Like A Maccabee by Barbara Bietz
Days before Hanukkah, ten-year-old Ben’s soccer team makes the league championships. Only one thing stands between Ben and victory: the rival team’s best defender, a school bully whose favorite sport, other than soccer, is tormenting Ben. No one at home seems to understand. And now he has to share his bedroom with his grandfather, a man he barely knows! Facing humiliation at school and misunderstood by those who love him most, Ben finds an unexpected friend in his grandfather, learning ancient wisdom and steadfast strength, enough for the big game and beyond.
*Midwest Book Award Merit Winner
What Reviewers are Saying . . .
“The melding of plot and theme, Jewish history and contemporary life, Jewish values and character development is done very skillfully, with a light touch and a sure feel for childhood emotions and relationships. Ben’s family’s celebration of Hanukkah is portrayed with joy. Consider this a first purchase.” Linda R. Silver, Newsletter of the Association of Jewish Libraries
“Using the backdrop of the Hanukkah holiday, the author realistically captures the challenges of peer pressure and positive ways to overcome adversity against a bully. An important addition to the meager amount of Jewish-themed early chapter books, this heartwarming novel marks a promising debut for this first-time author. Kids will enjoy this book at Hanukkah time or throughout the year.” **Starred** Review, Jewish Book World
“Like a Maccabee is a refreshingly proud Jewish story. Barbara Bietz has given the miracles of Hanukkah new meaning for today’s ‘goal-oriented’ children. She has bridged the generation gap in a warm true-sounding story of a boy, his grandfather and the special way they share a holiday. Highly recommended.” Mindy Aber Barad, author of “Jewish Humor Stories for Kids”, Judaica Librarian’s Choice Award Nominee
“Recommended! Like a Maccabee brings the spirit of Chanukkah into a contemporary story that every elementary student will relate to. Barbara Bietz creates memorable, likeable characters that will be easy for parents and teachers – as well as their children-to recognize.” Gabrielle Kaplan-Mayer, author of “The Magic Tanach and Other Short Stories“
“Barbara Bietz has crafted a story that will resonate with all ages and make their hearts smile! Her multi-generational characters are refreshing and recognizable. Their voices make you laugh, pique your curiosity and feel compassion for others. Ben and Grandpa hit home runs when they develop the strength and courage to meet the challenges of change, a bully, and disappointment in their lives. This book is a ‘love’ gift for Chanukkah and for sharing a ‘championship’ life with those you love.” Shelia N. Glazov, author of “Princess Shayna’s Invisible Visible Gift”