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Tikvah Means Hope

4.15  ·  Rating Details  ·  137 Ratings  ·  19 Reviews
Justine and Duane and their neighbors are happily getting ready for Sukkoth, the Jewish harvest holiday. Suddenly, catastrophe strikes as a fire sweeps through their town. Luckily for everyone, there are still miracles in this world--sometimes in the shape of a little cat. This heartfelt story is a stirring celebration of life, friendship, and--most of all--hope!
Paperback, 48 pages
Published August 1st 1996 by Yearling (first published 1994)
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Lisa Vegan
Dec 28, 2009 Lisa Vegan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: reading during Sukkah; cat lovers; those who remember the Oakland Hills fire(s)
Well, I sobbed through this one too. Given I’m someone who doesn’t cry easily, Polacco’s books are truly powerful. However, this one touched me because I remember the Oakland Hills Fire. I know two families well who lost their homes and know of many, many others who also lost their homes, friends of friends, acquaintances, etc.

The illustrations here are fabulous. The one that shows the spectacular view from the Oakland Hills got it just right and, as usual, she does cats well. Real photos are in
Devastation and disaster are the words that describe the wildfire in the Oakland Hills of California in 1991. Entire neighborhoods were left homeless and Tikvah Means Hopes is set against this horrifying backdrop. Just as best friends, Justine and Duane are helping their neighbors, Mr. and Mrs. Roth build their Sukkah to celebrate the Jewish harvest holiday. Things take a turn for the worst when the wildfire approaches and the worry is etched on their faces.

Although homes and neighborhoods are
Ashley Lahr
This story was about a couple of Jewish families that were going to have a sukkah. After they build the sukkah in the backyard they go out for supplies for the big feast, only to come back to a horrible surprise. There is a big fire at the top of the hill where they live. They are able to find the rest of their families and are evacuated. When it is all over nothing remain but the fireplaces in the homes. Surprisingly the Sukkah still stood untouched, that night they all gather together. Tivakah ...more
Jul 16, 2014 Kaethe rated it really liked it
When this was published in 1994, the 92 Oakland fire represented a terrible calamity. Since then the US has suffered worse. Still, it's a lovely book, and I'm glad to be able to read something to the girls which shows that even when all seems to be lost, there is still some hope to be found.
Once again, Patricia Polacco writes a touching and beautiful story which crosses over ethnic and generational lines and embraces community. The story is based on the firestorms that devastated parts of the hills of Oakland, California in the early 1990's. The illustrations incorporate actual photographs and posters as part of the drawings. The story takes place during Sukkoth, the Jewish Harvest Festival. The explanation given and the comparison to Thanksgiving builds bridges between people and ...more
Dec 25, 2015 Sandie rated it liked it
Shelves: children
I like books that have been based on true bits of history or some sort of legend. This book was based on a very real bit of history, the Oakland Firestorm in October 1992 I believe. I did enjoy the bit of history there and looked it up a bit. I found the book to be long and wordy and didn't really get into it. My daughter who loves cats held out to the end but she didn't realize that I shortened up each page so it would go faster.

I have read other books by this writer that are fantastic, but th
Kristine Hansen
Jun 02, 2015 Kristine Hansen rated it really liked it
A neighborhood story based on fact surrounding what happened to the people of the community when a sudden fire decimates the area. I love how everyone came together, and how a cat comes to symbolize hope. Beautiful story.
May 23, 2014 Mckinley rated it it was ok
Shelves: picture, judaism, cat
Surviving scarey fires.
Kayla Mosin
Nov 15, 2012 Kayla Mosin rated it it was amazing
when i lived in america my mother took this book out of the library every succot.this was one of my favorite books as a child;after all it had my name ,Tikvah, in the title!it talks about hope and being jewish.what better a book for a child who is jewish and has a name meaning hope?
Mar 26, 2009 Judy rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone with elementary age kids
This is one of my all time favorite children's books. I read it to my boys when they were little. It is a true story, based on the author's experience as a child when Oakland, CA was on fire. Beautiful story of hope and coming together during a disaster.
Mrs Bond
Mar 10, 2009 Mrs Bond rated it liked it
Inspired by fire that raged on a hot October day in Oakland CA. Includes some details on building a Jewish Sukkah and the idea of thankfulness. Great story of community rallying together, comforting one another.
Oct 08, 2012 Alexa rated it it was amazing
This book makes me cry. I don't think it did that when I first read it twenty years ago. Oh, little lost kitty cat.
Apr 27, 2013 Allison rated it liked it
I support independent bookstores. You can use this link to find one near you:
Sep 17, 2013 Hanna rated it it was amazing
This is honestly one of my favorite children's books. I plan on sharing this with my family and my children.
Aug 28, 2011 Rachel rated it it was amazing
I can barely get through this one ... it chokes me up every time even though I know how it ends :>)
Apr 01, 2011 Jim rated it it was amazing
didn't know it from the cover but this is a story about the oakland hills fire.
Sep 27, 2011 Nolan rated it it was amazing
awesome book. i was cring at the end of the book
Brendan Howard
Jun 01, 2013 Brendan Howard rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-to-zahara
The kind of Jewish story that wows.
Wanda marked it as to-read
Jul 21, 2016
Wendy  Sievers
Wendy Sievers rated it it was amazing
Jul 11, 2016
Mylena Fulp
Mylena Fulp marked it as to-read
Jul 01, 2016
Sonia Allison
Sonia Allison rated it it was amazing
Jun 01, 2016
Constance Dinsmore
Constance Dinsmore marked it as to-read
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Emily Bruzzini
Emily Bruzzini marked it as to-read
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Valerie rated it liked it
Apr 21, 2016
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