Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Candlelight for Rebecca (American Girls: Rebecca, #3)” as Want to Read:
Candlelight for Rebecca (American Girls: Rebecca, #3)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Candlelight for Rebecca (American Girls: Rebecca #3)

4.01  ·  Rating details ·  1,007 Ratings  ·  50 Reviews
Rebecca's teacher assigns the class to make Christmas decorations--but Rebecca's family is Jewish and doesn't celebrate Christmas. Her teacher tells her that Christmas is a national holiday, for all Americans to celebrate. Although her parents came from Russia, Rebecca knows she's as American as anyone else, even without celebrating Christmas. Could her teacher be wrong? I ...more
Paperback, 77 pages
Published July 1st 2009 by American Girl Publishing Inc (first published June 1st 2009)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Candlelight for Rebecca, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Candlelight for Rebecca

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
carrietracy
Dec 04, 2010 rated it did not like it
Shelves: childrens
I was pretty annoyed at the messages in this book. I don't think it's necessary for Jewish children to accommodate the Christian majority by making Christmas symbols in school. Clearly the book is set at a different time, but the message sent by it is clearly that Jews who honor Christmas are doing the right thing even if it means being untrue to who they are. Also, there's more than one conversation about Hanukkah not being a very important holiday. As in, other people say it's not that importa ...more
Ciara
May 10, 2010 rated it liked it
oof. this one started off with some incredibly heavy-handed exposition regarding the meaning of hannukah. but it got a little better. rebecca is all excited for hannukah because she gets to wear her special occasion holiday dress & eat latkes & get a chance to light a candle on the menorah & play dreidl games, etc. but at school, her teacher hands out red candles, pine boughs, berries, & pine cones, & tells everyone that they're going to be making christmas centerpieces becau ...more
Sesana
Jul 19, 2012 rated it really liked it
3.5 stars, bumped up slightly because I think it's the best book in Rebecca's series.
Erin
Jul 26, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: eva-books
This is probably my favorite of the Rebecca books so far. I liked how the author talked about both Christmas and hannakkah and how both celebrations and customs were handled.
I do wish the author had gone into more detail about what hanakkah is and why it's celebrated.
Stephanie
Jun 25, 2017 rated it liked it
Paige's literary girls.
Elizabeth
Feb 26, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-in-2017
3.5
Jori
Sep 08, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: women-author, 2015
Her conflict was with creating a decoration for a holiday she did not celebrate. She feared the way her family would react when they found out about it. It is a realistic emotion for students when school assignments and homework conflict with their life at home. Her grandmother's reaction was amazing.
(view spoiler)
...more
Amanda Caldwell
Review from The Book Babe.

Candlelight for Rebecca is the third book in Rebecca's American Girl series. Traditionally, the third book is always the holiday book, so in this installment we find Rebecca preparing to celebrate Hanukkah with her family. However, every where Rebecca looks there's Christmas decorations. Even at school, the students are creating a Christmas decoration to take home. Rebecca's teacher tells the class that despite one's religion, Christmas is an American holiday celebrate
...more
Heather
Jan 31, 2017 rated it really liked it
In this book, Rebecca is excitedly preparing for Hanukkah with her family. Meanwhile, at school, Miss Maloney is very firm in the idea that Americans celebrate Christmas. So, she has the students make Christmas centerpieces. Rebecca is torn about whether she should make the centerpiece or not and, then, what to do with it.

I'll be honest: when I was in school the art teacher had us make things for all the major holidays: Valentine's Day, St. Patrick's Day, Easter, Halloween, Thanksgiving and Chri
...more
Bree
Mar 22, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: historical, children
This review is from the point of view of a mother. I'm reading the Rebecca series to decide when they will be appropriate for my daughter.

Of the books so far, I think Candlelight for Rebecca does a deft job handling a few diverse threads, and weaving them into a whole, quite subtly.

