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DAN AND THE MUDMAN by Jonny Zucker

DAN AND THE MUDMAN

By Jonny Zucker

Age Range: 9 - 13

Pub Date: Nov. 1st, 2009
ISBN: 978-1-84507-851-5
Publisher: Frances Lincoln

Trying to fit in, anti-Semitic bullying and a giant from medieval Jewish lore figure in this British import that tries to do a bit too much. After his family moves north from London, Dan Bernstein has trouble adjusting. His Jewishness arouses the ire of a racist thug, and he’s mercilessly harassed. An assignment to make a class presentation results in Dan’s being compelled by a mysterious impulse to create a man-shaped form from clay. Astonishingly, the totem gives Dan brief glimpses into 16th-century Prague, where he witnesses the construction of the Golem, a mud behemoth who, legend tells, helped the embattled Jews resist their oppressors. It’s not long before the Golem joins Dan and Lucy, his only friend, in this century and teaches him how to stand up for himself—but not before enabling Dan to redress crimes against Jews in the past and having him thwart a very evil man. And then, what a class presentation both friends make! Too bad many readers won’t buy into this, as the novel has worthy, though preachy intentions, some excitement and supernatural touches aplenty. (Fantasy. 9-13)