Sometimes you pull a book off the library's shelf and it's a win. Sometimes it's not. This one wasn't so great for our class. The story is quite deep and requires a lot of background knowledge of the story of Purim, Queen Esther and more. My kids were totally lost.
Our read a book a day goal is a real benefit to when we have Reading Buddies with the grade ones. They have many books that have been read to them and they're familiar with and as a result, they do a little better job reading with their buddies. I don't think I'll put this one on the shelf for that. Just won't work for Reading Buddies.
Quite a beautiful story if you are familiar with those topics though!
This tale is told in three time-frames. On the eve of the Festival of Purim, a grandmother tells her granddaughter how, as a little girl, she heard the story of Queen Esther from her family rabbi. This was in 1939, in Nazi-occupied Vienna, on the eve of WWII. Soon after the rabbi begins the story of the brave queen, soldiers come to arrest him. The young girl begs for the rabbi to finish his story, and the soldiers allow him to do so. When the tale is over, the soldiers permit him to send the children home. But when the children turn to wave goodbye, the rabbi had vanished in the snowflakes, safe from harm, saved by the miracle of a story from long ago. The illustrations by Kathryn Shoemaker perfectly highlight the story's message of hope.