Passover: Festival of Freedom

72p. (Orca Origins). further reading. glossary. index. photos. Orca. Feb. 2016. Tr $24.95. ISBN 9781459809901.
Gr 5–8—A unique, eclectic Passover book. The first section ("What's Passover All About?") offers a comprehensive explanation of the history, customs, symbols, and practices of the holiday that is accessible to newcomers and will also enlighten those who already have some background. Polak then retells the personal stories of two Holocaust survivors ("Passover Before and After the Holocaust"), examining their memories of the ritual as children before the war, during the war, and once they emigrated to Canada. The third section ("Passover in Action") focuses on the tradition of feeding the hungry. Polak provides an overly detailed account of various endeavors sponsored by Jewish organizations in Canada that may lose the attention of general readers. The final part ("Passover Around the World") briefly describes how the holiday is observed in countries such as Israel, the Netherlands, China, and Nepal. Attractive, contemporary, full-color photographs are generously sprinkled throughout, but the pictures don't always match the text. Text boxes, quotes, and sidebars are effective and informative.
VERDICT A useful purchase for libraries looking to enhance their Passover offerings.

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