traditions with Rebecca’s Russian Jewish family, and participating in a singing performance that ends in a flag-waving surprise. They’ll take a trip to a movie studio to see a scene come together, learn a valuable lesson at an amusement park, and be inspired by a girl who speaks up to make things better. Then they’ll travel back in time with Rebecca in an exciting story that lets them choose what happens next!

The set includes- The Sound of Applause: A Rebecca Classic 1; Lights, Camera, Rebecca!: A Rebecca Classic 2; and The Glow of the Spotlight: My Journey with Rebecca.


ISBN 9781609585051

The Newest Rebecca Editions
The Rebecca Mysteries

The Rebecca Mysteries:

Secrets at Camp Nokomis:

A Rebecca Mystery


When Rebecca heads off to summer camp, she can’t wait to canoe, swim, and make new friends. She loves the shivery tales told around the campfire and seeing stars and fireflies at night, but making friends turns out to be harder than she expected. What secrets is her bunkmate hiding—and why? When pranks get out of hand, and a girl disappears, Rebecca is determined to find out what’s going on at Camp Nokomis.


ISBN: 9781593696573

The Crystal Ball:

A Rebecca Mystery


Rebecca and her neighbor, Mr. Rossi, seem to be having a string of bad luck. When Mr. Rossi is knocked down by a pickpocket and sprains his wrist, Rebecca steps in to care for his pigeons. Mr. Rossi must also hire someone to do his custodial work in the building. But lots of strange things seem to be going on. Is the new assistant a kind helper, or is he too nosy? Then Rebecca discovers a strange black pigeon carrying an eerie message warning Mr. Rossi of danger. Where did the pigeon come from, and what sort of danger is lurking? Mr. Rossi thinks only a visit to a fortune teller will reveal the truth. Rebecca finds that she may be in danger, as well, when she tries to find out whether the fortune teller really can see the future.


ISBN 9781593699482


A Growing Suspicion:

A Rebecca Mystery


Rebecca and Ana are spending spring vacation volunteering at a Japanese garden in Brooklyn. Rebecca is enchanted by the lush landscape of ferns and waterfalls, the exotic orchids, and the gardener’s beautiful wife. Yet everything Rebecca does there turns out wrong. Someone seems determined to damage the garden—and to cast suspicion on her and Ana. Can Rebecca find the real culprit before the girls are banished from the garden for good?


ISBN 9781609583606

The Original Rebecca Books

The Original Illustrated Rebecca Books Series—Limited Availability:

Meet Rebecca


It's 1914 and Rebecca Rubin is a lively nine-year-old girl who longs to be an actress, admired by everyone. But growing up in a family of five children, she usually just feels overlooked-- until she meets dashing cousin Max, the actor. Max tells Rebecca she has talent, although her parents and grandparents don't think proper young ladies should perform. Rebecca stages her own performance, until Bubbie, her stern grandmother, stops the show. What would Bubbie do if she knew what else Rebecca was up to?

Includes an illustrated "Lookng Back" section about Jewish imigration and culture.


ISBN 9781593695200

Rebecca and Ana


At last, Rebecca's cousin, Ana, has made the long journey from Russia to Ellis Island. Ana and her family move into the Rubins' crowded apartment, and Rebecca loves having a "twin sister" of her own. But at school, Ana can't follow the lessons, and when Rebecca tries to help, she gets into trouble. When the teacher tells her to include Ana in a special performance, Rebecca panics-- Ana's broken English will ruin the assembly. How can Rebecca save herself-- and her class-- from embarrassment?

Includes an illustrated "Looking Back" section about urban schools in 1914.


ISBN 9781593695231

Candlelight for Rebecca


Rebecca is troubled when her teacher assigns the class to make Christmas decorations. Rebecca's family is Jewish and doesn't celebrate Christmas, but her teacher says Christmas is a national holiday, celebrated by all Americans. Rebecca knows she is as American as anyone else, but she can't possibly bring a Christmas decoration home to her family. Then on the first night of Hanukkah, Rebecca finds kindness in an unexpected place, and learns the real spirit of the season.

Includes an illustrated "Looking Back" section about Christmas and Hanukkah celebrations in 1914.


ISBN 9781593695255

Rebecca and the Movies


On her tenth birthday, Rebecca can hardly believe it when cousin Max invites her to visit his movie studio. The movie people are glamorous and fascinating, especially the beautiful star, Lily, who takes an interest in Rebecca. Then, in the middle of a scene, the director shouts "Cut!" Suddenly, Rebecca finds herself facing an opportunity she never imagined in her wildest dreams. Does she have the nerve to pull it off? And what would her parents say if they knew?

Includes an illustrated "Looking Back" section about the early days of silent movies.


ISBN 9781593695279

Rebecca to the Rescue


Rebecca is thrilled to spend a day at the Coney Island amusement park with her cousins. If only Papa hadn't put her bossy brother Victor in charge of the tickets for the games and rides. When Victor and some other boys tease Rebecca during a game of skill, she and Ana decide to go off on their own. Then Ana disappears and the Ferris Wheel gets stuck, and the girls get more excitement than they bargained for.

Includes an illustrated "Looking Back" section about Coney Island in 1914.


ISBN 9781593695293

Changes for Rebecca

Rebecca thinks it's a grand idea to play at making a movie with her cousin Ana, but the fun turns sour when gentle Ana plays the role of a cruel factory boss. Later, Rebecca visits the clothing factory where Ana's father and brother work, and she's horrified at the terrible conditions. Yet she also knows that the workers desperately need their jobs. When the factory workers go on strike, Rebecca realizes that it's not enough just to want things to change-- sometimes you have to be willing to speak out for what's right-- even if that means marching straight into danger.

Includes an illustrated "Looking Back" section about the labor movement in Rebecca's time.


ISBN 9781593695316

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