Mode

kid

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Anya and the Nightingale

Ages

11+
A dragon, a fool, and a girl embark on a journey with a key, a book, and loads of magic. Will they succeed in getting past the dangerous Nightingale?
Ages 11+
Pages 416
Publisher Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Coming Feb 2023
Awards
Sydney Taylor Silver Medal Winner

Average Rating

2 Reviews
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What the Book Is About

In this action-packed sequel to Anya and the Dragon, 13-year-old Anya is determined to find her father, who still hasn’t returned from the tsar’s army. Her friends Ivan the fool and Hakon the dragon join her, and together they encounter a Jewish ghost named Lena, the Nightingale (a creature who uses sounds as a weapon), Princess Vasilisa and her team of knights and archers, and an evil sorcerer. Anya must make difficult decisions, endangering her quest in order to help others.

Jewish Content & Values

  • Anya structures her year around the Jewish holidays, has read the entire Torah with her father, and has become a bat mitzvah. She builds a sukkah at the beginning and end of the book.
  • Mikhail, a Jewish boy, invites her home for Shabbat dinner, where she meets a rabbi and other Jews for the first time. There are mentions of the Talmud, a mezuzah, kippot, wine, and Shabbat blessings. Mikhail gives Lena (an ibbur, a benevolent Jewish ghost) rubles so she can perform the mitzvah of tzedakah.
  • There are Jewish values throughout, including Anya’s grandmother’s advice to ask God for help while taking action to solve her problems. Kindness toward strangers is a core theme throughout, and one that ends up saving several lives (including Anya’s). There is also a demonstration of caring for the dead, when Anya finds and collects Lena’s bones so her husband can give her a proper Jewish burial.

There are some potentially challenging scenes. Anya has PTSD-like symptoms–flashbacks and memories of Sigurd’s bloody death in the previous book. She finds a skeleton and realizes it is Lena’s. The sorcerer tries to kill Anya and her friends; the scene is long and violent, but no one dies.
 
What the Book Is About

What the Book Is About

In this action-packed sequel to Anya and the Dragon, 13-year-old Anya is determined to find her father, who still hasn’t returned from the tsar’s army. Her friends Ivan the fool and Hakon the dragon join her, and together they encounter a Jewish ghost named Lena, the Nightingale (a creature who uses sounds as a weapon), Princess Vasilisa and her team of knights and archers, and an evil sorcerer. Anya must make difficult decisions, endangering her quest in order to help others.

Jewish Content & Values

  • Anya structures her year around the Jewish holidays, has read the entire Torah with her father, and has become a bat mitzvah. She builds a sukkah at the beginning and end of the book.
  • Mikhail, a Jewish boy, invites her home for Shabbat dinner, where she meets a rabbi and other Jews for the first time. There are mentions of the Talmud, a mezuzah, kippot, wine, and Shabbat blessings. Mikhail gives Lena (an ibbur, a benevolent Jewish ghost) rubles so she can perform the mitzvah of tzedakah.
  • There are Jewish values throughout, including Anya’s grandmother’s advice to ask God for help while taking action to solve her problems. Kindness toward strangers is a core theme throughout, and one that ends up saving several lives (including Anya’s). There is also a demonstration of caring for the dead, when Anya finds and collects Lena’s bones so her husband can give her a proper Jewish burial.

There are some potentially challenging scenes. Anya has PTSD-like symptoms–flashbacks and memories of Sigurd’s bloody death in the previous book. She finds a skeleton and realizes it is Lena’s. The sorcerer tries to kill Anya and her friends; the scene is long and violent, but no one dies.