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Alexandra's Scroll: The Story of the First Hanukkah Hardcover – 2002

4.5 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Alexandra, the Jewish girl who narrates this informative historical novel, lives in Jerusalem at the time of the Maccabees. Like them, she experiences the oppression of the Syrian-Greek regime. Inspired by the example of Esther (named here as the author of the scroll read on Purim), Alexandra vows to record the ongoing story of her people and ends up writing about the miracle now commemorated at Hanukkah. Chaikin's (Clouds of Glory) research, as always, is meticulous, but Alexandra often seems more a conduit for that research than a flesh-and-blood character. Fieser's (The Sabbath Lion) abundant illustrations glow with the heat of the Judean sun, grounding the text in its historical setting. Ages 9-12.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From School Library Journal

Grade 4-8-The events leading up to the first Hanukkah come to vivid life through the eyes of a Jewish girl growing up in Jerusalem circa 165 B.C.E. Alexandra, the daughter of a goldsmith and a weaver, has been taught to read and write and yearns to be a scribe, so that she, like Queen Esther, can record the history of her people. Laws are passed making it illegal for Jews to practice their faith, and war breaks out. Alexandra's father joins the rebellion, led by their neighbor Judah Hasmon (who later changes his name to Judah Maccabee), while Alexandra and her mother flee. In the end, the Jews are triumphant and the girl and her family return to Jerusalem in time to witness the miracle of the oil. The characters are compelling and the story is wonderfully readable and filled with humor and fascinating detail. Full-color illustrations give a real feel for the time and place, and a map and afterword with more information about the event are included. Not just a good Hanukkah story, but also a fine piece of historical fiction.-M. A.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 9 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 4 - 7
  • Hardcover: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR); 1 edition (2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0805063846
  • ISBN-13: 978-0805063844
  • Product Dimensions: 7.1 x 0.8 x 9.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #745,419 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
We purchased this book to read during Hanukkah for our children. We read through it and really enjoyed it. The book tells all about how the Greeks overran the Temple and tells the story and resulting time of fleeing Jerusalem from the perspective of one young girl and her family. Highly recommend this book.
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Format: Hardcover
Told from a young girl's point of view, this gorgeous book describes how the first Hanukkah came to be. There are details about using a reed pen and writing on papyrus that add historical accuracy to the vivid story. Best for ages 9 and up but smaller excerpts could be adapted for younger children.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This was our first year celebrating Hanukkah. The illustrations and quality of materials are excellent. While we enjoyed the story in the book, and it seemed to have accurate details of the Hanukkah story, we found the writing a bit simplistic. The author uses a lot of "he said, she said, they said, I said" and short, choppy sentences. We liked that the story was from a girl's perspective, as we have four daughters, but the author seemed to give the mother too much authority in the home. According to our understanding of the Jewish culture, this would not be the case at all. However, despite these annoyances, we enjoyed the story and enjoyed having it be a part of our Hanukkah celebration.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Wonderful historical tale to share with all ages!
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