Another entry in the golem-themed kids’ literature canon, B.U.G. addresses the always timely and supremely important issue of bullying in schools. Sammy Greenburg has been bullied by a gang of thugs for years, and shortly before his bar mitzvah, he learns about the golem, a legendary giant created to save a community of Jews in the sixteenth century, about whom many folk tales have been written and much lore has been told. Sammy decides to create his own golem to protect himself and a friend from the gang and the lessons he learns from the events which ensue are more powerful than he could possibly have imagined.
This is a story about friendship, growth, pride and confidence and it is packed with action and humor. It is also filled with music as Sammy and his friends write songs for their Klezmer fusion band and the wonderful lyrics are all included. Sammy styles himself “Word-Man” and loves to use sophisticated vocabulary words, exposing the readers in a fun and subtle fashion to a rich word palette.
This is a fun book with a solid message lightly told and is recommended for ages 9 – 12.
Michal Hoschander Malen is the editor of Jewish Book Council’s young adult and children’s book reviews. She has lectured on a variety of topics relating to children and books and her greatest joy is reading to her grandchildren on both sides of the ocean. Michal lives in Great Neck, NY and Efrat, Israel.