Ferber, Brenda A. 1967-
Ferber, Brenda A. 1967-
Born April 23, 1967; daughter of a doctor and an artist; married; husband's name Alan; children: Jacob, Faith, Sammy. Education: University of Michigan, earned degree. Hobbies and other interests: Spending time with family and friends, scrap booking, baking, yoga, karate.
Home and office—Deerfield, IL. E-mail—[email protected]
Author. Formerly worked for Leo Burnett advertising agency.
Sydney Taylor Award, Association of Jewish Libraries, Bank Street College of Education Best Children's Book of the Year designation, both 2007, both for Julia's Kitchen.
Julia's Kitchen, Farrar, Straus (New York, NY), 2006.
Jemma Hartman, Camper Extraordinaire, Farrar, Straus (New York, NY), 2009.
Brenda A. Ferber dreamed of becoming a writer as a young girl, inspired by reading books by Judy Blume. As she commented on her home page, "Judy captured my heart and soul in the pages of her books. I decided right then to become a children's book author, too."
Ferber's dreams of becoming a writer fell to the wayside as she got older, then reestablished themselves when she had children of her own. "Being around kids and books reignited my old writing fantasy," she recalled. She began her writing career by submitting stories to Ladybug magazine, and then approached publishing houses with her manuscripts. In 2004 Ferber won the Sydney Taylor Manuscript Competition for her draft of Julia's Kitchen, and the novel was published by Farrar, Straus & Giroux in 2006.
Julia's Kitchen centers on eleven-year-old Cara, whose world is turned upside down when she tragically loses her mother and sister in a house fire. Mourning the loss, Cara begins to question her spirituality and her faith in God. The preteen learns to slowly regain her faith, however, when she re-establishes her mother's at-home catering business. A Kirkus Reviews critic noted that while Julia's Kitchen touches on the subject of faith, it is "more spiritual than religious in tone, … the emotions are real, the protagonist empathetic and the resolution [is] believeable." In a similar vein, Nanny Kim wrote in her Booklist review of Julia's Kitchen that the "major themes about grief and healing are beautifully addressed in [Ferber's] … strong debut novel."
Biographical and Critical Sources
Booklist, February 1, 2006, Nancy Kim, review of Julia's Kitchen, p. 47.
Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, May, 2006, Deborah Stevenson, review of Julia's Kitchen, p. 399.
Kirkus Reviews, April 1, 2006, review of Julia's Kitchen, p. 346.
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Library Media Connection, January, 2007, Michelle Glatt, review of Julia's Kitchen, p. 73.
School Library Journal, April, 2006, Susan Scheps, review of Julia's Kitchen, p. 138.
Voice of Youth Advocates, February, 2007, review of Julia's Kitchen, p. 487.
Washington Post Book World, July 9, 2006, Elizabeth Ward, review of Julia's Kitchen, p. 11.
Brenda A. Ferber Home Page,http://www.brendaferber.com (October 28, 2007).
Cynthia Leitich Smith Web site,http://cynthialeitichsmith.blogspot.com/ (October 28, 2007), "Brenda Ferber."