Showing posts with the label Feiwel & Friends

Review: The Gray

The Gray by Chris Baron Feiwel & Friends, 2023 Category: Middle Grade Reviewer: Jacqueline Jules Buy at Sasha’s summer plans are abruptly changed when his doctor suggests a break from technology. Instead of playing marathon games of Earthforge with his friend Daniel, Sasha is headed to a rural town in upstate New York to stay with his Aunt Ruthie. Cell service is so spotty there, Sasha can’t even use his phone on a reliable basis. He is wary of a device-free summer. How can being away from everything he enjoys help him manage his anxiety? Aunt Ruthie is a supportive ally, sharing the story of Rabbi Akiva who learned that “change happens little by little” after examining the power of water to slowly erode stone. Sasha employs a grounding technique to help him handle what he calls the “Gray,” those times when he feels so overwhelmed, “it feels like I go to a different place.” And Aunt Ruthie wisely advises, “When things feel big, take them just one step at a time.”  Thi

Review: A Gift of Feathers

A Gift of Feathers by Ken Schept, illustrated by Romina Galotta Feiwel & Friends (imprint of Macmillan), 2023 Category: Picture Books Reviewer: Dena Bach Buy at In his debut picture book, Ken Schept creates a sensitive and age-appropriate template for young children to process their feelings at the loss of someone close to them. In the metaphor of birds and feathers woven through the narrative and the illustrations, Schept and illustrator Romina Galotta present a concrete way for the protagonist, her sister, and readers to process many complicated emotions.    When Talula finds the drive to the city to visit Grandma Dot boring, wondering how birds can live there, loving pigeons show us how. Grandma Dot keeps a vase of feathers on a table near her door. According to Talula, the young narrator, these feathers resemble her beloved grandmother. Grandma Dot’s feathers give Talula and her sister Rhea ways to play and interact with their grandmother as she talks about her o

Review: The Magical Imperfect

 The Magical Imperfect by Chris Baron Feiwel and Friends (imprint of Macmillan) Category: Middle Grade Reviewer: Sarah Aronson Buy at When you don’t talk a lot I think your ears get stronger. —Chris Baron, The Magical Imperfect    A historical fiction novel in verse, Chris Baron’s The Magical Imperfect is an emotionally powerful story of friendship, family, acceptance, Jewish mysticism and values, and the importance of community.   It’s 1989, the Giants are vying for the playoffs, and Etan is not speaking. His mutism is triggered by his mom, who has left for the hospital to focus on her mental health issues. When his neighbor sends him to a house on an errand, he connects with Malia, a girl with a skin condition, who his peers have dubbed The Creature. The two of them quickly become friends. With a talent show on the horizon, Etan wants to give her his grandfather’s special (and mystical) clay from Prague to heal her skin.    Read this book with tissues! Baron’

Review: 28 Days: A Novel of Resistance in the Warsaw Ghetto

28 Days: A Novel of Resistance in the Warsaw Ghetto by David Safier Category: Young Adult Reviewer: Michelle Falkoff In 28 Days, a teenage girl named Mira struggles with everyday life in the Warsaw ghetto and is then thrust into conflict when the Nazis send most of the ghetto’s residents to concentration camps. Initially, her biggest problems are finding food for her family and deciding whether she’s really in love with her boyfriend, Daniel. A surprise encounter with a stranger, a boy who kisses her to save her from local anti-Semites while she’s on a smuggling mission, leads her to question her relationship and to give more thought to whether she should join the growing resistance movement. Mira is initially skeptical that the resistance is necessary; she, like many in her community, believes they all just need to wait for the world to realize how much injustice is occurring. But when the ghetto’s resettlement begins, she finds herself with fewer and fewer options, especia