Jo Joe

A Black Bear, Pennsylvania novel by Sally Wiener Grotta


"Thought provoking and inspiring." – Margo Crispino Azzarelli
" I couldn't stop reading - I needed to know how it ended." – Bonnie Fladung
"A riveting read. Astute, psychologically believable and moving." – Rabbi Peg Kershenbaum
“I read it through in a single sitting.... masterfully developed.” – Professor Claire Herschfeld

Jo Joe is a mystery of the heart about Judith Ormond, a young mixed race Jewish woman. Seventeen years earlier, violence and hatred had driven her away from the small Pocono Mountains village where she was raised by her white Christian grandparents. Now,with the death of her beloved grandmother, she must reluctantly break her vow to never return to the town she learned to hate. During the one week visit, she’s forced to deal with the white boy who cruelly broke her heart and is menaced by an old enemy who threatens new brutalities. But with her traumatic discovery of a long-buried secret, Judith finds more questions than answers about the bigotry that scarred her childhood.

Now available from all online and brick-and-mortar bookstores, including Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Apple iBooks, and an independent store near you.

312 pages
Hardbound $29.95 (ISBN: 978-0-9883871-4-0)
Paperback $17.95 (ISBN: 978-0-9883871-1-9)
eBook $3.99 (ISBN: 978-0-9883871-5-7)
Category: Fiction, Adult, Jewish, African-American, Christian
Pixel Hall Press

To read Sally Wiener Grotta’s essay about how memory becomes personal mythology, which is one of the themes of Jo Joe, please go to her blog post Malleable Memory.


About Black Bear, Pennsylvania


Jo Joe is set in the fictional Pocono Mountains village of Black Bear, Pennsylvania. Black Bear was created as a literary folie à deux by Sally Wiener Grotta and her husband Daniel Grotta. Both Sally and Daniel are dipping into the same pool of invented locale and characters to write a series of separate stories and novels that will, eventually, paint a full picture of the diversity of life and relationships in a small mountain village. The first Black Bear story was Honor, a novella by Daniel Grotta.