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WHILE THE CANDLES BURN by Barbara Diamond Goldin


by Barbara Diamond Goldin & illustrated by Elaine Greenstein

Age Range: 6 - 11

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1996
ISBN: 0-670-85875-7
Publisher: Viking

 In eight stories, Goldin (The Passover Journey, 1994, etc.) seeks to go beyond the specific historical basis for Hanukkah to the themes that the holiday celebrates: ``religious freedom and commitment, faith, courage, charity, rededication, honoring women at Hanukkah, lights, and miracles.'' Several of the stories focus on maintaining faith in the face of persecution. Others take a look at the tension between pride and charity, or explore such timely themes as Arab/Israeli relations or the role of women in Judaism. Only one is specifically a Hanukkah story, but whether original or traditional (with sources cited in the back), all illuminate and celebrate the spiritual teachings of Judaism. Goldin's book is a welcome addition for its broad-based evocation of a rich culture, and while some readers will be bogged down by the introduction and background material, the tales themselves are well-chosen and simply told. Greenstein's illustrations--monoprints overlaid with gouache--have a rustic appeal. A worthwhile collection. (Short stories. 6-11)