Jo Joe – A Black Bear, Pennsylvania Story

Jo Joe
312 Pages
ISBN 978-0-9883871-1-9

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

A compelling, beautifully crafted story, with richly drawn, intriguing characters.

A Reviewer's Choice in the Midwest Book Review.

A Jewish Book Council Network book.

As a child, Judith Ormand was the only Black — and the only Jew — 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.

"A riveting read. Astute, psychologically believable and moving." – Rabbi Peg Kershenbaum

“I read it through in a single sitting.... masterfully developed.” – Professor Claire Herschfeld

Sally Wiener Grotta

About Sally Wiener Grotta (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Author)

Sally Wiener Grotta

Sally Wiener Grotta ( is a full-time award-winning freelance writer, photographer and speaker. Among her numerous books are the novels The Winter Boy (a 2015 Locus Award nominee, which the “Seattle Post-Intelligencer calls, “…a great book… in the ‘must read’ category for anyone who enjoys a cultural fantasy.”) and Jo Joe (selected as a Jewish Book Council Network book and a Reviewer’s Choice by the Midwest Book Review).

Sally's novels are recognized for being dynamic and beautifully crafted, as well as for stimulating meaningful discussions about important social and political issues, such as mistrust, modern tribalism, family misunderstanding, and the nature of bias and prejudice. A popular speaker who has appeared in venues large and small throughout North America, as well as on radio and TV, Sally uses creativity and storytelling to help build bridges in our increasingly divisive society. She is happy to speak with book discussion groups, sometimes in person, more often via Skype or Zoom. Book Study Guides are available.

Sally has traveled on assignment throughout the world to all the continents (including three trips to Antarctic), plus many exotic islands (such as Papua New Guinea and Madagascar), covering a wide diversity of cultures and traditions. Her far-ranging experiences flavor her stories and presentations with a sense of wonder and otherliness, plus a healthy dose of common sense. Her hundreds of stories, columns, essays and reviews have appeared in scores of magazines, newspapers and journals, such as American Heritage, Popular Science, North Atlantic Review, Islands, PC Magazine, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Woman's Day, Parade and many others

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