Chaim Walder continues his Kids Speak series with this eighth book which has stories told by youth for youth. In each of the fourteen entries, a boy or girl tells of a personal experience and the life lessons learned from it. The language is simple and practical, teaching lessons in handling fear, facing challenges, friendship and self-confidence. Some of the stories are aimed at the ultra-Orthodox market. For example, Aryeh returns money to a rich businessman using his photographic memory to track down the man through his license plate. The man then says that when Aryeh is older he should come back for a job, to which his father responds that he is raising Aryeh to be a Torah scholar and that would be the use of his gifted memory. On the other hand, the beauty of the businessman ensuring that Aryeh’s friend gets a much needed operation is a wonderful outcome and shows a universal selflessness on Aryeh’s part for not accepting a personal reward.
Another story tells of Dina breaking through the stigma attached to her sister who has Down syndrome. Each story tells of mistakes, bravery and/or overcoming obstacles. These stories touch the universal heart even if they come from within insular communities.
Recommended for ages 7 – 12.