MRS. KAPUTNIK’S POOL HALL AND MATZO BALL EMPORIUM by Rona Arato

MRS. KAPUTNIK’S POOL HALL AND MATZO BALL EMPORIUM

Age Range: 8 - 11

KIRKUS REVIEW

The traditional Lower East Side Jewish immigration story is rekindled with the inclusion of a fantastical fire-breathing–yet-friendly dragon and a bunch of lead-hard matzo balls. The Kapustins—big sister Shoshi, brother Moshe and Mama—arrive at Ellis Island hoping to meet up with Papa, who is supposedly the owner of a classy restaurant on Hester Street. But reality hits hard when they learn that Papa has been missing for five years, their small amount of cash is stolen and the business is nothing but a filthy, failed eating hole that is prey to an extortionist. The Kapustins, renamed Kaputnik by the immigration inspector, are a feisty bunch, having already traveled with a rapidly growing baby dragon (named Snigger) that serves not only as a pet but as a protector. Arato’s atypical story is filled with some other seedy, though sometimes well-meaning characters, who participate in the family’s struggle to solve their emblematic problems with some amusing and ingenious solutions. Although everything bad that can happen does, mild humor and the fantasy element introduced by the dragon blunt the edge and keep the story line fresh. (Magical adventure/historical fiction. 8-11)

Pub Date: April 13th, 2010
ISBN: 978-0-88776-967-2
Page count: 192pp
Publisher: Tundra
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1st, 2010




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