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The Christmas Menorahs: How a Town Fought Hate

The Christmas Menorahs: How a Town Fought Hate (Concept Books (Albert Whitman)) - Janice Cohn, Bill Farnsworth 12/2013 ** Over the course of 4 days, I read this to the entire fourth grade team this year. From a thematic standpoint, the message resonates with me - don't stand by when others are persecuted for their beliefs or skin color. From a writing standpoint, the book could have been strengthened by a literary editor. The wordcount could probably have been reduced by 30-50% without detracting from the message. It reads more like a scholarly lesson than a picture book, and some of the dialogue isn't quite right.

Still, if you're in an area with a small Jewish population, this is an excellent text to help children learn to appreciate another tradition. With the current discussions about bullying, this book is a strong advocate for taking action against bullies, rather than simply standing by.