“Almost a Minyan” is a coming-of-age story of a young Jewish girl who takes her grandfather’s place in their town’s prayer quorum (minyan). With gorgeous illustrations by Susan Simon, the reader joins a loving family as they deal with the grandfather’s death, and the rituals involved. Both Hebrew and Yiddish terms are used, and a glossary is included, making this a wonderful learning tool for Jews and non-Jews alike.
MY THOUGHTS: There are SO many things to love about this book. First, the story is written in a flowing rhythm much like ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas’. Whether you’re reading aloud or in your head, you’ll find yourself using its fluid structure. Next, the illustrations are simply stunning. Susan Simon has captured the essence of the story with her art. They make you feel the story instead of simply reading it.
The story itself not only offers a culturally relative narrative, but also discussing the concept of grief without it going over the reader’s head. Younger readers will readily understand the sense of lose the family feels, but it’s the lesson of how they push through it that counts here. No one in the family forgets that they’re grieving. They just continue to live despite it. Clinging to their faith rather than abandoning it, they honor their loved one by continuing in his footsteps.
Our author has definitely transferred her passion into her writing. This isn’t a book for Hebrew/Yiddish children alone. It is for all culture, all religions. I love that she includes a bit of education by including the glossary. Not only will it assist readers, but it’s also a conversation starter for the whole family. I would include the age groups for this one as all elementary (K-5). I give it a full 5 stars and have to say I absolutely LOVE this book.
I RECEIVED THE AFOREMENTIONED TITLE IN EXCHANGE FOR REVIEW. ALL OPINIONS ARE MINE.
AUTHOR INFO: Lori S. Kline lives in Austin, Texas with her husband and son. She regularly attends minyan at Congregation Agudas Achim, where she chants Torah and teaches Hebrew. Her first book, Josiah’s Dreams, was released in 2014.PIC/SYNOPSIS BELONG SOLELY TO THE AUTHOR/PUBLISHER.