THE PASSOVER SURPRISE, A Middle-Grade Chapter Book

THE PASSOVER SURPRISE, A Middle-Grade Chapter Book by Janet Ruth Heller, illustrated by Ronald Kauffman

Lisa and her little brother Jon enjoy collecting stamps.  But when their father holds a contest to decide which child will get a new large stamp album, Lisa has to solve a difficult problem.

This middle-grade chapter book takes place around 1960 and includes details about Jewish soldiers’ experiences during World War II and early stages of the Civil Rights Movement.  The Passover Surprise (Fictive Press, 2015 and 2016) also portrays a Jewish family celebrating Sabbath and Passover.  Parents and teachers can use the Discussion Guide to discuss issues raised in this book, such as sibling rivalry, bullying, discrimination, and Jewish traditions, with their children and students.

A sweet period-piece that weaves the longing for a coveted prize, sibling rivalry, and a firm foundation in Jewish traditions and faith into an appealing and morally uplifting tale.

–Yona Zeldis McDonough, author of The Doll Shop Downstairs and The Cats in the Doll Shop

A good look at a loving family dealing with the issues of fairness and sexism.

–Shutta Crum, author of Thomas and the Dragon Queen, Dozens of Cousins, Spitting Image, and Thunder-Boomer!

A nostalgic tale about a Passover past that evokes strong feelings of family and tradition. A warm, inviting read.

–Tara Lazar, author of The Monstore, I Thought This Was a Bear Book, and Little Red Gliding Hood

The Passover Surprise is filled with wonder and hope, even in times of dreadful hardship and disappointment.

–Children’s Bookwatch in Midwest Book Review

Readers will root for Lisa and a happy holiday.

–Gloria Goldreich, author of The Bridal Chair and Open Doors, in Hadassah Magazine

The Passover Surprise is available for online purchase from Fictive Press at

Paperback:  ISBN 978-1-927663-17-2, 6 x 9 inches, $11 USD, $14 CDN

Kindle (mobi):  ISBN 978-1-927663-18-9, $8.99 USD

ePub (and other digital formats):  ISBN 978-1-927663-19-6, $8.99 USD

front cover for Passover Surprise

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