In this touching, simple story, a young Jewish girl named Rachel tries to make peace with the impending death of her grandfather.
Rachel’s grandfather, her zayde, has come to live with her family. Though no one has told her, Rachel knows it is because Zayde is dying, and she worries what will happen to him. Her friends’ religions offer her no solace, and although she gets some answers from her Rabbi about where Zayde may go, Rachel still can’t imagine her own life without Zayde in it. It is only when she realizes that Zayde will live on in the love and memories they share that she finally begins to find peace.
Author Sheri Sinykin’s understated text and illustrator Kristina Swarner’s beautiful illustrations combine to create a moving story about truth, love, and loss.
★ “Sinykin hits just the right balance of communication and reassurance with her storytelling, as does Swarner with her endearing and soothing illustrations. Children will relate to Rachel’s concerns and appreciate the comforting and positive messages relayed in a story that takes on a difficult and important subject.” ―Publishers Weekly, STARRED REVIEW
★ “There are many books that help a young child cope with death, but this is a particularly moving one… Although this reverberates with the beliefs of a particular religion, the emotions and message transcend.” ―Booklist, STARRED REVIEW
“The beautifully sensitive storytelling comforts readers by showing the inevitability of the circle of life in the context of strong family love…the emotions ring true universally… Pitch-perfect text and illustrations combine to create a story that will touch readers’ hearts.” ―School Library Journal
“Sinykin does a commendable job of dispelling fear with empathy and tenderness through some very direct yet positive answers to a child’s uncertainty…Though Rachel’s quest takes place within a Jewish context, her emotions and situation are near universal, and this artful book handles both well.” ―Kirkus Reviews
The Sydney Taylor Book Award for Younger Readers (Honor) ―Association of Jewish Libraries, 2013
Notable Social Studies Trade Books for Young People ―National Council for the Social Studies, Children’s Book Council, 2013
Parents’ Choice Recommended Award ―Parents’ Choice Foundation, 2012
Elizabeth Burr / Worzalla Award ―Wisconsin Library Association, 2013
Kansas State Reading Circle Recommended Reading List (Primary) ―Kansas National Education Association, 2013
Paterson Prize for Books for Young People (Honor Book) ―The Poetry Center at Passiac County Community , 2013
AR Level: 2.6
Themes: Belief, Death, Family, Grief
BISAC 1: JUV039030 Social Issues / Death & Dying
BISAC 2: JUV033020 Religious / Jewish
BISAC 3: JUV013030 Family / Multigenerational