Jodie’s Hanukkah Dig

Anna Levine; Topaz Kse­nia, illus.
  • Review
By – February 15, 2012
This appeal­ing sto­ry includes some under­used ele­ments of Jew­ish children’s lit­er­a­ture: a Hanukkah sto­ry that does not his­tor­i­cal­ly explain the hol­i­day, takes place in mod­ern day Israel, and shows a nor­mal, (un-ter­ror­ized) hap­py, Israeli fam­i­ly. Young Jodie dreams of being a famous archae­ol­o­gist and trav­el­ing to far-off places like her father. She lives out­side of Jerusalem and one day her father gives her a chance to go vis­it a near­by dig in Modi’in. When the dig­gers find an inter­est­ing hole that is too small to enter, Jodie gets the chance to do some fear­less explor­ing and finds an arti­fact from the time of the Mac­cabees. The his­tor­i­cal aspects of Hanukkah are nev­er men­tioned, but Jodie’s feat of dis­cov­ery places her square­ly in their foot­steps: nim­ble enough to crawl through the tiny pas­sage­ways, brave enough not to be afraid of the dark, and strong enough to fight off all the peo­ple who thought they were too lit­tle to win.” A well-writ­ten and engag­ing read, with attrac­tive water­col­or art­work. For ages 4 – 8.
Lisa Sil­ver­man is direc­tor of Sinai Tem­ple’s Blu­men­thal Library in Los Ange­les and a for­mer day school librar­i­an. She is the for­mer chil­dren’s book review edi­tor of Jew­ish Book World.

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