cover image ALEXANDRA'S SCROLL: The Story of the First Hanukkah

ALEXANDRA'S SCROLL: The Story of the First Hanukkah

Miriam Chaikin, Stephen Fieser, , illus. by Stephen Fieser. . Holt, $18.95 (128pp) ISBN 978-0-8050-6384-4

Alexandra, the Jewish girl who narrates this informative historical novel, lives in Jerusalem at the time of the Maccabees. Like them, she experiences the oppression of the Syrian-Greek regime. Inspired by the example of Esther (named here as the author of the scroll read on Purim), Alexandra vows to record the ongoing story of her people and ends up writing about the miracle now commemorated at Hanukkah. Chaikin's (Clouds of Glory) research, as always, is meticulous, but Alexandra often seems more a conduit for that research than a flesh-and-blood character. Fieser's (The Sabbath Lion) abundant illustrations glow with the heat of the Judean sun, grounding the text in its historical setting. Ages 9-12. (Oct.)