Jewish Encounter in Black Hills of South Dakota

February 03, 2006 (PRLEAP.COM) Business News
"Paha Sapa: Black Hills" is an engaging new story for young readers written by writer & director Gladys Bensimon, and novelist Sheila Martin Berry. Eleven-year-old Sarah Levy was a city girl, a Brooklyn girl perfectly happy growing up in the bustling 1920’s world of Brooklyn, and she could not imagine a better place to live. A grandparent’s death, however, changes her life in a flash and she finds herself and her family across the country to a starkly different land and lifestyle in South Dakota. Moving into their newly inherited ranch, her parents patiently uncover the secrets of the land, but Sarah uncovers a terrifying secret from the past.

A mysterious Indian friend, Wicincala, brings her visions of the past, horrific dreams and hallucinations in which she witnesses the massacre of an entire tribe of Lakota Indians. Sarah has to unveil the truth that ultimately will take her back to Brooklyn. Fighting unusual birds, blizzards, bullies, and the wishes of her parents, Sarah embarks on a mystical adventure into the Black Hills that unites the entire community, and changes her life forever.

Paha Sapa: Black Hills is now available nationwide at Barnes and,, Borders and other bookstores

Authors Gladys Bensimon and Sheila Berry were initially brought together by their shared interest in issues of social justice. As they discussed projects and read each other’s work, they discovered that like peanut butter and jelly – Gladys writes screenplays and Sheila writes books – their separate talents would be enhanced when joined together. Paha Sapa: The Black Hills was written first as a screenplay by Ms. Bensimon, and is the latest of their several joint projects.

Gladys Bensimon is a writer, filmmaker, and current President of HBR Production Company. Working across a wide range of genres, from educational to animation, she wrote and directed the irreverent feature film "Man in Red" and won several awards for the gritty documentaries "Domestic Violence: The Legal Process," "Roll Call," and "The Silent Victims Speak." In addition to Paha Sapa: The Black Hills, Gladys Bensimon’s newest adventure is the six-minute comedy “The Men’s Room” selected for several festivals, including the NY IFP. Canal Plus also screened this animated satire at the opening of the 2005Cannes Film Festival.

Sheila Martin Berry has written both fiction and non-fiction books, including The Spy Who Never Was (Hearst Publishing, 1982), Getting Ready for Court (Civil Edition) (Kids Kourt Publications, 1995; Sage Publications, 2000), My Name Is Legion (Archer Books, 1999) and Who Killed Sarah? (Public Eye Publications, 2005). She also writes law review articles and is director of Truth in Justice, an educational, not-for-profit organization that deals with miscarriages of justice.