Born and raised in New York City, Bonnie J. Gordon is a graduate of the Iowa Writers' Workshop and Bennington College writing programs. She has worked as a foreign correspondent for The Hollywood Reporter, a freelance writer/editor for such clients as the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science, a translator and English-language producer for DW-TV (Germany's version of the BBC World Service) and a performing songwriter in Germany, England and the U.S.A. Gordon currently lives in Shaker Heights, Ohio. She is the self-published author of ESCAPE FROM GOSHEN, a tweener novel that reimagines the Exodus story from the point of view of 12 year-old Israelite twins about to become slaves to Pharaoh. Currently, she teaches at the Laurel School and Anshe Chesed Fairmount Temple near Cleveland.
The genre I tend to work in is often called "Biblical Fiction," but as far as I have been able to determine there are almost no novels for middle-graders in this category. Escape From Goshen could be characterized as The Red Tent meets The Magic Tree House.
In EFG I've taken the radical historical perspective of Anita Diamant on biblical narrative and applied it to non-biblical characters a la Mary Pope Osborne, including Osborne's breakneck pace.
I have also written a picture book in this genre called King David's Wrong Notes. Although it incorporates magical Talmudic stories about angels, the Tree of Life and unfurled banners that show parades of history, it also tries to take a realistic perspective on biblical events by thematizing the adolescent David's ambivalent relationship with his father Jesse.
Finally, I've written another tweener novel, a contemporary coming-of-age story about a fifth grader who discovers his passion for piano and exploring the traditional Judaism his secular mother and "lapsed" Orthodox father have utterly neglected in his upbringing. It's titled Grandnanny's Candlesticks and has been submitted for the 2012 Sydney Taylor Manuscript Prize of the Jewish Librarians' Association.
Currently I am working on a sequel to Escape From Goshen that takes my 12 year-old Israelite twins Leah and Jacob, who made it across the Red Sea at the climax of the first book, to Mt. Sinai to receive the Ten Commandments. This novel is based on the theories of Sir Colin Humphreys, whose work on the route of the Exodus has been covered by the BBC. Tentatively titled Trek to Sinai, it is planned as the second in a sequence of novels I am calling The Promised Land Trilogy.
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