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Doctor Esperanto and the Language of Hope
Illustrated by
Zosia Dzierżawska

Candlewick Press

Sydney Taylor Book Award Notable 2020
Magazine Best Jewish Children's Books of 2019

"This delightful story deserves its charming illustrations....This inspiring, overlooked historical figure showed that experimentation isn’t limited to science." Booklist

"Unusual and fascinating" Kirkus Reviews

"This is an inspiring story of determination and hope." School Library Journal

Doctor Esperanto cover

Meet the boy who made up his own language—and brought hope to millions!

Life was harsh in the town of Bialystok, and Leyzer Zamenhof thought he knew why. Russian, Polish, German, Yiddish—with every group speaking a different language, how could people understand each other? Without understanding, how could there be peace?

Zamenhof had an idea: a "universal" second language everyone could speak. But a language that would be easy to learn was not so easy to invent, especially when even his own father stood between him and his dream. Yet when at last in 1887 "Doctor Esperanto" sent his words into the world, a boy's idea became a community that spread across the globe.

Author Mara Rockliff and Polish illustrator Zosia Dzierżawska bring to life the story of Esperanto—the language of hope.

By Mara Rockliff
Illustrated by Zosia Dzierżawska
Picture Book
Candlewick Press, 2019
ISBN 978-0763689155

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Mara Rockliff, children's writerMy booksMeHome