Coverart for item
The Resource Dreidels on the brain, Joel ben Izzy

Dreidels on the brain, Joel ben Izzy

Label
Dreidels on the brain
Title
Dreidels on the brain
Statement of responsibility
Joel ben Izzy
Creator
Author
Subject
Genre
Language
eng
Summary
"As he tries to survive Hannukah, 1971 in the suburbs of the suburbs of Los Angeles, middle-school magician Joel learns to appreciate life's small miracles with the help of an unusual stranger he meets on a bus"--
Storyline
Tone
Character
Review
  • Grades 4-7 The year 1971 is near its end, and Joel—middle-schooler, amateur magician, and youngest of three brothers—doesn’t have high hopes for Hanukkah this year. Joel and his brothers have never really gotten presents, as both their parents have medical issues that keep finances tight. Plus, Joel’s one of the only Jewish kids at his school in an L.A. suburb, so everything is Christmas-themed anyway. Joel’s not even sure how much of his religion he believes, so he decides to use the eight days of Hanukkah to ask God for a little proof. With his father’s illness worsening and a humiliating school assembly looming, what else can Joel do but wish for a miracle? The plot, madcap to begin with, sometimes veers entirely off the rails, but Joel’s witty, tongue-in-cheek narration will keep readers turning the pages. Loosely autobiographical and packed with anecdotes about Jewish culture and Hanukkah history, this never-didactic tale is a welcome addition to the canon of holiday stories. -- Reagan, Maggie (Reviewed 11/15/2016) (Booklist, vol 113, number 6, p48)
  • It’s 1971, and 12-year-old Joel, seeking a Hanukkah miracle, begins a conversation with God that spans the eight-day holiday. A number of things weigh heavily on Joel: being the only Jewish family at his California private school, his father’s poor health, the family’s money struggles, and Joel’s crush on Amy, an old friend who helps out with the magic shows he performs. Things get more complicated when Joel’s father falls into a coma, and Joel and his family are asked to teach his school about Hanukkah, something Joel dreads. Joel tries to find meaning amid the chaos, and a seemingly random interaction on a bus proves to be the miracle he was seeking. In a story loosely inspired by his upbringing, ben Izzy (The Beggar King and the Secret of Happiness) shares warm, humorous musings on and explanations of Jewish culture (“Nobody can agree on the rules, which is how you know it’s a Jewish game,” he says of spinning the dreidel), though these can sometimes overshadow the scant plot. A meandering but moving coming-of-age journey. Ages 10–up. (Oct.)
			 --Staff (Reviewed 08/22/2016) (Publishers Weekly, vol 263, issue 34, p)
  • Joel is hoping for a miracle. Actually, the white Jewish boy is hoping for several.He wishes his family could pay its bills rather than buying time by “accidentally” sending the telephone check to the water company. He wishes his father’s hands weren’t so gnarled by arthritis that it’s a struggle to pick up small objects. And he wishes no one knew his last name (which is too embarrassing to repeat here). Joel and his family are practically the only Jews in town, which makes him very nervous about the “Winter Holiday Assembly,” where they’re supposed to light the menorah in front of everyone. He suspects that—barring a miracle—the event will lead to further humiliation. (The events, sadly, are based on the author’s childhood in the 1970s.) Ben Izzy rarely mentions the race of the characters, though inferences can be made from their names. (Joel’s crush is named Amy O’Shea.) But the other characters are barely present. For chapters at a time, the only character is Joel, telling readers lengthy stories and shaggy dog jokes. He’s so entertaining that some people won’t notice when the plot stalls for pages on end, as plot is not the book’s strength. When the assembly turns into a train wreck, the scene is so over-the-top it hardly makes sense. Plot, schmot. Readers may be so charmed by Joel that they forgive the book’s flaws and wish him a miracle. (Historical fiction. 10-15)(Kirkus Reviews, January 1, 1900)
Assigning source
Provided by publisher
http://library.link/vocab/ext/novelist/bookUI
10533330
Cataloging source
DLC
http://library.link/vocab/creatorName
ben Izzy, Joel
Dewey number
[Fic]
Index
no index present
Literary form
fiction
http://library.link/vocab/ext/novelist/minGradeLevel
  • 4
  • 7
http://library.link/vocab/resourcePreferred
True
http://library.link/vocab/subjectName
  • Hanukkah stories
  • Magicians
  • Jews
  • Hanukkah
  • Magicians
  • Jews
  • JUVENILE FICTION / Holidays & Celebrations / Hanukkah
  • JUVENILE FICTION / Religious / Jewish
  • JUVENILE FICTION / Family / General (see also headings under Social Issues)
Target audience
pre adolescent
Label
Dreidels on the brain, Joel ben Izzy
Instantiates
Publication
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Control code
ocn934676899
Dimensions
22 cm
Extent
318 pages
Isbn
9780803740976
Isbn Type
(hardback)
Lccn
2016007353
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
System control number
(OCoLC)934676899
Label
Dreidels on the brain, Joel ben Izzy
Publication
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Control code
ocn934676899
Dimensions
22 cm
Extent
318 pages
Isbn
9780803740976
Isbn Type
(hardback)
Lccn
2016007353
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
System control number
(OCoLC)934676899

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