Dad of Divas' Reviews: Book Review - Almost a Minyan

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Book Review - Almost a Minyan

Almost a Minyan

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About the Book
How can our sacred institutions preserve tradition while retaining the flexibility to accommodate modern life? And how do you fold that theme into a lively kids' book?

Almost a Minyan, the latest offering from Austin's Sociosights Press, brings children into the world of a loving daughter and granddaughter whose family stays connected to each other and to the past through sacred ritual. The book is a multi-generational love story for Jewish traditions.

In a story that will appeal equally to people familiar with its Yiddish phrases and Jewish traditions and those interested in increasing their cultural understanding, Almost a Minyan subtly handles some of the practices and controversies of modern Judaism. Can women and girls be part of the sacred minyan for public worship?

This spirited story, brought to life with touching and reverent illustrations by Susan Simon, is a sure bet for young readers.

My Take on the Book
Before you begin to read this book, please go to the back where the glossary of terms is located. There you will find a definition for the words the author has used in telling this story. If you are not familiar with Jewish terms, the glossary will assist you to understand the story line. It was extremely helpful to me.

The story is told by a little girl who is not yet 13. She explains how her father goes to pray each morning and the importance of the minyan or a quorum of 10 adult Jews over the age of 13. Our young narrator is eager to become part of the minyan.

The story is told in lovely rhyme with the beautiful illustrations by Susan Simon.

As the family deals with the passing of the grandfather and then the joyous occasion of our young narrator becoming part of the minyan, the reader will become familiar with the traditions of the praying, special prayer shawl, and the love of family and community.

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