Fiction: “Jo Joe”

Midwest Book Review Reviewer’s Choice
A Jewish Book Council Network book

“Grotta weaves a tale of history and romance, love and grief, Jewish recognition and acceptance… in this enchanting novel” ~ Jewish Book World magazine

"Joe Joe" by Sally Wiener Grotta Click to buy Jo Joe

"Joe Joe" by Sally Wiener Grotta Click to buy Jo Joe

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 enemy. But with her traumatic discovery of a long buried secret, Judith finds more questions than answers about the prejudice that scarred her childhood.

Jo Joe has been gaining popularity as the starting point for open discussions about bias and prejudice, family misunderstandings, forgiveness and diversity. For some examples of programs for book clubs, schools, companies and other organizations that Sally offers on these topics, please go to the Crossing the Tribal Divide page on this site.

“A riveting read. Astute, psychologically believable and moving.” ~ Rabbi Peg Kershenbaum
I read it through in a single sitting…. masterfully developed.” ~ Professor Claire Herschfeld
“Brilliant!… Skillfully woven.” ~ Peter Simpson
“Thought provoking and inspiring.” ~ Margo Crispino Azzarelli
“Storytelling at its Best! This is one of those books that will stay with me for a long time.” ~ Dottie Resnick