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AVRAM’S GIFT

Price : $12.95 (Paperback, full color),   $6.99 (Paperback, black and white), $6.99 (eBook, iBook)
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Synopsis

A shofar story for Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur for readers ages 7-11, “Avram’s Gift” is an endearing tale about discovering one’s roots and making dreams come true. Award-winning illustrator Laurie McGaw brings the story to life with appealing and realistic images throughout the book.

Eight-year-old Mark has two wishes: To become a shofar-blower—just like his High Holiday hero—and to make that photograph of his great-great-grandfather Avram disappear from the hallway in his new home. When the family gathers for Rosh Hashanah, though, Mark discovers that his own desire to blow the shofar is actually linked to a hope that the unsmiling man in the photograph once had. ”Avram’s Gift” is a charming portrait of a family and how their lives—past and present—mingle to make wishes come true.

Meet the Author and the Illustrator

author-headshot

Margie Blumberg

More about the author

Reviews

“A Notable Book for Younger Readers”
— SYDNEY TAYLOR BOOK AWARDS, THE ASSOCIATION OF JEWISH LIBRARIES

“’Avram’s Gift’ is a Rosh Hashanah story, an immigrant story, and a story about contemporary Jewish life all in one beautifully illustrated chapter book bursting with Yiddishkeit.”
—RACHEL KAMIN, THE ASSOCIATION OF JEWISH LIBRARIES

“[A] touching and intriguing story . . . McGaw’s pictures are flawless. . . . A wonderful choice for those long holiday afternoons, it’s sure to spark questions about . . . legacies left to future generations.”
—JUDY CHERNAK, CHILDREN’S LITERATURE

“Connections across generations also come clear in a story that’s as sweet as honey used for dipping apples.”
—STEPHANIE ZVIRIN, BOOKLIST

“A delightful, moving Rosh Hashanah story that teaches how each individual can deeply affect future generations. Exquisite watercolor illustrations by award-winning artist Laurie McGaw. Ages 8 and up.”
—THE CANADIAN JEWISH NEWS

“Librarians will do children, parents, teachers, and clergy a favor by connecting them with this affirmative book.”
—LINDA R. SILVER, JEWISH BOOK WORLD

“‘Avram’s Gift’ is among the books I am saving for each of my children, who will hopefully share them with their own children one day.”
—JEWISH KIDS BOOKS CIRCLE MAVEN

“The shofar’s blasts will be even more meaningful after reading ‘Avram’s Gift’ . . . a handsomely illustrated storybook. . . .”
—CLEVELAND JEWISH NEWS

“One usually asks what grade level is appropriate for the reader of juvenile book. ‘Avram’s Gift,’ however, is not meant for children to read. It is meant for children to hear as a parent or other “-eleh*” reads. That way, it becomes a springboard for telling family stories — stories that tell of love flowing from generation to generation and through the cycle of the years.

“Young Mark is disturbed by the stern visage in a photo of his great-great grandfather Avram. But when Avram’s grandson (who is also Mark’s grandfather) shares stories about Avram, Mark understand the love that binds them.  For example, when grandfather holds up the photo of great-great grandfather, “his smile was so bright that it lit up the face in the picture. ‘They actually look like they are happy to see each other,'” Mark thinks.

“Physically linking their lives is a shofar that has passed through the generations. When Avram sees his grandson leaving Eastern Europe for America, he gives his shofar to the lad. The grandson exclaims, “Zeyde, your shofar? You’re giving this to me? Really? But it’s your treasure.” Avram replies, “No, Menashkelah. You are my treasure,” and tells the boy that he will hear the shofar wherever it is sounded.

“Ultimately, the shofar passes to Mark who, as a recently bar mitzvahed 13-year-old, sounds the horn at the conclusion of Yom Kippur. ‘He felt then that everyone could hear it. No, not just the people in the sanctuary, but everyone — around the world and behind the moon and beyond the stars . . . to another place and time . . . to the very spot where the shofar came from, where his great-great-grandpa Avram sat, with his eyes tightly shut, in the synagogue, listening to his favorite sound.’

“I know just how he feels.”
— HEARINGSHOFAR.BLOGSPOT.COM

“So very many new beginnings—some casual, others poignant—all conveying the message that, by remembering, we learn from the past and that, on extremely rare occasions, the past and the present can come together and be felt as one in special, tangible ways. Like a picture and a shofar.”
—DEANNA SILVERMAN

Book Details

Pages : 58 (full color), 63 (black and white)
Age Range : 7 - 11 years
Publication Date : October 18, 2017 (full-color paperback; originally published in September 2005); October 18, 2017 (black and white)
Size : 8.5 x 8.5 inches (Paperback); 5.25 x 8 (Paperback) 23 illustrations
ISBNs : 978-0-9624166-3-7 (full color), 978-0-9994463-4-8 (black and white)

SING ALONG!

“A NEW YEAR”

©2016 Written and Produced by Michael Hunter Ochs

May this be a year of love and kindness
May strangers come to be friends
May truth and compassion always guide us
Amen.

May this be a year of hope and healing
For all of those in need
May all of our deeds be a blessing
Amen.

A new year
A good year
A chance to start all over.
A new year
A sweet year
A chance to bring us closer.

May this be a year of selfless giving
May this be a year of peace
And may we forgive and be forgiven
Amen.

A new year
A good year
A chance to start all over
A new year
A sweet year
A chance to bring us closer

A new year
A good year
A chance to start all over
A new year
A sweet year
A chance to bring us closer
Closer to the ones we love
A world that we can be proud of
Long as there are stars above
There comes a new year
Amen.

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