The Golden Dreidel

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The Golden Dreidel book coverWhat the Book is About:

The story begins as sulky eleven-year-old Sara celebrates “boring” Hanukkah with her family. It quickly morphs into a wild fantasy ride where she meets biblical-era kings and demons and saves the day using her wits and magic. This creative, clever, and amusing tale will enchant young readers with its fresh and whimsical illustrations and outrageous characters.

Jewish Content and Values

  • Sara and her family celebrate Hanukkah with a big family party. They light the menorah, play dreidel, receive gifts, and eat potato latkes.
  • When Sara is envious of her friends who have Christmas trees, her mother explains that, although Hanukkah is not a major Jewish holiday, it is what their family celebrates in December, and it brings plenty of light into their home.
  • For most of the story, Sara finds herself in a biblical fantasy world complete with King Solomon, the Queen of Sheba, and the Demon King Ashmodai and his minions. 

Positive Role Models

  • Sara helps to save the princess from the demons. Afterwards, her one request from King Solomon is that, before she returns home, any damage she’s caused should be repaired.

Content Advisory

Descriptions of grotesque demons with horns and chicken feet are unlikely to upset young readers, as all are heavily offset by silly, slapstick dialogue and entertaining riddles.

Talk it Over

The Fool tells Sara: “Better to keep your mouth shut and let people think you’re a fool, than to open your mouth and prove it.” What do you think he means? 

More for You

According to Ethiopian Jewish tradition, the Queen of Sheba visited King Solomon after hearing of his great wisdom. Her beauty and ancient love match with King Solomon are the stuff of legends. Their son, Menelik, was raised in Ethiopia and educated by Temple priests and nobles that accompanied the Queen upon her return to her country. Many of today’s Beta Israel (Ethiopian Jewry) claim ancestry from Menelik and those high-ranking members of Solomon’s court.

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