A BOX OF CANDLES by Laurie A. Jacobs


Age Range: 5 - 9
Email this review


Jacobs offers a calendar of the Jewish year framed in a story of family and acceptance. Ruthie’s grandmother lives with her family and for her seventh birthday gives her a box of candles, enough for every Shabbat and holiday of the year. When Ruthie lights the first Shabbat candle, Grandma Gussie invites their neighbor Mr. Adler for Shabbat dinner. Grandma Gussie spends lots of time with Mr. Adler, and Ruthie resents it. But on the first night of Passover, Mr. Adler gives Ruthie a hint when she can’t remember the song for the Seder. By Tashlich, Ruthie decides to put all her bad thoughts about Mr. Adler onto the bread she throws into the water to cast away the bad things of the previous year. By Purim, Ruthie is hoping Mr. Adler will marry Grandma so if he gets sick he won’t have to go to his sister in Florida to recover. Then, Mr. Adler becomes Zayde Sam, and a new box of candles will start Ruthie’s eighth birthday. The chapter headings name the months with their English and Hebrew names, and the straightforward watercolors, while primitive, capture Ruthie’s life with clarity and warmth. (glossary) (Fiction. 5-9)

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2005
ISBN: 1-59078-169-4
Page count: 40pp
Publisher: Boyds Mills
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1st, 2005