Sonia Levitin

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Sonia Levitin (b. Berlin, August 18, 1934) [1] is a German American novelist, artist, producer, Holocaust Survivor, and author of over forty novels and picture books for young adults and children, as well as several theatrical plays and published essays on various topics for adults.[2]

Her book Incident at Loring Groves (1988) won an Edgar Allan Poe Award.

Early life[edit]

Sonia Levitin was born in Berlin in 1934 under a Nazi controlled Germany. Being of Jewish descent, she managed to escape persecution by traveling with her mother and two sisters to Switzerland. Her father, a prominent clothing designer, escaped to New York City and then to Los Angeles where he would raise Sonia and her sisters.[3] Levitin would later write several novels about struggling as an immigrant in the United States, these include: The Journey to America and Silver Days, a series about a family of German Jewish refugees who flee the horrors of the Holocaust.[4]

Levitin, always an avid reader, attended University of California, Berkeley in 1952 where she would meet her husband, Loyd Levitin. The two married after only one year. She then completed a degree in education from the University of Pennsylvania.[5]


Levitin began as a publicity columnist for several newspapers, but after her first novel Journey to America became an instant classic,[6][7] she began to pick up traction as a professional novelist. Levitin wrote numerous novels for young adults that oftentimes featured semi-autobiographical characters. The most common theme of her writing include courageous main characters faced with difficult challenges, who must "take charge" in order to overcome these obstacles.[8] Her books often describe historical events and tragedies, especially toward Jewish people.[9]


Levitin is also noted as being a talented painter. Her artwork was displayed in June 2015 for the first time to the public.[10] And the inaugural art show, which was curated by Los Angeles event producer Anthony Angelini, took place at Christofle on Melrose Place in Beverly Hills, CA and was attended by several of the Los Angeles elite.[11] The show featured 10 of Levitin's expressionist paintings which were never-before-seen in the public arena.[12]


  • Adam's War
  • All the Cats in the World
  • Annie's Promise
  • Beyond Another Door
  • Boom Town
  • Clem's Chances
  • The Cure
  • Dream Freedom
  • Escape from Egypt
  • Evil Encounter
  • The Fisherman and the Bird (written with Francis Livingston)
  • The Golem and the Dragon Girl
  • The Goodness Gene
  • Incident at Loring Groves
  • Jason and the Money Tree
  • Journey to America
  • The Mark of Conte
  • Nine for California
  • Nobody Stole the Pie
  • The No-Return Trail
  • A Piece of Home
  • Reigning Cats and Dogs
  • The Return
  • Rita, the Weekend Rat
  • Roanoke: A Novel of the Lost Colony
  • Room in the Heart
  • A Season for Unicorns
  • Silver Days
  • The Singing Mountain
  • A Single Speckled Egg
  • Smile Like a Plastic Daisy
  • A Sound to Remember
  • Strange Relations
  • Taking Charge
  • Who Owns the Moon?
  • The Year of Sweet Senior Insanity
  • Yesterday's Child


Levitin has won several awards for her writing including:


  1. ^ Levitin, Sonia. "Biography." Sonia Levitin. Official Website, 2015. Web. 13 May 2015. <>.
  2. ^ "Sonia Levitin: Biography". Author's Official website. Retrieved 24 March 2010. 
  3. ^ Frischer, Rita Berman. "Sonia Levitin." Jewish Women: A Comprehensive Historical Encyclopedia. 1 March 2009. Jewish Women's Archive. (Viewed on May 13, 2015) <>.
  4. ^ "Sonia Levitin". Fantastic Fiction. Retrieved 24 March 2010. 
  5. ^ Frischer. p2.
  6. ^ Drew, Bernard Alger (2002). 100 More Popular Young Adult Authors: Biographical Sketches and Bibliographies. Libraries Unlimited. pp. 181–. ISBN 9781563089206. Retrieved 15 April 2014. 
  7. ^ Frischer, Rita Berman, “Sonia Levitin’s Return” Los Angeles Jewish Journal, January 19–25 (1990).
  8. ^ Levitin, Sonia. Essay in Something About the Author Autobiography Series, Volume 2, Gale (1986): 111–126; and Volume 68 (1993): 130–134.
  9. ^ Sonia Levitin Papers from the de Grummond Collection, McCain Library and Archives, University of Southern Mississippi, Collection No. DG0611, dates 1970–1989.
  10. ^ "Sonia Levitin Exhibits Art." Jewish Journal. N.p., 24 June 2015. Web. 19 July 2015. <>.
  11. ^ Marmel, Rosalind. "Award Winning Author Shows New Talent in Painting."Beverly Hills, California Patch. N.p., 8 June 2015. Web. 10 June 2015. <>.
  12. ^ Tash, Debra. "Sonia Levitin Shows Talent." Citizens Journal. N.p., 30 June 2015. Web. 19 July 2015. <>
  13. ^ Silver (2011-01-01). Best Jewish Books for Children and Teens: A JPS Guide. Jewish Publication Society. pp. 237–. ISBN 9780827611214. Retrieved 15 April 2014. 
  14. ^ In 1976 and in 1994.
  15. ^ Given in 1989 for the novel "The Return", this award was specifically ironic because it is given by the German Bishops' Conference to "the book which best promotes faith and Christian values.” Levitin was the first Jewish author to be recognized by the German Catholic Church and after a painstaking decision, she decided to return to Germany for the first time since the holocaust to accept the prize in person.

External links[edit]