The chapters of this book were originally short stories written in Hebrew and published in Yeladim magazine. No glossary is provided to define any of the Hebrew terms the author uses, such as b’li neder, ta’anis dibbur, and refuah sheleimah. Danny, whose character is the most developed, is the twelve-and-a-half year old narrator. He and his four friends, Rafi, Gavi, Shuki, and Yoav, form a club to help others make their dreams come true. The author portrays the boys as being very good and very respectful of their parents. Whenever they clash, they always work things out, usually with Danny’s help. He is extremely tactful, and seems unusually mature for his age. He makes such comments as “I don’t know about you, but I’m allergic to compliments. I blush every time somebody compliments me” and says that his supportive, understanding mother “trusts me completely, and knows that I would never let myself get into trouble.” Although the setting is contemporary Israel, the boys take the bus without fear to various locations, helping children make their dreams come true. In their first adventure, they travel to Tzefat, to recover a precious lost book that has been stolen from Shuki’s family and has mysteriously turned up in a bookstore there. Next, for a smart classmate called “the Bookworm,” they travel to Netivot in the Negev Desert to try to locate his favorite author. In another mission, they attempt to locate a rare stamp for a child’s collection. Through the boys’ adventures, Jewish values of friendship, loving one’s neighbor, and helping others are reflected. The author writes in a humorous light tone and Orthodox boys ages 10 – 13 will enjoy getting to know Danny and his friends.
Andrea Davidson is the librarian of The Temple-Tifereth Israel in Beachwood, Ohio. She holds an M.L.S. from the University of Michigan and is a former member of the Sydney Taylor Book Awards Committee. She enjoys trying out the books she reviews on the kids at the Temple and on her grandchildren.