Friday, March 14, 2014

Book Review: Elan, Son of Two Peoples by Heidi Smith Hyde, Illustrated by Mikela Prevost

*****This review is meant for parents, teachers, and other people that work with children to read.*****

Elan’s father is Jewish and his mother is from an Indian background. His family lives in San Francisco. The day after his Bar Mitzvah he takes a train ride with his family to an Indian town where his mother is from so he can also take part in another celebration for his 13th birthday, a Pueblo ceremony of becoming a man. His mother tells a story of how she first had to become a member of the Jewish community before she married his father. He and his family travel through the Indian town; the full-color illustrations show what he and his family did and saw in the towns. There is a historical note at the end about Solomon Bibo, whose life inspired this story.

I liked how Elan’s family gave him the opportunity to explore both of the backgrounds that his parents came from. I also liked how Elan’s Indian family gathered together with himself and his parents during Shabbat and allowed him to speak (chant). Prayers and blessings were recited. I think that this trip was not only a great way to help Elan learn about the background of his mother better but it was also a way to educate people from the Indian culture about the background of his father when they participated in Shabbat with them. I believe this story was a great way for two cultures to come together in a peaceful way.

Marketed for ages 5-9, grades K-3

My Review= 5 out of 5 stars

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Kar-Ben Publishing. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

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