The Golden Dreidel by Ellen Kushner: 5 Star Review!!

Happy Hanukkah! What better way to celebrate than with a Hanukkah-centered middle grade?!

The Golden Dreidel is a beautifully spun tale of Jewish folklore, coming into your own, and the power of friendship.

On the first night of Hanukkah, I have a tradition: Bake sugar cookies and read a Hanukkah-themed book. I am so glad I chose The Golden Dreidel for this year’s first night read! This is a middle grade that can be read with tweens and younger children because of its high-energy, fast-paced plot. I liked that the plot started at a Hanukkah party and focused on the feeling of being left out during Christmas, a struggle a lot of Jewish children go through during the holidays. The story blended modern American Jewry and old Ashkenazi folklore to create a wonderfully exciting story. It was a real page turner; I couldn’t wait to see what happened!

Sara was the perfect main character for this kind of read. She was open, honest, and questioned absolutely everything(a very important Jewish value). I especially liked that she learned to love her Jewishness and her unique self, focusing on her strengths and her light as the story progressed. I really liked all of the side characters; I don’t want to give too much away, but Tante Miriam, King Solomon, the Queen of Sheba, and all of the rest were a really beautiful part of the story!

Overall, this is a great read that can be done in one night, even with children, or spread out through the 8 nights. 5 stars from me!

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