Leigh's Reviews > Hanukkah at Valley Forge

Hanukkah at Valley Forge by Stephen Krensky
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Jun 25, 12

bookshelves: children-s-literature
Read in June, 2012

Hanukkah at Valley Forge by Stephen Krensky

Audience: Pre-K - 3rd grade; American history, Jewish beliefs and history, tolerance of other religions.

Appeal: This book is based on actual events that occurred in the life of George Washington during the American Revolutionary War. The story begins with George Washington feeling overwhelmed about his troops being ill prepared for the winter with inadequate supplies including the lack of shoes, coats, and food. As he is walking, he passes the tent where a soldier is lighting a single candle and softly speaking in Hebrew. He enters the tent, and the Polish soldier is at first alarmed that he has been caught honoring the first night of Hanukkah. As the story unfolds we understand why the soldier was initially frightened, why Hanukkah is celebrated, and, my personal favorite, is we get to see a side of George Washington often left out of history books. This is a great book to teach tolerance of other religions and to show that this has been happening for a long time. A bonus to this book is the ‘Author’s Notes’ that explain where he got the idea for the story and how he went about writing it. An excellent read for any age that shows a side of war usually left out of textbooks and explains how George Washington found the courage to continue with his fight for our freedom – thanks to a single soldier and the story of his faith.

Award: 2007 The Sydney Taylor Book Award
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message 1: by Wendy (new)

Wendy Loewenstein This provides an interesting perspective during this time period.


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