In this morality tale told in graphic novel style, a young man with a talent for business becomes successful and forgets the modest world of his parents’ small European village, where his father, a carpenter, studies the Torah every day. He forgets that he promised his parents that even if he became successful, he, too, would make time for Torah study. Instead, his great financial success goes to his head and blinds him to the values he learned in his youth.
He is aboard the notorious Titanic when he learns he has been hit with a great financial reversal and has lost all his wealth. In distress, he recalls the lessons his parents taught him about faith in God and being a good person, and he resolves to repent. He ends up evaluating his life as he floats on a piece of driftwood in the freezing Atlantic Ocean, after the sinking of the great ship.
His sincere repentance eventually leads to his acquiring greater wealth than before, but now his life is dedicated to doing good deeds and studying Torah.
There’s not much suspense, as it’s clear from the start that there will be repentance, a happy ending, and appropriate lessons taught. However, this is a creative way to teach those lessons and will entertain readers ages 9 to 12.
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.