cover image The Christmas Revolution

The Christmas Revolution

Barbara Cohen. Lothrop, Lee and Shepard Books, $15 (161pp) ISBN 978-0-688-06806-6

Cohen is the author of many books for young readers, including Molly's Pilgrim (which was made into an Academy Awardwinning film). Her latest story tells of fourth-grader Emily Berg, one of a handful of Jewish students in her school. It's Christmasthat time of year when Emily starts to feel ""a little funny.'' She's surrounded by Christmas carols, decorations, projects and programs. But this year, Simeon Goldfarb, an Orthodox Jew who is new to the school, refuses to participate in anything connected with Christmas. Slowly, Emily joins his ``revolution.'' It helps get rid of her ``funny feeling,'' but no one, including her twin sister, understands her decision. This smooth story is as much about changing friendships as it about faith, acceptance and understanding. There is a mystery element that is a bit contrived, but young readers, whether they celebrate Christmas or Hanukkah or other holidays will enjoy this warmly told story and its gentle message. Ages 8-11. (August)