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kid

parent

It’s 1492, and you’re taking care of little Yitzchak, whose grandfather is trying to save the Jews from being kicked out of Spain. You discover a plot to kidnap the boy, but can you save him in time? Only YOU can decide!  
Ages 10+
Pages 164
Publisher Judaica Press
Coming Feb 2021

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What the Book Is About

This choose-your-own-adventure is set in Spain in 1492. The reader is taking care of young Yitzchak, the grandson of Don Abarbanel, a scholar and financial advisor to Queen Isabella. Don Abarbanel has been working hard to convince the queen not to expel the Jews, but it seems unlikely that he’ll succeed. Meanwhile, the queen wants Don Abarbanel and his family to convert to Judaism so he can continue to advise the queen. When he refuses, the royal court hatches a plot to kidnap and forcibly baptize young Yitzchak. The reader is offered a series of options for responding to the various events surrounding the kidnapping attempts, resulting in a variety of outcomes.  

The book includes an author’s note explaining that while this book is based on the true story of the attempted kidnapping of Don Abarbanel’s grandson, not all of the details and possible endings are historically accurate. 

Jewish Content & Values

  • This book explores a pivotal story in Jewish history – the expulsion of Jews from Spain in 1492. 

  • Don Yitzhak Abarbanel was a real historical figure, and there was, in fact, a plot to kidnap his grandson in order to coerce the entire family to convert to Christianity. 

  • “You” (the protagonist) live in the Jewish quarter of Toledo, and you and the other members of your community attend synagogue, observe Shabbat, and keep kosher

  • You (the protagonist) are a clever, creative, resourceful individual who is committed to taking care of young Yitzchak.  

  • Don Yitzhak Abarbanel was a rabbi, scholar, and financial advisor to the queen. He worked hard to convince the king and queen not to expel the Jews, though he was not successful.  

There are a couple of somewhat intense scenes in which “you” (the protagonist) end up in a physical fight with a mysterious man attempting to kidnap young Itzhak. You're fine every time.  

Talk It Over

In one ending of the book, you’re given the opportunity to travel by ship across the ocean with the explorer Christopher Columbus. If you could go anywhere, where would you go, and how would you get there? 

More for You

An unknown number of Jews living in Spain in the late 15th century chose to convert to Christianity rather than flee the country. Some of those individuals continued to practice Judaism in secret, and even found ways to transmit their true faith down through the generations. Crypto-Judaism is the secret adherence to Judaism, and there is a large community of Crypto-Jews, or anusim (Jews who were forcibly converted to another religion) in Texas and New Mexico. Many of these individuals were raised in the Catholic religion but grew up in homes where they lit candles on Friday nights or didn’t eat pork, often without really knowing why. A number of these Crypto-Jews are now reclaiming their Jewish heritage to various degrees. 
What the Book Is About

What the Book Is About

This choose-your-own-adventure is set in Spain in 1492. The reader is taking care of young Yitzchak, the grandson of Don Abarbanel, a scholar and financial advisor to Queen Isabella. Don Abarbanel has been working hard to convince the queen not to expel the Jews, but it seems unlikely that he’ll succeed. Meanwhile, the queen wants Don Abarbanel and his family to convert to Judaism so he can continue to advise the queen. When he refuses, the royal court hatches a plot to kidnap and forcibly baptize young Yitzchak. The reader is offered a series of options for responding to the various events surrounding the kidnapping attempts, resulting in a variety of outcomes.  

The book includes an author’s note explaining that while this book is based on the true story of the attempted kidnapping of Don Abarbanel’s grandson, not all of the details and possible endings are historically accurate. 

Jewish Content & Values

  • This book explores a pivotal story in Jewish history – the expulsion of Jews from Spain in 1492. 

  • Don Yitzhak Abarbanel was a real historical figure, and there was, in fact, a plot to kidnap his grandson in order to coerce the entire family to convert to Christianity. 

  • “You” (the protagonist) live in the Jewish quarter of Toledo, and you and the other members of your community attend synagogue, observe Shabbat, and keep kosher

  • You (the protagonist) are a clever, creative, resourceful individual who is committed to taking care of young Yitzchak.  

  • Don Yitzhak Abarbanel was a rabbi, scholar, and financial advisor to the queen. He worked hard to convince the king and queen not to expel the Jews, though he was not successful.  

There are a couple of somewhat intense scenes in which “you” (the protagonist) end up in a physical fight with a mysterious man attempting to kidnap young Itzhak. You're fine every time.  

Talk It Over

In one ending of the book, you’re given the opportunity to travel by ship across the ocean with the explorer Christopher Columbus. If you could go anywhere, where would you go, and how would you get there? 

More for You

An unknown number of Jews living in Spain in the late 15th century chose to convert to Christianity rather than flee the country. Some of those individuals continued to practice Judaism in secret, and even found ways to transmit their true faith down through the generations. Crypto-Judaism is the secret adherence to Judaism, and there is a large community of Crypto-Jews, or anusim (Jews who were forcibly converted to another religion) in Texas and New Mexico. Many of these individuals were raised in the Catholic religion but grew up in homes where they lit candles on Friday nights or didn’t eat pork, often without really knowing why. A number of these Crypto-Jews are now reclaiming their Jewish heritage to various degrees.