The Christmas Menorahs: How a Town Fought Hate

Written by Janice Cohn, D.S.W.
Illustrated by Bill Farnsworth

Reviewed by Maxwell F. (age 9) and Nitesh T. (age 9)

This book is about a boy named Isaac, and he is Jewish. Then, one day, while he was doing his math homework in the den, he heard a loud crash. He and Mrs. Davis, his babysitter, went to his bedroom and saw a hole in the window. There was a rock on his bed. Then he saw his electric Menorah on the ground. He was angry and upset.

Next, Mrs. Davis telephoned Isaac's parents. When his parents came home they called the Police Station and Chief Inman came. He said that there were a group of prejudiced people causing trouble in the neighborhood. The Schnitzers, Isaac's family, called the news station and they get on television about the incident. Many people saw it. The whole neighborhood gets together and helps Isaac's family. They work together and win. Read the book to see how they do it. This book is based on a true story that took place in 1993 in Billings, Montana.

Maxwell thinks the book is sad and happy. It is sad because the prejudiced people throw a rock through Isaac's window and it's happy because the people try to help Isaac's family. His favorite part is when the Hanley family, Isaac's friends, write a sign saying, "For our friend Isaac. With love from Theresa and the rest of the Hanley family." Nitesh thinks the book teaches a lesson. The lesson is to stick up for each other. His favorite part is when Mrs. McDonnell, a friend of Isaac's family, tells a story about the King of Denmark. Maxwell thinks it is a special book because it is based on a true story. He thinks this book is like Odd Velvet because Velvet and Isaac are both being prejudged. Nitesh thinks the book is special because it is a multicultural book. He thinks this book is like The Brand New Kid because he is being prejudged about the way he looks.

We recommend this book to people who like nonfiction stories. We think it is interesting that the book is based on a true story. It also might interest readers because the illustrator used paint in the pictures and they look three-dimensional.

Maxwell F. and Nitesh T. are students in Mrs. Friel's 3rd Grade Class
2001-2002