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THE GOLDEN DREYDL by Ellen Kushner


by Ellen Kushner & illustrated by Ilene Winn-Lederer

Age Range: 8 - 12

Pub Date: July 1st, 2007
ISBN: 978-1-58089-135-6
Publisher: Charlesbridge

It’s the winter holiday season and Sara, who longs for strings of twinkling lights and a glittery Christmas tree, is jealous of her Christian friends’ traditions. She’s bored and grouchy at her family’s annual Chanukah party and not at all thrilled by her Tante (Aunt) Miriam’s gift of a golden dreydl. But what Sara doesn’t know is that her present has magical powers. Later that night, Sara is transported into a looking-glass world of adventure complete with biblical characters, an enchanted princess, a riddle-spouting Fool and some serious demons. The concept is winning and some of the language is lovely, but despite the fact that Sara’s adventure is brimming with action, it fails to catch fire or even pull the reader along, and the multifaceted message is muddled. The illustrations are beautiful, though—richly-detailed, cheeky and charming—and they help compensate for the missing magic in the text. (Fiction. 8-12)