Cover image for The very best Hanukkah gift
The very best Hanukkah gift
Rocklin, Joanne.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Delacorte Press, 1999.
Physical Description:
114 pages ; 22 cm
During his family's eight-day celebration of Hanukkah, eight-year-old Henry learns the pleasure of giving and overcomes his fear of dogs.
Reading Level:
420 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR LG 3.3 2.0 32680.

Reading Counts RC 3-5 4.1 5 Quiz: 21675 Guided reading level: N.
Added Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
X Juvenile Current Holiday Item Holiday
X Juvenile Current Holiday Item Holiday
X Juvenile Current Holiday Item Holiday
X Juvenile Current Holiday Item Holiday
X Juvenile Current Holiday Item Holiday

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Hanukkah is here at last, and Daniel Bloom couldn't be more excited. It's time for candle lighting and storytelling and presents. Time for chocolate gelt and dreidel games and . . . green latkes? Uh-oh. Maybe this year's Hanukkah won't be quite what Daniel expects. And his mom's zucchini latke experiment isn't Daniel's only holiday challenge. There's that dog who just moved in down the hall. That huge dog with the fierce bark. Ever since being bitten last summer, Daniel has been afraid of dogs. Whenever he hears barking, he feels younger than his little sister, Amy. She loves dogs. Daniel knows that Amy wishes he weren't afraid. Maybe then, one of her gifts could be a dog. But that would take a miracle, Daniel figures. A Hanukkah miracle. From the Trade Paperback edition.

Author Notes

Joanne Rocklin is the acclaimed author of more than a dozen books for children, including the novel Strudel Stories, which follows a Jewish family through seven generations. A former elementary-school teacher and psychologist, she now writes full-time. She is a member of the Advisory Committee for the Museum of Tolerance "Once Upon a World" Storytelling Program of the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles and is a founding member of the outreach organization California Readers. Originally from Montreal, Joanne Rocklin has two grown sons and lives in Los Angeles with her husband, Gerry, and three cats.

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Gr. 2^-4. Daniel may be the middle child in the Bloom family, but he feels like the baby; his younger sister isn't afraid of the new dog, Rusty, next door, but Daniel is. To make matters worse, the dog's owner has invited the Blooms for Christmas cookies and hot chocolate. Daniel occupies himself before the dreaded visit by making Hanukkah presents for his family. The Blooms retell the ancient holiday story, light the candles, and cook traditional foods. On the night of the visit, Daniel accidentally drops the lucky dreidel he received as a gift. The dog scoops it up and places it at Daniel's feet, an overture of friendship that Daniel tentatively accepts. On the last night of the celebration, an ice storm knocks out the power and the Blooms' invited guests can't come, so they ask the other building residents, including Rusty, to share their Hanukkah meal. With refreshing, believable characters, this engaging story of a boy's fears, a supportive family, and a celebration that reflects traditional values is a great Hanukkah gift in itself. --Ellen Mandel

Publisher's Weekly Review

The high color of Rocklin's Strudel Stories is all washed out in this hokey middle-grade novel. Eight-year-old Daniel`s family celebrates Hanukkah with a zest that comes off as cornball: he and his older brother labor mightily to write a Hanukkah poem to recite at the family party; Daniel communes with a Maccabee in his dreams. The boy's fear of dogsÄwhich he overcomes, in order to let his little sister get a puppyÄdoesn't make him seem so much vulnerable as namby-pamby. See Amy Goldman Koss's 1998 How I Saved Hanukkah for a middle-grade novel that treats holiday observance with wit and backbone. Ages 7-11. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

Gr 2-4-Eight-year-old Daniel Bloom is thrilled that Hanukkah is finally here, even if his mother has decided to make zucchini latkes this year. Hanukkah at the Blooms' house means eight nights of candle lighting and presents, not to mention wonderful food, stories, and games. But while Danny delights in recounting the challenges faced by the brave and triumphant Maccabees, he is suddenly faced with a challenge of his own. A new neighbor with a big noisy dog has moved in next door, aggravating the fear that Danny has felt ever since he was bitten the previous summer. He knows that his sister, Amy, longs to have a dog, and that he is the reason she can't. The very best Hanukkah gift he can give her is to face his fear and prove himself to be as courageous as the Maccabees of long ago. Written with warmth and humor, with a chapter for each night of the celebration, this is a spirited middle-grade reader that's full of holiday tradition.-T.M. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Table of Contents

Wednesday Green and Grossp. 1
Thursday That Dogp. 17
Friday Daniel's Maccabeep. 27
Saturday Big Joe Zucchinip. 39
Sunday The Secret Presentp. 51
Monday Oil, Zoilp. 64
Tuesday The Riddlep. 74
Wednesday A Hanukkah Party to Rememberp. 91
Latke recipesp. 111