Zippy isn’t quite sure how she fits into her Jewish community or the friend groups in her school. At the request of her parents, whose own Jewish observances have always been sincere yet inconsistent, she is preparing for her bat mitzvah ceremony and party.
The kids around her are becoming more mature and socially savvy, but Zippy isn’t quite there yet. As her nascent feelings of spirituality mix with her childhood interests in witchcraft and the occult, she finds herself unsure of the boundaries between them. Then she meets a new friend — or is Miriam actually a friend? Might she really be a dybbuk, an ibbur, or another shadowy creature found in Jewish folklore? And what can Zippy learn from this new relationship to help her transition into the next stage of her life?
This entertaining story will be of interest to young people attempting to understand who they are and how they can mature. It will also introduce readers to some of the supernatural creatures who are part of Jewish folklore and tradition.
Michal Hoschander Malen is the editor of Jewish Book Council’s young adult and children’s book reviews. A former librarian, she has lectured on topics relating to literacy, run book clubs, and loves to read aloud to her grandchildren.