Three Israeli children tour sites in Jerusalem as they learn about the holy day Tisha B’Av, which commemorates the destruction of both the first and second temples.
Their tour leads them from the Mount of Olives to the Western Wall, which for years had been the only visible remnant of the Temple. But large-scale archaeological activity has uncovered many areas that have been buried for centuries. The children visit some of these sights with knowledgeable guides who provide insights into life in Jerusalem more than 2,000 years ago, when the Roman army destroyed the Temple. They venture underneath the city through Muslim-built archways and passages that lead to the mosques now on the Temple Mount. They see baths, remnants of a marketplace, and a moat. They also visit another site, where they have a chance to sift through dirt from the Temple Mount excavation, looking for objects that had been buried there. Told directly and simply and illustrated entirely in photographs, readers follow the fair-skinned Jewish children on their journey of discovery. Although the boys wear their kippahs, they and their older girl cousin are dressed as casually as any other contemporary children. Oddly, the children are all named with the exception of the young boy narrator. Information about the holiday traditions and practices is woven seamlessly into the tale.
An interesting glimpse into a lesser-known holiday. (afterword) (Picture book/religion. 6-9)