Kirkus Reviews QR Code


by Anna Levine, illustrated by Ksenia Topaz

Age Range: 5 - 8

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2008
ISBN: 978-0-8225-7391-3
Publisher: Kar-Ben

Jodie wants to be an archeologist; she’s eager to uncover treasures of ancient lands, just like her dad. Fortunately, she lives in Israel and is thrilled when her father agrees to take her on a dig to Modi’in, the site where Judah Maccabee fought the Syrians. Excited to help, Jodie convinces her father and the site’s head professor to let her scout down a small hole. Carefully lowered within a bucket, she announces a passageway of caves and grabs a possible arrowhead before being lifted back up. Topaz’s watercolors delineate a freckle-faced little girl whose agility and curiosity parallel the Maccabeean stamina in their struggle. Jodie’s find could possibly be from the time of the Maccabees, as she explains, who “must have been nimble enough to crawl through the tiny passageways, brave enough not to be afraid of the dark, and strong enough to fight off all the people who thought they were too little to win.” Levine provides an intriguing alternative to conventional retellings of the Hanukkah tale, juxtaposing archeology’s importance in understanding history against the ancient tradition. (Picture book. 5-8)