a Black Bear, Pennsylvania story
Sally Wiener Grotta
This book can be downloaded and read in Apple Books on your Mac or iOS device.
A Midwest Book Review Reviewers’ Choice and a ewish Book Council Network book.
As a child, Judith Ormand was the only Jew — and the only Black — in a small insular Pennsylvania mountain village where she was raised by her white Christian grandparents. Now, she must reluctantly break her vow to never return to the town she learned to hate. During her one week visit, she buries and mourns her beloved grandmother, is forced to deal with the white boy who cruelly broke her heart, and is menaced by an old bully who threatens worse. But with her traumatic discovery of a long buried secret, Judith finds more questions than answers about the prejudice that scarred her childhood and defined who she is as a woman.
A free Study Guide for Jo Joe, for book clubs, teachers and other book discussion groups is available from the publisher Pixel Hall Press.
About Black Bear, Pennsylvania
Jo Joeis set in the fictional Pocono Mountains village of Black Bear, Pennsylvania. Black Bear was created as a literary folie à deux by Daniel Grotta and Sally Wiener Grotta. Both Daniel and Sally are dipping into the same pool of invented locale and characters to write a series of separate stories and novels that will eventually paint a full picture of the diversity of life and relationships in a small mountain village. However, every Black Bear story stands alone, as a separate story that doesn’t require knowing anything about the town from previous stories.
The first Black Bear story was Honor a novella by Daniel Grotta. Both Jeff Smith and his curmudgeonly father-in-law AH Engelhardt from Honor, play key roles in Jo Joe. Daniel Grotta’s novel Black Bear One, about the adventures, foibles and complicated relationships of the town’s volunteer ambulance corps, will be the next Black Bear story. Members of the ambulance crew include Jeff Smith from Honor and Joe Anderson and Rabbi David of Jo Joe.