A near-forgotten tragedy of Jewish history is brought alive in this novel, a long-time classic that has recently been reprinted. When Yosef, Chanan and Luis find themselves among 2000 young Jewish children exiled to the island of Sao Tome to be baptized by the Church and estranged from their heritage, can they see beyond their differences and give the children a fighting chance? Boys will be captivated by the adventure and courage that fills the pages, while subtly absorbing lessons in human relationships.
This is a book that can be read, re-read and then read yet one more time. I should know! I read it first as a child, again as a teenager, and once again now…and I look forward to encouraging any of my boys who haven’t read it yet to do so as soon as they return from camp! No bribes will be necessary for this book!
This a laugh-out-loud book for lower elementary boys (and their mothers)! What’s the answer to a boy who keeps losing his shoes? Hi-tech, voice-activated, GPS-equipped, lock-to-feet Supershoes!
Boys will be pulled right into the action, which builds around the central plot: Can Avi outwit his shoes?
Our nine year old reviewer gives this book five stars!
[SuperShoes, Sara R. Cohen, Judaica Press]
Available at Judaicapress.com
Here’s your Jewish Encyclopedia Brown. These mini mysteries might leave you stumped, but Gemarakup solves them using lessons he learned in yeshiva. Boys appreciate the genius, as most of them have learned the same stories in their own class.
“It’s very good! He figures it out from stories he learned in Gemara,” says our Junior reviewer. “Like the one where his uncle owns a jewelry store…and there’s a holdup, and…” okay, let your little gemara kups read it themselves.
There are four volumes in the Gemarakup series, available at http://www.artscroll.com, and at 5.99 each, they are extremely reasonable for Jewish books!
Here’s a link directly to Volume I: http://artscroll.com/linker/bob1262/ASIN/GK1P
[Gemarakup Super Sleuth, Miriam Stark Zakon, Artscroll]
After A. Romi Cohn spoke at my son’s Yeshiva, my boys asked to buy his book, The Youngest Partisan; their eager expressions made it clear that they intended to read it.
Not only did my older boys read it cover to cover, but even my eleven- and thirteen-year-old boys, who rarely attempt full-length, adult books, were riveted, and read the entire book through until the end.
What they said, “I kept waiting to get up to the part where he becomes a partisan, but the whole book is very interesting.”
And, “He keeps having to run from place to place, and he hides who he is in order to help other Jews.”
In short, A. Romi Cohn’s tremendous courage as a teenager, when he was just a few years older than they are, is fascinating to today’s boys.
[The Youngest Partisan, A. Romi Cohn, Mesorah Publications]
Give your boys a dose of high adventure with the Adventures of a Lifetime series. These books combine intrigue, memorable characters and the charm of Eretz Yisroel, with a touch of history for good measure. The actions starts up early, and it keeps taking exciting twists and turns throughout the plot, keeping boys hooked.
So far we’ve read Destination Unknown and The Churva Plot, and we look forward to reading the latest adventure, Strangers in Yerushalayim.
[Adventures of a Lifetime Series, Zev Spektor, Judaica Press]
The series is available to purchase at Judaica Press
Have boys age 9 – 15? Mission Control to Mars has our vote!
“It’s hard to find books like this,” says my son, who’s currently serving as my junior reviewer. “It has everything in one: adventure, a bit of mystery, and also regular stuff like getting along with friends.”
I couldn’t agree more. That was exactly my own impression of this creative, fun book. The setting is original, but the characters are boys we all recognize in our own communities, struggling to get along and find their place even as they deal with crisis and, in this case, inter-planetary emergencies!
Stay tuned for impressions of our other reviewers…
[Mission Control to Mars, by C. B. Gavant, Menucha Publishers]
If your boys understand Yiddish, and enjoy beautiful Yiddish songs, this is a fantastic gift to bring home…for a birthday, in honor of a siyum, a new baby, or after a trip abroad…find an excuse!
This book includes the lyrics for all your Yiddish favorites, and your children can follow along while listening to the CD. Of course, each page is also illustrated with captivating images, Waxberger style.
A guest left this behind as a gift for our family, and it’s been a hit since the first day.
These might be out of print, but they’re not out of style! Right now, our house in Cheery Bim Band land, with my son excited each time he finds one available at our local library. “It goes like this,” he tells me, “Gavriel comes up with the idea, then Shaya thinks it over, and then Moshe Chaim makes it happen.”
If these books can get my eleven-year-old, never the biggest reader, to reach the last page and come back for more, that’s enough reason for me to list this series, even though it is neither new nor easy to find. I did see some available at Eichlers, Abebooks.com and JewishUsedBooks.com.
[The Cheery Bim Band Series by Chaim Finkelstein/M. C. Millman, CIS Publishers]