Kimmel (The Three Princes, 1994, etc.) interviews those who have experienced bar mitzvah and intersperses their words among the rest of his history of and guide to this Jewish ceremony. One man describes his disappointing journey into manhood; he learned to utter the prayers from his illiterate grandfather without knowing what he was saying or why. This incident may be Kimmel's inspiration for this book, which places the ceremony in context with other cultures' rites. He explains significant aspects of Judaism and Jewish history, and then discusses the ceremony itself- -what to strive for, what to expect (he speaks to all Jewish boys, but the celebration he describes is clearly Conservative). Readers facing this passage (a companion volume for girls is due out next year) have more questions than they know how to ask. Kimmel helpfully answers some of them here. (B&W photos, glossary) (Nonfiction. 11-13)

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 1995

ISBN: 0-670-85540-5

Page Count: 112

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 1995

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The Touro Synagogue of Newport, Rhode Island, is the oldest Jewish house of worship in the US; Fisher traces its history and details the design and construction of the beautiful two-story Georgian-style building, describing “the quietness of the building’s exterior, its gentleness” which “belied the tormented history of its congregants, resolute in their beliefs.” Constructed from 1759—1763, the synagogue was the focus of President George Washington’s comments in 1790 that “the Government of the United States, which gives to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance requires only that they who live under its protection should demean themselves as good citizens, in giving it on all occasions their effectual support.” This well-documented history will remind readers that the US was settled by people of many faiths who were united in their “search for freedom and peace of mind.” (photos and reproductions, bibliography, index) (Nonfiction. 8-12)

Pub Date: Feb. 15, 1999

ISBN: 0-8234-1401-9

Page Count: 64

Publisher: Holiday House

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 1999

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This mixed-format profile of the Great Soul sandwiches a concise narrative account of his life—enhanced by plenty of photos and sketched illustrations, plus side boxes and a spread on Hindu theology and customs—between a look at formative experiences in his early career presented in graphic panels and closing spreads of short passages from his works arranged by major themes (“Civil Disobedience,” “Love”). Urging readers to “listen to his words and consider whether some of his goals are also our own,” de Lambilly follows Gandhi from birth to assassination, focusing especially on the development of his philosophy, his methods of nonviolent protest and the relentless courage with which he took on the forces of racial, national and religious prejudice. Though the author’s fact checking could have been better—Pakistan was not “the world’s first Muslim country,” nor was her subject the “first person to use non-violence in politics”—Gandhi’s inspiring example and message is conveyed here with eloquence and simplicity in an appealingly designed package. The resource list includes works for both adults and younger audiences. (index) (Biography. 11-13)

Pub Date: Nov. 10, 2010

ISBN: 978-1-59270-094-3

Page Count: 72

Publisher: Enchanted Lion Books

Review Posted Online: Sept. 15, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2010

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