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Orca Book Publishers Spring 2016 Trade

Festival of Freedom
By (author): Monique Polak
Monique Polak


Orca Book Publishers - Victoria



Product Form:


Form detail:

Sewn, Paper over boards, Printed dust jacket
Hardcover , Sewn, Paper over boards, Printed dust jacket


Juvenile: Age (years) 9 - 12, Grade (CAN) 4 - 7, Grade (US) 4 - 7, Reading age 9 - 12
Feb 16, 2016
$24.95 CAD


9in x 7.5 x 0.5 in | 480 gr

Page Count:

72 pages


full color images
FSC certified – mixed sources C016245
Orca Book Publishers
JUVENILE NONFICTION / Holidays & Celebrations / Passover
Children’s / Teenage general interest: Celebrations, holidays, festivals and special events|Children’s / Teenage general interest: History and the past|Children’s / Teenage general interest: Judaism|Children’s / Teenage personal and social topics: Diversity, equality and inclusion|Interest age: from c 9 years|Passover (Pesach)
j296.4/37 23
CCBC Best Books for Kids & Teens 2016, Commended
  • Short Description
Enlivened by personal stories, Passover illuminates and celebrates how ancient Jewish traditions are kept alive in the modern world in this work of nonfiction for middle readers.
There’s more to Passover than prayers and matzo.

During Passover, Jews are reminded of how, more than three thousand years ago, their ancestors emerged from slavery to become free men and women.

Bestselling author Monique Polak explores her own Jewish roots as she tells the Passover story, which reminds us that the freedom to be who we are and practice our religion, whatever it may be, is a great gift. It also teaches us that if we summon our courage and look out for each other, we can endure and overcome the most challenging circumstances. Enlivened by personal stories, Passover reminds us that we can all endure and overcome the most challenging circumstances.

Passover is the first in the Orca Origins series that examines ancient traditions kept alive in the modern world.

Monique Polak is the author of more than thirty books for young people. She is the three-time winner of the Quebec Writers' Federation Prize for Children's and YA Literature for her novels Hate Mail, What World is Left and Room for One More. In addition to teaching at Marianopolis College in Montreal, Monique is a freelance journalist whose work has appeared in Maclean's Magazine, the Montreal Gazette and other Postmedia newspapers. She is also a columnist on ICI Radio-Canada's Plus on est de fous, plus on lit! In 2016, Monique was the CBC/Quebec Writers' Federation inaugural writer-in-residence. Monique lives in Montreal.

Contributor Website

"While this title in the Orca Origins series explains the holiday of Passover, it also goes further. In the introduction, Polak remembers her associations with the holiday while growing up in Montreal, mostly through friends’ seders...The sections in which the Holocaust survivors remember is both chilling and moving...Kids’ holiday rituals and personal stories make for an interesting mix. Illustrated with many color photos, this unique take on an ancient holiday should resonate with readers."

- Booklist

"An overview of the holiday of Passover is elaborated with personal narratives, the story's connection to the Holocaust, and various Seder customs practiced in several countries around the world...A plethora of photographs, informational sidebars, drawings, and recipes break up the substantial yet enlightening text. Good supplementary material to increase the holiday's meaning and currency for older children." - Kirkus Reviews

"Each chapter is detailed with an abundance of information...Personal stories of Holocaust survivors, Ben and Liselotte, add to the appeal and authenticity of this title...A helpful glossary, and a list of references and resources are also included. Passover is the first in a series of books in the 'Orca Origins' series which will examine 'ancient traditions kept alive in the modern world.'" - CM Magazine

"The book is written in a very readable text accompanied by black and white and colour historical and contemporary captioned photographs...A great complement to a study of religious customs and multiculturalism...Highly recommend[ed]." - Resource Links

"The author does a thorough job of describing the origins of Passover, the intricacies of the seder, and the importance of this event to Jews around the world. She makes it all accessible to middle-grade readers, regardless of their ethnicity, by including the stories of specific individuals (including a couple of elderly Montrealers who survived the Holocaust), focusing on the participation of children in the seder, and including some simple recipes. The result is a lively read, illustrated with many photos." - The Montreal Gazette

"Poignant...A glossary as well as an excellent reference and resource guide round out the book." - Jewish Journal

"A fascinating look into the celebration of the Passover holiday...Insightful." - Tri State Young Adult Book Review

"With numerous sidebars, photographs, recipes, drawings and short facts, the book...is bound to teach youngsters and adults alike how important it is to celebrate the holiday in their own way." - The Canadian Jewish News

"Learn about Passover in this informative nonfiction book...recommended." - School Library Connection

"A must-have title, whether readers are already knowledgeable about the holiday's history and rituals or learning about them for the first time...Highly recommended for all ages." - Jewish Book Council

"With her convivial, chatty writing style, the material is easily absorbed, and the richness of the culture and festival shine through. Facts are augmented and enriched by the narratives of many participants...Undoubtedly, the book will encourage much discussion and sharing of religious traditions and will be a welcome and highly readable addition to various library collections." - Canadian Children's Booknews

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