As Sarah's family prepares for Passover, Sarah makes sure to save a chair at the table for the prophet Elijah who is said to visit every seder. But when the electricity goes out in the buildings across the street and the neighbors start arriving at Sarah's apartment, her parents invite each visitor to join the seder. Sarah adds another place setting for Elijah, and then another, but soon the table is full with people from her neighborhood and there are no more chairs to spare! How can Sarah honor the Passover tradition of saving a place for Elijah?
About the Author
Kelly Easton Ruben teaches in Hamline University's MFA Writing for Children and Young Adults program in St.Paul, MN. She is the author of ten award-winning children's books, including The Outlandish Adventures of Liberty Aimes, Hiroshima Dreams, and Walking on Air.
Joanne Friar grew up in New Bedford, Massachusetts. She earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the University of Massachusetts/Dartmouth where she studied illustration and photography. She and her family make their home in Somerset, Massachusetts.
Read an Excerpt
A Place for Elijah
By Kelly Easton Ruben, Joanne Friar
Kar-Ben PublishingCopyright © 2016 Kelly Easton Ruben
All rights reserved.
It is the first evening of Passover.
Mama and Sarah set the table. "We mustn't forget to make a place for Elijah," Sarah says.
Every year at Passover, Sarah sets a place and leaves the door ajar so Elijah the Prophet can come in and visit the seder.
"I would never forget," Mama says, "but it's awfully cold to leave the door open."
Outside the window, a cold wind blows. Fat raindrops tap the pane: Let us in.
Papa brings the colorful Passover plate. Little Jacob brings in matzah wrapped snugly in a napkin. "I have a job too!"
Sarah counts the places at the table. There are six places, and five in their family: Mama, Papa, Ruthie, Jacob, and Sarah. That leaves an empty seat.
"Elijah will sit next to me," she says.
Mama lights a fire. The flames yell at the cold with hot tongues: Go away!
"So cold for spring," says Papa as he looks out the window.
Across the street are shops with apartments above, where the shop owners live: Music Man Miguel, Doughnut Dan, Bagel Ben, Mrs. Faaiz who arranges flowers — and the boy who sells magazines and chews bubble gum.
The sky is melting from blue to gray. Soon it will be dark. The lit up windows across the street go off and on.
"Look," Jacob says. "The eyes of the buildings are blinking.
Now they're closed."
"The power has gone off on the other side of the street," Papa says.
"Oh no," Sarah says. "The neighbors will get cold."
"I hope it's fixed soon," Mama says. "Everyone, wash your hands."
Excerpted from A Place for Elijah by Kelly Easton Ruben, Joanne Friar. Copyright © 2016 Kelly Easton Ruben. Excerpted by permission of Kar-Ben Publishing.
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