Why We Chose This Book: Until The Blueberries Grow


A child and an old man looking at each other


In May 2019, PJ Library's Book Selection Committee accepted for use in our program a manuscript called Until the Blueberries Grow, and PJ Publishing (PJ Library's in-house publishing arm) saw so much to recommend in author Jennifer Wolf Kam's story that they took on the project for publication. Jennifer's text about the relationship between a young boy and his great-grandfather was genuine and heartwarming. In the story, Zayde has recognized that he's no longer comfortable living alone in his large home, but this is a reality Ben isn't ready to accept.

Seasons pass, marked by the familiarity and celebration of Jewish holidays, as Ben convinces his great-grandfather to postpone selling his house, something that they both know must happen. Happily, Zayde's eventual move to a senior living facility turns out to be better than either he or Ben might have expected, and the most important aspects of their relationship remain unchanged. Whether or not readers have experienced the sometimes-difficult, inevitable changes that accompany the aging of a loved one, they are bound to find hope and reassurance in this gentle story of unconditional intergenerational love. Sally Walker's sweet, expressive illustrations add depth and feeling to this beautiful story that's both very Jewish and universal.