This is the first book in a new series of books by Chaim Finkelson, entitled The Burksfield Bike Club. Chaim Finkelson is also the author of the Cheery Bim Bam book series. Mitzvos on Wheels is about four Orthodox boys who form a club to help their rabbi set up a yeshiva in the basement of the shul. The yeshiva is for the families in their community that have just arrived from Iran. This yeshiva will need $20,000 to build and it needs to be built by September, just three months away. The boys, led by Avi, decide to use their bikes to collect soda cans and turn them in for money for the yeshiva. In their desire to help their rabbi, the boys do a mitzvah and get to know many different groups of people in their all-Jewish community. Many people help them in their endeavor with cans, money, services, trucks, and other miscellaneous items. By the end of the book the boys get the yeshiva completed in time for the rabbi. They also help a group of elderly people in the Jewish Home for the Aged do some useful work. The moral of this story is that one mitzvah leads to another. The characters in this book are very well described; however, there are no girls written about anywhere in the book. Many words are in Yiddish and many of the rituals in the synagogue are described. There is a glossary to help those unfamiliar with either the words and/or the rituals. The uninspiring illustrations throughout the book are in black and white. This book is written for Orthodox Jewish children, but Jewish children from other denominations may enjoy it also. Ages 8 – 10.
Barbara Silverman had an M.L.S. from Texas Woman’s University. She worked as a children’s librarian at the Corpus Christi Public Libraries and at the Corpus Christi ISD before retiring. She worked as a volunteer at the Astor Judaic Library of the Lawrence Family JCC in La Jolla, CA. Sadly, Barbara passed away is 2012.