Hoopla Under the Hup­pah: (YaYa & YoYo, Book 3)

  • Review
By – May 15, 2018

In this third book in a series, an aun­t’s wed­ding sets the stage for this delight­ful fam­i­ly to teach mid­dle grade read­ers about life in a tra­di­tion­al Jew­ish fam­i­ly. This par­tic­u­lar fam­i­ly approach­es life with a sense of adven­ture and humor as well as a mega-dose of good val­ues and com­mon sense.

Twins Ellie and Joel — nick­named YaYa and YoYo based on their Hebrew names, Yael and Yoel — and their old­er broth­er, Jere­my, pre­pare for the wed­ding of their aunt and soon-to-be uncle with a sense of excite­ment and awe. They are thrilled to be asked to be an inte­gral part of the cer­e­mo­ny and cel­e­bra­tion. But, in spite of her antic­i­pa­tion and her efforts to be of help, YaYa is plagued with a run of bad luck in the weeks lead­ing up to the wed­ding, includ­ing break­ing her arm and near­ly ruin­ing the gor­geous ketubah her moth­er, an artist, is mak­ing for the new cou­ple. She becomes absolute­ly ter­ri­fied that she will cause all kinds of dis­as­ters at the wed­ding itself and com­plete­ly ruin the day. As Jew­ish rit­u­al and tra­di­tion are an impor­tant part of the fam­i­ly’s life and are inte­gral parts of a Jew­ish wed­ding, YaYa feels that her only recourse is to plunge into the world of old-time Jew­ish super­sti­tion and try to avert the evil eye in order to save the wed­ding from cat­a­stro­phe. She research­es every pos­si­ble amulet, charm, and bit of folk­lore. and takes each one to heart. In spite of a few com­i­cal mishaps accom­pa­nied by joy­ful laugh­ter, the wed­ding is a spec­tac­u­lar suc­cess. The joy­ous fam­i­ly cel­e­brates and the read­er has a grand time learn­ing about Jew­ish wed­ding cus­toms, includ­ing their asso­ci­at­ed vocab­u­lary, as well as learn­ing how to help a shy and fear­ful friend, and maybe even a few new knock-knock jokes, too.

High­ly rec­om­mend­ed for ages 8 to 12.

Michal Hoschan­der Malen is the edi­tor of Jew­ish Book Coun­cil’s young adult and children’s book reviews. A for­mer librar­i­an, she has lec­tured on top­ics relat­ing to lit­er­a­cy, run book clubs, and loves to read aloud to her grandchildren.

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