Review of Janet’s Children’s Book The Passover Surprise by the Midwest Book Review in its October Issue

Dear Friends,

The Midwest Book Review just published a review of my chapter book for children, The Passover Surprise, illustrated by Ronald Kauffman (Fictive Press, 2015) in its online October 2015 issue. The article is in the section entitled “Children’s Bookwatch.” The review is below.

Best wishes!


Children’s Bookwatch: October 2015
James A. Cox, Editor-in-Chief
Diane Donovan, Editor
278 Orchard Drive, Oregon, WI 53575

The Judaic Shelf

The Passover Surprise
Janet Ruth Heller, author
Ronald Kauffman, illustrator
Fictive Press
9781927663172, $11.50,

The Passover Surprise” is a middle grade chapter story that deals sensitively with complex issues like fairness, sexist thinking, working hard to sort out complex problems and issues within a family setting, relying on strong religious and cultural values within the framework of Judaism. Lisa is the heroine who is hurt by her father’s decision to award a coveted stamp book to her younger brother Jon, perhaps because he is the younger son while she is the older daughter. Some wonderful pages describe first how Lisa felt, and then how she evaluates her options and strategies to attempt to explain her reaction to her father, whom she loves. “The Passover Surprise” tackles many difficult issues of prejudice, racism, misogyny, and fairness, even including bullying. All development is influenced by the strong Jewish faith and values of Lisa and her family. The story takes place in the 60’s, and has a definite period flavor to it, which is underlined by the quietly charming black and white illustrations. “The Passover Surprise” is filled with wonder and hope, even in times of dreadful hardship and disappointment.

front cover for Passover Surprise

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