The Hunt

Miri­am Walfish
  • Review
By – December 8, 2017

The Hunt by Miri­am Wal­fish | Jew­ish Book Coun­cil

This book is the first in a series about the Jews of ear­ly thir­teenth-cen­tu­ry Europe, The Chron­i­cles of Meir ben Yaakov. This first book illus­trates how mitzvot and the kind­ness of strangers facil­i­tate track­ing miss­ing peo­ple and help solve a per­plex­ing mystery.

Meir Ben Yaakov is a young boy of twelve who is com­mon­ly mis­tak­en for his old­er broth­er due to their strik­ing resem­blance. His broth­er mys­te­ri­ous­ly dis­ap­peared some time ear­li­er and no one will dis­cuss the sub­ject with Meir at all. Now Meir seems to be in dan­ger although he is not sure why. His fam­i­ly sends him to anoth­er com­mu­ni­ty to live with a cousin he has nev­er met. Dan­ger fol­lows him there, as well. He trav­els from one com­mu­ni­ty to the next, unpre­pared at first to solve the prob­lems he encoun­ters, or to pro­tect him­self. The kin­ship of the Jews he meets along the way makes it pos­si­ble for him to survive.

In each place he learns bits of infor­ma­tion about his lost broth­er but faces unex­plained dan­gers and fright­en­ing expe­ri­ences at every turn.

The book is filled with sus­pense­ful moments that will keep read­ers ages 10 to 13 enthu­si­as­ti­cal­ly turn­ing the pages. There are many ref­er­ences to Ortho­dox cus­toms of the times but a glos­sary is includ­ed that pro­vides help­ful edu­ca­tion­al explanations.

Marge Kaplan is a retired Eng­lish as a Sec­ond Lan­guage teacher. She is a con­sul­tant for the children’s lit­er­a­ture group for the Roseville, MN school sys­tem and is a sto­ry­teller of Jew­ish tales.

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