Jason's Miracle: A Hanukkah Story

Overview

Jason doesn't want to celebrate Hanukkah. He'd rather celebrate Christmas. But Jason gains a new perspective when he is transported back in time and welcomed as a friend of the Maccabees. He also gets to witness the miracle of the lights.

Twelve-year-old Jason has ambivalent feelings about Hanukkah until he finds himself transported back to the time of the Maccabean revolt in Judea.

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Jason's Miracle: A Hanukkah Story

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Overview

Jason doesn't want to celebrate Hanukkah. He'd rather celebrate Christmas. But Jason gains a new perspective when he is transported back in time and welcomed as a friend of the Maccabees. He also gets to witness the miracle of the lights.

Twelve-year-old Jason has ambivalent feelings about Hanukkah until he finds himself transported back to the time of the Maccabean revolt in Judea.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
It is the first night of Hanukkah, and Jason cannot sleep. It is so tough listening to the kids at school talk about Christmas presents. He wishes he could have a Christmas tree. But his dad won't celebrate Christmas, not even a little. His dad thinks the miracle of the Hanukkah lights is such a big deal. Who cares, thinks Jason, as he closes his eyes. He wakes to a strange boy claiming to be with the Maccabees, fighting in ancient Judea. He can't believe it, after all, the Maccabees lived two thousand years ago. But Jason responds to his urgent message—if you don't help us, our revolt will fail—and as he joins the Maccabee forces, he comes to understand and appreciate this miracle. This wonderful, dramatic tale teaches the meaning of Hanukkah with the same style, excitement and suspense as A Christmas Carole teaches the meaning of Christmas. This holiday story will inspire children of all religions. 2000, Albert Whitman. Ages 9 to 13. Reviewer: Dia L. Michels
Kirkus Reviews
At 12, studying for his bar mitzvah, Jason Cohen doesn't consider himself a kid anymore. So why does he feel so mixed up about Hanukkah and not celebrating Christmas? What relevance can it possibly have to a modern kid's life? Late that night, he finds a young intruder, Aaron ben Moshe, who has been sent from Judea to find a member of the Cohen tribe. Judah, the Judean leader, needs help, and only a Cohen will do. Jason gets caught up in Aaron's excitement, and quickly packs some peanut butter, bananas, bread, a flashlight, and his new binoculars. He follows Aaron and is soon transported back to Judea. There are sentries—is Jason a spy? They aren't sure—after all, the name Jason is Greek. That's just his cover name, he tells them; he has a good Hebrew name, Joseph ben David HaKohen. Is using a different name a part of what his dad meant about people accommodating a conqueror's demands? Understanding that concept is a fairly large step for Jason to take, and it's handled almost as a throwaway line. This happens a lot, and if the reader doesn't pay attention, some of the more sophisticated concepts may be overlooked. Benderly's descriptions of Judah Maccabee as a dynamic leader are very strong. An awful lot of history has to be explained very fast, and she manages that quite well, too. Jason's modern "smarts," and the things he takes for granted (like multiplication and that flashlight), make the story move quickly. The only trouble comes in Jason's quick return home. Suddenly it's morning, and he wakes up in his own bed, having been gone only one night. And now he's able to reconcile his father's view oftheHanukkah miracle with what he knows actually happened. He's matured about three years. Of course, good time-travel can do that, but this is a bit forced. Preachy, it doesn't hold a candle to the slimmer Time Warp adventures. (history and math notes) (Fiction. 9-12)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780807537817
  • Publisher: Whitman, Albert & Company
  • Publication date: 9/1/2000
  • Pages: 120
  • Age range: 9 - 13 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.70 (w) x 8.10 (h) x 0.60 (d)

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 6, 2001

    enjoyable holiday reading

    My son enjoyed reading this book . He also liked being used as the model for the cover of the book.He was very excited to see himself on the cover of a book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 21, 2000

    A great Hanukkah story!

    There aren't too many Hanukkah books for kids my age. I liked this one a lot because it was exciting, fun and taught me things. It really tells how it feels to be a Jewish kid at Christmas time, and also tells a lot about the old days and Jewish history. My mom and my 10-year-old brother liked it too.

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