talking to kids about the election

by marjorieingall on November 9, 2016

How do those of us who believe in multiculturalism, diversity and tolerance explain the results of yesterday’s presidential election to kids? I keep thinking back to everything I’ve learned over the years about what makes for effective Holocaust education: Don’t minimize, but don’t traumatize. Don’t lie. Be developmentally appropriate, but offer hope and emphasize the actions of helpers.

Some specifics for right now:

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link roundup!

by marjorieingall on October 28, 2016

Using children’s books to explain the refugee crisis to kids (this piece triggered hate mail and nasty social media comments from both the left AND the right — both sides think I am a patsy and a dipshit, which is not news). Also, here’s a piece about a shul that built a Sukkah as a metaphor for the refugee crisis.

Photo by Eric Petschek

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by marjorieingall on October 18, 2016

Long ago, before we argued over whether pumpkin spice was basic or maligned, we used to fight about whether candy corn was yummy or gross. Nostalgic for those more innocent days, I went looking for an important feature I wrote about candy corn a billion years ago (like, ’97?) for a long-dead culinary site called CuisineNet. CuisineNet is gone, lost in the ether of early cyberspace, roadkill on the infobahn. But my candy corn story lives on, in a homework assignment for middle-school students in the West Linn-Wilsonville School District of south metropolitan Portland, OR. Some enterprising teacher or administrator must have seen a wonderful opportunity to not pay me. Now poor Oregonian children have to read my vintage musings on candy corn deliciousness (involving the phrase “delicately work your way down the niblet shaft,” which should not be read by middle-school students, or anyone, really), as well as candy corn history and statistics. Then the children have to answer multiple-choice questions about candy corn and write an essay on “the impact retailers have had on the rising amount of candy consumed during the Halloween season.” (I am unsure about what I would write for this topic? Which is apparently based on my own reporting?) Anyway, you can take the quiz. I don’t know what the answers say about you or what Hogwarts house you should be in.  [click to continue…]

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happy new year

by marjorieingall on October 6, 2016

Shana tova, for those who swing that way!

So what’s news? There is a new children’s book called Shmelf the Hanukkah Elf. I hated it like an eggnog latte.

Shmelf the Hanukkah Elf

I was a guest on the Unorthodox podcast, talking about the year’s best and worst apologies.

You should buy a fragrance from Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab, the Lovecraftian cult alchemist, to support the First Amendment Banned. Books Week natterings are here.

A Fox News personality did racist stuff and then issued a crappy “I regret” non-apology.

In Mamaleh Knows Best book news, check out this smart piece in the Chicago Tribune and gaze upon my tattoo-free arms in The Times of Israel.


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new Jewy picture book biographies, and more

by marjorieingall on September 24, 2016


81bzhfyttxlHey, you should totally buy this picture book biography about Leonard Nimoy and this one about Ruth Bader Ginsburg for the kids and cool grownups in your life.

Please read this essay about me being a rabble-rousing trouble-fomenting tiny feminist Jewess in Jewish Day School. It explains much.

And yay, Drag Queen Story Hour comes to NYC!

In book promo news, here’s a piece in Quartz about some non-clingy non-neurotic non-frootbat Jewish mothers in history you should know about; here’s an interview with me in New York Family magazine; and here’s a review in Jewish Journal that calls me “Nora Ephron meets child psychologist Wendy Mogel” (YAAAAS) and calls the book “wise,” “funny” and “a fun and rewarding read.” Critic Lisa Silverman also reviews the Leonard Nimoy picture book in this column, and liked it nearly as much as I did, so she’s OBVIOUSLY trustworthy.