First the book deals most candidly and accurately with the struggle minority religions deal with in public institutions, even today. Rebecca, as a nine-year-old, feels caught in the middle between pleasing her teach
...more
Angelica
In this particular American Girl book. It's Christams in New York City and it's the year 1914. Rebecca is asked by her teacher to make Christmas decorations but Rebecca's family is Jewish and doesn't celebrate Christmas. Although her teacher tells her it's a national holiday for all Americans to celebrate, Rebecca believes herself to be just as American as anyone else even though her parents came from Russia.

This book is a great message to send to young girls. No matter where you come from you
...more
Sarah Crawford
Feb 17, 2016 rated it really liked it
Rebecca is a young Jewish girl growing up in 1914. The story has a bit about Jewish customs, but more importantly examines the problems of Jewish families back then trying to 'fit in' to American society, and how this sometimes caused cultural problems. Rebecca's class at school is involved in making Christmas decorations and Rebecca has a problem with this since, of course, her family does not celebrate Christmas but celebrates Hanukkah instead.

A second theme revolves around a man in the apart
...more
Alexandria
I loved this book. The four-star rating is mostly at the feet of nostalgia, as I remember the original American Girl books having a bit more historical information in them. I may be a bit biased, however, as I was maybe six or seven when I read those books!

It is wonderful to see a positive representation of a Russian Jewish family, particularly set during a time period when immigrants were forced, some would say more aggressively than they are now, to shed their native cultures in favor of a uni
...more
Samantha
A class assignment to make a Christmas decoration causes Rebecca many worries. Her family is making preparations for Hanukkah and she's concerned that her grandparents who are very traditional will not understand that while she's proud of her Jewish heritage she is curious and even excited by American traditions.

Meanwhile, when her grouchy neighbor, Mr. Rossi, falls ill Rebecca steps in to care for his cat, Pasta, her new kittens, and the pigeons he keeps on the roof. This simple favor warms Mr
...more
Christina
Jul 22, 2013 rated it really liked it
My favorite AG book so far! Rebecca's uncomfortable situation in this one is having to make a Christmas centerpiece in school. Her teacher doesn't care that the Jewish students are uncomfortable with the project. Rebecca is proud of the pretty decoration she made but afraid her family will disapprove of it, and she doesn't know what to do. Throughout the book she and the reader learn a little about Hanukkah and everything gets wrapped up in a Mr. Krueger's Christmas-ish final chapter.
It's a swee
...more
Lfineberg
Jan 06, 2010 rated it really liked it
Part of the American girl series my daughter and I read together. I highlight this one bc it tells the story of a little Jewish girl who is torn bc her teacher tells her that everyone celebrates Christmas. She doesn't know how to handle being "forced" to make a Christmas decoration at school. She knows she can't bring it home, but she finds a good solution.

It's a great story to help learn about maintaining a Jewish identity even when it is difficult. I love a part in the story when her father r
...more
Miri
Jul 15, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Rebecca's family is Jewish and they celebrate Hanukkah, not Christmas, so when Rebecca's teacher gives the class an assignment to make a Christmas centerpiece, she doesn't know what to do. Her grandmother Bubbie doesn't even like to hear Christmas songs, Rebecca knows she won't want to see this decoration. Rebecca's friend Rose is going to throw hers away, but Rebecca thinks the centerpiece is so beautiful she hates to do that. Meanwhile Rebecca has been helping her grouchy neighbor Mr. Rossi, w ...more
Cara Wilson
Apr 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Candlelight for Rebecca
Cara W., Spring 2015

Series #3

So, far this is the BEST book so far I've read. Rebecca must decide between pleasing her family or her teacher, a subject that may come up very often in the classroom. Rebecca must learn what is right for her and what is right for her culture. She learns the real meaning of the holiday season.

I love the accuracy in this book regarding Jewish traditions. This book has a lot of teachable moments. This is great for all minorities, especially with
...more
Liz
Nov 15, 2011 rated it really liked it
Rebecca Rubin, the daughter of Russian-Jewish immigrants, is conflicted when she finds out that her teacher has assigned the class to make Christmas decorations. Her teacher tells her that Christmas is an American holiday, but Rebecca and her family know are as American as anyone else and they don't celebrate Christmas.

I wish this book had been out when my own girls were younger. There just aren't very many books that handle the Hanukkah/Christmas issue with such sensitivity.
Teri
Jan 12, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: american-girl, wwi, russia
Our initial exposure to American Girl books was on audio CD--and it was disenchanting. Actually reading this book with my daughter was DELIGHTFUL! The illustrations are beautiful and I really enjoyed learning about Hanukkah along with her.

2014--ideas to go with the book--make centerpiece like the one in the book, make latkes (SO YUMMY!!!), learn about carrier pigeons, play with dreidels, learn about the menorah. . .
Marya
May 14, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: children-series
"And God bless us, everyone!" This book is about Hannukah, and it does do a good job of addressing how immigrants and their children had to deal with the conflict between assimilating the American culture at the turn of the century and maintaining their religious identify. But despite that, I swear it still ends on the same saccharine note as most Christmas tales.
Amanda
Aug 08, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-in-2012
Greene does a really nice job with Rebecca. Her stories are very linear, her character develops with each book, and her life seems real - much less picturesque than some AG characters. I love the incorporation of early views of Hanukkah here.
Shawna
Dec 30, 2011 rated it really liked it
I was looking forward to reading this one. The American Girl books about celebrating holidays are usually my favorite in a series. I don't celebrate Hanukkah so I was really interested in this story. I thought that it was sweet.
Mary
Jul 23, 2009 rated it really liked it
Liked the way that Rebecca resolved her conflict in doing something not in her religion and finding a way to have it benefit someone else.
Wonder how much the Hanukkah has changed over the years. Has it become as commercialized as the Christian celebration of Christmas?
Laura
Apr 01, 2012 rated it really liked it
I do not remember faith playing such a large role in any of the other American Girl books - I wonder if this will be a theme for future girls? I love that Rebecca gave her Christmas centerpiece to a lonely neighbor - what a nice lesson.
Sarah Liesemer
Jun 19, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-aloud
Favourite thing - When Rebecca sewed with her sister

Least favourite thing - talking about the battle with the king that led to the first Hanukah. This is because I don't really like battles

One thing you learned

Mommy' opinion - I like it. Heartwarming story mixing
Angie
Sep 10, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Another hit with me!
Steve
Feb 01, 2010 rated it really liked it
I like it how Rebecca is willing to help Mr Rose even tohw he dosent like her very much. I like it that Rebecca's sister's let her in on there secrt and that they teat her beter.
Elaine
Apr 19, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: american-girl
Interesting to read about a Jewish family celebrating Hanukkah.
Bridget
Jan 03, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: library
It was a really cute story most people will like this story. I think kids about 4th grade will more enjoy this book.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Happy New Year, Julie (American Girls: Julie, #3)
  • Happy Birthday, Josefina!: A Springtime Story (American Girls: Josefina, #4)
  • Cécile's Gift (American Girls: Marie-Grace and Cécile, #6)
  • Kaya's Hero: A Story of Giving (American Girls: Kaya, #3)
  • Caroline's Secret Message (American Girls: Caroline, #2)
  • Marie-Grace Makes a Difference (American Girls: Marie-Grace and Cécile, #5)

Other Books in the Series

American Girls: Rebecca (6 books)
  • Meet Rebecca (American Girls: Rebecca, #1)
  • Rebecca and Ana (American Girls: Rebecca, #2)
  • Rebecca and the Movies (American Girls: Rebecca, #4)
  • Rebecca to the Rescue (American Girls: Rebecca, #5)
  • Changes for Rebecca (American Girls: Rebecca, #6)

Share This Book