In SorryWatch news: Kathie Lee and Hoda are smart about apologies (I KNOW) and VOYA Magazine takes criticism from the LGBT community and allies by going absolutely, terrifyingly, viciously apeshit, issuing a series of crap apologies, and devoting renewed focus to going apeshit all over social media some more.


i love Real Simple

by marjorieingall on September 7, 2016

Here’s Mamaleh in 7 Non-Fiction Books to Read Right Now:

If you’re a parent—even one who gave birth before the really cool strollers were invented—you’ll find infinite insight, brilliant advice, and plenty of laughter here. Ingall performs a high-wire act, blending history, personal anecdotes, theology, and high and low culture to illustrate strategies for raising children who are both accomplished and kind. She discusses the importance of humor, a healthy distrust of authority, nurturing a love of storytelling and literacy, celebrating geekiness, and more. This is more than a parenting book. It’s a guide for living. It asks hard questions like “Who do you want to be?” and “Who do you want your child to be?” while keeping you smiling—and occasionally laughing out loud—as you read. 


Mamaleh appearances on the calendar

by marjorieingall on September 6, 2016

FYI! Cities and dates below. [click to continue…]

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by marjorieingall on September 4, 2016

RugelachStarred review for Mamaleh Knows Best in Shelf-Awareness, a publication that I’m addicted to. (I get both the regular-people newsletter AND the professional newsletter and DEVOUR THEM LIKE NUT-FREE RUGELACH.) More reviews and excerpts (aka tiresome self-promotion) below the cut. Sorry. [click to continue…]



by marjorieingall on August 23, 2016

Mamaleh Knows Best got a fab review in the New York Times. (It’s online now, will be in print in the August 28th issue of the Book Review.) Jennifer Bleyer, founding editor of Heeb, wrote such a sparky, snappy assessment. LET ME BUY YOU ALL THE COCKTAILS, JENNIFER BLEYER.

In non-me-related news, check out this superb public service project for Teens, PopUp for Change.


A wise bestselling author friend, one Ms. Gayle Forman, informed me that “checking one’s Amazon rank” is to “author” as “reading the comments” is to “journalist.” Gayle is right about everything except raisins in cookies, so please do not talk to me about my Amazon ranking or sales. (But feel free to tell me I am #1 in “Women Who Have Slavishly Copied Susan Sontag’s Hairstyle,” which I already knew.)

Also, before Gayle made me stop looking a few days ago, I noticed that Mamaleh was #225 in “Judaism.” I sent my mom a note saying SUCK IT VIKTOR FRANKL, COMING FOR YOU and she wrote back “Yeah but you haven’t got concentration camp on your CV” which I frankly found very hurtful. The book dropped to #585 the next day. I’m not sure what the moral of this story is.

ANYHOO. What have I been up to? Here is a piece on about how Jewish camps are welcoming LGBTQ kids, and how they’re not. I contacted maybe 60 camps; 12 were willing to speak on the record. (FWIW, I wrote like a serious person for that, not the way I write on this blog.) Also I did a quick story on the Jewish history of cupping (there’s a Yiddish saying, “Es vet helfn vi a toytn bankes” — “that’s as helpful as cupping a corpse”), informed by my own history as the spa columnist (shut up, it was too a job) at Fit Magazine back in the day. I did it all: Tui na, shirodhara, sawdust bath, blasted with a hose like a refugee from a  ladies’ prison porno, color/light/aura therapy, manuka tapping, Reiki, lomi lomi, watsu, lymphatic drainage, salt cave, Endermologie, iridology, jamu, qigong, Tibetan singing bowls. And I really liked cupping, for what it’s worth. Dunno whether it works, or why. But as I said in the Tablet piece, do not dismiss the efficacy of the placebo effect. (This paragraph really gave spellcheck a workout, btw.)

I have been SorryWatching like a fiend: From most recent to most vintage, we’ve got a superlative apology for taco-related shenanigans from Autostraddle; a very good apology from Riley who chased Ciara with a booger; a crappy apology from The Daily Beast after it ran a homophobic, dangerous story; a too-right, bonza, grouse apology (I googled “Australian slang for excellent”) from an Australian Today Show presenter who’d said something transphobic on air; and an evolving apology story over at the DNC, post-hack.

FINALLY: I was interviewed for Kveller about Mamaleh Knows Best by the delightful Carla Naumberg, Ph.D., and if you click that link be forewarned that you will be greeted by a GIANT HONKING CLOSEUP OF MY FACE, which is NOT AT ALL JARRING IN ANY WAY. #blessed


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